I’m sure you get millions of these, so I’m grateful for your patience and I’ll be direct.
I’ve been inconsistent with the gym since I’ve started work (several months), and my lower back feels kind of pinched when I squat heavy, in a way it’s never done before. It gets sore when I run 2+ miles too. It seems fine with Craig Specials, but my core/chassis definitely needs work.
I’ve been getting back into soccer, I play it once per week after work.
Because of soccer, and I’ve been wanting to improve my running and work capacity, that’s my main driver.
What plan would you recommend? I’ve been doing the Busy Operator, but that’s where my back started to act strange. I thought of Military On-Ramp and replace rucking with soccer, but you’ve the expert, so please let me know what you think is best.
I’ve got max an hour to workout if I’m going to sleep more than 7 hours.
Fortunately, I’ve got access to a full gym and have a 60# sandbag from when I was consistent and full time school (no job). I also have the athlete’s subscription.
I’ve been really frustrated with my fitness stagnation, so I really appreciate the help.
Great, multi-modal training plan, with a significant core emphasis, plus a 1.5 mile run assessment and 800m intervals to build your work capacity.
Let’s get you away from heavy strength for a bit.
I work through your various mountain programs (peak bagger, backcountry hunt, etc.) and they all include leg blasters. I’m sure there’s not a 1:1 substitute, but can you suggest an alternative to the jumping lunge portion? I have a history of knee issues, and while I can do everything else no problem, the jump lunges aggregate it. Thanks!
The reason these plans all have leg blasters is because landing from the jumps from the jumping lunges and squat jumps at the end is the only way I’ve found to train eccentric leg strength – which transfers to hiking downhill.
So – if I cut them from the leg blasters you won’t get this training.
What you can do is limit the range of motion … i.e. don’t jump as high, and don’t go down as low on the catch.
Hi im just finally getting back into the swing of things. Looking for a program that has a combination of Olympic and Powerlifting moves..Snatch, Front Squat, Hang Clean
Clean and Jerk, Overhead Squat, Push Press, Bench Press, Squat, Deadlift and some others to help get me back into shape
I can actually hit a gym that has the equipment hard and would like a program that is roughly 26 weeks long and 3 days with and optional 2 days for cardio. Goal is to bulk but then cut
From our programming I’d recommend ….
8-14 Big 24 Strength
– Perhaps MTI’s most intense strength training cycle. Focus is on pure strength.
– maintain strength and endurance, build work capacity.
I’m planning on hiking the GR20 in 13 weeks. It’s a 110mile thru hike, I’ll be hiking alone, 12000m elevation gain/loss over 16 days. I want to start training now. I was thinking of either doing your “backpacking preseason” or your “thru hike” plan, twice or in succession (since I have the time). I’m running every other day around 3 miles (but slowly), weight training my lower body and core a couple times a week and same with upper body. I incorporate stretching and yoga on a weekly basis. I’m in decent shape but definitely not good enough shape for that trek :).
I’m 5’3”, 41yo and around 120lbs.
Which of those plans would you recommend? Should I do both in succession maybe, and if so, which one do you think would be better first?
By my count you have 13 weeks until June 19th.
Here’s what I recommend:
I have been following MTN programming for a while now with different programs. Hypertrophy, selection programs, and so on. I am a LEO now with solid strength and endurance however I am looking for the next step into increasing my strength along with my 400m and below speed/ endurance.
My goals are to be able to be strong and fast as well has hypertrophy to be physically bigger. But I am reviewing tons of your programming but hard to find the right one for me. What would you recommend for the best program for myself? Thank you for your time
The running programming in this plan is focused on 800m intervals – which would transfer to 400m.
The strength training is classic, assessment-based barbell strength for bench press, dead lift, back squat and pull ups.
Another, more mission-direct option is Tequila
, from our Spirits packet
of day to day, mission-direct programming for full time LE patrol/detective. Tequila’s strength work is dumbbell/kettlebell-based, it includes hypertrophy (mass) upper body work, and a 1-mile run assessment with 400m sprint intervals.
My 15yo daughter is interested in finding a plan to help her work towards fitness tests for both the FBI and Naval Academy. She typically plays a high school sport (softball, cross country) but has not focused on PFT type movements. Do you have a suggestion on a plan or modified plan as a starting point?
She has been nominated to attend the FBI NAA youth leadership program this summer and will also be doing a 3 week NOLS expedition. I am thinking a basic fitness plan to improve chassis/core for this summer, with a shift to more PFT training after.
She attends a boarding school that has a gym, but would prefer a minimal equipment approach.
This is a 7 week plan, and she should complete it the 7 weeks directly before NOLS. Between now and the start of that plan, have her complete Bodyweight Foundation
I’m a Wildland firefighter (hotshot) and was wondering what plans were appropriate for during season? Is there a plan that would work where it might not get used for 14 days (during assessment), but then could be pick up for 5 days in between assignments?
Preferably a body weight and sand bag routine since I’m living out of a truck camper.
About me, I’m 42, but swing a tool and hike high mileage daily. I use a scaled version of your smokejumper rookie season plan (I reduced the heavy and moderate pack weight while keeping the mileage and use a 60 pound sandbag) preseason. It works pretty well for me.
First time I’ve been asked about this and I don’t have anything perfect. But, from what I do have, I’d recommend Sandbag Pathos
… you could do it as with a single 60# sandbag.
I’ll add designing an in-season plan for Wildland to my programming list.
Yesterday I purchased the Go Ruck Challenge plan. I’m 16 weeks out from this and know the plan is suppose to start 5 weeks from the date of event. How can I scale this appropriately, or should I just run it for 3 cycles?
You don’t want to run it 3 times concurrently. What you could do is run it now, do other programming for 5 weeks, then repeat it again the 5 weeks before your event.
Hi there I was just wondering what happens after you finish the 10 week selection course? Is there like another plan/ plans? Or should I just use the same one but go off the times at the end when I repeat? I’m far off sasr, but that’s my goal. I wanna be in commandos first but I wanna train as if I’m training for sasr. Which will be in the next few years. I’m doing the army gap year next year in hopes to be and infantry men first.
This plan isn’t intended as day-to-day fitness. It’s too intense, and you’ll overtrain. It’s designed to cause you to peak directly before selection.
Your site has come highly recommended by some fellow officers (I’m a patrol guy in the southwest US) and I’m thinking about starting a program but was hoping for some advice.
I injured my low back (muscle spasms, no spinal injury) a bit ago deadlifting and am working back toward full training capability. Through some research, Dr’s visits, and PT, I’m pretty sure I’ve got a weak core that leads to buttwink/pelvic tilt and led to my injury.
I’m scared to start anything that has an emphasis on heavy deadlifts or squats as I really don’t want to reinjure myself. I like the different emphasis and workload of the spirit workouts, but am not sure I’m ready to start lifting like that yet.
Would the 7-week core strength be a better place to start? What can I do in conjunction with that to get me back on track for either the spirits or maybe starting back at the LE on ramp? Would there be a better approach to my recovery and re-entry to training?
Thanks in advance, and let me know if you need any more info.
I’m going on a rather arduous hunt for elk on raspberry island Alaska in October. I’m looking for a plan that will get my in the right shape to deal with this hunt. It will involve a lot of walking up hills through thick brush and carrying heavy loads. I look forward to your email. Thanks.
I recently stumbled on your article regarding your last 10 day elk hunt. I found it very helpful and well written. I’m getting more into western hunting (I’ve done WY mule and Alaska moose hunt), but I’ve never really had to worry too much about weight since they were more day style hunts with a base camp. I’m planning to go with 3 other friends to CO for a Sept. muzzleloader elk hunt and since this will be my first backcountry hunt, I’m struggling to decide what to bring to cut weight.
I’m okay with my sleep system as I’ve lightened it these past few years. Cook system will be split between the guys so I’m also not worried about that although I’ll need to dive into food and recovery at some point. Where I really struggle is clothing since I’ve always been able to change out stuff at the end of the day. Could you give recommendations on the below?
Baselayers: 150 Merino T-Shirt, 190 Merino 1/4 zip long sleeve, outdoor research echo long sleeve hoodie. I’m thinking about combining the t-shirt with the echo for sun protection and fast drying and leaving the long sleeve merino at the truck.
Just bring the Sun Hoody. It’s all you need. I’m not a fan of Merino …. too slow to dry. Also – don’t forget that your pack is a layer … even when it’s cold in the AM, I’ll suffer a few minutes with just a sythentic sun hoody and my pack … but once I get moving I’m warm and it saves a stop to strip a layer.
Pants: Kings camo preacher pants, Outdoor research Ferrosi pants. I was going to wear the kings camo (polyester) with hip vents, but the ferrosi are a lot lighter and dry faster (nylon). I’m considering buying Kuiu Katana but they are pricey.
Go with the Ferossi Pants. Nylon is by far, the best – tough and dries fast. I roll up the legs to just below the knees to convert mine to “Capris” when hunting – You’ll look dorky, but it’s a great way to add cooling. Don’t buy new pants.
Midlayers: Peloton 97 1/4 zip (no hood), Eddie Bauer or patagonia grid fleece hoodie, Kuiu Kenai Vest. I have no clue what to do here as I know I don’t need all of these.
Grid fleece hoody. Always bring layers with hoods – so you don’t have to bring a hat.
Active shell (do I need?): MH Kor preshell. Only weighs 4 oz and packs into nothing. I’ve found it breathes well over a baselayer but keeps the cool wind off when hiking on cold mornings. I wear this a lot while hiking and mountain biking. Also considering the outdoor research ferrosi jacket which is more robust, but that’s 13 oz.
Leave it. Not needed.
Insulation: Eddie Bauer down hoodie or north face thermoball synthetic (no hood). Will probably pack both and take one based on chance of rain? I also have puffy pants that I may bring and leave in the truck if it really looks like it’ll be cold.
Down hoodie. I’ve never owned or used down pants. You won’t need them.
Shells: Outdoor research ascentshell (breathable rain jacket), outdoor research foray rain pants, and outdoor research gaiters. I may leave pants in the truck depending on the weather.
Just the rain jacket unless rain is forcast. Then bring the pants too. If not, just the rain jacket. I’ve never taken rain pants, but wished I had last year … we left after a heavy rain and the water on the foilage immediately drenched our pants, and soon our waterproof boots (not sure if the water came in through the boots or through the top of the boot through the pants. For 8 days I wore wet, heavy, leather boots, and had wet pants … which suck to put on in the early morning!! The rain jacket can do double duty as a wind shell.
I’m sorry for the long email and rambling but always love to chat hunting and gear, so hoping you can help. No worries if you are busy as I figured it was worth reaching out to at least say how I enjoyed your article.
See my comments in bold – Rob
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