I have a pretty good understanding on nutrition as it relates to powerlifting and body building regimes. I am a former world class power lifter with world and national records and championships. I also did a body building show when i realized being a legitimate meatball wasn’t worth the damage to the body and health. So then I drastically switched and dropped 137lbs. Now I am a CPT in the Army and want to get a better balance overall for fitness in my military career and nutrition on point with the balance of military life/training and everyday life. My pt scores are passing but I don’t want to just pass I want to dominate at everything. I hate the height and weight standards and generally have to tape (which makes me feel like I failed bc it’s a scape goat). I run my 2mi 1530, 108 push ups, Situps (my weakest) right around 52-55. Any help on nutrition that can be put into an organized plan with your programs?
Our approach for military athletes is not to be able to max out the APFT at all times, but rather to constantly build your combat/training related fitness demands of strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck), chassis integrity (core), and tactical agility. We call this “base fitness.”
Then, when you know a PFT, school or selection, is approaching, drop out of this base fitness programming and complete an intense, sport specific program directly before the event – examples include the APFT Training Plan
, Ranger School Training Plan
, etc. After the PFT/Selection/Course, drop back into the “base fitness” training.
For you now – if you’re super concerned about your APFT score, complete the focused APFT Training Plan. If you’re more interested in all around “base fitness” complete the plans/order in our Greek Hero
series of plans – which is our “base fitness” for military athletes – until you have an APFT or school approaching, then drop out of these plans and complete one of our sport-specific plans.
Interested in how you test to our metrics. Complete these assessments:
I have messaged you a few times regarding my favorable fitness results, I have much appreciation for everything you and your team do. I recently ran your Marine Corp PFT program for the last 6 weeks. I have seen a great increase in pullups as well as pushups by adding a voluminal program that is similar to the one you have. I want to continue this excellent success, but I need your help. I am actually waiting to get pre-screened to go to MEPs, an oxymoron perhaps, and I need your help. I am well outside of an acceptable timeline to go to Marine Corp OCS, March minimum from what I am being told, and I need a program that will help me increase my reps further and lower my time while giving me enough. I am at 12 reps for pullups, 98 crunches, 38 pushups, and a 25 minute runtime.
I would like to increase my upper body strength for the Marine PFT/CFT while concurrently training for anything specific I might see at OCS.
Thank you for all your help again, and I look forward to hearing from you.
I’d recommend the Marine Corps OCS Training Plan
. This plan includes focused work for the PFT, while also training rucking, work capacity, etc for all-around military fitness and the events at OCS.
With all the training plans you have is there any way you could make one for us reservists who have to workout somewhere, sometime after our jobs and before drill weekend?
Many reservists do our current programming – specifically the plans/order in the Greek Hero Series (Army). As well, much full time, active duty athletes do PT with their unit in the AM, and do our programming on their own, at a base, home, or commercial gym, after the duty day.
I’m not sure reservists need a special plan – unless your job has you traveling a lot and no regular access to a gym. In that case – we already have many limited equipment plans athletes use for these situations.
I have two questions: do you have a postpartum plan to help get me back into a full balanced workout and is there a new ACFT plan in development to replace you APFT plan I can look forward to?
Postpartum? Not specifically – but I’d refer you to our Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan
– which automatically “scales” to your incoming fitness and is a way to get started. Unless you had a C-Section .. in which case, I’d start with Core Strength, Bodyweight Only
, and some walking – once the doctor releases you for activity.
I am currently on rotation in Kuwait until March. Once I get back I plan to take the SFRE in May. I was released from physical therapy in November for a jacked up hip flexor and adductor I got during one of the 3 mile rucks in Humility but due to our training rotation (basically thrown out in the field for 3 months at a time leading up to us getting in country) I haven’t been able to build my rucking and running back up like i’d like to. Now that we are here barring any random training we aren’t told about till last minute (which is everything) I have plenty of time morning and evening to get to the gym.
I saw the SFAS training packet you have but noticed it is set for 13 months, I have 5-6 months. If you had to shave that package down to that time frame which programs would you keep?
6 months = 26 weeks. Here’s what I’d recommend:
19 Total Rest
I’m interested in your programming to help me get as prepared as I can for my job. Right now I’m coming out of a period of breakdown physically, and my upper body strength is very low, but my running and rucking stamina is pretty high. I’m looking to add size (I’ve lost a lot), strength, and explosive speed, but the priority is mobility and upper body strength as I’m a bit older in a young man’s world. I would like to possibly talk with one of your coaches over the phone and attempt to explain it better so that I can see if you have anything that can help me achieve these goals.
From what you describe I have a couple of program suggestions:
2) Hypertrophy Training Plan for Skinny Guys
– You could be one of those tall, skinny guys who can run and ruck well, but perhaps struggle with upper body size/strength. This is a proven, intense, total body hypertrophy (muscle mass building) training plan which includes upper body work.
I am 62 and have been a runner for 40+ yrs. Noticed some muscle imbalance and weakness in legs. Would like to transition into more hiking, rucking and become a Peakbagger. What plan would you recommend?
I’ve slacked off a bit on my diet and working out for the past three months. I am wanting to get back into it was looking at your plans to lose some extra weight around my midsection and get back into better shape. I’m 38 and about 20 – 30 lbs heavier than I want to be and I just read through your nutritional guidelines. I am going to do the Whole 30. I recently purchased the Bodyweight Foundation and the Military On-Ramp to get me started. I was looking through the Q&A’s and saw that you also had a Fat-Loss Training Plan. Would you recommend I start there and then move to the Bodyweight Foundation followed by the On-Ramp? Or do you think that they Bodyweight and On-ramp will be fine coupled with a better diet than I’m currently eating?
My second set of questions is I have a 75% thickness tear in my right elbow and the Ortho Docs told me I should let pain be my guide so pull-ups are OK so long as they don’t hurt. On the Bodyweight Foundation you provide a modification to the pull-ups and I plan on starting there. Would you recommend for or against the use bands mummy bands for assisted pull-ups? Would you recommend for or against chin-ups? Otherwise I will just use the progression prescribed in the Bodyweight Foundation and take it slow and if need be, run through the program again.
80-90% of weight loss is diet related – so stick with the plan – Whole30 plus Bodyweight Foundation and Military OnRamp.
Pull ups? We like negative pull ups better than bands, – jump up, let yourself down slow – over banded – but it’s up to you. Protect your elbow as needed – including chin ups.
I am looking for a program to help with cfa prep
Not interested in running portion since i train with a track coach
Need to help with current scores
17 pull ups
(My situps need the most work of all of them)
I am starting your USCG rescue swimmer plan this week, with boot-camp beginning in late October.
A couple quick questions about the plan:
1. Are there any resources you would recommend for helping improve on the underwater test? I saw all the drills you included in the plan, but didn’t really see anything specific to improving the underwater swimming, so just wanted to double-check if I missed it.
2. If I can currently only continuously do 3-4 pull ups and chin ups, would you suggest doing banded pull ups instead? Like for session 2 of week 1, if I didn’t use a band, would that mean I would just do 1 pull up 5 times (w/ 90 seconds rest), and then max pull ups (3-4)? So that portion of the workout would only be 9 pull ups before going onto part 2, with the sit up rotation? It seems like such a short workout, so just wanted to make sure it’s enough. I’m used to ironman triathlon training, so time-wise it’s just less time than I am used to putting in, but understand solid effort is more important than just time alone!
Underwater Test? I think you’re asking a technical question – and we’re not the best source for this. Technique matters – I’d recommend research there. Pull ups? We’ve had better luck with negative pull ups (jump up, let yourself down slowly to a 5-second count) than banded pull ups.
I am an Australian Army Officer and was recommended your website and programs by a senior officer at work in order to assist me getting prepared for my next posting. I have already conducted the ADF SFET and been selected for a SOCOMD unit next year. Obviously I want to be in the best condition for when I conduct my REO cycle starting in Jan.
I have had a look at your programs and believe Humility is probably the best starting place. Just looking for some advice on whether this is an appropriate fit or if another program may be more suitable noting I only have about 3 months before I start at the unit.
I’m 30 yrs old, 6’4” tall, weigh 90kgs (190# approx) so I am quite tall and lean. I’m a decent long distance runner but struggle a bit with high intensity, short duration cardio training. I have been running a lot of beep tests in order to improve my VO2 Max. I also tend to work upper body with either body weight circuits or standard gym weight sessions. I’ve never been good at maintaining any regular lower body training so my legs are definitely in need of improvement.
I need a program/s that will increase endurance overall especially with high intensity training, increase strength both upper and lower body (and some muscle mass too so I’m not so skinny), improve my ability to recover quickly and basically keep me competitive with the 20 yr olds I’ll be training with next year.
My work schedule is fairly busy and inconsistent. I generally conduct PT in the morning and then am stuck in the office all day. I am often out field on exercise or away support training courses and other activities so I need a minimalist equipment program/s that I can conduct where ever, when ever.
I appreciate any advice you can provide and look forward to getting started with MTI.
I have another question for you as well. I am currently active duty and deciding between Rangers or SF right now. My questions for you would be up until I have a class date which program would you recommend doing ( I am currently on week 3 of operator Hector and loving it). My strength fitness wise is mainly power from playing rugby and football in my youth, and my running is not awful. My army 2 mile time is 12:30 which is 100 to the regular army, but of course I want to get faster given the nature of both selections. My other question for you would be how would decide between them, my chain of command has been of little to no help in advice on what decision to make, so I was wondering if you had any insight into it.
Rangers vs. SF? Whoa …. that’s a question I’m not the one to ask! I was in the Coast Guard! However, there are some pretty hilarious youtube cartoons about which is best! See HERE
I wanted to reach out with some kudos and a question. I’m wrapping up the TLU cycle and have thoroughly enjoyed it. As a former rower turned military athlete, I was used to having very structured endurance plans but felt like my strength training wasn’t deliberate enough. TLU has fixed that and provided the variety and progression to keep me hooked. That said, some lower body stress injuries earlier in the year really cut down on my endurance and distance training. As I plan for the next training cycle, I’m looking to maintain the strength gains I’ve made during TLU but safely build my endurance back. Does starting the virtue series seem like the right fit?
I’d recommend Fortitude
from the Virtue Series, next. This plan includes focused, gym-based strength, endurance (run, ruck), chassis integrity and some work capacity.
I’m a big fan of your work, I’ve been following your articles for some time and completed a few of your programs with good results.
Now I’m looking for some advice for choosing my next program. I started training in Muay Thai recently, so I’m busy Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening (1,5h each). The focus there is mainly on techniqe with some conditioning thrown in, so I’m looking for a program to supplement that, preferably with a big focus on strength/ explosive work (since that’s not a priority in Muay Thai) for balance. I can workout almost every evening, but I won’t be able to put in 2 workouts a day. I have access to a standard commercial gym.
My best guess would be the TLU Strength program and doing the strength Workouts on the „off-Days“, while skipping the Work-capacity/ Core Workouts and instead adding some of the corework on Muay Thai days/ strength days for a total of 6 days per week.
Is that a reasonable approach or do you have another recommendation?
Your plan is solid. TLU strength
sessions on the off days, skip the work capacity sessions.
Thanks for all you do.
Just staring out with a subscription. “Briefly” – who I am, what I’m doing, then questions.
47 year old Caucasian male (5’8″, 200 lbs). Beginnings of garage gym with sandbags, treadmill, plyo-boxes, kettlebell and some assorted dumbells.
In moderate fitness (at least that was my belief before starting MTI)…
Goals: Long term – Overall fitness that will help with quality of life in advanced age.
Short term – Spartan Race (I’ve done a Sprint), GoRuck event (eventually Heavy), 1/2 Marathon (I’ve completed one, not great), better 5k – 10k times. Eventual return to Krav Maga and kickboxing classes.
1) 10 minutes Yoga first thing in morning
2) Ruck with 30# pack alternate days during lunch break – 14:50/min miles, usually 3 – 4 miles total.
3) Climbing rope work (it was my weakest point during the Spartan Sprint) alternate days (currently plank-form lowers and “pull-ups”)
4) MTI – Limited Equipment Training Pack – currently on Bodyweight.
5) MTI – Chassis Integrity Training Plan – concurrently
6) Indoor soccer league (goalie) and occasional runs with my wife.
1) I’m not recovering as well as I used to so I’ve added an additional rest day into the plan between day 4 – 5 (or as needed). Am I sabotaging the plan by doing so (will this cause me to plateau I guess I’m asking)? I’m in no rush.
2) I’ve replaced the pull-ups in the Limited plan with the rope work. My max was one pull-up so I thought I needed to improve this before switching (and I’ve no easy place to do horizontal pull-ups at home). I was doing assisted pull-ups (with band), but figured the grip strength and rope would be better long term. Agree? Disagree? Add it back in assisted?
3) I’m doing Bench Dips instead of classic because I don’t have the equipment at home. Acceptable?
4) Occasionally I’d like to switch to a Zercher Goodmorning during the Chassis plan. I’ve got some neck and lower back issues that make me cautious. Acceptable?
5) Nutrition – I’ve watched the MTI video. As I’m married and the house cook, I’m a little less flexible for meals. I avoid processed foods and sugar. My wife is a vegetarian so I consume more carbs than you recommend. I do add animal protein where possible. I know I can’t out-train a shitty diet, but will the diet hold back muscular/fitness gains or just lower my power-weight ratio?
6) I’m thinking about adding in some footwork mobility drills (looking at your Operator Agility Complexes with an agility ladder in lieu of hurdles). As you may have noticed, I can overtrain on occasion. I’m looking to develop footwork speed for eventual kickboxing/fighting ability. Too much?
Sorry for the length. I appreciate any advice you can offer.
1. No. Take another recovery day if needed.
2. I’d rather you do negative pull ups (jump, up, let yourself down slowly). Also – I’d like you to lose 25 pounds, which will help.
5. See above – I’d like you to lose 25 pounds, even if it’s all muscle. 200 pounds at 5’8″ is too heavy – esp. for someone 47 years old. At 175# everything will feel better.
6. yes – if on top of training. Train just once a day – so if you get into MMA or something similar – your work there is your training for the day.
You’ll want to move to the SF45 programming for your day to day programming.
I had a question when it comes to nutrition. And Is peanut butter bad for you during the selection training plan. I love eating peanut butter and I know it has a lot of fat in it. So I was wondering what your advice is.
Peanut butter is ok. Better would be almond butter. Here are our nutritional guidelines:
I am a recent graduate of OCS. I performed pretty well physically at OCS, but still do not have a max PFT score. I am looking to do the PFT program in order to get to the first class PFT category. I was wondering if you think it is a bad idea to incorporate other lifts into the plan, I do not want to lose strength in other areas of my body.
You could add to it, but stop if you aren’t making the progressions in the APFT Training Plan
I’ve heard great things about your programming and have enjoyed (and seen good results) from the couple of plans I have done.
I was wondering if you have a plan that would help prepare me for USAF EOD training. I’ve seen articles that they will be going from the current PAST (pull ups, sit ups, 1.5 mile run) to a new Tier 2 standard.
From what I’ve read on USAF websites the new Tier 2 standards include the following:
EOD Tier 2 Physical Test components:
• Run, 1.5 miles
• Row Ergometer, 1,000 meters
• Grip Strength
• Medicine Ball Toss, Back, Side and Log 20 pounds
• Trap Bar Deadlift, five repetition maximum
• Pull-up • Extended Cross Knee Crunch, metronome 56 beats per minute
• Farmer’s Carry, 4 x 25 meter, 100 meters
I could not find any information on what an airman would need to do to pass the standards but I would prefer to exceed them. Here’s a link to the most recent article I could find about the new EOD Tier 2 standards.
Quite honestly it’s been difficult for me to keep up with all the AF fitness assessments. Not only is there a shift for their battlefield airman, but each job category (TACP, CCT, EOD, etc.) seems to have their own test in development. Closest I have to what you describe is a specific assessment for the TACP test:
Obj: PAST ASSESSMENT (OP1-10)
**Rest 5-10 Minutes Between Events except as noted. Scroll down for event explanations and scoring
(1) Med Ball Toss Sum Total:______________
(2) Three Cone Drill Time:______________
(3) Grip Strength (Dynomometer) Total:______________
(4) Trap Bar Deadlift (5RM) Total:______________
(5) Weighted Lunges Total:______________
(6) Max Pull-Ups Total:______________
(7) Ext Cross Knee Crunch Total:______________
(8) Farmer’s Carry Time:______________
(9) 1,000m Row Erg Time:______________
****** Rest 15 Minutes *****
(10) 1.5 mile Run Time:______________
Once all this settles I’ll develop individual plans for each job category.
I am thinking of doing the super squat online course, instead of just buying the program. What’s the difference between them, online course and program? I’ve completed the one lift per day and the 45 alpha.
Didn’t care for the Alpha. Too much running. Messes with my hip.
My goal is to gain strength. I like your combination of strength building and chassis work.
The course is for coaches who want to understand/implement Super Squat progression and how to program it into their own training sessions. It’s not a training plan.
The plan is for athletes.
I’m interested in competing in the backpack trail race at the sheep show in Reno this year. It’s about 6.5 miles, with 1200′ elevation gain, 50 lb pack.
I have until Feb 7 to train for it.
What plan(s) do you suggest Ruck Improvement and do the rucks on hills?
Use a 50# pack and 12″ step for the step ups in the plan, and do the prescribed rucks with a 50# pack.