Q&A 4.30.20

QUESTION

have looked over the plans on the site and fleet somewhat overwhelmed, mainly due to my goals.
Goal 1: Where I live (non US) the police entry test essentially matches the Cooper’s listed on your site (run 1.5, max push ups and a vertical jump for us plus some different stuff). This is a test I would like to pass and my own programming has got me very close.
Goal 2: I’d also like to be at the level where I could be in our military as a physical instructor. While I may never actually get in to this role I have always wanted to know what if I had given it a shot  I could  have been physically able. However,  I dont know the standards other there is a 1.5 mile run, max sit ups and max push ups.
Some suggestions for performance have included 1.5 mile in < 10 mins, 70 sit ups, 30 push ups+ and 8 chin ups+
I just got under 10 mins on the run the other day, am at about 30 push ups but no more, and 4-5 chin ups.
I would like to get some size back on eventually too.
So as you can see there is a bit of a wish list. Additionally with the whole Covid thing going on there is no telling when I may be able to apply for a role that would require such physical attributes.
Summary:
Keep 1.5 below 10 mins and even improve it (I usually run 15-20 miles per week in a big week)
Improve overall max strength (currently below average standards listed on your site)
Improve push ups and chin ups
Eventually add size back on.
Thanks for your help and reading this. If there are any recommendations from a programming point of view I’d be keen to hear.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the APFT Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

My husband is 36, 6’2”, and weighs 220lbs. He does not run, but does some work capacity 2-3x per week. He believes his heavy letting has aggravated it and doesn’t want to stop working out. Alas, everything we read says stop heavy lifting. But to stop all exercise seems counterintuitive to staying healthy!  I hope everyone is healthy and safe in your area. Question… My husband has a hernia, is a heavy lifter, less focus on cardio and more on strength. The heavy lifting of course causes some pain, but he wants to continue working out. Any plans that would help him stay strong but not lifting heavy? We have an at home gym and access to most gear required in your workouts.

Any advice would be great! Thank you!

ANSWER

Won’t hurt your husband to take a cycle (7 weeks) away from lifting heavy. When I do this I find I don’t lose much strength, and am eager to get back under the barbell.
From our stuff I’d recommend he complete the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hope you and your team are doing as well as possible right now.  Wanted to reach out to you for some input.

I’ve recently set out some absurd goals for myself, and would like to connect with someone with more expertise than I, whether that’s you or a member of your team.

  • Immediate Goal (6mo): Run the 2020 NYC Marathon or Marine Corps Marathon (depending on charity team availability) under 4 hrs while totalling 1500lbs (traditional powerlifting: squat, bench, deadlift) the day prior to the race.
  • Mid-Range goals (1-2 yrs):
    • Run an ultra-marathon with a 1500+ powerlifting total
    • Qualify and run the boston marathon with a 1500+ powerlifting total
  • Ultimate goal: Set the mark on the wall for the “strongest endurance athlete in the world”

Absurd, I know, but I think this could be a huge opportunity to catalyze my charity fundraising efforts for the Veterans organizations I’d like to work with.

The Ask:

  • I’m hoping to connect with athletes/coaches/high-performance individuals who have pursued anything like this or would like to share their experience with me or use me as a lab-rat.  If this isn’t in your wheelhouse, who would you recommend reaching out to?
  • I’m also trying to establish a baseline for what’s been done here (combining strength accomplishments with endurance accomplishments), but I’m struggling to dig anything up on the web.  Is there anyone you or your team could point me towards to get a feel for what’s been done (probably a similar list of people to the first question)?

I’ve included some background on myself below the email to give you some context.  I’m not a professional athlete; I’ve got a full-time job.  I’m ultimately just a guy who’s actively pursuing a lofty goal for himself, and I acknowledge I’m not going to do it on my own.

Thanks in advance for what your body of work has done to improve both myself and the fitness community at large.

ANSWER

I don’t do personal training or individualized programming. It seems this is what you’re looking for – and our focus is on mission-direct fitness for mountain and tactical athletes. Strength-wise, our focus is on relative strength – or strength per bodyweight.
Much of our programming does combine strength and endurance and would give you a start. Specifically – I’d recommend you start with the Big 3 + Run Plan.  The running in this plan doesn’t push marathon distance, but you might be able to combine the lifting in the plan with our Max Effort Marathon Plan when you get to that point.
In my experience, it’s easier to build/maintain strength than endurance – but that’s me individually. Many athletes naturally are better at strength or better at endurance. My recommendation would be you work on your weaker area first …. get it to standard, then focus on your strength. In general, research has shown that strength training does not negatively affect endurance, but endurance training does negatively affect strength gains.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hello. I’m looking for a training plan that fits what equipment I’ve got at home. What I have is:

Pull-up bar
1- 53 lb kb
1- 44 lb kb
Plyo box
Sand bag up to 80 lb
Jump rope
20 lb medicine ball
Bands (various sizes)

What do you recommend as best “get after it” plan for this equipment?

Thanks for the help!

ANSWER

I’d recommend Dolly from our country singer plans. Dolly concurrently trains bodyweight strength, multi-mode work capacity, chassis integrity (functional core), and endurance (via a 3-mile run assessment and follow-on intervals).
You’ll need to make do with the kettlebells you have as it is heavier than the loading in Dolly. Use common sense in terms of decreasing prescribed reps and some exercise substitutions. Email if you have any questions when you get into it.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m stuck along with everyone else and working on the gym closure plan. I was curious since I’m looking at some big races in the future (Uwharrie 40 miler, Leadville (potentially)), how would you program running into it for something like that? Should I add long running a few times a week? Change out some of the stuff in the plan? I’m not on any sort of condensed timeline as I’m just under a year out from the 40 miler.

ANSWER

Add a long run –  8-15 miles – on Saturdays. Start at 8 and work up.
– Rob

QUESTION

The last couple times I worked through the 1 lift per day sessions where Hinge lift was programmed I injured my back.  Lower back, specifically directly at my waist line across both hips.  Never really had this problem over the last couple years using your programs.  On the last time I was simply deadlifting 135 off the floor during my build up set.  My 1rm on hinge lift has been 235.  So something not right.

I am looking to replace hinge lift with alternate.  Which really sucks, but also replace the deadlift with alternate.  I am open to ideas or thoughts as well.  Understanding you don’t program for individuals, I am working to assemble as much info as I can on it.

ANSWER

Use the Box Squat as a sub for both.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just have a quick questions about equipment access.  I’ve done Bodyweight Foundation in the past, but have had access to a pullup bar.  With Covid 19, that’s no longer the case as I can’t hit the gym and I haven’t been able to locate any viable substitutes outside.
Do you have any exercise replacement suggestions for pullups and heel taps and/or could you suggest another similar program that doesn’t require a pullup bar?

ANSWER

Chris – All of our bodyweight programs include pull ups or chin ups. You can skip them in the plan, or find a tree branch, or ledge of any kind. Be resourceful. Horizontal Pull Ups are another option for pull ups.

– Rob

QUESTION

I leave for Ranger School the end of August. I purchased your pre ranger plan but now with no gym access it limits my workout I know I can still run and do the Work Cap stuff at home but I don’t have barbells or bumpers at home to do the strength work. I’m just looking for recommendations to get me by until the gym opens back up. I don’t want to spend the next 4 weeks falling behind and not be prepared for school in the fall. I value your input and completely see the benefit in your training plans. I’m 30 years old and in the best shape of my life, which I thought would be impossible after the conditioning I put myself through before my deployment to Afghanistan. Anyway thank you for what you do and I appreciate any assistance you can offer.

ANSWER

The strength work in the Ranger Plan is only one day/week and aimed at overall durability for Ranger School, rather than movement/stamina performance. The running, rucking, bodyweight work are the focus.
Easiest would be to use your loaded 60# Ruck for the strength work … squat with it, lunge with it, push press it, farmer carry it, etc. You can use it as a replacement for any sandbag in the plan as well. In the programming, increase the prescribed reps by 50-100%. So if the plan calls for 5x back squats, do 10 with your ruck, etc.
Some of the chassis integrity work calls for a 25# plate, or dumbbell … be resourceful – rock, bag of sand, 3 gallons of water in a container, etc. will all work.
Be resourceful and keep grinding.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m doing the quarantine fitness program (thank you!) and having some difficulty wit the Good Mornings. I end up loading my lower back and not my posterior chain. I have tried lowering the weight and even doing with just body weight. When I get to body weight, it doesn’t hurt, but also doesn’t seem to work the posterior chain.
Thoughts or suggestions? I’ve tried watching the how to exercise guide while doing the exercise.
I’ve had some problems with sway back leading to back pain in the past, so am really focused on strengthening core and posterior chain and doing things with good form.

ANSWER

Substitute Good Mornings with 10x Face Down Back Extensions.
– Rob

QUESTION

I came across your website while researching how to prepare for the CFA for the Air Force Academy.  My daughter has been accepted to Summer Seminar in June and needs to get in shape. I was super excited to see your program.  What a great business idea!  I hope it is working well for you.
As you probably know, schools are closed.  She would normally be running track this season but athletics are cancelled as well.  She will not have access to a gym and we will have to measure out a 400m course for her.  We have a pull-up bar at home and some dumbbells and weight bench.
Does your training program require any specific equipment?  I just want to make sure we have what is needed to train.

ANSWER

This is a limited equipment program. Below is the required equipment:

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT

  • Stopwatch with repeating countdown timer (Timex Ironman is best)
  • Running area (track or other) with known 400m, 800m and 1 mile distances.
  • Basketball and tape measure for Basketball Throw • Pull-Bar
– Rob

QUESTION

I am unsure if I am actually emailing Rob Shaul but we are already acquainted with having a movement named after him. My name is Wyatt Jobe and I am currently a Firefighter Paramedic in Dawsonville GA . I am also a paramedic on a ski patrol in the winter. I have used a few of yalls training programs in the past when I was in the military and really have enjoyed them. I typically just stick to crossfit gyms because it is easy and not much thought goes into planning my training. With Covid-19 shutting down everything in GA, It is becoming more difficult to create the right stimulus I need. I saw that you offer programs to be a “Lab Rat”. Well Sign me up, I am 24 a in my mind I’m pretty much indestructible with a 800mg Ibuprofen prescription.

ANSWER

We advertise for our mini-study lab rats in our email newsletter, “Beta” … pls subscribe if you haven’t already.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hope you’re safe and well.
Looking to improve my general mountain bike fitness. Wouldn’t happen to have a specific program, would you?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

My situation has changed once again and will be without access to a gym.
I am being placed on state side orders. I am have the equipment available for the sandbag/vest/dumbbell plan, the pull up bar is pending but I’ll improvise.
Aside from the plan and the sandbag packet are there any other minimal or body weight plans that you recommend? I wasn’t able to locate any other ones.

ANSWER

Humility can be done with the sandbag/weight vest and dumbbells and here is a list of our other (mostly bodyweight) gym closure training plans.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a long time “military athlete” follower. Thanks for everything you do. I have previous selection and assessment plans (ruck based) which i used during my 30s. Now i’m mid forties and need to prepare for a single week selection which includes an APFT and ruck event. I’m older now and am recovering from a December broken clavicle, ribs, and historical torn ACL.
Do you have a suggestion for modifying previous programs or can you suggest something in your library that will enable me to prepare (with the least amount of joint impact) for an unknown distance ruck. The ruck should be no less than the 12 mile Army standard across unknown terrain.
Thank you for the help.

ANSWER

Air Assault Training Plan – includes focused APFT work, 6-mile ruck assessment and intervals, and longer moderate pace rucks to 12 miles.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have been going through the Humility workout plan and am currently on week 2. During the burpee test I scored 101, and now for the 25% of my burpees every 90 seconds is killing me. Is it normal in this workout plan to legitimately struggle through the burpees? I want to make sure I’m doing it right as possible, despite totally gassing myself around around 5 and having to take a break. I always do the amount of rounds per the workout but I have to break up the last three rounds to complete them. If there is anything I can do to improve my consistency on the burpees to make it through or just keep grinding until I can do all 8 rds I’d like to know. I appreciate your time and help!

ANSWER

Go to 2 minute intervals – up from 90 seconds.
– Rob

 

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