Plan Focus: Busy Operator 3

By Rob Shaul


The Busy Operator Training Plans were developed after I received multiple emails from deployed military athletes who had completed our venerable Operator Sessions before deployment but downrange simply didn’t have the time to complete the full 60-minute Operator Sessions.
Upon these requests, I developed a stripped down version of the Operator Sessions which could be completed in 30-50 minutes. Out of this our first version of the Busy Operator Training plan was developed, and subsequent to that – Busy Operator 2 Busy Operator 3 is the third plan in our Busy Operator series.

This 6-week, 5 days/week training program provides short, intense, 30-50 minute training sessions for tactical athletes who have minimal training time. This plan was designed in November 2017.

The program deploys MTI’s Fluid Periodization methodology to train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and military endurance (running, rucking, step ups) concurrently. Here are some programming specifics for this plan:


Busy Operator 3 deploys our new “Efficient Strength” programming. Efficient strength combines a total body, lower body, upper body press and upper body pull exercise in the same circuit. The circuit is designed so that just one of the 4 exercises requires a barbell. In terms of intensity, the total body and lower body exercises deploy moderate intensity – 3 reps per set for the total body exercise and 5 reps per set for the lower body exercise. The upper body exercises (push and pull) modulate between moderate (5 reps per set) and light (8 reps per set) intensity. Athletes work through the circuit at a moderate pace … – briskly but not frantically. Loading is prescribed as “work up until 3 reps (or whichever is dictated by that exercise) are “hard but doable.” Ideally, athletes will be at this “hard but doable” loading by round 4 or 5 of the 6 round circuit. This is strength training … so the idea is to get as heavy as possible, as fast as possible and still be able to complete the prescribed reps for each exercise.


Busy Operator 3 deploys two durations of work capacity events – a 10-minute effort or a 20-30 minute effort. Overall, the plan deploys 5 separate work capacity events.


Two types of chassis integrity circuits are deployed – ART Circuits (Anti-Rotation, Rotation, and Total Body Exercises) and Low Back Circuits (4 low back exercises). ART Circuits are programmed after the10 minute work capacity events. Low Back circuits are designed after the 20-minute work capacity events. Chassis Integrity is MTI’s core/midsection training methodology designed to train the midsection in a manner which is transferable to outside performance for mountain and tactical athletes.


Three types of endurance events are deployed – unloaded running, loaded rucking and a combo of running and step ups.





Each week of Busy Operator 3 includes two strength sessions, and at least one work capacity and one endurance session. Some weeks have two work capacity and one endurance, and others have two endurance and one work capacity session. Below is the schedule for week 1.

  • Monday: Strength
  • Tuesday: Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
  • Wednesday: Endurance
  • Thursday: Work Capacity
  • Friday: Strength



This program is specifically designed for military and other tactical athletes. Completion of the program requires a fully-equipped functional gym, complete with barbells, racks, plyo-boxes and sandbags (40# for women, 60# for men). In addition, you will need a ruck and 45# of load. A stopwatch with an interval timer will make working through the session easier. Timex Ironman is best.


Busy Operator I

Busy Operator II

Busy Operator III


You Might Also Like MTI Essentials: The Operator Sessions


Subscribe to MTI's Newsletter - BETA