Q&A 10.24.19

QUESTION

I’m looking into switching to using your site.
little bit about me:
I’ve been training in CrossFit for the last 3 years approx.
I’m very into persevering what I’ve got plus keeping with the “CrossFit” type method, means – a few workouts (3-5 a week) that doesn’t last more than an hour that includes
Strength,Cardio (something like metcon maybe)
I would like to know if you have any specific training that you think I should use/subscribe to?

ANSWER

I’d recommend Johnny from our Country Singer Packet of Plans. These plans apply MTI’s fluid periodization to programming for civilian athletes (not tactical) and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and endurance.
– Rob

QUESTION

For our strength during acteon do we pause between reps at the top or lock out or at the bottom? Ie when benching, normal speed, lock out, wait 3 big breaths, rep again? Or down, wait 3 big breaths, press and lock then right back down, pause etc
Hope all is well..

ANSWER

Squats … don’t pause at the bottom. Do the full rep, then do your three breaths at the top, before dropping to the next rep.
Bench – same, don’t pause at the bottom. Do the full rep, then do your three breath with the bar in the up position, elbows locked out.
– Rob

QUESTION

Curious if mountain bike specific workouts have been developed and are available within the platform?

ANSWER

We only have one MTB plan, the Mountain Bike Pre-Season Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering if you have a conversion to estimate dead lift weight from the sand bag exercises you do in the limited equipment plan? Just trying to figure out a starting weight when I get to the trap bar. Thanks for any advice and I love the work out.

ANSWER

I’m sorry, I don’t. In my gym most men would start out at 135#, and go up rapidly from there.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ll be spending about 3 weeks inside “the box” for a training event with the Army. It’s extremely unlikely that I’ll be able to complete runs or rucks and I won’t have access to any equipment. I will be able to bring 1 kettlebell and 1 sandbag with me. Is there a program, or a single session, you recommend to complete while I’m out there?

ANSWER

Options:
Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell Training Plan … and do step ups/bike/or row for the running in the plan. Leave the KB and bring a pair of 25# dumbbells.
Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan – sub rowing/spinning or step ups for the running in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I came across your most recent lab rat mini-study online and I’d love to be a remote lab rat for you in the future. I figure it would be mutually beneficial and help me decide which plan of yours I would like to go with in the future.

I am a former college football player (disclaimer: division 3) and current police officer transitioning from patrol to a full time drug unit and active member of our SWAT team. My background is mainly powerlifting and the last few years I’ve just been floating from program to program without ever really finding anything I enjoyed long-term.
I wish I would’ve found out about you guys before I went to Jackson a few months ago but hope to find my way back again.
I look forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER

We announce our remote lab rat opportunities in our newsletter, Beta. If you haven’t already, please sign up for it and apply when we announce.
You can sign up for Beta at the bottom of our homepage.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for water con training. I live in Seattle and I stumbled upon your site. This will be for military career goals.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the pool sessions in the USMC Basic Recon Course Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an aspiring Operator looking to go the ranger or Sf route I’m 22, 6,0 180lbs, I traditionally run 5-6 miles a day 3-5 a week & do some push ups and sit ups & planks here and there, but I know thats not enough at all. So I was reaching out to you seeking guidance on what program format would be right for me? btw i want to get down to 170 or below that as a General goal of mine. thank you

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet. Several have used this successfully for SFAS.
– Rob

QUESTION

I barely failed my last PTA for the DEA. I have 90 days to retest. I need some help. My run specifically was my weakness (1.5 mile) but all my categories can use improving. I need a program long enough for 90 days.

ANSWER

I’d recommend beginning with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan and following it up with the DEA PTT Training Plan directly before your next test.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have been a fan of your site since 2008. I’ve done your Afghan Prep Course, Bataan Death March Prep, and APFT improvement Program, with great results. Last year my weight increased to 220+lbs (6’ height) and it has fluctuated up and down since then. So I decided to buy your Fat Loss Program. I have some initial feedback/questions:

  1. Diet: I say the biggest one fundamentally is you say it’s all calorie deficient but I know your diet Rx and its Paleo-esquire/Ketogenic/low carb, then you list a bunch of references that all seem to point to Ketogenic low carb diets, except the interesting FDA references you threw in. I added up FDA myplate in myfitnesspal and it equals about 1500 calories. I’ve read Gary Taube’s and he has a compelling argument so the FDA link seemed odd and out of place. I wished you’d explored that more and talked in detail about the macros percentages and calorie deficit your “lab rats” were working with.
  1. Workouts: Better short hand in the workout for when you mean 2×25 dumbbell and 1×25 dumbbell. As written I think many a newbie would try and bang out double fisted Russian twists or 1×25 thrusters. The warm ups are too varied, I just do the PRT Prep drill, I can do it in inside and half asleep at 0500. Some workouts have cool downs but most don’t.
  1. Assessment: You have your standard scalable reassessment for the fitness component programmed in but you have nothing for actual fat loss assessment. You don’t every mention body composition assessments, how did you determine your program reduced body fat %? Calipers? BodyPod, DEXA? You should at least add a section on these methods and then suggest at what points in the program to assess fat lose. Weekly, biweekly, before and after the program? Getting faster at 50# thrusters is not the goal.

I’m sure it’s an effective program but I realized I messed up and should have bought the limited equipment ACFT Program instead. I didn’t know you had one already I just remember reading your article criticizing the ACFT. I think you need to pick up your marketing in this, it goes live in October and I think a lot of non-athletes are worried (I’m not particularly) I just took a DoA survey that asked a ton of questions, and I cut and pasted links to your articles and links to your ACFT program in my feedback, if they aren’t asking your opinion they should be. They had this weird sections were they asked me to write how I would construct makeshift DIY ACFT equipment, it wasn’t that hard shoot them some ideas but I thought it was interesting that they realized it was a major problem with the ACFT. So your way ahead of the curve with your limited equipment ACFT plan.

Could I exchange the Fat Loss Program for the limited equipment ACFT Program? If not I totally understand. Thank you for your great programs and site content. Back in 2014 I was able to get down to 203 lbs. by just following your dietary Rx and doing a 5×5 barbell protocol plus long runs. Like you’ve said before in your old posts just following your nutrition guidelines and doing almost any of your programs is going to elicit fat loss.  Caveat emptor.

ANSWER

Lots in your note here.
Fat Loss Plan – we don’t do diet plans, and you should be familiar with our approach. The Fat Loss plan deploys interval and other work capacity training proven to cut fat when combined with a clean diet. There is no caloric restriction prescribed. If you’ve read Taubes you know we share his approach. Caloric restriction doesn’t last. Eating clean does. You’ve seen I don’t get into arguments over diet specifics …. it’s like arguing religion. Yes, we can exchange it for the other.
ACFT … I hope it doesn’t collapse on its own weight, but I can see that happening … lots will be injured with the 5RM DL ….
– Rob

QUESTION

Just looking at the Apline Running plan. It says 15+ miles, but the race I think I would use it is 100Km with 9,000m of ascent; in old money 62.5 miles & 30,000 ft. Is it adaptable to this distance? What changes would you make if you had to. I have a lot longer than 8 weeks to prepare.

ANSWER

We don’t have a 100k Ultra plan, but do have a 50-Mile Ultra Plan.
What I’d recommend from our programming is the Ultra Running Pre-Season Training Plan, followed by the 50-Mile Ultra Training Plan.
We do have a 100-Mile Ultra Training Plan – but that would be overkill.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently slotted for SFAS starting in January on the 8th, 2020 and I’ve completed most of the Greek Hero series and Humility starting last year. I was expecting an earlier report date and have completed most of the SFAS training plan with occasional breaks (forcing to restart or repeat weeks) due to training requirements.
What would recommend to do in the mean time before starting the SFAS plan again? I’m torn between “Humility” to improve my overall endurance,  something I feel I am weaker on; “Fortitude” to build strength and continue ruck work or “Resilience” to improve my overall chassis integrity.
I’m looking at roughly 16 weeks (-2 weeks in Nov for training requirements) until my report date – what would you suggest? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thank you and your team for all that you do.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Fortitude.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am interested in purchasing a few training programs and looking for recommendations on how to build a multi-program package.
My background:
  • Elite cyclist w/year-round personalize coaching 2005-2014
  • Recreational CrossFit athlete 2013-2019 (off & on)
  • Ice & trad climber 2017-current
  • Aspiring mountaineer, would like to take AMTL1 next summer.
Beliefs and current struggles:
  • I enjoy barbell work and have good form but struggle with the random aspect of CrossFit, also I am never particularly interested in 1RM efforts
  • I miss periodization training from my cycling days, but no longer have specific cycling goals to train for
  • I have a super weak core and generally struggle with hypermobility
  • Just finished grad school, I am not currently working out
  • 10-15lbs above my “fit” weight
  • Enjoy climbing, hiking, stadiums, skiing, yoga, cycling, & gym workouts
I’m looking to put together a general program that will build an endurance base over the winter and then become more climbing-specific come spring, with a peak in fitness and climbing skills for the 12-day mountaineering course (exact dates TBD).
What series of programs do you recommend? I’m open to purchasing the athletes subscription, just wasn’t sure where to start or what order to proceed in.
Thanks so much for any advice you can give! Looking forward to getting started soon.

ANSWER

Our programming deploys two types of training, more general “Base Fitness” based on the mission (mountain/tactical), and then pre-season “sport-specific” training directly before the event/mission or sport season.
The Greek Heroine Plans are our “base fitness” programming for all-around mountain athletes. These plans concurrently train relative strength (strength per bodyweight), mountain endurance (running, uphill movement under load), climbing fitness (rock), chassis integrity (core) and work capacity. These are what I recommend for you as your day-to-day training. Begin with Helen, the first plan in the packet.
In the Spring, I’d recommend you drop out of the Greek Heroine plans, and focus on climbing fitness with the Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Plan. Follow it up with the Alpine Rock Pre-Season Climbing Plan to add in the uphill endurance element before your trip.
Given your athletic background, you should be good dropping into Helen. But, if you’re feeling super deconditioned, start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Been a few years since I’ve reached out to you.  I’ve been a long time subscriber and follower of your programming (started in 2009) and have loved it.  I’ve used your programs to prepare for Afghanistan, carry me through SFOD selection, max my PT tests, and train the captains that I was teaching at the career course.  Unfortunately, I took a few years off from MilAthlete work following some injuries and other life events.

Recently, I’ve rededicated myself to your programming.  I struggled getting back into it following operator daily sessions and found the on-ramp to be a bit monotonous, having completed the on-ramp several times in the past few years.  So I jumped to and completed the Rat-6, then the Perseus V2, and am now slogging through the current Actaeon program.

Here’s my problem though.  I’m not feeling progress.  I ballooned up in weight over the past year, up to 255#, due to a combination of stress, injuries, poor diet, half-assed attempts at training, and poor sleep.  I find that when I’m in peak shape for me, it’s around 205#, a 20% change in bodyweight!

I know you can’t out-train a shitty diet and I’m working to fix that.  I’m curious though if you’ve found one particular program to be most effective in facilitating fat loss.  At this point, I’m willing to sacrifice some muscle to get the fat back off and get my weight down to a more manageable, healthy number.

ANSWER

Thanks for all the support over the years – and I’m glad we’ve been a silent partner of yours as your career has advanced. It’s been so interesting for me to see guys who worked with us back in 2007-2009 now get their own battalions and other positions like yours at the Captains Career Course.
You … yep, you can’t outwork a shitty diet. Clean up your diet – no caloric restriction – but eat clean. Drop the cheat day, cut out alcohol, and you’ll shed fat. You shouldn’t be hungry, but no crap. Clean up your house/fridge – throw away/toss all ice cream, cookies, bread, pasta, etc. If you really want to cut, no dairy … cut out cheese, milk in coffee – all of it. Pound apples and almond butter for cravings. This is a total discipline play … there are no short cuts.
Plan? Achilles.
– Rob

QUESTION

What should be worn during the Rucking portions of the Q Course plan? Full uniform? T-shirt and shorts?

ANSWER

Best would be the same you’ll wear at the course – likely full uniform, or cammie pants and t-shirt (I’m not sure – find out if you can), boots for sure.
– Rob

QUESTION

Greetings, I purchased the Backcountry ski training program and was wondering what you would recommend for the 2 weeks or so between planned ski trips this upcoming winter?

ANSWER

Most simple would be to repeat Weeks 3&4 of the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am emailing you on behalf of my wife so I can give her the correct advice.  She is wanting to loose her baby fat (from the 4 kids we’ve had) and build muscle mass.  She is by no means fat, but she is not at all where she wants to be.  She has done bodyweight foundation before and she is currently in the middle of it’s programming.  Her knowledge of proper form with the big 3 (squat, deadlift, bench) is limited, and even more so with other power movements.  We have about two months before I deploy and I have the time to show her technique so my question is where should she begin? She wants to have a solid foundation by the time I return from deployment.
I have another question for myself.  During this deployment, I will have zero access to rock walls or climbing gyms.  The only climbing related apparatus I’ll have is my hangboard.  My goal in the next year is to onsight a 5.12 with passive pro only.  Should I take the time to continue to build my aerobic base with hangboard training mixed in, and focus on climbing endurance when I return, or would you approach it differently? Thanks for the help.

ANSWER

Wife? I’d recommend the plans/order in the Country Singer Packet – these are designed for civilian athletes. Start with Johnny. Also …. you can’t outwork a shitty diet. Your wife will need to eat clean – to lose fat. Here are our dietary recommendations. If she wants to accelerate the process, cut the cheat day. You could do Johnny with her.
You? We have 3 hangboard protocols: Hang Board 10×10, Hang Board 5×10, and the Hang Board Pronly protocol beyond our  but many Hang Board Primary Position Complex. – but others do. My sense is with a little internet searching – esp. for the hang board manufacturers, you could find multiple protocols to train with.
Our approach to climbing programming is much different than others, we think of strength as 60 sec or less efforts, work capacity as 1-4 minute efforts, and Endurance as 4+ minutes. I’m not sure you could get past 4 minutes on an hang board, but you could certainly train strength and work capacity.
Be resourceful.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am trying to start my train up process for RASP. I do not see a specific RASP workout plan and was wondering which one you recommend/will be most applicable to the course and its specific graded events. Thanks.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Just want to check before I begin the rat 6. Do you recommend pairing it with one of your conditioning programs (e.g. run improvement)? Or would I overload myself and see weaker results? Thanks for the help.

ANSWER

Rat 6 does include short, hard work capacity efforts, but no endurance work. If you want to focus on strength, I wouldn’t add any.
If you wanted a plan which combined both heavy strength training, and running endurance, I’d recommend the Big 3 + Run Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m thinking of completing Gladiator, but will only have access to kettlebells over the next few months.  Is it worth modifying the plan to use with kettlebells, or does this defeat the entire purpose of the programming?

ANSWER

You could do that. The only issue with kettlebells is you have to take a 16# jump every time you increase load. What I’d recommend is to go ahead, but decrease the Barbell Complex rep count to 3 reps for each movement, instead of 6. This allow you to have more flexibility.
If you find that when you try to go up in load, you just can’t make it, instead you can stay at the same load, and increase to 4 reps to each exercise, then 5x reps, etc.
Enjoy!
– Rob

 

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