Q&A 3.25.21

QUESTION

Rob- great article–  I’m a longtime competitive powerlifter who is solely focused on rock climbing for past few years and going forward.  5’7 and “down” to 180 with pretty low body fat (competed at 220 and 242).  Any suggestions on how to atrophy muscle for these last 20 lbs or so?  If you do phone consultations I’d be interested.  Thank you Sir.

ANSWER

All I could suggest is stopping all strength training – including bodyweight, significantly increasing endurance (do a triathlon plan) and significantly reduce protein from your diet (one serving day). Try it for 8 weeks and see what happens. Avoid fruit to avoid sugar … so you’ll pretty much live on salads for 2 months.
Sorry – no on the phone at this time.
– Rob

QUESTION

Working my way through the Spirit plans right now.
Question I would like to ask is how would you recommend integrating fitness assessments into my training? There are 3 listed for law enforcement – patrol/detective and i was thinking about 1 per month, just to test myself. However I would defer to you on that.
Thank you in advance sir.

ANSWER

I’d recommend taking a full week for an assessment week …
Do strength Monday, Work Capacity Wednesday, and All Around on Friday.
Rest Tue & Thur.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been following your leg injury training plan since breaking my right ankle and needing surgery. My diet kind of fell apart during that time due to me running out of groceries, not being able to drive, and door dashing everything. After the leg injury rehab plan I plan on going back into the big cat series for fire/rescue. I also plan on seeing if my ankle can handle jiu jitsu again. So my question is..is there any modifications you would make the your recommended diet if I’m pulling 2 a days sometimes doing the big cat series in the morning and training BJJ at night? My rest days are during my shift since I pull a 2 day 48 hour shift once per week.

ANSWER

There’s no caloric restriction on the diet so you can eat if you’re hungry, you just can’t eat sugar and bad carbs.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have applied for the Fire Service and have passed the CPAT but have not yet been hired nor do I have specific dates of when the fire academy will be starting. The dates for the academy could be as early as May 2021 and as late as January 2022 if I even land a job this year. I have looked into your Fire/Rescue On-Ramp training plan and your FIre Academy Training Plan, however, with the unknown time frames of when I will get a job and/or start the fire academy, coupled with minimal equipment while working out at home, I was hoping you could offer some advice regarding the best use of my time to prepare for beginning a career in the Fire Service.
A bit of background for you: The last 18 months I have been working a sedentary desk job and have all but ceased any physical activity. Prior to that I  worked as a seasonal mountain guide/instructor here in Washington State for 6 seasons. Previous to guiding, I worked for 3 seasons as a wildland firefighter.  I feel that my fitness has deteriorated significantly over the last 18 months due to my sedentary change of life.  My training background has been sporadic but has included several stints of programmed training plans specific to goals such as guiding on Denali. Additionally, I am turning 40 this year. I am looking to feel strong and durable and to be able to compete with recruits close to half my age.
Please let me know if you need any further information. I look forward to your response and recommendations.

ANSWER

Start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, then drop into the plans/order in the Great Plains Tribe packet of limited equipment plans until you get a Fire Academy date.
Prior to Fire Academy, complete the Fire Academy Training Plan.
Finally, fix your diet. Here are our recommendations.
– Rob

QUESTION

I purchased the 1.5 mile program and I’m curious if you have anything about breathing techniques ?

ANSWER

Not on breathing, but yes on running technique. Research/google POSE Running or Chi Running.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a firefighter in Brazil and I’m so excited about start following a Mountain Tactical Plan.

But I have some issues: I had COVID-19 this year (January) and had thrombosis in 2018. Today, I’m overweighted too.

I need a plan to lose fat and gain strength.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question that build off the nutritional guidance:

What are some good in between meal snacks that you’ve found to be good/beneficial? I’ve been struggling to find good protein bars without the added sugars.

ANSWER

Salami and hard cheese.
Avoid bars and carbs.
– Rob

QUESTION

So i am i going to Mountain Warfare in August 2022 and Ranger April 2023..

I wanted to start the Ranger Packet (10 months) in May 2022 in oder to finish it by my report date. But what should i do since i got Mountain Warfare in the way? Should i just stop doing the Ranger trainimg 6 weeks prior Mountain School so i could start the mountain training? Or should I just do the ranger training if you think that will get me ready for Mountain too?

ANSWER

Stop the Ranger Training 6 prior to Mountain School and complete the Mountain Warfare School Training Plan before your school. After, drop back into the Ranger Packet programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

The programming on the plan is easy to follow and seems to be working.  I just completed my third progress test and have made significant improvements over the past four weeks.  Below are my numbers:
Week 1 – Sit-ups 36, 300M run 1:15, push-ups 40, 1.5 mile run 16:28
Week 3 – Sit-ups 38, 300M run 60 seconds, push-ups 50, 1.5 mile run 15:10
Week 5 – Sit-ups 39, 300M run 54 seconds, push-ups 55, 1.5 mile run 14:02
My PTT for DEA is scheduled for 2 weeks from today.  I am confident that hard work the next two weeks will allow me to pass, or be close enough that if I fail, I will easily pass the second attempt if I do a second round of the program.
Two questions I have:
1.  On the day of the test, how should I warm-up?
2.  With sit-ups not progressing as much as I would like, would there be any benefit to doing the sit-ups before push-ups in the training program (on the days that are focused on push-ups and sit-ups?)

ANSWER

– Complete the same warm up you’ve completed before the assessments in the plan.
– You should do them in the order you’ll do them at the assessment.
– Rob

QUESTION

Have you ever had any athletes not lose weight on the MTN tactical diet? Assuming they followed it correctly, what adjustments did they make to kick start it?

I’ve been on the MTN tactical diet for a little over 5 weeks and very proud of how well I’ve stuck to it. This morning my weight was exactly the same but I feel like I am losing SOME weight visually. Is this normal?

Typically I eat 3-5 eggs in the AM in the form of an omelet or scrambled w cheese and guac. Lunch is usually ground beef taco meat w guac and little if no cheese. And dinner is steak and a vegetable typically or some tubed kielbasa. Occasionally I’ll eat a Panera Cobb salad w olive oil instead of the regular dressing.

When not on cheat days I drink zero alcohol, and have zero starchy carbs and little nuts.  

Thanks again for your time.

ANSWER

Depends on ….
(1) Where you start. If you were lean before – you may not have had much fat to lose.
(2) Age – 40+ and you have to be more restrictive.
You? – Cut the cheat day, all cheese, nuts and all fruit except avocados, cucumbers and tomatoes.
– R

QUESTION

I was browsing through today and I was wonder what you would recommend. I am 10 years on active duty looking for a CrossFit style program that I can increase strength and conditioning and still be able to lose weight.

ANSWER

Weight loss is 95% diet – you can’t outwork a shitty diet. Here are our recommendations.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve actually run into a problem which hopefully you can help me with.
My goal is to pass selection for US Army Special Forces. I know there is a program already for that, and I want to get it so I can put in the right work to get there.
My issue is that I’m currently an assistant boxing coach, I’m on my university’s rugby team, and I began Kendo recently. As a boxing coach, I sometimes train with the students but some days I don’t. And as far as rugby and kendo, some days it’s more technical training than conditioning. And so far, I haven’t gotten quite the standards I’d like to be, so I want to do extra training.
Is it possible to use the program alongside my sports, without risking over-training? Or would I need to drop some sports in order to minimize injury and maximize performance progress?
Thank you very much for the resources and help. I really appreciate it.
Hope to hear from you soon.

ANSWER

No – the program is too intense.
What matters is how close you are for selection. If you’re years out, keep doing your sports, then drop them and shift your training as you get closer.
Now? – I’d recommend some solid strength training 3-4x week. From out stuff, Rat 6 Strength – do the strength work only.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been following MTI and subscribed to your emails for a while.

I got it reading through some of your programming you sent out to military guys back in the summer of 2009. It was on our work computers and I printed everything out. I have read through it and most of your “knowledge” articles on  the site. I have two questions for you:

1) You stated for military athletes the most important “group” to condition is legs and core.

Do you think it’s every beneficial to do add adaptive rest to workouts?

For example, at work I’m rarely resting standing up and walking around like I do at a gym. I’m either in a third world squat behind cover, on a knee in an awkward position behind cover, or sometimes prone.

My question is do you think it’s beneficial to add some sort of active rest like a third world squat into my rest cycles? When is it too much and overkill?

My second question is in the packet you mentioned that around ( I believe) 2011 there was gym opened in Virginia Beach that had ties to MTI.  Does this gym still exist? If so, could you send me a contact number #? I couldn’t find anything online which I know means it’s probably not out there. But I figured it’s worth asking.

I’ve been training by myself a lot and sometimes with some buddies from work. If not, due to your experience working with clients in VB is there a solid gym you’d recommend?

There are good CrossFit gyms I’ve been trying out, but I’m on the fence.

Thank you in advance for any inputs you have and for your time.

ANSWER

  1. No. This stuff is just not that complicated. All that matters is you get the reps at the prescribed load.
  2. No – there never was a gym in VB associated with us. I taught a programming course there and could have mentioned that.
– Rob

QUESTION

After much back-and-forth I’ve decided to try to go back to gymnastics as an adult, being a previous competitive gymnast. I’m curious about your thoughts if you have a program that fits the explosive development needed in gymnastics. I have been a devoted MTI athlete since 2014 but I haven’t quite found some thing that creates both bodyweight strength and explosiveness needed in gymnastics; think like aly Raisman type leg strength and power. Normally the body weight program is my go to, but it doesn’t have the explosiveNess and BW movements that gymnasts use regularly (unless I subbed lunges for jumping lunges etc).

Any recommendations? The one that seems the most fitting is the body weight build but still am not sure.

ANSWER

I don’t have a gymnastics plan, but am not sure you’d want to do much on the fitness side specific to gymnastics other than actually doing the activity – simply because of it’s intense demand.
If you’re not doing gymnastics now – then yes, Body Weight Build would be a solid strength endurance plan and help prepare you until you got started.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’d like your thoughts on which plan, or sequence of plans, to get going on.  Some background:

59 years old
Much better shape than avg 59 yr old, but no where near “race shape”.  5’8, 175, working on diet to get down into at least the mid-160s.  My aerobic run pace is about 10 min miles, although I bike much more than I run.
Spent my 40s in the triathlon world, with some powerlifting.
Last 10 years, consistent variety of strength work, less consistent biking, swimming, hiking.
Spent much of my younger days in the mountains, and now that I have more time, I’d like to hike and peak bag more, with future trips to the Tetons, Grand Canyon R-R, etc.
I’ve been walking uphill and rucking regularly, and it would be easy to focus on as that is a very specific training plan.
Problem is, at 59, I’ve how quickly strength leaves you if you aren’t consistently under iron, so I need to work that in as well.  I didn’t lift heavy all last summer or fall, so I’m working at getting the basic lifts up to bw-x standards.
Peak bagger program attractive as a focus on what I want to do this summer, which is hike a lot and work toward a multi year objectives of bigger peaks.
SF45 attractive and similar are attractive as an all around approach.
Thank you for your time!

ANSWER

MTI has two types of programming: (1) Base Fitness, and; (2) Event/Fitness-specific.
“Base Fitness” is more general than event/fitness-specific, but in MTI’s base fitness programming is tailored toward the sport/job of the athlete.
Given your mountain ambitions, I’d recommend the Greek Heroine Series as your Base Fitness, beginning with Helen. These plans are designed as day to day programming for multi-sport mountain athletes and concurrently train strength, work capacity, mountain endurance (run, uphill movement under load), chassis integrity (functional core), and rock climb fitness. Start with Helen.
Peak Bagger is an event-specific training plan, and designed to be completed in the weeks directly before a specific event – for example, directly before your Grand Teton climb.
– Rob

 

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