Plan Focus – “Humility”


By Rob Shaul

“Humility” is the 3rd installment of our “Virtue” plans of training plans and joins Fortitude, Valor and Resilience in this series.

Originally built for military athletes, Humility is one of our training plans that has also found mission-direct application for other tactical athletes (wildland fire) and on our mountain side (backcountry hunting, mountain running, alpine climbing).


“Humility” is so named because it’s bodyweight and limited equipment-focused. No fancy equipment, or cool-looking, austere, dungeon-esque functional-fitness gym is required.

All that’s needed is your body, a pair of dumbbells, your Individual Body Armor, a 25# weight vest, or a 25# pack, a bench for step ups, pull up bar and a stop watch.

The plan deploys a bodyweight strength and work capacity assessment, as well as a running assessment. Running is both unloaded, and loaded with body armor, a 25# weight vest or a 25# pack.  Work capacity efforts deploy the dumbells and are intense.

Below is the weekly training schedule

Monday: Calisthenics Progression and unloaded, mid-distance run
Tuesday: Dumbbell Based Strength Training
Wednesday: Endurance; Mid-Distance Weight Vest/IBA Run – peaks at 7 miles
Thursday: Loaded Work Capacity Effort
Friday: Long, Easy unloaded run – peaks at 12 miles
Weekend: Rest

Humility has a strong, multi-modal fitness component – strength, work capacity, and endurance.

In our own experience, and what we’ve heard from both mountain and tactical athletes  who’ve completed the plan, is that in addition to the fitness element, Humility has a “hardening” effect – both physically and mentally.

Athletes come out the other side both fitter, and “harder.”

This March, I updated Humility and made a few changes. I eliminated Garbage Reps from the plan and updated the core work based on our latest Chassis Integrity Theory.

I simplified the plan to make it more efficient and changed the running assessment from 3 miles to 2 miles. I also programmed “speed over ground” work via 400m and 800m repeats.

When answering athlete questions, I’ve found myself recommending Humility more and more especially for fit athletes who need a break from the gym, whose training has become stale, or who simply needed a “kickstart” to get back in the game.




Below are athlete comments about Humility:

"Hey Rob, just thought I'd share an update. About 5 weeks into humility. Needless to say, this is the best training plan I have ever done this far. It's challenging, but I am seeing results. Can't wait to continue with the other ones. Thanks for all the R&D to help guys like me prepare for the future."
"I just finished Humility. I had previously been doing a mix of different workouts from your Ruck Based Selection Packet that I bought a couple yeas back. I'm finally starting to prep for SFAS and your new philosophy on prepping for it caught my eye, especially with all the research you put in to back up your change of programming. I decided to get Humility and see how the new programming method was. I loved it.

The Quadzilla and Gorilla complexes thrashed me, as did the Devil Dog Circuits. Now that I've finished the program my "combat chassis" feels better than ever. The 7 mile IBA run and 12 mile unloaded run were once far off goals and are now a reality. Here are all my assessment numbers for Weeks 1 and 7. The program took me about 9 weeks to complete due to field ops etc.

Burpees 66  81
EOs 60  72
Box Jumps 38  40 (Week 1 done with 16" box, Week 7 done with 20" box. My bad.)
Hand Release Pushups 31  36
Jump Lunges 24  30.5
Pullups 23  24
3 Mi Run 22:14  21:29  20:49 

Thanks for the great program. I really enjoyed it and made some great progress, especially on my lower body. Up next is Big 24 and I can't wait."
"I just assessed my 3 mile today in Humility, 4 minute improvement, very happy with the results. Your programming is awesome, and really been enjoying it. Thanks for the quality work!" Regards, - L
"Rob, I need to take a moment to say thank you. I recently completed Humility. It took 11 weeks to finish your 7 week plan. At the time I finished I had dropped three minutes from my three mile time, I chalked that up to the possibility of it being significantly warmer than my last four time trials (from the plan and PT tests). Today I was given a short notice APFT and dropped 1 full minute off my 2 miler (I'm now 45s from maxing) and took my sit-ups from 66 to 76 (maxed out). I found this progress incredible considering the program was just building general fitness and not sport specific training for the APFT. I'll be finishing big 24 soon and rolling into Fortitude; even with the change in run volume I hope I can continue to see progress on my run. Thanks for great training plans!"



 More Comments on Humility HERE



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