I was wondering how plans like the SF ruck plan work. It’s a year long plan of many sections, but don’t you lose what you gain after time of always switching it up every month? Or does this slowly build you better and better if I was to do 2 years of this plan? Thanks!
The goal is to build a high level of “base fitness” – relative strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, endurance (run, ruck) prior to completing the last training plan in the packet – the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (RBSTP), which our selection-specific plan for SFAS.
The RBSTP is super intense, SFAS-specific, and athletes would overtrain if they did this again and again. It’s designed to have you at “peak” SFAS-specific fitness directly prior to actual selection.
Could you do the packet two years in a row? Yes.
Hi Rob, I just finished up the Big24 in the ruck based selection packet. I am 5’7 at 155 normally.
My bench was 185×3, Squat 225×3, and press 115×3. These aren’t remarkable by any means but I did make improvements.
Now, the main reason for this email is because I ran into a coworker that is a personal trainer, and I told him about this plan. He then swore up and down that this type of plan won’t benefit me as an athlete and I need to stop doing cardio and focus on strength and size for at least 3 months because my strength is apparently very sub par.
I trust your planning and see a lot of good feedback but does he have a point and should I take his advice and do the big24 for a few more cycles or adhere to this plan and follow through for the year?
Sorry in advance, I know this is a loaded question but I also love learning and I am very eager to hear your input and I’m very excited to improve. I look forward to any guidance and knowledge you can provide through your expertise.
The plans in this packet are designed to prepare soldiers for SFAS. SFAS is not a powerlifting meet. It’s a multi-modal, super -intense, 3-week sufferfest dominated by endurance and stamina. Strength is important for durability, but the SFAS Cadre don’t have candidates doing back squats and dead lifts.
If you’re doing this packet for personal improvement, then don’t quit and stick with the programming.
Extra training? No. Stick with the programming.
I am reaching out for advice on a training plan that would suit my personal objectives. I have struggled finding consistent training that accommodates the large range of sports that I do. I am a climber, skier, surfer, whitewater kayaker, ultra runner. etc. I would like to take each sport to a high level of performance on a training plan that would permit. I currently climb v11, 5.13 and have big wall objectives for this summer. I am a class v whitewater paddler wanting to sustain strength and paddling endurance for the large mileage days of technical paddling. In the month of may I am travelling to indonesia to surf the bigger swells of the summer. I currently attend college in Salt Lake and have to perform dryland training. I am spending full days of skimo in the wasatch with hopes of serious objectives that require serious levels of fitness. In the warmer months I spend time cross training running peaks and moving fast in high alpine terrain. I know this is a very broad genre of sports but any suggestions and help is appreciated. I have the drive and ambition to achieve these objections but would love some structure to the chaos.
You can’t train for all these sports at the same time. As well, it’s difficult to do significant training when you’re in the middle of an intense sport season (skimo, for example).
Our approach deploys three types of programming: “Base Fitness”, “Sport/Event-Specific Fitness” and In-Season Fitness.
The idea is to use “Base Fitness” as your day to day programming when you’re not in-season, and are not specifically training for an upcoming sport/season.
Then, when you do have an upcoming season, to drop out of “base” fitness and completed the sport/event-specific training plan for that sport/event.
Then, when you’re in season and have some opportunity for gym-based training, to work on maintaining general strength, which is best for overall durability.
Our sport/event-specific training plans are 6-12 weeks long, depending on the sport/event, and are designed to be completed directly before your sport season starts. For example, if you’ve got a Spring Break surfing trip coming up in April, I’d recommend completing our 5 week Surfing Preseason Training Plan
the 5 weeks directly before your trip.
However, if you’re going to be BC skiing up until the day you leave for surfing, you won’t be able to complete this full plan … and as a result, you won’t be as fit for surfing as you would have been if you had completed the plan. That’s the trade off you make.
Most of the mountain sports have fairly focused, sport-specific fitness demands. For rock climbing it’s rock-climb specific finger and grip strength, for skimo it’s uphill skinning endurance, for surfing, it’s paddling strength and strength endurance, etc.
For in-season work, I’d recommend our In-Season Strength Plan for Endurance Athletes
– which simply aims to maintain your overall strength and thus durability. Most mountain sports are endurance focused and this plan reflects that.
Our “base” fitness programming for mountain athletes is found in our Greek Heroine
series of plans. These plans concurrently train relative strength, short work capacity, chassis integrity (functional core), rock climbing fitness (grip), and mountain endurance (running, uphill movement under load).
It sounds like you are moving from one season directly into the next, without much training time to complete a full sport-specific training plan prior to taking on the next sport. In this case, I don’t have a great solution for you, other than to say use your common sense with the training time you do have. I.e. if you’re skimo-ing 3-4 days a week prior to your surfing trip, take 1x day in the gym to train strength, take 1 day in the pull working on paddling strength, and get 1 full days rest.
– Rob Shaul
I am looking and debating at purchasing a program for LEO academy entry. Is there anything that I haven’t seen that you could direct me to?I have access to a complete gym solo after my shift, so I have all the things minus a row machine.
We also have specific academy training plans for several federal agencies … FBI, DEA, USMS, etc
Can you share a bit about training for multiple sports? For example right now is prime skiing season, but I also want to keep up my rock climbing, and start training for a marathon this coming summer.
I typically ski 3x a week and go to the climbing gym 2x a week. I’m finding it difficult to get in workout for my coming marathon. Usually after skiing or climbing I’m too sore the next day to do a strength workout.
Do you have any tips or suggestions?
I can’t design a training plan which will prepare you for everything, at all times. Our process is to complete “base fitness” in between or during seasons, and then focused, sport-specific training plans directly before the event or the season.
You could likely double up this programming with time at the climbing gym without many fatigue issues, but skiing will be an issue simply because of leg fatigue.
I’m not sure when your marathon is, but if you want to keep skiing, you’ll need to understand that it will impact your preparation for the marathon and thus your performance. But that’s okay if you’re not looking to set a PR. However, we’ve found there are no short cuts to endurance training. You have to train long to go long … which means you need to put in volume mileage prior to your marathon. The minimum would be run 5-6 miles 1 day a week, then, run two days back to back for a total of 3 days running per week. Your back to back run days are where you’ll want to build mileage. Ideally, start at 10 miles split between the two days, and work up to 18, increasing 2-3 miles/week.
Love your blogs man.
I’m a busy dad (3 kids 4 and younger) with lower back problems. I was a cyclist and runner for many years so new to the weightlifting world. I also have a sedentary job.
I started doing the lower back complex and it’s helped greatly. I’m looking at your back rehab and your busy dad plans. Which one would you recommend? Is there a way to modify busy dad to be more back focused? Or maybe reduce time commitments for back rehab?
Thanks in advance.
These include Chassis Integrity Programming, which includes low back work. If you wanted to add, you could add in the Low Back Complex 2-3x/week.
I’ve been looking at your programs for a while thanks to my friend and finally pulled the trigger. Unfortunately, it’s on the wrong program for me given my goals at this time. I’m happy to have to program for next preseason training for the next ski season.
I’m wondering if you have a program available for fitness maintenance and improvement of a ski & ski touring athlete in their 40s who can put 9-12 hours in a week on top of weekend skiing. (I’ve been lifting 4.5 hours per week and then running swimming 2-3 hours per week and yoga for mobility 3.5 hours a week.)
Looking forward to your feedback and getting fitter with MTI.
For general fitness and maintenance, I’d recommend our SF45 programming
– which is designed for mountain and tactical athletes ages 45 and older – relatively short sessions (45 min) and hybrid programming – strength, work capacity, endurance (athlete’s choice) and chassis integrity.
You never want your gym-based training to negatively impact your on-mountain performance because of fatigue or soreness … which means you’ll want to take a full day rest before weekend skiing (take Friday’s off). Complete the programming in the training sessions in order … just extend the program as your schedule dictates.
Also – if purchased within the last 30 days – we can refund the plan you purchased. Copied here is Mintra. Email her for a refund if applicable.
Any suggestions on a program for a hockey player who is also looking to build upper body strength and hypertrophy?
I’ve purchased the entire Big Cat Series, when Tiger is complete do I start over at Jaguar or continue with the Tiger Programming? Thank you, appreciate your response.
(1) Start over with Jaguar and re-complete the Big Cat plans
(2) Pivot to Whiskey
and the Spirits Plans
for LE. Not perfect for F/R, but a lot of transfer and new programming for you.
I’m working through the Busy Dad Limited Equipment 1 workout plan, after not working out since I left SOF in 2018. Anyhow, getting back into, I had a meeting Friday of last week and missed that session, took the two rest days (sat and sun), when I started back Monday should I have started with Week 2, or do Friday of week one, then move onto week 2. My vote was for starting at Week 2, since I was coming off of rest days and didn’t want it to mess up completing all of week 2 this week.
Friday …. follow the sessions in order since they are progressive.
Looking to increase my strength for holding my compound bow while hunting/shooting. I believe my pull arm is strong, my hold arm I believe is the issue.
Bow/shooting ability isn’t the issue. I shoot a properly tuned Hoyt with the correct draw length and have worked with two shooting coaches
I can pull back an 80 pound bow easily all day. I shoot 70lbs, But after 15 seconds holding I start shaking, which increases anxiety and the shaking increases. Some of the shake is likely mental.
Any exercises you recommend? I don’t train upper body significantly, just some pushups/pull ups and shoulder blasters.
This is a really specific type of strength endurance, and best would be to use your bow. Nothing I could design in the weight room would do as good a job preparing you for this specific fitness demand as your actual bow.
You can set up a simple progression, and each shooting session shoot 3-5 arrows after a hold.
Shoot at 20 Yards, and run each progression 2-3 times, depending on how you do.
Progression Hold Interval
You may be able to increase the progression interval to 10 or 15 seconds … I’m not sure – you’ll just have to test it.
Just count in your head, 1 alligator, 2 alligator, 3 alligator, etc. to mark the hold time.
Between shots, rest for 60-90 seconds.
My goal: Earn Tactical Athlete Excellent score, sub 15% bodyfat.
Current: 30lbs overweight, 28% bf, low strength (170lb bench/squat etc.)
Question: What products / order do you recommend to take me from current to goal?
Thank you for your help,
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