Q&A 4.15.21

QUESTION

I’m 32 years old, Marine Vet who’s working a desk job.
I have a wife and daughter and I just realized something after I ran a minute ago….
I’m not where I used to be lol
So right now I’m executing Rat 6 (which is by far…my favorite cycle).
After each lift I throw in gorilla complex in hopes of gaining some mass in my arms.
I run/ruck twice a week…
My run time sucks, in partial to the hills lol and I’m slow as crap.
I’m 5’7” 165 lbs and I want to be a lean, strong, somewhat aesthetically pleasing ( wife likes that lol)
If you had to give me your go to cycle/program for being just a generally fit man that loves to hunt, play with his daughter, ruck and in general terms…be a fit American male….what program would you offer me?
Obviously I will never be Indian Jones or a Marsoc operator but I at least want to “tune” my body to my best ability.
 Any help or advice?
Thanks and god bless.

ANSWER

Plans/order in the Country Singer Packet I, beginning with Johnny.
Make sure you’re training, not “working out”.  Also – if you do you’re own programming you’ll end up doing what you’ve always done (Rat 6) and/or what you’re good at (usually what you’ve always done). All strength = shitty work capacity and endurance.
– R

QUESTION

I’ve loosely followed what you do for a number of years now, done some of the programming and I like the down to earth articles you produce.
Here’s the problem. I’m a forty nine year old recently retired firearms cop from the UK. I’m 6’2″, about 200lbs. I’ve always kept myself as fit as I can, pushing myself and working around shifts. I train five days a week, mostly in a fairly well equipped gym at home with a rack, olympic bar, weighted vest, etc.
I’ve run, tabbed (rucking), done crossfit, weights, olympic lifts, hill walking, etc…
I’ve usually done my own programming and eaten healthily. I find nutrition a dark art, information always contradicts the previous advice.
Here’s my problem; I’ve got to the point where I’m not making progress. I’m gaining fat, can’t put on muscle but my strength still improves when I focus on it. As for nutrition, I’m completely confused.
I know I’m no spring chicken, but i could use some advice, as I ain’t done yet!

ANSWER

You’ve got to get more strict on your diet. As you get older your metabolism continues to slow down and you can’t outwork a shitty diet.
You should know our dietary recommendations. Cut the cheat day, and cut back significantly on fruit. Limit your fruit to 1x serving day, and if possible, just berries. No apples, bananas, citrus, etc. Eat when you’re hungry – so you don’t need to cut calories, but do need to cut sugar – even fruit sugar.
Make sure you’re not drinking any calories – including cream in your coffee, gatorade, soda, etc. Limit dairy – cut back on cheese.
Try to limit alcohol to 1 day/week, and no beer, ever. Hard seltzer or whine is okay. Tequila, Vodka are okay.
Training? SF45 Packet. You need to cut back on strength and increase endurance.
– R

QUESTION

I would first off like to say how incredibly satisfied I have been with my MTI subscription. The sheer breadth of training available is second to none, and I love reading through and educating myself on programming.
However, I would like to ask for training selection advice. I am 18 weeks out from IBOLC. I believe I am capable of maxing the ACFT, the 12-mile ruck (2:15 with 55lbs), and the 5-mile run (33:15), and I would like to train to the test to increase my chances.
I could list my current fitness abilities but I don’t think they matter in program selection. What I need is to practice using a hex bar, stronger glutes for throwing a med-ball, and time under a ruck to get ready for IBOLC and Ranger School patrolling.
Currently, I am running and rucking roughly 15 and 12 miles a week respectively. I have experience running 50 miles a week for months, however, I know I cannot jump back into this volume.
I am looking at SFOD-D Build and SFOD-D. I like the ACFT work and ruck/run volume. My concern is wasting time during SFOD-D build not doing hex-bar work. I may add the hex-bar and push-up progression from SFOD-D to make the best use of my time.
I imagine you have seen others in my path before, so I am very open to your advice. Please let me know. I look forward to your response.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Actaeon now – with one change. Replace the power clean in the plan with the trap bar dead lift and follow the same progression.
Then complete the IBOLC Training Plan the weeks directly before IBOLC.
I’m not sure what to tell you about the ACFT and training for it. Last we heard was the Defense Authorization Drill prevented the Army from continuing to administer the ACFT, but perhaps the change is scores can’t be used. It seems all confused now.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently in college in Army ROTC. I have been working through the virtue series of fitness plans for the last 10 months. As I am finishing up the series in the next few weeks and am trying to pick a new plan to do next. The virtues series has helped me increase my overall work capacity, running endurance, and overall fitness exponentially. However my strength is still not where I want it to be, none of my lifts are at the mti standards for tactical athletes. I am 6’ 180lbs and am really looking to build muscle mass and cut down my body fat. What plan or series would you suggest, I still need to maintain my running/rucking endurance but I need to increase my strength.

ANSWER

Now I’d recommend the Big 3 + 5-Mile Run Training Plan, and follow it up with the Greek Hero series.
Don’t get too hung up now on size/strength at your age. You’ll continue to fill out as you move into your 20s.
Continue to focus on multi-modal training.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have been using your programs on and off for almost two years. I mostly utilized your Ranger School Prep and Big Mountain Plans prior to passing Ranger School in November of this year. I was supposed to be attending RASP in March, but unfortunately circumstances have changed.
I am now preparing to submit a packet and attend SFAS (hopefully in early June or late August). I have been using the “SFAS PT-Handbook” for two weeks, but am worried it may not be enough. My original plan was to complete this 8-week plan and then roll into your 8-week Ruck Based SFAS Plan. But, after looking into your SFAS Packet I am wondering if I should complete one of the other plans like Valor or Resilience. My overall strength is starting to return from school and my rucking is decent, but I have always struggled with running and pushups.
I have a PT Test scheduled with the recruiter for March 1st, so I want to make sure I utilize the next two weeks wisely. I am just reaching out to see what you would recommend I use for the next two weeks and beyond. Should I continue with the plan I am using? Switch to one of the plans in you packet like valor or resilience? Or maybe do one of your 2-mile improvement or APFT plans until after the PT Test and then switch to one of those?
As always I appreciate your time and any advice you are able to provide. I appreciate your help in preparing me for Ranger School and hope you can do the same for SFAS.

ANSWER

First I’m not familiar with the programming you mentioned, and can’t comment.
Now? Train specifically for the PT test with the recruiter. You didn’t mention what that is – but train specifically for it. Do our APFT Training plan if it’s the APFT, or the ACFT Training plan if it’s that assessment.
Following? Work back from your report date and follow the plans/order in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet. Line it up so you finish the final plan in the packet – the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan the 8 weeks directly before you report to basic.
– Rob

QUESTION

What’s the main difference between the two country singer plan packets? Do you necessarily need to start with the men, or can you start with the women series as well? Post surgery I’m not sure that day 2 week 1 of Johnny of running 5 miles would be super feasible yet.

ANSWER

From a macro perspective the packets are interchangeable – ie they are both focused on concurrently training strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity.
Differences is how the plans in the packet achieve that … for example, no plan in Country Packet 1 deploys only bodyweight strength for the strength component – so there is one of those in packet II.
So … you can start wherever.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m interested in eventually trying the Greek Hero series and was wondering if the Military On-Ramp Training Plan or the Operator Ugly Training Plan would be best to help me build my base fitness. Does the Military On-Ramp plan have a decent amount of barbell training or is it mostly bodyweight/sandbag/dumbbell focused? If I were to start with the Military On-Ramp plan, would I need to supplement my plan with extra barbell work to prepare for the Greek Hero series?

ANSWER

Military OnRamp includes free weight strength work. You should be able to roll into the Greek Hero plans following.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have been in the AF DEP program since December and have completed the PAST prep plan. My likely ship date June 15th, in that case what plans would you recommend I do in what order leading up?  There is a chance I could be shipping in April so I started the CCT/PJ Selection program at the beginning of the month.  My swimming efficiency and running speed can use work. My numbers from the beginning of the month are below:
Last PAST: 
Pull: 14
Push: 62
Sit: 64
1.5mi: 9:55
500m Swim: 10:22
UW: Complete
Other MTI Assessments completed
10mi 60lb ruck: 2:48
5mi Ruck/Run: 1:02
1500m fin: 29:02

ANSWER

Since there’s a chance you could ship in April, you have to continue with the CCT/PJ Selection Plan – which includes plenty of swimming and running.
– Rob

QUESTION

Was wondering if you had a recommendation for a plan to follow Johnny?

I’m 39 with three kids 7 and under. I wfh for a bank and am a LTC in the National Guard as well as a volunteer fire fighter. Looking for efficiency as well as effective functional fitness for my interests as well as prep for ACFT.

ANSWER

Waylon – the second plan in the Country Singer Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a former soldier that ets’d almost a year ago after a hip injury at RASP.  I was recently cleared to go back to full activity. I’m planning on joining a police department in 6 months to a year, with the hopes of gettting on a swat/srt team. I am half way through the LEO on ramp and I was wondering what I should do next? should I start with the patrolmen/detecive day-to-day or the swat/srt one?
thanks in advance

ANSWER

Whiskey from the Spirit’s Packet for Patrol/Detective.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently purchased your USMC A&S physical prep guide and it instructed me to email you if I had more time than the length of the program. I have 10 months and 18 days before my class date.

ANSWER

Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.   Plan 
1-11        Marsoc A&S Training Plan
12           Total Rest
13-18      Barbossa
19-25      Black Beard
26-33     Captain Morgan (repeat weeks 3&4 to extend this plan to 8 weeks)
34          Total Rest
35-45        Marsoc A&S Training Plan
– Rob

QUESTION

I may be imagining things but back in the SSD days I thought I saw a high school athlete plan. If not, what plan would be a good starter for a high school football athlete.

ANSWER

See the Football programming at our brother website, prepstrength.com
– Rob

QUESTION

Some buddies and I are starting to plan a rim to rim to rim run at the Grand Canyon and are trying to look at training options.  We are all marathon/ultra-marathon runners.  I looked at your Grand Canyon plan and see the note about increasing it 30% for making a double crossing, but it is still based on hiking, which we will obviously do uphill, but we plan to run the runnable parts.  How could we adapt the Grand Canyon plan you have? Or is there another plan or set of plans that would be better for us?  We are looking at 14 ish months from now so we have time to train.

ANSWER

No changes other than to the prescribed pack weight … not sure how much you’ll be carrying, but train with that weight.
This plan is designed to be completed directly before the event – but it is a no joke plan. 14 months is a long way out … and I don’t have a 14 month train up for this event. As well, I’m not sure what you are all doing for your current programming between now and then.
What will be different for you is the step up and strength work — it’s intense for those not used to it. Most with your background are fine, however, just sore for a couple weeks, ha ha …
You could also do the Mountaineering and Hiking Prep before starting Rim to Rim next year.
– Rob

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