Q&A 3.23.17

QUESTION

Rob, I am a 44yo firefighter that has been enjoying the big cat programs for the past 6 mos. I just finished lion. I wanted to take a break from the barbell work and was looking into different bodyweight programs. Should I stay in the big cat program and do panther? I was interested in the humility program but didn’t know if rucking and the long distance running was applicable to the fire ground. Thank you for time.

ANSWER

Humility will transfer good enough and give you a break from the barbell. Enjoy.

– Rob


QUESTION

Rob,

Touching base to get your input on what plan I should hit next.  In the last 4-5 months, I’ve done Bodyweight Foundation followed by Dryland Ski, w/ great results.  FYI, I’ll be  49 in July & weigh in at 210 (on my way to 200).

For the last couple of months, I’ve been doing in season ski maintenance w/ run improvement layered in as I haven’t been skiing as much as I had hoped.  This of course sucks given the epic season, but hey, responsibilities are responsibilities.  I’ve picked up a bit of a calf/achilles strain which is I’m thinking it would be good to back away from double horizontal hops for a bit.

Also, I’m planning a Whitney climb this summer & plan on doing Peak Bagger six weeks out from that trip.  What plan would you recommend for me these next few months? BTW, I’ll mention that I’ve tried Big 24 twice & haven’t been able to make it out of the second week.  My shoulder simply doesn’t like heavy hang cleans so no sense in continuing to piss it off. 

I appreciate your support & guidance.

Regards,

ANSWER

Strength for sure … Big 24 with exercises that work for you, or one of out other strength plans. If you can bench, Super Squat Strength (http://mtntactical.com/shop/super-squat-strength/) is pretty awesome. 

But you should drop volume some and get under a barbell – strength will help with durability and give you a mental break before Peak Bagger.

– Rob


QUESTION

Rob, 

What does your cheat day meals look like? I need a baseline on how to cheat like a motherf.

ANSWER
A couple months ago I finished Whole 30 diet and have actually moved away from a cheat day … but before, my weakness was bread!  

Breakfast would be toast, butter and honey. Yum!! 

Lunch – a big sandwhich on heavy wheat bread. 

Booze? We have a couple convenience stores which sell alcoholic slushies. My favorite is strawberry lemonade with Vodka.  I’m a total lightweight, and one of these and I’m pretty much hammered and ready for bed. 

Desert? A big bowel of granola with yogurt or milk. Sometimes ice cream. 

But again, you can eat anything you want on your cheat day. What you’ll find is when you do, you don’t feel good – not guilt, but your stomach. Over time, your cheat days will decline in decadence, unfortunately – because eating bunches of carbs and sugar upsets your stomach.

– Rob


QUESTION

Hey there

Im overseas right now and I have been doing Starting Strength as it came recommended from a friend.  Im a about 6 or so weeks into it and I realize that its good for strength but not for fitness in relation to the military. My questiom has 2 parts. One , should I try and finish a 12 week cycle with Starting Strength to get a foundation or should I start looking into different programs now? And two, do you have a recommendation for a plan when I do get to that point? We dont have much of a gym and for running tread mills are as good as it gets.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you transition over now to Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/

Fortitude trains heavy strength in the gym, concurrently with military endurance (running/rucking). It also includes one day of hard work capacity. 

– Rob


QUESTION

I’m finishing week 5 of bodyweight foundations and looking for advice on which plan to start next. My hunting partner and I are planning on doing a train to hunt (TTH) competition on June 3rd as a goal to start getting prepared for a wilderness back pack hunt in late October. 

The fitness portion of the TTH competition consists of 5 stations that start with 10 reps of a movement (sandbag getups, burpees, weighted step ups, etc.), then a 300 yard run, followed by shooting one arrow. The final portion consists of a 2 mile, 50 pound hike, with a couple more shooting stations. I have noticed that you point many folks towards Humility after completing Bodyweight foundations but your description of what the Ultimate Work Capacity plan prepares you for seems to make that plan a good fit for my short term goal. However, I’d really appreciate your insight on that question. 

If I did do Ultimate Work Capacity prior to TTH, I was planning on starting into Humility afterwards, moving towards the Big Game plan the weeks immediately prior to the hunt. Thanks for this great training resource. It has really helped me get my fitness on track 

ANSWER

Keep your focus on the hunting season and work back from there. You’re right in completing the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan directly before your season.

Moving into June, Humility is a great option. Another is Valor (http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/), also focuses on Work Capacity and includes hard ruck running intervals. Humility’s loaded runs are at 25# … Valor’s are at 45# – and will better prepare you for your event. Valor also has a significant gym-based work capacity element.

– Rob


QUESTION

Hey,

I just bought a subscription and was curious as to what programming would be suitable for an FPE type deployment, more focused on CPP, Mounted QRF etc. Would it be more useful to program for a Grey type role or Green? 

Much appreciated,

ANSWER

Green. You have to be prepared for the longer mission/infil or exfil. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Love and respect everything you. Your passion and critical analysis is great. Just wanted to make a few comments, with all due respect.

1) I completely agree with your thoughts on junk reps. Remember when people would do hundreds of situps and pushups? It got to be ridiculous. Great for mental toughness, but not great for your body. So yeah, we need to weed out junk reps. That got me to thinking about some stretches that you throw into the middle of your workout plans. I don’t like that type of stretching. I’d rather just collect my thoughts and rest for a moment. Is it possible that tossing in a stretch between sets is “junk stretching?” Stretching is great, but I personally get more benefit doing a slightly longer more focused session before bedtime or right when I wake up. Lots of benefit in stretching, as I feel more balanced, more symmetrical, more able to get into different positions. Wondering what you thought about keeping stretching separate from strength and cardio building and doing it in a way that doesn’t feel like filler.

2) Although it is true that the mountain doesn’t care, it is also true that one day we will all probably be 70. Performance athletes do need to perform, but it is still important to think about longevity. I’ve had the back surgery, the torn meniscus, and am on the back side of 50. Some of the rhetoric coming from young super athletes seems to create a needless paradigm of “great performance now and who cares if I’m in a wheelchair later.” A better approach may be “maximum performance now, AND maximum performance later.” Tom Brady jumps to mind, playing pro football at a high level for a long time. Is it worth thinking about high performance over time vs. get to the top of Denali right now, damn the consequences? Maybe we should look for a way to climb Denali now and still be active and relatively pain free later?

3) Also, I laughed out loud at you trying to sneak a peak at the clock as you exercised. Thanks for all you do.

ANSWER

1) It’s been my experience that most men will skip stretching all together if we don’t integrate it into the circuits. My thoughts on this are continuously evlovling but we are again working on a “mobility” standards of our own which may bring clarity.

2) Not sure you’re point here, but it’s safe to say Brady is an outlier. More interesting may be to look at the pro hockey players into their 40’s. Back to Brady, my sense is over the years his mental game has improved to a point where it’s overcome/made up for the natural declines in his physical game. I’m not sure he’s where he was strength and other wise now compared to 24 yrs. old, but he’s far ahead on the mental side. From a tactical perspective, durability when you’re 35 doesn’t matter that much if you can’t get out of a bullet’s way when your 25. Same is true for Denali. Durability doesn’t matter at 70 if you physically couldn’t escape the wind and cold at 25 and died on the mountain. 

Even more broad, it would be interesting to compare 60 year old mountain guides/carpenters/linesmen and other “industrial athletes” to 60 year old white collar cubicle workers for current health across a broad spread of measures. Certainly the guides have “beat” up their bodies in a narrow sense, but one could argue decades of sitting isn’t good for you either. 

There’s just lots of different ways to think about it….

– R


QUESTION

I am a Marine currently at a training command trying to figure out a program that I can realistically accomplish, while still getting the training results I want.

Our schedule allows for limited amounts of personal physical training, set alongside physical training requirements and field exercises which obviously disrupt any programming I try to implement. The constraints I am working with are- no guarantee of gym time, limited time to train, and a frequently disrupted schedule.

Is there a particular program that you would recommend? The Greek Hero series was attractive, I am not sure how I would implement it.

I would appreciate any thoughts or advice you have.

Respectfully,

ANSWER

The plans in the Greek Hero require frequent access to a functional fitness gym, which leaves you with an equipment issue while in the field. 

Options: 

(1) Do Humility (http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/), which requires minimal equipment and you could do wherever….

(2) Do Humility in the field, and one of our strength plans, Super Squat Strength (http://mtntactical.com/shop/super-squat-strength/) when in garrison. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Hi Coach!

Thanks for all your awesome work. I’ve been following the site for years and I’m really loving it now more than ever.

I’m training up for the Tahoe 200 Endurance Run in September http://www.tahoe200.com/about/overview/, and was wondering what you might recommend as preparation.

The race is a non-stop 205 mile loop with a 100h cutoff and 35k feet of gain/descent over some occasionally rugged terrain, though nothing too technical. I’m thinking the Denali plan subbing the tire drag with running (Big Mountain V2 doesn’t seem to have enough running/mileage), followed by the 100 Mile Ultra plan, perhaps with some extra mileage on the weekends or one or two all day events.

Happy to provide more details if you have any questions. Excited to hear what you think, thanks for your time!

ANSWER

I don’t have a plan for you for that kind of distance and I’m not experienced designing a plan for something like that. I’m not sure if it’s something you can properly train for based on the normal/typical running programming … simply because you’d be running like 150 miles/week … I’m now sure you could endure that volume without over use … or time!

My guess is guys train for 100 miler’s then just suffer the last 75-50 miles … as if the first 100 isn’t enough suffering! 

If you were to supplement the 100-Mile Ultra plan, I’d push you to the Peak Bagger Training Plan, vice Big Mountain V2.

But better, I’d recommend finding a professional Ultra Running coach and getting a 200-mile specific plan.

– Rob


QUESTION

Sir,

                I am currently a senior at the United States Military Academy. My twin brother and I began your Ruck Based Selection Packet Plan in December to get ourselves in the best possible shape before we report to Infantry Basic Officer Leader’s Course (IBOLC) in late July, and then Ranger School in January of 2018.

                Unfortunately, I suffered an injury in my knees and had to stop the Humility program 5 weeks in (early January). The last two months I have tried to work around the injury, completing your Upper Body Round Robin plan, various operator workouts, returning to running for a few weeks prior to reinjury, and now I’m currently on week two of the Single Leg injury program. I have almost made a full recovery and anticipate returning to full exercise in the next couple weeks. However, due to the established report date for IBOLC I am now far behind in the program and would like to jump in during Phase 3 (Fortitude) so I can complete the last phase during IBOLC.

                I have a background in track and cross country from middle/high school, as well as 2 years of powerlifting experience from my first few years at the academy, so I’m not new to gym-based strength or running. However, it has been a few months since I’ve done any real LB weighted strength training, especially axial loading, so I think it may be in my best interest to prepare my body for the stress induced by the running, rucking, and heavy lifting characteristic of the later phases of the Ruck Based Selection Packet. Are there any programs you suggest for this Sir, or any other recommendations you may have? Thank you very much Sir, I really appreciate the help and I apologize for the lengthy email.

Very Respectfully,

ANSWER
You’re good with Fortitude … the loading will scale. The one change I would make is to complete the ruck running in the plan with 25# for the first 2 weeks, increase to 35# for weeks 3 and 4, and then bump up to 45# for weeks 5&6. 

Just be smart and listen to your body along the way – it’s okay to drop ruck run loading if needed.

– Rob 


QUESTION

Hello,

I am about to start Infantry Basic Officer Leaders course (IBOLC) soon. I will have free time in the afternoons and weekends to workout on my own when IBOLC begins and nearly all the days to myself until march 20th. I have been attempting to do the ranger school prep program while I have had free time but I am just not physically “there” yet in terms of being able to do the program with all of the rucking involved while still recovering enough to complete the next workout to satisfaction. I wanted to get your recommendation on a plan to improve physically as a future infantry officer looking to improve the most he can throughout IBOLC and then moving on to pass ranger school. My current weak points and my push ups (low 50s) and pull ups (can manage 4), in addition to just a generally weaker upper body compared to my lower body. Time to workout is somewhat of a concern but I can make time to get to the gym and have access to dumbells/kettlebells at home if need be as well as full TA-50.

I hope to hear back soon, thank you for putting out great products for us who need to work a little differently 

ANSWER

Pull back from the Ranger Plan, and go to work on Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

– Rob


QUESTION

Hello coach, hope all is well. After a successful trip trekking to everest base camp this past october ive signed on for my first big himalayan climb in october 2018. Im sure you are familiar with Amadablam given your athlete roster.

I wanted to discuss a plan that will start this spring and prep me for a month (august) in the tetons and carry thru into 2018 with a taper leading into the climb in october.

I know what it takes to get to the base of the mountain having spent a couple days there during my everest trek. What I need to be prepared for is the 8k feet of alpine above base camp.

Ive done a few of your programs in the past ( kettle bell, peak bagger, hypertrophy ) and have extensive experience in the tetons and other ranges.  Ideally the first portion preps me for august, grand in a day, crest trail, middle in a day etc. Im sure I can figure on my own but feel I need to take it to the next level for the Himalayas and would like to start sooner than later.

Will be arriving first week of august and will be in town until sept 9th.

The tentative plan was a GT in a day, possibly the crest trail,  lots of road cycling and paddle boarding. Will probably be doing a bunch of day hikes ( amphitheater, delta etc).

Let me know your thoughts, happy to jump on a call to discuss further.

Thanks for your time

ANSWER

I’ll be designing a Grand Traverse Plan this Spring, and would recommend you complete it directly before your trip here. It will likely be 8 weeks long (check back in May).

Between now and then, work through the plans in the Greek Heroine Mountain Base Packet: http://mtntactical.com/shop/greek-heroine-training-packet/

We’ll touch base again after August, but likely I’ll have you drop back into Mountain Base, and then complete our Denali Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/denali-training-plan/) directly before your climb.

– Rob


QUESTION

Hey Rob,

  Just curious if it’s advisable to mix RAT 6 and the ruck run improvement programs.

I’m training for Nijmegen in Holland with the Canadian Armed Forces. You’re required to ruck 180km in for days with 10kg. There’s only 9 spots and about 20 people gunning for those spots, so I’d like to kick some ass.

Thanks for your time

ANSWER

You could mix – by doing 2-a-days. Better would be to do the ruck-intensive SFOD-D Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/sfod-d-delta-selection-course-training-plan/) and decrease the prescribed ruck weight in the plan to 15kg.

– Rob


QUESTION

Hello Rob,

I’m 29 and just beginning the SFQC after completing SOCM. I just purchased a subscription and would like your advice regarding which plan to begin with. I have 7 weeks until I begin my next phase of training in the Q. My primary goal is to improve my rucking and overall strength, as well as some improvement or at least maintenance of pushups. I’ve been looking at Fortitude. Is there a way to incorporate pushups in Fortitude or do you recommend a different program? My distance running is strong. 

Thanks,

ANSWER

Valor (http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/) – the second plan in the Virtue Series, includes focused push up work, and will also push your rucking speed. I’d recommend it. 

– Rob


QUESTION

Hey,

I’m trying to determine the best plan for my given circumstances…

I am currently lifting 4 days per week, per Wendler 5/3/1, with

conditioning work and a Chassis Integrity workout on 2 additional

days, and 1 day of complete rest. I plan to continue this through a 12

hour GORUCK event in mid-April. I then have approximately 6 weeks

until a 2 week vacation, which will see extensive walking and a few

body weight workouts, but little else in terms of exercise. I will

then have approximately 4 weeks before a back-to-back GORUCK Heavy,

Tough, and Light (24 hours, 12 hours, 6 hours, respectively) the

weekend of July 4th.

Based on that, should I use the Heavy training plan and somehow scale

up volume, the Ruck Based Selection program, or something else

entirely? How do I best adapt the ideal plan to my schedule?

Thank You!

ANSWER

I’d recommend you move now to the GoRuck Challenge Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/goruck-challenge-training-plan/

After that event, move to the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-plan-v5/

Take your 2 weeks off, then finish the last 4 weeks of the RBSTP … you’re repeat weeks 5&6. 

Even better, skip totally the Heavy, Tough and Light GoRuck events, and do a real adventure that first week in July – 7 days – …. traverse the Wind River Range in Wyoming following the Highline Trail from Big Sandy to Green River Lakes (60 miles), over the course of a week. Bring your fishing pole. Drive to Pinedale, Wyoming and arrange a shuttle with the Great Outdoor Shop. 

The mosquitos will be out with a vengence, so bring a head net and some deet. 

You could do it faster, but you’ll want to take your time and enjoy. 

It is hard to describe how awesome this will be. Let me know if you’re game and I’ll send you a proven gear list. 

– R


QUESTION

Hey Rob,

I have a general strength question . I have been following your strength programs for over a year and made significant gains. I began with ultimate meat head then did strength & honor, 357 then big 24.

Prior to the strength push I did about 6 months of operator sessions. My goal is to meet or exceed your relative strength standards, I’m still short on all of the lifts. Here are my stats:

 I’m 6’2 202 lbs 10% body fat (according to the box pod).

Bench 230
FS: 195
DL: 360
BS: 250
Sqt clean :  180
Push press: 180

I am 37 years old and have been in Army SOF for 18 & 1/2 years. I have always been a decent runner/rucker/good in full kit. I am still on a team and want to remain operational for many years to come.

Focusing on strength as opposed to endurance or crossfit style suffer-fests for the past year has made me feel amazing .

As I said before I want to meet the relative strength standards but I need to maintain my “green fitness”.

What plan do you recommend I take on next?

Thanks !

ANSWER

Move to our most recent evolution of Fluid Periodization for military athletes and a plan from our Green Hero series, Apollo: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-apollo/

– Rob


QUESTION

Hello Rob,

Hope all is well. Big fan. Just wanted to ask you a couple of questions. Im a career firefighter here in Canada and im looking to do a GORUCK tough in July. So 12 hrs around 15 to 20 miles. Just wondering what plans I should follow to develop my PT numbers and Rucking ability. Im completly new to it. 

Also I was wondering if your planning on releasing any online knowledge courses. Id love to learn to program the way MTI does and bring it to the guys in the hall. 

Have a great day, Thanks,

ANSWER

I’d recommend our GoRuck Heavy Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/goruck-heavy-training-plan/) for your GoRuck event.

We are currently building out our online programming courses, and actually finished 3x last week. Here’s the latest selection: http://mtntactical.com/product-category/programming-courses/online-courses/

– Rob


QUESTION

Coach,

I’m a Firefighter/SWAT Medic and I just started back practicing ju jitsu.  What plan do you offer that would help both in my fire career and in ju jitsu?

Best Regards,

ANSWER

You’re like the 50th guy who’s asked, so I’ve finally broken down and we’re actually building a Ju Jitsu conditioning plan right now. It should be out this coming week or the next. 

We’ll announce it in our weekly newsletter, “Beta” (sign up here if you’d like: http://mtntactical.com/betasignupemail) … or email back next week.

– Rob


QUESTION

I am a 51 year old recently retired Cop.  I am probably 10-12 pounds over weight…..too much retired fun.  Currently I have be doing the Gun series….in the middle of Glock now.  Some stuff I scale down a little.

Any way, at the end of June they are doing a LE memorial hike to support fallen guys and their families.  12000 ft peak.  Sorry I don’t have the starting elevation or the total up distance, but the town is at 9000.

Looking of r some guidance on a plan or two to work on leading up to the hike.  Will be in Flagstaff so warm weather and only load I carry will be snacks and water for the wife and I.

Take care

ANSWER

6 Weeks out do the Peak Bagger Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/peak-bagger-training-plan/

This plan is perfect for your trip.

– Rob


QUESTION

If i purchase a plan, does it come in a book or is it a pdf.

ANSWER

Neither, 

Access to the training plans is online via a login/password.

– Rob


QUESTION

I have FBI Special Agent test in the next 3-4 months. How effective is the training plan if followed correctly? Also, how do I access the plan? Is there an app so I can follow on my phone or do I have to print off the plan to follow along during my workout? 

Thank you for your time,

ANSWER

We generally see 15-40% athlete improvement with our PFT plans – and much depends upon the athlete’s incoming fitness. The more fit coming in, the less improvement. 

Access is online.

– Rob


QUESTION

I purchased a monthly subscription to MTI. I take my FBI SA PFT in June. I have two questions. 

1. If I do the FBI SA PFT Prep, can I lift weights while doing the prep?

2. If I wait to do the FBI SA PFT Prep close to May, what program do you recommend I perform until then?

Thanks,

ANSWER

1. Yes, but you won’t see the gains you would on your PFT score if you didn’t do extra. 

2. Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

– Rob

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