I’m a research scientist training for selection under 18X. I picked up the ruck based training program, but as you suggest am putting it on hold until 8 weeks out from SFAS. I’ve been following the operator sessions for a few months now with pretty good results but I’ve been struggling with inconsistency because I am sent into the field for 2 weeks every 2 weeks (half-time) and am always picking up and dropping cycles at inopportune times. I have no access to barbells when away. Do you have any suggestions for exercise subs to use with the sandbag instead so I can try to keep up?
Do the exact same exercise, just with a sandbag. A few won’t work – like bench press – but most the others, like front squats, cleans, back squats, etc, you can do with a sand bag. You can add resistance – i.e., make it harder, by wearing your IBA when you’re doing the Sandbag exercise.
Hey Rob. I just found out after going through constant back pain that I have a ruptured disc. The doc wants to give me cortisone shots. He says that I should be back to 100% after this. Others have told me that the shots are just temporary and its just a matter of time before my back blows out and I’m forced to have surgery! In your line of work have you ever in countered something like this? Any advice? You think I’ll ever be able to return in full force again or is it just a matter of time?
Thanks for all, L.
You’re way over my head here L. I’m sorry, but I’m not a doctor and can’t give you specific medical advice.
I may suggest some common sense steps:
– First, get a second and maybe a third opinion.
– Cortizone is a steroid which will only help mask the pain – it won’t heel you. At the same time, it will mask the pain – which may give you some relief.
– Down the road you may need to decide on surgical repair. There are lots of pros and cons to this for back surgery. Research as much as you can.
I have 15yrs working full time in title for NYS Forest Rangers, turning 43 this year. Over 20yrs working in the mountains and woods. We are sworn police officers who specialize in Search and Rescue/ Wildfire Control/ Law Enforcement/ Care, Custody, Control of state forest preserve lands. Forest Rangers do Mountain, Swiftwater, Backcountry/ Wilderness, High Angle, and Helicopter/ Fixed wing based missions. We are used as a statewide resource for everything from wildfire to law enforcement, to disaster response. I have always been athletic, but 25 years of living like there is no tomorrow has left me hating yesterday. My days of heavy pack rescues in the mtns, marathon canoe racing, trail work, a climbing fall, and law enforcement tangles have taken their toll. I’m 30 pounds overweight, losing my wind, and have recurring back injuries.
I still do weight training, hike w/ pack 10 miles a week, FitDeck body-weight workouts (intermediate or Advanced), can Road/ Mtn bike for 30-40 miles, do 4.5 mile runs. But stagnant, getting weaker, having more injuries. I cannot get old this fast.
Sooo… having these problems just transferred out to the St. Regis Canoe area to the Adirondack High Peaks. I will be participating in many more rescues, heavy rucking long distance over mountain terrain. Not ready for a desk assignment. I need to last 10-12 more years.
Which of your programs would work best for me. I am willing to commit quite a bit of time to this, working around family time. I need to get back to rescue/ tactical/ trail shape in next three months and make it LAST.
Checked out your operator UGLY stuff but don’t think I can press 185# anymore, know my back can’t take a 225# deadlift.
Any advice or training recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for any time spent in response.
1) Fix your diet. Losing your 30 pounds of extra weight will solve 90% of your issues. See the FAQ on the site for our dietary guidelines – but they aren’t complicated. Don’t eat crap, bread, rice, potatoes, sugar of any kind. Don’t drink calories – no fruit juice, soda, etc. Just coffee and water. Get it fixed.
2) Start with the Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Program – a great way to kick start your fitness in a very sport-specific way: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=83
I want to get started with some of your programming (probably on ramp first, then some strength specific programs) but I have concerns regarding my fitness level. I used to regularly CrossFit locally but it got to be to inconvenient and expensive (like 2 years ago). Instead I have been running, with the occasional half marathon (I really like running, but gone are the days of my 7min miles and time to train for ultras). Fast forward to the question: given that my 1RM’s are low (compared to your base programming) is there some help built in for scaling the exercises?
1 rep maxes:
Dead lift 260
Bench 145 (yikes)
Military press 105
Power clean 130
So why would I choose "military athlete"? Because I loved crossfit but the idea of structuring programming around the realities of my job (I’m a Federal Law Enforcement Officer with the US Forest Service) sounds, I don’t know, "smart"? I spend summers eradicating outdoor illegal marijuana gardens, I spend days tracking suspects across the sierras and foot hills of CA, and bring EMS to other officers via helicopter ShortHaul or fast packing. I need strength, endurance, speed – all around fitness.
I’d recommend you start with either the Bodyweight Plan – for all around fitness: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=96
Or the Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan – to up your performance in the mountains: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=83
Either of these plans will kick start your strength work, and get you ready for one of our strength plans, next.
What level would you recommend having attained before beginning this program?
The plan is aimed at guys with orders to Delta selection – most of whom come from the ranks of Green Beret’s or Rangers – so they’ve at a minimum been through SFAS and Ranger School. They are used to rucking with a heavy pack.
I haven’t really determined a fitness level to complete the plan – but during the first assessment week, you’ll be doing 600x step ups for time, a 5-mile Ruck Run @ 45# with a rifle/sledge, 10 mile Heavy ruck for time at 60# and 6 mile time trial run, plus bodyweight bench press for reps and pull ups for reps – and this is relatively "easy" week in the plan.
The plan is not only tough physically, but time-intensive also. You’ll train like a pro athlete.
Three weeks ago I herniated L5 and have been taking it real easy. I miss working out, and was wondering if the military fitness back program is something that would help?
The Low Back Fitness plan isn’t a rehab plan – in other words, it’s not designed to bring you back from injury. It’s designed for athletes who have delicate low backs, and want to firm things up. So – I’m not sure it’s what you’re looking for this early in your recovery.
Thank you all you do and for all of the advice you provide. I am a police officer on a swat team and I am 6’3" and 227 lb. I was wondering if you would give me an ideal weight range that I should be operating at. I got back into hard physical training at the beginning of the year after a hiatus. I just finished the Bodyweight Plan and feel that I am in good shape (just completed a Ragner Relay and a Goruck Challenge) however I fall short on some of the strength benchmarks listed on the site (ex. Bench =1.05 x BW, Dead lift = 1.80 BW, etc.) Would I be better served starting the Operator Sessions or one of your strength programs? If so, which one? I am limited with some of my access to equipment as my gym at the department doesn’t have kettlebells or a squat rack. I would also like to run a 1/2 marathon in October. Thank you for any advice.
You’re a little heavy – especially if you can’t make the strength standards. I’d like to see you at 210-215 pounds. Pls go to our FAQ and see our dietary recommendations. Make sure your diet is clean.
Programming – Yes, I’d recommend one of our strength plans, specifically 357 Strength: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&&cart_ID=69
After 357, I’d recommend the Operator Sessions.
Hi Rob, I had a question about one of your programs I’m doing. I just started the "ultimate meathead" plan this week. I was curious about some of the higher rep exercises it calls for, for example where it calls to do 4 rounds of 15 reps of a particular exercise. I’m finding that my first two sets feel fairly easy, but the last two I get gassed and can’t keep up the 15 rep sets non-stop. Should I lower my weight to something that I can complete 4 unbroken 15 rep sets? Or would it be better to have two good sets, then break the last two sets a little bit as needed to get the whole 15 reps with the same weight?
Thanks for your help.
Yes – lower load as necessary to get all the reps in the set unbroken.