Q&A 7.29.21

QUESTION

I’d like advice on which plans to complete over a 9 week period between fortitude and valor,  considering the following situation/ schedule.
I’m about to go TDY out of the US during which I’ll have no access to a gym and go through 2 hotel quarantine periods.
Note, I am willing/able to check/carry-on a reasonable amount of workout equipment with me,  (like a sandbag,  potentially dumbbells, a weight plate,  etc.), and I will already have a ruck sack.
Here’s my schedule:
Next week: Finish “Fortitude” training plan.
-Week after: Still in US with gym access.
-2 weeks hotel quarantined
-2 weeks able to go outside,  but no gym
-2 weeks hotel quarantined
-2 weeks able to go outside,  but no gym
Then I return to the US and planned to start your “Valor” training plan, but I’m flexible.

ANSWER

I’d recommend switching back and forth between the Quarantine Training Plan and Apache – the first plan in the “Tribe” limited equipment series.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a student at Navy EOD school looking to begin training for the final portion of school known as underwater ordnance division. There is a great emphasis on physical strength and endurance. The whole ordeal is about 3 months long and includes a great deal of running with weight and open water fin swimming. As an example, one day there is a 10 mile conditioning run followed by a full kit and ruck march for 3 miles, finishing with pushing a gator UTV back 3 miles home with everyone’s gear loaded up in the back. Other days you are running under a zodiac boat with a crew of guys. Many of these days you are wearing a weight vest. You are expected to keep up on long endurance type events such as these but also be strong. We will be tested regularly on 3 separate events: the Navy PST, Army Airborne PT test, and the Navy’s HPT. The PST and Army airborne tests consist of running, pushups, situps, pullups, and swimming. The HPT consists of a 3 mile run, 800m swim, Broad jump, 5-10-5 agility, Max 25 lbs weighted pull-ups, body-weight bench for max reps, 1 rep max deadlift, and finally a 300m suicide run.
A little about myself, I have a powerlifting background and have no trouble with strength but I am terrible at doing anything for distance. I actually perform among the best on the HPT I mentioned but I’m not great with any sort of group workouts in general. I can be an average runner but anything with weight and fin swims are my greatest weakness. I apologize for the long winded email but I am hoping you can help point me in the direction of a training program that will suit my training goals. I have seen a few I am interested in but I have longer than 8 weeks before beginning, I was hoping there was something I could do for a more prolonged period of time. I have about 4 months to train. I have access to a broad range of equipment and facilities.

ANSWER

4 months = 16 weeks. Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks         Plan
1-7               Black Beard – Repeat Week 5 to stretch this plan to 7 weeks
8-16            USMC Basic Recon Course Training Plan – directly before the course.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am getting into ROTC this year and hope to score an officer contract then reach SF some day. One of the things that will help my chance is if I remain extremely competitive physically. I am 6ft and 153lbs. I’ve been working out a lot for some time now but I wanted to find a more structured plan that will aid in getting me to where I need to be physically in terms of strength, endurance, mass, etc. I need a plan that I can do as an improvement plan like something I can use over a longer period of time. I appreciate any workout plan recommendations you have for me and my situation.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans and order in the Virtue Packet, beginning with Military OnRamp.
These plans are military/infantry//SOF focused and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (functional core), and endurance (run, ruck).
– Rob

QUESTION

I utilized the leg injury program as best I could after a having an open fracture on my foot. I would like to start running and lifting again. Which program do you recommend for me to use so as not to put too much stress on my foot and get back into a normal workout routine?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I recently purchased the  FBI HRT selection prep plan. I have approximately 16 weeks until the projected dates so I have some additional time to prepare. Finally, I should note that I am working my way back up from a major surgery on my left knee that I had in November of last year. With all of this in mind I was hoping for some recommendations on how to best attack this challenge.

ANSWER

Weeks     Plan
1-7            Valor
The strength and endurance programming in Valor is assessment-based … so be smart and cautious with the initial assessments and if it feels okay through the first 3 weeks, really push on the week 4 re-assessments and for the final weeks of the plan.
The HRT Plan is no joke, and Valor will help prepare.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was looking at the required equipment for the gladiator programme and noticed it only lists a barbell but not a rack. Is it possible to participate in the programme without a rack? Thank you very much for your time.

ANSWER

Yes. Gladiator is built around the MTI Barbell Complex, which doesn’t deploy a rack.
– Rob

QUESTION

I went over the nutritional guidelines and the video. I was wondering why absolutely no grains? I understand they go straight to fat cells but wouldn’t they contribute to providing the energy you need to go the distance? I am just looking for a better understanding of that.

ANSWER

You get plenty of carbs for energy from vegetables.
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently purchased the I-BOLC program to prepare for the course. My question is how should I incorporate ACFT training into the program because I will be tested on both APFT and the ACFT?

Also, this is also a more personal fitness question; my throwing strength is quite weak (hand grenades—I never threw as a kid). Do you have any suggestions for strengthening this? I have been doing baseball rotator cuff exercises.

ANSWER

ACFT? – Add in trap bar deadlifts for strength and the med ball throws – for technique work.
Throwing? Actual throwing … even if it’s catch with a football, and or baseball, or simply throwing a tennis ball against a wall and playing catch with yourself. I used to lay on the floor and throw a tennis ball up to the ceiling and back. It’s harder than you’d think!
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m interested in competing in Best Ranger Competition in April 2022. I am likely to be limited equipment until beginning of October so I’m planning on doing Gratitude and then work through the Great Plains Tribe packet until I get full gym access again. Then: Fortitude, SFOD-D Build, BRC Prep.

Would SFOD-D Build be the ideal plan to do directly before the BRC Prep plan, or is it too intense?

Open to your expert advice. Thanks.

ANSWER

Your plan is solid.
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

I completed the ruck based selection program 1.5 weeks ago. However my selection date got pushed from this week until mid AUG. I will restart the program me 8 weeks out. However I wanted to see what would be best to maintain in between. I was told by someone that recently went through SFAS that a ACFT style test is conducted for strength assessment. I was wondering if a good strength phase that still includes a good amount of running so my legs don’t get soft would be best. If so what would you suggest program wise. Also I have a slight hip flexor strain from a workout a week ago. Its feeling a lot better but I think another week of not running is what I’m going to do so it heals well.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Fortitude, a full week’s rest, then starting the RBSTP.
Just be smart/cautious with your hip flexor.
– Rob

QUESTION

I got into MTI from my Battalion Operations Officer, as he gave a strong recommendation. I’ve stuck with the Bodyweight Build for my first program, and am loving it. I’m on week 3, about to start week 4, and already thinking long range toward what the next program will be. What do you recommend after Bodyweight Build?
Also, I think it would be great if you guys built a program just for TRX. I have a set of the tactical bands that units can buy, and I did their 12 week program last deployment which was great. But I think if you guys made a TRX-pure program, it would be awesome for guys deployed.

At my house I have a jump rope, a small band, TRX, and a Pull-up rack that I built. I also have stuff like boxes to step on. All my cardio I do outside with no issues.
Buying one or two items to aid in progress aren’t an issue; but I’m not looking to buy like an entire kettlebell set or anything.

ANSWER

I’d recommend Apache – first plan in our Tribe, limited equipment series. You’ll need to build a 60# sandbag and pick up a pair of 25# dumbbells.
– Rob

QUESTION

Can the SAFT Training Plan be used by civilians trying to get into infantry school with the Army National  Guard sir?

ANSWER

Sure. Anyone can use the plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

Long time fan of your workout routines. I have taken the last 10ish months from working out due to COVID (gym closed) and lack of discipline. The result is I am 25 pounds heavier (diet went to shit too) and my cardio is the worst it has ever been. I am a 43 year old male, no stranger to hard work in and out of the gym. After looking at the programs I am worried they may be too much for me right now as I don’t recover like I did a few years ago. What program would you suggest to get me started again? I appreciate any input.

ANSWER

And … fix your diet. Here are our recommendations: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
– Rob

QUESTION

I will be participating in a 50 mile GoRuck in October 2021.
I have varying time to train through Pugh out the week/weekends.
Which program do you recommend to train up?

ANSWER

50-Mile Ultra Training Plan – and ruck instead of running in the plan. Don’t worry about the zones. Carry the same load you’ll carry at the event.
Understand from our perspective, you have to train long to go long.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just finished reading the article posted in Arete regarding the 5 Tactical Diet Strategies. Was wondering if you have any recommendations for diet while in the field?
I’m active Army and will have access to MREs but was wondering if there were better options.   I’ve cleaned up my eating lately and dropped 5-7lbs, and I am looking for ways to maintain the healthier choices I’ve been making through an upcoming field training cycle.
Looking forward to hearing from you!

ANSWER

You can purchase your own backpacking meals – but I’m not sure in terms of protein/energy they’d be much better. Also – they’d be expensive. Highest protein brand right now is Peak Refuel – and these are $12/meal.
Another option is to supplement MRE protein with some of your own. Options include a Whey Protein Shake mix (not a recovery shake which is full of carbs, but a low-carb whey protein shake), and – what I often do – hard Salami and hard cheese. Heavy – but you get a lot of protein for relatively few ounces.
But best, depending on your time in the field, is just to skip the deserts in the MREs, don’t drink calories, and not worry about it too much until you get back to your own kitchen.
– Rob

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