Q&A 1.28.21

QUESTION

When I played college football about 5 years ago I tore both my ACLs in a span of 3 years.  Ever since then it has been a struggle to squat heavy.  I just recently purchased the patrol workouts and have started them.  I’m still on the whiskey plan.

Would you suggest sticking with squats as the program says to or substitute a list that doesnt cause pain in my knees (deadlift)?

ANSWER

Modify the load and or the range of motion on the squat as needed for your knee pain. Deadlifts don’t train the quads like the squat, so I’d rather have you continue as best you can.
– Rob

QUESTION

Really enjoying the weight loss program, only thing is I am getting really tired by Friday. Have you got any advice diet wise to try and avoid feeling as flat as I currently am please?

For some background, I am 37 years old, 6 foot 3 and 110kg. Ultimately I am aiming to be sub 100kg for the submission grappling season next year.

ANSWER

Your fatigue/soreness will decrease as your fitness improves. Just keep grinding.
– Rob

QUESTION

Would like your advice as I am due to have both a rotator cuff and SLAP tear repaired in the coming weeks. Understanding there will be PT for the surgically repaired shoulder, what plan would you advise that I move forward with for the rest of me? I understand this recovery can be long and I have seen Q&A where you’ve advised to not do the same plan over and over.  Would appreciate any advice/direction.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m loving your Sapper Leader Course training program so far. Got another question. I’m on Session 9, and I did the sandbag getups this morning. My wife will be gone after I get off work today, and I’ll be stuck at home with the baby.
I’ll do the 2-mile intervals when she returns at 2130 if I have to, but do you have a reasonable substitute workout to recommend?

ANSWER

No good options …. but closest would be 500x Step Ups at a 20″ box for each 2-mile interval.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m 45 and looking for something different. I do long distance running during spring, summer, and fall. I’ve also done Crossfit for several years. Ive done and enjoyed the run specific plans you offer (25k and run improvement), but would like a little more total body but with running incorporated. I recently built a home gym and have most of the equipment needed (all except sandbags).

One question, I don’t have room in my house and it’s quite difficult to do shuttle sprints outdoors in MN winter. Can I sub rowing?  I have a rowing machine. Long slow runs I can handle all winter or I can use my treadmill.
Thoughts?
I’m either considering this packet or the big 3 + 5.

ANSWER

Of the two plans, SF45 Alpha has more variety, but less focus. It includes work capacity and chassis integrity work (functional core), as well as strength and endurance (running). It’s also more equipment-intensive (sandbags, plyo boxes, dumbbells/kettlebells, etc.)
Big 3 + 5 is strength and running. On the strength days all you do is strength work – it’s focus is there. Same on the running days.
If you’ve never done a focused strength progression or focused speed work, I’d recommend Big 3 + 5. Don’t take the focus on strength and running to mean this plan is easier. It isn’t …. but you might really enjoy seeing the progression and hopefully seeing yourself get significantly stronger and faster at the same time.
Shuttle Sprint sub? Sure – you can row.
– Rob
FOLLOW ON QUESTION
The pure strength has me intrigued. I’ve done the focused speed work from your run improvement plans and the 25k plan, assuming they are similar. Never done pure strength.

If I was to pick one of your pure strength plans alone and skip the running for now, which to choose?  I read that the Rat 6 is best for people new to strength programming, but the other strength programs and the off-season training for endurance athletes has me intrigued as well.

Maybe I’ll just buy the subscription and experiment this winter a bit.

FOLLOW ON ANSWER
Rat 6 is solid!
– Rob

QUESTION

I have started the Big 3 + 5 mile run that you recommended, thank you. IF the 3rd set of 80% max is too challenging to complete 5 rounds of 4 reps what is the best way to modify? I feel challenged and comfortable completing 3 sets, but am progressing cautiously as this is the first time I have worked out with a barbell since college, currently age 36. I wasn’t sure if should just do 3 sets or decrease wait or do 1-2 reps on the 4/5 sets…..Really enjoying the programming and home gym. Thanks.

ANSWER

First, increase the interval to 2 minutes. You can “break” the sets if needed … i.e. do 3 reps, short rest, do 4th rep.
If this doesn’t work, drop down to 3 reps. Keep the load as prescribed.
– Rob

QUESTION

After 7 years of CrossFit and pandemic my wife and I do our work outs in garage gym and were looking for programming and I remember reading an article about Mountain Athlete featuring Exum Guide Christian Santelices who I Climbed the Grand with and remembered your gym and I liked that your focus is on mountain athlete as I live in Portland and spend weekends in the mountains.  I just completed one lift a day and am in week one of 357.  I really liked the one lift per day and the long grinds, sandbag (bought on of yours!) and the embedded links.  So far 357 seems “heavier” but I like it thus far.

I do like the videos, especially when embedded but the link on the app is easy enough.  Programming is working because I have seen my running improve but programming is tougher than before so I am dropping my running miles from 30/ week to maybe 20 so I can recover.  My push press 1RM went from 115 to 130 so I guess that is success!

I am 53 year old weekend warrior skier (nordic skate and resort skier), MTB, climber, runner so I use my training to keep me fit for my activities.  Any programs you would recommend for those activities would be great.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you pivot to the Greek Heroine Plans, beginning with Helen for your day to day training. These are designed as day to day programming for multi-sport mountain athletes and concurrently train strength, mountain endurance (run, uphill movement under load), work capacity, chassis integrity and climbing fitness (rock).
Drop out of the Greek Heroine Plans as you get closer to sport seasons/trips and complete appropriate the event/sport-specific training plan in the weeks just prior. For example, 8 weeks out from a mountain bike trip to Utah, complete the Mountain Bike Preseason Training Plan. Upon return, drop back into the Greek Heroine plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

I currently have been using the big mtn v2 plan to train for my sheep hunting trips in Northern bc.  Is this much different from module 4 of the back country big game pack?
And will this possibly over train me? I’m 57, so I dont wantnto over train and risk injury before my trip.

ANSWER

Big Mountain V2 will work for BC Hunting. The Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan is limited equipment, and more focused.
Injury? First, MTI programming is focused on the fitness demands of the event, not the incoming fitness or age of the athlete. The fitness demands of a sheep hunting trip in BC are the same for everyone – it doesn’t matter your age or fitness.
I’m not sure of your current fitness, but I will say the fitness demands to climb a 8000m peak or hunt for sheep in BC are intense, and MTI programming for these events reflect this.
If your fitness is suspect or you’d like to start preparing soon, I’d recommend working through the plans/order in the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Packet. These plans are progressive – they increase in intensity and difficulty as you get closer to the season.
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking for some advice;
Since ~ 22 March 2020 I have completed three iterations of Gym Closure, Gym Closure, Bodyweight Baseline, and will complete Gym Closure (again) next week.  I recently purchased an MTI sandbag and am looking at the Great Plains series as a possible way ahead.
I am 54 yrs old, former military (combat arms) and was recently reminded by a Dan John podcast that athletes 55+ years old should focus on strength and hypertrophy.  My thoughts/interpretation of that advice is how could I periodize my efforts on those two areas either sequentially (one six/seven week program followed by the other) or maybe work on those areas simultaneously with an MTI package.
The various plans within the Great Plains series all looks very similar to me; apart from buying the entire package, what could you recommend?

ANSWER

I know Dan John, have worked with him, but I disagree that older athletes (I’m 52) should focus on strength and hypertrophy. I believe our programming should be multi-modal, and have a significant endurance emphasis. Yes on strength, but no on hypertrophy … just excess mass your joints have to carry around.
Do you have access to a gym?
If so, I’d recommend, for a Multi-Modal plan that is designed for older athletes and includes free-weight strength, I’d recommend SF45 Alpha, which is the first plan in our SF45 plans for athletes ages 45+.
If you just want to do a strength-focused cycle, and you have gym access, I’d recommend Rat 6 Strength.
If you want a plan with both strength (lower body, total body) and hypertrophy (upper body), I’d recommend the Ultimate Meathead Cycle.
If you don’t have gym access, go with the Tribe plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

I emailed recently as I am attending a UKSF selection soon. The course has been brought slightly forward from our original estimations.
You initially recommened that i complete the following programmes based of my original dates, however now I wont have enough time to complete the program as recommended (below)
Weeks Plan
8-10 Valor – first 4 weeks
11-18 Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan – 8 weeks directly before selection.
Currently I’m on week 5 of fortitude, should I reorganise the original plan you gave me?? Or keep going as I am until the start of selection?
I have 11 weeks until the beginning of selection.

ANSWER

You want to start and complete the Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan the 8 weeks directly before selection.
By my count, you can finish Fortitude (through week 7), then start the RBSTP and be good.
– Rob

QUESTION

I agree with your feelings on this subject matter.  Here in California it is illegal to keep our cops in shape because it is viewed as discrimination.  What a bunch of BS!!   We rely  of these people to save the lives they protect.  In law enforcement my expertise, I always wanted to protect the good people from the evil people.

A little background on myself.  I worked for the LAPD for 21 years.  My last assignment, I was a detective supervisor.  In 1991, I was severely wounded in a gun battle with a very bad man.  I happened to be a powerlifter in my early twenties and have continued to workout throughout my life.  I got shot with a 44 cal bullet that entered my left arm and lodged in my neck.  The reason it hit my arm was I brought my arm up to protect my face.  I was and still am, 509, 195 pounds of strength.  Not only physically but mentally.  I also got shot in my bullet proof vest which to tell you the truth hurt more than the bullet entering my body.  Even though severely injured, I got up off the ground, chased the bad guy and my partner who was also shot, shot and killed the bad guy.  If we were not in shape this predator would have gotten away to harm someone else.

The doctor told me if it were not for my conditioning the bullet would have continued thru my body and into my brain.  But because of dense muscle tissue the bullet stopped and I continued the good fight to stop evil.

Sorry to cut it short, off to work, I work dignitary protection for the State Dept.

ANSWER

It’s so much more difficult to establish a culture of fitness at a first responder unit than at a military unit. Military units automatically get time on duty to train … not so for the vast majority of first responder units. I’ve found Fire Rescue is a little better than LE, and within LE, only full time SWAT/SRT units regularly get time on duty to train and have their own, established gyms.
Plus – few LE units have high jeopardy PFTs (you get fired if you don’t pass) – unlike the military.
So … for LE it means your professional fitness is all on you. I do think it’s possible to establish a culture of fitness without time on duty to train and a high jeopardy PFT, but difficult as no one “has” to train.
– Rob

QUESTION

First, I want to thank you for your recommendations so far. Just wrapped up Valor and definitely feeling the better for it. My RASP 2 date slipped to the right and so I have an extra 5-6 weeks to train with for a total of 12 weeks (looking at a mid-March report date).
My question is whether I should jump into another plan (like another Greek/Virtue series?) prior to your RASP plan or start with one of your longer plans like the ruck based selection or Ranger school plan and then tag on additional work at the end? Or just start the RASP plan and do two rounds of it?
Curious for your thoughts.

ANSWER

Complete Fortitude until you start the RASP Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was looking for a training plan that for building strength while I either run or cycle 5 days a week. I am not specifically an endurance
Athlete but tend to mountain bike and run a lot because I enjoy it. I currently work as a Smokejumper and followed your smokejumper training program before I completed rookie training. I am looking for more of a lifting program
That is sustainable with endurance activities 5 days a week building core and upper body. Just looking for suggestions. The smokejumper selection program was great for rookie training.

ANSWER

Options:
Blackwater – Wildland Fire Specific Training Plan which includes endurance. The Strength days combine both strength and chassis-integrity (core) training. You could do the prescribed endurance in Blackwater, or install your own.
In-Season Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes – Strength only sessions you can implement 2-3x week.
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking forward to testing my new 1RMs next week from the Sandbag Test. Thanks again for including me.

Following the completion of this test, I’ll be on the hunt for a new program in 2021. I’m enlisting in the Army as an Officer and plan to ship out to basic just after July 4th, 2021. Following basic, I’ll attend OCS, Airborne School, Air Assault School, then Ranger School. Which program(s)  would you’d recommend to get me into the right shape before hitting basic and all that follows?

ANSWER

Plans/order in the Virtue Packet. , starting with Humility.
– Rob

QUESTION

I work as a wildand firefighter. I am currently applying and training for rookie Smokejumper selection which will begin in 17 weeks away.
My goals are to: 1) show up to SMJ selection as prepared as possible within the given time frames (train smart by using best plan available (thanks!), putting in the work, being efficient, not overtraining, and staying healthy with holistic [diet, rest, stretching, mind, etc] approach  2) avoid injuries during selection (injuries during training are one of the main reasons candidates have to drop out) 3) be able to endure endless calisthenics and running 4) have a good PT score (run 1.5 miles for time/ max pullups in 3 min time limit/max situps in 3 min time limit/max pushups in 3 min time limit) The PT score is our very first evaluation and the first impression made when candidates show up on day 1. I also will be calling in our PT results on a weekly basis during the interview process to confirm my training and progress leading up to April.
About me: I’m a 38 yr old male, 205 lbs, 6’2″, and have been Hotshotting for 6 years. I have above average endurance (I have trained and participated in a 100k ultra but even though that was years ago I would still say running endurance is my strongest asset). I have above average brute strength and working strength (I’ve been throwing around the weights in gyms consistently since high school and have even worked with a powerlifting coach a couple of years ago) I have below average strength endurance (my ability to do lots of pushups is fine but my situps and especially my pullups need significant improvement) I’ve had no major injuries or illnesses over the last decade. Just slight tweaks here and there. I have a decent home gym and access to a fully equipped gym.
Average of my past PT results over the years and my goal by the end of April
8:35 min. run 1.5 miles…goal is 8:00 min.
12 pullups….goal is 20 pullups
70 pushups…goal is 100 pushups
95 situps…goal is 125 pushups
Currently, I am about to complete your “Bodyweight Foundation” plan next week. During the 8 weeks prior to SMJ selection, I will be using your “Smokejumper Selection” plan to finalize my training/preparation. My question for you is…Which program would you suggest I complete between “Bodyweight Foundation” and “Smokejumper Selection” to meet my goals?
 
My initial thoughts are to combine a “Grease the Groove” for pullup program with a strength and endurance program (Keep building running/rucking endurance, increase strength to improve durability, and work specifically on weakness [pullups]) I am very interested in your Virtue Series plans. They seem to cover almost all the bases that I know are critical to my job: chassis integrity, strength, endurance, and work capacity…”Humility” especially. “Fortitude” looks appealing as well because of the heavy strength and military endurance components. I’m even considering your “Kettlebell Strength- Working Strength” plan because as you say, “…brings it all together- strength, mobility, fluidity, movement, body tension, and chassis integrity”
Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated. Your website is the fucking shit for people looking for help with moutain/tactical fitness. I felt like I found the Holy Grail when I was pointed to your website. We appreciate what you all do!

ANSWER

Blackwater from our Wildand Fire Training Packet. Repeat week 6 in the plan to stretch it to 8 weeks. You can do the GTG pull up protocol along with the plan. If you have equipment issues – do Humility instead.

– Rob

 

 

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