Q&A 10.29.20

QUESTION

As every year I plan to start the Backcountry Pre-Season Ski Program in early November. I have no problems with stepups, running, chassis integrity and upper body work, but I find it challenging to keep up with the leg blaster and touch-jump-touch progressions as the intensity increases week by week. I have another seven to eight weeks before I start the program. Which program do you recommend I start now? I’m a fit 52 year old male and work out at home. I don’t use barbells but have everything you need for your limited equipment programs.  I did the first gym closure program in April / May and liked it so I’m considering redoing it, or alternatively doing the second gym closure program. Any views?

ANSWER

Everyone struggles with the leg blasters and touch-jump-touch progressions. They are super challenging, so you’re not alone.
I’d recommend the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan until you start the Backcountry Ski Program. Don’t let the name fool you – it’s very challenging and works lactic threshold heavily, which will be beneficial going forward.
– Charlie

QUESTION

I am a United States Army National Guard Infantry Officer who just returned home to Ohio from a yearlong deployment to the Middle East. I discovered MTI during my research as a result of a desire to move beyond the typical long run/weightlifting workouts that I have been hitting for the last few years. I am slated to attend a number of military schools in 2021, to include Ranger School, and thus decided to begin with the Ranger School Preparation Plan you offered.

After purchasing the plan, I am anxious about finding the right facilities and equipment to accomplish the workouts outlined therein. Cleveland, where I live, has no shortage of typical chrome-and-tone gyms and CrossFit gyms, but not much in between; what’s worse, the majority of the “box” type facilities offer classes only, and no open-gym based memberships.

I am reaching out to see if you have any wisdom to share on how much space and what type of facility I should join to complete this program. I don’t want to inconvenience other people by dominating multiple racks / workout areas at a standard pump gym, but I also don’t want to join a CrossFit gym with barebones equipment that won’t allow me to workout alone.

Any insight is appreciated, and God Bless.

ANSWER

No easy answer to this. We have many athletes who train at globo-gyms and find a way to make it work. You shouldn’t ever need more than one squat rack/stand for our training plans. Wish I had a better answer, but you’ve just got to be creative in making space work for you.
-Charlie

QUESTION

I am currently a cadet in Army ROTC and on my school’s ranger challenge team training for the Sandhurt competition (if there will be one this year). My team captain loves Crossfit and those are the kind of workouts we do daily as a team in addition to lots of rucking. We did the same last year and I noticed my APFT and ACFT scores went down over the course of the year mainly in push ups and running. I want to max the ACFT this year and am wondering if it is smart to do your ACFT plan on my own in the afternoon while I am also doing CrossFit WODs with the team in the mornings or would that be overtraining?

ANSWER

Yes, you could split between AM/PM training with the ACFT Plan and Crossfit, just make sure you’re taking the appropriate rest days for recovery.
-Charlie

QUESTION

Working the run improvement plan and need guidance on the stretching portions

Is it 2 rounds per side or one?
How long should each stretch be held typically?

ANSWER

I’m assuming you’re talking about this

(2) 2 Rounds
Hip Flexor Stretch
Pigeon Stretch
Frog Stretch

Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds, then switch sides. Complete that stretching/mobility circuit twice.

-Charlie


QUESTION

I’m in the Guard, I’m 37yo, and scheduled to attend Air Assault in May. Most recent similar endeavor I can think of was Airborne school back in 2015. Basic Airborne Course was significantly more challenging for me than most, and I prepared much longer and harder than most.

I’m a physician. I lifted weights throughout college, rarely cardio. During medical school I lifted weights less frequently and no cardio. Went on active duty in 2011 when I graduated medical school. Literally took me my entire intern year and countless “practice” PT tests just to pass the run. It was pitiful. Beat my legs up and got some significant stress fractures in the process. Having checked necessary boxes, I stopped running and just lifted. Deployed. Got big and strong. As a doctor in the Army, as long as I looked jacked in uniform and everyone knew I lifted weights; the PT test documentation took care of itself. In 2014, I started prepping for Basic Airborne Course. Because of my past injuries I ran almost exclusively on the treadmill and supplemented a lot with cycling. The amount of time and planning I put into prep would probably make your average Paratrooper laugh at me. Passed Basic Airborne Course, left active duty in 2016 and went to residency. Back to infrequent weights and no cardio.
So history of overuse injuries, I weigh 200lb, and Air Assault is said to be more demanding than Airborne. The ruck March is a new angle. Right now I might could ruck 4mi with the Air Assault load at a 15min/mi pace. And might could run two miles in 20min. That’s if a bear was chasing me. So I’m probably below the entry level fitness for many of your programs which is why I assume I’ll need to string together a couple or more programs. The good news is I have seven months to train.
Sorry that was way longer than I imagined it would be.
ANSWER
Here are the plans I’d recommend to be completed in order based on your current fitness levels. Get your running and rucking shoes ready!

Military On-Ramp – 7 Weeks
Run & Ruck Improvement Plan – 7 Weeks
Resilience – 7 Weeks
Air Assault Training Plan – 6 Weeks

-Charlie

QUESTION

I’m wondering which program would best fit my needs. I live in Israel, finished my army service a year ago (was an infantry K9 handler)  and am in good shape strength wise but not so much cardio wise. Gyms are closing up here in Israel again but I do have a barbell and plates at home and was wondering what plan would be best for me.

ANSWER

I’d recommend our Gym Closure Training Plan.
Great all around training, including rucking and running and bodyweight-based strength work.  Limited equipment needed.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hi just was trying to find out ways to improve not only my pt but my section pt. I’m currently training up for SFAS just got off an injury and it set me back quite a bit I got roughly 4 months left. My section doesn’t take pt seriously and was trying to find a good plan to get everyone back to what we were before quarantine.

ANSWER

The Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan includes focused APFT work and is specifically designed to prepare athletes for SFAS. This is an 8 week plan – to be completed directly before SFAS.
Now? Do Humility, then follow it up with RBSTP.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an outrigger canoe paddler and was one of your masters lab rats (60yo).

Looking to work on my training plan for the next few months and wondering what your thoughts are on a strength plan.

I’m not looking at racing until next May at the earliest, but I do a lot of downwinders during the winter here, which are essentially 2 hour races. Sprint, rest, steady, sprint, rest, steady . . .

I’m thinking about working in 10 day blocks instead of a week to aid recovery, per Joel Friels Fast after Fifty book. In that block I was planning 2 strength days, one lactate threshold paddle (long pieces w/25% rest),  one aerobic capacity (sprints with = rest), and several LSD paddles at MAF heart rate.

I have your off-season endurance plan and started it again yesterday, but found the workout was quite a bit longer and harder than the masters plans.

Do you have any thoughts on this kind of plan and what strength component would you use in this scenario.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the strength work in our Kayak/Paddling Pre-Season Training Plan. It is sport-specific to the strength demands of paddling.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hi, is a sandbag necessary for the backcountry ski program? Is there something else I could use as an alternative?

ANSWER

Yes – a sandbag is necessary. It’s a key piece of equipment for our chassis integrity (core) training. There’s no substitute.
My first was an old duffle bag full of gravel and duct-taped shut.
Be resourceful.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been in the middle of the Jedediah Smith program and unfortunately sprained my wrist mountain biking. What would you recommend as modifications to keep progressing while my wrist recovers?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering if you had a plan for BJJ or Judo for youth competitors.  The physical need is endurance, strength, explosive speed, and flexibility.

Also I am purchasing the football plan but is there anything to focus and train fast twitch muscle fibers? My son is strong but slow.

ANSWER

Our prep-age football programing is here at our sister website, prepstrength.com. If he’s in-season, I’d be hesitant to recommend any supplemental training. After the season, start with Football Base.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was looking to obtain you’re opinion on this matter. I plan on going for JTF2 selection a year from now (October 2021). I do swimming on my own time but was looking for a program(s) that would be best suited for this. Especially to increase my numbers on bodyweight exercises (push ups, pull ups, sit ups) and cardiovascular capacity. Also, if they’re are any tips that you can give me from a physical stand point please let me know.

ANSWER

I’ve been asked several times but have not been able to find out enough about JTF2 selection to confidently design a event-specific program for it. Others have asked, and I’ve recommended the FBI HRT Selection Training Program – which is what I’d recommend for you.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m heading out for selection (Canadian Special Operations Regiment Selection), however due to covid restrictions we have to do a 14 day quarantine on site prior to selection starting. I was wondering if there is any advice on how to spend those 14 days… or if i should just rest completely.
I will have access to basic gym equipment (pull up bars, kbs, dbs, barbells.) And able to go go for runs, But will not have access to a ruck sack (they issue one when sele starts).
For some context I’ve just wrapped up the csor selection program for the 2nd full run though. We’ve been told that during the 14 days there will be no assessments.
Any advice or workouts you could recommend would be greatly appreciated!

ANSWER

I’d recommend the first two weeks of the Upper Body Round Robin Training Plan. It’ll keep you sharp – just give yourself 2-3 days of full rest prior to the start of the selection process. Good luck!

– Charlie


QUESTION

I’ve purchased the SFRE Training Plan. I’m really thankful for all the training plans you offer and I look forward to purchasing the SFAS program in the near future.
Prior to starting the program I was in reasonable shape and had completed several 3-4 mile rucks over a period of a few months with great boots, a  balanced ruck, and good stretches/warmups prior.
I would do them with a 50 lb ruck but never with a 10 lb dumbbell in hand. I could ruck run fairly easily.
Earlier this week I started the program and after the 10 mi ruck assessment with 60 lbs and 10 lb dumbbell I noticed that my left knee (patella) was a little tender. That ruck was very difficult and I couldn’t ruck run at all. I pretty much just walked as fast as I could. The next day It was a dull pain that felt mildly uncomfortable while going up and down stairs, those sort of movements. This is the first time feeling this pain in years, but my right knee feels fine.
I have had patella femoral pain for years in both knees due to tight muscles or IT band, weak medial quads which in turn affect my patella tracking. I have worked hard to manage it through stretching, foam rolling, and recently, yoga.
I’m not asking for medical advice, but I am curious to know if you or someone you know has gone through similar knee pain associated with heavy rucking or load bearing exercises for long periods of time and how you or they managed it.

ANSWER

At some point, everyone who carries a ruck for a living is going to have some variety of knee pain. Just a fact of the profession. If you have some time before the SFRE, I’d recommend doing the Ruck Improvement Plan first, then do the SFRE Training Plan. Building up in weight and distance gradually over time is the best way to avoid overuse problems.
-Charlie

QUESTION

I stumbled on your website and wanted to reach out. I currently work for US Customs and Border Protection and am looking to restart my fitness plan/goals. Due to COVID and also recdent back issues my training has stalled and am trying to find the motivation to restart. Not making excuses but… yeah.

I am in good physical shape. Completed the FLETC academy with no issues and have always been in good physical shape. I run… I’ve lifted weights all my life.

Currently I am on deployment in Laredo Texas for the next 3 months for an Operation. I have a hotel gym accessible to me with the following:

Row Machine, Treadmills, Bike, Dumbbells up to 75 lbs.

I am looking to see what you would recommend for one of your workouts. Ultimately looking for general fitness, strength gain, fat loss etc. I have had 3 previous herniated disc surgeries and somethings tend to flare up aggravation and that’s been part of the case for the long layoff.

Any advice information would help. Thank you for taking the time to review.

ANSWER

Our Stuck in a Motel Training Plan would be perfect for your current deployment. After you’re back somewhere with a fully equipped gym, The Spirits Packet would be the next step for you.
-Charlie

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