Q&A 1.19.22

QUESTION

I’m in the final stages of preparing for an upcoming FBI academy class, and am looking to change up my current exercise routine to be a more competitive tactical applicant and prepare myself for SWAT/HRT selection down the line. I’ve completed a few cycles of a Stew Smith program and while I’ve seen great results I’m getting a little fatigued with the routine and would like to change things up.

I’m very interested in your HRT training plan, but had a few questions about substitutions I could make to work around an ongoing injury. Too much rucking and lifting coupled with too little stretching in my youth has given me some not insignificant disc degeneration and nerve issues which I’m currently trying to resolve with PT. As such, heavy rucking is probably out of the question for me for the time being, as would be things like weighted squatting or heavy overhead pressing. Wearing body armor is fine.

I’m definitely not asking for medical advice, but do you think that this is a program I would be able to complete satisfactorily if I omit rucking and substitute it for something else? Is there a different program that achieves similar conditioning goals while being less ruck intensive?

Thanks all, looking forward to hearing back from you!

ANSWER

The HRT Selection plan is a “event-specific” plan to prepare you specifically for HRT selection…. so, no, you can’t complete it without rucking and be prepared for selection.
However, it sounds like you are a long way from selection. Rather than the HRT Plan, I’d recommend Glock from our Gun Maker Packet of base fitness (day to day) programming for full time SWAT/SRT. Glock is a multi-modal plan which deploys our efficient strength progression using dumbbells/kettlebells for strength, varied-duration work capacity efforts, chassis integrity (functional core), tactical agility and endurance.
Using loading and common sense for the strength work, you should be able to protect your back.
The one thing in the plan you may want to alter is the endurance programming – which is build around a 1.5 mile run in body armor, and follow-on 800m intervals. You can run this and complete the intervals unloaded and just follow the same programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have an alternative exercise for the sand bag toss? We don’t have sandbags at my gym or work.

ANSWER

There’s no sub for the sandbag exercises. Others make their own and bring them to the gym. Be resourceful.

– Rob

QUESTION

I just found your website looking for prep programs for a trip I’m taking to Jackson.

I’m planning on 3 days (or more hopefully) at the resort, then 1 backcountry day.
I’m a 33 year old very recreational skier, and I’m in decent shape. I play tennis 3-4 times a week and have started Pilates / solidcore twice a week. But I live in Washington DC, so am not in altitude shape, and also will not be in ski shape without your help.
So, your backcountry and dryland programs stood out. 5-6 days a week may be more intense than I need, but I like the thought of the challenge.
Would one program be better suited for that itinerary?
Thanks very much!

ANSWER

Dryland Plan and pray for snow!
– Rob

QUESTION

I was looking to start the Big 3+2 mile run improvement and was looking for recommendations on which program to cycle it with. (i.e. 7 weeks of Big 3 followed by 7 weeks of another program followed by another 7 weeks of Big 3)

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m reaching out to about your 100-mile MTB training plan and want to ask your advice if it’s the right plan for me.
My main sport mountain bike. I race a few  self-supported, multi-day MTB races between 200-500 miles each year. My next race is the Stagecoach 400, a 400 mile race in April 2023. I’ve raced it 4 times before, finishing twice. My goal this year is to finish faster than previous time 3.5 days.
I have not been one to incorporate a lot of cross training until this last year when my bro (who uses your plans)  suggested I have a 2 day/week strength training that used push, pull, sit, squat in my garage. My training for the last decade has just been to ride increasing amount, and some inconsistent HIIT on the bike.  I’ve mostly just ride a lot, regular 200 miles MTB weeks in the 3 months leading up to a race. No real plan.
Today my brother sent the 100-mile MTB program link and suggested I get onboard. I wonder how you would recommend periodizing it or other changes for events that require back-to-back-to-back long days of pedaling, hike-a-bikes, while carrying all your own gear and water, etc. If you have a different program you’d recommend in your library, please let me know or if you think that the 100-mile MTB training plan is the way to go with some tweaking?

ANSWER

This plan is designed for a 1-day event, not a multi-day  event that you describe. This plan’s max weekly volume is just 125 miles.
So, this plan wouldn’t be appropriate for your event. You could possibly use it as pre-season plan, or as part of your build before you start adding in the high volume.
I haven’t designed a multi-day endurance event, as of yet. For yours, the most obvious method would be to push day to day mileage, likely reaching 300 miles in 4 days a couple weeks prior to your race – to allow for recovery and taper.
My issue with this has always been training time for the athlete … You’re unique in that you have training time enough for 200 miles of MTB in a week – good for you.
So, I’m sorry, I don’t have anything for you at this time.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 44 year old male in fairly decent shape: half marathons, a couple of backpacking trips a year, Jiujitsu twice a week.  While most of my free time is spent working and with my three young kids, I’m trying to find a strength program that is compact but will keep me strong for these activities (and to participate in my kids lives as they get older). I have access to a gym, and was trying to select a program that would work best for me in a 30-45 minute time frame, and be an overall strength builder.
Thoughts?

ANSWER

I’d recommend out Busy Dad Full Gym programming, beginning with BDFG 1.
These sessions are all designed to be completed in 45 minutes or so.
– Rob

QUESTION

My son is 19 and is going to join either the coast guard or navy or marines. He is not completely unfit but has not trained for some time. He did 4 years of jrotc at his high school and was very fit then. I’m just curious what program you’d advise to buy? He is studying for the asvab and will
Hopefully sign up in the next month or two. I’m not sure how the timing works for everything since I’m civilian. But he does adapt and get fit pretty quickly. Do you have a suggestion for a program?

ANSWER

I’d recommend he begin with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. 
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently training to climb mount rainier in may of 2023. I just finished the 4 week prep program and saw tremendous improvement in a short amount of time. I just purchased your mountain base program helen v3 but was curious if you had any recommendations on programs I should complete instead and in what order I should complete them in.

ANSWER

By my count you have 25 weeks until May 15, 2023:
Weeks.   Plan
1-7         Helen
8-14       Aretimes
15-21    Danae – First 4 Weeks
19-25     Rainier Training Plan – the 7 weeks directly before your trip.
– Rob

QUESTION

I registered for the Athlete’s 6 x month subscription and I am looking for a recommendation on a program to help me maintain strength and endurance.  Not sure where to start with your programs.  My goal is to stay trim, strong and healthy, but I could use some to lose about 15-20 lbs.

As background, I am a 55 year old retired Infantry Officer with lots of miles on my body.  I swim 3-4 times a week and lift weights 2-3 times.  Hips bother me when I run, so I very seldom run, but do go on hikes/walks.  Otherwise, I have a full gym in my house with Kettle bells, dumbells, bumper/steel plates, a concept 2 rower, etc.

Any recommendations on where to start or do you need some more info.  Thank you!

ANSWER

Start our stuff with the SF55 Programming – beginning with SF55 Alpha.
See how your joints do with SF55 Alpha. I’m 54 and my ankles/knees and hips (I’ve had one replaced) preclude heavy squatting anymore – but all of us are different and your joins might be in better shape than mine.
You can do “athletes choice” for the endurance in the plan – one option would be uphill rucking/hiking with 25+ pounds. Use water, so you you can dump it at the top and save your knees the unnecessary pounding on the way down. You can also row/swim/spin.
Fat loss is 95% diet – related. You can’t outwork a shitty diet – especially guys our age. Here are our guidelines.
Email any questions that come up.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just got back from SFAS and wondering if you have a post SFAS rehab packet of any kind?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Ranger School Recovery Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just purchased a monthly subscription. My ship date for SFAS is 24 February, which is in about 14 weeks. I was wondering which combination of plans you would recommend to fill that time.  Seems pretty clear that the last 7 will be the ruck based plan, but wanted to get your input on how best to use the additional ~7 weeks that I have.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Valor..
– Rob

QUESTION

Long time Mountain Tactical follower writing with a new question: What plan would you recommend for a farmer?

I work a diverse farm on the western coast of Norway and would like to start training in the off season to prepare my body for the demands of the on season. We produce vegetables, apples to cider production, run sheep in the mountains here, in addition to other agricultural tasks. The terrain is steep, uneven, and much of our work is human powered.

We spend a lot of time on our feet walking up and down steep slopes, carrying heavy loads and lifting them up to our shoulders. We wrangle with sheep, shovel soil, push heavy wheelbarrows and often work in awkward positions. We cut down trees, drag them around, and need strong legs if we want to get this down. We toss stones, carry stones, piles stones up and drive them away. We build with wood and concrete and tear down sometimes too. We also work bent over a lot, and I have been concerned about the effects of this long term without counter balancing training. Most importantly, we work everyday, and during the on season, nights too sometimes. Work capacity and metal fitness are important elements of our working life.

Do you have a plan that could prepare us for such varied, demanding work?

Thanks for any recommendations.

ANSWER

From what I’d have I’d recommend our Wilderness Professional programming. The only change to this you might consider is the the loaded step ups …. I’m not sure if you need the load. The rest should apply well – esp. the chassis integrity training.
I’m not sure your age, but if you’re 45+ look at our SF programming …. SF45, SF50, SF55, etc. These would help also.
– Rob

 

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