Hey Rob,
Not sure  if this is the right place to ask you but I was wondering if it would be appropriate to combine the running portions of your APFT plan with the regular operator sessions? OR at least do the operator session in the morning and the running portion in the evening? My strength and core is there but  my cardio is otherwise lacking. Would you recommend this or would you recommend doing something else to increase run times and overall cardio endurance?
– J.

You could do both, – just be sure to watch for overtraining. You may also want to split the session – AM and PM. 

We’ll be dropping into a Work Capacity cycle next week – and I’m thinking you’ll want to stop the extra running during that cycle.

– Rob

Good day MA, hope all is well.

Do you folks have a recommended reading list? Specifically I was looking for training methodology and general pleasure reading, anything good you folks have come across.

One other more training specific question do you folks have a recommendation on using the low bar back squat or high bar back squat? There is a ton info on both and one over the other, and I have read most of it and want your folks take as I have a ton of respect for what you do.

I am one week into the body weight Mtn Athlete plan and look forward to signing up for base fitness after that. I am basically a weekend hiker and just was to go out an enjoy life and keep up with my husband (USA-Inf & Ranger). Base fitness would be a good fit, correct?

Thanks for what you do on both MA sites.


Low Bar or High Bar Back Squat – athlete’s choice – our focus is outside performance, and unless safety is an issue, I’ve found many of these geeky weight room technique issues interesting, but not super useful. 

Yes on Base Fitness. 

Some Reading recommendations below:

Recommended Books
Pat O’Shea, “Quantum Strength & Fitness”
Robert dos Remedios, “Power Training”
“Foundation Training”
Eric Cressey,  “The Ultimate Offseason Training Manual” 
Rippetoe and Kilgore, “Practical Programing for Strength Training”
Joe Kenn, “The Coach’s Strength Training Playbook”
Mike Boyle, “Advances in Functional Training"
Mark Vertegen, “Core Performance”
Gray Cook – “Functional Movement”
Vern Gambetta, "Athletic Development: Art and Science of Functional Sports Conditioning"
Zatsiorski and Kraemer, “Science and Practice of Strength Training”
LTC Grossman, “On Killing,” “On Combat”
Greg Shepard, “Bigger Faster Stronger”

– Rob

I’d like to thank you for the incredible amount of info you have provided for us.
I’m currently deployed and have had great success with your Big 24 program.
I will redeploy in roughly two months time. Upon redeployment I will no long be able to do one session per day 4 days a week.
I will need to do a session in the morning and a second session in the afternoon/evening. I am concerned about overtraining.
I was looking into doing the Bodyweight Training Program in the morning and the Hypertrophy/Rat 6 Program in the afternoon or evening.
Any info or advice you can provide would be greatly appriciated.
– K.

In general, doubling up on my programming is a bad idea. You’ll overtrain and likely won’t get the gains you would if you just did one program. You don’t increase fitness from training. You increase fitness by resting after training. 

The Bodyweight Plan does include strength – so you’d be doubling up with Rat 6. 

What may be a better idea is to do Rat 6 in the AM, and then do some running/rucking in the pm. I’d recommend alternating 2-3x 2-mile running repeats with 2-4 1 mile Ruck Run repeats at 45# plus your rifle. In general, you want to train strength before running/conditioning.

– Rob


I love the sandbag get up and it was perfect when I was back in the states. However, I’m now in eastern Afghanistan. I have my military athlete sandbag but all I can find is ultra coarse gravel which does not give the same volume of the wood pellets. What are some other fillers you suggest or what is a good replacement for the Sandbag get up. Thanks for your help.

– M.

I’d recommend you be resourceful and make a sandbag work M. Options include using towels/pillows/old sheets, etc. for "filler" in addition to the gravel, or just using gravel and duck-taping up the sandbag so it’s a tighter package. 

It’s the exercise and load that’s really important, not the overall bulk. 

We don’t really have a good sub for the sandbag getup. 

– Rob

How’s it going?  To put it bluntly, I’m fat and out of shape.  I basically want to change how I look and how I feel.  I used your Operator Sessions before and saw results and would like to see those results again.  Due to a leg injury sustained in Ranger School, I can’t really run anymore, but due to to the type of running dictated in the Operator Sessions, there was never an issue.  My question is, which one of your alternate programs should I purchase if I just want to gain basic fitness and to shed pounds, but with intent to return to the Operator Sessions?  The two I see are the Ramp Up and the Work Capacity?  Thanks.

– C.

The work cap plan would likely be too intense for you. I’d recommend starting with the OnRamp Plan:

– Rob
I’ve been a little guy my whole life and in the last few years I’ve tried hard to increase my knowledge along with my level of fitness. I am not a trainer by any means, but your programs have proved an excellent resource for planning physical training for my squad. I respect that when I purchase a plan or subscribe to the operator sessions that it is not intended for group use, but I do sometimes share workouts. Most of my squad however, even though we do the same workouts, are MA subscribers as well. That being said, when I do utilize your plans, I don’t cancel my subscription. You’ve been my coach for nearly three years. I’ve gone from 158-175 pounds, I’ve used your strength goals on your FAQ paged as my guidelines and have reached my benchpress, front squat, and deadlift goals, and am approaching my squat clean and squat clean + push press. I’ve had to overcome being a serious excuse maker and procrastinator.
The point I’m trying to make is that I can’t thank you enough for the time and effort you put into this program. I’ve progressed more than I ever thought I was capable and continue to do so still. I went through a difficult military selection program about a year ago, and while I wasn’t mentally prepard for success, my physical readiness was through the roof thanks to operator sessions and the RBSP.
Not to mention that aside from the outstanding content your site provides, you’ve also always been quick to respond to questions and resolve issues, always handling your business with exceptional professionalism.
Thanks again Rob, for everything.  

– J.

Hi Rob,

Thank you for your great programming. I really enjoy following your stuff.

I just got back from SOFWODs Phase III Academy – a two week immersion academy for individuals looking to pursue special operations careers.  It’s run in a mirror fashion to PJ Indoc due to the cadre’s background, but incorporates many land-based evolutions.  For my train-up I used your Water-based selection with great success.

After completion of the course, I realized I need to work on my muscle endurance and increase my cals, push-ups and pull-ups specifically. What of your programs do you recommend I pursue?

Thank you,


We offer several military fitness assessment training plans here:

I’d recommend you start with the PAST Training Plan, and skip the swimming portion:

– Rob


So I have a couple questions for you about the Ruck Based Selection program.  I just got my SFAS date for the Dec 2013 class.   

First, what version is the program on now? I have one from 2010 that you sent me before I went to Ranger School.   

Second, I noticed that you just developed a SFOD-D program, how does that differ from the Ruck Based Selection program?  Would it be over kill?

Thanks for any help,
– C.

We’re on version 3 of the Ruck Plan, Connor, but several used the version you have successfully for SFAS. You should be good. 

Delta selection is different – it’s solely rucking focused, and not as general as SFAS. I’d stick with the plan you have.

– Rob


First off, thanks for what you do and the knowledge you put out. I’m a Staff Sergeant in the US Army and training up for SF selection. I do mostly MA but when time isn’t on my side, I’ll settle for a Crossfit workout. I’m 5’11", #180, and can do double my body weight on most lifts but never drop below body weight.
 Now my question pertains to using the Delta program for SF selection verses the Ruck Based selection program. What main differences are there between the two programs and would there be any degradation in my training with using the Delta program for an SF selection.

Thanks again,

I’d recommend the Ruck Based Selection. 

The SFOD-D is laser focused on Rucking – as per the Delta Selection Course. 

SFAS has rucking, but other events as well. The Ruck plan reflects this. 

– Rob


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