Q&A 3.5.20

QUESTION

I am a new subscriber of the Athlete Subscription package and was wondering if I am able to do more than one plan at a time? As of right now, I have only started the Army APFT plan and would like to improve my rucking, swimming, and all-around fitness as well. If I were to do a ruck training plan, a swimming plan, and the APFT plan, would that screw up the progress timeline? Or would it just be better to stick to one plan? Please let me know and if you have any recommendations or tips.

ANSWER

Best not to combine plans. One that includes APFT work + pull ups, running, rucking and a little swimming is the Ranger School Training Plan. I’d recommend you do it, but drop the prescribed rucking distances by 50% of you’re just starting out.
If you don’t need to be focused on the APFT, and are interested in improving strength, work capacity, endurance (ruck, ruck, swim), chassis integrity (core) and tactical agility, I’d recommend Barbossa, the first plan in Pirate series for military SOF with water-based mission sets.
– Rob

QUESTION

What do you recommend/use for sand bag filler? I currently use pea gravel.
I’m wondering if there is a better option…Thanks!

ANSWER

We use rubber mulch … you can buy it from Home Depot or other garden stores. It’s cheap, and works well. For an 80# bag, using our bags, you have to combine the mulch and sand as the mulch is too bulky to stuff all 80# in. It does work well for 40 and 60# bags.
– Rob

QUESTION

In regards to the programming is with the RASP training plan are the time limits for the Saturday rucks time to complete the ruck, or minimum time under ruck?

ANSWER

From Week 1:

SESSION 6
Obj: Long Ruck

Ruck 8 miles over uneven, hilly terrain. Load: 35# ruck and

10# rubber rifle, sledge hammer or dumbbell.

1:40 hr Time Limit

– This means you have to complete the 8 miles in 1:40. It’s okay if you go faster. Don’t overthink it.

– Rob


QUESTION

I have purchased a couple of your programs. I am 61 years old, active as a mountain biker and snow skier, but have not been to the gym in awhile. I feel like I am losing muscle mass readily and would like to slow the inevitable down if possible and ideally bring some of that muscle back. Can you recommend a general, well rounded program to get me started down that road.
I have recommended you guys to many over the last couple of years.

ANSWER

If you want a multi-modal plan, I’d recommend SF45 Bravo, which trains strength 2x week, and also trains work capacity, endurance, and chassis integrity.
If you want to focus just on strength, I’d recommend the M/W/F sessions from MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan.
I’m assuming you know your way around a weight room and are familiar with basic barbell/free weight exercises. If not, do the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m training for Mt. Marathon in Alaska on July 4. I need a training plan for this 5K with 3K elevation gain.

Do you think cutting the intensity of the Alpine training plan in half would work for this type of race? It’s more than I need but I like the mix of running, mountain climbing and strength training.

ANSWER

Better would be the Ultra Running Pre-Season Training Plan and do all your long runs on trails with vertical gain/loss.
If not – the Alpine Running Plan as prescribed – but drop the weight for the 5-mile run and increase the distance to 7 miles. Do the long run on trails with plenty of vertical gain/loss.
– Rob

QUESTION

I intend to try out for National Guard SF. If training time isn’t an issue
(I plan on progressing through the APFT plan IOT to take my APFT, then move
into the Top 5, and then the Ruck Based Selection), is there a reason I
should use the SFRE versus Ruck Based Plan?

ANSWER

The plans are different because the events are different. SFRE is generally 2-3 days and SFAS is 2-3 weeks. You can use the RBSTP for both.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just started doing your Jaguar program after a pretty long layoff from the gym. After doing the TAC SEPA Box Jump Lap Complex, my knees are killing me. I cut the second round out for the workout because I could feel they were taking a beating towards the end of round 1. In your opinion, would it be better to simply keep the volume cut in half and let my knees get used to the training, then add it back in as I am getting used to the exercise,  or should I substitute another exercise to keep the volume up? I don’t have any existing knee problems but I am a big, 6’3 280lbs.

ANSWER

Options …. swap to the TAC SEPA Tactical Pro Agility Drill … or drop the size of the box to 8 or 12″.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am working through your hypertrophy for skinny guys and set to finish at the end of the week. As this is a 4 week program I’m obviously still a skinny guy.
What plan would you recommend I do next if my fitness goals for over the winter are to try and gain muscle mass?

ANSWER

This is the only plan we have that is solely focused on hypertrophy. My recommendation:
1) Roll right in and do another round of the Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys Plan which will be 8 weeks total.
2) Follow it up with 5 weeks of strength – specifically the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan.
3) Re-Do the Hypertrophy Plan (4 weeks)
You can roll right in and re-do the plan. Then after, focus on strength, then go back.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve already purchase the BJJ training plan (a few months ago) and was using it here and there.
I recently had my first competition and felt my strength and conditioning wasn’t up to par with my competitors (granted I didn’t really follow a S&C program leading up to it).
I want to avoid that happening again so I went back into the program details to see what, if anything, it said about competition prep.
I have 13 weeks until my next competition and the program seems to fit my schedule leading up to it (3 sessions per week, so the 6 weeks of training would total 12 weeks time, and the deload week would be the week prior to the competition)
So I guess my question is, is this a good approach using the program in this manner to prep for my competition? I feel like the answer is yes, but I guess I’m looking for validation from an expert to make sure I’m prepping correctly.
Thanks for you let time.

ANSWER

Sure – esp. if you’re also doing a lot of BJJ training as well.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hi. I am almost through your fat loss plan and have had good results – 6-7 lbs. down without much improvement in diet and feel great. Will clean up the diet a bit for the next phase. Was looking for a plan suggestion based on the following (slightly incoherent) list of attributes/objectives:
1. 39-year-old male looking to lose 30-40 more lbs.
2. Have good garage gym with barbell, pull-up station, kettlebells, sandbag, rings, box jump, and rowing machine.
3. Current sports are tennis and trail running.
4. Somewhat limited by time due to small child and busy job. Can set aside an hour most days but can only do longer maybe 1x/week.
5. Legs are “strong enough” based on barbell maxes. Could use more explosiveness/agility.
6. Primary weaknesses is pull-ups (due largely to too much bodyweight) but also grip strength.
What plan would you recommend for this mess of attributes/objectives?

ANSWER

Johnny next. It’s the first plan in our Country Singer Packet and concurrently trains strength, work capacity, endurance, and chassis integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am researching your workout and nutrition plans and am wondering if its suggested in using any sort of protein shakes/powders after workouts. If so is there a specific brand that helps keeping the sugar and carb intake down?

ANSWER

No. We’ve actually studied this and found post-workout shakes have negligible effect on performance improvement.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am in the second week of my APFT Plan, and things are going generally well.  The push-up progressions seem to be right on.
My question is about the sit-ups.  I am a tall, thin guy and sit-ups have always been the most challenging PT test exercise for me.  In the sit-up progressions, I find myself starting to grind really hard during the 4th or maybe even 3rd round.  I then start missing intervals and taking extra rest to slog through the rest of the reps.  Is there a scaled version of the sit-up that you would recommend, similar in purpose to the knee push-up, that I should be doing when my sit-up form and tempo start to deteriorate?  Or should I keep on limping through the last couple of rounds without paying attention to the timer as much?  Also, do have have any lower back exercises you would recommend to balance sit-ups, and/or can the lower back recovery plan be done in tangent with the APFT plan?
Thanks for your advice, and let me know if you’d like more info or a better description of my issue.

ANSWER

Stick with the prescribed situp reps, but increase the interval to 90 seconds.
– Rob

QUESTION

I completed the Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys and I loved it.
I read Why We Get Fat and followed that and your diet recommendation.
I gained 11 pounds and gained definition to the point where my wife commented, “You look jacked!” So, that was cool. I also noticed an increase in strength as all of my lifts got much heavier over the course of the program. I believe in your process and I am ready for more.
I am entering my 5th year on a Hotshot Crew, my first as a squad leader. With that being said, I just want to be able to out hike and outrun my guys. I wont be doing the labor intensive stuff anymore as this is more of a supervisory position. I’ve seen your programming specific for Wildland guys but I wanted your feedback on the idea of stacking “Running Improvement” and “Peak Bagging” or “Ultimate Work Capacity” given my goals.

Thanks for the help.

I appreciate your willingness to answer these questions and I love what you are doing.

ANSWER

Thanks for the kind words – glad our stuff worked for you.
Rather than cobbling together two plans, I’d recommend you complete the Alpine Running Training Plan – which includes vertical feet climbing under load, and extended running. This is a 7-week plan and you’ll want to complete it directly before reporting to your crew.
If you’ve got more than 7 weeks, work through the plans/order in the Wildland Fire Training Packet until your 7 weeks out.
– Rob

QUESTION

I purchased your women’s country singer packet. I’m 52 active I run quite a bit but have never been into resistance training or weights. Not over weight probably at my perfect weight or close. I have not started the country women’s packet yet because I am a little intimidated by the time involved. I can run for and hour easy but to work out for an hour w weights is a stretch for me. I would be curious about a 3 week program that would
Include more running and shorter resistance sessions.

ANSWER

Are you comfortable training with barbells/dumbbells? If so, complete Patsy, only do the warm up and Part (1) in the gym-sessions, and change Thursdays ruck to a run and follow the same progression. You’ll be in the gym 2 days/week, and running 3.
If you’re not comfortable training with free weights, we can refund you for the Country Singer Packet and I’d recommend SF45 Delta – which deploys bodyweight strength and lots of running.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was planning on going for JTF2 selection in October 2020. What program and/or series of programs do you suggest?

ANSWER

I haven’t been able, in all these years, to learn enough about the specifics of selection to confidently design a specific JTF2 plan. The main issue is the amount of swimming at selection.
From what I do have I’d recommend the DEVGRU Selection Training Plan. I just updated this plan last month, and my sense is the PFT work, rucking and swimming in the plan will transfer well. I’d recommend doing the prescribed swimming in the plan without fins. As well, add in some tread work.
This is an 8-week plan. What I’d recommend is completing the plan now, then dropping into the plans/order in the Pirates Packet -which are designed for tactical athletes with water-based mission sets, then re-completing the DEVGRU Plan 8 weeks directly before selection.
– Rob

 

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