Q&A 2.7.19

QUESTION

I am a subscriber and prior military. Im training to go back in the military with an 18X contract.  Currently using the SFAS packet. Having fantastic results. I’m finishing Big 24 and starting Fortitude next week. I won’t be going in until September so it looks like I have time to fit an extra plan in, what would you suggest? Also, why isn’t the Q Course  Training plan a part of the SFAS Packet?

ANSWER

Plan? Hector.
Q Course Plan? Many guys have 6-month to a year wait post selection until they start the Q Course.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have limited equipment (including a bench), mostly basic stuff. Free weights, simple pully for press downs or lat pulls. I really need a solid program to build strength. Trying to cut a little in the process

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a regular follower of MTI and your workout programs. We spoke via email about a year ago about your then proposed new Army PT test.

While I understand that you don’t have a formal medical background, I wanted to get your perspective on IT Band Syndrome (ITBS) since you work with a lot of military and endurance athletes. I have been struggling with it for a couple of months now with little improvement despite workout adjustments. Have you worked with athletes that have had this issue? Specifically, are there any programs that you recommend for addressing it that focus on hip and inner quad strength?

ANSWER

I’m sorry – I can’t help here. We’ve never seen this as a major issue.
From an exercise perspective, my go-to exercise for inner quad strength would be barbell and kettlebell front squats.
Hip Strength? Hinge Lift, Box Squat, Weighted Walking Lunges.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been doing the Busy Operator program and am in question as to how effectively I’m doing it.  When you talk about ‘increasing the load until it is heavy but doable’, is that supposed to be by the last set?  For example, if it’s 6 sets of 4 reps, when should I be at the ‘heavy but doable’ set?  By set 4 or 5 or for my last set?  Should I be working up to this within the first couple sets so that I’m under a heavy load for the last few sets?  And I ask this based on your last article about TLU.

Thanks for all you do, your articles are great and constantly challenging me.

ANSWER

No – you want to work up rapidly. Ideally, you’ll do your “hard but doable” load for the last 3 rounds of a 6 round circuit. For example, this would be my loading for bench press:
(1) 6 Rounds
5x Bench Press – increase load each round until 5x is hard but doable
5x Pull Ups
Lat + Pec Stretch
Bench Loading:
Round    Load
1            135
2            165
3            175
4-6         185
– Rob

QUESTION

I have had to switch from being a trainer to a full-time desk position and my fitness is non-existent right now.  I need a plan that will push me, inspire me with results, not too time consuming since I work 8+ hour days and am a mom of 4.  I was so fit when I was a trainer.  I need to get that back.  Please recommend.  I want the stacked core that I am used to having, strong legs, glutes, upper body.  I want to be heart healthy as well so I will need some cardio.  Thanks in advance!  Have a great day!

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

So I hope the subject got your attention.   I need focus in the gym( I hate the gym).  I have 13 yrs on of patrol time on and 41 years old at 160 lbs.   Body issues are back problems from 2x car accidents from about  5 years ago that have seemed to been TCO.  More recent broken right that I am just getting cleared from.   Most of my fitness over the last two years has been road cycling as its low impact for the body.

I work dayshift patrol (8×5’s) and  part of the search and recovery dive team.  I have checked over your site a bunch and cannot seem to find what’s the best if I choose to buy into it.  Like most I want my money to go the farthest.   We have an ample give at my pd so no issue with equipment.  My end goal is strength vs bulk as I have another 13 yrs or so to go.

Any input or direction is helpful thanks.

ANSWER

Work through the plans/order in the Spirits Packet of plans for LE Patrol/Detective. These plans are designed as day to day training, designed to take 45-50 minutes, and concurrently train total body strength, upper body hypertrophy (mass), work capacity (sprint repeat emphasis), and chassis integrity (functional core training.)
Start with Whiskey.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question regarding the equipment for  DEA PTT. If I do not have a track regularly available to me, what would be my best approach to this? Can I use a treadmill to substitute a track?

ANSWER

Measure out .25 mile and 1.5 mile on a flat road with your car odometer, or better, use a gps if you have one. Regardless, be resourceful.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been having just a slight issue balancing the bjj program (which I love) with my back-to-back muay thai and bjj sessions M-F in the morning. I currently run the BJJ program M-Sat but like to know if there’s a more optimal scheduling.

If I had to cut back, it would be on the program, as my classes are only available

ANSWER

You don’t want your fitness training to interview with your technical practice (Muay Thai and BJJ sessions).
In other words, you don’t want fatigue or soreness from your fitness training to impact your actual MT and BJJ sessions.
How you schedule them together depends somewhat on your fitness, but if you’re having issues now, you defn. want to pull back on the fitness programming.
Initially, I’d recommend going to 3 days a week for the training plan – M, Th and Saturday. If it’s still to much, drop Mon and Thurs. If it’s okay – add another day.
Regardless, don’t jump ahead in the training plan sessions – follow them in order regardless of the day of the week you actually train.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 34 year old infantry Marine.  My brother is also a former Marine blinded in Afghanistan.  We are planning on running a 44 mile race (run) for blind veterans in June 2020.  I will start training in May or June of this year, after completing a PFT preparation plan.
Is the ruck based selection plan appropriate?  Is there enough running in the program or is there another set of programs I should look into?  I want a mixture of strength and endurance training.

ANSWER

Best would be to complete the Ultra Run Pre-Season Training Plan, and follow it up with the 50-mile Ultra Run Training Plan.
Next best would be just to complete Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan and suffer at the end of your effort.
44 miles is a long way to run!!
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a current subscriber and was hoping to get advice on the best plan for me. There are so many options and narrowing down the best plan has been a difficult task. Some context… I do a lot of mountain sports, rock climbing, mountaineering, biking(mtn and road), ski touring. In the past I have done an olympic lifting workout in the gym and focused on endurance and my other activities in the days between gym strength workouts.
I am looking for an all-around base strength plan that would be good for building general strength that will work with the various other activities I do but not specializing in any of them necessarily. Alternatively, a mountain base plan that i can easily replace running with another activity would work.
I had specifically been looking at the TLU Strength Plan, Big Mountain, Atalanta, and MB Bravo as plans that seemed to fit what i was looking for, with a slight bias towards workouts I can do in a regular gym(I have access to regular gym and rock gym)
Any help or suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Mountain Base Helen – this is a balanced training plan designed as day-to-day, between-season training for multi-sport mountain athletes. The plan concurrently trains strength, work capacity, mountain endurance, climbing (rock), and chassis integrity.
One day a week has you in the bouldering gym. If you don’t want the bouldering work, I’d recommend Jedediah Smith from our Wilderness Packet of training plans for forest rangers, game wardens, etc. This is also a multi-modal training plan for mountain activities, but does not include climbing work.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am having trouble finding a plan and direction, as I am overwhelmed and tempted by many of the 200+ plans.
I am interested in both the military and law enforcement, and I am also slightly out of shape.
I am a 23 year old college senior. I am looking for a general fitness program (to start) that will make me fit and also maintain that fitness level until I can discern which career path I will take. Obviously, once I know my career, I will be able to tailor my workout to that.
I have a gym membership that has EVERYTHING I would ever need. Preferably, I would like a plan that will allow me to use that membership for more than the sauna.
I do not care about looks or size at this point. I am looking to become a very versatile athlete, a “jack of all trades.”
Thank you for taking the time to read.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Military OnRamp Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

My wife want to get back into fitness.  We found a full scale gym locally that does child care.  What plans would you recommend to get her back to a good base?  I know she would prefer to do body weight and DB exercises in the beginning.  Looking to train 2-3 days a week. With some weeks getting in a 4th day if time allows.

ANSWER

Start with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Follow the sessions in order according to your schedule – don’t skip ahead.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was thinking about subscribing to your programming for the Law Enforcement programs. I have a decent garage gym set up that includes an Airdyne and a C2 rower. I was wondering if either of those are used in any of your programs or could be subbed in.

ANSWER

No – we don’t regularly prescribe airdynes or rowers – we favor shuttle sprints and multi-modal gym work capacity events as I find them more transferable to the real thing.
Sub? – I’d rather you follow the programming as prescribed. We use a rower/airdyne in some of our injured athlete plans – but only because they can’t walk/run.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m searching through various different military fitness preparation plans/companies, and I have one question that will require some guidance. The issue I’m running into is that I’m not sure what program of MTI’s would be best for someone going through the 18X program for SF, rather than someone who is currently active duty. As I’m sure you know, the 18X pipeline starts at OSUT (which, as I understand it, has been extended), and then takes you to Jump School and SOPC before selection. What program of yours would you recommend for this situation in which I can’t specifically prepare DIRECTLY before SFAS (aside from SOPC)? So far, I’ve just been rucking 3 times a week and running 3 times a week with one or two weight days placed somewhere in there. So, I’m not in “top shape”, but I can run a little above average and ruck relatively well because of this past hunting season. That being said, I definitely don’t need to start with the most intense program; however, I would like to know where I should be before OSUT, and what MTI program will get me there.

ANSWER

I recommend 18x guys complete the entire Ruck Based Selection Training Packet – including the final plan, prior to Basic. We recommend this knowing that you’ll likely lose fitness through Basic, Airborne, etc., but feel much of the fitness will remain, and the mental fitness you’ll build completing the programming will be an asset at SFAS.
– Rob

QUESTION

I found your website after trawling through the AOM website (of which I’m a fan).
I have recently signed up to do some pre-testing for the fire and rescue here in NZ, however I’m unsure as to which PFT training programs you guys offer would be best for me?
I have a base level of fitness mostly around MTBing, gym (x3 week), and hunting in the high country for deer but nothing specific to Fire and Rescue.
Would you recommend something like the program:
See the link below for a rundown of the NZ Fire test:
Any Help would be appreciated 🙂

ANSWER

From our stuff I’d recommend the CPAT Training Plan.
The CPAT doesn’t mirror exactly the NZ assessment, but it’s roughly similar, and the primary fire/rescue fitness assessment in the US.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am doing a 200 mile ruck march over 4 days on March 25 to raise awareness for human trafficking and the no profit I direct. I am in pretty solid shape as I was stationed with the Special Warfare Training detachment at the 5/19th SFG out of Colorado and went to SFAS finishing in the top 50 at least in each ruck last summer. Got injured and that was my second time trying after getting injured the first time too. Knee both times. Rucks were never an issue it was the draws that got me during land nav. So 2 surgeries later I’m out of the military and grinding.

This being said I have been a long time user of your plans, the SFAS, SFRE, the SFOD, Hyoertrophy for skinny guys, 3 week ruck plan and sang bag ethos… needless to say I love them. But having gone through each of them a few times, not sure any one of those really tailors to the chassis integrity, work capacity, and long term ruck requirements this will be.
I’m curious if you feel I should alter any of those in any way or should I try something new or just do a customized plan altogether. I could really use this quick advice and look forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER

Ideally you’d complete the 100-Mile Ultra Plan directly prior – substituting rucking at the load you’ll carry for the event, for the running in the plan. But you only have 9 weeks to prepare, and my guess is you couldn’t get through the 100 mile plan …. so I’d recommend you suffer through the 50-mile Ultra Plan. Again, ruck instead run, but follow the volume in the plan.
If you start next week you can complete the plan directly before your event.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a police officer. I purchased my first MTI plan a couple years ago, before I took my fitness really seriously. A few months back, I signed up for the subscription plan, and I’m all in with your programming. 
 
For my whole life, I’ve been overweight and not really committed to my own fitness. In the last few years, I joined a local crossfit box, and learned a ton in the way of movements, and overall about HIIT. Our small community lends itself to a laid back lifest6, and that box didn’t have a schedule that worked with mine. Ultimately, I put my own mini-box in my basement and now workout at home, which I love.
I’ve seen great progress in strength, work capacity and stamina! I’m losing weight (down to 265 from 295 since November 1, I’m 6’03”), eating better and feeling better! I’ve got clearly defined goals now, and that leads me to some questions….
I started with your LE on ramp program, as I thought it best to start with a clean plate in your programming. Now I’m looking for the next plan. The catch is, I haven’t done the runs as part of the LE on ramp, instead substituting rowing (I put a C2 rower in my home gym) for the runs- distances remain the same. I did this for one reason only… my police department retains a sports physiologist for us, and he recommended I drop some weight before taking on running for injury prevention. I do need to start running soon!
Well, I’ve got two weeks left in the on ramp program and am trying to decide what’s next. My goals are to test for our swat team (sometime in April for selection) and I’m planning my first backpack archery elk hunt this fall. Since I love the area around Jackson,  WY; I’m also considering heading your way at the end of May for the Teton 5k.
The PT component of our seat selection is as follows: 50 push-ups, 60 sit-ups and 35 squat thrusts (no time limit for these), followed by a 1.5 mile run in under 16 minutes. Since swat selection is my first significant goal, what plan makes sense to move into next?
I’m realistic and now that I’ve still got a ton of work to do, but I’m not sure what programming makes sense to move into. I’d be curious on your thoughts.
Finally, thanks for putting together programming that is fun, functional and challenging!

ANSWER

What is the exact date of SWAT selection? Also – I’m assuming it’s more than a gate PT test? Is it a 2 day selection. If so, do you know the events/activity you’ll face?
– Rob
FOLLOW UP
No exact date set yet. Selection is a single day, the events in order are:
50 push-ups, no time limit
50 sit-ups, no time limit
35 squat thrusts, no time limit
185lb dummy drag, 35 feet
1.5 mile run, 16 minutes
NRA handgun, full qual course
And an interview with the team leaders. The events are run in that order.
It’s a small county-wide joint team. Not a huge feat as each event, but since its run consecutively I could see how it develops its challenges. I looking for a program that could help me prepare for that and develop my running.
ANSWER
I’d recommend the DEA PTT Training Plan, which includes push ups, sit ups, and the 1.5 mile run. I’d have you add in some squat thrusts to the assessment – Likely do a max rep in 75 seconds and then follow the same progression in the plan as the push ups and sit ups.
– Rob

QUESTION

Which program do you recommend for? I’m going TACP, in the Air National Guard and currently waiting for ship dates. I coach at a Crossfit gym so I’m exposed to plenty of crossfit “WODs”. I’d like more of a program designed to improve My overall PAST, long distance run and ruck times. Thanks!

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I am a MTN Tactical monthly subscriber and I will be attending SFRE in 13 weeks. I have more than enough time to run the SFRE 7 week (I am leaning towards running the 8-week Ruck Based Selection program instead) and I’m wondering if there any other programs I should run for the five weeks prior?

Also, how come a lot of the selection programs don’t include some kind of direct periodized strength training? Not questioning you, just genuinely curious since programs I’ve run in the past (such as tactical barbell) have always included it.

Thanks for putting together such quality products and I hope to hear from you soon.

ANSWER

1. First 4 Weeks of Gratitude then take a full week off.
2. The focus of our specific selection programs are the specific events at selection. We’ll use the prior plans in the packets to build overall strength – but not spend time in the selection programs training strength but will focus on the fitness demands of the events – Gate PFT, work capacity in team events, endurance (run, ruck, swim). Selections are stamina/endurance events.
The first version of our RBSTP (8 or so years ago) included barbell work, but as I’m learned more and my programming has evolved/improved, the focus has narrowed to selection events.
– Rob

QUESTION

I love your leg blasters as my alpine and skiing legs workout. Easy to see and follow a progression. I started with only 5 mini leg blasters building to 10 full leg blasters. A killer workout.
Do you have an upper body equivalent? Arm blasters? 😉
A set of exercises like push ups, pull ups, overhead presses etc that strengthen climbers’ arms and shoulders but also work antagonistic muscles to prevent climbers’ injury?
I appreciate any suggestions.
Thanks!

ANSWER

That’s awesome! 10x Full Leg Blasters is no joke. Most I’ve worked up to was 8! You’re a badass!!
Arms? Options:
1) Prisoner Circuit – start at 5 rounds and work up to 10 …
3/5x Pull Ups
7/10x Push Ups
10/15x Bench Dips
Work up to 4 Rounds holding 5# plates
Work up to 6 Rounds with a 45# barbell …. you may need to start with a 15# barbell or 10# Dumbbells.
– Rob

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