Q&A 9.19.19

QUESTION

I live out in the country so going to the gym is difficult. I am in the National Guard so I need to train for the new PT test with limited equipment. What would you recommend?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I completed Marine Corps OCS this past summer and head back to college for a semester before I commission in December.  I am planning on starting the pirate training packet as I have aspirations to join MARSOC.

My question relates to the running (or lack of) that I see on the training schedule in Barbossa.  I am used to running at least 20+ miles a week and love running.  From what I see on the training schedule in Barbossa, there seems to be very little running compared to the way I normally train.

What are your thoughts on how/if I can add more running in to fit my needs and preferences?

ANSWER

Depends upon your fitness level and available training time.
Barbossa has the appropriate amount of endurance split between running and swimming for a balanced training plan. You can add in additional running as a 2-a-day with a run in the evenings and on Saturdays. However, if you’re not making the progressions in the plan, pull back.
I’m not sure how much lifting, work capacity, swimming and chassis integrity you’re currently doing, but if not much, you’ll be sore/fatigued initially.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 41 yo M who just recently fell out of the US Army air assault 12 mile ruck(average at load 35-50 lbs).  I’m 5’6” 166 lbs rather short stocky legs.  I cannot seem to increase my stride length to pace walk <15 min/mile so I run-walk my rucks.  I’m frustrated as I almost always start to cramp by mile 8.  Which package do you recommend I subscribe to?  How do I avoid cramping? I’ve tried hydration salts products and ensured adequate water consumption but still cramp up.  Thanks for input.

ANSWER

Complete the Ruck Improvement Training Plan to include just your ruck, and then 6 weeks directly before attending Air Assault School again, complete the Air Assault Training Plan.
Plan on run/walk your rucks or, just run. Cramping is mostly nutrition related, but can also be related to fitness.
I’m prone to cramping also, and have had luck with the Hammer Nutrition Electrolytes.
Also, mustard and/or pickle juice have also worked to relieve muscle cramps during marathons and other events when they occur. Always carry some mustard packets in your pocket during these train ups and try it – see if they work for you. https://www.roanoke.com/archive/the-people-s-pharmacy-why-mustard-works-for-muscle-cramps/article_97bba576-25fb-5e9d-a80c-b8c0af6a91d8.html
– Rob

QUESTION

I was looking into your programs for military, as I’m wanting to join soon. I’ve been working out for a year now, and have gotten in relatively good shape. I was wondering what program you would recommend to prepare for bootcamp?

ANSWER

Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION

I recently completed the Grand Traverse training plan (which was an ass kicker for sure) in preparation for doing the GT just last week (which was also an ass kicker). Sadly, my partner and I didn’t complete the GT, so we are already thinking about a second try.
My question is, what would be your suggestion for a solid base improvement before starting the GT plan over again. I am not sure we will try the GT again next year, might need to wait until 2021. I am looking for some plans that I can use to throughout the year to improve general fitness, and keep me in peak condition for the activities I enjoy.
My activity/physical summary is:
  • 47, almost 48 yr old male
  • generally active – 6′ 2″ 192 lbs
  • activities I enjoy: tele skiing (about 40 days / yr), climbing (alpine and crag), mtn biking
  • I am a slow runner, but want to improve
Thank for the help!

ANSWER

I can’t design one set of programming that will best prepare you for each of your seasons. Rather, our approach is to complete “base fitness” between season or event-specific train ups, directly before the season. The Grand Traverse Training Plan is an example of one of our season/event-specific training plans.
Our Greek Heroine Series of plans are our “base fitness” for multi-sport mountain athletes. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, climbing (rock), endurance (run, uphill), and chassis integrity (core).
So now, you’d want to complete Helen, the first week in the packet, until 7 weeks directly prior to your tele season start, and drop out of the Mountain Base plans and complete the Dryland Ski Training Plan.
After completing the Dryland plan, drop back into the Mountain Base Plans until 8 weeks out from your MTB start, then complete the Mountain Bike Pre-Season Training Plan.
Then drop back into the Mountain Base Plans until your 6 weeks out from the Alpine Rock season start and complete the Alpine Rock Pre-Season Training Plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am preparing for a week trip to backcountry ski the Italian Alps in March,2020. I will be a 70 years old woman by then. I am an excellent professional skier, and in good physical shape for my age, but this trip will require endurance and injury would be a serious problem. Are your training modules designed or could they be designed for someone my age?

ANSWER

Our programming is specifically focused on the fitness demands of the event or season or event. As you know, the Mountain Doesn’t Care about your age, fitness level, injury history, time to train, etc. and the fitness demands of a difficult bc ski trip are the same for everyone, regardless of age.
The Backcountry Ski Training Plan is intense, and designed for athletes ages 20-50, however, 60-70 year olds have completed it. The issue is recovery, and they’ve self-accomodated by stretching out the plan over a few more weeks, and reducing the range of motion on the a few of the exercises to accommodate for creaky knees.
Also, you’ll need to consider when your season will start. I’m assuming you’ll be bc skiing prior to this trip, and you’ll not want to be completing this plan at the same time you’re busy bc skiing. You’ll want to complete this plan before your BC ski season starts, and then maintain as necessary prior to your trip.
– Rob

QUESTION

Currently on week 2 of the IBOLC MTI workout program. During the APFT work, specifically pushups, I’m not getting through round 5 in the allotted time, and round 6 I just go until failure and make sure to get the required reps in. Is this a normal problem for the end goal of increasing my max or am I doing something wrong?

ANSWER

It’s normal. Go to your knees as needed on Rounds 5-6.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just got done reading the grip strength article and I have a few questions.

Is it better to focus on grip, in hopes of increasing strength during lifts like the hinge? For example lighter weight with palms towards the bar? Or is that lift more focused on strength so mixed grip is ok with heavier weight?

As a firefighter, should I be wearing gloves with all my exercises to try and increase strength?

If you could email me back when you have a moment I would greatly appreciate it.

ANSWER

1) The goal of the hinge lift is to increase posterior chain strength, not grip strength. Use an alternate grip (one palm forward, one backward) when the load gets that heavy.
2) No. Better would be to work in our Gi Grip Assessment and progression into your sessions.
Another simple grip strength progression we’re actually testing in the gym now is a max dead hang for time on a pull up bar, and then following, 2 days/week for 3 weeks, 5 rounds of a max dead hang on the pull up bar, 60 seconds rest. After 3 weeks, re-test your max dead hang time.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was hoping to get a little guidance before selecting a program. A little about myself; I am reporting to FABOLC in October, and generally average a 260 on the Army APFT. However, I want to be able to max and therefore am interested in starting that training program. I am also wanting to get ahead of the new ACFT to be able to crush that at my first unit.
My questions:
1. Will the athletes subscription allow me to train both the APFT and ACFT (limited equipment) programs simultaneously, and would you advise for or against that?
2. Would you advise hitting the fitness test improvement programs in addition to regular gym workouts aimed at physique (and not improving functionality; like me doing a mtntac workout in the morning and “hitting chest day” at night)?
3.. Would it be worth it to check out your IBOLC program as well?

ANSWER

1. Yes … but you wouldn’t want to do it. Focus on one thing at a time.
2. Our focus is Mission-Direct fitness. Stop worrying about how you look in the mirror and start worrying about how you perform in the field.
3. Yes.  The Army IBOLC Training Plan includes focused training for the APFT.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m wanting to find what plan is best for me I’m going to Air Force Basic training in October and am wanting to cut fat while but do more than just run pushups and sit ups. What would you recommend? Thanks

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

Workout wise, what would you suggest for someone to be a survivalist? As in being able to adapt to an area, with no civilization, hunting, and foraging for food, and being able to thrive.

ANSWER

The plans in our Country Singer Series are intense and far ranging – they concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck), and chassis integrity (functional core).
Start with Johnny.
– Rob

QUESTION

Alaska Backcountry bow hunting is my sport, pretty much what I stay in shape for. I saw your back country training plan and was wondering, after I complete that, how do I remain in that shape, is there anyway to modify that plan to keep doing training that directly effects my hunting performance in the mountains? Also, I like to long distance run and want to incorporate marathon style training in as well. Any information or thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

P.s your ruck based selection packet was awesome.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Wilderness Packet of plans. These are designed for Wilderness professionals – game wardens, rangers, etc., and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, and mountain endurance (run, uphill loaded movement). These plans include running – but you could add more if you have training time. These will lay a great foundation of “base fitness” upon which you can do a pre-season train up directly before the hunting season.
Complete the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Training Plan the 8 weeks directly before your season starts.
I got my first antelope with a bow, Monday (spot and stalk … only took me 3 years!)  and head out for deer and elk here Sept 1. I’m jonesing!
Have a good season.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was hoping you could help me with this and to see if I’m being realistic or not. I’ve been using your programs to maintain a lot of my fitness and I think they’re excellent.
I’m looking to go to CSOR selection in April however; I’m concerned about my strength. I weigh 160lbs and my deadlifts sit at 260, squat 215 and bench 180. I am not concerned about my endurance or rucking other than maintaining them; your programs have helped me tremendously with that (I used your rucking selection program last year for a Recce course).
Is selection realistic in April with those one rep maxs’ and can you recommend a good strength program that would allow enough time to still mix in the CSOR pre-screening program and selection program? The testing is not based on one rep maxs’ however I feel I should be building my strength much more than it is.
As of now I was considering the programs in this order: 1) Some type of strength, 2) on ramp to build on the rucking again, 3) CSOR pre-screening and 4) CSOR selection.
Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

ANSWER

Your rucking performance and endurance are more important than max effort strength for selection. Don’t get too caught up in strength. What strength does do for you for this time of event is add a lot of durability. You’ll simply be harder to injure if you were stronger.
I would like to see you stronger, but not at the cost of rucking performance and overall stamina. You can build both simultaneously.
By my count there are 32 weeks until April – here’s what I recommend:
Weeks    Plan
6-12        Fortitude
13-18      Resilience (First 6 Weeks)
– Rob

QUESTION

I hope you’re doing well.  Back in 2008-2010 I was an avid militaryathlete.com user.  I followed the daily workouts, in some cases I utilized some of the programs, and I even still have the old “strong, swift, durable, deadly” T-shirt.  In fact, you gave me training advice when I broke my foot back in 2009 (by way of the Q&As after the daily workouts).  Recently my goals have shifted back toward a “constant readiness” attitude.  I got great results on the dailies back then, and I wanted to ask: does a monthly membership come with access to the archives?

I know you’ve probably improved upon/updated the workouts, but I think it would be fun to go back through those old workouts.  I’m not an operator, first responder, or LEO in any capacity, so I’m not necessarily worried about specific performance metrics.  I also want to be clear: I’m 100% ready and willing to pay the monthly membership fee.

ANSWER

With a subscription to the website you get access to our Daily Operator Sessions and the archives, which go all the way back to March of 2009.
– Rob

QUESTION

MTI programming has helped me significantly improve my fitness and I’m thoroughly satisfied with it. That being said, I have a couple questions.
I’m 5’11” and 150 lb, should I follow the nutritional guidance you publish, or should I adjust it?
My battalion frequently conducts training, during which my access to a gym can be limited. During these training exercises my access to food and time to sleep is also limited. This makes it difficult to train consistently. Do you have any advice on maintaining physical fitness between and during training exercises?

ANSWER

1. Yes. There are no caloric restrictions – you can eat as much “clean” food as you can choke down.
2. No magic bullet here – do your best but don’t let fitness training interfere with exercise performance.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ll start off by saying thank you for making a great product. The app really makes it worth it. I’m following the ruck based selection routine right now. I was wondering if there is somewhere to look where I measure up comparatively in the assessments. Just to get an idea of what I’m looking like.

ANSWER

Quick answer is I’d look to Ranger School minimums on the APFT events, run times and Ruck Times. Our concern is to see improvement as you re-asses these events two more times during the train up.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was recommending your programs to my future son in law who is a 65kg 31 year old, sprinter and footballer who would like to bulk up a bit before his wedding. He has had issues with weak hips and calf muscles and can’t spend too much on gyms or equipment.

Recommendations welcome. I am loaning him 2x10kg dumbbells and might gift him one of your programs.

ANSWER

I’d recommend he do the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan, given his limited equipment.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking to purchase one of the training plan packets and looking for some guidance. My end goal is either Navy EOD or Army Special Forces. From what I have read on the website the BUDs packet is recommended for SEAL’s and EOD. Would following that packet include enough rucking to be ready for SFAS? If not do you a recommended order if I am not sure which way I want to yet? If it helps currently I am 29 and have trained in MMA and triathlon for the last 3 years. Prior to that I played college football. Any input would be appreciated and I thank you for your time.

ANSWER

Until you decide your path I’d recommend you complete the plans and order in the Pirate Packet. These are designed for military and LE SOF with water-based mission sets, and concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck, swim), chassis integrity and tactical agility. Start with Barbossa.
– Rob

QUESTION

Do you have a recommendation for scaling the running for the CRO/STO Phase 2 program? I feel confident that I can wrestle through the other aspects of the program, but I’ve been neglecting my running for awhile. Any advice?

ANSWER

If you’ve got one of these selections on the horizon, suck it up. After the Week 1 assessments, the follow-on progressions are based on the assessment results. Also – if you can do the week 1 12 mile ruck, you should be able to handle the Week 1 3-mile and 8-mile run assessments.
If you’re doing this for fun, cut the running distances in half and run at a moderate pace.
– Rob

QUESTION

For the last two months I have been doing one of your workout plans with a buddy of mine that is training for the Rut in Big Sky, Mt. I have really liked the workouts but I need to shift gears into something more specific to what I do. I compete in Taekwondo. Looking for something that encompasses speed, agility, hip flexibility, core , along with hip strength and overall body fitness. I really like the dumbell workouts we have doing. Our rounds are usually 3x 2 minute, and usually three to four fights. I have a competition coming up October 26. Look forward to hearing from you and what program you would recommend.

ANSWER

I don’t have a plan for Taekwondo. Closest would be our BJJ Training Plan – and it’s what I’d recommend.
– Rob

 

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