Q&A 3.21.19

QUESTION

I am a 51 yr old former Green Beret with 21 years at Group and 27 years of service.  I have always been bigger and stronger with most of my focus on a bodybuilding type workout routine.  I have been out of any regular fitness routine for a few years. I am 6’ tall and weigh about 265 lbs.  Right after SFAS I was about 230 lbs to give you an idea of my frame.  I was pretty lean at that time.

I am currently working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and am looking at something a little more exciting.  A contracting company has done a background check and granted me a Clearance for some overseas work.  They are running a Tryout course in June that includes a 1.5 mile run, Pushups, Situps, a dummy drag, and marksmanship with the M4 and Glock 17.  I want to train for and do well at this event.  Concurrently, the  Colorado Springs Police Department is hiring and the Academy will take place after the tryout in June.  I want to apply to both to have options.

ANSWER

4.25 months – 18 weeks. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks     Plan
1-6           Bodyweight Foundation
7-12         SF45 Bravo – Plan designed for Tactical Athletes ages 45-55, will get you back in the weight room, and includes endurance – 1st 5 Weeks
12-18       DEA PTT Training Plan – this plan includes push ups, sit ups, 1.5 mile run and a 300m sprint – Perfect for your tryout
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m 24 years old and 6′ 1″ medium build if that makes a difference for what you recomend . First of all I really like MTI and what they do. Also like to read articles over lunch break that you post on Facebook.
    My absolute passion is tournament archery and would go to any length to become successful.  I practice every day for 3 hours and hit the gym for an hour most days . I work a pretty hectic job with very long hours 12 and up most days. I just simply don’t have enough time, I need to start working smarter . I feel like I’m very well above average as far as physical ability to shoot.  ( sounds like a proud statement, which I dont like to make but it’s all a result of having exceptional coaching) any how I need to get better mentally! On tournament day we train to go on auto pilot with a well guided shot plan and from there it’s all mental . I have a real focus problem when the pressure is on. When I am doing well.People start to congratulate me, and I get happy with how I did and let off the gas. Always holds me back from first place. Maybe I just don’t want it bad enough yet. I’m really hoping you have a workout plan for me. I also go backpacking every year for elk so it would be nice if I could build off of the plan close to elk season. I also really enjoy running half marathons when I can.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

ANSWER

You’re all over the place in your note. I don’t have a mental endurance training plan for you – our focus in on physical fitness.
In terms of fitness programming, I’d recommend the plans/order in the Wilderness Packet of plans designed for wilderness professionals – game wardens, forest rangers, etc. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (functional mid section) and mountain endurance – trail running, running, uphill hiking under load.
Start with the first plan in the packet, Jedediah Smith.
Eight weeks directly before your hunting season start date, drop out of the Wilderness Packet Plans and drop into the Backcountry Big Game Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have to do the Inka trail on August. I would like to find a program that could help me into the preparation… What do you think about?

ANSWER

Start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, then move to the plans/order in the Greek Heroine Plan which are designed as day-to-day programming for mountain athletes.
6 weeks out from your trip complete the Backpacking Pre-Season Training Plan.

QUESTION

I’ve been following the fire rescue series for awhile now and I am in the midst of switching gyms.  While I had the space at my old gym for the shuttle runs and TAC SEPA drills, my new gym does not have the space available.  It’s fine when I’m on shift as I just use the bay floor.  Do you have recommendations for other exercises to do in place of the shuttle runs and TAC SEPA drills when space is not available?
My other questions are in regard to integrated sport specific training.  I am an avid ice climber.  What are your thoughts on integrating some of the sport specific training (such as arm locks offs and figure 4s) into the Fire/Rescue program? Would this be too much?
Thanks for all your work in developing these programs.  The fire rescue program has been the most enjoyable and challenging program I’ve undertaken.

ANSWER

I don’t have a sub for you to replace the Tactical Agility work. These are not fitness events – they train agility, so I can’t tell you to do a bunch of burpees and achieve the training intent. Do your best.
Ice climbing? – because it’s so grip strength intensive – you can double up with your tactical fitness programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m 53 year old military guy who has been out of the game a bit because I have been strapped to a desk.

I am 6’3” and 208 right now but I need to trim some weight. I have had some injuries and not much cartilage in my left need and a fair amount of titanium in my neck.

I would like to trim about 8-10 pounds and increase my strength.

I can still do about 55 pushups, 80 curl ups and 11:45 1.5 run. Bench at 215, deadlift at 335, I lose it with my grip strength from issues from my neck.
I have pretty good arthritis in my hips so I like Kettlebell squats and can do double 70’s for sets of 15 reps. Back squats are problematic
I just played around these past few days is how I came up with these numbers

I have a cage, bumpers, kettlebells, sandbags, battle ropes, mace bells at home.

Ideas on a good plan to start?

ANSWER

Our SF45 Programming is designed for tactical athletes ages 45-55, and in general, this is the programming I’d recommend for you.
The programming works to avoid some of the hard work capacity stuff, is a little smarter on the strength side, and has a greater endurance element …. the goal here to cut some mass and add variety.
For you, I’d recommend SF45 Bravo.
My only concern here is the endurance in the programming – specifically running. It’s a little unclear with your hip arthritis if running is an issue for you. If so, bike/spin, swim, or whatever to get in the endurance.
This plan has you in the gym lifting 2 days/week, which is plenty for guys our age (I’m 50).
– Rob

QUESTION

I came across your 2-mile improvement plan but I am also looking to improve my pull-up and push-up max as well. I see that there are both of those in the 2-mile improvement, but was wondering if it would be beneficial to combine that plan with the 3 week push-up/ pull-up improvement.

ANSWER

You could purchase the APFT Training Plan, and save some money. It includes focused work for the 2-mile, and also a push up and sit up progression. You could do a max pull up assessment on Day 1 and follow the same progression as the pull ups.
This is what I’d recommend.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering if you could recommend a plan progression for my situation.
-I currently have a pulled hamstring and won’t be able to do lower body work for 2-3 weeks.
-I haven’t done cardio or calisthenics in a while because I’ve been lifting all winter.
-I will start TBS in Quantico in September.
Goals: Get back into running shape, be ready for USMC PFT/CFT, Rucking, O-Course and E-Course, improve overall fitness for USMC schools.
I am looking for a progression of plans that will last me from March through the end of August, ideally starting with something like the bodyweight foundation plan and including/ending with the TBS Prep plan.
Thank you so much for your consideration, I plan on buying whatever plans you recommend.

ANSWER

By my count you have 27 weeks until Sept. 1, 2019. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks   Plan
1-3         Leg Injury Training Plan
4-10       Humility
11-17     Fortitude
18-20     Valor (1st 3 Weeks)
21          Total Rest
– Rob

QUESTION

I have Hoka One One running shoes that I use just for running. I notice you recommend the Adidas weightlifting shoes. Do you or any of your guys have a recommendation for a shoe that is good for your workouts? I need something for the strength work, shuttle runs and TAC SEPA, box jumps, and occasional 200s and maybe 400s.

ANSWER

Any of the Reebok CrossFit or Nike Metcon shoes will work. I personally like Salomon Speedcross.
– Rob

QUESTION

What are your thoughts on hex bar (trap bar, diamond bar) deadlifts?
Just as good at training the posterior chain as box squats?
Thanks for your thoughts,

ANSWER

We gave our trap bars to the local high school – just didn’t use them. Between the hinge lift, box squat and walking lunges – I feel the posterior chain (low back, butt, hamstrings) gets plenty of work without the need for a piece of equipment that will not see lots of use.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking to start a training plan to better prepare myself for a new position as an Outdoor Recreation Guide in Yosemite National Park. I was referred to you by a friend who commended on how well your programs are and how they stand out compared to any other training program they have participated in.
The hired position I will be starting will begin this April. It will include leading groups on varying trips ranging from 10-20+ miles of biking, two day 30 mile backpacking trips, and multiple day hikes throughout Yosemite.

ANSWER

I recently built a set of training plans for Wilderness Professionals – game wardens, forest rangers, field biologists, etc. – and this where I’d send you.
I’d recommend Jedediah Smith – the first plan in the series.
– Rob

QUESTION

In your recent Q & A you recommended Ultimate Work Capacity to a guy looking to slim down.  I’m in the same boat and about the same size, 6’1 and 220. I was down to 214 before the holidays but I lost some ground. Right now my routine for the week is this: 4 MTI workouts like Whiskey, 1 run of 3-4 miles, 1 bike ride of 12 miles, and 1 evening of several games of full court basketball. I’m back to eating clean as delineated in your guidelines.

So I have several questions if I go to the Ultimate Work Capacity program. The only strength components I really don’t want to lose are bench and pull ups. Can I mix in bench and pull ups or bench and dumbbell rows with the UWC program? If so, what would you recommend?  Should I drop the bike ride or basketball? I would prefer to keep at least the basketball. Thank you for all your wisdom and guidance.

ANSWER

Lots going on there.
Quick answer is I don’t generally recommend adding extra work to our programs – including ultimate work capacity. If you’re doing this plan to cut weight, focus on that for 6 weeks, then move back to strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am just finishing up week two of Body Weight Foundation.  My plan is to roll directly from there into the Body Weight Build program followed by the Three Stooges kettle bell plans, and then onto the sandbag plans.  I see on limited equipment packet you have a one week rest after the Body Weight Foundation.
   Would you recommend I take a rest between the first two?
    Does the progression of plans above make sense or would you recommend a different progression.  I have access to a essentially a hotel gym that has most of what I need.  The base gym is far to packed for me to be able to do the workout there during the time I have available to workout.
   If so, when the plan says rest, is it total rest or short slow runs or swimming?  I have read it on your site before but I’m having trouble finding it again.
    As I leave the BWF to move to the BWB are there numbers I should be hitting in my final assessment?  Looking at it, I believe I’ll be able to finish the workouts, it just might take me a bit longer, which I’m fine with.
   Last question, as I’m doing the longer runs at “easy per mile pace” I’m noticing that I’m running faster than that pace.  Should I just go with it or is the purpose to recover and I need to slow down?
    Thanks for the plans and sorry for so many questions.

ANSWER

1. Yes
2. I’d mix it up – Bodyweight Foundation to Moe, to Sandbag Ethos, to Bodweight Build, etc.
3. Generally total rest, but just be smart and watch for overtraining
4. I depends upon your fitness coming in. Unfit athletes should look for a 20% improvement. Fit athletes coming should look for a 5-10% improvement.
5. Slow down.
– Rob

QUESTION

My conditioning is not what it used to be. What plan would you recommend to improve endurance over land run/ruck and strength endurance? I’ve been doing strength based workouts for a few years while in the FD and I’ve lost my speed.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Question for you from an unfit Sailor. Have worked in an office environment for 4+ years with zero unit PT and am mid 20s, weigh 250 on bad days, and have done bike instead of run PRTs for the last two years. Did a 5k in 35min late January; I was trying to avoid re-fracturing a foot that healed as of November but I bet my “all-out” pace would’ve been no faster than 31min. I’m out in January 2020 and want to be below Army body weight (203 pounds) and within APFT standards, hopefully scoring well, by then.
I’ve been doing the “Couch to 5k program” on a treadmill @1%, 6.0 mph, into week 4 of that right now. When I achieve 3-5 30 minute runs a week without injury at that pace I’m planning to start working on speed and adding in “brick and mortar” real running, probably 800s and mile repeats, eventually replacing all the treadmill work.
I do different submaximal pushup and situp arrangements 3-5 days a week, 4-6 sets of 20-50% of last week’s rep max, usually around 80-120 reps a session.
Obviously bodyweight is 99% diet. Otherwise, what would your prescription be to make this goal?
Thank you!

ANSWER

I’m not sure your question, but based on where you are now from our programming I’d recommend the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan to start – it includes running.
– Rob

QUESTION

Two questions…

  1. In your nutrition plan, which I follow, doing well with it too…  Thoughts about unsweetened almond milk?
  2. Have you considered using heartrate to determine effort for your running instead of just a pace?
  3. Why sweet potatoes?  I understand why potatoes are not allowed but why sweet potatoes?

Ok, maybe three questions

ANSWER

1. Okay
2. Yes … but most don’t have heart rate monitors and everyone with a smartphone has a timer.
3. I’m not a nutritional expert and generally don’t get into arguments with folks over food. I’d recommend reading “Why We Get Fat”
– Rob

QUESTION

Im currently in first week of ultimate meathead training plan and enjoying it. I know it requires 4 days on 3 days rest. I am doing it M- Th and wondering what physical activity i could do on days off without hindering my recovery time. Im also asking your advice as to a good training plan to go into after the ultimate meathead and how much time i should take off between plans. Im interested in increasing my strength/mass while staying fully functional. Im a 44 year old retired Marine and im currently working as a HITT gym trainer aboard Marine Base Camp Lejeune while studying for my bachelor’s degree in healthcare management. Your response/advice would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

You could add in a 3-5 mile moderate paced run on Friday or Saturday.
After Ultimate Meathead, I’d recommend you drop into the plans/order in the Country Singer Packet 1.
These are multi-modal base fitness training plans for civilian athletes and concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance, and chassis integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION

How can I work up to ACFT Leg Tucks, I couldn’t even do 1, but I can max Sit-ups.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Hi, I recently joined MTN Tactical with the athlete subscription. I am current law enforcement, in okay shape (relative to the law enforcement community). I am running about a 11:05 1.5 mile and a half. Running further than 1.5 miles and it seems that I start getting shin splints. My goal is to join the Army Special Forces in about a year or so. Where do I start? I see that you have a few various plans surrounding SF prep. Thanks for the help.

ANSWER

Plans and order in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet.  – Starting with the Military OnRamp Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have two goals.  The first is losing weight and gaining the strength needed for my job as a tree climber / arborist which entails vertical climbing in trees with rope assistance in certain situations. The second is a trail marathon in September over a course with significant elevation changes. Currently at a beginner level of physical fitness. Which plan, plans, or subscription is recommended. I can get access to equipment needed.

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting with the the plans/order in the Wilderness Packet for wilderness professional – game wardens, forest rangers, etc. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core) and mountain endurance (trail running, uphill hiking under load). Start with Jedediah Smith.
8 weeks out from your trail marathon, switch to the Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan. This plan will prepare you for a marathon-distance trail run.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just rolling off of Waylon and looking for my next plan.

I’m 8 weeks out from my 3 day coastal sea kayak instructor training, which means lots of time hauling 250 lbs of soaked dry suit / pfd / helmet in and out of a kayak during rescue simulations and practice in dynamic conditions. We’ll also be paddling 7-12 miles per day over 3 days including moderate surf.

Looking to add a bit of base endurance and if possible short bursts of max heart rate effort that resemble beach launch during surf and combat landings on dumpy beaches (think of going from a seated position to dragging a 60 lb boat up a sandy landing in heavy wet gear at “speed”).

Extra points for core building where upper and lower body unite as one.

ANSWER

Good luck on your course!
– Rob

 

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