Q&A 11.7.19

QUESTION

First of all I just wanted to say thanks for putting the leg blaster routine together, its been a staple of mine for the last few years before the ski season begins.
I just have question about quantity vs extra weight. I’m at a stage now where I’m doing 4 x full 4 x mini with 30second rest and I’m pretty comfortable with it. Would your be advice be to keep upping the cycles, so increasing it to 5/6/7 full or keep the cycles the same and start using a weighted vest? In your testing have you better results from one or the other?

ANSWER

We’ve had athletes do leg blasters in weighted vests, but I’m concerned about the impact from that.
This summer in preparation for hunting season myself and my hunting partner worked up to 8 full leg blasters … – Add volume.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have looked at your website and was very interested in getting a plan from your company. I wanted to know if you were able to put together a personalized plan for myself. I am in the Italian military, and wanted to attempt our special forces selection for a second time. The first time I realized I just was not fit enough for the rigors of selection, therefore I am seeking professional guidance. Is it something possible, and how much would it cost me? Thank you very much in advance for your time and assistance. Respectfully,

ANSWER

I’m sorry, we don’t do customized programming for individual athletes, but literally hundreds of soldiers have used our programming to prepare for SOF selections. Our go-to train up is the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet.
When do you intend to go to selection?
Can you provide and details of the selection? – Specifically duration, any “gate” fitness assessments?, rucking intensity and load?
I’d be happy to layout a progression of plans for you.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently completed the FBI PFT program and was able to improve in all areas.  However I seem to be stuck in the low 30s for pushups.  I was planning to run the program again and was wondering if you had any advice on if I should change anything with the pushups.

Thank you in advance for your help

ANSWER

You definitely want to change the progression methodology. The density-based progression in the FBI Plan works for 85% of athletes, but not everyone.
I’d recommend the Volume progression from the Push Up Improvement Training Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I had previously done the Peak Bagger V4, but I had to scale it down a bit and add an extra day of rest to fit my work schedule.

I’m now planning to climb Pico de Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl in Mexico during the month of December (About 9 weeks from now), but I need help approaching the Peak Bagger V4 training plan. Here are some questions:

  1. How can I extend the program from 7 to 9 weeks? Is this recommended?
  2. I would like to know what HR Zones I should be training in? The training plan says that Step-ups should be done in “Moderate pace”, is this Zone 1 or 2?
  3. How much freedom do I have when scaling down some of the exercises? (Step-ups are fine but I have a hard time completing 10 mini leg blasters)
Ideally I would like to start training this week. I climbed in the Swiss alps about 3 weeks ago and I have been “resting” (only indoor climbing and running twice a week) since.

ANSWER

1. Sure – repeat weeks 5 and 6 in the plan. Do 5 twice, then 6 twice.
2. Zone 2
3. Decreasing the volume will decrease the training effect, but be smart and scale as necessary.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking for a training plan that allows me to complete Powerlifting movements while also incorporating some running. I would consider myself a novice to intermediate lifter from my overall strength numbers. I also come from a CrossFit background, but find I need more of a steady routine than random WOD of the day.
I do enjoy trail running as opposed to road. I have a full garage home gym with Rower and Air Dyne, if that helps your recommendation.
My overall goals are strength, endurance, and overall body composition. I’m 5’10 187# and about 18% BF.
Thanks! I look forward to seeing what you recommend.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

While doing some google browsing I ran across your deployment program as a good reference for preparing for hikes and notably Afghan Deployments.
I will be enrolling into the USMC Infantry Officer Course in a few months, and would love any training advice you have for fast paced hikes.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the USMC TBS/IOC Training Packet to prepare for IOC.  These plans include focused ruck training.
If you’re only concerned about improving your rucking, look at the Ruck Improvement Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I stumbled across your Instagram page and I have to say that I am highly interested in the programs you have to offer. While searching your page, I observed your Selection program and It looks great. That being said, I am currently deployed with a US Army National Guard unit and I was hoping to chat with you about what may be the best course of action for me. A little more detail on me and my career goals:
7 1/2 year Infantryman, 290 PT test (so not in the best shape ever but can still perform)
I am looking to attend an ARNG SFRE when I return home from this deployment.

If you have any suggestions or programs that would suit a deployed soldier who is eager for selection, I would love to hear it. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am loving Tammy exactly what I was looking for…hitting week three now…actually redoing it as I had had some work travel so didn’t follow properly last week…

Curious about rest on the strength days Mondays and Thursdays.
Is the focus pure strength therefore a complete recovery or there abouts advised OR are we also looking at work capacity therefore a shorter more catch your breath then go as soon as ready?
I have been living in StrongFirst kettlebell land for a while and they call for longer rest/recovery periods for strength.

ANSWER

Work steadily, not frantically through the strength supersets. It’s okay to take rests. These sessions are designed to be completed in 60 minutes …. so if you’re taking 70, you’re resting too much. Only 50 minutes? – Rest more.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am leaving for IBOLC in a few weeks and will be attending Ranger School following graduation.  My plan during IBOLC is to focus hard on increasing lean muscle.  Do you have recommendations on protein, recovery supplements and/or meal replacements?

ANSWER

We don’t recommend or endorse any supplements. We’d prefer you eat real food.

Here are our dietary recommendations: https://mtntactical.com/inside-strong-swift-durable/frequently-asked-questions/#nutrition

– Rob


QUESTION

I am an infantry 1LT in Germany, currently serving as a scout platoon leader. I have consistently heard great things about your programs and would like to select one. However, I still will do PT with my guys every morning and don’t want to compromise the integrity of one of your programs by having to work around my platoon schedule. In March I will transition to an XO position and in November/December of next year I will attend SFAS.  My goals are to increase my overall fitness, and run speed, as I broke my foot 6 months ago and lost some time in my run. Ideally, I would like a program that can complement my platoon schedule but has a direction for my second workout of the day.  I appreciate any advice you can give.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Fortitude now. This plan concurrently trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and military endurance (run, ruck). You could do it as a 2-a-day with your platoon PT.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking for guidance on which training plan would be the best fit given what I am looking to achieve. I am wanting to train for a 4+ month thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail. It will be fast-packing, meaning ~33 miles a day when the trail is obvious, with about a 10 — 14 lbs pack (incl. food / water). The backpack preseason program seems more oriented at getting up to shorter miles with a heavy pack. Looking for injury prevention, endurance, and mountain climbing strength in that order. Any recommendations?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan, followed by the 50-Mile Ultra Training Plan directly before your trip.
You can run with your 10-14 pound pack for all the prescribed trail running in both plans. They both include strength training.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just read your piece on loaded shuttles. I’m wondering how that applies to law-enforcement as you age.
I’m still on the street so I don’t want to do all the endurance work from  SF 45 and lose upper mass.  But at 51 years old I wonder if I should quit doing weighted shuttles because of the damage it might be doing in my joints.   Part of me says if it doesn’t hurt just keep doing it. Your thoughts?

ANSWER

Couple thoughts here …
First … If you might have to do it during the real thing, you should train for it.
Second – It it impactful on your knees … but getting shot because you were slow sprinting under load isn’t good for you either.
Best option – still sprint under load, but decrease the number of prescribed reps by 50%.
– Rob

QUESTION

54yrs young.  Mtn and Military Athlete (former USMC Force Recon).  Have enjoyed both entire SF45 I and Busy Operator I.  Looking for good next program.  So many good programs to choose from.  Looking for elements of SF45 (like that body doesn’t get too hammered) + Busy Operator (like the variety of challenging content and the shorter workouts) + strength build/don’t get too scrawny.
Recommendation(s)?

ANSWER

LE Spirit’s Packet – Just updated all the plans in this packet … all the sessions are designed to last 45-50 minutes.
– Rob

QUESTION

I want to do the humility program but I’m not quire ready for the amount of mileage that the program requires. I tried the first week of the program and didnt have too much of a problem with the workouts, but my running isn’t quite up to that level yet. Do you have a suggestion on a program I could do first  that is similar with the workouts but will prepare me for that amount of running?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Was wondering what plan offers a combination of sandbag and agility exercises?

ANSWER

I don’t have a plan which offers just those two, but Hector includes both, as well strength, work capacity and endurance (run/ruck). The sandbag work is used for chassis integrity (core) training.
– Rob

QUESTION

I will be starting the Everest Training Plan soon, I would count the 23 weeks of the plan as to finish the day before I travel to Nepal.
The climb normally starts with a two week hike to base camp, once there and after a couple of days of rest the real thing starts with the acclimatization climbs. Also, it takes about three to four days to get to where the hike starts (travel time to Kathmandu and beyond).
According to your experience, does one loose fitness due to all that travel time and hike to base camp (about three weeks in total)?

ANSWER

Likely a little, Pablo, but you’re also trekking at high altitude, and short of flying to basecamp, what choice do you have?
Going in as fit as possible is the best approach.
– Rob

QUESTION

Every week on Day 1, there is a workout like this:

Could you describe the appropriate progression? I.e. Should I start at the lightest possible load (40# sandbag) and then move up until I hit 80#s?

Something like this: 1×40#, 2×60#, 3×80#?

Also, does each round end with 2x squat jumps or is that to conclude the total 6 rounds? I would assume the former, but wasn’t sure with the language used.

ANSWER

– Progression? Yes … but don’t pre-determine it. The overallgoal is to get as heavy as possible, as fast as possible. So if you are strong enough to start at 60s and get to 80s quicker, do so.
– Squat Jumps every round – right after the Craig Specials.
– Rob

QUESTION

The obstacle race plan was great. Felt awesome and had a lot of fun. The only obstacles that threw me off were the rope climb, technique was my barrier, and the ring swing.
Moving on to training for the Thanksgiving half starting tomorrow. You mention in the packet that the half program can be completed concurrently with a strength-focused MTI or other strength training program. What is the best program to complement with here? I’m thinking the in-season strength for endurance athletes. I’m at 185 and feeling good. I want to run fast, my goal time is to 1:41 on the half, but maintain weight and strength. I could also just stick with the strength in the program as is…
After the 7 weeks, I’ll probably move into training for maintenance and sports (tennis and lacrosse mainly).

ANSWER

The Half Marathon Training Plan includes strength/core training on Tues and Thurs – the strength is lower body focused and bodyweight.
If you wanted to train freeweight strength, I’d recommend replacing the Tue/Thur sessions in the Half Marathon Training Plans with the Strength Sessions from the TLU Strength Plan.
TLU Strength work capacity sessions – skip these. Just do the strength sessions in order.
– Rob

QUESTION

30miler complete as you know.

What plan should I now adopt to continue to improve rucking and tactical fitness generally do you think? I am doing the fan dance in January so rucking fitness still very much needed.

ANSWER

Plans/Order in the Greek Hero Packet, beginning with Hector.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just booked my summit bid trip to Rainier for next year, week of June 8th.

Obviously I would do the Rainier plan directly before the trip, but what would you suggest as a plan progression leading up to that if I started in January?

I have a decent mountain base now, but I know it can be better.

Thanks for the help and everything you do through MTI.

ANSWER
I’d recommend the plans/order in the Wilderness Packet of Plans. These concurrently train strength, work capacity, mountain endurance (trail running, uphill hiking under load), and chassis integrity. I just designed this packet this summer and they’ll do a great job of building your base.
– Rob

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