Q&A 10.27.22

QUESTION

I just finished reading your blog post: “The Type of Athlete Who Thrives in MTI Programming” and found myself feeling guilty. How do you recommend developing the discipline to stick with your programming and cultivating that professional mindset? I have followed several of your training plans and found a lot of success when I have, but recently I stepped away from MTI plans to train with friends, solely to give myself accountability. I have achieved my “dream job” of being a federal agent, but feel like I don’t have the seriousness about my fitness I need to (as you point out in your article, it very realistically could be a matter of survival and yet, I don’t take it that seriously usually). It seems like a matter of logical assessment, my fitness could directly impact my survival in a situation, vs discipline, “I don’t have time to workout today… blah blah excuse.”
 
Looking forward to your thoughts. 

ANSWER

No pep speech or mind trick I can offer.
It takes work and commitment to make fitness a habit, but once achieved, there’s no decision to make. You just do it.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve recently found out I have a herniated lumbar disc and am trying to find programming I can do while I recover- I’m in PT, but am cleared to train with limitstions. Prior to this I’d been working my through the Greek Hero series, but am now told to steer clear of axial loading, deadlifts, and explosive movement such as running.
I was wondering if you have any recommendations on where to head as much of the programming I already have has a lot of rucking,  deadlifts, etc.
I’m also primarily a martial artist in karate and was looking at your BJJ specific programs, but am unsure if the carry over would be useful for stand up arts and how much altering I’d need to do of the programming in order to make it safe while I heal up.
Any ideas and recommendations you may have are welcome.

ANSWER

All I can recommend is our Bodyweight Foundation Plan, and replacing the running with step ups, or better, rucking (walk only) with a 25# pack. Avoid burpees, etc. as per doctor’s instructions.
BJJ plans to Karate? Certainly not in the striking/kicking, but perhaps core/grip strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I had a question on the Greek hero series, would they be completed in the order they are in or is there a specific order to complete them in?
If they weren’t designed that way, would it be better to start with the Operator Achilles V2 before any other programs?
I returned from deployment 3 weeks ago and did not lift a lot of weights. I’m 30 years old and weigh around 215 pounds with around 20% body fat.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

Yes – the Greek Hero Plans are designed to be completed in order …. for you I’d recommend beginning with the Military OnRamp Training Plan, then moving onto Hector.
– Rob

QUESTION

44 Year old father that just had his third kid and has limited time to workout. Looking for a program recommendation for limited equipment and keep it under an hour.
I have access to a garage style gym.
Looking to build strength and cardio.

ANSWER

SF40 Packet Plans beginning with SF40 Alpha

– Rob

QUESTION

Is there an optimal way to split the daily training sessions within a program? For example, if I’ve only got 30 mins in the morning and another 30 mins in the afternoon what’s the best way to split, including warmup (since most daily sessions are 60-75 mins)? I know there’s the busy dads program, but that’s not all I’m looking to accomplish over the year.

Any thoughts or advice?

ANSWER

Because not every training session is the same, there’s no perfect answer for you.
Best is to train in the AM, and get up early enough to complete the session, entirely, first thing. This will save time as it means dressing for training, going to the gym, etc., just once per day.
If not … Just use common sense based on that day’s session and your training time.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an active LEO. I will be trying out for our SWAT team in March 2023. I want to start training now so I am not playing catch up when it gets closer to tryouts. I’m not the biggest dude and have struggled with some shoulder and lower back pains/injuries. I’m 45 years old, 6’1” at 179lbs. My shoulder is pretty much back to normal but it set me back quite a bit with my lifting progress. I have found myself struggling with putting on muscle and increasing weight. During the academy, I actually lost a lot of weight and muscle due to the high volume of calisthenics and running.
I say all this to say that I want to find a good training program that will set me up for success with our tryouts without losing a bunch of weight in the process.
One of the biggest challenges I know of for our tryouts is a 1.5 mile run followed by a 250lbs 50 yard dummy drag followed by another 1.5 mile run. My current 1 rep max back squat max is around 155lbs. That’s also about where I’m at now with my bench and deadlifts.
It’s a 3 day event that is sometime in the beginning of March but they have not announced the dates yet. They run it all day and you can not have a watch on you during the selection. I know there are smoke sessions and the following minimums:

13:30 1.5 mile run

5 pull up

5 chin up

38 push up

40 sit up

100 yard swim in pants and shoes

1.5 mile run

50 yard 250lbs dummy drag

1.5 mile run

Obstacle course

Everything is in full kit I believe. My biggest concerns are the 250lbs dummy drag and making it through whatever beatdowns they plan to dish out. All the minimums listed above are no issues.

ANSWER

Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.    Plan
1-7           SWAT Selection Training Plan
8-14         Ruger
15-18       Glock (1st 3 weeks)
19            Total Rest
20-26       Repeat the SWAT Selection Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before selection.
Ruger and Glock are the first two plans in the Gun Maker Packet for full time SWAT/SRT. Flex the weeks in Glock as needed when you get the selection date.
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

Headed to RTAC/Ranger in February. Should I keep running the ranger work up until then or do you have a recommendation? I’m coming off of strongman training so I’m slightly bigger at 245 and need to cut the weight.  Diet is on point, I count macros —

Semper Fidelis

ANSWER

Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks            Plan
1-7                  Humility
8-14                Valor
15                   Total Rest
16-23              Ranger School Training Plan – 8 weeks directly before reporting
– Rob

QUESTION

I have about 10-weeks before I start the Q-Course and was hoping for some plan guidance.

For context I just finished the big 3 + 2-mile improvement plan and am looking for something to maintain general fitness before starting the 6-week Q-Course prep plan.

What do you recommend for the next 3-4 weeks that will help me maintain strength ahead of the Q-Course plan?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a newcomer to the fire service. Your training plans and articles have been incredibly helpful in tailoring my physical training to match the requirements of fire and rescue.

Now, as I continue in the performance improvement journey, I know diet is the next part of the equation. I have been reviewing your diet guidelines and weight recommendations for athletes. Overall, your plan is very simple and easy to follow, and I appreciate having hard numbers to target for weight.

However, I am 10-13 pounds lighter than your recommendation for tactical athletes (currently 5’-10” at ~163 lbs). I have been stuck at this weight for ~2 years even with increased protein consumption (lean protein shakes), with only a brief increase when intentionally eating high calories, including processed foods, and 2-3 protein shakes a day. This extra weight disappeared once I returned to a “normal” eating routine. I have also followed a brief period of Whole30, which seems to be in line with your guidelines, and that results in a weight decrease of 8-10 pounds over 3.5 weeks.

So, in addition to MTI’s general nutritional guidelines, do you have any specific guidance for athletes looking to increase weight? Or is it as simple as trust the general guidelines and the weight will come with time?

I am 25.

My father is 5’-10” at 230 pounds.

I appreciate the great content. Keep it coming!

ANSWER

My guess is you’ll fill out before you’re 30 and not to worry about it too much now.
But, if you do want to do an experiment, complete the Hypertrophy Plan for Skinny Guys, and every day, drink a 1/2 gallon of whole milk.
Email back and let me know the results!
But, know that when you return to mission-direct programming, you’ll lose some muscle.
– Rob

QUESTION

I watched your youtube videos on prepping for the CFA, and I was thoroughly impressed.

My daughter is applying for the Air Force Academy and needs to take the assessment in about a month. Do you have plans that would specifically prep her for the CFA?

ANSWER

Have her complete the Service Academy CFA Training Plan leading up to the Assessment.
The Plan is 6-Week long but she can utilize it for the remaining month. She shoud start with Session 1 and follow the plan until the date of the Assessment.
Thanks,
Mintra

QUESTION

I’m in the USMC reserves as a 0311 (rifleman). I live in the midwest where we have all four seasons if this helps at all. I am wanting to go to OCS this coming summer of 2023. I am a college student and I have started going back to the gym right now I’m doing boxing 2-3 times a week to help get started. I need to get in shape this fall to winter and then proceed to get specifically in shape for OCS during the Winter to Spring to be fully prepared for OCS in the Summer at Quantico.

I am stuck as to what to work on now to start the OCS training plan that MTI has to offer come this winter/spring. I have noticed the Military On-Ramp packet and the USMC Grunt packet, but still don’t know what to choose. What do you recommend to start getting back into shape for overall improved performance than going into the OCS Packet?

ANSWER

Complete the Geek Hero Packet starting with Military On-Ramp.
Then, 7-Weeks before your OCS date, drop out of the Greek Hero Series and roll into the USMC OCS Training Plan.
Thanks,
Mintra

QUESTION

Recently registered for your monthly membership.  Looking to get training suggestions as I have four very different personal training goals i have over the next 12 months.
  1.  Kilimanjaro – Will be doing a climb of Kilimanjaro in November 22.  To that end, I have started and am on week two of your Big Mountain V2 program.  Finding the program challenging but fun.
  2. Canadian Indoor Rowing Championship – Feb 25/26 2023.  Following my Kili Climb I am looking to do an Indoor Rowing Event.  Will be upfront and say I have little erg experience beyond doing 2000m rows for warmups while training.  Following Kili, i would have 13 weeks available for training.  Is there a particular training program or set of training programs you would suggest i use?
  3. 2CMBG Iron Warrior Competition – This is a military competition. Date varies between end of Aug and mid Sep 2023.  Event calls for a 36km ruck with 40lbs, a 4km portage with ruck +55lb canoe, a 8 km canoe trip and a final 6km ruck with 40lbs (50km total). I have done the event twice before with the last time being 2021.  Following the Indoor Rowing Event, i would have 25-27 weeks to train.  Is ther a particular training program or set of training programs you would suggest i use?  I have a fair amount of rucking experience (30+yrs military) but generally have a medium to slower pace (5-5.5km/hr).
  4. Ongoning maintenance – Following the IW competition i would like to stay at a “maintenance” level of fitness.  Like to know what training programs you would suggest.
Love to have your professional input.
Thank you in advance.  If you need any more information, please let me know.

ANSWER

Answers below:

1. Yes on the Big Mountain Plan
2. Follow it up with the 2,000m Row Improvement Plan for the Indoor Rowing Championship
3. From what we have I recommend the Best Ranger Training Plan, adjust the ruck weight to the weight used in the Iron Warrior Competition.
4. After that, drop into the Virtue Series, starting with Humilty.
Good Luck!
Mintra

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