Q&A 6.17.21

QUESTION
First off I’d like to give you guys major kudos on your programming. Its simply fantastic, and I’ve been using it for a while now. I especially appreciate how versatile and how many different scenarios you have answers for.
On that note, when i’m not deployed or training specifically for a school I struggle with finding a base program that isn’t super time consuming but allows me a good platform to jump into a school or deployment program while also trying to involve my love and passion of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. If you’re not familiar, a good hour and a half of rolling can really smoke you and can be pretty sore after. I struggle trying to stick to one of your programs and roll at the same time both time wise (dont have time for 2-2.5 hours of working out in a day), as well as the physical toll that takes on my body.
I was curious if you guys would be able to create a program with 5 training days a week that would incorporate workouts that would keep a base level of strength, endurance, mobility, power etc, and incorporate 2 days of BJJ as well. I’m not sure if what i’m asking is even reasonable or plausible and if I’m asking too much but I figured if anyone knew or would be able to come up with an idea of what that would look like it would be you. Of course I would more than willing to pay for such a product, i just wanted to see if that was something you guys might be open to?
Looking forward to hearing back from you guys.
ANSWER
Sorry – I don’t do any individualized programming at this time – but you don’t need it.
Real simple would be to do Hector, and skip the training sessions the day you’ve got BJJ.
So 2 weeks of your schedule would look like this:
Mon Hector Session 1
Tue BJJ
Wed Hector Session 2
Thur BJJ
Fri Hector Session 3
Sat Rest or recreation
Sun Rest or recreation
Mon Hector Session 4
Tue BJJ
Wed Hector Session 5
Thur BJJ
Fri Hector Session 6
Sat Rest or recreation
Sun Rest or recreation
You can’t skip sessions in Hector … so follow the sessions in order as above.
– Rob

QUESTION

Is there a recommended sandbag program for beginners?

ANSWER

First plan in our packet, Sandbag Ethos. 
You may want to start with a 40# sandbag and increase to 60 or 80# as your strength improves.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m going to be on my 7th week of Bourbon next week and the last part of the spirit package for patrol law enforcement is Gin. What type of chest workout does Gin employ? Does it combine the last 4 or is a different routine all together? Thanks

ANSWER

All the plans in the Spirit Packet train upper body strength and upper body hypertrophy (mass) – chest, arms, shoulders.
Gin differs from Bourbon in the way strength is progressed, and in the exercises, it uses for mass.
The plan will complement the work you’ve already done.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 2 weeks away from completing the “Ultimate Meathead” plan. Prior to this one I did “Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys”.
I’m trying to cut some fat next.
Looking through your Q&A’s it seems like the “Fat Loss” plan isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all recommendation you make for this goal.
Fat Loss seems to have plenty of dedicated steady-state cardio so I’m drawn to that as it warms up and I want to get out and run.
I’m thinking I can leverage the work capacity focus in “Fat Loss” into beginning “Ultimate Work Capacity” afterwards.
No sport-specific goals, just looking to get lean, run far, and stay strong.
I don’t follow your diet recommendations but I do eat clean and will change things up as appropriate with fat loss objectives.
Based on all this, what are your thoughts on picking the next plan to complete?

ANSWER

95% of fat loss is diet-related.  Cut sugar (including fruit and carbs) from your diet and you’ll shed fat.
Your training plan is solid.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off, love your guy’s training. It’s easy to follow and really takes the guessing out of what you should do to accomplish your goals. That being said i’m looking to go to Go Ruck Selection in October, that’s about six months away.  Looking at the Go Ruck Selection plan it only goes to 10 weeks. What would be a good plan(s) to lead up to October? At my current fitness level I can already meet the standards but I’d rather be dealing with my mental game then worrying about my fitness at Selection.

ANSWER

6 months = 26 weeks. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks.   Plan
1-7          Fortitude
8-15        Valor … Repeat Week 6 to stretch to 8 weeks
16           Total Rest
– Rob

QUESTION

I completed the hotshot pre-season 2  program. Now I am at my duty station and we are on a hike, run, hike, run schedule. The rest of the crew doesn’t show up for another six weeks. I was considering just doing the hiking and running supplemented with recovery runs and the in season strength training for endurance athletes program. I would like guidance on what program to follow or what to add in addition to the existing running and hiking? Goals are injury prevention; improve: running, hiking, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and job specific  work i.e. – running saw, digging line.

ANSWER

In-season Strength Training for Endurance Athletes since you’re on the run/hike schedule.
If you could make your own schedule, I’d have you complete Blackwater, the first plan in the Wildland Fire Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

Is there a program that combines the big 3 and big mountain (non technical) I have an assessment on the big 3 (1RM) coming up followed by a multi day big mountain ascent in Alaska a month later.  I could not find a program that balances these two and was curious if there is a program you would recommend.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Big 3 + 5 Mile Run Plan, then after your strength assessment, turn to the Big Mountain Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Today I decided that I am going to attend SFRE at the end of this month. I was looking at your SFRE training plan and was wondering how I should approach that program without a full 7 weeks to train up. I was thinking I would do weeks 1-3 and then 7.

ANSWER

Do Weeks 1-3 as prescribed then jump to week 7 the week before your event.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m forward-deployed, constantly moving, and if the gym on-site isn’t backed up with a line for hours, there isn’t one at all.  I’ve searched for hours through the plans, and I keep running into the problem that I don’t have some or any of the equipment needed to do the program.  Even pullup bars are hard to come by in some of the remote sites.  Aside from the limited equipment programs, are there any programs that require ‘No Equipment’ aside from maybe a watch and some open ground to workout?

I cannot wait for these COVID mitigation measures are done and gone for good.  Thanks for all the hard work and service to the fitness community.  I recommend your programs and subscriptions to every Soldier, NCO, and Officer I come by.  Great for ‘hazing new lieutenants’!

ANSWER

You’ll need to get creative without a pull up bar … find a step/ledge/door jam, etc to use, or simply skip them.
– Rob

QUESTION

Thanks again for looking at this.  I really enjoyed the live session you did.

I have limited equipment at home (treadmill, dumbbells, bench, step-up box, pull-up bar, rowing machine, weight vest, ruck, and a sandbag).  I have access to this on the weekends and maybe 1-2 weeks per month.  The other 2-3 weeks of the month I typically have access to hotel gyms (treadmills, maybe dumbbells, and a bench, but I have a portable pull-up bar I take as well).

I have a Fire Fighter PT Test coming up (details attached). I have seen the treadmill activity substituted with 20m beep test with a minimum score of 7 to move on.  There is not a defined scoring system for the rest of the activities, but they have minimums, and usually take the top 20% to progress to the next selection.

What plan would you recommend?

ANSWER

The trick is your travel schedule and it sounds like most of the time you’re training in motel gyms.
The test itself doesn’t seem super difficult – but an overall increase in fitness will help with your vo2 Max Test (treadmill test) – which is what that will look like.
Given that – I’d recommend with the Stuck In a Motel Training Plan. This is a great, multi-modal training plan (strength, work capacity, endurance, chassis integrity) designed around motel training equipment.
On the weekends, when you’re home, I’d recommend one day a week taking a long run – trail run if possible. Start at 5 miles and try to push to 8-9 or 2 hours.
– Rob

QUESTION

Looking for a plan w/ the following parameters, but open to suggestions that may not meet all:
1) 5 days/week with weekends as active recovery/rest
2) Workouts from warm-up to cool-down not to exceed 90 minutes
3) Trains following lifts/exercises: bench press, back squat, trap bar deadlift, pull-ups, hand release push-ups
4) Allows for some short intense work capacity (thinking no longer than a 15-20 AMRAP session in a given training day)
5) Allows for some endurance cardio (currently working through a knee issue when running, so to be honest been using a stationary bike and rower for the time being)
I am in the Army, but don’t need any ruck running programming nor am I training for any particular selection or school. Do you have anything that might align with my goals?
Thanks in advance for your time and any assistance you can provide. MTI has always been an outstanding resource and judging from the website and the wide array of options, the bar has only been raised.

ANSWER

Closest is the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan. You can substitute your Back Squat for the Front Squat in the plan, and your trap bar dead lift for the hinge lift in the plan.
You’ll need to add hand release push ups … which you can do at the end of the assessment and every strength session. (after the other exercises). Follow the same progression that is programmed for the pull ups.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off I just want to say your programming is great and I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the programs I’ve purchased. Currently I am halfway through the 50 mile ultra plan. My question is regarding maintenance going into the summer. I have mountain races throughout the summer, culminating with (my first) ultra at the end of July. After I complete this training program, how can I help ensure I remain at this fitness level? I am thinking continuing two gym days a week, a tempo run, a longer base run and a long trail run each week. Looking forward to your feedback!

ANSWER

I don’t have much experience in the maintenance area – so I’d encourage you do more research.  Given that, I’d recommend rotating through total volume weeks of  35, 45 and 55 miles. So week 1 –  35 miles, week 2 – 45 miles, week 3 – 55 miles, then back to 35 miles.
Each week, work to get in 70% of the volume in two back to back days.
35 x .7 = 24.5, so on Saturday, run 15 miles, and Sunday, run 10 miles.
45 x .7 = 31.5, so on Saturday, run 18 miles, and Sunday, run 12 miles
55 x .7 = 38.5 so on Saturday, run 23 miles and on Sunday, run 16 miles.
In terms of pacing, run your shorter distance runs earlier in the week at either a threshold (fastest possible) or moderate (comfortable but not easy / tempo) pace.
Saturday runs are at the moderate/tempo pace. Sunday runs are at an easy pace.
Work in strength 1 day/week.
– Rob

QUESTION

Longtime subscriber and huge fan of what you do.
I’m looking at a potential 1SG position with a reserve unit.  It appears that PT each drill day will be mandated by higher, despite the fact that PT 2x/month is largely pointless.
To mitigate this and attempt to build an off-duty physical culture in the unit, I intend to build the PT plan off of a different PFT each month.  This not only provides a specific physical goal to strive for each month, it introduces the soldier to the unique expectations of the different groups we may work with (Joint, Combined, indigenous, etc. efforts are common to our missions).  Aside from mandated APFT/ACFT stuff, this would be purely diagnostic – no one would be professionally tied (promotion, OoM, etc.) to any scores outside of official requirements.  They’d simply know which test was coming up 2-6 weeks in advance and be told to prepare the best they can.  Naturally, I’d take the test right alongside my joes.
This leaves me with a couple questions:
1.  I’m a subscriber, but I cannot imagine most of my subordinates and officers are.  If I schedule a test for which you have a plan designed (UBRR, Cooper Test, etc.), I would feel like I’m stealing were I to share your plan with them.  At the same time, I’d feel disingenuous if I didn’t give them access to every tool at my disposal.  Do you offer any kind of unit rate that might allow such sharing?  I can’t promise any buy-in from my potential command, I’ve yet to meet them in-person.
2.  If a soldier comes directly to me for advice on how to approach a particular test, could I share that plan with him/her on the understanding that they must look to your material for future guidance?  Would it be acceptable if they train alongside me as I follow the plans (less likely, given the scattered nature of reserve units)?
3.  I’ve brought this drill PT idea up to a few peers, and a number of them have asked about the WWII PFT listed here:  https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/are-you-as-fit-as-a-world-war-ii-gi/ .  Do you have any plans that might suit such a test?
Thank you, and I love what you do.  There’s no way to tell, equivocally, but I bet a good number of us are alive today because of your plans.

ANSWER

Appreciate your integrity.
Answers:
1) Unit Rates? Yes – for both plans and subscriptions. Price depends on the number of athletes.
2) No. Plan purchases are for individual use unless there’s a unit purchase.
3) Not specifically … we use many of these elements in many of our plans, but not one that puts it all together. One of the issues with this test would be the range of motion for the squat jump …
– Rob

QUESTION

I would like your opinion laying out the ruck-based selection programing on a tighter timeline.
I’m looking to attend psyop selection in late November (32 weeks from now). The POAS plan is eight weeks which leaves me with 24 weeks of base training.
Out of the following plans, which should I replace with the eight week POAS train up? Fortitude, Resilience, Valor, or Big 24?
Thank you for the insight and I appreciate your time

ANSWER

I’m not sure I understand your question … but here is my recommendation:
Weeks.   Plan
1-7          Humility
8-14        Fortitude
15-22.     Valor (repeat week 6 to stretch to 8 weeks)
23           Total Rest
– Rob

QUESTION

Im going to Airborne and Air Assault school before attending to Ranger School. My questions is if I buy the Ranger training packet,  would be prepared me as well for Airborne and Air assault ?

ANSWER

Yes …. but you’ll want to complete the Ranger Plan directly before reporting to Airborne.
– Rob

 

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