My name is Cole, I am 18 years old, and have recently secured an 11x Option 40 contract with the Army. I have four months before leaving for Basic, and wish to be in the best shape of my life by that time. I have lifted for years, and am currently 5’8", 190lbs. My APFT scores are as follows…
Push-Ups – 110
Sit-Ups – 95
2 Mile Run – 13:36
Pull-Ups – 23
While I am not in terrible shape, I would like to better my running, as well as build up my ankle strength and overall muscular endurance before I leave. I am wondering which of your programs would be best for my goal of completing RASP, as it seems to be a mix of SFAS and Ranger School when it comes to physical standards. Thank you in advance, I hope to hear from you soon.
I haven’t developed a RASP -specific plan yet, but honestly, am not sure it would do you good anyway because I think you have basic and airborne first, right?
Here are my recommendations:
Best Option: Sandbag/Weight Vest/Pull up bar plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=103
Second Best: Bodyweight Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=96
I’m jealous. Good luck!
Hi Rob, I had a question about your body weight program. I am not going to have access to a gym for a couple months and had planned on alternating between your the body weight plan and your run improvement plan. After purchasing and reviewing the body weight plan, I realized I am probably unable to complete the 4 mile run the plan calls for in the first week. Admittedly, I have never been a strong runner, and I haven’t ran much this summer either. I have started running again recently and usually have to stop after 2 miles or so. Would you recommend I start with the run improvement plan until I can run at least 4 miles before I start the body weight plan? Or should I modify the runs in the body weight plan to the level I am at now?
Also, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I have emailed you a couple times now, and I’ve always been impressed you have gotten back to me as quick as you did. Your site is an amazing resource and I appreciate all your help. Thanks again.
Suck it up and run 4 miles. Try running the whole distance. If you can’t run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute, until you’re done.
Tough love ….
As background I have used your APFT improvement, your SFAS program and your Ranger School program.. I used them for various purposes, such as doing the Bataan Memorial in the Military Heavy (6:33 at 47 years old) and other GORUCK events as well and have found them all helpful in the duties I have as an Infantryman..
I am a regular CrossFit Kool-Aid drinker but I am finding I miss the longer more intense training your programs offered. I have been thinking of moving to your operator sessions…but… Wanted to find out do the operator sessions occasionally throw in some rucking or OLY lifting.. I love the Oly lifts (C&J, Snatch) and don’t want to get away from them… So my question comes down to do the operator sessions encompass your great strength and endurance training as well as some OLY and ruck work also?
We do some Oly lifting in the Operator Sessions, and we do Ruck. In fact we’re in the middle of an endurance cycle and are doing 1 mile intervals at 60# plus a sledge hammer.
We don’t do the clean and jerk, however, and I’m also wondering about the snatch. We’re moving away from the Oly lifts to more simple alternatives which train hip explosion – hang squat clean, loaded jump squats, loaded jumping lunges.
You could easily follow the programming set/rep scheme and substitute in your favorite lifts for the ones I have programmed, if you like.
Hi Rob !
First I want to apology for my English because I’m a french Canadian. I purchase your’e Ruck-based selection program to prepare myself for the CSOR (Canadian Special Operation Regiment). I want to go on the selections next year. I’m thinking about buying your’e running program to improve my running and my cardio.
I’m currently doiing you’re operator sessions, but should I do also interval running ? Should I do something like monday-wednesday-friday operator session and do interval running on tuesday-thursday-sathurday ?
Thank you and have a good day !
Stick with the Operator Sessions, and if you want more running, layer the Running Improvement Plan on top of it – or if you want to do your own running, you could layer it also. Lift in the morning, run in the afternoon/evening.
RANGE FITNESS COMMENT
We’ve been doing and loving the range fitness challenge. Are you wearing plates while shooting? One drill I’ve found useful is a "dummy drag". I use a 200lbs "rescue randy" but a duffle loaded heavy works well too.
Begin at 15yrds with a 10" target
Pistol magazine- 4 rounds
Rifle magazine- 12 rounds
Begin with pistol holstered and rifle slung at the low ready, dummy at feet
-2 hits pistol from holster, re holster
-Drag dummy/duffle to 25yrds: 2 hits rifle (1 standing, 1 kneeling)
-Drag dummy/duffle to 50yrds: 2 hits rifle (1 standing, 1 kneeling)
-Drag dummy/duffle to 75yrds: 2 hits rifle (1 standing, 1 kneeling)
-Drag dummy/duffle to 100yrds: 2 hits rifle (1 standing, 1 kneeling)
There is a muzzle awareness component but that’s real life. Its difficult drill because the increasing physical stress correlates with an increased distance out to 10MOA. I’ve found 2min is a good goal. Like always, you have to make each shot before continuing. Rifle must be placed on safe before each movement.
Plates – yes, most the time if we’re running sprints, but not if we’re doing burpees.
When running sprints, I like to have the plates on not to make things harder, but because the fit of the rifle into the shoulder is different, than running slick – and guys will be wearing their plates when in the middle of the real thing.
At the same time, we’ve found that wearing plates while doing burpees prematurely works the lower back – and we like to repeat these efforts several times – so we take them off if the fitness element is burpees.
In general, I favor sprints – but some times range space realities and time constraints limit us to burpees.
You’re event is no joke – esp at 2 minutes. In general, I don’t want efforts greater than 2 minutes. Also – we’ve found it’s best and safer not to run with the rifle, or to have any athletes in front of the firing line. In this event if you were running more than one athlete at a time, you would have guys at different firing lines on the range …. asking for trouble. If you’re just running one guy at a time – it’s awesome.
Other issues – unless your using frangible ammo, it’s recommended not shooting a metal plate at less than 70-75 yards. At 25 and 50 yards ricochet is an issue. We’re currently designing a reactive CQB target for 5.56… more to follow.
The way we’ve addressed this is to keep the firing line the same, and run/drag behind it.
One thing we learned early on ….. and you describe below, is not to make the fitness element too difficult. You’re fine motor skills (i.e. shooting ability) decreased at around 140-145 heart beats per minute. This isn’t a lot.
When we first started we went crazy – thrusters, burpees, complicated efforts, etc… I came to call this "event creep" – we found the events took too long, and worked athletes too hard. The goal of Range Fitness is to "frequently" train accurate marksmanship under stress. It took us several months to figure this out (not too smart here).
If you think of football practice – consider Range Fitness a tackling drill – simple, controlled, repeatable, short, focused on fundamentals. Longer, more complicated stress shoots are like the scrimmage. Both are important, but I’m a fan of Range Fitness.
Not sure if you saw our two most recent events. I put them on the "Range Fitness Challenge" page, but not on facebook/or front page. My bad….- Rob
Rob, do you recommend a specific brand or model of weight vest?
I don’t recommend a vest, but we currently use the 25# "Box" vest from weightvest.com – and have had good luck with it.
I am in the Marine Corps and have heard of your site from a number of individuals that I serve with. While I am not exactly a "gym rat," I am still in relatively good shape according to Marine Corps standards (i.e.- PFT/ CFT scores are both 300). I have received orders to MARSOC as a JTAC. However, as I said before I am not a gym rat and I would like to start developing into a better athlete due to the high physical demand that can be placed on JTACs assigned to MARSOC teams. I have about a 6 month window before I am to report to my future unit for follow on training and would like to be able to perform a a much higher lever. I have access to plenty of individuals who can assist with development of certain lifts, but I suppose my question is to where I should start. Should I start with scaled Operator Sessions? Any info you have to help with my development into a better athlete would be appreciated.
Before jumping in with the Operator Sessions, I recommend you begin with our Bodyweight Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=96. This plan will give you a good, hard, dose of our programming, and see if it is for you.
Next, I recommend you move to a gym/barbell focused strength plan, specifically our Rat 6 Strength Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&&cart_ID=84
This will get you familiar the barbell, and add some of the strength you’ll need to attempt the Operator Sessions.
I am currently following the operator sessions program, which is working great for my goals.
However, the gym I use does not have sandbags available and the nature of my housing does not allow me owning one.
What are best exercises to substitute for ‘sandbag get ups’ or ‘sandbag burpees’ ?
There’s really no good substitute for the sandbag.
For the get ups you can try holding a dumbbell or kettlebell to your chest with one hand. You’ll want to chose a weight that’s 50-75% of the prescribed sandbag weight.
For Sandbag Burpees – substitute doing burpees with dumbbells. Match the size of the sandbag – so for Sandbag Burpees with a 60# sandbag do dumbbell burpees with a pair of 30# dumbbells.
I’m a student in the SFQC about six weeks away from starting the SUT phase of training. One of my cadre instructors turned me on to MilitaryAthelete.com and recommended I take a look to improve my fitness level before I head out to the woods. I’m looking to increase strength and my run times. I’ve reviewed several of your offered programs and I’m wondering which one would afford me the most benefit, either the Big-24 or the regular Operator Sessions.
If you can train 2x day, I’d recommend Rat 6 Strength Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&&cart_ID=84) for your morning training, and the Running Improvement Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=104) in the PM.
If you can train 1x/Day, I’d recommend the Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=103
I just purchased the Upper Body Round Robin Program and I have a question about the Kipp-ups. How do you do them and could you post a video? I read an explanation on another site detailing the movement, but I’ve also seen it explained as kipping pull-ups. My second question is: what’s an acceptable replacement for weighted rope climbs? I train in my garage with no access to a climbing rope, I do plan on going to a gym that has a rope for the rope training session, but just in case that doesn’t work out.
Kipp-up – Position yourself underneath the pull-up bar as if you were doing a regular pull-up. Do a left or right facing movement so the pull-up bar is now perpendicular to your body. Grasp the bar with palms facing each other, no more than 5” apart, arms fully extended and body hanging without touching the ground.
Pull up with the arms and torso, raising the feet and legs, one leg on either side of the bar, until the heels touch above the bar, with the bar between the legs. Then lower the legs until the arms and legs are fully extend in the starting position. This is one rep.
Weighted Rope Climb Sub – not really a good one. I would recommend weighted Tarzan Pull ups – 1x Rope Climb = 4x Tarzan Pullups (4x each side, 8x total)
Kudos up front: I’ve seen guys working through your programs, and I’ve seen them perform in the field. I’m impressed.
I know I want to start the MA programs, ultimately I would like to do the Operator sessions, but I’m unsure which program to begin with in the meantime. Your "On Ramp" Program sounds like the answer, but due to some circumstances I’ll cover below it may not work out. Some background:
-I’m Active Duty Army, I have a small amount of experience with Olympic lifting, my current state of functional fitness could be summarized as pretty poor (compared to MA standards).
-I’m familiar with kettlebells and own a 45lb and 55lb (sorry–I suck at math and can’t convert to poods/kgs).
-Due to my unit’s PT standards, I’m restricted to a tiny gym that is NOT conducive to Olympic lifting. If I’m lucky I can squeeze in some back squats or deadlifts.
-I do have access to tractor tires, box jumps, and pullup bars/rings.
-Lastly, I should only be limited to this unit and that particular gym for about another year, then hopefully I’ll be assigned somewhere with better functional fitness equipment.
Any suggestions on which program(s) would be practical for me to follow to incrementally prepare me to begin the Operator sessions–given my current state of fitness and my lack of proper gym equipment?
I’d recommend beginning with our Bodyweight Training Program: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=96
And follow it up with our Sandbag/Weightvest (or IBA)/Dumbbell Training Program: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=103