Q&A 6.16.22

QUESTION

I just finished SF60 Alpha, and am about to start Mountaineering prep, then Peak Bagger.

Question: I live near plenty of vertical trails: can I substitute loaded uphill trail hikes occasionally for the step-ups?  If so, is there a way to equate distance or elevation gain with step-ups, or count only the uphill part of the workout?

ANSWER

Yes – assume 1x Step Up = 24″ for the sub. So 500x Step Ups = 1,000 feet of vertical gain and do it accordingly. Use Google Earth to get the vertical gain for your course.
Also, I’d recommend packing up water. 1 gallon = 8 pounds … and dumping the water at the top for the run/hike down.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was introduced to MTI through The Deliberate Discomfort Challenge. I am a firefighter and one of our peer fitness trainers. I have sent several guys your way to subscribe to the big cat series and have jumped in myself when we work together.

My question is this: I just turned 50 and have a history of low back issues. I typically work through them pretty quickly, but the low back problems have been more frequent lately. I am an engineer and the physicality of the job has lessened a small amount, but I want to continue to be fit enough to do the job.

Which program(s) would be most beneficial at this stage of my career?

ANSWER

SF50 Programming beginning with SF50 Alpha.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m in the 75th RR wanting to inquire about some of your programs. I did your Ranger School recovery program last year and really enjoyed it. I’m looking to get back on another program with you guys but not sure which one would be best for me. I’m lookin for something that’ll build strength in Bench,DL, and squat but isn’t just a straight up meat head program. I’d like something that focuses on those 3 lifts but has a functional aspect to it as well.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Working through Running Improvement, looking for your advice on how to best modify based on advice found in your article “The Training Lifecycle.”
I love your focused programming balanced with base fitness.  Age 42 male, Navy reserves.  For reference, I made it through the quarantine program with no problem.  First three weeks of Hector were good, fourth week started to wear on me, by the end of 4th week I had overtraining/overuse foot injury (severe arch pain) and had to stop to recover (couldn’t walk, should have backed off…).  Same thing happened first time I started running improvement (ankle strain).  These were injuries I had never had before, and went away after a couple weeks rest/recovery.  Taking a wiser approach this time with running improvement by taking a rest day between days 5/6 long runs.  So a 5-1-1-1 split.  At the end of week 3 I was feeling pretty beat up (coming off rotating mid shift work also…), and had to add an additional two days to recover.  Felt great great starting week 4 (performance on the 4x800s was really good).  However, re-reading and thinking about what the 40-50 advice in “The Training Lifecycle,” would it be a better split to rearrange the workouts into a 2x 3-1 split?  So Speed over ground – Strength – Easy Distance Run – Rest?  Or some other combination?
Also, to prep for Navy PFA, I added a 1x max effort front plank on the three shorter running days.  Not concerned about the plank, just don’t want to be unprepared.  Last time I maxed with only planking a few times a week for 6-8 weeks prior.
2022 Fitness goals are to get my 1.5 mile run time down by July, and prep for Ragnar trail relay mid October.  Plan is to finish up Running Improvement, considering Military On Ramp, then Ultra prep right before Ragnar Trail?  Thoughts?
Would love to see some more P:E nutrition articles and sample diets.
Love what you are doing.

ANSWER

I’m not sure your injury issues are related to your actual age – they might be related to your “training age” – which is how long you’ve actually been consistently “training” and not occasionally working out.
The reason I say this is there are plenty of 40+ year old ultra runners putting in 70+ miles/week. But their “training age” – years they’ve been running – is high.
My sense is as you work through the running improvement plan, your “training age” is increasing, your connective tissue toughening up, and you’re adapting better.
At 42 I was in the gym pounding really hard … harder than my 30s … so it’s not like 42 is super old. I went super hard until 48 … so don’t underestimate yourself, esp. if your training age is relatively young.
In terms of split …. if what you’re doing now is working, keep doing it. If you find you aren’t making the first and or second intervals, you may want to consider more rest.
Schedule? …. make sure you look at the first week of the Ultra prep running mileage/volume. The Military OnRamp plan includes running, but you may want to replace the rucking in the plan with more running to get ready for the first week of the Ultra Pre-Season.
– Rob

QUESTION

I and have found you guys through a friend. I’m very intrigued by what you have to offer as I’ve done various programs in the past. In addition, I plan on purchasing the subscription and have a few questions about where to start. My intent is to be an overall athlete, having served in the Military I’ve done multiple CrossFit programs, I’ve done bodybuilding, and I’m a Deep End Fitness Instructor. But, now I’ve learned to love being a well-rounded athlete, that is strong, that has endurance (someday do an Iron Man), and preparing for my new endeavor of being a Firefighter, and staying injury-free. I have a small garage gym I’ve been able to outfit over the past few months, literally everything in the required equipment tab. I know this email was very lengthy, and I hope I am able to illustrate my goals to you. I am really looking forward to hearing back from you guys! Cheers!

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting with our Country Singer Packet of plans which concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity (functional core). Start with Johnny.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hey! I just recently got your subscription to your app. I was wondering you have a program for someone who is going to leave for basic training?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m an athlete’s subscription subscriber, and I am a single-role paramedic who works in a couple different services, doing everything from simple transports to 911 response. I am a reasonably fit 27 year old male and I was wondering if you had any specific program recommendations for single-role paramedics. I also served in the army for 6 years and would like to hold myself to that kind of fitness standard as long as I can.

ANSWER

Our Big Cat series is what I’ve built for Fire/Rescue. Start with Jaguar.
If you want to push, drop into the Virtue Packet of plans beginning with Humility. These are designed for military, but the fitness will transfer.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just purchased the MTI US Marshals academy plan , I’m so excited to get started! I am a police officer and I am most of the way through the marshal service hiring process but I want to make sure I get in great shape , so I’m a little early. Do you think it’s ok for me to run through this program multiple times if I am a little ways out from the academy? Thanks for your help and for this program I’m getting started right away!

ANSWER

No … issue is after a couple times you’ll plateau and the programming become stale.
What I’d recommend is doing the plan now, then dropping into the plans/order in the Spirits Packet of plans for LE Patrol/Detective, then repeating the US Marshall’s Academy Plan the weeks directly before the academy starts.
– Rob

QUESTION

I bought your Meathead Cycle program a few weeks ago and can feel and see myself gaining muscle (very little fat gain too with the nutrition plan.), but I wanted to get your opinion on something. I weighed in at about 195 pounds 3 weeks ago when I started, and have gotten to about 200 pounds as of Sunday. I am commissioning Active Duty Infantry soon and have noticed over time that I don’t like the way I perform as a tactical athlete overall when I reach the 200ish level. I am going to finish up this week on the Meathead cycle and then start your Ranger School plan to hopefully get below 185-190, but wanted to know if you’d recommend your IBOLC plan instead and why? Because I would think using the Ranger School plan would be indirectly training for IBOLC.

ANSWER

If you’re going to IBOLC that’s the plan I’d recommend as it is event-specific.
Will the Ranger School Plan transfer? – yes – you’ll be overprepared, most likely.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m on the back country hunting build 1, i’m doing the backcountry hunting program. I am 42 years old, 5 10, about 190 pounds.
I recently, about three weeks ago, started training jujitsu. I train five days a week for an hour during the lunch hour. Then i workout at the gym before dinner.
Do I need to modify the workouts in anyway to accommodate for the jujitsu training?

ANSWER

What’s most important to you? Jui Jitsu or hunting?
Jui Jitsu won’t prepare you for hunting – which has a strong endurance component. But, esp. as you move to the hunting pre-season plan, the programming is intense with high volume, and there’s a good chance you’ll overtrain.
Can you do both? Depends on your fitness.
An option now is to continue with your JJ and pull back on the BC Hunting Build sessions as needed for recovery, then as you get closer to your hunting season, (6-8 weeks) stop JJ to focus on hunting prep.
You can do JJ all year long. Hunting is only 1x/year.  Easy decision for me, but it’s up to you….
– Rob

QUESTION

Which of your plans would you recommend for me with the following:
1. 40 yo
2. Participates mostly in endurance events (focusing on olympic triathlon) – I would continue to use 8020 tri plans
3. Some history of injury so mobility/stability important
4. Decent strength levels (2xBW DL, 1.5 BW SQ)
5. Some interest in moving in to obstacle course racing, with an emphasis on racing, not just participating. No particular race currently planned.
I have looked at the SF40 plans – are those the best bet to keep baseline strength/chassis and supplement with the tri training as appropriate based on the season phase (base/build/peak/etc.)?

ANSWER

I don’t have the perfect answer for you as I’m not sure the intensity and recovery needed from your tri plans. Also – it seems you’re interested in trying something new, but not sure.
For most in-season athletes, I recommend our In-Season Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes as a way to train/maintain strength 2-3x/week while not impacting their endurance programming.
You’re plenty strong … so either you are a mutant or you’re already training some strength.
What I’d recommend is committing to an Obstacle Race and training specifically for it – using one of our Obstacle Race Plans or your own programming … and seeing how you like it.
If not, you could drop into the SF40 Plans, but skip the endurance in them to maintain strength/Chassis Integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am planning to go to Peak Lenin (7k meters) in July. Debating between the two plans mentioned in the subject.

The big mtn plan seems more focused on strength and work capacity. The Denali plan seems to incorporate more long runs/rucks which seem more ideal for my goals – but I could be wrong. Which of these plans do you suggest?

Big supporter of the plans I’ve used! Will be using the 50k ultra and Everest for next spring.

ANSWER

Denali has the long approach on skis …so it’s a different animal than many big peaks. I’m sure about the climbing details of Peak Lenin … so I’d recommend looking at that and comparing it to both plans.
But don’t overthink it …. I’m sure either will do a good job of preparing you.
– Rob

 

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