Kudos and Q&A 2/6/15

This week’s questions include: rucking progression strategy, training plan for nordic skiing, getting back into rucking shape after pregnancy, alternatives to sandbag get-ups, and recommendations for off-ice hockey training.

2014-10-20 09.52.24


To say I thoroughly enjoyed the Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet doesn’t even begin to do justice. I only thought I’ve been in shape in the past. After finishing the entire thing I feel incredible. I even had my girlfriend do the program with me. She’s a sponsored bikini competitor and other than dieting changes, she followed this program and still was able to compete and do well. So Thank You, for doing such an excellent job. I have my official selection date now and I’ll be attending SFAS in January 2016. I have no injuries or any problems what-so-ever after the 7 months it took to complete the packet. My question now is should I just repeat it until I leave for selection or is there something else you suggest I do. I have started it over just to keep doing something in the meantime. Only now I’m doing it using an elevation training mask to add difficulty. Any suggestions or advice on this would be much appreciated and again thank you for such as kick ass program!!


Thanks for the great note! The packet is no joke and it’s a credit to you for having ground through it. We’ve found serious training improves everything for a professional athlete – work attitude and motivation, professional performance, life planning, etc. It just makes people get more squared away.

Directly before SFAS you’ll want to repeat the last plan in the packet – the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan.

Between now and then you can repeat the packet, or subscribe to the Operator Sessions on the website. Good luck!


Just wanted to say thank you to you and the rest of the staff at SSD. The program I have been following, and the two months of operator sessions prior to, helped me on my PFT this past week. More importantly, it helped me on the litter carry the following day.

I still have a long road ahead of me before making/graduating selections, but I feel confident that I will. Until then I will stay as strict as possible on this program to prepare myself for it.


I absolutely feel as though everything is improved in my life. Now that I’m on the reserve side of my contract and awaiting selection I run the personal training department at my gym. I have also implemented a new HIIT Class based off the knowledge I have gained from your programming, and it is a huge success. We’re in a huge military area and everyone that tries it falls in love with it instantly. I try to spread the word about you and your style of training as much as possible. Thank you for your advice.



I’ve been using the MA plans for the last few years and have found them great for preparing for courses and exercises. I’m currently an infantry platoon commander for the Canadian Armed Forces on a temporary health category because I am eight months pregnant.  I was doing WODs at my local Crossfit affiliate up to a month ago.  My question is, once I have my baby and am cleared to start physical training, what’s your program recommendation to get back into shape to lead my platoon and ultimately prep for my next phase of training( 13 weeks of heavy rucking)?


Congratulations! That’s awesome.

OnRamp Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/on-ramp-training-plan/



I’m going to college next year, and found out that I won’t really have the chance to train with the kind of the functional fitness type gyms since they’re none in the area. Besides the obvious body weight training plans, which plans can I use if I only have access to the globo-style gyms?


With some creativity, and by doing hang versions of cleans (hang power clean, hang squat clean) you can do Rat 6 Strength (http://mtntactical.com/shop/rat-6-strength/) and Big 24 (http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-24-strength-training-program-v3/).

You can also do Fortitude (http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-24-strength-training-program-v3/) – you may need to make some exercise substitutions – be resourceful.



I started working your Operator Sessions last month with a buddy who’s with MARSOC as he recommended your workouts as preparation for A&S.  I really like the operator sessions and jumped in during the heavy rucking work.  Two of my buddies who already completed A&S used the 2 minute off 1 minute on rucking strategy, which is what I see you recommend until you can run the whole time.  My questions is, what’s your recommendation for transferring over from 2/1 to full on run?  Their moving to the perrres workouts that MARSOC uses, so I’d like to work towards a full run.  I’ve been hitting 15:45 splits and have the 5 mile time trial coming up Tuesday, but I don’t think I can handle a run the whole time, just looking to make the best transfer.

Separately, I’m aiming for A&S in August, both of my buddies recommended the operator sessions and then transferring over to the Ruck Based Selection Program, but supplementing it with swimming, just wanted to get your thoughts.

Lastly, I read the book you had recommended on dieting and have been following the general guidelines.  With working with so many athletes who have a high workload, what are your thoughts on small portions of carbs daily/throughout the week?  The book seemed to be very focused on fat loss, but I’d assume with many of your athletes they are not looking to lose fat, but to improve their fitness.  Trying to find that delicate balance between healthy amount of carbs/sugar and still sticking to the overall diet philosophy.



(1) Go from 2:1 (run:walk) to 3:1 (run:walk), then 4:1, then 5:1, etc.

(2) We’ve developed a MARSOC A&S Specific Training plan that includes swimming. It’s what I recommend: http://mtntactical.com/shop/marsoc-as-training-plan/

(3) More carbs? Sure – just eat good ones. I like sweet potatoes.



I used one of your individualized training programs you designed for my friend during the time he had a shoulder injury.  It was body weight only.  We trained for alpine climbs.  I loved it.

Several years have past since then.  I accumulated several injuries.  Bilateral meniscus tears, lateral and medical collateral ligament tears, tibial plateau fracture.  Now I have a bulging disc at L5-S1.  A neurosurgeon and a orthopedic surgeon both say it isn’t time to operate.  I won’t get surgery until I have to.  I’ve been to a lot of physical therapy in the past which has been less then helpful.  I have three kids, so getting myself out to extra appointments is near impossible.  I am wondering what you recommend.

I saw the “8 week low back fitness program” on your website.  Before I buy it, I just want to make sure you think it is the one for me.  I really hope to do most exercises with body weight only.


Please understand I’m not a doctor and cant’ give you medical advice.

The 8-Week Low Back Fitness Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/8-week-lower-back-fitness-training-program/) is a gym-based program and includes barbell work.

I’d recommend you begin with our Core Strength Bodyweigtht Only Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/core-strength-bodyweight-only/).

Then, follow it up with our Bodyweight Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-training-program/



I was looking at your USAF CCT/PJ/CRO Selection Training Plan and USAF PAST Training Plan I’m looking to do CCT to prepare would I need to get both or can I just get the Selection plan.


The USAF CCT/PJ/CRO Selection Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/usaf-cctpjcro-selection-training-plan/) includes focused PAST work – it’s  all you need.



First of all, I’m one of the masses of guys that love your stuff, great work and thank you.  The op sessions made me a beast on my last deployment.

I’m doing the SFOD prep program and recently got frustrated with my 1st re-assessment.  My run time has slowed by almost 30 seconds, which I’m sure is my doing.  I live in the Northeast and weather lately has been rough, as you can relate.  Therefore, much of my running has been on a treadmill.  You ever encounter any loss of performance with treadmill running versus land?  I like it for the fact that pacing is easier and forces me to move on but I fear I am doing myself a disservice.

I also had to take about a 4 day break from the program because of work (Police) and am hoping it was from that but I doubt a break like that would make me any weaker, probably the opposite after such a rest.  My sit-ups an pull ups did increase though and my push-ups remained the same.  I have only done the APFT reassessment.  I must admit, some days I miss a meal due to work. I try to stay on top of it but I know it affects my energy levels during some of the sessions, especially the two a days.  The days before and day of my 2 mile I ate well though.

Any insight or advice you can give would be appreciated.  Thanks for your time as always.


Certainly there is a difference between treadmill and road running. One simple problem could be the pace meter on your treadmill is wrong – and has been misleading you. Try to run outside.

I wouldn’t worry about your 4-day break.

I would be more concerned if you missed improvement on all the assessments – but I’m not sure you should worry too much about your running miss. Keep grinding.



First of all your site and philosophy are fantastic. Which is why I an writing you for some advise.

I will be doing a Goruck challenge in June and will be using your program to get prepped for the event. But…until then could you recommend one of your strength programs? I have weightlifting, crossfit experience and I am a firefighter that is serious about my performance.

I don’t have access to a crossfit style gym and am forced to use a corporate gym (I simply can’t afford a crossfit gym yet.)I aim to change that soon.

I only ask because I have programing writers block. I have never had trouble programing for myself until now. Thank you for any advise that you can give.


Couple Options:

  1.  357 Strength: http://mtntactical.com/?s=357+Strength
  2.  Rat 6 Strength: http://mtntactical.com/shop/rat-6-strength/

Of the two I’d recommend 357 Strength – simple because if it’s additional work capacity component. However, you may have some equipment issues until you get into a functional fitness gym.

Rat 6 is an awesome program many have seen significant strength gains with.



I’m currently in the USAF DEP training for SERE. I have been completing the Ruck Based Selection Plan and enjoy it. My question is what other plans would you recommend for someone training for SERE. I know the CCT/PJ plan has a lot of rucking but no weight training and more focused on swimming. Would you recommend me doing my own programming but rucking twice a week? Thanks in advance for the reply.


The early weeks of the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan should be more than adequate for SERE. You shouldn’t need to purchase another plan.

You may want to supplement the plan with some water work if your school includes a water portion – it’s unclear to me if all courses do.


I have neglected running for a few months now. I was coming out of training and needed a little break (and if I am being honest, I don’t really enjoy running distance). Anyway, I am having trouble holding a pace for distances longer than about 400m or 800m. Do you have any suggestion on how to improve this? I have thought of trying to run on the treadmill but wasn’t sure that would be effective. Thanks again for all your help.


You have to run to improve running. I’d recommend our Running Improvement Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/run-improvement-plan/



I am currently working through the MA strength packet and it’s just awesome. I’m in UMC now and I have never had stronger squats than I have now, after Rat 6. Really looking forward to getting the tempo up on 357 and to meeting the strength standards.

There’s something I have been wondering about regarding the strength standards, for a long time:

Are the strength standards 5RM, 3RM – and/for sets across – or are they your all-out-balls-to-the-wall 1RM with acceptable form?

And comparing the Mil Athl and Mtn Athl standards, does the lower standards for Mtn reflect that climbers should not lug around excess mass on their legs?

Thanks for your time – and I can’t wait to see the evolution of the institute. As I have said many times before and will say many times in the future, thanks for opening my eyes to your world of training, it has really changed my training in a great and positive way. I’m spreading the word. I hope to come to Jackson and attend one of your seminars in the next few years.


Thanks for the great note and kind words!

The strength standards are 1RM. – 1 rep max.

The Mountain/SSD standards are lower in general because the load mountain athletes carry is significantly lower than Military Athletes. Also, in general, mountain athletes don’t have the sprinting and explosive power demands military athletes do.


LIFT                                 MEN              WOMEN

Front Squat                 1.25x BW       1.0x BW

Hinge Lift                     1.75x BW       1.25xBW

Bench Press               1.25xBW         .9xBW

Push Press                 1.10x BW        .7xBW

Hang Squat Clean  1.1x BW          .9xBW


LIFT                                        MEN               WOMEN

Front Squat                             1.5x BW     1.0x BW

Dead Lift                                 2.0x BW       1.5x BW

Bench Press                           1.5x BW      1.0x BW

Push Press                             1.1x BW       .7x BW

Squat Clean                          1.25x BW     1.0x BW

Squat Clean+ Push Press    1.1x BW    .7xBW



First of all I would like to thank you and your team. Your site has motivated me and opened my eyes to how a training plan is more efficient and beneficial than just working out, and also really enjoyable ( apart from Leg blasters! ).

Last year I completed the on-ramp, bodyweight, bleep test and big 24 plans and I feel really healthy and strong for doing so. I’ve had an extended break after December and I’m ready to get back into my training and I’m just setting up a garage gym.

My question is this: How should I execute the plans I have left? They are:

  • -Rat 6
  • -Hypertropy for skinny guys
  • -8 week Kettlebell
  • – Patrol Officer
  • -Ultimate Meathead
  • -Fortitude
  • -Maximus
  • -Endurance
  • -Operator Ugly

I may have gone mad buying plans, but I like the sound of them all.

Also one last question: I’m 31yo, stand 5ft10″ and weigh 83kg(182#) at the moment.  My 3RM are bench 70kg(154#) back squat 90kg(198#) hinge lift 100kg(220#) HSC 50kg(110#) and push press 50kg(110#) 3mile run in 27min. I need to improve my running and olympic lifts but mostly work on technique for now. If I was a lab rat what weight would you like to see me at and how do you suggest I proceed?

Again thanks for the great site and all the time you take to answer questions, I can imagine your very busy, It’s much appreciated.


Based on your numbers, I’d like to see you stronger, and would recommend begin with strength – specifically Rat 6.

In terms of strength, I’d like to see you with a 1.5x bodyweight front squat and bench press, and 2x bodyweight hinge lift. Your bodyweight at 182# is just about right.

After Rat 6, take an unload week, and roll into the Operator Ugly training plan. Take another unload week and follow it up with Fortitude. This will take you out about 5 months.

As you work to get stronger remember there’s not short cut. Do the plans as prescribed and let them work their magic. Don’t bounce around. Be patient and enjoy the ride.



I’ll be competing in a mix of mountain biking and trail running, with trail races starting in April and long distance MTBing starting mid-May, both of which will continue through July.  Do you recommend incorporating the two plans?  Or focus on one over another?  Thanks again.


I can’t answer for sure but can give you some things to consider ….

– One of the frustrating things about aerobic activities is often fitness for them is “mode” specific. In other words, just because you’re a good runner doesn’t mean your fitness will transfer to cycling.

– One way to focus your training is to chose which sport is most important – or most demanding. If you’re doing short-ish mountain bike races or down hill races, and running 50 mile ultras – the running must take priority in your training.

– Another way to prioritize training is to look at timing – you’ll be running races a month before biking races – so running might be an early priority.

– One way to combine modes is to run long, bike intense, then switch every 4-6 weeks. For example long runs on Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat and intense bike sprints and hill climbs (but much shorter sessions in terms of time) on Tues/Thurs.

– In general, early season (now) you need to be building some low intensity mileage/time to build your aerobic base – then as you get closer to the events, increase the intensity of the efforts, but greatly shorten the duration. So perhaps, ideally now you would be doing both long runs and cycling training, but this can be time-intensive – then as you get closer to your races, pull back on the long/slow/distance work and pump up the sprints/intervals.

– You’ll see these general progressions in the training plans we’ve built. The MTB plan includes gym-strength training 3/4 days/week. This is likely too much esp. if you’re doing bunches of running to. You would want to limit your gym work to 1-2 days/week and focus on building your aerobic base.



I have completed DEVGRU selection 3x, the third time was too simple, I have completed busy operators, SFOD, and several other plans. I would like something now that will continue to improve strength, endurance, and work capacity. I am studying ju jitsu 3 days a week and would like to run at least 20 miles a week, and of course at a minimum maintain my strength if not get stronger but not bigger. Would a subscription or the Valor training plan be more suitable.


A subscription to the operator sessions would be good, but depending upon the cycle, may not get you in the running  you want. It’s a little cycle dependent – these sessions do include weekly endurance work, but less during strength and work capacity cycles, and much more during endurance cycles.

Fortitude might be best (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/). To get your running mileage in, you’ll need to sub running for the rucking days.



First off, some kudos to ya’ll. I did monster factory strength followed by pre season ski training in the fall and I’m in the middle of one of the strongest ski seasons I’ve ever had. Thanks for all the hard work you do!

I’m a guide for one of the local scenic rafting companies in the valley during the summer. That usually means rowing 20-30 miles a day from deadmans bar to moose with up to 12 adults in the raft.

I was thinking about doing preseason paddle to prep for the summer, but have also been considering preseason climbing, as that’s the main hobby in the summer. Any recommendations?

As a follow up, I’m right at your strength standards for mountain athletes except for hinge lifts where I’m about 10 pounds light. @5’8″ 155lbs

Any recommendations for in season maintenance for the summer? I was thinking about getting a SSD membership and trying to get 3 days of workouts a week in.


Thanks for the note – and glad the ski plans worked for you!

Summer – the paddling plan would be great, but it includes 2 days/week on the river – we have our pro kayakers doing sprint intervals between ice flows on the Snake. If you’re not that committed or don’t have a kayak/river access, it’s not for you.

The Pre-Season Rock Climbing Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/pre-season-rock-climb-training-plan/) would be a good choice – it includes intense core and work capacity work, and plenty of general fitness upper body pressing and pulling – all good for your rafting. You do need access to a rock gym for the plan – and if you’ve got that, I’d recommend this plan.

In-Season? Depends somewhat on your equipment limitations. If you can get to a gym, an SSD subscription would be perfect. If not, Bodyweight (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-training-program/).



I’ve done some Mountain Athlete training in the past but I am now a first time subscriber. I have a question about training frequency. Right now I’m following the SSD schedule and it looks like training days pretty much go from Monday to Thursday. My training schedule is pretty tight on Wednesdays most of the year. Is it huge deal if I choose to do Wednesday’s workout on Thursday and Thursday’sworkout on Friday or Saturday?


Not at all. You can make that change.



I had a friend just tell me about your site.  I am an active duty recruiter for the Air Force.  I have been working with people for a long time trying to help them get back into good enough shape to pass the fitness test and not suck at life.   I recently had surgery on my shoulder and I am now training myself for the same reasons.  I have been looking for something that would be a big pump in my training and my friend from my box told me I should look at your programs.  My big thing is that I will be moving to a supervisory role in the next year or so and I will be in charge of recruiters that will be looking for special tactic recruits.   The thing is I do not want to ask one of them to pass a PAST and me not be able to do the same.  I was wondering if you had any discounts on your training for active duty military.


We have a PAST Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/usaf-past-training-plan/) specifically for that assessment. It would be a great plan to start our stuff.

No discount, however.



I haven’t done the off season plan for a few weeks. I started running. Do you have a plan that would help me during the ultra season? I’m really not interested in a running plan. Maybe some core or strength stuff to keep me on track while I am putting in 55-65 miles per week. Later this summer I will be climbing some of the 12kers in Idaho. I also will be going to the San Juans to compete in Hardrock 100. IF not I will surf the excercises.


Couple Options:

In-Season Training Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes: http://mtntactical.com/shop/in-season-strength-training-plan-for-endurance-athletes/This is a gym-based training plan.

Core Strength for Runners: http://mtntactical.com/shop/core-strength-for-runners/ Bodyweight-only cores strength work.

Bodyweight Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-training-program/ Bodyweight only, but includes great strength work, esp for the lower body and core.



I was hoping you might be able to offer some advice. I’ve been doing military athlete for a couple years, love it, (did LE athlete for awhile but missed the running / rucking).

Anyway, I’ve started doing ju jitsu / wrestling on Tuesday and Thursday nights, classes run 2 hours and are pretty intense.  My real question is doing this training eats up time I’d normal spend on military athlete sessions.  Since I’m doing these sessions at night and it’s mostly cardio should I skip some of the normal running sessions and go for the strength sessions instead?

I do have about 45 minutes I could do in the mornings, should I try doing two a days with the military athlete strength sessions in the AM, skipping running stuff in favor of weights and get my cardio at night?


Exactly. Focus your gym work on strength and use your grappling for conditioning.



I was intersted in purchasing the Bodyweight 1 training program.  Can this program be paired with a strength program and used as conditioing?


No. You’ll overtrain. Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this plan is no joke, especially for the lower body. Link: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-i-training-program/



I’d like to get started on your programs. I’m sure you get 100’s of emails a day but I was just hoping I could get pointed in the right direction. I currently am in the Utah National Guard and when I finish school in 2 years, I’d like to blow my SF selection process out of the water. I’m 6’1″ and 205lbs. I consistently score around 245 on the APFT. I still need to improve overall power/strength (squats, dead-lifts, power-cleans etc) for healthy joints and back but definitely need to improve my APFT. I can only do like 6 perfect form pullups. I know it’s a tall order but I have the motivation and attitude but need the tools. Where do I start? If you could help me map out the next 2 years of one program to the next that’d be great.

I appreciate your website and all that you do for our US Military!


Couple Options:

(1) Start with the Bodyweight I (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-i-training-program/). Follow it up with Rat 6 Strength (http://mtntactical.com/shop/rat-6-strength/), then subscribe to the Operator Sessions until 8 weeks out from boot camp or SFAS. Directly before reporting, complete the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-plan/).

(2) Complete the Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet in order (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-packet/). When completed, subscribe to the Operator Sessions until your 8 weeks out from selection, or boot camp if you will be doing the boot camp, airborne school, SFAS route. 8 weeks out, repeat the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (last one in the packet).



My primary sport that I love to do is Nordic Ski racing (cross country ski racing) both Classic and Freestyle (skating). What I’d like to know is do you or can you put together a training plan/program for this sport. I noticed you had a few ski related training plans but nothing specific to Nordic ski racing. Maybe the closest I saw was Randonee ski racing. I also do trail running races, road running races, duathlons (cycling and running), hike 14ers in Colorado, backcountry ski touring, downhill skiing, backpacking, cycling, and general hiking.

I’ve been working out at a crossfit gym for the last few years. Lately been trying to focus on their cross fit endurance workouts plus doing my own strength training (Olympic lifting) a few times a week. I don’t feel like I’m at the level of fitness I would like to be for my ski races. At the moment I’m trying to determine how I want to start training for next years race season. I’m currently 53 years old. Prior to doing crossfit I mostly ran for my workouts with some strength training at a gym (back then mostly machines). If you have something close to what I need I will probably drop out of the crossfit gym and do your workouts. The crossfit gym is a bit out of the way from where I live. I may be able to join a different gym to do some of your workouts but I will need to check on what they are willing to let me do. The other option is to buy equipment to have at my house to do the workouts. I also have access to a lot of great trails up in the mountains from Denver.

Appreciate your input with how best to approach this.


We don’t have a Nordic Skiing specific training plan.

If we did, gym-based work would just be supplementary – the bulk of your training would be endurance based – it would start with base building, then move to tempo work, etc. My experience has found there’s no shortcut, if you want to perform to your potential in an endurance sport – for classic endurance programming. What will be the determine your race performance is your aerobic fitness (efficiency) in that mode – not your gym numbers. We’re really careful to tell our endurance athletes that the goal of the strength-based gym training we do with them is durability for the long race season, not actual race performance. Their endurance training does that.

Importantly I’m not a proponent of the crossfit-endurance approach. In our experience, there’s no short cut to build endurance fitness. The crossfit endurance approach might be appropriate for someone running their first marathon, or skiing their first race, but there’s a reason the top performers all log mileage.

Endurance training is largely mode-specific, so endurance fitness gained running won’t transfer directly to your skiing. This means if you’re serious, you’ll invest in some roller skis and start your base training in the summer so it will transfer over when the snow flies and you’ll have a great head start on the season.

Also – race distance is important. Programming for a 10k is much different than a 50k.

As well, endurance sport uses slow-twitch muscle fibers which you won’t train lifting heavy. There’s there’s the connectivity tissue issue – mileage builds the tendons and other connective tissue needed during a long event.

From our stuff, the programming in the Randonee Race Plan would be a great start if you couldn’t find a nordic-specific plan. This is a pure endurance plan, and doesn’t include any strength training. We do program strength for our endurance athletes – usually 2 days early in the pre-season, then 1 day/week as they get closer. We have an In-Season Training Plan for Endurance Athletes (http://mtntactical.com/shop/in-season-strength-training-plan-for-endurance-athletes/) which you could apply in conjunction with any endurance plan you use.

So, in general, less time in the gym and a lot more skiing will improve your race performance.



How do you recommend combining the Running Improvement Plan with the SSD subscription? I‘m assuming some two-a-days?


Yes – 2 a days, but pay attention to the SSD session – and if it’s endurance you can do a 1-a-day.

Also – try to lift first.



I am currently on week 3 of the BW 1 plan. I am hoping to enlist in the Army on a Ranger contract and ship this summer, most likely June-July. So I know I want to complete the RASP plan immediately before that, but I am not sure where to go in the meantime. I was thinking BW 2 and SB/WV/DB, or Fortitude, followed by the Operator Sessions until the RASP plan. Right now I hover between 165-170#, FSQ 7x, bench 9x @185. I would really appreciate any advice you could give me.


After Bodyweight, roll into Fortitude (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/) and follow up with the Operator Sessions.



I’m starting the second week of Valor and I’m running into weather issues for rucking. We are getting hammered with snow and I’m having an issue getting an inside or outside location for rucking. I did get a chance to ruck 3 miles for time on an indoor track so I do have that time for my interval training. I hate to ask but could I do my intervals on a treadmill at like slightly higher incline or faster speed until a route is clear to run on?


Yep. Do them on a treadmill – use a 1% incline.

Everyone will think you’re a dork, but a fit dork. I’m one of those too…



I’m currently looking at a printout of your Military Athlete program. It’s called Army Physical fitness test (APFT) Training Program and the gentlemen I work with in the Army are very interested in improving their overall APFT score by using this program. However we a have a major obstacle that would hinder our ability to execute this program. Currently our unit has to do 4-5 mile formation runs at a moderate to slow pace every Monday and Friday, or usually the first day of the work week and the last day. So we are interested in a modified version of the program that allows us to train 3 days a week and 2 days a week to accommodate for the formation run. We like the AM and PM training plan but we would like to see if there is a way to limit it to once a day. The gentlemen I work with do extracurricular activities in the PM. Thank you for your time and effort.


Best would be to do the bodyweight progressions on Tuesday and Thursdays, and run progressions on Wednesday.

You’ll lose one bodyweight progression day and one run progression day each week because of the formation runs.



I’ve been crossfitting for a couple of years now and I come from an endurance background.  Plagued by injuries in the last year.  Short answer to my problems–I need to get stronger and increase my durability. I completed the Busy Operator with good results.  Just looking for another program.  I’m a skinny guy and at 38 I’m starting to feel my age in recovery time. I wouldn’t mind a little more mass.  Would you recommend 357 or RAT 6 for my objectives.  Keep up the good work!


I’d recommend Rat 6 (http://mtntactical.com/shop/rat-6-strength/).



During Workout sessions where time is allowed for rest, i.e. 2 min. rest for 12 rounds of 400m Runs, is it designated for jogging recovery or does it matter? Thank you in advance!


Full rest is recommended.



I hope this message finds you well and I apologize if this question is answered elsewhere. I’ve heard about your programs and read through your site; impressive stuff and a great resource.

I was just told that I have herniated disc c5/c6 and that I should dial down (read:away) from crossfit as the chiro suggested to stay as far away as impact as possible for 6mos-1yr. Necks are a sensitive area, I get that, but I don’t want to miss out on the strength and stamina that I’ve built while CF training.

My question; do you have any experience with this (yes, I’m sure you need more info) and do you have a plan or a suggestion for staying “SSD” through this neck issue?


I’m not a doctor and can’t give you medical advice.

I also can’t read your doctor’s mind. What does he define as “impact” – overhead loading, oly lifts, box jumps, burpees, jumping lunges??? You need to get some more information from him. A front squat is a long way from your neck – is that okay? Get this defined and I could help more. But right now, I couldn’t even suggest our Bodyweight training plan.

What I do assume would be okay is the triathlon modes – running, biking, swimming. With every injury comes an opportunity. Perhaps this is yours to move into the endurance realm for a year. Your strength will come back fast.



Just happened across your site looking for some kind of off-ice hockey training program to help with stability, strength, stamina and speed.  Just wondering with all your plans available, what you think would be the best?


Best option is our In-Season Ski Maintenance Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/in-season-ski-maintenance-training-program/). Here we have our pro hockey players train alongside our pro skiers, and the fitness demands for the sports overlap in key places.

We built this plan for both weekend-warrior skiers (2x/week) and ski professionals like ski patrollers and instructors who ski 4-6x/week. Weekend warriors need mid-week leg strength maintenance work. Ski professionals (like you if your skating 4x/week) get plenty leg work, and need to focus on core and upper body.

You can adjust the sessions as necessary depending upon your skating schedule.

Another option is 3-3- Work Capacity (http://mtntactical.com/shop/3-30-work-capacity-cycle/). This plan has a work capacity focus, but also trains strength, core and has 1 day/week of endurance. You’ll just have to be smart and not overtrain with your skating.



I work out in three different gyms  two of which do not have sand bags. What would be an alternative to sand bag get ups when I am at a gym that does not have the sand bag?


No good alternatives. Closest is holding a dumbbell or kettlebell to your chest in the “rack” position. You’ll need to go lighter than the sandbag, as your arm/grip/wrist will fatigue – start 10-15# lighter than the prescribed sandbag load.



Gentlemen,  my section has just started doing your Operator Sessions for our morning unit PT.  I purchased the subscription online this last week.  I was wondering if I should have chosen the Trainers / coaches subscription instead.  What are the differences in the two subscriptions?


No difference in content. The Trainers/Coaches subscription is designed for professional trainers/coaches who use our sessions for their paying clients. It’s an honor system for them.

You’re welcome to email questions.



I am excited to sign up for the athlete subscription, I just finished the sample week of the Military Athlete programming.

I have a question regarding the nutrition aspect-  The website says “don’t eat carbs”.  Is that in the strict sense or as in eliminating “white carbs” and eating the better ones in moderation? Thanks for your time.


Avoid bad carbs – sugar, bread, rice, potatoes. Pound veggies and fruit. My favorite is sweet potatoes.




Subscribe to MTI's Newsletter - BETA