I am a Soldier deployed to Afghanistan and I’ve been asking around for the best training program for the selection that I plan to attend next spring. Everyone tells me that you guys are who I need to talk to. I’m sure you’ve received emails like this before, and have a pretty good idea of what I need. Can you guys help me out? If so, what do I need to do? I wanted to get your opinion before subscribing to the workout plan on your site. Thanks for your help.

– T.

In general, I’d recommend doing the Operator Sessions until a 8-12 weeks out from your selection date (depending upon the selection). 

Then, directly before selection, cancel your subscription to the Operator Sessions and complete the sport specific training plan for the selection your attending. For example, if it’s SFAS, I’d recommend the Ruck Based Selection Plan. 

Click here for a list of the selection plans we offer:

For more about the work we do, click the "Start Here" button on the website:

– Rob

Coach Shaul,
Within the past month, I decided to really stick to your nutrition plan (lean meats, no carbs during the week with one cheat day). I don’t really need it at this point as I’m trying to gain some mass (I’m 5’11" at 165lbs), but I feel better and it’s probably better for me in the long run once my metabolism slows down.
Started the Stamina Cycle last week and have continued doing it this week. However, I have felt gassed a couple of times towards the end of the workouts that I haven’t felt previously… I’m wondering if it’s because I haven’t been eating carbs during the week. What’s your opinion on this? Do you or any of your Lab Rats take anything during the workout (protein shake or something similar) to keep your energy up? Or should I just try to eat more prior to the workout?
Thanks, and being in the military, can’t thank you and your team enough for all the effort you put into this program.
– J.

Often, for stamina sessions, I’ll use an energy gel before the session, and that helps me from the crash. Some of the lab rats will shoot a gel in the middle of the session. Try that. 

– Rob

   It’s G. the Fed, again.  A couple of the guys in my group want to do some team building through group PT.  A couple are former SRT and in pretty good shape…and some are not.  I thought the Patrol Officer plan would be the logical place to start but here are my questions/concerns: 

1.  I’m working my way through On Ramp as a way to re-boot after the academy.  I showed the guys the plan and I thought there heads were going to explode when I started describing Mr. Spectacular.
2.  I need a plan that centers around uncomplicated exercises.  These guys know how to bench, for sure, and I can do some basic coaching on squats and dead lifts.  Some of these guys are already self-conscious about the state of there fitness.  We’re going to be using a PD’s gym and these guys don’t want to be embarrassed in front of there friends.
3.  It needs to be scalable-like On Ramp.

Is Patrol Officer the plan for us? Would Body Weight be a better alternative and then follow up with Patrol Officer? Thoughts? Prayers?

– G.

1) Mr. Spectacular isn’t complicated. It’s just hard. Anyone can do it.
2) I understand the jeopardy the weight room has for guys. The On Ramp Plan is about as simple as we go for exercise complexity. 
3) All our plans are scaleable. They should be okay.
4) Patrol Officer Plan – This is an awesome plan that includes bunches of upper body weight training, with good work capacity efforts centered around sprinting. 
5) I like the idea of the Body Weight plan followed by the Patrol Officer Plan. The bodyweight plan is no joke, but you can do it anywhere – it doesn’t have to be in the gym. After this plan, you’ll have a core group of guys left to tackle the Patrol Officer Plan. 

Understand that you’re going to lose guys who just aren’t committed to training. It’s not professional to try and find a program everyone will be comfortable with – what’s better is do stop working out, and start training, and find those guys who similarly want to be professional about their fitness. I’ve found this professional attitude has little to do with the fitness going in – many relatively fit guys quit, and many unfit guys stick with it – because they see what it can do for them. 

What’s important is to keep the weight room and training as welcoming as possible, but still keep it professional in programming. The best guys on your team will recognize and appreciate what you’re doing and want to be part of it.

– Rob

This is awesome C.! Thanks for sharing!! – Rob

I’m sure you get these all the time, but I thought I’d at least try to share it with the world. It’s basically your Barbell Complex, on acid! I’ve done it a few times and it’s a gasser each and every time. I call it: 

Niner Niner Niner

Warm up:
4 Rounds
Barbell Complex (88 lbs.)
HAM- Hip Mobility Drill

Main Exercise (all barbell weights done with with 88 lbs.):
9 Rounds with 90 sec rest between rounds (I won’t lie, I can only make it to maybe the 4th or 5th round before that 90 seconds gets longer)
9 x Dead Lift
9 x Upright Row
9 x Hang Clean
9 x Front Squat
9 x Overhead Press
9 x Back Squat
9 x GHD Situps
9 x Pullups
400m Run in 90 sec. (6 min/ mile pace)- I do it on the treadmill so I can gauge my speed better, otherwise i end up all over the place.

Cool Down:
2 Rounds
HAM- Hip Mobility Drill
Foam Roll as needed

– C.

Hello Rob,

I’ve been searching around for a great PT program.  I’ve looked over the RAW (ranger athlete warrior), MAW (mountain athlete warrior by matt wenning for 75th ranger reg), CF, and your military athlete program.  I am reading that your program is like CF but with a bit more emphasis on weights and strength (which is a plus).

What, in your honest opinion, can you tell me about your program as opposed to these others.  I do like a little bit of everything.  I want to increase base strength, increase power and power endurance, and of course…long term endurance (just for PT test purposes and ruck marching).  Not to interested in size. 

I saw your free operator sessions to get a feel.  Do you mean by this:

(2) 6 Rounds
5x Back Squat – increase load rapidly each round until 5x is hard, but doable, then immediately, …
2x Broad Jump unloaded (be explosive!)
2/2/2 Toe Touch Complex

You do the squats, then the jump, then the toe touches and you repeat that 6 rounds?  Then move onto (3)?  I want to give these a shot.  Seems like your workouts are "character building" as I like to put it.   🙂 🙂

Thanks and looking forward to your response.

– A.

1) Differences with CrossFit: – In general, our programming is totally focused on improving outside performance. Gym numbers are secondary and fitness is not a sport for us. It’s a means to improve outside performance, durability, etc. Pls go to the FAQ on the site, and you’ll see an extensive breakdown on the differences between us and CrossFit.

Please understand CrossFit is a phenomenal strength and conditioning program, and many guys who come to Military Athlete programming graduate to us from CrossFit.

2) Differences with RAW: We’re more similar to RAW, but with less emphasis on prehab and rehab, and much more sport-specificity, especially with our seleciton/mission/school/assessment-based training plans.

3) Our programing aims to improve strength, work capacity, stamina, endurance and durability, without excessive weight gain. I’d suggest to you try our Operator Ugly fitness test to see how you score now and compare them to the minimum passing, and average scores for our athletes:

4) Yes on your understanding of the strength circuit.

– Rob

I "did" a go ruck challenge on June 1, 2013. I wasn’t the best prepared nor the strongest team member. I had trouble with serious knee pain (outside front area) around hour 10 appx 9miles in. Had to hobble along. A few weeks afterwards couldn’t even run 0.75mile before my knee pain came screaming back. I’ve since slowly added back running and i’m up to 2 miles without pain. I’m about to begin your goruck training plan to prepare for a goruck light in 6 weeks. 

I’m going to experiment with the rucking, but would it be advisable to just run instead of ruck for a little while longer? Or should I simply cut down the rucking distance?

background: Been a slow crossfitter for about 2 years. Was an inactive 26 year old just prior to that. Best front squat is 210#, best back squat is 235#, best squat clean is 187#. Best shoulder press is 105#.

I’m also thinking of switching to military athlete after the goruck cycle. 

– A.

You’re asking me a medical question and I’m not a doctor. I’m sorry. 

I do know you want to ruck bunches before doing another GoRuck. If you can’t physically, be honest with yourself, and postpone your next event until you can train appropriately for it. 

– Rob


I’m coming off of an injury and a lot of associated downtime and am looking into gaining back weight. Your weight gain program for skinny guys worked great for me before but I’m not sure I’ll be able to complete all the rounds and sets as I am now. Would it still be a functional plan if I cut the rounds in half until I was more fully recovered? Or is there another plan/direction I should go?

Thank you,

– A.

Yes, cut the rounds in half if needed. The high reps per set in that plan is what grows muscle. 

– Rob


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