By Rob Shaul
We announced our pending name change to the Mountain Tactical Institute a couple weeks ago. With this pivot, we are synchronizing our fitness-programming, research, and educational development into a single, intellectual storehouse for athletes who need to be fit, but also informed.
Our ultimate purpose is to prepare mountain and tactical athletes for mission success and survivability.
Below are some questions you may have about this change, and the answers.
Q: Will the programming change?
A: Yes and no. No in that we will continue to program sport specific cycles, as well as daily programming for mountain and tactical athletes (military, LE, fire/rescue). Yes in that we will discontinue programming for general fitness – specifically our SSD and SF45 sessions. We will put our full effort into programming for the specific needs of mountain and tactical athletes.
Q: How will the website change?
A: We are currently working with a web design firm on a complete web re-design. This design effort is driven to make the website easier to navigate, faster, more mobile-friendly and overall more efficient for our athletes. We hope to launch the new site in the February/March time frame.
Q: What will be the scope of our research efforts?
A: Our research will always have a strong exercise science and physiology component, but we are interested in all areas of mission preparation for mountain and tactical athletes. Already we have pushed our efforts to include marksmanship research and unit fitness culture. Future research topics include shortening the journey to battlefield and mountain awareness, critically analyzing the effectiveness of current avalanche education, gear and clothing durability and effectiveness assessments, and tactical and mountain leadership case studies and development. Our overall goal is to dominate “mission direct” thought leadership for tactical and mountain athletes. Our driving purpose is to make our athletes successful and keep them safe. The mission-direct focus of our research will result in innovative, practical solutions to real world problems. If it’s a problem or process which can be improved, we’ll study it and suggest direct, plain-spoken fixes. We’re not interested in research for research-sake. We want to solve problems.
Q: How will the subscriptions change?
A: On the fitness side, our goal is to partner with athletes through their careers. Our daily training cycles and sessions provide day to day training, and by including the most common sport specific programs with the subscriptions – such as military PFT’s, and mountain sport-specific pre-season training cycles, we’ve greatly increased the value of your subscription and provided our athletes with a one-stop provider of their programming requirements. We will continue to increase the value of our subscriptions and hope to offer different levels of service.
Q: What will happen to Mountain Athlete and Military Athlete?
A: These iconic brands and the spirit behind them aren’t going anywhere. On the fitness programming side we will continue to program specifically for mountain and military athletes, as well as our LE and Fire/Rescue athletes. Logo-wear will still be available, and by keeping these brands present, our focus will never drift far from the focus on outside performance.
Q: Will the access to content change for subscribers? I would hate to lose access to existing programs and future WODs and programs.
A: You will still have access to daily programming and individual plans. We are putting together different subscription packages for 2016 to make sure our athletes can choose what they want and aren’t paying for more than they can use. Our goal is to increase the value of your subscription while decreasing the cost.
Q: Will there still be the archived programs such as the Hypertrophy for skinny guys, and Big 24? Are the LE athlete and other programs going away?
A: None of our sport-specific training/plans are going away, we are simply expanding our ability to produce the most tactically fit athlete through research and education. The LE and Fire/Rescue programing will remain.
Q: I’m a climber, backpacker and winter sports athlete. With the new program changes, and the new name change, I’m really concerned that you are moving away from the MA side of the business. Is that what you’re planning, to move away from the mountain sports part of the business and into the Tactical side of the training spectrum?
A: No. In fact, we are going to end SSD and other general fitness programming to give our Mountain Programming more attention – especially our Mountain Base sessions. In our Jackson Facility we are currently lab ratting new programming for drylands skiing, strength and power-focused rock climbing, and ice climbing. We’ll publish our results when we update these sport-specific plans in the new year.