Plan Focus: Core Strength Bodyweight Only

By Rob Shaul

From our beginning in 2007, Mountain Athlete, Military Athlete and now, MTI programming has always had a significant core strength emphasis. I’ve long felt that a strong midsection not only improves mountain and tactical performance, but is also a key part of durability: a strong mid-section protects vulnerable limbs and joints.

The Core Strength Bodyweight Only training plan offers athletes in austere locations, or limited equipment to train core strength in a programmed, progressed, methodological way.

This 4-week, 5 day/week training program deploys MTI legacy core strength program design using bodyweight exercises only.


Training sessions are designed to last 20-30 minutes, and can be completed alone for athletes with this specific need, or as a supplement to another strength, endurance or any fitness program.

Training session format is either volume – circuits of sets and reps, or interval – periods of work followed by periods of rest. Exercises included train flexion, extension, isometric and rotational core strength.

Each week has the same general layout that is progressed – made harder – as you move through it. Don’t skip around. If you miss a day, pick up where you left off. Each day of the week is different, and designed to target certain movements while still training your entire core.

Here is the Weekly Schedule:

  • Monday: Rotational, Isometric, Flexion
  • Tuesday: Rotational, Isometric, Extension
  • Wednesday: Flexion, rotational, Extension
  • Thursday: Flexion, Rotation, Extension
  • Friday: Flexion, Extension, Rotation

The only required piece of equipment for this training plan is a stop watch with an interval timer and/or a clock with a second hand.

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