Q&A 12.30.20

QUESTION

I have a quick question about some of your workout’s equipment requirements. Under the “Larry” Kettlebell workout package you list under required equipment “Full Dumbbell or Kettlebell Set”. My question is what does that mean? I assume part of that means having pairs of kettlebell’s but I was wondering what Kettlebell weights one should have for this workout. I have the following pairs of kettlebells that I’d like to use in preparation for doing the Larry workout for the next 7 weeks:
2 x 6KG
2 x 12KG
2 x 16KG
2 x 18KG
2 x 20KG
Is that enough or does the workout need 2 x 24KG and 2 x 28KG Kettlebells? I’m also interested in the other kettlebell workouts and was wondering if the weights I listed would meet the required equipment list as well. Thank you and God Bless!!!

ANSWER

The programming is individualized for the strength portions … so it will call for you to work up to a 1RM Dumbbell/Kettlebell Front Squat, and then the following circuit will be based on your 1RM load.
20kg isn’t that heavy …. and you will likely be able to do more than 2x 20kg kettlebells for your 1RM.
What I’d recommend is Moe …. which deploys a higher strength-based rep count … i.e. 4x Kettlebell Front Squats …. which will allow you to better use your current kettlebells.
Another option is Kettlebell Strength – Working Strength Progression, which may work better with your lighter kettlebells … depending on your incoming strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hello, I purchased the SWAT selection program and the tryouts are going to be in March. What do you advise as far programming goes?

ANSWER

Then work through the plans/order in the Gun Maker Packet for full time SWAT/SRT, beginning with Ruger.
Then re-do the SWAT Selection Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before selection.
– Rob

QUESTION

My wife runs a lot, but she is starting to realize she needs some strength training.  In particular, as she gets older, she’s really wanting to focus on her back side.  What program do you have for civilians that has some strength training and maybe an emphasis on glutes?

ANSWER

I’m not an appearance coach so can’t help specifically with this request.
From what I do have, if you have access to a barbell, rack, bench plates, etc. I’d reocmmend the Big 3 + 5 Mile Run Plan.
If you don’t have access to equipment, I’d recommend the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. 
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking to combine your SB package and Run/Ruck improvement, can I get some guidance here, looking to work out all week.

ANSWER

Apache includes a running assessment and rucking.
It’s what I’d recommend.
– Rob

QUESTION

First of all, thank you for amazing training plans that you’ve made. I’ve had athlete’s subscription about six months now and I’ve got lot of new ideas for my training. Right now I’m planning to start a new training plan and looking for some recommendations.
I’m working in military and will be deployed overseas in next 3 – 6 months. I don’t know exact details yet, but it will be land based patrolling in hot environment. My current level of fitness is good, endurance is well beyond expectation but strength is only reasonable. Which of your training plans will get me to the best possible physical condition for upcoming deployment?

ANSWER

Stay safe.
– Rob

QUESTION

My seat for Sapper got pushed till next September, approximately 40 weeks out. Would you recommend getting into the virtue series or Geek series leading up to my 8 week out date to start Sapper train up?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Sapper Plan now, then dropping into the plans/order in the Greek Hero Series, then repeating the Sapper Plan directly before your course.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m about to complete the run/ruck improvement plan and I’m planning on starting it again. Should I try to increase the distances of the run/ruck, increase the weight of the ruck or just complete it again as written?
Thanks for your help and your products, they constantly provide results.

ANSWER

If you’re not doing it back to back, – just complete it as written.
If you are doing it back to back – which I don’t recommend – you can increase the distance of the “moderate” and “easy paced” work by 20%.
Leave the assessments and the intervals the same.
– Rob

QUESTION

Like many almost 40 yr olds my days are filled.  I usually only have 1-1.5 hrs to exercise a day. I know I need strength training but I also like to use my time running or biking.  Ideally 3 days a week strength training and 3 days endurance.

Any suggestions on programs?  I see the day to day plans, can these workouts be spaced with endurance days?

ANSWER

This plan trains classic strength – Back Squat, Bench Press, Hinge or Deadlift, Pull Ups alongside a structured endurance work built around a 5-mile run.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been training an ok amount over the last 3 years (fair amount of CrossFit until year when I started working out in my office gym) and the shoulder impingement is still nagging but never out of control. I’m about now about 153# (up from 135 as you said would happen) but still very very skinny in my upper body especially, still about 5’9”, and now 28 years old. If I had to guess my body fat percentage is 15% but its hard to tell given my low muscle mass. I’m still very flexible, but not durable and have somewhat rounded shoulders. I’ve gotten some good coaching on lifting form, but could probably tune some of that up and have never really done any focused stability work.
I’m switching paths a little bit and while the mountain sports are still something I love, I am planning to join the military. My goal, which given my current fitness level is a little insane, is that I want to try to get into army special forces.
I have never trained specifically for it, but on the old army pft my score was about 43 pushups (I really suck at pushups), 60 sit-ups, and 2 miles in 15:30 minutes, so barely passable for normal enlistment and not even close for anything beyond that. (Last week my deadlift 1rm was about 240# and backsquat 5rm about 195#, benchpress 10rm about 110#)
Obviously it’ll take a ton of dedication, consistency and a fair amount of time to make this happen (not sure what you think, but I’m guessing at least 2 years).
Here are the things I was wondering:
1) I was looking back at the hypertrophy plan and for example it says  “8x Front Squat (Increase load each round until 8 is hard, but doable)” What do you mean by this? What level of difficulty in terms of weight should I be starting at? Is it more important to do all 8 rounds (I’d have to start pretty light to make that happen, meaning the first few rounds could be pretty easy) or do should I have something resembling more difficulty starting off…maybe starting with a lower number of rounds than is recommended?
2) What program do you think I should start with? Given that I’m still really thin, and the strength/durability demands of the military I’m wondering if you think it might make sense to kickstart this with some hypertrophy work? Or should I try a military base plan or start with the ACFT plan to get more in the range needed for that test? (Im assuming any kind of ranger/special forces rucking plan would be quite a bit later on). And for context my current job is not physically demanding. I also want to do what I can do bulletproof my knees especially but also the whole chasis.
3) On a 2 year (or possibly longer) fitness journey like this what do you think are going to be the keys to making sustained progress?
I have access to a decent gym and unlike generally in the past I dont have to travel much and should be in the same job/city for the next 17 months at least.
 Part of that lack of real sustainment in the past has to do with:
a) not pushing myself hard enough when working out alone (which is why CrossFit was good for me. I’ve gotten better at this aspect and have partners at my office gym that I can work out with.
b) Getting demotivated by being stuck in my head (by not being sure about whether or not I’m actually making progress/doing the right things).
Any advice on what it will actually take to make this happen would be amazing.
4) Nutrition: Up to this point I have been focusing on eating enough calories and protein, which is generally the big challenge for me since I tend to eat like a bird.  I’ve recently cut out the sugar, milk, fruit juice, honey, bagels, cereal, corn, soda, alcohol and I’m confident that I can maintain those cuts as well as my calorie and protein intake.  I’m Indian and so most of our food is very dependent on yogurt, daal/lentils, brown rice, and and occasionally naan bread. I’m basically wondering if the cuts I’ve made go far enough given that I definitely need to build muscle mass. 
I’d definitely really appreciate your advice on any/all of these questions. I know it’s quite a lot, so thank you so so much for your consideration! I hope you and your family are safe during this time!

ANSWER

1) Follow the programming as prescribed. Match the load to the prescribed rep count. For hypertrophy, the reps per set will be 8-15 … which is a lot – but is how you train muscle mass growth.
2) Work through the plans/order in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet, beginning with the Military OnRamp Training Plan.
3) First, good programming. Second, consistently training. Just. Keep. Grinding.
4) Here are our nutrition guidelines. There’s no caloric restriction – eat as much as you want, just eat “clean” 6 days a week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am about to start your eight week Ranger School Prep Training plan (Version 3), and had some questions surrounding rucking training and methodology. I see that your prescribed ruck weight is 60 pounds, as opposed to the Ranger/EIB standard 35 dry. Is this to account for heavier ruck packing weights that may happen during patrolling phases of Ranger School, to overprepare for RAP week standards, to account for weight carried in load carrying equipment (TAP/FLC), or for some other reason?
In addition, I had some questions surrounding the action of rucking itself. In your experience, is there a recommendation as to how to run while rucking? I have read that it’s a different stride mechanic than typical running wherein on doesn’t make a full stride through the hip, but rather partially strides and kicks out from the knee. And are there any tips or practices for mitigating/managing joint strain from ruck-running, especially at the hips and knees? I have experienced such issues, and cannot tell if this is a lack of training sensitization or deficiencies in execution.

ANSWER

1) To over prepare for the 12 mile ruck at RAP week (35+ Ruck plus 12 pounds of water – or 47 pounds) and the heavy loads during patrol phase immediately after RAP week.
2) Ruck Running – In general, we’ve found that like regular running, shorter strides and a rapid cadence increase speed. In terms of joint strain … good boots (change it up if you have issues during the train up), shorter strides/faster cadence, and simply increasing rucking fitness help.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently completed some SOFLete programming and enjoyed it but am still shopping around, your programs were highly recommended. What would you recommend based on following goals:

ACFT performance-2 mile endurance (current around 16:00)
Aesthetics

Background:
College football/powerlifter
34
Squat (below parallel) 510
DL 520
Bench 405

I don’t care to be stronger, it hurts the older I get to throw up weights. Would like to stay strong, look muscular but keep my ACFT performance high.

Is there a plan or program you offer that would best fit this?

ANSWER

MTI methodology deploys two types of programming for soldiers:
1) Base Fitness – which is mission-direct, multi-modal programming which concurrently trains strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck), chassis integrity (functional core), and tactical agility. Most of our Base Fitness cycles are 7 weeks long.
2) Event-Specific – these are 6-9 week cycles build specifically to prepare athletes for a specific event – such as a fitness assessment, selection, military school, or deployment. These cycles are laser-focused on the specific fitness demands of the event and are designed to be completed in the weeks directly before the event.
The way the programming works is to use our Base Fitness as your day-to-day programming, and then, when you have a planned event in the future (like the ACFT) to drop out of Base Fitness programming and to train specifically for that event. After the event, drop back into Base Fitness programming.
Specifically to the ACFT, our base fitness programming will lay a good foundation for this assessment, but it won’t be specific to the ACFT. If you want to max the ACFT, you’ll want to train for it specifically before the test.
Our ACFT Training Plan is laser-focused on the ACFT, but training only for the ACFT will retard your mission-direct fitness in other areas – rucking for example, and upper body max-effort strength, and chassis integrity, and sprint-based work capacity.
What I’d recommend for you, assuming you are already fit now and know your way around a weight room and functional fitness, is to work through the plans/order in the Greek Hero Packet, beginning with Hector, which is our Base Fitness programming for military Infantry and SOF. Then, 7 weeks out from your next ACFT, drop out of the Green Hero programming and complete the ACFT Training Plan.
Sorry for the long-winded answer!
– Rob

QUESTION

Given uncertain times, the Air National Guard on Long Island has chosen to move their Pararescue test date, 10 days from now. I’m currently on week 5 of the gratitude program and was hoping you could give me advice on how to train and taper over the next 10 days in order to destroy this PAST test…

I’m confident in my ability to pass this test under any circumstance, but given it’s a competitive test I want to perform at my best.

ANSWER

Week 1 of the USAF PAST Training Plan. Then, if possible, repeat the PAST 2 days before your official PAST. Take the day before the test as total rest.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m traveling back to Italy at the end of the week and will be in quarantine/unable to run when I get there(currently doing 2 mile program). I have a decent home gym and am expecting to get a Rogue echo bike soon. Which program will be the best bang for my buck while in that situation?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m struggling to find what program would work best for me.
I’m prior service and was working towards getting into the special programs, but I was hit off my motorcycle which caused a pretty significant injury. I’ve been rehabbing for 6ish years now and I’m trying to get back on the horse.
My goals are the following:
  1. Build a body based around gymnastic calisthenics and olympic weightlifting.
  2. Pool/Anaerobic Training (drownproofing, lowering swim times, etc)
  3. I’m going to be joining my Fire Departments Tac-Med team and want to prep for that seeing as I have time.
I could be looking at this too closely, but I’m not finding a program that fits that bill.
Do you have any recommendations?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Pirates Packet, starting with Barbossa. These plans are designed as day-to-day programming for full time military and LE SOF with water-based mission sets and concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck, swim), chassis integrity, and tactical agility.
This assumes you are fit now. If you’re not fit, or your fitness is suspect, I’d recommend starting with the USAF PAST Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am in my last week of the Humility program. It went very well. I am looking to move onto another program. I am planning on training for an olympic triathlon this spring (May). I am 6’3, 170lbs right now, and my background is in running. I want to keep up my endurance while also maintaining/building my strength. Do you have any recommendations?

ANSWER

– Rob

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