Q&A 1.13.21

QUESTION

I am trying to figure out my training for next year, and I am
interested in some of your training plans, but I am not sure which is
the best one for me. I am a “weekend warrior” that likes to engage in
a variety of recreational activities, with a focus on trail running,
hiking, skiing, and pending the draw, backcountry hunting. Next year I
would like to run roughly one trail race a month from march to august,
with the shortest distance being 7 miles and 3k feet of vert, but
primarily half and full marathons. I would also like to continue to
develop strength and improve the big 4 lifts. I recognize that these
goals are somewhat at odds, but would like to try and train them both.
I had planned to use your running improvement plan and then transition
to the 25k ultra, alpine running, and 50km training plans pending race
schedule. Do you have a strength program you would recommend pairing
with these?

ANSWER

A great place to start is the Big 3 Strength + 5 Mile Run Plan …. then continue with the strength sessions in the plan as you push your running distances. The plan is assessment-based, so the strength portions can be continued after you run through the first cycle.
Know that as you increase your running volume you’ll want to cut back your lifting to 1 – 2 days a week and do your best to maintain strength. High volume endurance works against strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been an athlete subscriber for two years and I am currently in the process of submitting my packet to DEA and do not have a specific date when I will need to conduct my PTT exam, however, the DEA has recently changed their process wherein the PTT exam is the first step in their application.  To establish a stronger baseline focused on pushups, situps, and aerobic capacity, I am currently wrapping up Week 2 of the Ranger PTT.
I have worked through the FBI PFT previously and I know that their fitness test mirrors that of the DEA (sans pull-ups). I noticed that the MTI DEA PTT plan was last updated in 2017 while the MTI FBI PFT plan was updated in 2019.  For my pending DEA PTT, would it be better to use the more updated FBI PFT or utilize the current DEA PTT as it exists?  Also, I would like to extend either plan to a sixth day where I do a longer, more moderate run (5-6 miles).  Would that be detrimental to the overall plan progression or not? Thank you for taking the time to read this email and I appreciate any assistance you can provide me.

ANSWER

Sure on the change …. It could be a date issue with the DEA PTT Plan as I’m fairly sure I updated it as well, but the FBI plan will work.
You can add in a Saturday moderate pace run …. but cut it out if you’re not making the running intervals in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Have completed body weight foundation and looking for next limited equipment plan for general mountain fitness (mostly long distance backpacking). What is the difference between humility and apache plans? Would you recommend one over the other for me?

ANSWER

Humility has a tactical focus and is one of our foundational programs on the tactical side. That being said, it has a significant endurance component.
Apache is a general fitness limited equipment training plan with a short endurance component.
What I’d recommend is Kiowa – another of the Limited Equipment Tribe Packet plans, but it has a longer endurance component.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve heard great stuff about your plans and am excited to start with one. I’m a 24 y/o male who is overall generally fit enough to do everything I want but I wouldn’t call myself in great shape. I enjoy rock climbing, mountain & road biking, ski touring, resort skiing, trail running and spend a lot of my free time doing those things. I’d like to prepare myself better for those things while also putting some muscle on my body.
My dilemma is I have tried lifting in the past but always fizzle out because I find myself not leaving enough energy or time to do those things listed above. That said, what plans have you seen to be successful in getting others in the gym but also leaving plenty of time and energy for their primary goals or sports? It’s definitely a mental switch too as I need to understand I won’t have the same level of time or energy as I do now, which I am (hopefully) prepared for.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

ANSWER

It sounds like you’re looking for a strength-focused training plan to complete in conjunction with your outdoors activities.
I’d recommend the In-Season Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes.
You can work through this programming 1-3 days/week depending on your outdoor activity. If you’re primarily a weekend warrior with mid-week outside efforts, I’d recommend starting 2 days/week, Monday and Wednesday, with the strength sessions in this plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for guidance on the right MTI plan for me. I have no present training objectives other than to build functional strength and endurance. I am not in a tactical profession (I sit at a desk 12 hours a day). I have some distant aspirations to complete a multi-day hiking trip at some point in 2022 (nothing planned yet).
My athletic background is below:
  • Age: 26 years old
  • Height: 5’5″
  • Weight: 143
  • Body fat %: ~10%
  • High school cross country runner
    • Suffered a stress fracture in my L5 vertebrae that has continued to bother me for the last 10 years
    • Worked with a physical therapist over the last two years who identified glute weakness, small leg length discrepancy, and multifidus muscle tightness as root causes of the lower back pain
  • Transitioned to powerlifting in college (Stronglifts 5×5 for 2 years and a PPL program for 2 years)
  • After college spent first two years working 80-100 hours a week in sedentary job with some lifting on the side
  • Second job (age 24-26) – worked 80 hours a week but completed a hypertrophy program (Jeff Nichol’s program). Once the pandemic started, transitioned to couch to 10K (beginners running program aimed at building up to running a 10K over 14 weeks). Then completed MTI’s FBI SA  program
  • In the spring of 2021 completed MTI’s whiskey program
  • Between March – August of 2021 no working out due to extremely high workload
  • As of August 2021 – Re-completed couch to 10K (beginners running program aimed at building up to running a 10K over 14 weeks), while also doing strong lifts 5×5 for 10 / 14 weeks until I stopped lifting entirely due to tweaking something in my back (same L5 vertebrae area)
    • At the time of stopping I had reached – 145 lb Bench 5×5, 175 lb Squat 5×5, 175 lb deadlift 1×5, 85 lb 5×5 overhead press,
  • Currently have no back pain and can run 7-8 miles at ~9-9:20 pace
  • Physical activities I do for fun: occasional hiking, long walks
Appreciate any guidance you may have for me.

ANSWER

If you think 5 miles is too much to start, do the Big 3 Strength + 2 Mile Run Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Which training programs do you recommend for someone getting ready for the Texas Game Warden Academy? Would you think the LEO programs are a good fit? Thanks.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the LE Academy Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before the Academy.
Between now and starting the Academy plan, I’d recommend the plans/order in the Wilderness Professional Packet of plans, starting with Jedediah Smith.
– Rob

QUESTION

Good Morning, Two days ago I was informed by my unit there is a good chance I will be attending Jungle School in 6 weeks. What do you think is the best plan to prepare me for this course? I know on day 1 I have a 5K run assessment and that the course has you do a lot of rucking through dense brush.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Blackwater from our Wildland Fire Training Packet. It includes a 3-mile run assessment and threshold paced ruck intervals based on a 1.5 mile ruck run assessment.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am expecting to attend the FBI Academy in February and will be starting your academy prep plan after passing my pre-Quantico PFT in a couple weeks. Your SA PFT program has been working well for me and I’ve seen consistent improvement in my running. However, I’ve been stuck at 45 sit ups, 35 push ups, and 13 pull ups for a couple months now. It looks like the academy plan uses the same density method for training calisthenics that the PFT plan does. Any suggestions for an alternate method I could try to push off this plateau?

Any insights would be much appreciated.

ANSWER

You definitely need to change up the progression. I’d recommend you try the MTI’s GTG progression for both push ups and pull ups.
– Rob

QUESTION

Long time follower and user of your programing. It is great stuff. I’m looking for a recommendation on a training program for Goruck’s 26.2 mile star course (click for link) . Gorucks star course format is less a smoke session and more of urban orienteering for time over 26.2 miles with a 20-30lbs ruck on.
I looked at your max effort marathon program and thought about modifying to replace the runs with ruck, however, I suspect there will be more chassis integrity required for the ruck. I’m pretty familiar with rucking. Completely willing to pay for a new program and to lab rat it. Alternatively, let me know what program you think is best. Currently on week four of the Fat Loss program.
Thanks for the insight!

ANSWER

Yes on the Max Effort Marathon Training Plan …. completing the programming with the ruck on will build your event-specific chassis integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION

Need your assistance in selecting the correct program. My goal is base fitness with a bias toward mountains, looking at “Helen” as it appears a well round program.

About me 56 years old male 218 lbs with some fat to lose but not bad. Pretty active, will probably do some ice climbing this winter, with plans for a weeklong sea kayak trip this spring and summer and some hiking and camping above 5,000 ft this summer fall. Spend a large amount of time on an adventure motorcycle so require some solid core work. I have just completed a 12-week cycle of “Starting Strength” which was good but I gained about 14 lbs mostly muscle. Also, this program really lacks any cardio focus.

Limiting factors Arthritis in my left ankle limits my ability to run distance but has not hinder me in rock climbing or hiking. ACL in the left knee has been reconstructed but is pretty stable and has full range of motion and I am 56 with a decade in the USMC combat arms and another 20 + working for other federal agencies around the world.

I do have access to both a climbing gym and a fully equipped standard gym. Any recommendations you can give will be appreciated.

ANSWER

At 5’10”, I’d like to see you down around 170-175 pounds – esp. at 56 years old. Losing this mass will especially make your mountain travel better – right now you’re hiking around with a 40 pound load that’s not adding to mountain performance.
First – fix your diet. HERE are our nutritional guidelines.
Programming? I’d recommend you start our stuff with Busy Dad Limited Equipment 1. The strength programming in this plan is bodyweight only – which will hopefully help you cut some mass. The endurance is shorter – 45 min – which will help you get back up to speed in that area. It includes extensive chassis integrity (core) work which will transfer well to your motorcycling.
– Rob

QUESTION

Love the V4 backcountry ski program and excited to try the in season maintenance program. Any use subbing step ups in on one of the days of the in season program?
Massive Thanks

ANSWER

Replace Tuesday’s session with step ups – look to do 500-1,000 a session. You can split them up to make them less torturing … i.e. 250x step ups, core work, 250x step ups,

5 Rounds
200x step ups
Run 200m
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 38 years old been a gym rat most of my career as a federal contractor and in the military. I love getting in there and crushing it.  I seem to have done everything from the bro split to CrossFit in my training days. I have tried a few of your works outs (particularly love the sandbag get ups BTW) with a full subscription to all of the programs available. I seem to always go back to the upper/lower split but, get bored and want to try something new. I have tried to even create my own training but as I look at it, it almost mirrored my previous routine. To sum things up I’m bored and don’t know where to go from here. I’m big into making sure I can function within my job but, I don’t mind seeing the glamour muscles either. Any help you can give me or point me in a direction of a new and challenging program would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Coach

ANSWER

When we program for ourselves usually we (1) Do what we’ve always done, or: (2) Do what we’re good at.  Often (1) and (2) are the same!!
The Busy Dad Programming I just completed is pretty awesome. 45 minute sessions – lots of chassis integrity.
– Rob

 

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