Q&A 10.21.21

QUESTION

Just finished week 4 of the Ruck BasedSelection program and during the retest of the 10 mile ruck, average time went from 13:35/mile (week 1) to 13:00/mile (week 4). Excited to see the improvements. Just curious what type of improvements you typically see from people who run this program? The conditions were much cooler and more favorable during week 4 so I’m not sure how much that was a factor.

ANSWER

The improvements vary drastically depending on the athlete’s incoming baseline of fitness, rucking experience, physical characteristics, etc. Shaving 30 sec. off of your per mile pace is solid work, and you should continue to see improvements as you grind away at the intervals. Keep at it.
– Charlie

QUESTION

I’m looking for a suggestion on what plan(s) I should follow as I start my journey through the Q Course as I’ve been browsing options and I’m torn on where to start. I’ll try to keep the recap of my background short and sweet…
To start with, I’m a little older compared to my peers – 32, 5’8, about 195 right now, but usually run about 185-190. I’ve lifted for the majority of my life, but just started prioritzing cardio over the past couple years. During my outbrief, the cadre told me I was near the bottom of the selected candidates on the runs and rucks and needed to improve there (I’d estimate at selection I did about a 2:30-2:40 12 mile ruck, and a 37-38:00 5 mile run). Since finishing SFAS end of June, I took about 3 weeks off – hiking, very easy running – and have just started to get back into it the past couple weeks. I just did a diagnostic ACFT and my weak points were 49 pushups, 1:49 sprint drag carry, and 15:05 2-mile. On the APFT pre-selection, I’d usually hit 65~ pushups, 85 situps, and 13:10 2 mile. Some other recent benchmarks in the past two weeks: 30 minute all out run to test threshold 3.94 miles (7:37 min/mi), 320# 1RM Back Squat, 375 3RM Deadlift, 285 1RM Bench, 155 1RM Press, 30 minute LISS (HR below 140) run 2.93 miles (10:14 avg pace). These are all about 10-20% lower than where I’d say I was going into SFAS just a month and a half ago. Priorities for me are to get faster in both short distance and long distance runs, my rucks, and drop some body weight. I should have most of the next 5 months in garrison before I head out to SERE and then Tac Skills and Sage shortly after.
Appreciate any guidance you can offer.

ANSWER

It’s unclear from your note if y ou’re already in the Q Course.
If you’re looking for base fitness training to complete through the course, Id recommend the plans/order in the Greek Hero Packet, starting with Hector.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently returned from Ranger School and jumped on the RS Recovery Plan. As expected my fitness is nowhere where it was before the school.
Which plan do you recommend for general fitness? The only two events that I have coming  up are a potential APFT or ACFT in October (tentative due to COVID mitigation and I also have a fitness test for my police department that is a 1.5 mile run and 500 meter row.
Which plan(s) do you recommend after completion of the Ranger School Recovery Plan?

ANSWER

After the recovery plan, I’d recommend dropping into the Virtue Series to regain strength and military fitness. If you get confirmation of an APFT or ACFT, you’ll want to drop into the specific prep plans for those respective PT assessments.
– Charlie

QUESTION

I am possibly looking at moving my ship date up to sometime in January or February for the 18X SFAS program, I am currently midway through humility and am trying to figure out what my best option would be for finishing the ruck Based packet in 24-28 weeks if I do change my date. I am already a decent runner, 13 minute 2 mile and about 35 minute 5 mile, and I’m on the smaller side 5’7 about 145 or 150 pounds so I know rucking will be a key part of training for me. I was considering just omitting the big 24 and continuing along the packet until 8 weeks from shipping to basic to them complete the ruck selection plan?
Do you have any suggestions for which plans to use if I am looking to finish in 24 to 28 weeks? Or would you recommend keeping a later ship date and ensuring I do the full 52 weeks?

ANSWER

You can proceed and skip Big 24.
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

I was looking through your programs and am looking for one that would concurrently train strength and endurance. However, the main caveat is that I am looking for a program that does not include rucking. Do you have any recommendations?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I will be attending selection for SFOD-D in October 2022. I plan to do the SFOD-D Build and the SFOD-D Selection Training Plan immediately before I start selection. Since I am roughly 13 months out from selection, what training plans should I do leading up those last 17 weeks of SFOD-D training plans?

ANSWER

Options:
Good: Plans/order in the SFOD-D Selection Training Packet
Better: SFOD-D Build then, SFOD-D Selection Training Plan now, then work through Humility, Valor and as much as Fortitude as time allows, then repeat SFOD-D Build and SFOD-D Selection Training Plan directly before selection.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering what you would recommend for a bodyweight workout plan. I have been doing one of your older Work Capacity programs but am about to PCS and will be traveling for a bit with unreliable access to gyms and equipment, so I’d like to use a plan with little to minimal equipment requirements to maintain as much as possible until I can transition back to the work capacity program.

ANSWER

Options:
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently starting training for SFRE (within the next 3-6 months) then hopefully SFAS. I’m in decent shape from doing CrossFit 3 times a week. The APFT program alone is a bit light for me but I need to get my PT test scores up to the 300 level.
Would you recommend doing the APFT program with the Military OnRamp program, or would the Military OnRamp program be enough on its own to get my PT scores up?
Love what you guys are doing!

ANSWER

I’d recommend the SFRE Training Plan, which includes focused training for the APFT.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just finished the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu plan and loved it. As I get older, I find it harder to lose weight around the waist. I have limited equipment where I am at and wanted to know what plan you suggest for maintaining strength but can bust some belly fat.

Thanks for the awesome product(s), my jiu jitsu game has been elevated and in the middle of the plan I was promoted to a higher belt. Keep on rocking, talk to you soon…

ANSWER

Your belly fat issue isn’t training, it’s diet. Here are our dietary recommendations. Follow these and you’ll cut fat: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/

Plan? Johnny.

– Rob


QUESTION

I was looking at the CORE STRENGTH BODYWEIGHT ONLY program. I was going to do it as assistance work with the Starting Strength Model (SS) that I have been following on and off for the past few years. The problem is that “on and off” means I fall off more than on.

Motivation is my problem.

Gonna be 58 in November and the usual bum wrists, some a/c shoulder crap and a creaky hip. In the past year my numbers have been as high as a 260 squat, 200 bench, 130 press 5 x 3 and deadlift 300 something. Not much of a runner. Then I stop lifting and pushing the sled for a month and have to start all over again. It amazes me how fast you fall out of shape when you are old. I have all the shit I need at home in my garage except someone to kick my ass and make me get at it.

Anywho enough whining… is that program good to mix with the SS model? If it does I will try it out.

I love your articles and your no nonsense approach. Keep up the great work.

ANSWER

If you’re just after strength, the core strength, bodyweight only plan would complement your strength work.

If you’re looking for an overall fitness plan, to include strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity (core) – I’d recommend SF45 Alpha.

Running …. I’m not sure what “I’m not much of a runner” means …. but it sounds like you don’t like running. Here’s the deal – running is natural, and the most transferable all around exercise mode to movement over ground – esp. any type of mountain movement … SF45 Alpha includes running. You can swap in Biking/spinning if you want, but you need to be doing cardio – esp. at 58 years old. I’m 53 and guys our age die all the time ….

– Rob


QUESTION

Wanted to ask how or if you would adjust the alpinist fitness assessment measurements/exercises for an older athlete.  I m an ice climber, I am 59 years old and I no longer run.  Alternatives I have been doing – I do step ups with only a 25lb pack, instead of running,  I do a sled push/pull (75lbs) for anywhere from a ½ mile to a mile depending on other gym elements I am doing as well as the ski ergometer, assault bike and rower.

How do I determine if I am a good zone or not.  Your current scoring system I would probably score very low and thus be in poor condition when I don’t feel that way.

ANSWER

The Alpinist Fitness Assessment is not a test of general fitness. It’s sport-specific to the specific fitness demands I feel are important for alpinism – relative upper body strength (dips, pull ups), uphill movement under load (step up assessment), climbing fitness/technique (V Sum), short, intense, work capacity (300m shuttle) and overalll movement over ground and aerobic endurance (15K run).
I wouldn’t make any changes for older athletes. What I would do is adjust the scoring scale down some for the step ups, dips/pull ups, run, and shuttle … but not for the V-Sum. I would not decrease the load for the step ups.
In terms of you and running …. again, this assessment is designed for alpinism, and the run measures overall aerobic fitness/endurance, as well as the movement over ground needed for long approaches. What is important is transfer …. does the events in the assessment transfer to performance in alpinism. What we and other have found is there is limited transfer between different aerobic modes … ie great on the assault bike does not mean great at step ups, etc.
If you won’t run, and want to do the assessment, my best sub would be a 25 mile flat, road bike for time.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am finishing up the RS Recovery Plan and noticed there isn’t a deload or days off programmed.
Do you recommend taking time off before beginning the next program? I plan to begin Valor.

ANSWER

Nope. Roll right in.
– Rob

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