Q&A 11.28.19

QUESTION

I work for the Maine State Police. We have formed a riot control team and are looking for guidance on developing a fitness evaluation that would be probative to this specific specialty. Most of our teams use the Cooper Standard which we believe does not measure what we do on this team.

We are looking for something that will gauge readiness. This job entails changing from idle to explosive need for speed, long durations of using strength as well as holding up heavy items. I suppose the best way to explain this would be strength and speed vs duration.  Any guidance you could give would be extremely valuable.

ANSWER

My quick thought would be a 60-75 Minute, 4-event Assessment:
1) Bodyweight Bench Press for Reps (Upper Body Relative Strength Assessment)
2) 3 Minute Prone to Sprint (40 feet), unloaded, for Reps (Speed, Explosion + Short Duration Work Capacity)
3) Gi Grip Assessment (Grip Strength)
4) 30 Minute AMRAP in 25# Weight Vest or Individual Body Armor (Stamina/Duration/Strength Endurance) – Scored to .5 Rounds
    3x Renegade Man Makers @ 25#
    Run 100m with Dumbbells (down 50m, back 50m)
Scoring 
Bench Press Reps x2
Prone to Sprint Reps
Gi Grip Assessment Reps x2
AMRAP Rounds x2
So, an athlete who got …
12x Bench Press
25x Prone to Sprint
11x Gi Grip Pulls
7.5 Rounds of the AMRAP     ……… would score …
Bench Press x2 = 24
Prone to Spring = 25
Gi Grip = 22
AMRAP = 15
Total Score = 86.
Here would be an initial overall score table: 
Poor – 59 or Less
Good – 60-79
Excellent – 80+
This scoring table could change based on an initial assessment with everyone in your team, then you could use a basic curve to set up scoring. The way I would do it would be to do an inital assessment, then a 4-week training plan based on the initial assessment results, with a re-assessment on Week 4.
Use the Week 4 re-assessment scores to set up your curve and final score chart.
Require a minimum “Good” score to remain on the team, and do the assessment 2x per year.
I you want to go with this or something similar, I can help with the full assessment and the sport-specific training plan – and with scoring.
Email questions.
Respectfully,
– Rob Shaul

QUESTION

I’m a college Air Force ROTC cadet who plans on applying for STO in January 2021. Being approximately 13 months out from when I would take the PAST for my Phase I application and 15 months out from Phase II, I’m looking for a day to day plan to keep me in shape and ready for your CRO/STO training plan when that time comes. Do you have any recommendations on a long-term training plan until it comes time to “ramp it up” in preparation for Phase II?

ANSWER

The Plans in our two Pirate Packets (Packet I and Packet II) are designed as day to day fitness for military SOF and LE with water-based mission sets, and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, endurance (run, ruck, swim) and tactical agility. Work through the plans in the packets, in order, starting with Barbossa.
These will build a high level of base fitness and prepare you for the CRO/STO Phase II Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am interested in the long-term use of your programs. As I am sure you receive many inquiries about where to start, allow me to add to that growing list. First, I’d like to give you some background on where I am and where I would like to go. I will attempt to make this as concise as possible; however, I simply want to give you an accurate picture. If you would like to skip right to my stats, feel free to scroll down to the bullet points.
I left the US Army in 2011 after six years of service. Along with our regular PT, I worked out (more for looks, then) consistently but stopped when my wife passed away shortly after ETSing. Fast forward to around August of 2018, I was overweight at approximately 285-290 pounds, standing at 6ft 3in. I could barely do 5-10 consecutive push-ups. Although I carried my weight very well, I could certainly tell that I was way out of shape and unhealthy. I finally had enough, along with deciding to rejoin the army (this time on the MS National Guard side). I lost about 15 pounds in the last four months of 2018. I got really serious in January and set my goal of dropping the remaining weight so I could rejoin by April. I dropped down to 239lbs and accomplished my goal. I am now in the best shape I have been in my whole life, but I am at a sort of plateau. Additionally, I have new goals that I would like to achieve. The following are my current stats as of the beginning of this year.
  • Turned 32 in September (and still 6ft 3in)
  • Average weight is 231-233 lbs in the mornings immediately upon waking
  • Can do 45 consecutive pushups before entering the modified resting position
  • Fastest two-mile is 14:45 (averaging 15:15 to 15:45 depending on the day’s diet and work activity)
  • Fastest three-mile is 23:45 (averaging 24:00 to 24;20)
  • Best 50lb ruck on national forest trail is 8 miles in about 2.5 hours with halfway rest
  • Increased general strength and stamina as evidenced by weight progressions in workouts
I have three basic goals as of now.
  • Build a strong foundation for and continual maintenance/improvement of long-term functional fitness
  • Prepare for Army OCS, which I start March 2020 (doing National Guard Traditional, which lasts over a span of 13 months worth of drills with two 2-week increments)
  • Set the stage for possible Army SF selection in approx. two years (depending on certain factors then)
At this point, I cannot do a subscription, but it may be a future option. Unless you recommend something different, I’d like to purchase a couple of (or few) strategic plans to focus on and even alternate between.  Please let me know if you need any other information. I look forward to your response and am excited to get started on a new way to train.

ANSWER

I’d recommend working through the plans/order in the Greek Hero series of plans. These are designed as day to day programming for military infantry and SOF, and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), tactical agility and endurance (run, ruck).
Start with Hector – the first plan in the packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Planning to do the GORUCK star course (26 mile) in April of next year.  I’m pretty de-trained.  Suggestions for between now and then?  Just signed up for the Athlete Subscription again.

ANSWER

There are 24 weeks until April.
Weeks   Plan
1-7         Fortitude
8-14       Actaeon
15-16     Humility – first 2 weeks
17-24     Bataan Death March Training Plan – use the same load you’ll carry at your event and orinteer the long ruck each week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’d like to run a 50 mile race at Bear Mountain in NY in May 2020.  I was wondering if the 30 mile long distance obstacle plan was appropriate or if you have another suggestion.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a trail runner and rock climber who no longer has access to a climbing gym.  I would like to stay in climbing shape in addition to running 30+ miles a week.  What would you guys suggest?

ANSWER

We’ve found rock climbing so sport-specific to grip/forearm strength, you have to continue training these attributes.
I’d recommend in to purchasing/building a Moon Board for your personal use – we have 2 at MTI and they are amazing tools. At a minimum, perhaps building a small 4×8 System Board just to do intervals on.
Short of that, a hang board and hang board sessions – We have a couple on our exercise page, but Metolius and the other hang board manufacturers have a greater selection.
Pulling strength (pull ups) are not as important to climbing as you might think, but building your pull up strength to 30+ won’t hurt.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for a training plan that can supplement strength/work capacity into my current marathon plan. I am a Wildland fire fighter who just started my offseason. I am planning on running the Phoenix marathon Feb 7th. I have a running plan but I am looking for some strength programming that would compliment 4 days of running/week. I would like to be able to gain strength through the winter as well. Finally I will hopefully be entering smokejumper rooking training this spring and will pick that plan up post marathon but any work capacity stuff I can do now will also help. I have done hotshot preseason and ultimate work capacity. Thanks your your time hope to hear from you soon.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Big 3 + Running Training Plan – and complete only the strength sessions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently in week 3 of the backpacking pre-season program.
The volume of this program is achievable for my current fitness level (+40 year Male, slightly overweight – back to training consistently for past 18 months)
However, I find I’m having to extend my rest intervals beyond the prescribed time in the program ie. I’m having to rest :60 seconds (Sometimes more) instead of :30 seconds between rounds of leg blasters/mini leg blasters.
I’ve seen slight improvement in three weeks in my ability to complete a set without stopping but if I get back at it with only :30 seconds rest, I end up having to break the set up.
Should I continue to modify this segment by adjusting my rest interval until my fitness improves? Or by doing that, am I defeating the intent of the exercises?

Thanks in advance for any advice you are able to provide.

ANSWER

Continue as you are and keep working to shorten the rest interval.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m doing the backcountry skiing preseason training plan and had a question. If I add some extra running to the training plan would that be detracting from the plan? I feel like I lack more in the endurance part of training than in the strength side. I’m relatively new to endurance sports. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

ANSWER

It depends upon your fitness. If you’re not making the progressions in the plan, or not recovering, drop the extra running.
– Rob

QUESTION

Im a local from Jackson but have moved and now own and operate a training facility in Coeur d Alene Idaho, we primarily run group training on a some what “cross-fit” type training model. Ive never wanted to own a cross-fit gym and have always had a appreciation for your type of programming. I like the “work capacity” aspect of training and tend to program similar to your models.
My question is this, First Responders/Military/Mountain folk tend to make up much of our population. I tend to tell people if youre looking for cross-fit we are not for you. I would love to implement some of your programming, especially with our first responders. They tend to come in all at once during a 9am class. Most of these guys operate at a high level of fitness already, what program would you recommend I start these guys out on?

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting with Whiskey, from our LE Programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

Long time subscriber here, absolutely love your coaching and programs. I used the ruck based selection prep back when I went through SFAS years ago and absolutely felt it was a great part of my success, I was competing,  not surviving, and the prep it put on my feet and chassis was worth it’s weight in gold. Looking forward, I am using the SFOD programming and I was wondering if there should be any augmentation to the nutrition guidelines, ie fueling before and during rucks with carbohydrates like vitargo/perpetuem/cytomax etc and also how many meals a day you would recommend to adequately fuel for such a program. My bmr is roughly around 3200 and on high volume days I’m burning more around 4700–5300 cals, sometimes as high as 6300(measured with whoop/garmin fenix 5). Thank you again for your time and effort!

ANSWER

Supplemental event nutrition – i.e. perpeteum or gels – during the long rucks in the plan is fine and will help performance. The only concern is the availability of this type of supplementation at selection – if you’re using the plan to prepare for SFOD-D.
My understanding is candidates are allowed to bring along event nutrition like this and aren’t limited to a diet of MREs … but I could be wrong. What you want to do is “train like you play” and if you train using event supplements, but are restricted to water during the real thing it could greatly affect your confidence/performance.
If supplements are allowed – use them now and find out what is easy and works for you. If not, perhaps train with them until the last 2-3 weeks of the plan, then cut them out to prepare your mind/body for what you’ll face at selection.
– Rob

QUESTION

So recently back at the end of July, I found out that I was mis diagnosed for a medical condition that was keeping me out of the military. Serving is a life long dream of mine that I wasn’t able to fulfill, naturally this changed my perspective and drive. I have about 1.5 years of eligibility left to enlist I’m 33. Unfortunately I was massively over weight 318 lbs. to be exact. I immediately began shedding weight as part of a phased plan, I’m now 260. Part of my plan was once I hit 265 I would begin working out (didn’t want to take too much on at once) here is where I need guidance. I used to be extremely athletic, very agile, always had a capable build while being “skinny fat”. I can feel that starting to come back. Anyways, I need to know where to start, I started the subscription yesterday and have looked over quite a few of the plans but I figured I’d ask the experts before I just jump on it. Where should I start? I want to enlist in 11 months into a combat MOS. All help and pointers are greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

Start with the first 3 weeks of the APFT Training Plan, then roll into the Military OnRamp Training Plan.
Email back after you’re done with Military OnRamp.
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking to subscribe again after recovering from a serious PH injury.
What happened to the star program (has Polaris as one of the packets I recall)?

ANSWER

The Star plans were part of the Daily Operator Sessions and are still up on the site – through a subscription. Go back in the Daily Operator Sessions and you’ll find all these plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

My work and background is Wildland firefighting. I’ve been using Mountain Tactical Wildland plans the last few years to stay conditioned through the winter as well as prepare for fire season in the spring and have found them very effective so first off… thank you!
   Going into this offseason, my fitness goals are to gain muscle mass as well as build strength without compromising on endurance and work capacity. My plan is to dive back into the Wildland programs as it gets closer to the spring/summer, but as of now I’m not sure where to begin; to gain muscle mass (hypertrophy) or develop solid hard muscle (strength building). I was wondering if there was a way to accomplish both or if you could point me to certain plans over others. Overall I am attempting to map out the plans I will take up through the winter/spring and want to know the best course of action. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks again!

ANSWER

This Fall I built packet of Wildland Fire Specific “Base Fitness” Training Plans. The 5 base fitness plans in the Wildland Fire Training Packet concurrently train strength, work capacity, mountain endurance (run, uphill movement under load, rucking), and chassis integrity (core). They are named after tragic fires in wildland fire history which took lives, including Mann Gulch and Yarnell Hill. Each plan is 7 weeks long, 5 days/week.
Start with Blackwater and follow the other plans in order.
– Rob

QUESTION

I need some advice. I have currently purchased military on-ramp and AFSOC pt training plan. My goal is to take the AF PAST in late April. Is your recommendation that I finish the on-ramp program (which I am on week 3) then move straight into the AFSOC pt training or finish the on-ramp then move to a base program and in late February move to the AFSOC pt training program? My goal is to absolutely smoke the past test. I am trying to pursue cct in May. Thanks in advance!!

ANSWER

Finish the Military OnRamp Training Plan, then move right to the AFSOC Pt Plan.
After, move to a base plan – Barbossa – until you’re 6 weeks out from your fitness test, then repeat the AFSOC PT Plan directly before your assessment.
– Rob

 

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