The Ultimate Tactical Athlete Training Session


By Rob Shaul

Details below … but note the limited equipment necessary.

Female loading is listed first, male loading, second.

So, “60x Sandbag Getups @ 60/80#” means women use a 60# sandbag, men use an 80# sandbag.


Equipment Needed:

  • Pair of 25# Dumbbells
  • 80# Sandbag
  • Climbing Rope
  • IBA or 25# Weight Vest
  • 25m Sprinting Area
  • Foam Roller



60x Sandbag Getups @ 60/80#

Duration: 7-10 Minutes

Notes: The sandbag getup is my favorite total body chassis integrity exercise. 60x in a row trains not only chassis integrity, but also work capacity and mental fitness. I believe in “vigorous” warm ups for tactical athletes – in the field, tactical athletes often must go immediately from sitting to sprinting. Long, gentle warm ups in the gym don’t reflect this reality. As well, 60x Sandbag Getups out of the gate will emotionally crush mentally weak athletes. Strong, veteran athletes will simply get to work and grind through.


(1) 6 Rounds wearing IBA or 25# weight vest

Duration: 20 Minutes

Notes: Lower body strength and strength endurance, Upper body strength and strength endurance (both push and pull).

The Quadzilla and Scotty Bob Combo is a super efficient way to train lower and upper body hard, and effectively with minimal equipment. Though the Scotty Bob includes a row, adding in the Rope Climb gives the circuit a solid pulling emphasis – just like real life. As well, we consider the rope climb the “sled push for the upper body” – it has a total body/metabolic element and great functional transfer to the field.

Performing these exercises in your IBA or 25# weight vest adds a significant strength demand.

The 45-second instep stretch not only gives the athlete “working rest” between rounds, the Instep Stretch is my favorite stretch.

(2) 20 Minute AMRAP wearing IBA or 25# Weight Vest

  • 2x Sandbag Clean @ 80#
  • 75m Shuttle Sprint (Down 25m, Back 25m, Down 25)
  • Slow walk back to start

Duration: 20 Minutes

Notes: Sprinting is by far the most functional and transferable of all work capacity training modes for tactical athletes.

Wearing the IBA/Vest add’s a mission-appropriate load carriage element to this event.

Pre-loading the sprint with the Sandbag Hang Squat Cleans trains working strength.

Prescribing a 75m Shuttle, rather than a straight sprint causes the athlete to slow/accelerate multiple times, requiring more strength, an element of athleticism/agility, and causing a greater metabolic demand.

The “slow walk” back to the start replicates the sprint to cover, sprint to cover, element of firefights and helps train recovery between hard efforts. As well, without the slow walk and subsequent opportunity to recover some, this event would quickly turn into a 20-minute slog.

Finally, 20 minutes is near the edge of our work capacity duration, and combines with the other work in this session, brings a solid stamina element.

(3) 3 Rounds

  • Hip Flexor + Instep + Pigeon Stretch
  • Foam Roll Quads/Low Back

Duration: 10 Minutes

Notes: 3x proven lower body mobility exercises that flow right into one another, followed by foam rolling the highest working areas. Over the years I’ve found 3 rounds of this concluding mobility work is plenty.

Total Session Duration: 60 Minutes



Questions, Comments, Feedback? Email



You Might Also like Military Athlete “Essentials” Training Packet 


Subscribe to MTI's Newsletter - BETA