Q&A 5.21.20

QUESTION

I’m trying to make the Sandbag or Gym Closure programs work with the equipment I have on hand, but keep running into the dead-end of Keg Lifts.  While I like them for the sheer sweatiness and grunt work involved, I don’t have the means of creating 48′ shelves.
Any suggested replacements?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Hi could you share guidance on whether to choose training plan I (original) or II? Thanks for building these. Looking forward to starting one soon!

ANSWER

Do them in order and start with with Gym Closure Training Plan I.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been out for a while which has lead to some deconditioning. I’ve been giving a lot of consideration to going back in for an Special Forces. I wasn’t great at rucking when I was in the marines how can I start up again without injuring myself and surpass my old level of fitness related to rucking?

ANSWER

There’s no shortcut – start training.
Start with the Gym Closure Training Plan – which actually includes rucking. Follow it up with the Ruck Improvement Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Currently working through SF45-Foxtrot (completed A-E since retiring from the Army), but I recently accepted a new job and looking for another suitable plan that potentially won’t take as much time in the morning. Main factor is the time consideration with SF45 workouts, any suggestions?
Also, anything on the horizon from the masters athlete mini study from February this year?

ANSWER

Study … still thinking that through.
– Rob

QUESTION

Good morning Rob! I hope this reaches you well. I have been on your athlete subscription for a while now. You suggested I do the Pirate Packages and also PAST training until I get closer to leaving for my CCT selection pipeline. Everything has been amazing. My improvements have been incredible. Unfortunately about a week ago I tweaked something in my calf and I’m currently unable to run on it. Lifting and doing certain explosive movements doesn’t bother it much but propelling myself forward to run is very painful. I wanted to know if you had some suggestions for what I could substitute in place of the 800m run intervals for the PAST training and for any other running that may pop up until this calf is healed completely. I do not want to go to selection with a preexisting injury. Thank you in advance for all your help and such great programming.

ANSWER

Bike or spin. Double the prescribed run distance in programming.
– Rob

QUESTION

After a few failed starts, described later, I started your Peak Bagger routine this week and will have to make weakling modifications.

Background: former Navy SO candidate that didn’t make the cut (8 years ago) and stayed in pretty good shape for the rest of my service.  Now in school, I’ve found climbing/mountaineering as my passion, but my fitness has slowly gone downhill as a workouts are mostly casual, metric-less routines.  Do what feels good is the only thing to do when you have no purpose.

I bought the Peak Bagger a couple months ago because a new climbing partner kicked my ass (rare even these days) on an 8 mile mountain hike and recommended you guys.  I waited for some knee issues to die down and tried starting last week.  25# step ups were way too much and I was hurt-sore for a few days.  I reset this week and am following this general modification:

Step ups – ½ number of reps for each set, no weight

Runs – go a little longer to keep up baseline, 70-75% HR

Leg Blasters etc – ½ number of sets (or take long breaks?), these destroyed me when I was in good shape

Take the others easy as they come

The idea is to get to week 7, taper off, and pick back up in the Peak Bagger plan wherever the modified plan intersects with the real plan.  When I get to week 7 of that phase, I’ll taper off again and reset the program, following everything prescribed as, including the 25# step-ups.

I offer all this for two reasons.  First, do you think potentially doing the same plan for ~20 weeks is a good idea?  Obviously, it makes business sense for your to say no, but I foresee you dropping some convincing athletic wisdom.  Secondly, I wanted you to have a window into the “fatboy” mentality.  “Fatboy” is a state of mind, not a shape of body to me.  I’ve always been small and skinny, but I’ve become weak and frankly a bit lazy since the days of preparing for BUDs or SO attachment billets.  Cardio comes easy and I’ve trained it decently, but all of the exercises that involve ATP/Lactic Acid are going to need some gentle build up as I have no gym (thanks corona) and have been on the fatboy routine.

The website wasn’t super effective at warning me the fitness level for which these programs are written.  Not that my hubris would probably have listened.

ANSWER

Same plan for 20 weeks is a bad idea. You’ll likely overtrain and definitely will get bored. I’d recommend starting with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, then moving to the Backpacking Pre-Season Training Plan, then Peak Bagger.
Understand MTI programming isn’t designed for the individual athlete. The intensity, focus, and duration of the programming is based on the demands of the event it’s training the athlete for. Peak Bagger is built to prepare athletes for a 1-day, non-technical climb and descent of a Colorado 14er or the Grand Teton (16 miles, 7K vertical climb, and 7K vertical descent). These are no-joke, high impact events.
One of the reasons we put up the first week of programming in the plan descriptions is for athletes to test the programming and their fitness starting out. The “killer” element for most from Peak Bagger are the leg blasters. Few have done as many leg blasters as I have, but I haven’t done them in a while and if I was to jump into Peak Bagger even I’d be pretty damn sore the first couple weeks.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 24 year old firefighter from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. About 2 months ago I signed an 18X contract with the Army, and since then I’ve been training and preparing to the best of my ability for the special forces assessment and selection process. My training up until this point has been lead by Power Athlete’s “HAMR” program. I was in the mood for a change and I came across mountain tactical programming based on the recommendation of my friend. Last night I purchased the “Ruck Based Selection Program V5.” After speaking with my friend a little bit more, he advised me to reach out to you for the most appropriate program. To give you a reference point, I performed the AFPT this morning and my scores were as follows: 85 push-ups, 55 sit-ups, 20 pull-ups, and 12 minutes and 51 seconds on the 2 mile run. My ship date is approximately 90 days from today (July 21st). I appreciate your time and consideration based on the aforementioned information and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

ANSWER

By my count, you have 12 weeks until selection. Here’s what I’d recommend:
Weeks.  Plan
1-4.        Fortitude
5-12       Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (8 weeks directly before selection)
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking to buy a membership and I wanted some advice on what makes the most sense. I’m an active duty Marine and I’ll be attending SFAS within the next year. I looked at the SFAS training plan and I’d probably only need the Ruck based training (last phase) but would also like to have access to daily workouts. Do you recommend a membership or just a purchase of the ruck improvement plan?

ANSWER

Not sure I understand your question, but I’d recommend the Plans/Order in the Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet as you lead into SFAS. If you’re fit, skip the Military OnRamp Training Plan and start with Humility. Time it so you complete the final plan in the packet, the Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan the 8 weeks directly before SFAS.
If you don’t want to do the plans/order in the packet – and you’re fit, I’d recommend completing the 8-Week Ruck Based Selection Training Plan now, then dropping into either the plans/order in the Greek Hero Packet or the Daily Operator Sessions until your 8-weeks from SFAS, then repeat the 8-Week Ruck Based Selection Training Plan directly before selection.

What is the difference between purchasing an individual training plan, packet of plans or an Athlete’s Subscription?

  • Plan – Like purchasing the DVD of the first Star Wars movie. You own it forever, including any updates we make to the plan.
  • Packet – Like purchasing the DVD’s of all the Star Wars movies. You own them forever, including any updates we make to the plans.
  • Athlete’s Subscription – Like subscribing to Netflix. You get access to all 200+ plans in our library, but lose access if you unsubscribe.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m curious about the pacing for the Saturday mini events. Is the intent to meet you goal times like you would on a standard weekday, or are Saturdays more of a grind day? Like during the week when you do run or ruck intervals, the plan instructs you to use the calculator to determine your goal pace, but on Saturdays it doesnt mention that. Thanks for any assistance!

ANSWER

For the rucks/runs in the Saturday mini-events, use a “moderate” pace. Moderate = comfortable but not easy.
– Rob

QUESTION

What are some pull up/chin up substitutes if I don’t have a pull up bar?

ANSWER

1) Be resourceful – find a tree branch, purchase a door frame pull up bar, purchase a set of cheap rings.
2) Find something to do horizontal pull ups on.
– Rob

QUESTION

I hope this email finds you well.  I have a programming question for you when you have a chance.

Provided the pandemic pendulum swings back to something more normal in the next 6 months, I’m registered for my first triathlon in the fall….an Xterra trail triathlon.  My base programming thus far this year has consisted of Pirate, Meathead Marathoner and I’m currently working on the off season Mountain Bike program.

Our beaches and pools are closed for the time being so swimming isn’t really in the rotation at the moment, but I wanted to get your thoughts on integrating trail running, MTB and swimming based sessions into a combined program without overtraining.  I know there’s plenty of triathlon training advice out there, but your system has always worked well for me and I figured I’d reach out and go with what I know before I picked up a triathlon book.

ANSWER

Sorry – can’t help you right now as I haven’t built a tri plan yet. I’ve been asked several times but have always deferred to all the other programs out there. However, I’m now open to is as I keep getting asked. It’s in the queue – just haven’t gotten to it.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking for a good limited equipment training plan to follow the Gym Closure Training Plan.

I am an Active Duty Army Officer currently attending a masters degree program, so I have a lot of leeway to conduct physical training however I like. However, with COVID-19, the post gyms have closed. I am currently in week 5 of your new Gym Closure Training plan and it has been a lot of fun. I have been improving on all assessed areas and love the inclusion of rucking.

I feel like I need more running than this plan is prescribing, I’m not a naturally good runner but I can get to a pretty good level with consistant training. My goal as an officer is to own the 6 mile distance at around 8min/mile or better (currently hovering between 8:45-9:30 depending on the day and terrain).

Your OCS Trainng plan looked pretty interesting, as it involves the APFT, running, rucking, pullups and all, however I was wondering if you had anything like it that included prep for the upcoming ACFT with limited equipment?

I currently own few fitness sandbags currently filled to provide 10, 40, 60, or 80lb of weight, and a ruck. I have access to the outdoors and pullup/dip bars.

Thanks again, for the quality program at an awesome price ($9 bucks was steal for the Gym Closure Plan!).

ANSWER

Here’s our  Limited Equipment ACFT Training Plan – it’s what I’d recommend.
– Rob

QUESTION

Are there any alternatives to the dumbbell crawl? I don’t have decent dumbbells to move across the ground.

ANSWER

10x EOs
– Rob

QUESTION

Ive been thinking about subscribing. I have a question about the workouts. If i want to max my APFT which program would get be there faster and better?

1) 2mr improvement & PU improvement
2) APFT Improvement plan

Seems like in option #1 there is a lot for running and PUs than the APFT improvement plan, which makes me think that option 1 would be better? I just want to make sure which one will be more beneficial, i plan on starting on Monday.

ANSWER

APFT Training Plan. It is focused just on this event.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been doing starting strength for a while now and I want to add in some good athletic conditioning with the sandbag I just bought from you. What program would you recommend. I just turned 40. My squat is 445 for 3 sets of 5, press is 205 for 5, and deadlift is 500 for 5. I weigh around 220.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Monday and Wednesday sessions from Sandbag Ethos – if you want to do sandbag only work capacity to work in with your current strength programming.
Better would be to do Hank – which is a multi-modal plan that concurrently trains strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity – and do the strength programming in this plan.
– Rob

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