Q&A 3.7.19

QUESTION

I’ve been working your various plans for some time and was just about to begin the Alpine Rock Training plan for a trip I have in a couple of months. It will be the third time I’ve used it. Two questions:
  • Do you have any thoughts on joint impact as a result of the weighted step ups? Would a stair stepper be a suitable substitute for this portion of the workout?
  • One of my climbing objectives for this trip involves several wide chimney pitches (back on one side, feet on the other), so I’m curious if there’s anything I should or could be adding in to prepare for that or if the plan will hit it well enough by itself.

ANSWER

1) No one has done more step ups than me …. and I haven’t any issues with me or my athletes. However, we don’t have a stair master and since this is your 3rd time through – try it! Assume each step up = 17″, so 1,000 step ups = 17,000 inches = 1,416 vertical feet. If the plan calls for 1,000 step ups, climb 1,416 vertical feet on the stair master. I would recommend not taking short step – but make ’em long.
2) Ideally, you’d be training this in the rock gym … and though I’ve seen cracks in a rock gym, I’ve never seen a chimney. We’ve never built one out of wood in my gym …. so I’m not sure what to tell you. If you can’t find an artificial chimney to train on, perhaps you can find a real one close to where you live and do some laps on the weekend. Point is … the best way to train for chimney climbing is to climb chimneys. Be resourceful!
– Rob

QUESTION

I am starting back up with the bodyweight foundation plan. I got through about 4 weeks of it over the summer and then didn’t get around to finishing it. This week I restarted it and it is going well. I was wondering if there is much harm in supplementing this with some workout from the hypertrophy for skinny guys plan. I am focusing more on the upperbody workouts. This week has been fine and I have been sore but not too bad. I do the bodyweight circuits on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday including the sprints at the end. On Tuesday and Thursday I perform part of the lift from the hypertrophy plan as well as the longer runs that are required. Is there harm in doing this? Thanks

ANSWER

It’s best not to double up plans. Eventually, you’ll overtrain or get fatigued and won’t get as much from either plan as you would if you run them in isolation.
Chose one and go with it. If you want a general fitness plan which does include a solid hypertrophy element, look at our LE programming. I just designed 4 new Correctional Officer plans – look at San Quentin.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am putting in for selection for Bortac in October of 2019. I am aware that there is a large rucking demand for agents who attend, and I would like to prep myself well over this longer period of time I have before then. The regular job does not give me much extra time to train, but I’ll do what I have to do. At this time, I have considered using the Ruck Based Selection Packet. However, I would like to know what plans you suggest? I’m currently a little behind on the endurance side, but I have a solid level of fitness and nutritional habits.

ANSWER

By my count, you have 34 weeks until October 2019. I’d recommend you build up to our BORTAC Selection Training Plan using plans from the Virtue Packet. Specifically ….
Weeks   Plan
1-4         Military OnRamp Training Plan (1st 4 weeks)
5-11       Humility
12-18    Valor
19-25     Fortitude
26          Total Rest
27-34     BORTAC Selection Training Plan (8 weeks directly before selection).
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

Just read your article on mistakes we make as athletes using your programming. I’m looking for a suggestion for my next program to start. Here’s where I’ve been:
– Years of strength and conditioning programming, including several of your plans and weekly programming
– ~8 months of bodyweight training due to extended travel
– Ultimate Work Capacity
– Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys (to get back mass lost over the traveling)
– ?
Looking for a general strength program for the next progression. Had my eyes on Rat 6 and Big 24 (have done both in the past). Babying a couple nagging pains (shoulder mostly) but pretty sure I can get that in order to handle a strength progression.
Thanks for your input.

ANSWER

Plans order in the Country Singer Packet I, followed by the Country Singer Packet II.
Built these last fall to apply our fluid periodization approach to base fitness programming for general athletes. They concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run, uphill hike, even some rucking), and chassis integrity. 8 plans total, each is 7 weeks long with an unload/taper week so they can be run back to back. Solid programming. Start with Johnny.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an Army Infantry veteran. I found your programming during my time in the Q course. I have been out of the Army for almost three years now and continue to focus on my fitness. I have been doing the Johnny plan from the country singer series.
Currently, I weigh 180lbs. I am 6′ tall. I would like to be around 190, I have alot of trouble gaining weight. I follow your nutritional guidelines for the most part. Some weeks I’ll have two cheat days instead of one. (Mostly beer)
What do you recommend for me to get where I want weight wise?
Also, the country singer series has both male and female artist as plan names, do these differ in who should be doing what plan?

ANSWER

Next Plan: Ultimate Meathead Cycle – we’ll train some upper hypertrophy and see if we can add some mass to you. If you really want to push it, dring 1/2 gallon milk/day …..
Country Singer Packets Men (part 1) and Women (part 2) ….. Part one isn’t just for men, and part 2 just for women. The name of the plan has nothing to do with the sex it’s aimed at. All country singer plans are unisex …. – designed for any athlete, male or female.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently in the Marine Corps. I’m looking to attend A&S in the coming years (approximately 2 years out). I have an athlete subscription. What MTI programs/progressions would you recommend for someone a few years out looking to enhance their base of fitness specifically for selection?

ANSWER

Drop into the plans/order in the Pirate Series of plans. These are designed as day to day programming for tactical athletes with water-based mission sets, and include pool work.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m kind of new to your training program and would like your advice.  I’m 64 years old and retired from law enforcement after 37 years.  I had should surgery about a year and a half ago, and had been laid up for a good year, as the injury was a workers comp case and they basically sat on it for 7 months. I had a torn rotator cuff, and a disconnected  left bicep muscle that was reattached. I’ve been slowly trying to get back into my workouts and wanted your advice. I figured your workouts are probably targeted at guys mainly in their late teens and through their thirty’s. Between my age and recent injury, how much should I cut back on your suggested weights, reps and number of sets?

ANSWER

I’m not sure I have any programming appropriate for you given your age, and lack of training for 1.5 years.
From what I do have I’d recommend you start with our Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan – and see how you do. At the product page you’ll see a “sample training” tab which shows the entire first week of training. Try it before you purchase. The BF plan is assessment-based, so it automatically scales to the incoming fitness of the athlete, but even so, I’m afraid it may be too intense for you.
– Rob

QUESTION

New to the MTI, and have so far completed three programs.  I am 44 years old with 19 year career in law enforcement.  I have completed rigorous law enforcement training programs, including Secret Service CAT Selection and Basic.  I am a life long athlete.  However, I cannot complete any push press exercises in the programs.  I have a fused disc in my neck, and push presses/shoulder exercises aggravate the injury.  In fact, any exercise putting weight over my head aggravates the injury.  I know that if it hurts I should stop, and I always do.  But is there an alternative to push press type exercises?  Or is my form bad?  I know it is hard to diagnose from an email, but any advice you can provide would be much appreciated.  Thank you.  I am a big fan of MTI.

ANSWER

Simple …. replace push press – or any other overhead work with either bench presses or incline bench presses. If the exercise is a power clean + push press, skip the push press.
– Rob

QUESTION

I would like to loose fat without loosing too much muscle and strength over three months. What are the best programs to follow. I am starting with fat loss and was thinking to do meathead next would that be correct sequence?

Can I replace shuttle runs in fat loss with assault bike? Could you suggest what intervals to do on assault bike?

ANSWER

I’d recommend you follow the Fat Loss Training Plan with Hank, from the Country Singer Series. Hank is a multi-attribute plan which concurrently trains strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity. But it has a slight work capacity emphasis.
Diet – 90% of fat loss is diet related. Here are our recommendations … I’d recommend these, but skip the cheat day. Sorry!
Replace shuttle sprints? No. Do the programming as prescribed.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am trying to put together a training plan for the year.
I work in the woods as a forester spring to fall then transition to the office through winter. I often feel like I’m starting over every spring to get the winter weight off and rebuild endurance..
I will also be joining ski patrol for the 2019 / 2020 season and would like to be in good skiing shape with a solid endurance and work capacity base by late November..
Any suggestions for a progression?
Thanks a bunch for all you guys are doing down there,

ANSWER

Now …. drop into the plans/order in the new Wilderness Packet of plans for wilderness professionals (game wardens, rangers, forresters, biologists, etc.) These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, mountain endurance (run, uphill hiking under load), and chassis integrity.
Start with Jedediah Smith.
7 weeks directly before your patrol season starts, complete the Dryland Skiing Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Rob how many days taken off are too many? I’ve had some other responsibilities get in the way, or took extra recovery days(pulled muscle) that has made it so I didn’t complete my workouts for the week. How much is too much time off? I just pickup where I left off as instructed.

ANSWER

3+ days of unscheduled rest (not counting weekends) – repeat the last session you completed and move on.
Less than 3, start where you left off.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m halfway through the Big 24 program and I’m seeing results already. After the reassessment on week 7 and subsequent rest I plan on doing some further tests, such as Operator Ugly, the relative strength assessment, the tactical athlete work capacity assessment, etc to get a good overall picture of where my fitness sits. My workout partner and I are deputy U.S. Marshals and while we are enjoying the strength gains we realize that our anaerobic capacity, endurance, and power need to be not only maintained but increased.  However, we obviously don’t want to lose our strength gains we’re working so hard to get with this current program. What would you recommend to accomplish this?  Thanks.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in either the Spirits Packet for LE Patrol/Detective or the Gun Maker Packet for full time SWAT/SRT.
The plans in both packets concurrently train multiple fitness attributes – strength, work capacity, tactical agility, endurance, chassis integrity and upper body hypertrophy (Spirits).
The aim is to steadily build multiple fitness attributes over time, without neglecting too much other needed attributes.
The Gun Maker Packet plans include more endurance.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 2LT in the US Army Military Police Corps and I’m looking for a workout plan to switch things up and get me in better shape. I’ve looked over the plans on the site but just can’t pinpoint one to choose. I’m an intermediate level weightlifter, a good runner and ruck often. Passing the new CFT or APFT is of no concern. Any plan recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Gun Maker Packet of plans for full time SWAT/SRT. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, tactical agility, endurance (run, ruck), and chassis integrity. It would be a solid fit for both your military and LE sides.
Start with Ruger.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question I am a 23 year old female who just got out of Navy bootcamp. I am currently just starting A school for corpsman and will be here for about 3 and a half months I was wondering if you could recommend a program that would help me train for my C school which is FMF. C school is my speciality training, I will be training with marines to be a field medic and when I go there and have to pass the marines pft and the combat one as well I think. I will also be completing up to 8 mile rucks with heavy gear.

ANSWER

Complete the Marine Corps OCS Training Plan. This plan will both prep you for the USMC PFT, and the ruck.
One change – complete a 8-mile ruck assessment, instead of the prescribed 12 mile assessment, and complete 2 mile intervals using your 8-mile ruck assessment time and the Ruck Interval Calculator.
If the plan calls for 1x 4 mile ruck interval, complete 2x 2-mile ruck intervals. If the plans calls for 2x 4-mile intervals, complete 3x 2-mile intervals. Rest 10 min between 2-mile efforts.
Email questions.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just finishing up my ultimate meathead cycle and enjoyed it very much! Was wondering what program of yours do you think I should switch to as I would like to start really digging deep into being able to squat 405# deadlift 500# and hit an under 5:00mile. More hybrid athlete type training. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I’ve been a subscriber and love all of your stuff!!

ANSWER

Substitute the Back Squat for the Power Clean in the plan, and the Dead Lift for the Box Squat, and the Bench Press for the Push Press. Follow the programming as prescribed, just use these exercises.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m doing a military selection in september and you recommended me fortitude followed by ruck based selection, wich seem awesome.

Right now i’m doing ultimate meathead, wich is going to take 4 weeks. What would be your recommandation on how to conduct the next two: back to back, spaced? And also what would be good to do between the end of meathead and the beginning of fortitude?

I would like to improve my cardio (running) without losing too much strength.

Thanks again for the great support!

ANSWER

Do Valor (next) before Fortitude, if you have time.
Take one full week rest after Fortitude before starting the RBSTP.
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

Question on the x20 reps. I’m able to complete the x20 squat at the prescribed weight and pace. However, I struggle with the bench. I can usually make it until about 10-12 reps before failure. What do I do from there? I’ve been racking the bar for my 3 deep breaths and continuing for the prescribed reps. Is that appropriate or should I decrease the weight until I can complete the full 20 reps under load?

ANSWER

You’re doing it right, but sit up (don’t stay laid down after racking the bar) and take 5 deep breaths. Then lay down and hammer away again. Repeat until you get all the reps in.
The bench press is more painful than the back squat!!
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a former SOCS with MARSOC and now I’m with a new unit.  However with my current position I’ll deploy anywhere from 2 weeks – 3 months in support of SOF. I’m about to start week 4 of Polaris.  Do you recommend continuing along the “star” programming as it last laid out?   Keep in mind my deployments can go from mountainous to urban environments just depending on requirements from my current unit to support SOF. At the moment it’s up in the air as far as which environment I’m slated for.   Hence why I started Polaris.  There’s a potential to see both during the same time

ANSWER

Pivot to Wrangell St. Elias from our new packet of plans for Wilderness Professionals.

This includes sprint-based work cap, dumbbell/kettlebell-based strength, and on the endurance side, a 6-mile run assessment and follow-on intervals, plus a step up assessment and intervals.
It’s the best I’ve got to prepare you reasonably well for both environments.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am coming back from a low back issue and have progressed through the low back plan but am unsure where to go from there.  I still am not able to run but have added yoga with the low back plan.  What do you think?

ANSWER

Tammy from our country singer packet.
Change the 1.5 mile run for time to a 1.5 mile fast walk with a 25# pack. Follow the progression from there.
Be smart and conservative with the loading. It’s okay to go light.
Email questions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m sure you’ve had this question before and I’ve done my homework by searching for my answer on your website. But, I haven’t found it so I thought I’d email you.
My question is which program would you deftest for me? I’m 35yo, been on active duty for 17+ years. I’m an infantryman and being fit to fight is very important to me. Also, I’m an endurance athlete who runs ultramarathons. So the question really is which program would you suggest to keep me durable enough to lead Marines in combat, jump, sprint, carry a casualty, scale a ladder etc and still have the aerobic capacity to run 50k and 100k races?
Thanks for your time and your continued dedicated professionalism and programming setting MTI apart from the others.

ANSWER

I can’t build you one plan which will provide the relative strength, work capaciity, chassis integrity, etc. you need for your job, and at the same time program in the volume you need to successfully run 50-100K ultras. The time demand to train for the Ultras is simply too great.
If it’s true, that “being fit to fight” is very important to you, then your Mission-Direct training should take precedence, and you should run shorter Ultras, or know that you won’t be best prepared for the longer races and will suffer accordingly.
Another approach would be to train for your job until 8-16 weeks from your race, then drop out of your mission-direct programming and complete a focused Ultra Plan.
For our mission-direct programming, complete the Greek Hero series of plans.
We also have a Pre-Season Ultra Training Plan (good for a 50k) and a 50-Mile Ultra Plan (good for a 100K).
But know if you do this, you’ll lose mission-direct fitness as you cut mass, lose strength and build aerobic base for the Ultra.
No perfect answer for you. Sorry.
– Rob

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