Hi Rob, I completed 357 while deployed and am looking forward to moving towards the operator sessions for team pt. I had a lot of strength gains on all of the lifts and enjoyed the program. I also notice increased mobility and a faster 5k time with increased bodyweight. I still am not able to hit all of the "standards" listed on your site. I did the week of free operator sessions and had to scale some of the weights. Would you suggest moving into the operator sessions with scaling or repeating 357 until I can hit the standards. I have a good endurance and decent work capacity base, so strength would be my main weakness. Thanks for your time
I’d recommend doing the Operator Sessions. You don’t need to meet the strength standards to do these – and often, it will take guys some time to get there.
What you could do is do the Operator Sessions but start at the most recent strength cycle and move forward from there. When you sign up you’ll see what I mean.
Im 24 years old and trying to join the army, I’ve talked to a recruiter already and they said that I need to lose about 5 inches from my waist. The recruiter said I don’t look fat but big as in lifting weights as I use to in high school. My starting weight was 235 lbs and now im 220 lbs in about a month, I’m currently looking for a better way to train and get myself in shape. Looking for any kind of advice to help me reach my goal of losing 5 inches.
last measurements from recruiters office:
Height: 63 inches
Neck: 17 inches
Waist: 43 inches
Again any advice will be great full and will be used into getting me to my goal, thank you for your time.
80% of bodyweight is diet. Best thing for you to do is fix your diet. Please go to the FAQ on the site (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=50) and read our dietary recommendations and start following them.
In terms of training, I think a great place for you to start would be the APFT Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=51&&cart_ID=30
Bodyweight work and running will coincide nicely with the diet and get you on your way.
While the soldiers I work with and I are not SF level operators, there is still the goal of being functionally fit and the desire to perform at levels higher than your average joe. However, as a couple of your articles mention, the job wears and tears on you. I’ve got soldiers who are suffering from overuse injuries, soldiers who have had multiple ankle/knee surgeries, etc.
I realize that the only way you get better at some activities is doing those activities (running, rucking, etc.). However, for those who are suffering from injuries, past or present, is there any transfer from other forms of cardio to running and rucking? For instance, I know that step-ups are used in your program frequently and have personally experienced their benefits when it came to rucking. In your opinion, does cycling, using an elliptical, or using a stairmaster provide similar benefits when it comes to running? And if so, would you base difficulty on distance, speed, or heart rate?
I appreciate any input you can provide. Thank you for your time.
Cycling – good transfer to uphill hiking, but because it isn’t loaded, the transfer to uphill climbing with load isn’t as good. When working with mountaineers who can’t hike or do step ups, cycling is my next-best aerobic exercise.
Rowing – good general fitness cardio, but transfer to running/rucking questionable.
Elliptical – no experience with this, though if an athlete can do an elliptical, I feel they should be running.
Stairmaster – no experience with this, but I’m assuming it should transfer to uphill climbing. However, if they can do a stair master, they likely can do step ups, and I prefer step ups. Transfer to running? I’m not sure – but likely better than rowing.
In terms of transfer, think time. So if you’re running 1 mile repeats, and you have an athlete rowing, have him row hard for 8 minutes or so. Same for the other exercises …. find equivalents in time.
Will do my best to keep this brief. Apologies in advance if it is long winded. I am off to do additional testing for the special forces direct recruiting scheme available here in Australia at which point if successful I will be in the pipeline to have a crack at getting into our 2nd Commando regiment.
The accelerated training is tough and long and should I make it through will be assessed equally to current serving defence force personel at the special forces entry test which includes max push up/pull ups to cadence, agility testing, 5km park march with 40kg, vertical jump test 400m swim test in cams and shoes and a yo yo recovery intermittent test.
At 25 my prior athletic background is muay thai in my teens, boxing in my early 20s and now raw powerlifting and strongman comps. Whilst I was boxing I was a gun at body weight stuff and running however I am now 15kg heavier weighing in at 95kg and although I am much stronger my muscular endurance and running has gone down hill.
I still maintain a large work capacity often training for 2-3 hours daily when I was boxing and again while powerlifting as I relied heavily on high volume methods to push my lifts up. My question is what would be an ideal way to begin preparing for selection without beating my knees and shins to death running for miles? And how can I increase my push ups/pull ups from 50/18 to closer to 100/30 to a strict cadence at my body weight?
Any help would be greatly appreciated mate
First, power lifting and strength will add to durability for selection, but I’m betting there are no power lifting events at selection. So keep your eye on the ball – you want to train as close to the selection events as possible. This means running and bodyweight exercises.
Also understand that decreased bodyweight will generally help everything that counts – push ups/pull ups, and running. Use our strength standards as your guide to the right amount of strength for a soldier. Our strength standards are based on relative strength – strength per bodyweight – no max effort strength. Sometimes guys can fall in love with the barbell, and spend too much time strength training – which can increase bodyweight, and the us make running/rucking/work capacity and bodyweight exercises suffer. Don’t make this mistake. You can find our strength standards on our FAQ: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=50
Training Plans – I don’t have a perfect plan for you, but one that comes close is the RAW Fitness Assessment Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=51&&cart_ID=86
It includes metronome push ups, pull-ups, sprints, a standing broad jump, and a shuttle run. You’ll want to do some supplemental rucking for your Park March, and perhaps swimming for your swim test. Take a close look at the swim test standard – and test yourself. Make sure you don’t spend undo time swimming if you can easily attain the standard.
Your program has come highly recommended from some buddies of mine in MARSOC. I am active duty Marine Corps and the gym on base is always too packed to get a workout in before heading to work. I’ve got a budget of around $4000 to purchase equipment for a home gym. What would you recommend purchasing, and where would you recommend purchasing home gym equipment from? Thanks for your time man.
– Rack with pull up bar
– Econ Oly Bar and 200-300# of bumper plates
– Pair of 10#, 5#, and 2.5# iron plates
– 3x Sandbags – 40, 60 and 80#
– 2x Horse stall mats for dropping bumpers and doing sandbag getups on
– Pair of bar collars
– 25# Weight Vest
– Kettlebells – Pair of 16, 20 and 24kg
– Interval Timing Clock
– Timex 100x lap ironman
– Old Alice pack for rucking
– 10# sledge or dumbbell
– Pair of Oly weightlifting shoes
– 16" box for step ups
– 1x 30/24/20" ploy Box
Suppliers – I’ve been purchasing stuff from Rogue Fitness for some time now and haven’t had an issue. They make simple racks which also have pull up bars, have all the bumpers, dumbbells, kettle bells, bench, ploy box, weight vest and Oly weightlifting shoes.
I haven’t costed all this stuff out, but if you need to cut, cut the kettle bells and buy dumbbells instead. You can also cut the big interval wall clock. These are nice, but the 100x lap Ironman watch will do it too.
Sandbags – you can buy from us or use old Army duffle bags.
Rack/Bumpers/Oly Bar – don’t buy the most expensive – even the cheapest stuff for Rogue is plenty good and durable. That’s what we use.
You can order a used Alice pack from Amazon or any Army/Navy Surplus store.
I am currently in training and we are following a prescribed program which includes 3 days of weight training, 2 distance run days, and a sprint/fartlek run day. I am getting ready for a fairly major event which will include rucking and land nav, running events, and patrolling. I do not feel like I am getting as much training as I need. I have previously done your operator sessions, the ruck based program, and the 357 plan. I am not sure that I will be able to complete a full plan due to the potential for overtraining, but I would like more. What do you think? Here are my overall goals:
1. Solid Base of Rucking (12-15 Mile Distances)
2. Improved Upper Body Strength
3. Leg Endurance and Strength (faster 5 mile run time/generally able to walk for a long time)
4. Score high on APFT (min. 290) – last priority, but I have learned not to ignore this
5. Durability, especially in the hips and shoulders.
Any recommendations you can give me would be much appreciated. Thanks again for your support of all in this profession. You are a trusted source for strength and conditioning expertise.
I don’t like your current plan because I’m not seeing progression in it – plus, you’re not training sport-specifically to your upcoming event.
The best plan for you would be the latest version of the Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan. I updated this and it now includes specific APFT work, focused rucking, etc. It’s the best thing I’ve got to prepare you: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=45
I’d recommend dropping our current routine, and completing this plan. You don’t want to double up.
If not, we’re currently developing a Ruck Improvement Plan which should be out this week. I would do this, plus some pushups/pull ups on top of your current training.
Loving the on-ramp program so far! took some time to get adjusted to the exercises and the pacing, but I love the challege that it provides and I am already seeing some encouraging results. I have an issue with back pain, and I decided to start 2-a-days with the lower back improvement program in the morning and the on-ramp traning in the evening. is this too much?
Yes – too much. You should stop the On Ramp plan and continue with just the Low Back plan until you feel better.
I’m partaking in a GORUCK Challenge at end of March. Earlier this week I purchased your GORUCK Challenge training plan. Between examining that plan and reading through the rest of the Military Athlete site I’ve been very impressed with your whole philosophy and your programs.
My question to you is in the roughly six months between now and the 5 weeks leading up to the challenge what programs do you suggest and in what order?
A little background on myself is probably in order. I’m 6′ and about 165#. Reading through previous published Q&A’s has confirmed one thing, I need to put on some weight. To that end the Hypertrophy Program for Skinny Guys seems perfectly appropriate. By its name and the fact I don’t meet all of your strength standards (as found here: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=50), the On-Ramp Training Plan seems like it might be a good place to start. With that one I’m not sure how you’re defining ‘unfit guys.’
If there’s any details I’ve left out, please ask. Thanks for all you do and keep up the good work.
I’d recommend going with the Hypertrophy Program to start. It’s no joke, but self-scales to your current strength level. Plan on being sore!! – and also, eat, eat, eat … protein, veggies, whey protein shakes, milk, – don’t eat junk, but do eat a lot!!