Q&A 9.26.19

QUESTION

Im on week 4 on Operator Hector and here are my thoughts as I prepare to choose my next plan:

I ‘feel’ like I need more running as that’s my weakest area, my running comments below will reflect that.

I love the lifting on days 1 and 4; these are my longest sessions and sometimes I need to cut the work capacity out at the end. I think I may be working to hard to find that days 1RM and wasting time/ energy instead of just getting it close and doing my .85% off of it.

I love the agility on Day 2. Probably my favorite day because its things I never have programmed before.

The rucking on Day 3 is fun and challenging based off of my recommended times.

My hands down worst or hardest day has been the Run on day 5. The work capacity before the run absolutely crushes me and makes the run very difficult. Should I be scaling my effort down on the work capacity a little bit if those 4-5 mile runs are so difficult?

What plan should I progress to after Hector?

ANSWER

Thanks for feedback!
You could drop mileage on Fridays, but I’d rather you follow the programming as prescribed. As your fitness improves so will your capacity to complete higher volume.
Apollo next.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am in the National Guard getting ready to go to BOLC training in a year and also am currently a guard at a Prison. I would want to know what program would cover both areas for fitness.

ANSWER

Train for your current job now and complete the plans/order in our Notorious Prison Packet for full time correctional officers, beginning with Rikers. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, grip strength and tactical agility.
6 Weeks out from BOLC, drop out of the Notorious Prison Plans and complete the IBOLC Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Got a question in regards to gaining weight. I completed the hypertrophy for skinny’s plan and saw some great gains in regards to weight and hypertrophy. I’m now going thru mil on ramp after completing big 24. I got some great gains in my lifts with big 24 however did not gain weight at all.

Anyways, my question. Should I just be eating more if I intend to gain weight? Or should I switch up my training to be more hypertrophy oriented? I have an set goal in mind in how much weight I want to gain, then get back into a more mission/sport specific training.

Thanks!

ANSWER

Best advice is to stop worrying about your weight, and start worrying about your mission/sport performance.
Mission-direct programming for military involves plenty of work capacity and endurance. The endurance programming, especially, will work against your mass gains, and unnecessary excess mass will work against your endurance and work capacity performance.
This is why our focus is on relative strength, or strength per bodyweight. Instead of wondering if you are big enough, ask if you are strong enough? To answer, take our MTI Relative Strength Assessment. 
Not sure your age, but if you’re still in your 20s, you’ll naturally fill out as you age.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a new rifle hunter and have been interested in learning about how to train the skills around hunting as well as the fitness. Such as how to shoot under stress / while winded as well as working towards a rifle general accuracy goal.

The internet is strangely bereft of hunting and shooting skill drills, and literally, no rifle hunter’s shooting standard (e.g. a beginner should be able to shoot a 3-inch group at 200 yards in a prone position 4″ sitting, etc.) that I can see.

I see that you guys have developed the Apache archery training/test… (1) do you have anything for a rifle equivalent for that and (2) have you seen anything out there that would guide a green hunter to build shooting training plan in preparation for hunting season?

This might be outside your scope so apologies if it is, I just thought with your focus on training for events/missions and your exposure to the tactical community you might know of something that also looked at skill training.

I appreciate it!

ANSWER

We’ve developed an entire system and plan to train accurate marksmanship under stress for the military using assault rifles, called Range Fitness. Here is one of the drills we deployed.
I’ve never thought to apply the system to long range rifles and a hunting situation, but you certainly could. I’d keep it simple like our stuff for archery, but a longer time limit.
Start at 100 yards, then do a 40 yard shuttle (down 20, back 20) and shoot. For each distance I’d shoot prone, sitting, and supported. I’d use an 8″ circle for the target. Best would be a metal target so you could get instant feedback.
Once you can get all 3 @ 100 yards, move back to 150 yards, then back to 200 yards. When hunting with a rifle I personally won’t shoot past 200 yards, and feel it’s unethical to shoot past 400 yards.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m planning to run a half marathon in January and wasn’t sure which program to pick because I already own the Running Improvement plan.  My concern with it is the 6/week frequency.  I’ll likely continue the SF45 – Hotel plan until I start training for it.
Will the Running Improvement plan suffice or should I purchase the half marathon plan?

ANSWER

Do weeks 6, 7, then 11-15 of the Running Improvement plan prior to your 1/2 marathon.
– Rob

QUESTION

A few months ago I made the decision to change my life and enlist in the army. I’ve dropped from 260lbs down to 210lbs and still have 35lbs to go. My eventual goal is to enlist as an 18x after I complete my degree in December 2020. To reach this goal I was planning on doing the “Ruck-Based Selection (SFAS) Training Packet” starting at the beginning of January. I have been rucking and lifting to lose weight but I’m still starting from nothing. Is there a program that you would recommend to get me from zero to fit enough to complete this program?

ANSWER

The Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan would be a good lead-in plan to the plans in the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have purchased several of your courses over the years, used by both myself and my military professional son – thank you for many quality workouts.

I started mountain bike racing in April, and suffered a significant crash (broken collar bone and 6 ribs).  Recovered quickly and enough to finish out the last two XC races of the year.  I’m looking at programming for the 2020 racing season and have identified general core and upper body weakness as area’s that need my attention.  I believe you would refer to that as “chassis strength”?  I have a 12 to 14 week block of time prior to my 12 week MTB specific training program (bike specific/intervals and low rep high # gym work) that I’m interested in using to address my weaknesses.  I’m 56 years old, have access to a full gym when home, but do travel for business quite a bit.  I own your Humility program which I am thinking will be the first 7 weeks.  I’m struggling a bit with a second 7 week program.  Perhaps one of the Alpha/Bravo series?  What are your thoughts?

ANSWER

SF45 Delta. Strength in this plan is all bodyweight … so you’re travel won’t interfere with your training.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m about to start the sandbag ethos and the question I have is for each session, for each round of the exercises how much rest time before you start the next round? And then how much time before you start the next round of different exercises?

ANSWER

Each circuit generally has a mobility drill – this is your working rest between rounds.
No rest between circuits.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just finished my first program with you this week (Johnny). Thought it was incredible – put on about 8lbs of lean muscle, increasing max squat and hang clean (losing some on max bench) while increasing endurance measurables. I am still tracking towards a potential Denali climb summer 2020. However, I don’t want to jump into the Denali specific program just yet. I was hoping to continue training strength while starting to shift more towards endurance. I think for me, I want to continue crushing base fitness before getting too specific too soon.

I was thinking the Mountain Base Helen as the next program. Also interested in doing the next Country Singer.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for taking the time!

ANSWER

I’d recommend Wrangell-St.Elias from the Wilderness Packet. These plans are designed for Wilderness Professionals, and this plan has an endurance emphasis (step ups, running). It trains strength 2x/week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking for a general fitness plan to purchase for the fall before I get into ski specific training.  I’m in pretty bad shape vis a vis years past.  I can realistically work 45-60 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  I have a pretty fully equipped gym.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a third generation Montanan and I am 53.  I work in San Francisco but spend 100% of my free time on my ranch in Napa or in Montana (increasingly in MT).  I hunt and spend a lot of time outdoors.  I am always interested in new ideas for hunt prep and training as most of my training is home grown.  A friend of mine suggested I talk with you regarding you helping me with a customized program to accomplish some of my goals.  I’m not sure how this works, so I thought I would send you an email to introduce myself.
I train to accomplish a few things;
  1. Personal health
  2. Hunting fitness / prep for trips
  3. Better Accuracy/Precision (with my bow, primarily, although I also hunt during rifle season)
  4. Be outside in nature
The nature of my training is a combination of outdoor work (moving bales of hey, digging holes. moving dirt – farm type stuff) and some conventional exercise (push-ups) along with seasonal training where I run on trails with my bow, stopping to shoot, then continuing to run.  I find this to be good cardio, but also forces me to steady the shot and simulates an adrenal surge just prior to “pulling the trigger” on a larger game.
I weigh 187 pounds, and I’m 6′ tall.
Hopefully this gives you something to go on – please let me know if the above fits into your area of expertise or if we should talk.

ANSWER

I’m sorry, but I don’t currently have the time to design customized programming. However, we have nearly 300 plans available now, and I can generally find one that fits most athletes.
What I gather from your note is you don’t have a garage gym or other equipment that you use. Also – it’s not clear your training background – if you have any free weight training and or structured training experience.
From our stuff, I’d recommend you start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this is an intense training program which deploys assessment and includes upper, lower, core strength training, work capacity, and endurance.
Follow it up with SF45 Delta, which comes from our SF45 Packet of plans designed for tip of the spear tactical and mountain athletes ages 45-55, and uses bodyweight strength training.
8 Weeks prior to your bow hunting season (assuming you’re hunting backcountry in the West), complete the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan.
Wonder about your hunting fitness for this season? We’ve developed a Backcountry Big Game Hunting Fitness Assessment.
Bow accuracy under stress? We’ve developed a system for this Here and Here, and completed a quick mini-study on the effect of stress Here.
– Rob

QUESTION

I seem to find doing the walking dumbbell lunge places a lot of stress on my adductors. I don’t have the same issues when I deadlift or squat.

Is there an exercise I should do to strengthen the adductor or an alternative to the Walking DB Lunge I should insert into the program?

ANSWER

Best would be to continue with the Walking Lunges, and just go unloaded or use lighter load. Another option would be to shorten the range of motion, – only if needed. Or you could try a lung substitute – the Shoulder Hold Lunge or Bulgarian Split Squats. 
– Rob

QUESTION

This will be third time through a version of the Dryland plan. That being said I wanted to run by a potential structure modification.

Since I usually average around 8 hours of endurance activities (cycling / trail running) across the weekend with a majority time of the time spent between Zone 3 to 5 – I found myself having trouble recovering or being able to efficiently exert myself across the past M-Th weekly cycle. Obviously it’s key to have the rest days, which are easy to resist when I mainly have the weekends to recreate. I was thinking of lengthening the cycle to 14 weeks. I’ll complete a session each on Tuesday and Wednesday with a higher intensity bike / run each Thursday. Will plan on doing longer effort mobility work or active recovery on Monday / Friday, regardless I complete mobility work daily. If you think this plan will severely reduce the gains, I’ll reconsider my weekend activities.

For the Legblaster / Scotty Bob couplet is the goal to complete back to back and then rest 30 seconds or has the rest period increased?
Thanks for your help!

ANSWER

Okay on extending the cycle … as long as you are making the progressions. You may not be training enough for accommodation.
Don’t understand your question on the LB/SC … the updated plan has a stretch between rounds for these.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 20 yrs old and am looking into joining the Army. I am fairly physically fit and work as a personal trainer currently. I practice jiu jitsu nearly everyday, and keep to a fair running schedule as I train for distance races periodically. I really love your programs, and am curious as to what you believe the best program would be for someone who hopes to succeed with an 18X contract in the Army. They say it is hard enough for people who have been in the Army and understand the training, and it is nearly impossible for those who take the 18x contract, however I never believe anything is impossible with the right preparation. I have been piecing together my own program based off of the physical demands I have seen from the training, however I would like your opinion on what you believe may be the best fit for me.

Truthfully I have never worked heavily in one area, I do not have particularly high strength percentages (I believe my max bench is 160. Front squat is 150), but I have a fair level of work capacity and chassis integrity (utilizing your terms from your other programs I felt best in those categories with a scaled down version of the Operator Achilles program). I have your monthly subscription and have been looking at the Q course packet but I don’t believe that will prepare me properly strength and endurance wise. I think the Operator programs may be a good fit but am unsure. Guidance from someone with a better understanding would be invaluable.
Thank you for any help you can offer! Have a great rest of your day, sir.

ANSWER

Complete the plans/order in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet, completing the last plan in the packet directly before Basic.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently came across your website as I searched for a better means of programming my fitness. I am ready to dive into one of your plans, but with all your options I am having trouble finding one that would best help me at my current level of fitness. I was wondering if you would be able to steer me in the right direction as to where to start.
I have a general background in fitness but am looking to work on a few specific areas before moving on to one of your military/firefighter plans. I am looking for a general fitness plan that would help me lose weight (10-15lbs) while building a base of strength and work capacity before focusing on improving relative strength and endurance. I understand that training all of these at the same time may not be the best approach. I was wondering if you could recommend a specific program or sequence of programs that will address my goals.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping me achieve my fitness goals.

ANSWER

Start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Follow it up with the Military OnRamp Training Plan. 
Weight loss – 90% is diet-related. You can’t outwork a shitty diet. Here are our diet recommendations: http://mtntactical.com/inside-strong-swift-durable/frequently-asked-questions/#nutrition
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently looking to attend SFRE in about 9-12 months. I stand 5’8″ and weigh 140 lbs. I am obviously drawn to the Ruck based selection packet but I was wondering if it would be advisable to gain some weight before kicking this all off. Or should I just jump in at the military on-ramp program and while eating more and just gain weight that comes with the selection packet?

ANSWER

Jump in with Military OnRamp and follow the plans in the packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I need to lay off hinging and squatting for a few weeks because I strained my lower back and didn’t give it enough time to heal. I decided that doing the APFT program would be the safest bet. What are your thoughts on incorporating some additional resistance training to maintain strength? For upper body, since the program is pushup heavy, I was thinking of adding in over head presses and pull ups. For lower body I was thinking of weighted lunges and step ups, alternating push and pull variations. I would do these lifts prior to the day 3 and 4 sessions.

Thanks for the help,

ANSWER

Okay – but pull back if you’re not making the progressions in the APFT Plan. Also – overhead presses are low back intensive – so be careful with those.
– Rob

QUESTION

thanks for the all-around lifestyle coaching. It’s rad, I would say that your blogs and articles are on par with a military or NOLS leadership curriculum. I have often started MTN Tactical institute workouts and found that I was under conditioned to finish them. I have a new plan and wanted your advice. I am a North Carolina Park Ranger for NC State Parks. What does that mean? Well it means that I wear many hats and have many different responsibilities. Not only do I do the interpretive work of a NPS Park Ranger, but I am also a NC Commissioned Law Enforcement Officer, a wilderness first responder, mountain athlete, SAR team member, biologist, and soon to be redcarded fire fighter. As you can see my job has a huge amount of physical demands. I wanted to share with you what I am doing now and prepping for and wanted to know what you thought. I am transitioning from a small rural weight room gym to a fully functional fitness gym and pool. In that time I am almost 3 weeks into doing mobility training every morning, followed your core bodyweight improvement plan (which is great). I am prepping to add your pushup/pullup improvement plan once I hit week 4. Until then I am training my pull/push strength by doing scapula pull-ups, and forearm training. I would like to go into the virtue series training packet afterwards. Should I pad that by doing the body weight foundation before the virtue series? Or should I just subscribe and do your daily WOD’s? Ultimately I would like to be in better shape than when I was on a tactical response team in the air force, in operator shape again so the doors are open to me if I have the opportunity to be in SWAT or an Operator in the ANG.  Basically I want to establish a lifestyle change, so I am starting over from the ground up with mobility and core work. Any advice would help? Anyways, I love what you guys do over at MTI and couldn’t be more grateful for your hard work. Keep it up?

ANSWER

Rather than the Virtue Series I’d recommend our Wilderness Series of plans. I built these this year as day-to-day programming for Wilderness Professionals … Game Wardens, Park Rangers, Field Biologists, etc. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and mountain endurance (run, uphill endurance).
Like all MTI programming, these plans are intense. What is missing from your current programming is leg strength and endurance, so yes, I’d recommend the Bodyweight Foundation Plan first.
– Rob

QUESTION

I wanted to reach out to see what plan you would recommend for me. I am in law enforcement and have a garage gym outfitted with a rack, bumpers, a 150 lb strongman sandbag, ropes, kettlebells, a weighted vest, and gymnastic rings.

I don’t have any dumbbells, normal sandbags, or a box. Which law enforcement plan would you recommend?

Thank you for your time. I plan on training for a SWAT program down the road, and want to make sure I am proactively training hard and smart. I also travel frequently for work, and don’t have more than an hour to train a day in a perfect world.

I appreciate your help and advice,

ANSWER

I don’t have a perfect plan on the LE side for your equipment. You’ll need some smaller sandbags and a plyo box or two..
Given that, I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Big 3 + Running Plan, then follow it up with the plans/order in the Spirit Series for LE Patrol/Detective.
You’ll need to gear up for these …. lighter sandbags, some dumbbells, and a plyo box or two for the tactical agility.
– Rob

QUESTION

I train condition regularly, I saw ur training plans I got interested. i want to ask your recommendation for me. I want to add some condition strenght/resistence in my jiu jitsu game. I am also a police officer,  regularly I have to make physical tests like (run, pull ups, push ups and abs) and I want to improve my run if possible because my poor qualit in the tests. I have basic, a bar to do pull ups, and material to do squat, deadlift and bench press with some nice amount of weights. A nice basic gym. But I can adjust for the exercises.

ANSWER

Start our stuff with the Big 3 + Running Plan – which will increase raw strength (squat, deadlift, bench press, pull ups) and your running fitness at the same time.
Follow it up with Whiskey, which is the first plan in our Spirits Packet, designed for full-time police officers.
After Whiskey, complete the BJJ Training Plan.
– Rob

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