Q&A 10.22.20

QUESTION

As each of my emails before has started; let me say thank you for such incredible programming and awesome support all the time. Per your advice for preparing for the CCT Pipeline I started with the PAST Prep Program then moved to a couple of the Pirate Package Programs (Barbosa and William the Kid). When pools closed from Covid you had me move to a couple Greek Hero Programs which I loved as well. I’m trying to figure out which program to do next. I know it’s a lot to ask of something but I would like one that does strength, tac sepa, running, rucking, and swimming if that’s even possible lol. My ship date has been moved to the end of the year so I have time to do whatever you suggest. My numbers, times, endurance, work capacity and everything has insanely improved from already being at a high level. I appreciate your time and I look forward to what you suggest for me. Thank you.

ANSWER

I’d recommend knocking out the remainder of the Pirate Series Packet, then prior to your ship date, the CCT/PJ Selection Training Plan.
-Charlie

QUESTION

I am a firefighter with the Denver Fire Department. I’ve come in and out of some of your programs over the years but have always struggled mainly with the nutrition and diet advice you give for all your plans. I have experimented a lot with macros and trying to track the right amount of calories but have never figured it out for me. I want to dive headfirst into your advice of meat, veggies, nuts, etc. but I don’t want to overeat or undereat. I’m a 40 year old man, 6’4” and 230 lbs and will be starting your Ultimate Meathead program when I finish your legacy Patrol Officer program this week. Do you have any advice on how much to eat and what quantities without stressing over macro numbers?

ANSWER

No caloric restrictions with our advice. Eat clean and you’ll shed fat. The problem with counting calories and all other complicated diet plans is they aren’t sustainable … as you’ve found out. Eat clean 6 days/week, and cheat 1 day/week. It’s hard enough to do that.
230# at 6’4″ is okay if you’re 25-35, but at 40 I’d like to see you lighter – simply to save your joints. My guess is that at 220, you’d feel and move better and there will be big payoff when you’re 52 … like me now (I need a hip replacement – I’m only 5’7″, but which I’d dropped 10 pounds muscle in my 40s).
This means not only less fat, but also less muscle, including upper body mass. So … Don’t do Ultimate Meathead, which is designed to build upper body mass. I’d recommend Jaguar, or SF45 Alpha (more endurance) if you’ve been lifting heavy recently. It’s time for you to re-think fitness and body image with an eye toward relative strength, and longevity.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just finishing the on-ramp plan, but i plan on goin to sfas in the next 3months. Besides the ruck based selection what other plan would you recommend for the included plans??

ANSWER

You’ll want to do the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan the 8 weeks directly before selection. If your exact SFAS date is unknown, but soon, start the RBSTP now.
If you do have 12 weeks, do Fortitude for 3 weeks, take a full week rest, then do the RBSTP directly before SFAS.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m interested in buying a program from Mountain Tactical – however I’m unsure as to which one would be best for my purposes, hence why I’m writing to you today.
I’m a martial artist, I train in two styles – one is basically MMA, with an emphasis on striking, and the other is stick fighting. I know both styles would benefit from general training, but I’m hoping I can find a program to help me with the specific explosive power that especially striking arts require, as well as just general strength building.
Here’s the problem: due to the heavy Covid restrictions in my area, I can’t train at a fully equipped gym at the moment, and my home gym is decently equipped (kettlebells, some dumbbells etc) but not fully so. I can buy some supplemental equipment but can’t afford to fully stock it.
What would your recommendation be for someone like me? (I am considering the subscription service in which case I’m sure I could explore all the programs, but for the sake of this email let’s say I only want to buy one program)
Thank you for your help!

ANSWER

I’d recommend Dumbbell/Kettlebell Moe – which is a multi-modal training plan (strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and gym-based endurance) with the strength work built around kettlebells and/or dumbbells.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am going to be doing a 17 mi trail race nov 7 with about 5,000 ft of elevation gain on the course. I just completed the St elias plan and was looking at a running plan next.
Which would you recommend?

ANSWER

Weeks 3-7 of the Alpine Running Training Plan with a couple modifications.
Where the plan calls to carry water, don’t. Go unloaded.
Complete just the Mon-Wed sessions of Week 7, so you get 2 full days of rest before your race.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off, thank you for your works and the responsive Q&A sessions, I am becoming more (slowly) educated in the science of physical training as a result.
I currently am following the ruck-based packet, now on week 6 of Humility. The MTI session is my primary program, I also spend additional 5-10hrs weekly on supplemental training. Knowing that Big 24 comes after Humility, I would like your recommendation on the appropriate supplemental training I can concurrently do, with respect to where I am on the progression of the packet. I would assume that the overall training would be in a 2-a-day, AM/PM, format.
I have provided the description of my additional training and my current stats in the postscript, should it be helpful for generating the feedback.

ANSWER

I don’t recommend any additional training to the plans in the packet. Understand you don’t increase fitness by training. You increase fitness by resting after training.
If anything, an easy recovery run would be all you should consider.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hey im 16 i weigh about 170 pounds or 77kg. My goal is to become a police officer so i want to lose fat and increase my muscle mass. And most important increase my performance and relative strength.

My best lifts are
Bench:70kg 1 rep
Squat:80kg 5 reps
Deadlift:120kg 1 rep
I want to get stronger and perform better so what program would you recommend

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been using your programs with great success for years now. Mostly bodyweight stuff from your “Bodyweight Build” program, but I’ve even used the “Valor 2” program and had success.
Now, I need something different. I had an L5-S1 spinal fusion on August 3rd, and things are healing well. The ONLY guidance I was given was to walk as much as possible every day, and that I could return to normal activities after 6 weeks. Regardless of how I feel, I know it would not be wise to return to any of my normal exercise activities at this point.
Do you folks have any specific plans that could be used to help rehabilitation and slowly progress to a return to normal physical activity following spinal fusion? I’m interested in bodyweight programming only at this point since lifting more than about 10 pounds is difficult, and keeping my spine neutral and avoiding twists is key.
Thanks to all you guys for the great work throughout the years. Stay healthy and I hope to hear from you soon.

ANSWER

Unfortunately, we don’t have anything that would be appropriate for you at this point. I’d recommend sticking to your Doctor’s/Physical Therapist’s plan to get you back into fighting shape. What we have is simply too intense for you at your stage of healing and risk re-injury. My apologies and feel better.
-Charlie

QUESTION

I’ve been using your plans for several years and looking for a recommendation of what plans to pivot to next month.
I started adventure racing (mtn biking, trekking, paddling, orienteering) this fall. I have a couple more races before being done with the season in about a month. Recreationally, I’ll be mountain biking at least a couple times a week as long as the weather holds up here in Park City. In snow season, I’ll skate ski a couple times/week and downhill ski occasionally. I’m out on the trails frequently, hiking or snowshoeing.
The gym here has reopened with restrictions but I’d prefer not to use it. I have dumbbells, a sandbag, a weight vest, pullup bar, plyo box at home.
What plans would you recommend through the fall & winter to get prepared for adventure racing in the spring?
Thanks so much!

ANSWER

A good starting point based on your equipment would be Humility and Gratitude. If the gym does start to open up without further restrictions, check out the Off-Season Strength for Endurance Athletes.
I’ll also add some notes from Rob when he answered a similar question previously regarding Adventure Racing:
I’ve never designed an adventure race plan – the reason being the events are so similar to triathlon from a fitness perspective – I defer to that programming. For your race, I’d recommend a significant focus on endurance, and the running and cycling programming from a 1/2 Ironman plan – trail run with your pack for the runs, and mountain bike, if possible for the cycling. If not, road biking/spinning will suffice.
Paddling in these events is a little tricky – and in our own kayak/paddling pre-season plan we recommend intervals on a lake or against the current in a stream/river. Swimming will have a limited transfer. I have seen people in a pool tie their kayaks to the side and just paddle – drudgery, but it works.
Finally – Orienteering – get it dialed. You know this already, but the civilians who compete in these races and orienteering comps are better than the military guys. Learn from them.
I’d plan for a 10-12 week train up.
 
-Charlie

QUESTION

I’d like some guidance from you on plans and assistance with figuring out what kind of athlete my Soldier, my husband and I are.
Soldier: active duty,male, no running profile, not over fat but has a history of toeing the line on body composition, wants to “lean out”. Currently deployed. Prefers to have a structured plan for working out and is looking for that right plan.
Self: active duty,female, no run profile after multiple knee surgeries, will perform all ACFT events except the run which will be substituted with the row or possibly bike. Been slacking since returning from deployment last November, working to correct that on the current deployment. Has learned that in order to do leg tucks, I personally need to DL/Squat/Bench first and then pull-ups happen magically. Wants one of your sandbags REAL bad because it looks awesome! Currently looking for the best way to get bags of rubber mulch to Bagram to make this a reality.
Spouse: active duty, male, no profile, not deployed, has access to on post gym and home squat rack, rowing machine, KBs, tires. Has a 2 year old at home that he’s solely responsible for. Does get to the gym regularly, has been jacked in the recent past but, covid and wife deploying again was a kick in the pants. Curious about CrossFit for the functional fitness aspect and also the motivation/accountability piece to keep him on track. Currently a recruiter, has low back degeneration like any good helicopter crew member, will be attending Airborne within the next eight months.
Please let me know if there’s any additional information that I can provide on any of us to help you point us in the right direction. I am confident that I will take you up on your recommendations, I am inquiring on behalf of my Soldier and spouse because I like what you’re doing and think it would be a good fit for them as well if I can just point them in the right direction to catch their interest.

ANSWER

Thanks for the detailed email. I believe you and your husband and your soldier would be best served to start with the Military On-Ramp Training Plan, then dropping into our daily Operator Sessions via the Athlete Subscription. You can substitute any programmed running/rucking with rowing or biking due to your knee issues. Once your husband is approaching his Airborne School slot, he can best prepare with the Airborne School Training Plan. Feel free to ask any other questions – hope this helps.
-Charlie

QUESTION

I was wondering if you had any recommendations on the programs you offer, that has a good mix of both cardio and strength training from a general fitness perspective?  The main activities I do are thru/long hikes, adventure racing and backcountry hunting.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am finishing the 50 Mile Ultra training plan this week.  I am supposed to run a 50 mile race next weekend, but will not be able to due to family obligations.

I have a 50K race 4 weeks from now.  What can I do between these two races to maintain what I have gained during the plan?  Should I re-start middle of the plan and finish it out for the other race?
Also, after that race I am going to have a lull until April on racing.  I was giving thought to doing the Greek Heroine Packet over the winter to beef up my overall chassis before I start another ultra race specific training plan.  Am I thinking right about this plan packet being the appropriate types of work for the off season?

ANSWER

Restart the 50 Mile Ultra Plan from the very beginning, and focus on improving speed while staying in the assigned HR zone. The mileage in the first few weeks of the plan are more appropriate for the 50k distance (mileage builds in phases over the duration of the plan.
I think you’ve got a good plan with the Greek Heroine packet as your offseason training. Before starting that, I’d recommend the Off-Season Strength for Endurance Athletes plan to give your running legs a bit of a rest and regain strength.
-Charlie

QUESTION

I’ve used some of your training plans intermittently over the years, but due to some issues in my personal life I’ve let my fitness suffer.
My goal now is to get back on track and, although I’m not the type of athlete you guys typically cater to, develop my overall fitness and athleticism.  Although I have a professional career behind a desk, I try to be active with my kids.  I also play tennis, like to hike in north Georgia, and I recently started martial arts.
Ideally I’m looking for something that will help me be stronger, faster, leaner, and have better balance and coordination.  Given all that, I’m not sure where to start, although I know fat loss needs to be up front.  Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
By the way, I’m 39.  I’ve done some distance running in the past, nothing beyond a half marathon and usually no more than about 20 to 25 miles/week.  I also have access to a gym with normal bodybuilding type equipment as well as a “functional” training area with medicine balls, kettlebells, rowers, and Olympic weights.
Thanks for your time.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Until then, take care.

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting with the Country Singer Packet. It’s designed specifically for folks like yourself. It starts with a Bodyweight Foundation Training Program which will help ease you into our style of programming, then dives into four more training program’s to build the foundations of strength, work capacity, endurance, and chassis integrity.  I’ve completed this packet in its entirety myself and really enjoyed it. Enjoy!
-Charlie

QUESTION

With COVID-19 everything been constantly changing with most Army schools being cancelled and or rescheduled.
I was finally able to schedule a Ranger School slot and I scheduled it far enough out that the COVID situation would ease of.
I have an RTAC (Pre-Ranger) report date of Jan 15 with a 2 week quarantine before that. That gives me 17 weeks of training time as I am not sure what freedom I will have during the 2 week quarantine.
My plan is to complete the Ranger School plan on weeks 10-17 and Gym Closure Plan during the 2 Week  Quarantine.
I just finished up the 8 sessions of Gym Based Stamina Plan and was going to go into the Fabric Cycles from the Daily Operator Sessions beginning with Velvet and 2 weeks of Leather before heading into the Ranger School plan.
Overall goals are improving and maintaining the 5 mile Run (my weakness) and injury prevention. Although I am in great shape I am in my late 30s.
Any insight  is appreciated

ANSWER

You’ve got a great plan. No changes from me. Stick with it and good luck!

-Charlie


QUESTION

I have a question and a potential request regarding a couple of your training programs.
A little background about me – I’m a 30 year old female with a history of collegiate competitive running, and two years as a wildland firefighter. I’m currently training to try out for the 212th Rescue Squadron as a CRO. They have a 2 day tryout in March, after which, if they select you, you go to CRO Phase 2 the following summer, then assessment and selection.
Considering this try out is about 5 months away, would you suggest doing this program first, then this one, in succession?
Another question I had – would you suggest any personalization to the programs for women? I spoke with one other woman who went through the TACP pipeline, and she said the main thing she regretted was not working more specifically on stabilization muscles when it came to carrying weight (because her hips and knees really took a beating), and she wished she would have had practice on lifting heavier.
I’d appreciate any advice you have! Thank you.

ANSWER

Here’s the plan’s I’d recommend based on 6 months of training until the CRO try out:
Operator Pentathlon (4 weeks)
Madam Cheng (6 weeks)
Rucking, and especially ruck running, requires a break-in period for the body to adapt to the needs of loaded movement. This is especially true for females. The Pentathlon plan starts with a 5 mile ruck assessment, which is a good distance to start with. While I’m sure you’re familiar with pack weight working in wildland fire, ruck running is a different beast. If possible, find out what kind of pack you’ll use for the CRO try out and purchase one. Use that for the duration of your training. Most packs these days are modular – figure out what is most comfortable to your body (most of these packs are designed for men, and female hip structure is different.). Good luck!
-Charlie

 

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