Q&A 9.3.20

QUESTION

I am a Cadet at West Point. I am sending you this email because I would like your help/opinion on what plan is best for me. I am 20 years old, 6’2″, and 180 lbs. I’m pretty lean and I want to put on some muscle and bulk up a little bit. I was thinking of doing cardio in the morning, and then doing the workouts in the plan you suggest in the afternoon.
I should have access to a full gym and definitely have access to a track. What’re your thoughts? I’d appreciate any feedback and opinion on what plan you think is best for me. If you would like more info from me please let me know.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Big 3 + 2 Mile Run Training Plan which focuses on the deadlift, back squat, bench press, and pull ups for size/strength, and the 2-mile run for endurance.
– Rob

QUESTION
I’m currently in Iraq and have access to a regular gym and a functional style one as well. I typically try to hit Germany on breaks to climb. Do you guys have a program to suggest for someone in my situation where I can’t train in climbing? We have no rock walls but I could probably order a hang board. Thanks
ANSWER
Rock climbing fitness is dominated by finger strength and strength endurance, and to train these, I’ve found there’s no sub for a system board/campus board, or hang board.
I currently don’t have a hang board program – I’ve developed and used hang board exercises/complexes in our more broad rock climbing training, but not a hang-board only plan. I’ve had a couple of requests to develop one and have it on my list – but don’t have one for you now.
Metolius and other climbing wall/hold/hangboard companies do have hang-board specific workouts/complexes – so that’s an option until I get something built.
But yes … you need to order a hang board at least.
– Rob

QUESTION
I’m interested in purchasing the push up progression program but I don’t have a barbell or rack. What would you suggest I do in place of the bench pressing? Thanks!

ANSWER

The Push Up Improvement Program actually includes 3 different push up programs, only one, the Hybrid, uses a bench press. The others – Density and Volume, just use push ups. Do Density and Volume.
– Rob

QUESTION
I’m currently looking at your in-season strength training plan for endurance athletes. I’m old (43), skinny-fat, have not logged anywhere near the milage that I was putting down a year ago, and I’m pretty damn weak. My goals are to get strong and build some resiliency as I get older (20 years of flying jets has jacked up my posture/mobility).  I also want to put down some base milage of appx 80 miles a month to be able to turn on training for an ultra if I get excited about a race. I’m pretty sure that all this doesn’t work together. Does the In-season program partially work for this? What about the progression of plans?

ANSWER

This plan is assessment-based and focused. Mileage is about perfect and it will push strength, running speed, and aerobic base.
– Rob

QUESTION
Any recommendations for a Strength/Hypertrophy program?
Yes I’m partial to power cleans, squats and such, but I’d like something for some aesthetics as well.
I can work arms, on my own, but targeting legs (quads, glutes,) and upper body, I want some size/strength
Size and Strength.
Any recommendations??

ANSWER

You should have the strength packet plans in your account now. My apologies.
Ultimate Meathead Cycle to combine strength and hypertrophy.
– Rob

QUESTION
My next door neighbor(former 2nd batt Force Recon) never shuts up about your programming so I decided to give it a whirl after hearing about it everyday for the last three years.
About me: I’m 37 y/o and a former Army Combat Engineer and Paratrooper, I was in phenomenal shape until I tried to Rebranch to the Navy while on IRR to go to BUD’s in 2008. This is where shit gets stupid, I ended up in ICU for 16 days with pneumonia. My lungs and cardiovascular system have been proper fucked ever since.
I have barbell, plates, rack, dumbbells, box, rower, assault bike, shoes, shorts and a wife that is obsessed with Jaime from Outlander.
I’ve been doing crossfit for about 5 years but have been cherry picking workouts and doing them from my home gym. I absolutely love cycling the barbell, “oly” lifts are my favorite.
I’m telling you all of this because I’m hoping you can point me towards a plan that you think will benefit me the most.

ANSWER

Start with Waylon – multi modal plan with a slight strength emphasis. Also trains work capacity (20-30 min multi-modal efforts), Endurance (1.5 mile assessment with follow-on threshold 800m repeats) and chassis integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION
I purchased the DEA PTT program after I failed my first attempt. I’ve been progressing well for the last few weeks and have seen great results up until today. I am currently on week 5 and took my 3rd PTT practice test with worse numbers overall than my 2nd attempt.
I’m not sure if I just had a bad day or my lack of sleep (around 6hrs) for the last few days. I just wanted to know what numbers I should go based on for the following 2 weeks? Also, my official PTT exam will have a 7 day gap from the time I finish the 6 week program and the day of the actual exam. What would you recommend I do for that week?
I would really appreciate any feedback.
Here are my scores:

DEA:

PTT 1
Situps: 28
300 Meter:49 sec
Pushups:31
1.5 mile:12:00
PTT 2
Situps: 33
300 Meter: 45
Pushups: 40
1.5 mile: 11:15
PTT 3
Situps: 40
300 Meter: 46
Pushups: 35
1.5 mile: 11:20
Thank you.

ANSWER

My guess is you had a bad day … though you should see your improvement on the third PTT be less than that of your second. Use your PTT2 scores for the rest of the cycle, and on the week before your assessment, repeat Week 6 Wed/Thur/Fri session on Mon/Tue/Wed of week 7 …. so you’ll get Thur-Sun total rest before your actual test.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a very satisfied customer of yours. I purchased a few of your training programs (OCR, 25K and Humility v2) and I really like them. However during training (with another program actually) I developed an inguinal hernia. I’m going to get surgery for it in September but the doctor said I can keep training in the meantime, just “don’t do anything that hurts that area.” I’m in the middle of the Humility program and the Slasher, Quadzilla Complex (the weighted lunges part of it) and Dumbbell Crawl exercises all hurt that zone.

So my question is in two parts: is there a program you could recommend for me, or maybe alternative core strengthening exercises?

And the second part is, what program would you recommend after surgery? I see that you have an “Injury Recovery” section but I’m not sure if the “Leg Injury” would be compatible with recovering from an inguinal hernia.

If it helps, my profile is the following: 37 male, moderately fit (my burpee assessment score was 50), I run Medium and Long Distance OCR races, half-marathon distance trail running and also do “Bootcamp” type events that last 6 to 24h. I enjoy running and conditioning the most (lifting is nice but I prefer to feel “spent”).

ANSWER

Exercise Changes –
Slasher to EOs
Quadzilla Complex to Leg Blasters
Dumbbell Crawl to 60 second front bridge
After surgery?
– Rob

QUESTION
I would appreciate your insight/recommendations on a fitness program that combines your typical PT test exercises such as running, sit ups, push ups, flutter kicks – all the boot camp/law enforcement academy exercises. I am pursuing a career in law enforcement, however, I am also debating enlisting in the Air Force reserves. I enjoy running up to 4 miles and doing HIIT body weight workouts. I hope with this information you’re able to suggest a few plans that may fit my needs best.
Some stats on myself:
5’7″
185lbs
1.5 mile time is 11:30
Non military/Law Enforcement

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION
I’ve been running, lifting, and rucking for a few months. I’m going back to an SFRE in the coming month. I have about 4 solid weeks of training time after this week, and then 3 days after before going. I just stumbled across your programming. Is 4 weeks too short to do a partial of either the SFRE prep or SFAS program? Which weeks would you recommend starting? My biggest weakness is rucking by far. It’s either blistered feet, or heavy rucks kill my back when ruck running and I have a terrible pace while walking during rucks.

ANSWER

Do weeks 1-4 of the SFRE Training Plan. Be sure to take 3 days off before your SFRE.
Good luck!
– Rob

QUESTION
I just graduated BCT and I plan on training through AIT and my first duty station then applying for a SFAS (Green Beret) packet. What would be the best program for me?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION
Just doing some research and was wondering if you have an idea of your hardest program(s)? Asked another way – if someone wanted to really get their ass kicked for a training block where would you send them?
BTW – loving the sandbag.

ANSWER


QUESTION
I have been following your Ruck Based Selection plan, still in the beginning stages. I’m on the Military On-Ramp plan week 5.
I have been doing the ruck runs on Wednesday, at a jog of about 10:30min/mi. This feels like a great pace just overall, however as I have been looking on forums for rucking I have seen that I should not run while rucking. Also I see that a lot of people have way slower times then I do. Of course so far I have only gone to a max of 4 miles, while some of them have gone 12-18miles. I am curious what you mean by running in ruck running? Do you mean a very fast pace March? Or do you mean a jog/run? I feel that I have been doing the jog/run so far, without any walking, but am just confused by seeing on many websites that I should not run with a ruck.
I of course have no idea what I am talking about so any clarification would be appreciated.

ANSWER

Ruck Run = Run. Much of our programming is assessment based, and we intend for you to go as fast as possible during the assessments – which doesn’t mean walking.
Is ruck running good for you? I’ve never seen a study that’s analyzed this, but probably not. However, it’s part of the job of being a soldier.
For sure at selection/ranger school, etc. you’re going to be running with a ruck. As well, in any real firefight, you’ll be ruck running. MTI’s programming is designed to prepare athletes for what they’ll face in the real thing.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a former USMC grunt (2004-2014.) I mention that because my back and hips were abused by the grunt life. I also love training hard but purposefully. Never could grind through the same gym-rat workouts that some people like. I’ve been looking through your training plans (bought two of ’em) and I really like most of them. However there are some things I can’t/won’t do anymore that I would like your opinion for alternatives. Your chassis integrity stuff is money though. ART is really good for me. Definitely want to give you kuddos for that.

Ruck runs – nope. I was an 0317. No more ruck running for me. I love rucking, but I ain’t running with it. Too much impact for my lumbar/sacrum/pelvis. ( I know there’s a joke in there somewhere.)

Running volume – more than 5-10 miles a week makes my back testy. (Depends on what else I’m doing.)

Back extensions – no way. Dr. McGill threatened to punch me if I do those or anything too similar. Also my back sometimes says fuck it and I have to lay down for a week if I do them. (Flexion/extension sensitive w/ hypermobility and facet disease!)

My goal is chassis integrity, high relative strength, muscular endurance, and conditioning. I don’t care how fast I can run 3 miles but I want to be able to still work hard afterwards. I really like the “field simulation” workouts in your smokejumper pre-season plan, but I like the rucking and strength stuff in your military plans. You’re the programming expert so I don’t want to butcher your plans to get the combo I want.

So if you have a plan (or packet!) suggestion I’ll happily take it. I train because I don’t want to turn into a pasty manling and I still want to be hell-on-wheels if I need to protect my family. I’m 36, 177cm, 86kg. (Sorry, metric is better.)

I appreciate you and your work, Rob. Back in the day, I had my platoon doing the Operator Ugly test at the beginning and end of our pre-deployment work ups. Much better metric of “combat fitness” than the damned PFT/CFT bs. I also love reading through your studies. Good stuff.

At any rate, thank you and stay classy,

ANSWER

I’d recommend the plans/order in the Country Singer Packet of plans – which deploy MTI programming for civilians.
These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, endurance (mostly running), and chassis integrity.
Start with Johnny.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am looking for a plan, you have well detailed each but I struggle to choose one.

I trained for the past five years, During the week Boxing with strengh session and running session between 5 to 6 time and week ends are spend snowboarding in the mountain and surfing in summer. I also do a couple mountain sky running race between 40km and 80km.

I am looking at being able to do any activities at my best when needed. Meaning back country snowboarding with touring. Long surfing days. And some ultra endurance races.

What plan would you recommend?

ANSWER
We don’t have one plan that can keep your at your best for all these activities at one time. The fitness demands for surfing and ultra running are much different, and the time needed to properly train for ultras is extensive.
Our approach is to train sport-specifically for the event, directly before the event, then between sport-specific train ups, train “base fitness” – which helps rebalance everything.
For your Base Fitness programming, I’d recommend the plans/order in our Greek Heroine Series, which are designed as base fitness for multi-sport mountain athletes. These plans concurrently train strength, work capacity, mountain endurance (running, uphill movement under load), and chassis integrity (functional core). Overall, these plans have a slight endurance focus – like mountain sports. Start with Helen.
You’ll want to drop out of the Greek Heroine base fitness plans and do this programming directly before your seasons:
Ultras …. this depends on your race distance. Here are our plans:
– Rob

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