Q&A 11.18.21

QUESTION

I am waiting for a start date with USMS for their basic academy. It is nowhere near as demanding as their SOG academy but I figured I’d do your SOG preparation program just to be extra-ready. My running conditioning has always been very poor and I have not completed the SOG program as written. Instead I have neutered the running a bit but I’m still doing 80% of the work listed. The results have been very good and I have made improvements across the board. I even used the program as my main S&C to prepare for a BJJ competition.
I have completed the 8-week program 4 times now, back to back. I generally take a deload week between runs of the program.
My only weak area is running. Doing my watered-down version of the SOG program 4x has improved my 1.5 mile run time from a pathetic 13:00 to 11:29.
I may be at the USMS basic academy within the next 12 months and I would like my 1.5 mile time to be under 10 minutes. Is that an achievable goal, and if so, what programming should I do (assuming the academy is 12 months away)? Doing USMS SOG prep on 8-week rotations is getting boring.

ANSWER

Yes – I bet you’re sick of that plan!  It’s not designed to be repeated again and again.
I’d recommend you work through the plans/order in the Gun Maker Packet – starting with Ruger. These are designed as day-to-day fitness for full-time SWAT/SRT.
We also just designed a USMS Academy Training Plan – which I recommend directly before you attend the academy next year. We should have it up on the website this week.
-Rob

QUESTION

I injured my left shoulder (partial dislocation) on Sunday morning during a Calisthenics competition which means that I’ll be out of game, in terms of my left arm, for a minimum of 3 months. Right after this confirmation from my physiotherapist, I desperately made some researches online and luckily came across your ‘training program for athlete suffering arm injury’ which sounds incredibly interesting as you combine different sports skills, such as the ‘cardio’ aspect too, which means that I can make very good use of this tragic situation by improving my cardiovascular system so I’ll be able to tolerate much more training volume once I’m ready to fully resume my sport career.
That being said, do you offer a tailored training program too, which combines strength, cardio and hypertrophy training but specifically based on my details such as my weight, height, age, experience etc…? Or a proper ‘online coaching’ service, if anything.

ANSWER

We can do custom programs on a case-by-case basis. However, I generally require athletes who request these to have completed one of our programs first.
The Arm Injury Training Plan is what I’d recommend for you now. It works around your injured shoulder.
– Rob

QUESTION

I hope you’re well. I wanted to ask your input on which training plan to buy for an upcoming season of skiing. I’ll try to make it succinct:
Currently planning on roughly four days a week of strength training on top of my running, so the 30min/day Dryland program seems like a pretty good fit. What do you suggest? Any other thoughts?
Also, thanks for your “Caught Adrift” LinkedIn post. I’m an Academy guy and not happy with my job and going through some personal things, so planning to take time off to reflect personally and professionally with a big ski season and backpacking adventures, and maybe more!

ANSWER

Backcountry Ski Pre-season Training Plan is what I recommend. Do this exclusively – as it includes strength work, uphill endurance, and eccentric strength for downhill skiing. It’s intense, and you can’t double up.
If you’re stubborn and want to keep lifting, then the 30-min Dryland Plan will work. Know, however, the plan will smoke your legs, so I’d limit your lifting to upper body.
Glad you gained something from the Caught Adrift essay. Reflect as needed, but know that action is what will make a difference. Make sure your BC skiing/hiking aren’t a distraction keeping you from action.
– Rob

QUESTION

I completed the “Hypertrophy for skinny guys” plan, it was a great program. What is the next logical program to purchase after completing the above mentioned program?
Background – I am a DEA agent and DEA medic. I am trying to build muscle, as I am 6’1 and skinny. I have 50-55 minutes in the morning to get a work out in. I live in North Dakota. So I am indoors most of the time. I have limited equipment in our work gym. (Bench, rack, dumbbells and kettle bells).
And tread mill
** i also travel a lot so I have your “motel program” for when I am on the road.

ANSWER

Chances are you’re a hard gainer and adding a lot of mass might be difficult without sacrificing a lot of the work capacity, etc. you need for your job.
Keeping that in mind, I’d recommend Whiskey next, which comes from our Spirits Packet for LE Patrol/Detective. These are multi-modal plans and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), short endurance, tactical agility. As well – they also train upper body hypertrophy …. so you’ll continue with that.
After Whiskey, drop into the Ultimate Meathead Cycle – which is all lower body strength and upper body hypertrophy.
After Ultimate Meathead, go back to the next plan in the Spirits Packet, Tequila.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am scheduled to ship to bootcamp in February of next year. I am not in great shape right now as I have been recovering from an injury, but I am good to go now. I wanted to do the Marine PFT plan, as I think that would focus on the Initial Strength Test required to ship to bootcamp, as that is a “mini” marine PFT. My question is, if I do not have high enough fitness to say, do a max of 3 pullups, would doing 1 every 75 seconds like the plan says be okay? Also, do you think this plan is good for me to jump into? Thank you

ANSWER

The plan is assessment-based -and because of this it will automatically “scale” to your incoming fitness.
You’re good to start it.
– Rob

QUESTION

I love your material and have used your OCR programming twice with great results.
I was hoping you could point me in the right direction to get training back on track:  I’m recovering from chronic lyme disease.  I have been unable to train for most of the last 5 months, except for about 4 weeks in the summer when it was briefly under control.
My weight is down from about 175 to 165.  Prior to getting sick I was training for a Spartan Ultra OCR race, putting up 37 min Murph times, and closing in on a 300# Back Squat.  I’m starting to turn the corner fighting this thing and my doctor recommended I get back into some strength training when I’m feeling up for it.
With all that in mind, do you have a plan you’d recommend that can help me get back on track and regain some of my lost muscle mass?
Appreciate any guidance you can offer!

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently an Active Duty Combat Arms soldier and have decided to start the SFOD-D Selection Packet. In regards to programming, I have unit PT requirements 5x a week. This is usually a mix of some muscular endurance and aerobic capacity workouts. In the past, I would supplement strength training from Tactical Barbell and have used it with great success in the past. I would train on my own 2-4x a week in addition to unit PT 5x a week. I noticed some of your programming includes 5-6x workouts a week. I know many of your clients have used your programs while being Active Duty and was wondering if you could share any strategies for balancing required PT in the mornings with your workouts. Recovery has always been my weak link mostly due to time constraints, I can rarely sleep 8 hours a night or have perfect nutrition. Do you have any advice for finding this balance?

ANSWER

Some with the firm attention of attending selection have been able to get excused by their command from unit PT during the train up – and allowed to train on their own.
Most have sucked it up and completed two-a-days.
I’m sorry, I don’t have a good answer for you …
– Rob

QUESTION

What would be a good workout plan for someone with an hr to work out and limited equipment? Treadmill, dumbbells, couple kettlebells?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m about to start the train up for a law enforcement academy. I have your FBI PFT plan, run improvement plan (it doesn’t mention the 300 meter sprint and I have the 1.5 mile run improvement plan. But I  have a few questions for you. 1) What makes your plan better than others?  I googled and found another plan, by another company. My test is : max Push ups & Sit ups in 1 min, 300 meter under 75 seconds, 1.5 mile run under 16 mins. For me, I hate running, and would rather lift weights. I’m going to need extra work on the runs.   2). With your FBI plan, should I do that, and another running plan, or what do you think?  I have at least 9 weeks, before I would take the academy PFT.  ) I just want  to ensure I pass.

ANSWER

2) It’s unclear what academy you’re attending – or if you’ve got to pass a PFT first? Or if the PFT is a “gate” event for the academy.
If you’re training just for the PFT – yes, complete the FBI PFT Training Plan which seems to match your PFT events.
If you’re training for a full academy, which has this gate PFT, complete the FBI Academy Training Plan which includes focused training for the PFT.
– Rob

QUESTION

Im currently doing the big mountain v2,

Is it considered a good plan for hiking Kilimanjaro in 6 days Marangu route

ANSWER

Yes – this plan will work.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering what wildland firefighting would be best to use for a first-season firefighter. I’ve looked at all of the plans and it seems that all the basic training plans (not for Smokejumpers/Hotshots) ultimately train for the same thing emphasizing endurance, but utilizes different equipment.

I’m an experienced CrossFit athlete and do lots of mountaineering and skiing and do some of my own training for climbs by hiking with heavy packs. So I’d like to hear what plan you guys think would work best in conjunction with CrossFit and mountaineering, or if those things would even have a big impact on what would work for me.

ANSWER

I’m not sure I understand your question so I’ll do my best.
In general, our programming is too intense to double up with crossfit.
If you want to continue with crossfit, and based on your mountaineering experience – you should have learned by now that crossfit won’t give you the loaded uphill endurance fitness you need for wildland fire. So …. you’ll need to add this to your training.
If you want to do our stuff, based on your experience, I’d recommend the plans/order in the Wildland Fire Training Packet, starting with Blackwater.
Then, 7 weeks out from reporting in the Spring, complete the Wildland Fire Pre-Season Training Plan.
– Rob

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