Q&A 8.20.20

QUESTION

I am Active Duty Air Force and have started the USAF PT test program
on your site, however I have more than 6 weeks until my test.  I have
between 4 and 6 months to prepare.  My current 1.5 mile run time is 14
minutes 6 seconds and I am 24 years old.  I need to be below 11
minutes on my mile and a half to qualify to cross train into the SERE
career field.  Any advice you can provide me to meet my goal would be
greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

ANSWER

Complete the full USAF PFT Training Plan now.
Then drop into the plan/order in the Virtue Packet, starting with Humility. You should be able to get through Humility and Valor before your PFT.
Then re-do the USAF PFT Training Plan the 6 weeks directly before your assessment.
– Rob

QUESTION
Morning coach. I have recently been doing nothing but body weight work for the past few months and I am looking to get back into the gym. I want to start your strength packet and I would like some insight on what order I should start it.

ANSWER

Because these are all strength plans, there’s no progression between them. Each has a strength focus, and deploys a different way of training strength.
To start, just getting back into it, I’d recommend the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan, followed by Big 24.
– Rob

QUESTION

The USAF PFT plan specifies it is meant for the 6 weeks prior to the PFT. I’ve been cycling it every other 6 weeks. Do you see any issue with that?

The other question I have is regarding my upcoming deployment. I’m hoping to be able to do 2-a-days, but I’m wondering what the best combination would be between HIIT, LISS, and weightlifting.  I’m thinking maybe ultimate meathead in the mornings and 45-minute LISS in the evenings?  What would you recommend?

It’s a 3-month deployment, I’m a 34-year-old U-2 pilot, and I would say I’m in above average shape.  I would say my goal would be to gain strength and cut body fat.

Thanks for the help and advice. I love your workouts.

ANSWER

1. Yes … you’ll stop improving and get bored. Best to do it once, step away, then repeat directly before your assessment.
2. I’d recommend 357 Strength in the mornings over Ultimate Meathead, unless you’re looking to put on upper body mass. 357 Strength by design includes work capacity. Then you could do endurance in the afternoons – easy or moderate pace. I’m not sure what LISS stands for …. but I’d recommend run/ruck or spin.
After 357, do the MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan in the AM. Combined these should take you to 12 weeks (3 months).
– Rob

QUESTION
Good evening, I am a military guy who is looking to increase my overall strength and size along with maximizing body weight exercises such as pushups and pull-ups as well as still remaining proficient at running, what programs would be ideal for this goal?

ANSWER

Start with strength and size – specifically the Ultimate Meathead Training Plan. Gym-based, free weight plan that deploys max effort strength work for the lower body (high load, few reps) and hypertrophy work for the upper body (moderate load, high reps). Ultimate Meathead is a tight, 4-week, 4-day a week training plan that includes one day of short work capacity and chassis integrity (core) work. Add in a 3-5 mile moderate run on Fridays.
Follow it up with Humility. Humility is intense, limited equipment, military-specific training plan focused on bodyweight strength, work capacity, and unloaded and loaded (body armor) running.
– Rob

QUESTION
I am a retired US Marine.  I retired in 1998.  Since retirement I have been plagued with a lower back injury that happened sometime in service but since I was always in shape the injury didn’t show up until after I retired.  Through Physical Therapy I’ve found that my sacrum and pelvis have shifted.  This has atrophied some thigh muscles and made my core very weak.  Also, 10 years ago I had prostate surgery to remove cancer.  I still have parts of my body that have not fully recovered from this invasion to my body.  Getting back into shape is the only way I NEED TO FULLY RECOVER!!
I am having difficulty finding a fitness program that can adequately meet the needs of my recovery without suffering an injury (usually muscle or ligament damage after about 2 weeks of work) that stops any progress that I’ve made.  I have a gym membership and am highly motivated to recover!  Any suggestions as to your which of your programs would fit my need?
Thank you for your time!

ANSWER

I don’t have a training plan for deconditioned athletes. I’ve simply never worked with this population and don’t have first-hand experience.
From what I do have, a simple place to start would the APFT Training Plan. This deploys an initial assessment, and the follow on progressions are based on your assessment results. In this way, the plan automatically “scales” to your incoming fitness.
The APFT does include a 2-mile run. You can run/walk as needed, just do the full distance.
– Rob

QUESTION
Long story short, I slipped a disc in my lower back 8 weeks ago. I took a couple weeks off and then started your low back recovery V3 program. Next week marks week 6 (last week) of the program. My lower back and core are feeling strong. I’d like to continue this trend going forward. Any recommendations for my next plan?
Thinking about the one lift per week, but wanted to see what you all thought. Overall goal is to drop a few pounds and while maintaining a strong core.

ANSWER

The 1-Lift Per Day Training Plan is a great, multi-modal training plan which hits strength, work capacity, endurance, and chassis integrity (core).
It is intense …. so be smart and safe with your loading, and cut back rounds in the sessions as needed to aid recovery.
– Rob

QUESTION

I emailed you a few months about how best to prep for Vinson and you gave me a great plan, starting with Wrangell-St. Elias. I’ve subscribed and have been really impressed so far with the programming.

For the 6 mile endurance test, should I stay within a HR zone or is the goal to complete 6 miles as fast as possible regardless of heart rate?

ANSWER

“Run 6 Miles for Time” = run 6 miles fast as possible.
– Rob

QUESTION
I am a former weekend mountaineer, adventure racer, and canoe racer. I have transitioned over to kiteboarding and can honestly say it’s about the most fun I have ever had. I think you might enjoy it. There is a kite snowboarding sub genre. So lots of cross over. I would love to have a workout plan. I do some of my own balance work. The sport is huge overseas and growing. We have a wonderful school run by a former climber down here in Texas. Would love to hook you into the community. And it’s a sport you would like. I took it up at 50 with no prior board experience.

ANSWER

A little out of my wheelhouse, but I’ll certainly consider.
Funny – I’ve been attracted to the sport and actually took a lesson (swallowed lots of water) and booked a trip to the Dominican Republic for me and my son to a beach famous for consistent wind just to learn …. and there was no wind!
For now, my guess would be a plan focused on upper body strength endurance, and chassis integrity, with an emphasis on low back isometric strength. Plus general endurance for basic aerobic fitness and keeping weight down.
Also – a swimming component.
From what I have I’d recommend Johnny, replacing the Friday run with a moderate-paced open water swim.
– Rob

QUESTION
Due to Covid-19 all the Gyms are close and I was training to attend the SFRE doing Fortitude but didn’t complete it . My question is if possible, to do a limited equipment programs to build the fitness necessary before doing the SFRE/RBSP? i know that you have gym closure program but I’m not sure if they fit the bill for that purpose.

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION
I came across your website a little over a week ago and have visited it several times since then. My mom and I have been on your “diet” for a week and really like it.

I would like to explain my current situation and request some honest feedback.
I am an 18-year-old female who is vigorously trying to get into the Air Force Academy. I graduated this past fall from high school and was not selected for an appointment. In the meantime, I am doing AFROTC starting this fall while reapplying.
Here is the situation…
I did not get in mainly because of my ACT scores. However, there were other things that factored into my rejection. I was medically disqualified and was not competitive enough to get a waiver. I passed the CFA but could have done MUCH better. I was recovering from pneumonia when I took the CFA and was on some antibiotics that seriously screwed with my stomach. I was also extremely fatigued due to my bad case of pneumonia. As I said, my ACT scores were the main cause of rejection. Ever since I was informed that I was a non-select, I have been studying non-stop for the ACT that I was supposed to take yesterday, however, it was cancelled due to Covid. I may, or may not be able to prove myself with the ACT this admission cycle. Hearing about my low ACT scores and average CFA, you may question my desire with a (reasonable) laugh. I can guarantee, though, that I was seriously considered. I did receive my congressman’s nomination and both my liaison officer and evaluator believe that I belong there. I am an average person with a huge desire, a whole lot of grit, a nonstop work ethic, and faith.
This is where you come in.
My job now is to make sure that I am as competitive as possible for this admission cycle. I need to clean up every weakness. Especially since I may not be able to prove myself with the ACT due to the coronavirus, I need to prove myself with what I can control- fitness.
The weight cutoff for my height, 5’7, is 159 lbs. I would like to be between 150 and 155. I did not make this cutoff last year and received a body fat assessment, which I passed. I am 170 lbs. I would love to lose 20 lbs and really build muscle. I come from a line of obesity from my mom’s side, which is who I grew up with, as she was a single mom. My mom got remarried in 2011 and her husband, my dad, comes from an Air Force family (Go Falcons!)  who introduced me to my now unending desire to serve. Ever since my mom met my dad, I have been in a ton of sports and they (his side of the family) made sure to keep me active. My mom also has a new philosophy on food and fitness but most definitely still struggles.
My physical goals are this:
-Lose 20 lbs
-Kill the CFA  (attached below)
-Seriously lean up
* I also really want to be able to do pull-ups but have not been able to do a single one.
I understand that I am far from where I need to be, but I am trying to get there. I do not have a lot of money but if you have a sample course or fitness plan that you recommend that will help me reach my goals, this will be worth my money. Again, I can’t afford much, but your prices seem to be reasonable. I am looking for some honest feedback and advice. I could really use it.
I look forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER

I’d recommend starting with the CFA Training Plan.
At both the links above, click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
You’ll want to re-complete the CFA Training Plan the 6 weeks directly before you official assessment for next year’s admission.
The programming I’ll recommend between Bodyweight Foundation and the CFA Training Plan before your official assessment will depend on your equipment availability when you complete Bodyweight Foundation and who knows where we’ll be at with the pandemic then. Email back after Bodyweight Foundation and I’ll advise.
Bodyweight …. losing excess fat will help everything – run times, pull ups, etc. Stick with the nutrition guidelines. Be sure to cheat on the cheat day, but only on the cheat day.
– Rob

QUESTION
I’m in the Army National Guard and I am leaving for Infantry OSUT (for 22 weeks) on September 21st. I used to have a gym but due to Covid its closed. I have some training equipment that includes a Ruck, 25 pound plate, a 20kg kettlebell and a 26kg kettlebell. I ordered a sandbag from REP fitness but who knows when they will ship it to me. I wanted to inquire what plan would help me prepare physically for OSUT.

ANSWER

You’ll need to build a 45-pound backpack which you’ll use for both lifting and rucking.
You have 9 weeks until OSUT. This is a 7-week plan …. repeat weeks 3 and 6 in the plan to extend it to 9 weeks.
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION
I have subscribed to you plans and am a long time tactical athlete. However, I live in NJ and gym are closed due to COVID. I just finished my garage gym (I have the essentials) but am still waiting for some Bumpers and dumbbells to complete the entire set up. I do have enough weight to get started. My health, strength and cardiovascular fitness has declined steadily over the past 5 months. Do you have a plan that you would recommend to get back into the swing of things? Here’s what I have so far, squat rack, Olympic barbell, about 150 lbs in plates, my trusty ruck, my weighted vest with ceramic plates, dumbbells 10-50lbs, jump rope and Plyo boxes-various heights. Any thoughts I would appreciate.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Big 3 + 2-Mile Run Training Plan to start.
Heavy strength + running and intervals. Simple and direct.
– Rob

QUESTION
I’m a big fan of MTI and have purchased plans in the past.
I volunteered to be one of your 50+ athletes in a recent study but I was training for Denali and traveling every week. Denali closed and I’m no longer traveling due to Covid.
I blew out my knee March 7, had surgery April 9th and anxious to get back climbing (I had a full ACL replacement, meniscus repair, cadaver tendon and titanium screws). I’ve been hiking up to 12k feet, overnight camping with a 35lb pack and doing Peloton spin and strength classes every day.
I hope to climb another 8k meter peak next year (I summited Everest in 2018 and have climbed all over the world), and climb other peaks in Bolivia, Antarctica and many more.
I’d like a training plan that focuses on lower body strength training for mountaineering. I have the Denali and Everest plans but I can’t do any lateral movements right now or heavy weight training. I’m supposed to “take it slow” and recover but my leg has atrophied and I’m losing strength (not my happy place).
Any plans that you’d recommend?

ANSWER

Sorry about your knee.
Options –
(1) Monday, Tuesday and Thursday Session’s from Everest Base – you already have this plan.
(2) Single Limb Strength Plan – be smart and cautious with loading
(3) Post Rehab Leg Injury Training Plan – Best option as it’s designed to come back post Physical Therapy — assuming your’e done with PT. Again, be smart and cautious with loading.
– Rob

QUESTION
I’m following your plans this year and I have two questions.
1. Do you have some specific plan to improve time for 50m swim (below 40s)?
2. Could you advise which plan would be the best for Polish Military Physical Fitness Badge:
-18 Strict Pull Ups;
-28,6 s or less in 10x10m Shuttle Run;
-12,00 min or less in 3000m Run;
-40s or less in 50m Swim (25m pool)?

ANSWER

1) No.
2) From what we have, the US Navy PST Training Plan is close to your event and what I recommend. It includes specific training for a 500m swim, including shorter sprints, 1.5 mile run (3K), and pull ups.
– Rob

QUESTION
I am very interested in purchasing your smoke diver training course. My buddy and I want to use it to prepare for Florida Smoke Divers. Your description advises to contact you if it is more than 9 weeks out. Also, I am a female training for the course and any extra tips to get up to the standard would be awesome. The course will be in December. Thanks.
ANSWER
By my count you have 19 weeks until December 1.
Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks    Plan
1-7          Smoke Diver Training Plan
8-11        Johnny – first 4 weeks
12           Total Rest
13-19      Smoke Diver Training Plan (repeat it directly before the course)
Doing the Smoke Diver Training Now might smoke you pretty good if you’re coming into it with suspect fitness …. but much of it is assessment-based, and suffering through it the first time will condition your mind and body so when you repeat it directly before the course, you’ll see/feel the improvement and head to the course fit and confident.
– Rob

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