Q&A 3.3.22

QUESTION

I am a LEO out of Utah, but I am currently towards the end of the hiring process for the FBI. I have questions regarding which programs you would recommend for me and the order you believe would be most beneficial.
A little background with the FBI: I have not been told when the next class is or if I will have a slot in the next class. The last step I have in the hiring process is the PST, which has to be scheduled within 120 days of attending the academy. I believe the next class date will be sometime between March and June, which means if I am slotted for the class I will have my PST sometime between February and May.
I am also planning on joining SWAT and eventually selecting for HRT. Upon graduation from the academy which programs would you recommend to prepare for the rigors of selection?
I appreciate the great work you and your staff do. Thank you for your assistance.

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting with the FBI SA PFT Training Plan – which I assume is the “PST” you are referring to.
Do the whole plan now, then repeat the first 3 weeks directly before your pre-hire PFT.
After completing the PFT Plan, drop into the plans/order in the Spirits series, beginning with Whiskey. These are mission-direct plans designed as base fitness programming for LE Patrol/Detective.
Follow these until you have an academy date, then 7 weeks directly before the Academy, complete the FBI Academy Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking for a training plan to build strength. I am also a long distance runner and I know those 2 things don’t go well together but I’d like to gain muscle (10lbs +) and still run trails (I have a few races on the calendar), climb and long distance hike, if possible. I’ve used your programs in the past and was a lab rat for athletes over age 50 and I am dedicated to the process, just not sure what plan to use to get started.

ANSWER

The programming used to build strength and hypertrophy (mass) are different. It’s possible to build strength and train endurance. But hypertrophy and endurance are more difficult to combine. Also … adding 10 pounds of muscle will lead to slower running, hiking and harder climbing (like putting on a weight vest).
It is possible, and preferred, to add strength with minimal weight gain for this reason.
Your question is a little unclear ….
– If you’re looking to for a strength plan to complement your own endurance training, I’d recommend the In-Season Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes.
– If you’re looking for a plan which concurrently trains strength, endurance and chassis integrity, I’d recommend SF50 Alpha.
– If you still want to add mass, I’d recommend the Hypertrophy Plan for Skinny Guys, and following the hypertrophy sessions in this plan 2-3x week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been a MTI member for a number of years and love the programming. I’m about 2 years out from FBI HRT selection and am looking for a program to do in that time before I start the HRT prep program. I’d like to do something that maintains my fitness but also gives my body sometime to recover before I start ramping up again.

Any suggestions?

ANSWER

I’d recommend you complete the HRT Plan now, then take a week’s full rest, and drop into the plans and order in the Spirits Packet of plans for full time LE Patrol/Detective.
About a year out from your anticipated selection, repeat the HRT Plan or complete the DEVGRU Selection Training Plan, the take a week full rest and and drop into the plans/order in the Greek Hero Packet. Follow the Greek Hero plans until you’re 8 weeks out from selection, then repeat the HRT Plan directly before selection.
 – Rob

QUESTION

Thanks for the great programming, it has made a difference in my work and personal life. I finished the Resilience chassis program and have seen significant gains in my other lifts and overall fitness. I am currently working through the Ultimate Meathead, and am planning on the Ultimate Work Capacity for later this spring; what plan would be a good precursor to the Ultimate Work Capacity coming out of the Meathead? I’m a firefighter, mountain biker, hiker, and toddler wrangler, with access to a full gym. Thanks!

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I have a quick question, should the Off-season Strength Training for Endurance be done up to about late winter and then switch to Alpine Running plan just prior to getting into full blown summer in the mountains.

ANSWER

I’d recommend a plan between the two … Mountain Base Helen.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a 44 year old state trooper with over 25 years of service.  I was also a SWAT guy for 18 of those years.  For years I followed basically the football bigger faster stronger routine with miles of running thrown in for endurance work.  The last year or two I have dropped the running and focused on strength training exclusively doing sets of 5 reps only.  I have gotten fairly strong but also put on some weight.  Obviously my endurance is lacking as well.  I’ve been looking around and studying different programs for a few weeks now.  As you can imagine I have numerous issues from years of abusing my body.  I’m looking for something that raises my endurance and trims some fat.  I’m smart enough to know I will lose a lot of strength in the process.  You can’t have both.  What would you recommend?

ANSWER

SF40 Alpha to start.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question about building an aerobic base. I’m 46 and weigh 178, I’m continuing to lose weight down from 195, and will probably get down to the 160’s.

I’d like to run a 50 miler next year sometime. My aerobic base isn’t good, and I’ve have had some running injuries in the past. About 3 years ago I went to WOCS out of shape and injured with some Achilles issues, it got worse during WOCS and led to knee and hip issues most likely from over compensation and refusing to stop training. It’s has taken about 2 years for those issues to go away. During that time I went to several Drs and there was nothing significantly wrong with me. I went to a PT and it helped provide answers…muscle imbalances.

Now that I’m better I’ve been thinking about running again. Basically starting from scratch. I know I need a really good aerobic base and endurance to get into ultra running.

I was wondering what you thought about me doing the rucking improvement plan and then role into the running improvement plan for my initial start towards this goal.

My thought is that rucking will improve leg strength and give me an aerobic base and start putting miles on my legs while reducing some of the impact of running. Plus I’ve always enjoyed rucking, I always feel stronger and tighter after training with a ruck for some time.

Following the rucking plan I’d begin the running plan to develop the skill of running and help me decide if I like running enough to continue towards a bigger goal.

I know the only way to get better at running is to run.

1. Do you think this is a decent plan. After rucking improvement I’d role into running improvement starting at week one. I figure by the end of the running improvement plan I’d know if I had the skill/dedication/time to continue to work towards an ultra.

2. Do you think that the miles on my legs will carry over to running. Will the strength and endurance built from rucking apply to running after the plan.

This may sound like an obvious question and possibly a stupid one, but I haven’t been able to find any science based answer or studies from an endurance side, not a speed side, if that makes sense (ie. rucking speed doesn’t contribute to running speed or something like that).  It’s possible that I just don’t have a good understanding of endurance in general when it comes to seeing how modalities are interchangeable.

Any thoughts or insights would be great. I’d love to hear what your hypothesis of this scenario would be. I appreciate your time and availability for questions like this Rob.

ANSWER

Skip the rucking and just do the running improvement training plan. You’ll know earlier if a 50 miler is something you want to do.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am doing the Big 3 + 5 Mile Run Plan. I have been struggling hitting the prescribed maxes and run times with this plan. Jumping up 5% every single week in this plan has been tough and I am unable to keep up. As well, for the runs, hitting the threshold has been very difficult for me. I am writing to ask how much I should tailor down in order to meet the prescribed maxes and run times. My maxes are:
bench:305
squad:355
deadlift:435
5mile: 35:18
Currently I am on week 2 and I am worried I will not be making gains on this plan because I am unable to hit the target thresholds. How much, if any, should I scale down to see these improvements? And for the runs, should I run faster on my first two mile or my last? Or should I run a consistent pace throughout?

ANSWER

Strength? Increase the interval from 90 seconds to 2 minutes. See if you can make the loading with the extra rest.
Runs? It’s supposed to be a threshold pace. Do your best to make the prescribed pace. I’d assume your first run would be the fastest.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for a general strength and fitness program for a male who is 51 (me).  I lead a very active life of hiking and backcountry skiing.  I have completed your Backcountry ski prep program.  In the past I have enjoyed P90X and other Beachbody products.  I realize however that I might need to adapt my workouts to suit my age.  I am also looking for something new to help motivate me.  Any recommendations you might have would be appreciated.  Thanks.

ANSWER

Plans/Order in the SF50 Packet, beginning with SF50 Alpha.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve signed up for a 50km trail run in July and am planning on doing the ’50km Ultra Plan’. However, as I have some time before the 12 weeks for the plan I am keen to get my legs as strong as possible beforehand. I am in my early 40’s and  have done quite a bit of endurance stuff but over the last 2 years have moved more into the gym trying to increase my strength (which I would like to maintain as much as possible). My question is what would you recommend to do pre the 50km plan? I was thinking of getting my running mileage slowly up but wanted to maintain some time in the gym. Fitness is ok, knees a bit rusty and don’t handle squats so tend to hinge lift/lunge etc as much as possible.

ANSWER

– Adjust the depth of the back squat, or …. use a high box and do box squats – as needed for your knees.
– You can adjust up the moderate pace mileage in the plan to increase your mileage if you feel it’s appropriate.
– Rob

QUESTION

I had used one of your plans in the past and it worked very well for me. With that the next goal I want to tackle is the Murph Workout this July 4th. Regarding your work out plans, you do not offer a work out plan specifically designed for the Murph and  was wondering if that was something you can do for not only me but the others out there looking to push their limits. I hope this email finds you well.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

What is y’all’s take on stretching and mobility (basic stretches, soft tissue work, yoga, etc.) beyond what’s prescribed in the programming? Lots of options out there – GOWOD, The Ready State, etc. that offer daily maintenance protocols. Waste of time? Effective? I want to invest time and money in a manner that will maximize results.

ANSWER

No benefit performance-wise that we’ve seen or research has proven. I.e. – being more flexible doesn’t necessarily make you stronger, faster or more athletic.
Also – no proven benefit in terms of durability or injury prevention.
All that being said, some anecdotally swear by yoga, chiropractors, deep massage, ice baths, hot tubs, flexibility, mobility, etc. My response to them when they ask, like you, what I think about it is … “If it works for you, keep doing it.”  I will add that few I’ve known stick with this stuff for long – they either move on to the next thing, or just quit.
So – my suggestion to you is to try something and see if it works for you.
– Rob

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