Q&A 2.10.22

QUESTION

After a long hiatus, I renewed my military athlete subscription and was unsure where to begin. I’ve been doing the low back V2 recovery program for the past few months as I recover from a lower back flare. The ideas in your recent article piqued my interest (The training lifecycle…).  I am a 42-year-old active-duty infantry Major and can relate to the limitations that come with my job and age. Where do you think I should start? I’d like to move away from the bar toward KBs and bodyweight exercises.
Thank you for your help.

ANSWER

We just published the first 3 plans of our SF40 programming – 
You could start with SF40 Charlie.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 55 yr old life-long male athlete.   I’m active and fit — mostly outdoor activities like cycling, skiing, ice hockey, tennis, hiking.  I’m durable but not particularly strong, especially my upper body.  I’d like to incorporate gym strength training 2xweek — at my age I’m focused on bone health/maintaining muscle mass, building some strength and staying injury free, not lifting big weights, 1RM PRs or hypertrophy (though a little would be nice).  I like to lift/strength train + core/chassis in 45 (ideally) to 60min.  Last summer/fall I did your In-Season Strength Training for Endurance Athletes plan, which fit my goals and lifestyle well.  I’m looking to mix it up instead of running through that plan again.  A few questions:

  • Is there a replacement for the clean, clean + jerk, clean + press?  I’ve never done these lifts before and don’t want to learn now and risk injury.  (Also have a total hip replacement.)
  • What plan(s) do you recommend?  I looked into the 45-55 training plans which had a bit more than I’m looking for and needed me to dissect it.  Might the Efficient Strength Training Plan fit?  Or incorporating Core Integrity plan with another?

ANSWER

I’m building a new set of SF55 Training Plans – should be completed next week. You might want to take a look at those. They will likely fit the bill as they will be 45 min sessions and multi-modal. If you want to get started, look at the Busy Dad Limited Equipment Plans – 45 min sessions, sandbag/dumbbell based, heavy on longer grinds and chassis integrity.
Clean, Clean and press? You can do them from the hang with dumbbells. Please know I’m 53, with a hip replacement, and have not issue with these movements – and doing them with sandbags will be part of the SF55 programming and the Busy Dad Programming.
– Rob
UPDATE: SF55 Programming is available now

QUESTION

Thanks for developing the new nutrition guidelines (Unfortunately I’m over 50 and have lost my cheat day- bummer!)
My questions are:
Why is cheese omitted from the plan?
What about whey protein (mixed with almond milk)?
What about vitamins or other supplements?
Thanks for your input!

ANSWER

You can eat a little dairy … make sure it doesn’t have any sugar.
Whey is okay but I’d rather have you just eat meat.
Vitamins/Supplements – we don’t endorse any. The research on these is clear – none of these make a difference if you’re eating a good diet.
– Rob

QUESTION

What would you all recommend I do on days where I can’t get a workout in? For example I am unable to workout Thursday through Monday because I’m in an avalanche rescue course. Do I just skip those days and resume with the Tuesday workout? Or should I go back and complete those missed workouts? Thanks for helping me understand best how to use the training plan.

ANSWER

It’s important you follow the training sessions in order … so if you miss one, you need to start there again when you are able to train.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m working through the SF45 packets and have a question regarding an alternative exercise to back squats. I have an old neck injury which prevents me from placing a bar across my neck/shoulders. In place of back squats I’ve been doing front squats but wanted to know if there is a better alternative such as dumbbell or kettlebell squats.
I would also like to thank you for your focus on programs for older tactical athletes.

ANSWER

Any squatting movement will work, Jason. So will a Hex Bar or trap bar dead lift.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just got the Hypertrophy Program for Skinny Guys. I think it is what I need as far as lifting goes. But how should I work cardio into this program? I am in the army and while weight gain is my priority, I can’t afford to completely drop running. Any suggestions as to how to work in some cardio would be great. I’m not looking to improve my running while on this program, but staying where I’m at would be great.

ANSWER

Know that running will lessen the mass gains you’ll get from the plan.
You could run 2x/week – Wednesday as a 2-a-day, and on Saturday.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m not sure which program to buy. I’m not happy with my fitness level and want to significantly improve it. I will be joining the Australian Defence Force towards the end of the year as an infantry soldier in the army reserve. I plan to join a special forces unit down the track. My main issue is my conditioning and strength-endurance. I cannot perform at a high level for very long and my vo2 max is pretty low. I’ve noticed rope climbs and sandbags play a big part in some of your military programs, but unfortunately I don’t have access to these. Below are some of my stats:
Weight: 64kg
Height: 173cmLifting 1RMs:
Back squat: 86.3kg
Bench press: 62.7kg
Weighted Pullups: 17.1kg
Deadlift: 80.4kg

Bodyweight maxes:
Cadence pushups: 30
Sit-ups: 40

Conditioning:
Beep test: 7.5

1km run: 3:59

ANSWER

This is an assessment-based training plan which will automatically “scale” to your incoming fitness. It includes freeweight strength, bodyweight strength, running and rucking.
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have something that can cover the bases to a competent level?. Have access to a full gym.
Activities are skiing, boxing, and bjj for the most part. I like to be able to hike backcountry for skiing as well.
Any of the general fitness ones seem most appropriate? I’ll probably get the subscription so feel free to recommend any you see fit.

ANSWER

Start with the Tactical BJJ Action Hero Series. These are tight, efficient, multi-modal sessions (strength, work capacity, endurance (run/ruck), chassis integrity, and bjj).We just designed these plans.
Start with Casey Ryback.
– Rob

QUESTION

Long time MA follower. Got a 10k race coming up here in Charleston SC.
The Cooper River Bridge Run is an annual race that is largely flat, aside from crossing the bridge itself which will begin with a decent uphill grade, cover 2 miles, and end with a comfortable downgrade to the remaining flat course. Entire course is paved. Takes place in April, so I have just north of 12 weeks to prepare.

My question is, does that seem more appropriate for the ruck improvement plan or the ruck/run improvement plan? Or is there something completely different I should be looking at?

Thanks and long live the “Leg Blasters”.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Rucking Improvement Training Plan. The second block is focused on a 6-mile ruck (close to 10k) ,,, and it will take you 10 weeks of gradual train up to get to there. So … start this plan exactly 10 weeks before your race.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently a civilian looking to enlist late July on an 18x Special Forces contract. I’d like to start the SFAS packet but SFAS for me probably will not be until early next year.

I’ve done a 16 week SFAS training program with 18A Fitness so I have a pretty decent fitness foundation.
What would be your suggestion in MTI programs to start with knowing that I’ll be going to OSUT in July then Airborne, SF Prep course then SFAS early next year.

ANSWER

For others in your position, I recommend completing the entire Ruck Based Selection Training Packet, including the final Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, before OSUT. You won’t have time to train on your own for SFAS while in Airborne and the other schools.
–  Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been following Mountain Tactical for a few years now – I was first introduced to Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys, which I really enjoyed. A friend of mine did your IOC plan and he had great success with that too. I think your Mini Studies are insightful, data-driven, and refreshing – instead of regurgitating fitness mantras, you test and teach. Your other articles, like the failure resume, really round out the training experience too. The ‘Reflecting Back on My Failure at Selection’ hit me really close to home when I look back at some of my experiences. I reread that one often.
I am currently a 2ndLt in the Marine Corps. I finished TBS last year and am currently stationed at Pensacola for flight school. Given the opportunity though, I’d like to attend A&S for MARSOC. I probably have at least another year or two until I would be eligible to submit a packet, so I didn’t think it would be right to try your MARSOC specific programs yet. Given the timeline, what do you suggest going forward?
I originally thought the Pirate training packet would be a good option, but I have a very strong base in swimming and wanted to improve more in areas I’ve struggled in like strength or ruck running. I like the look of the Greek Hero packet, and figured I could supplement some swimming/treading in as recovery/base building work, then eventually shift to a more swim-integrated plan when the time came.
Thank you for your help and I look forward to hearing back from you.

ANSWER

Go with the Pirate Series. It includes ruck running.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 43 year old male/LEO looking for a program recommendation to help get back in shape.

Looking for something that would be a good introduction to your type of programming and could be done in under and hour with a minimal equipment/garage style gym.

I have no experience with Olympic lifts.

Also, I know diet plays a huge part – are there any articles from your site that you recommend reading?

Thanks for the help!

ANSWER

– Rob

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