Q&A 6.4.20

QUESTION

Been doing your programming for awhile now, mostly the Greek Hero series and have been loving it.  My wife has been thinking recently of trying to get a commission in the Navy and your stuff was the first thing in my mind for her to use to get in shape for a PRT and OCS if she is accepted.  That being said, I didn’t see anything for that specific goal and was wondering what you would recommend?

ANSWER

From what I have now, I’d recommend she start with the Army OCS Training Plan – the Army APFT is close to the Navy PRT and this plan will likely over-prepare her for Navy OCS.
I’ve actually never been asked about Navy OCS and will look into designing an event-specific plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I work in the US Merchant Marine and am frequently stuck on ships for months at a time. Often, they do not have fitness facilities. I can bring resistance bands and a jump rope however. What plan works best when you have limited equipment and nowhere to run? Just looking for general fitness, but hypertrophy would be a nice bonus.

ANSWER

Options:
1) Shipboard Training Plan – does require minimal equipment
2) Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan – you’ll have to be creative for the running in this plan …. treadmill, jump rope, step ups, etc … but others have managed. Be resourceful.
– Rob

QUESTION

What is the best work out to get ready for Beast Barracks at West Point.

ANSWER

Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

Firstly, thank-you very much for the opportunity to benefit from your years of mountain-focused training research.  I’m a monthly subscriber tohttps://mtntactical.com/ and I’m really enjoying the training plans.

When I read your article on backcountry.com about eccentric training I established a strong correlation with some of my own experiences with leg lactate tolerance.In the past

I’ve trained for alpine climbing using a combination of trail running and a stair climber with a weighted backpack, which for me is very effective for mountain endurance.  However, for 4,000 ft+ descents on skis I continue to experience the leg lactate tolerance issue

I’ve evaluated both your Dryland and Monster Factory ski training plans and I have a few questions:

  1. What is the best combination of exercises to train for leg lactate tolerance?  This is my most problematic area as I am currently unable to ski 4,000+ ft continuously without stopping for rest.  In rare cases my quads have completely seized on me to the point where I’m unable to descend and need to rest for minutes before continuing to ski down.
  2. Are leg lactate tolerance issues related to other weaknesses such as core, lower back or other areas of the body?

Any training direction you can share specific to this issue will be deeply appreciated! Thanks again for the opportunity to be a part of the MTI community.  My wife and I look forward to dropping in on your gym someday when we’re in Jackson.

ANSWER

We found the leg blaster progression and touch/jump/touch to a box intervals in the Dryland Ski Training Plan are the best to develop leg lactate tolerance sport-specifically for skiing.
The Touch/Jump/Touch to Box not only pushes leg lactate tolerance, but is some of the most intense work capacity programming I’ve developed. Think panic breathing for 18-20 minutes at the top of the progression … in addition to legs that feel like they are going to explode.
– Rob

QUESTION

I emailed you a little while back about tying in some long distance running stuff to the no-gym plan I was doing.  I have been selected at work to be a group of people to start using our gym utilizing social distancing measures so I want to move to one of the more specific ultra plans.
I have run distances up to 15 miles at a time with little issue so I thought about starting with the 50 mile ultra plan and working my way up.  I am wanting to use a 40 miler in February as a benchmark before I attempt my goal of a 100 miler.
Here’s the caveat: I want to do it completely in my Luna’s.  I am up to about 7-8 miles in them with no issues but taking it pretty conservative to get used to them the right way.  That being the case, I feel like I should begin with something a little less volume like the 25K plan perhaps and work up from there.  I have the luxury of not being on a tight schedule with the soonest race I want to run being in February.
Curious what would be your suggestion? 25K plan or something else?

ANSWER

Can’t help you here as I’m not familiar with running in Lunas and don’t know a safe progression. I’d recommend you reach out to people who’ve done what you’re trying for guidance.
– Rob

QUESTION

I can’t find a strictly body weight only program.  I live in a condo complex and do not have access to a pull-up bar, are to set up cones or a running track.

I also am working with some GI doctors because I’ve been diagnosed with acid reflux and hiatal hernia.  It’s been advised that I do not lift heavy weights or do inversion exercises.

Any good tips to help get my fitness back on track?

ANSWER

Gym Closure Training Plan – includes pull ups … I’d recommend getting a door jam pull up bar for $40 from amazon, or finding a tree branch … or skipping them and doing the rest of the training if you can’t resource it out.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently bought access to your programs for training and I think they’re great. I’m an infantry veteran and I’m in the process of either going to RASP or Selection in the next few months. I’m able to do a 12 mile ruck in under three hours, but only if I run. I’m a shorter guy so I don’t have the most effective steps with my stubby ass legs. As I train for this, is it better for me to do a slower time with a walk, or a faster time with a run? I’m in the mindset that I want to get better at rucking, not hide it anymore with running. Thank you.

ANSWER

All that matters is how fast you move. We run if needed. You’ll see in our rucking progressions that have an assessment you’re interval times will push your speed. Few will be able to make the times without running if they want to continue to get faster.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am interested in the run improvement program, but have a few questions. I am about to graduate from the Naval Academy, and have never been a strong runner, but improved quite a bit to end up PRing at 24:00 for my 3 mile on the PFT last spring. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in February of this year (with symptoms starting as early as October 2019) and have since absolutely struggled with running. I’ve been running 3x a week (two tempo runs and one long run) for the past two months with little to no improvement in my run times. I am curious if you think the run improvement plan will still be effective despite my injury, or if I should look in a different direction to make improvements. Thank you!

Sorry to add on, but after browsing a bit I’ve seen your low back fitness training program, which I intend on doing. Could you let me know how to best integrate this program with the running program? Thank you!

ANSWER

Complete the Low Back Fitness Training Plan as prescribed, and alone. Then move to the Running Improvement Training Plan.
The Low Back plan includes light rucking and step ups for endurance.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a new subscriber of the training programming.  I just completed the 7-week course outlined at climbing.com for the Cirque Traverse:
I’m planning to do the Cirque Traverse in mid-September, but I wanted to get a feel for the program now to begin developing applicable conditioning (legs/lungs).
I planned to start this 7-week program again beginning August 3rd to be in alignment with my September traverse objective.
I’m looking for programming to keep me fit between now and August 3rd while I have limited access to gym equipment thanks to COVID-19.  I hoped to have a method of looking for programming that would fit my available home equipment, but wasn’t able to make much progress.
Equipment owned:
* Dumbbells
* TRX
* Hang board
* Plyo box
* Jump rope
Any suggestions on programming material?

ANSWER

Mountain Base Artemis.
You’ll need to replace the Bouldering 4x4s in the plan with Hang Board work. Simple would be 15 rounds … 60 second Hang Board (move as needed between the holds/grips), 60 seconds rest. If you can’t make 60 seconds on the board, start at 30 seconds, then go to 45, then finish at 60.
Use your two heaviest dumbbells for the Hinge Lifts in the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 30 Y/O (structural) Firefighter/Paramedic and trying to figure out which program(s) would best suit me. I’m 6’0 195lbs and in generally very good shape. I’m currently running about 10 miles a week and train Crossfit style MetCons 3-4 days a week with extremely high intensity (I make up each workout;  they all last apprx. 1-1.5 hours in duration with no rest at near maximal HR). I enjoy fast, long, endurance-style workouts versus strength-focused.

I’m new to the site, and quite frankly am overwhelmed with the choices. I’ve considered starting the FF plan and also doing the 5 mile run plan as well in the mornings, however, I’m not sure if one of the more endurance/work capacity military plans might be more suited to my interests. I have 2 hours a day to train.  Any recommendations?

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Gun Maker Packet of plans for full time SWAT/SRT – good transfer to Fire/Rescue plus some added events.  Start with Ruger.
Go a couple weeks before adding any additional programming to see how you recover. If recovery is good, email back and I’ll assist.
– Rob

QUESTION

I sprained my ankle on my run this morning.  I just finished week 2 of the Gym Closure Package. How should I adjust the program while allowing my ankle to heal?

ANSWER

Two initial options.
– Tape up your ankle and fight through.
– Do the strength work as prescribed and switch the running/rucking in the plan to biking and double the prescribed distance.
Be resourceful.
– Rob

QUESTION

Hope this finds you all safe and well. I’m getting ready to start the SF-45 Charlie program and was wondering what would be a good substitute for box squats. I herniated a disc a few years ago and while I’m 100% I have taken back squats of any sort out of rotation. Risk vs rearward isn’t there for me anymore. Please advise when you have a moment.

ANSWER

Replace with Front Squats or Walking Lunges.
– Rob

QUESTION

Dan again, I e-mailed you a few weeks ago looking for some advice on how to best use the time I had left before starting the REP63/18X pipeline. Well, due to COVID, I’m basically here to ask the same question again! My original ship date was April 03, and due to the pandemic has been shifted back to October 06. The silver lining is that I have more time to prepare. The challenge I’m seeking advice for, is how to make the most of the five months between now and October, without the benefit of a gym.
In spite of the gyms being shut down, I’m fortunate enough to have a lot of resources at my disposal, including: a ruck that I can pack to be anywhere from 45-85#, a 10 lb dumbell to substitute a sledge hammer, boots and OCP’s, a 60# sand bag, 25# lb weight vest that can go up to 50, two 25# dumbells, and a moderately hilly nature trail near my home that has remained open.
I also just completed weeks 11-15 of the run improvement plan, and tested out with a PR of 45:14 on the six mile assessment, on the aforementioned hilly trail (stellar plan by the way, and as always, thanks for the gains). I have a solid background in rucking, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt I can meet all of the SFAS rucking standards, though as of late I’ve been focusing on running exclusively. I also did many of the strength sessions from the weight vest/dumbell/sand bag training plan concurrently with the run plan, so all in all I have a solid base of fitness to start from. My weaknesses, however, are push ups, sit ups, and pull ups. I work hard at them, but rarely see more than a 1-5 rep improvement in push ups and sit ups in a month, and struggle to gain more than 1 pull up with several weeks of effort.
Given that situation, what plans would you recommend I start working through with my time remaining, and in what order? Do you have any thoughts on how to best use the abundance of extra time I also have in the day, to physically and mentally prepare for October? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I hope you and your family are safe and doing well in spite of the circumstances, and as always, thanks for putting out such stellar products.

ANSWER

By my count you have 22 weeks until October 6. Here’s what I recommend.
Weeks   Plan
1-7         Gym Closure Training Plan – use your 60# sandbag instead of the 45# ruck for the sandbag work in the plan
8-14.      Humility
15-22.   Ruck Based Selection Training Plan – directly before reporting
Extra Time? Read Stoicism. Start with Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot, add in Man’s Search for Meaning, then move to Marcus Arelius, and the Art of Living.
– Rob

QUESTION

I started your USAF PFT improvement plan and I just complemented the first day of week 3, and my numbers are not where I expected them to be. My push ups have declined, but my sit ups and run have improved. Is this normal? Should I be doing something different?

ANSWER

How much improvement you’ll see depends on (1) how fit you were coming in, and (2) How consistent and dutiful you were in following the programming (not just going through the motion)
However – no, this is not normal for push ups. Super fit guys coming in may see a slight improvement, but still an improvement.
If you’ve been consistent and dutiful with the programming, I’d recommend sticking with and seeing if you improve on the final assessment.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m the wellness chairmen for Bangor Fire Dept in Bangor Maine. I have been tasked with revising the annual pft as well as proposing a training program. We cave approx 90 firefighters and three stations.

My background is a CrossFit affiliate owner since 2010 and firefighter emt since 2016. I was made familiar of your programs with operator ugly.

How would you recommend onboarding this program?

ANSWER

You’ve asked a question pregnant with multiple variables and nuances, and understand the approach I’ve thought through in the link below is how I’d do it … with the understanding that MTI’s approach to First Responder fitness is uncompromising. Couple places to start:
– Rob

 

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