A few years back, I purchased the APFT plan from you, and it worked. However when I did it, that is all I focused on, and did not supplement it with additional weight training. I train in the gym now, haven’t really ventured into Crossfit type stuff, but mostly sticking to the norm (Chest/Mon;Back/Tues;Arms/Weds;Shoulders/Thurs;Legs/Fri). I have added additional cardio (running 2 miles every day).

I am considering jumping back to the APFT plan (I’ve had 6 months off, and at the end of August/Sept will be back to my unit and taking an APFT). Do you think the APFT plan along with my regular gym cycle will be overkill? Obviously the cardio/running portion will be as the program goes, but I am heading to some schools in December at Bragg and don’t want to hurt myself.

– R.

Sir – generally it’s a bad idea to mix programming – but it depends upon your level of fitness and other programming. Right now in the weight room you’re pretty much doing the old body building body split routine, and it shouldn’t affect the sit-ups and running part of the APFT – so you could double up on these at least. It could effect the pushups, however.

I will tell you your current gym work will not prepare you as well for the APFT as the plan.

– Rob


Have another question for you.

We are just entering Week 13 of IBOLC, and report to Ranger on 18AUG. Ideally putting graduation around 19OCT (09NOV with a recycle). I’d like to take on the 26DEC GORUCK Selection in Neptune beach after Ranger before I report to my first unit.

How would you recommend rehabbing from Ranger and then prepare for Selection? And how would you recommend keeping a recent Ranger graduate from putting on some extra weight due to his body being in survival mode from malnutrition?

Thanks in advance, keep up the programs.


Sir – first, I wouldn’t advise you look beyond Ranger School. The Goruck event is artificial to your work and career – Ranger is not.

Most guys seem super emancipated and overall weak after Ranger – down 20-30 pounds. I generally recommend they take at least a couple weeks off before beginning training again, and then start fairly conservative, with one of our strength plans.

It seems you would have about 6 weeks between the end of Ranger School and the Goruck event. That gives you a month to build back up. My advice now is to reschedule the Goruck event for sometime later in the year. Not only may you not be ready physically, but mentally, you simply may not want to get hazed and roll around in the dirt and mud that soon after Ranger.

If you want to try it anyway, the best way to prepare for Goruck Selection is to do our Goruck Selection Training Program:

This might be too much for you that soon after Ranger School. If you start our program, and can’t keep up the the progressions, or simply find your head isn’t into it, you’ll know you aren’t ready for the 29th December event and can rescheduled then.

– Rob

I have enjoyed the added focus on running in the recent operator sessions. I love the operator sessions, but sometimes they lack the running I feel is necessary for the Army. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, running is going to continue to be a measurement of fitness for the Army (2 mile run APFT, and 5 mile run RPFT). For guys like me who to get better at running need to run (ie Fartlek/interval runs, and distance running for aerobic fitness). Are these runs something I can continue to expect through the Operator Sessions?

I have done the 6 week APFT Improvement Program before, but I don’t want to solely focus on the APFT and sacrifice comprehensive tactical fitness. At the same time, I don’t want to waiver on my running.

– D.

My thoughts, and programming, have evolved somewhat when it comes to unloaded running. I’ve always felt sprinting was very important to work performance for military athletes, but have felt somewhat that with most guys, unloaded running was over emphasized.

However, we recently introduced and Endurance Cycle into my Fluid Programming Model, which includes unloaded running, and loaded rucking. And we’ve been doing more unloaded running as part of the other sessions in the Operator Sessions. My reason for this was I felt while our strength, stamina and work capacity were solid, our endurance wasn’t at the same level, and I wanted to improve it.

Also, I’m acknowledging that we’re moving from a wartime force to a peacetime force, and the fitness demands and expectations will change accordingly, back to PT tests, daily PT, etc.

In addition to the Endurance Cycle, we’re currently building a supplemental running plan to do in addition to or in conjunction with the Operator Sessions who, like you, are concerned about maintaining or improving their running performance. This supplemental plan should be out this week or next.

– Rob

Hey Rob-

Reading through the Q and A on your site – awesome job on your detailed replies.  I’d like to purse the goruck selection program and curious what the average time commitments are in the 8 week program

I just became a new father, so I gotta get approval first if there are gonna be multiple days a week that have me out for hours at a time and be sure my wife is OK holding down the house.

– C.

The Goruck Selection program is 8 weeks long, and full on. You’ll train 5 days/week – Sundays and Fridays are rest days. Here’s an idea of how long the training sessions take: 

How long should the training session take?
Saturday events: up to 11 hours 
Monday, Tuesday: 60 minutes
Wednesday: 2.5 – 5 hours 
Thursday: 1-2 hours

Link to the program:

– Rob
Rob, first off I want to say that I love the workouts you guys put out. My question to you is if there is a TACP specific or similar program. I am looking to increase strength and also increase speed on my runs. I have already passed the P.A.S.T. test to get in and am waiting on physicals so I can receive a class date. So time shouldn’t be too much of an issue with the programming.  Any input is much appreciated. Thanks for your time.

– J.

Two options:

 (1) Ruck Based Selection Program:

(2) CCT/PJ/CRO Selection Training Program:

Both include calisthenics, running and rucking. The CCT/PJ/CRO program includes weekly work on the PAST, and also a full day/week of swimming. 

Of the two, I’m thinking the Ruck plan may be most sport-specific for TACP. I understand you may have to pass and initial PAST, but the crux of the selection is rucking based. 

Good luck.

– Rob


First off, I’d like to thank you for your work.  I got into a couple of your programs and I realized that it was the long term goals that I never had with crossfit, it was kind of the missing link for me and training. 

 I was hoping to ask a couple questions, but I’ll give you a quick context about myself.  I know you probably get blown up with individual stories all the time, but I have a couple uncertain paths and I’d like your input if you don’t mind. 

I served with a scout sniper platoon previously, so I’m no stranger to rucking, running, and functional fitness, which has dominated my workout routines for the past few years.  I got off active duty in summer of 2011, and started a full time job and school on the side.  Long story short, I’ll spare you the excuses and sob stories I let myself get away with for too long about work, school, commute, taking care of the house, etc. My fitness slipped and I got fat.  I’m 5’7", and about 195 right now.  I’ve always been stocky, and never really concerned myself with the military ht/wt standards before, because even though I was overweight I was underfat. (max on the chart for 67" is 175#)  At my peak post deployment fitness, I was about 175-180 with high Marine Corps PFT scores: 20 pullups all day, 100 crunches no problem, and a 21:00 to 21:30 3 mile.  I am no longer in that territory, but close on the pullups, crunches, definitely want to work my running some more. but it isn’t terrible. 

Regardless of past achievements or non achievements, I’ve gotten seriously motivated about a return.  I miss the team atmosphere, and I have my eye on going to SF through the National Guard.  I’ve gotten my diet under control and I started working out more seriously this summer.  I may have gone a bit overboard at first though, because I decided to pick up your APFT training plan, the 357 strength plan, and the SFAS and Ruck based selection program.  Admittedly, I started inconsistently.  I’ve honestly never been one to quit though, and now that I am "there" mentally, I want to make sure that I make the most of my energy by properly focusing on a good baseline.  This leads to my big question. What to do first?  I tried the 357, and made it through the first week with some scaling.  However, I also have one other concern.  The way that the Guard works, once you join, you drill with an SF company, and their training cadre or team guys that aren’t on a team, or whoever, puts you through a weekend tryout.  This happens for 3-4 months before they will send you to selection.  So in addition to a good athletic foundation, I also need to be getting prepared for some long weekends with lots of rucking and running.  This led me to start the ruck plan, but I honestly wasn’t nearly in good enough shape to make it worth going through. Once again with some scaling, I did complete week one, but I was smoked.  

The down and dirty is this: I’m hoping to attend one of these tryouts by October at the latest, and selection over the winter following the above time table.  What would you recommend as far as a good place to start?  I’ve read in your other responses that you emphasize a strength base, but I’m also looking for some rucking and as I said before I’d like to be about 175 by the time I go out for one of these tryouts. ( I know you will probably tell me I should be less than that, which I will shoot for, but that’s where I want to be just to show up).  Any help you can give me to point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

Also, one other question about your nutrition guidelines.  Would you include brown rice in with the grains that you would exclude? I understand the wheat and flour based stuff, but I was just curious.  Thanks again.

Respectfully and sincerely, 

– N.

Thanks for the note. 

I’d recommend you do the APFT plan for the next 4 weeks. It will complement your diet work, help you lose weight, and self-scales to your level of fitness. Plus, chances are your APFT score will matter quite a bit as you compete for a SF slot through the Guard. I’d add in a longer ruck on the weekend – Saturday or Sunday morning – nothing too crazy, but something to get you headed in that direction: 1-2 hours at 45# plus a sledge hammer. Aim for 15 min miles at first. 

This should take you through mid-August. Then I’d recommend 4 weeks of 357. You should be much more lean by then, and ready for some serious strength training. Understand that the purpose of the strength training is not only performance, but also durability – getting stronger will help your body endure the pounding it will take during the rucking. 

I’d follow the 357 training sessions as prescribed, but also continue your weekend rucks – but up your load to 55-65 pounds, with a 10# sledge. 

Then I’d recommend restarting the Ruck Plan in Mid-September. You’ll have to be smart with it, and make sure you don’t blow yourself out for the weekend work with the Guard – but the plan calls for long weekend rucks anyway, so your Guard efforts will fit nicely with it. 

Weight – 175# at 5’7" is a little high for me, but if you were there and could run a 21 minute 3-mile, that’s a great weight for you. 

Sorry, brown rice is off the non-cheat menu. 

– Rob

I am currently in the Army DEP due to ship out at the end of September for Infantry OSUT.  I am currently going to the local Crossfit gym Mon-Wed-Fri and running on Tue and Thur.  I have two questions for you. 1)  Would you recommend the bodyweight or APFT improvement plan for the weeks prior to shipping. Or would continuing my current programming be more beneficial to maintaining general fitness and strength? 2) I intend to get a slot at RASP and was wondering if you plan on making a RASP prep plan.

Thanks for your time,
– J.

I’m thinking our current training should do more than needed for OSUT. Make sure you’re working on the APFT events – and you should be fine. 

RASP – we are, but haven’t gotten to it yet. 

– Rob

Hey Coach,

  I was going to get your stuck in a motel plan, I can’t seem to find it anywhere on the site, can you send me the correct link? Thanks

– J.

I updated and replaced that plan with our new Bodyweight Plan:

– Rob

Hey Rob,
I have a basic question for you but want to give you a bit of background on me first.
I’m 45, 6’2 205#, never served in the military but have signed up to take a specialized course in our State Defense Force, in which I have volunteered for a couple of years.  I’m very new to the functional style of training that you talk about on your Military Athlete site.  I’m an old school, bench press, curl, triceps, shoulders, and avoid legs and cardio as much as possible, much to my chagrin.  In our assessment weekend we were required to do the APFT, I didn’t fare to well and started working on it.  We will be required to do the APFT once a month for the 6 mos. of training and I’d really like to MAX it in the end, which I think I can.  Oh, one other piece of info, I’m also training for a 15 mile/45 lb Ruck  march in Late Sept. as part of this course.
I’ve just started the Military Athlete APFT 6 Week Training Program that you offer.  This morning I ran the two miles in 15:45, did 44 pushups and did 38 sit-ups, they kill my back.  I’m headed to the gym now to do my 80 pushups and 6 rounds of sprinting sit-ups…
Now for my question, do you suggest that I should do nothing other than the prescribed workouts that you give in your 6 week APFT training plan or should I do additional strength training?  I don’t want to over train, nor do I want to get pigeon holed into one style of work out where I lose too much size/strength.  Keep in mind, I realize I’m 45 and I don’t have much size or strength, I’m just hoping to make the best of both worlds. J
Thank you in advance for any help or direction that you can give me.  Looking forward to working your plan!
– G.

I’d recommend you do the APFT plan as prescribed and avoid the upper body stuff in the weight room. I’d also recommend you start taking long rucks on the weekend – Saturday or Sunday. Start out easy – 1 hour, at 45# + plus a 10# sledge hammer, and aim for 15 minute miles. Try to ruck over similar terrain to your September assessment and see if you can get any info on the pace you’ll be expected to keep during the assessment. 

Start adding time and mileage. If you can get info at the pace you’ll need to keep for selection, start rucking at that pace and increasing distance weekly – aim to complete a 15 mile effort the weekend before your assessment. 

– Rob

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