Mr. Shaul,

I’m looking to your APFT Prep program for a bump in my scores, but it seems too specific if I want to maintain my current level of overall fitness.

Would you recommend additional training? What type? At the moment, time is not a concern. 2/days are an option, although I’d like to remain aware of overtraining.



Don’t discount the APFT plan, K. It’s no joke. You can also just do 3x weeks if you like. We did just 3 weeks and saw 15% improvement across the board in scores. 

Additional training will limit your gains from the APFT-specific work. 

– Rob

I like your site, but one thing that stops me from doing.  How would use your site getting ready for ITC. When I need more endurance, like running, swimming, and hiking.  

Thanks – S

We’re building an ITC prep program but don’t’ have it completed yet S. In the mean time, I’d recommend you complete the USAF CCT/PJ/CRO Selection Training Plan – it includes running/swimming, finning, rucking. Here’s the link to the plan:

– Rob

My name is E. and I work for Homeland Security.  I have bought a few of your programs and really enjoyed them.  I recently finished the lower back program and have recommended it to some of the guys I work with.  I have a selection course for our agency, which based off of SFAS, coming up in October (approximately 16-20 weeks away)  this year.  With that amount of time what would be my best approach towards preparing? Focus solely on what I’ll be doing at that selection course or divided the time up into different sections (strength, base fitness, and stamina) and then do the Ruck Based program closer to 8 weeks out? I know you are busy but any help would be appreciated!  
– E.

First, subscribe to the Operator Sessions and complete those between now and 8 weeks out, then …

Cancel your subscription via paypal and purchase and complete the Ruck-Based Selection Program. You’ll complete this directly before selection. Here’s the link to the plan:

– Rob


Been lurking on your site for a while and have done some of your free operator sessions and your afghan pre-deployment program.  You have some quality stuff and I thank you for it.

I am with a Canadian police special forces unit based in Alberta and have gotten a bit more out of shape than I would usually like since I injured my knee.  I’m 5’7" and about 200-205. When I went through our training I was 190 ish.  I’m quite thick with a good deal of muscle but do have some extra fat I’m carrying around.  I read a q&a on your site where u told a similarly built fellow to stop all weight training and just do your apft program in an effort to loose some muscle mass. Would that be the same recommendation for me even if I also have some fat mass to loose? Running isn’t terrible for me anyhow with a 24 min 3 mile and 54 min 6.2 mile.

I have been on a strength phase for the last 3 months to gain back some strength I have lost since getting on the team.  Some of my numbers are as follows:

Back Squats: 280# for 2 reps
Deadlift: 300# for 2 reps
Bench: 230# for 4 reps
Push jerk: 175# for 2 reps

You see my strength #’s are not that great.  Front squats are terrible as are overhead squats. Mobility issues with my calves/ankles, shoulders and a terrible front rack position aggravate all this.  

Just wondering what you would recommend for a training program, ideal weight and appropriate strength levels?  I would imagine your nutrition guidelines would be the same as on your site but if not please let me know.  We are no strangers to rucking so a program with that included wouldn’t be too foreign.

I appreciate any advice/input you would be willing to provide.  Thank you for everything you do for all the military athletes out there.


– J.

Strength and Weight – 
Ideally, at 5′ 7", I’d like to see you around 170 pounds. I’m 5’6" and weight 150-155#. Obviously you’re a thick guy, so – perhaps 185 is more reasonable. Understand less bodyweight also means less impact to your joints, less to carry around, ruck with, etc. 

Strength – My primary interest is relative strength (strength per bodyweight) – not max effort strength. Here are my recommended strength standards available at the FAQ on the website. In the chart, "BW" = bodyweight.

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

There are two ways to increase your relative strength – increase max effort strength, or lose weight. I’d like to see you lose some weight. 

What to do now – I’d definitely recommend getting out of the weight room for at least 4 weeks. The APFT Plan would be one option. A better option would be the Bodyweight Training Plan I just built this week. Here’s the link:  

The bodyweight plan includes plenty of calisthenics, but also bunches of sprinting and running. 

Finally, understand that 80% of fat loss is diet, not exercise. Clean up your diet. 

Here’s our Nutritional Guideline: 
6 Days a Week: Eat lean meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and drink water. Don’t eat carbs (bread, spuds, rice) or sugar. 
1 Day a Week: Cheat like a mother! Beer, pizza, ice cream – you name it! We’ve found you can’t eat clean over the long term without cheating. We’ve also found the longer you stick to this diet, the less you’ll "cheat" on your cheat days, and the more cheating will hurt you – i.e. stomach ache, gas, etc. 

– Rob


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