Q&A 4.8.21

QUESTION

I used three of your programs last year, with a focus on a steady long term build to improved backcountry skiing fitness. It worked really well and I increased the vertical I could do in a day significantly, but more importantly my recovery was way better, so I was able to do multiple long back to back days with no issues.
With Whistler having to shut, easy access to good backcountry skiing is gone and so my season is largely done about a month earlier than expected. I’m now trying to plan out my year from a training perspective.  I initially want to focus on rebuilding/improving basic strength lost over the ski season, but also want to keep my endurance gains, so was planning to do “Big 3 + 5 mile run”, then repeat SF45 Bravo and Backcountry preseason later in the year to be ready for snow by late November. With the season finished early I have space for another program and am trying to figure out what that should be. Through the summer I plan to hike and backpack (a few 2 or 3 day trips), but other than that my focus is on being as fit as possible next ski season.  For background I am 55 and have no joint issues, but find recovery from hard workouts takes longer than it used to.
In summary, what would you recommend for programming starting in mid April with the long term focus on backcountry ski endurance, with skiing starting in late November?

ASNWER

Our SF45 Programming has a significant endurance side and would be great “base fitness” programming for you. It’s designed for older athletes.
Another option – with more of a mountain emphasis but not designed for older athletes would be the Mountain Base programming in the Greek Heroine series.
– Rob

QUESTION

How important is it to have 2 rest days in a row? Lots of your programming seems based around 5 days work then 2 days rest. I can rest 2 out of seven, but my schedule supports a rotation of 2 work, 1 rest, 3 work, 1 rest, and so on.

ANSWER

I like the 5/2 sched for pro athletes – esp. tactical – as I don’t want them training on their days off.
But from a programming/fitness perspective, your sched will work.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been following your website and just hear a podcast with you – I like your direct approach.
Mate I’m a serious hard gainer I train hard follow the ‘guru’s’ programs and all that but struggle putting in size.
The hyper trophy for skinny guys program you got, sounds like a really dumb question but you get much success with this one?
I’m confused there’s so much shit out there about percentages and loads and all this bullshit I keep jumping from one to another to find an answer. Anyway just thought I would reach out as you seem like a no BS guy.

ANSWER

I’ve had guys gain 15-20# on the plan, and others, zero.
The program design to increase mass isn’t a secret or complicated. However, people react differently to programming. Other things which affect your mass gain are the quality of your diet, your protein intake, etc.
So I can’t promise the plan will work for you.
– Rob

QUESTION

You guys have got a massive amount of training programs I’m a bit unsure of how to go about it and where to start.

So my situation is I’m a firefighter, I’m 20 years old and about 76kg, I feel like I need to add some good quality size and strength to help with my job that would currently be my main focus. However I also want to drastically improve my cardiovascular fitness because I’ve got a goal I want to join the royal marine reserves in around a year and a half to 2 years time when I’m fully competent and fully trained up as a fireman.

If you’ve got any advice or anything for me I’d appreciate that.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with Gladiator.
Then roll into the Big Cat Series of plans for full time fire/rescue.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was planning to get in touch this week as I prepare to start using my plan. I am going to have to make some adjustments to scale the plan and am not sure the best way to do that.
To give you a little background about me. I am a 43 year old overweight Navy Veteran. I am 5’8 and 250 lbs. I could stand to lose at least 75 pounds. I have mild arthritis in my lower back and spine but have been cleared ton work put with no restrictions by my doctor. I live in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina. I enjoy hiking and kayaking and would like to join my local volunteer fire department to work in local search and rescue as well as general Emergency response. At present, I cannot run for any real distance. I recently started doing fin work in a pool as well as rucking short distances. I am noticing that my pain is decreasing over time and I think I can run again soon but am not there yet. I selected the preseason hiking plan because it said it would benefit unfit athletes. I suspect I am more unfit than you expected. My goal is to eventually be able to do more difficult MTN programming such as some of the military plans or the wild land firefighter program.
In general my questions are:
1.  What can I do in place of running right now?
2.  I am unable to do pull ups. What can I do to improve pull-up as they are required in this program?
3.  My hamstrings and hip flexors are very tight. I know there is some hip mobility built into the program. What else can I do for mobility and flexibility as I think it would improve my ability to complete the program.

ANSWER

1) Run/walk as needed, but complete the prescribed distance. If you have to walk the whole way, do so.
3) You can do extra hip flexor stretches and the Toe Touch Complex, but in general, this will improve with your improving fitness.
Finally. Fix your diet. Here are our nutritional guidelines. Follow them and you’ll shed bodyfat. You can’t outwork a shitty diet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Good morning Rob, I’m currently running the ruck based selection prep program. How ever I feel like my distance runs aren’t improving. Would you recommend any changes to the programming.

ANSWER

Not if you’re improving in other areas.
Be patient, and research/improve your running form. Research POSE Running or Chi Running – improving form can make a huge difference.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am able to access the plan and it’s going well so far, certainly a difficult workout!
I do have some questions and I’m curious what you think. I don’t have access to a hex bar so I have been using a straight bar for deadlifts. How do you think this compares? Should I be able to lift as much with the hex bar or would it be less?
Also – if there comes a point when I am no longer able to reach my goals for a workout should I take a rest day or just push through? For ex. if I am trying to hit 12 hand release pushups per round and I did it Monday and Wednesday but I can’t do the full 6 rounds on Friday cuz I’m sore or not fully recovered.

ANSWER

Straight Bar vs. Hex Bar – there is transfer. Most guys will be able to lift more with the hex bar.
Not meet goals? Push through. Your performance will improve as your fitness improves.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am about to embark on my “in season” training for Ironman Arizona, which is on November 21, 2021. I have subscribed to your programming for years, and have been examining the Ironman 70.3 plan recently. It seems like a solid program, and I was considering utilizing it to prep for the full 140.6. My idea is to utilize the 70.3 portion for the first half of my training (around 3 months), then re-do the plan but double the distances for the second half of my training (with some modifications potentially, due to the length of the “long” days). I was curious to get your thoughts on this approach, and would love any suggestions you may have. Thank you for the many years of exceptional programming that I’ve been coming back to time and time again.

ANSWER

I’m not sure. I’m confident using my assessment-based approach for a half ironman, but wonder if it might be too intense in terms of both threshold work and volume for a full.
If you did your plan, I would likely keep the assessments and the threshold intervals the same, and increase the easy and moderate pace distances to help manage intensity and volume your second time through …. or even drop down to the intervals/distances in the Oly Plan for the speed work, and double the distances for the easy/volume work in the Half plan.
But … if this is your first Ironman, you may want to instead find a proven plan to follow built by a coach who specializes in tris.
– Rob

QUESTION

I would like to formally say thank you for these plans. While on a deployment, I ran into some of the MTI training plans. I saw the results in my peers, and decided to attempt in getting after it. However, I got discouraged and no longer had access to some of the gear or facilities required for training. I realize that I made the commitment, and I was looking to see if there was better ways to attack the workouts.

I have no intention at the moment to attempt in any selections for special courses at the moment. Yet I would love to train for any situation and be able to have no doubt in my physical abilities.

ANSWER

If you asked a question, I’m not sure I understood it.
In terms of limited equipment plans for military guys, look at our Great Plains Tribe Plans – these are solid.
– Rob

QUESTION

I wanted to touch base and get your take on which program I should pursue.

Alittle about myself, I’m currently a firefighter/paramedic on rescue 2. I’ve been a firefighter for 3 years but for the past year I’ve been reconvening from a full need reconstruction(lcl,mcl, pcl, meniscus and acl) just started squatting snd front squatting again. Prior to that I was in the Airforce, I worked as a pararescue with various sts squadrons on the east coast.

I’ve found myself following the “thor strength” program I received on a deployment a while back, where I enjoyed the progress of the program and staying I shape. I tend to get bored being it’s the same lifts over and over again. I’m looking for something to help me push myself & get my numbers up! But at the same time focusing of strengthening my knee and overall fitness. I’m not getting any younger(35 going on 36) but still have the same no quit/fight I’ve always had. I have some bases in Olympic lifting and strength training. But I can never make my final decision on which program to follow.

ANSWER

Assuming your knee is ready to go, I’d recommend:
1) Plans/Order in the Big Cat series – starting with Jaguar. This is our mission-direct, day to day programming for full time Fire/Rescue.
If your knee is still recovering – start with the Post-Rehab Leg Injury Training Plan, then move to Jaguar.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 19 years old preparing to become a TACP in the Air National Guard. I have been doing bodybuilding style workouts in the gym for 2 years and have gained lots of strength, but I have almost no endurance with running or swimming. I was hoping that you could help me find a good plan to improve my cardio. I have an abundance of access to trails for rucking. I’m highly motivated to crush the challenges ahead, but I need a plan. If you could help me out I would greatly appreciate it!

ANSWER

Here’s what I recommend:
2) Fortitude, then …
3) Valor, then …
– Rob

QUESTION

Once again looking for your advice on plans. I recently completed OSUT, and was able to maintain a decent amount of strength by doing most of the Kettlebell TLU plan, as I was fortunate enough to have a full set in my bay. I’m at Airborne on hold right now, starting tomorrow. Big challenge here is that there is literally no fitness equipment besides a pull up bar, and a track. I am due to arrive in Bragg in late April and have May and June to train on my own with a gym. Hitting SFPC in July, and SFAS in August. I’m mostly feeling confident- rucking is no big deal, and I ran a 34:00 flat 5 mile in OSUT on a bad day. My big worry is showing up to Selection without a good base of strength. How would you advise I make the most of my circumstances to show up in the best shape possible? Thanks as always,

ANSWER

SFAS isn’t a strength event – it’s an endurance/stamina effort.
Now? Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan – but replace the running with rucking.
May/June – If you’ve got the time, Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan.
July? Fortitude as best you can.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have six months left until selection and i plan on using your BORTAC selection program 8 weeks before selection. What else do you recommend in the months before this program? Thanks.

ANSWER

6 months = 26 weeks. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.      Plan
1-7            Fortitude
8-14          Humility
15-18         Valor (First 4 Weeks)
19-26       BORTAC Selection Training Plan – 8 weeks directly before selection
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a question about which training plan would best suit my needs & schedule.

I am an EMT, & as such have to deal with a very inconsistent shift schedule, which affects my training schedule as well.
I want to gain some muscle mass & strength capacity in basic/core lifts while still maintaining my cardiovascular fitness & endurance capacity.
I have weak ankles due to repeated injuries & can’t afford to do much weighted/ruck running & risk another injury.
Given those factors which training plans would you recommend?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Big 3 Strength + 2-Mile Training Plan.
Schedule? Complete the training sessions in order whenever your schedule allows you to train. The programming is progressive – it builds on itself – so don’t skip around. Try to get in 2 days/rest each week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am planning a GORUCK Heavy-Challenge-Light in mid-September 2021. Those are done in succession.
I finished the very first GORUCK Heavy in 2013 using your Ruck-Based Selection training.
But, that was 8 years ago – and I am now 52 yo. I am also ~8lbs lighter now (muscle loss after inactivity).
I have been running and rucking again, and doing bodyweight/sandbag training for two months.
So, I will have ~29weeks to prepare (I can begin March 1st).
My progression plan idea is: Military On-Ramp Program (6weeks only) -> Gladiator (4weeks) -> Ruck Based Selection (8weeks) -> 1week rest -> GORUCK Selection (10 Weeks).
I know there are many ways to progress training, and you have always guided me correctly.
I will also be rucking those first 10 weeks to build a base for RBS.
Any advice is appreciated – esp regarding those final two training programs:
RBS vs GR Heavy Program vs GR Selection Program.

ANSWER

I don’t think you need to do both the RBSTP AND GORUCK selection.
I’d recommend  …
Weeks.       Plan
1-7            Military OnRamp
8-14          Fortitude
15-21        Valor
22-29        RBSTP
– Rob

Leave a Reply