Plan Focus: SF45 Alpha

Cody, 45, works through Thursday’s heavy In-Place lunges during SF45 Alpha.

By Rob Shaul

“SF45” is an acronym for “Strength and Fitness 45” and this programming is designed for older tactical and other high impact athletes in the 45-55 age range.

SF45 Alpha is the first of a series of 4 training plans in this collection – Bravo, Charlie and Delta are the other 3 plans in this series.All four plans can be purchased together in a packet, HERE

SF45 Alpha is a 7-week, 6 day/week training plan with an emphasis on endurance. Week 7 in the plan is an unload/re-assessment week.

This is the first version of this plan, published May 2017.

SF45 Programming has the following general characteristics:

Heavy, Low Volume Strength – think heavy barbel and 1-3 reps per set. The goal is to increase or maintain relative strength (strength per bodyweight) in the most efficient manner possible. Some SF45 cycles will feature bodyweight strength training, but none will include moderately loaded free weight strength training in the 5-12 reps per set range. This is to avoid unnecessary joint impact.

Endurance – Recreationally, most activities for athletes in this age range are outside and have a strong endurance component – biking, hunting, trail running, hiking, alpine climbing, etc. As well, for experienced athletes who’ve spent decades throwing iron around in gyms, the appeal of training inside wanes. Endurance programming includes assessment based intervals at a threshold pace, long distance intervals at an easy pace, and gym-based endurance training. This programming may include rucking and ruck running, as well as loaded step ups.

Chassis Integrity – MTI’s mid-section training methodology aims at building transferable mid-section strength and strength endurance. Four movements are emphasized: Rotation, Anti-Rotation, Total Body and Extension. Chassis Integrity can be trained in focused circuits, as well as in complementary gym-based endurance events.

Non-high Impact Work Capacity – In this age group, gone are the days of hard, intense, high impact multi-modal gym-based work capacity programming. For day to day training, the interest and need for this type of fitness is not worth the joint impact. Work capacity training is limited to lower impact gym exercises and shuttle sprints.

Deep Squat Avoidance – For our over-40 lab rats, it’s nearly impossible to do heavy back or front squats without limited joint pain. Lower body strength training in these cycles will focus on lunges, hinge lifts and bodyweight or lightly loaded complexes.

Here is the weekly schedule for SF45 Alpha:

  • Mon: Heavy Total Body Barbell Strength, Gym-Based Endurance
  • Tue: Heavy Upper Body Strength, Low-Back Focused Chassis Integrity, Shuttle Sprints
  • Wed: 6 Mile Running Assessment or 2-Mile Threshold Repeats
  • Thu: Heavy Leg Strength (lunges), Gym-Based Endurance
  • Fri: Long, Easy Run/Trail Run
  • Sat: Athletes Choice: Long, Easy Run/Trail Run or Endurance Mode of Choice

Common Questions:

Who is this plan appropriate for?
Experienced tactical and other high-impact athletes age 40-55. This plan includes olympic and functional fitness exercises and knowing your way around a weight room will easy your learning curve for the programming. 

What Equipment is Required?

  • Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including barbells/dumbells, plates, bumpers, rack, bench, plyo boxes, sandbag (40/60/80 pound)
  • Stop watch with countdown interval timer.
  • Optional – GPS running watch to make finding running distance easy

Can I see sample training?
Click HERE, then click the the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

More Questions?

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