Q&A 8.29.19

QUESTION

I recently purchased the coast guard rescue swimming program. I have only recently been practicing my swimmer, so I was just looking for some tips as someone just starting out, for example I get tired before able to complete the entire 450m swim, also do you recommend ear plugs while doing this? My next question would just be how to alternate using fins vs not, and for the 25m underwater swim, do you get to use fins for this ? If not, how can you practice to get better at this? I can do the 25m underwater the first time but I fail the final three times.

ANSWER

450m Swim?  …. Practice and technique. Your swimming fitness will improve with more swimming. If you are attending the Rescue Swimming Course, improved technique will make a huge difference – Many hire a swim coach for an hour or two to work on the basics.
25m Underwaters … Do your best. More practice will lead to improvement. No fins.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m purchasing your 5 mile plan (already been using the APFT plan and love it), to prep for IBOLC. Do you still suggest going 6 days a week without carbs, if my goal is to work primarily on endurance?  Thanks I really appreciate all the work you guys put in to help out guys like me.

ANSWER

There are plenty of carbs in veggies and fruits. You don’t need wheat, oats, rice, sugar, pasta, potatoes, pizza, granola, etc.
Follow the guidelines. Cutting fat will make you faster.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am an outdoor enthusiast who in the past has always followed a Crossfit program of some sort. However, I have lost my enthusiasm/luster for this training. At the fundamental level, I enjoy the functional training but just can’t find a program that makes sense for me or my goals.
Right now I am in no way a competitive athlete in Crossfit or anything else. I would like general training that is going to prepare me to be the best outdoor enthusiast/athlete I can be. I am a newer climber and I am starting to dabble in mountaineering. I would like to continue to participate and improve at both. So I would like to find a general program that keeps those things in mind.
I like to train for no more than an hour a day 4-6 days per week. I have access to all equipment and do like the occasional barbell work.
Is there a plan that you think would be best suited for me?
Thank you in advance!

ANSWER

Our Greek Heroine Series is designed as “Base Fitness” for mulit-sport mountain athletes. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), climbing fitness (rock), and mountain endurance (run, uphill hiking under load).
Start with Helen.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m pretty interested in your alpine and backcountry ski training plans. My primary goal is to get in shape to ski hard next season as soon as there’s snow on the ground (so fingers crossed for late October).

I looked at the Dryland ski training plans and they sound good but the issue is that I ride my mountain bike hard, uphill, on technical trails, at least 2-3 times a week for 2-3 hours per session. I wonder how that will fit into a leg-intensive training plan. Looking at your 30-minutes per day dryland ski plan, do you think it would work out ok to start that plan and continue mountain biking or would something have to be adjusted? I’d have to do the program on ride days so as not to mess up recovery, right?

I also run a little, hike, climb and do yoga but I’m assuming that won’t affect anything.

Thanks for your help.

ANSWER

Our dryland ski programming is intense? Will you be able to do both MTB and the dryland work? If you’re super fit, but likely not, esp. at long 2-3 hours MTB sessions.
What MTB won’t give you is eccentric leg strength. As you ski, gravity bounces you down the hill, and with each bounce (turn), your legs must absorb this downward force. This takes eccentric strength, which is opposite and different than the concentric strength you use to push down on the bike pedals.
What I’d recommend is you do the Monday and Thursday sessions from the 30-Minutes Per Day Dryland Ski Training Plan. You should be able to work these in with your current work load, though expect to be sore. These sessions specifically train eccentric leg strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I successfully completed the IBOLC training Plan and started IBOLC. The plan definitely improved my 5-mile run time and has prepared me for the heavy amount of Loaded movement we do during Field Operations. I am slotted for the 6 January Ranger Class, which gives me a full 8 weeks between IBOLC graduation and my start date to complete the Ranger School prep plan.
For the next 15 weeks of IBOLC, I am not sure how to train. IBOLC alternates between high and low tempo weeks. During the low tempo weeks, we have PT Mon-Fri, which includes bodyweight training and running intervals based on the Army’s PRT, and ample time (45-60 mins) to train on our own in the evenings. But then our high tempo weeks are entirely in the field, carrying a 45-60lb ruck continuously, which leaves time for only one or two training sessions on the weekends without limiting full recovery for the next week.
Is there a specific plan you would recommend I use during IBOLC? I want to be able to maintain the level of fitness I had coming into IBOLC so that I can complete the Pre-Ranger Program in November/December.

ANSWER

It seems the running and bodyweight strength work you’re doing on the low tempo weeks will keep you reasonably fit for similar work in our Ranger School Training Plan, and the rucking in the field will do the same.
What you’re missing is focused strength work, short work capacity, and chassis integrity work. I’d recommend you work through the sessions in the TLU Strength Plan for the times you have to train. These alternate between strength work, and work capacity/chassis integrity, for the most part, and the sessions aren’t terribly progressive … so you can have some time between efforts.
Make sure you’re getting one full day’s rest per week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m planning for a Himalaya backpacking trip with some friends. I’m an active duty service member, and have been hitting your Operator sessions for several years now. The obstacle I’m encountering is finding a plan for the rest of the group that is typically a hair to the right of sedentary. Our timeline is roughly a year out. Which plan would you recommend for them?

Thanks for all you do!

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I was just included in a backpacking trip short notice, and I noticed that most of your hiking/ backpacking plans are seven weeks long. What do you suggest If I only have four weeks to prepare?

For context – we are doing the Ruby Crest trail which will include four 10 + mile days with 40 + pound packs.

ANSWER

The progressive – so start at week 1 and work through as much of the plan as possible in the time you have.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am trying to find a balance between triathlon and strength training. Are you able to create individual programming tailored to the previously stated? If you can, we can go into the specifics (age, exper, time, job, etc..)

ANSWER

Sorry, I don’t have the time to do any individualized programming, but our In-Season Strength Plan for Endurance Athletes is what you want. This is a 2-day/week plan, and each session trains strength, and chassis integrity (core) – what you’re missing with your high volume tri training.
– Rob

QUESTION

And I wanted to reach out to see if you could help

I want to do a pure bodyweight ‘bodybuilding’ program for the next 6-12weeks
I’m going to add chains / weight to the basics
But I’m staying away for barbells DBs etc

Is there a specific Program that could help
– that I missed?

ANSWER


QUESTION

I’m a 53 year old urban firefighter with 21 years of service, I also started BJJ 2 years ago. Wondering which program you would suggest, SF 45 or BJJ program?
I used your ruck program for a trek in Spain and was well prepared, thanks!

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Couple quick ones, if/when you can:
(1) I like to fuel with gels and Stingers when hiking and scouting in the mountains, but these are not allowed during the 6 days of the week. Is there a rule about ignoring the clean eating while in the mountains, even if its, not the main event I am training for? Rule of thumb here?
(2)  Building a basement gym. Going to follow your recommendations on thick rubber mats for the barbells and kettlebells, but what about for the shuttles and floor work? I see you use the green grass-like mats. What are those and do you recommend them?
I tried to search these up on your site but failed to find them.
Finished Jedidiah and just started the Backcountry Big Game hunting plan. Kind of scared.
Appreciated!

ANSWER

1) “Event Nutrition” is different. So it’s okay to use gels, etc. during long endurance events.
2) We have turf. Not sure this is practical for a garage gym. We went for years just with a concrete floor … others go outside on a sidewalk and/or grass. Keep it simple.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m looking for an all around gym based fitness program. I’m currently at IBOLC and have been using your APFT program attached to a weight lifting routine. I had recently tried the military on-ramp training program and loved the mix of barbell workouts (like bench press, squats, and cleans) with bodyweight, sandbag and free weight workouts. It was a lot of fun and great workouts! To be more specific for what I’m looking for I want something that will keep me in great shape for infantry and help improve for upcoming ranger school. I was also looking for a program that I could carry on and continue passed completion. To continue improving and building on the muscle that program created. Anything you would reccomend?

ANSWER

The Plans and order of the Greek Hero Packet are designed as day to day fitness for full time Military/SOF. They are the next step in our programming after spooling up with the military OnRamp training plan, and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), military endurance (run, ruck run), and tactical agility.
Start with Hector.
– Rob

QUESTION

First I just want to thank you for your hard work, I really enjoy your training plans and have found them greatly beneficial to my individual fitness.

I’m currently on Division Staff at Fort Drum but moving to take command of an infantry company in the next 6 months. Our commanding general is very passionate about physical training, but also mandates a fairly strict weekly outline to PT. It’s very “classic” army.

Monday-Long Run
Tuesday- ACFT/Strength Focus
Wednesday- Two mile improvement
Thursday- High Intensity Circuit type workouts
Friday- Ruck march.

I initially looked to your Greek Hero series (at least for the more fit soldiers in the formation to use as a foundation) but I feel I would have to alter them so drastically they would lose their effectiveness. I’m just curious what you suggest as a program to use that falls into this general outline. Additionally if you have any good arguments as to why we simply adopt your training program I’d love to hear them to build my own case for moving away from the above framework.

In general 10th Mountain has pretty good equipment at the Company level, and there are always plenty of sandbags to be made.

I appreciate any and all feedback, thanks for your time.

ANSWER

Congrats on your command!
Our Grunt PT Packet of plans is specifically designed as day-to-day fitness for line unit company. These plans use relatively little equipment and deploy our fluid periodization programming. The way it’s designed is each of your platoon would train a different fitness daily: one would train strength, one work capacity/chassis integrity, and one endurance.
The schedule doesn’t exactly follow what your general has laid out … so you’d want to ask permission later….
– Rob

QUESTION

I have been doing Tammy, and I really like it. I want to move on to something that still incorporates the sandbag movements, (toss and chase, get ups, presses, etc.) along with tac serpa, and hypertrophy work. I’m transitioning out of the guards but will still be in law enforcement and want to add some size but keep my strength. What do you recommend?

ANSWER

The plans in our Spirits Packet are designed for full-time LE and include sandbag work, strength, work cap, tactical agility, chassis integrity (sandbag), and upper body hypertrophy.
Start with Whiskey.
– Rob

QUESTION

m looking to lose weight (about 20-25#) and then gain back about 10-15# of lean muscle. I currently weigh around 195 and would like to get down to 165/170, and then build back up to 180/185 and then maintain that weight/strength.

I already have purchased the Backcountry Big Game Plan Packet that takes up the 7 months before an actual hunt so I am looking for a few other workouts to fill in the remainder of the year.
I was thinking to purchase:
Fat Loss
357
That leaves about 12 weeks for a couple more plans, but can’t really decide, or really know what I am looking for so do you have some suggestions? I hunt/hike, but I don’t want to be super skinny. I want more functional strength and to be able to hike 10 miles with 40# daily type strength. I have no desire to compete in Spartan Races or Crossfit games, but would like that type of physique/strength/endurance capacity.
Can you help me determine the best way to execute these plans as well?
I was thinking
1. Fat Loss
2. 357
3. ?
4. ?
5. Bodyweight
6. Resilience
7. Humility
8. Backcountry Big Game (ending before my first hunt of the season)
Would you scratch Bodyweight Foundation completely out? Move it to the first program?
Would this be a plan/schedule that I could repeat year after year in the same order?

ANSWER

Frank Church and Wrangell St. Elias from the Wilderness Professional Packet – these are multi-modal plans designed for game wardens, forest rangers, etc. and include a mountain endurance element (run, uphill hiking under load).
– Rob

QUESTION

A coworker recommended that I check out your training plans.  I took a look at your website, but I’m not sure that any of the plans will work for me.  I’m 56 y.o female.  I recently had foot surgery and I can no longer run.  I do row and bike.  I like olympic lifting and have crossfit and HITT experience.  I am in the Army, so I need to keep up with sit ups.  I can no longer do standard push ups or lunges due to foot injuries.
What do you think, is there a plan that will work for me?

ANSWER

Our SF45 Packet of plans is designed for tactical athletes ages 45-55 – and from what we have, this is what I’d recommend for you. You’d need to sub the running in the programming for rowing/cycling, and make some other subs around your injuries … but this is what I’d recommend. SF45 Alpha is the first plan, click the “Sample Training” tab to see the first week of programming. I’d recommend you try it before purchasing.
Even though it’s for older athletes, this programming is intense.
– Rob

QUESTION

Wanted to let y’all know I’ve really enjoyed your workout plans and they’ve really helped me in a lot of areas of my fitness. I’m a combat Medic preparing for RASP and I’ve completed both the On-Ramp training plan and the RASP plan and have seen big gains in my chassis strength and endurance, especially with ruck marching. I’m 6’4” and was 194 and have gone up to 209 now. But I can’t seem to crack 50 push ups in my 2 min assessment! I’ve done all your recommended push up drills and seemed to have plateaud, much to my frustration. I have a month and half till RASP and I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what I should be doing to improve my push ups?
Thanks so much for all the help!

ANSWER

I’m assuming you’ve done all the different progressions in the Push Up Improvement Training Plan?
If so, you may want to try/test the “grease the groove” approach put forward by Pavel and the kettlebell guys. The idea here is that you do several hundred push ups during the day, but in multiple sets of low reps … never get close to failure – generally half the number of reps each set that you’re capable of.
– Rob

QUESTION

Good Morning Coach,

So I have recently purchased your programming because it is solid and the Athlete pack has the variety of training programs that I know work well.  My game plan as of now is to do the Chassis program while preparing for my September 13th APFT and after doing the 6 week program transition to the day to day programming until I start the Air Assault Training program and at that point I hope to be back in the Regular Army (I am currently a US Army Recruiter but I’ll be heading to Fort Campbell and I need to prepare physically.)  So coach I think that’s a decent program for the next 90-120 days.  The chassis programming should help with lower back strengthening correct?
APFT/Chassis Prep
Day to Day Programming
Air Assault prep

ANSWER

Your plan is solid. The Chassis Integrity circuits in that specific plan are around 20-minutes long.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m getting ready to finish up Waylon and really enjoyed the strength bias. I was thinking of staying on that path and starting either the Big 3 with Run or Super Squat. Gym based work capacity has grown stale so the idea of sprint & endurance work appeals more to me plus I’d like to take advantage of the northeast weather. Would I have better success staying with the density based progressions or would the switch to super squat make more sense? Thanks in advance for your advice.

ANSWER

Move to Big 24 – “everything works but nothing works forever” is the one truth of strength and conditioning. Switching up progressions will help you continue to gain strength.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m sort of lost at the moment on what training plan to choose. I’m currently in the army national guard, and I’m getting out and going active duty army to attend RASP. That’s in one year. I’ve let myself go a bit as far as endurance and strength goes. I know you have a rasp selection prep, but wasn’t sure if I should just do that program on repeat until I attend Selection or if there was some sort of specific plan I could do to keep me in shape and up to that level of fitness until I needed the selection prep program. Just needed some guidance.

ANSWER

I’d recommend you begin our stuff with the Military OnRamp Training Plan, then follow it up with the plans/order in the Greek Hero Packet of Plans. These are designed as day-to-day programming for military SOF and Infantry and concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run/ruck), tactical agility and chassis integrity.
Six weeks directly before RASP, drop out of the Greek Hero Plans and complete the RASP I&II Training Plan. 
– Rob

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