Q&A 12.10.20

QUESTION

I recently bought your FBI PFT plan and have been working through it.
A few questions for you – why do you have 800s scheduled on both thursdays and fridays? I am a little confused about why you’d duplicate the same workout back to back.
I was also wondering why you don’t program in any “LSD” runs? A lot of other programs I’ve looked at have a long distance run programmed in on saturdays and I was curious why your program doesn’t do the same?
Do you recommend adding any additional lifting to this program / running it alongside a lifting program?
For your reference, I am male, 25, 5’5”, 145 lbs. My 1.5 mile time is 10:15 min, I can do 40 pushups in 1 min, 50 sit-ups in 1 min, and my 300 meter sprint time is 50 seconds. I am scheduled to take my pft in early January.

ANSWER

1) This is a PFT-specific training plan focused solely on improving your scores on the FBI SA PFT. Through testing we’ve found repeating interval sessions is the best way to improve test running distances. These 800m repeats – if you are following the running calculator and making the prescribed pace – should be very difficult. This is why we repeat the sessions.
2) LSD Runs? See above – we’ve found intervals the most effective method for improving running speed for PFT run assessments. For sure, we wouldn’t replace a day of intervals for an LSD run. I can only speak to MTI programming – which we’ve tested, improved and proven over near a decade and a half.
3) Additional work? No – not if you want to max your performance on this assessment. The progressions should be difficult … if they aren’t, you didn’t push yourself on the initial assessment. Make sure you push on the mid-cycle assessment.
– Rob

QUESTION

Does MTI have blueprints or plans to construct a box jump platform? I’m sure a simple internet search will answer this questions, but looking for something proven overtime in terms of build quality and materials. Thanks.

ANSWER

Sorry, no. I had ours built – they are 20/24/30 boxes and you can buy kits for these now from Rogue Fitness and others. I also saw recently on amazon a foam 20/24/30 box for like $100.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been using your ski programing for years. Usually I start the backcountry pre season program mid October to the start of November. This year I have to the opportunity to do a lot more hunting on the weekends. What’s the best way to balance two long days hunting in the mountains with getting my legs ready for ski season? As much as I hate those damn leg blasters they have me crushing turns early season!

ANSWER

In general, you’re gym based training should not negatively impact your mountain performance because of fatigue/soreness. So … take Fridays off full rest, and take Monday’s off full rest then drop back into the BC Ski Plan on T, W and TH.
– Rob

QUESTION

On the Military Athlete Endurance Plan when it comes to the ruck portion on the, with the 3 mile assessment and the rucks following should I focus on “stepping it out” instead of running. Or should it be completed as fast as possible?

ANSWER

As fast as possible = As fast as possible. We run.
– Rob

QUESTION

I completed my mock PFA I have 4 weeks till my test. What exercise should I focus on?

ANSWER

You finished too early. Repeat the last 4 weeks of the plan directly into your test.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m putting together my 2021 training program.  In 2021 I have a couple goals.  1) put on 5-10 lbs of muscle, emphasis on muscle. Even though I’m 57, I think muscle memory will help reacquire a bit of muscle. I feel downright thin at 151-152 lbs.  2) increase my ‘mountain conditioning’. I started your program last January and found it very effective – I dont want to lose what I acquired this year.
My thought is to spend Jan to April or so doing strength training and doing enough conditioning to retain what I have.  May to June retain strength and start ramping up mountain conditioning.  July to Oct focus on mountain conditioning, likely use your Backcountry Build 2 program I used this year.
What do you recommend for programming and plans with my 2 goals in mind?
Thanks for putting together an excellent series of plans.  I was in better mountain shape this year than I’ve been since my early 30s.  I’m pretty optimistic I can do DIY elk hunts into my 60s with your programs.  Thanks again.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the SF45 Packet I for your Jan-April Programming. These include strength programming and will maintain/build your endurance.

In May, I’d recommend pivoting to Wrangell-St. Elias which comes from our Wilderness Professional Packet of plans. It’ll maintain strength, and add step ups to endurance.

– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been a subscriber for a fairly long time, and have completed several of your programs about halfway through – i.e., do it for four weeks, and then something stupid happens at work and my training gets all screwed up for a couple weeks to a month.

Based on your request for feedback on what sort of sessions subscribers are doing, here’s mine:

I’m not currently doing the daily operator sessions.  I’m doing a 50% mix of ultimate work capacity and Big 24 strength.  I have done humility, the APFT training series, and the busy operator II series.  All about 50% complete.

I am a mid-career staff officer who is trying to maintain and improve a core of fitness so that when I eventually go back to a field unit I can keep up, not have to catch up.  I am at a fitness level where I can complete two to three challenging sessions per week if I push myself but am then too smoked to complete the rest or do much more than half-ass them. I have no specific fitness demands for my job aside from “be in good Army shape.”  My job presents a lot of challenges to a consistent workout program – I have an unpredictable work schedule and often have to reschedule my workouts.

Personally, I’m most interested in something that probably wouldn’t fit in the daily operator series, but may be useful as a special program.  I’m interested in a scalable “fundamentals” program – something 6-12 weeks long that I can use to build and maintain a base of work capacity, strength, and agility to let me keep up with the daily operator sessions.  I would need a program with ~45 minute weekday sessions that I can sneak in occasionally and longer efforts on weekends.

My fitness objective coming out of this would be to be able to work out hard five days a week.

I’d be interested in any guidance you have!  Poking around in the dark a bit on how to approach it.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Busy Operator Packet – which have sessions designed to last 45-50 minutes. This is tight, super-efficient programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for a training series I completed once and can’t find it.
I’ve been subscribing to your train for years now, since 2016. When I first started I did you Greek Hero series. There was a training series I did back then that focused on running. There were 100m sprint repeats and perceived exertion based timed runs, like “30 min at Easy or Moderate or Threshold pace”. Each week also built on long distance running and by the end of the series I did a 9 mile run at a 7:30 average pace.
I’ve been looking for that training series because I want to repeat it but I can’t find it. Can you help me? I look at every Greek hero series, the apostle and star series and I couldn’t find the specific one with those running protocols.
I really enjoyed that block and I want to get my running back to that state again. I’d appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks so much.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m 16 weeks out from starting fire academy. Roll through the academy plan twice or do something else first?

ANSWER

Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks    Plan
1-7         Waylon – multi-modal training plans which includes barbell-based strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and endurance (run)
8            Total Rest
9-16       Fire Academy Training Plan – Repeat week 6 in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m trying to prepare and stay ready for a fitness test that consist of a 1.5 mile run, one minute of Push ups and situps, and a sit and reach evaluation. I started the Air force PFT plan but due to my location it’s starting to become difficult doing outside workouts due to the weather. Is there any other plans you would recommend that could help keep me and shape during the winter months. I know there is really not a substitute for running, so I plan to continue to run as much as possible.
I’m also anticipating a somewhat challenging school house where they may be a ton of smoke sessions along with other activities. Any recommendations or help It would be great.

ANSWER

Your question is a little unclear. In terms of running, you have to run to improve it – which means running outside. Layer up and run outside.
If you want to train for this PFT and an academy/selection at the same time, I’d recommend the Academy Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hi Rob, I just purchased the Monster Factory program. My goal is to get stronger for the upcoming ski season here in Colorado. I want to ask you what you suggest for a rest period length between working sets ? Thank you.

ANSWER

If you’re referring to the strength sets, each includes a stretch. The stretch is your “working rest” between strength sets. By the time you stretch, add weight, chalk up, and go you should be ready to attack the next set.
– Rob

QUESTION

Thanks for all the work you do and the studies you conduct.  I was intrigued by the results of your barbell complex study, particularly with bench press improvement.  The athletes had a pretty big increase in Bench Press 1 RM.  So I’m wondering, were these athletes already following some kind of strength program or doing bench press regularly before the mini study?
Since the barbell complex appears to be so effective, do you have any suggestions on how to incorporate it into your other programs like Whiskey?

ANSWER

Best to stick with the programming. If you wanted you could replace the prescribed warm up with 3-4 rounds of the Barbell Complex before the strength sessions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am almost done with my 357 Strength plan, and I have to say I absolutely loved it. It has been a really great experience, definitely feel like I increased in strength by far. I specifically, feel stronger in my power cleans and feel like my sprints have really improved as well as my mid week run has gotten easier.
There is a core workout plan that I would like to add to the next workout plan I will be purchasing – which brings me to ask, what would be your suggestion next? Primarily focused on building strength.
I really would like to incorporate a deadlift in my regiment, I kind of missed doing those pretty regularly, but I also want to keep a heavy day for lunges, I feel as though they really target my glutes in a way that a typical back squat doesn’t.
I’m all ears – would really like to hear your suggestion on where I go next.

ANSWER

Glad 357 worked for you. See below for strength focused plan options. The strength programming in these plans is assessment-based, and focused:
– Rob

QUESTION

I have seen an overall boost in ability to keep pace with ease during runs and the amount of time under a ruck has benefitted my psychological game more than anything. I’m doing this as the first of a four to five plan training cycle during which I will end it with the SFOD-D train up plan. My running gains have been more marginal than my rucking gains which have surprised me. I was already in decent shape before beginning.

My starting 6 mile ruck time was 1:14:10 and my last assessment was a 1:11:14. Seems small but I haven’t been able to break that barrier in a long time.

My starting 3 mile run time was 20:43 on a flat course and my last assessment was 20:50 on a course with hills and I know that my time would have been much longer prior and honestly I didn’t have access to the course that I ran on the first time.

I do want to do more upper body strengthening exercises than the once a week grind though. Often I find myself at home with a kettlebell or a barbell just touching on a few reps of overhead press or curls to keep from atrophy.

Overall your program does in fact accomplish exactly what it says that it would. I’m very happy to have found you guys when I did and hope to keep incorporating your common sense approaches to training for the foreseeable future.

ANSWER

Thanks for the feedback. Glad the program worked for you.
Now I’d recommend Fortitude.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am just starting the ruck improvement program and I am not sure if I did the initial 3 mile assessment correctly. When I did the test I did the fast walk I could do without breaking into a jog/run. My time was 42 min. When I go to do the 1 mile intervals my time is supposed to be 12:20ish. I am having trouble staying close to that since I do not have a gate that matches that, I am either walking fast at 14 min or jogging at 10 min. A few questions:
– Do I do the 3 mile test correctly or should it be the all out fast time I can cover the 3 miles in even if I am running?
– If the interval time is not a gate I can physically do, is it  better to come in under time running or should I do intervals of walking and running and try and average to the 12:20 mark.
Thanks for your help!

ANSWER

3 Mile Ruck for Time = as fast as possible. Run. Do it again.
Intervals … These are based on your assessment time. They should be hard, but doable. Push.
– Rob

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