Good morning Rob, real quick question..what is the prescribed terrain for the ruck run assessment? Flat road, hilly, mountain…?
The SFOD-D plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=99), in general, is much more ruck intensive, and has less variety. This plan is designed for Delta selection, with is primarily ruck based.
The Ruck plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=45), in general, includes plenty of rucking, but also includes multi-modal work capacity events and assessments. It is built for SFAS, and other Ruck-Based selections which include rucking, but also have bodyweight "smoke" sessions, more running, mulit-modal team events, o-courses, general hazing stuff, etc.
Both plans are significantly more intense then the Goruck Heavy plan.
Here are the SFOD-D Program Assessments, which are tested, progressed, retested, etc. It also includes long weekend rucks.
(1) APFT+ – Max Sit ups (2 minutes), Max Push ups (2 minutes), Max Pull ups and 2 Mile Run
(2) 5 Mile Ruck Run for Time – 45# Ruck, 10lb Rubber Rifle, or Sledge Hammer, Full Cammies/Boots, Helmet
(3) 10 Mile Heavy Ruck for Time – 65# Ruck, 10lb Rubber Rifle or Sledge Hammer, Full Cammies/Boots, Helmet
(4) 6 Mile Run for Time, shorts and t-shirt
(5) 600x Stepups for Time @ 40# Ruck, 16” step up bench or box
(6) Bodyweight Bench Press for Reps, Max Pull ups at Bodyweight + 25#, 10 minute Sandbag Getup at 60# for reps
Here are the Ruck Plan Assessments. The Ruck plan also includes long weekend rucks.
(1) APFT+ – Max Sit ups (2 minutes), Max Push ups (2 minutes), Max Pull ups and 2 Mile Run
(2) 3 Part Work Cap Assessment – 10 min Sandbag Getups @ 80# for reps, Interval 25m Shuttles for Reps, 3 Mile IBA Run
(3) 10 Mile Heavy Ruck for Time – 60# Ruck, 10lb Rubber Rifle or Sledge Hammer, Full Cammies/Boots, Helmet
(4) 6 Mile Run for Time, shorts and t-shirt
(5) Multi Modal Work Cap for Time
I recently purchased your Arm Injury Training Plan along with the book on Rotator Cuff injuries that you recommended on the FAQ page. I’ve been suffering from tendonitis and a shoulder impingement for quite a while now. Doctors have pretty much told me there’s nothing that can be done and I’ll just have to live with it. On the other hand, Physical Therapists and people in the fitness world keep telling me it’s a mobility and strength issue and I really believe that. So, I’m going to be focusing on fixing that shoulder while still staying in shape with the Arm Injury training program. My only concern is what to do at the end of the 6 weeks when, hopefully, my shoulder problem is gone but I’m left with a pretty significant strength imbalance…any thing I can do in the interim to mitigate this or are there specific things I should do afterwards to bring my healed shoulder up to speed with the uninjured one?
Also, I’m really wanting to significantly increase my endurance. Is there a specific program that you would recommend using simultaneously with the Arm Injury Program? Thanks or your help. You guys are doing some great things. Keep it up!
Addressing Strength Imbalance – I’d recommend going back to regular training. You’re week arm will come along. One of our programs which has an emphasis on upper body strength, but still trains lower body strength, core, work cap, etc., is the Patrol Officer Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=58&&cart_ID=64
I’d start and do a couple weeks of the Arm Injury plan first – it includes work capacity and other efforts. If you still wanted more, I’d recommend the Running Improvement Plan ( http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=104) – which you could complete concurrently with the Arm Injury Plan.
I’m really enjoying the current strength cycle. I’ve noticed you really like 3-week cycles for training, is there a reason for this or is it just how the programming works out?
Also for this current cycle, looking ahead at next week, on Monday it says to drop 5 pounds from the original finishing load. For today’s sessions, the 10 pound drop, I noticed I was running through the squat cleans with relative ease. Was this to be expected or did I bid low on the 3RM day? The squats & lunges feel right though.
Most of our cycles are 3-weeks long. In my experience, this is about the right amount of time for gains in that cycle’s emphasis, while still being able to maintain fitness levels in other areas. For example, a 6-week strength cycle would make us stronger than a 3 week cycle, but it would also negatively impact our work capacity, stamina and endurance.
Military Athletes aren’t strength athletes. They are "hybrid" athletes, and have fitness demands over a wide range of different attributes. Our programming needs to reflect this.
When I say "most" our cycles are 3-weeks long, there are exceptions. Stamina cycles are just 2-weeks long – they are so intense, 2 weeks is about all we can take. Also – we just began experimenting with endurance cycles, and the last one was around 3.5 weeks long.
We’re still learning and improving here ….
Concerning your squat cleans – the working rounds for all the lifts should be hard. If they are easy, feel free to advance ahead the progression some. For example, we run a week ahead of you and this week my prescribed squat clean load of 180# felt easy, so I bumped it up to 185#. You can do the same.
I did your GORUCK Heavy Training plan and was able to complete a Heavy last weekend. I would not have been able to finish if not for your training plan. The Heavy is no joke and is not just a longer challenge, which I didn’t realize until afterwords. Luckily I was prepared for it after doing the GORUCK Heavy Training program.
Now the question:
I just signed up for the operator sessions and am not sure where to start. Should I start on the first day of the current cycle, or should I go back a few cycles?
Glad the Goruck Heavy plan worked for you! Congrats!
Start the Operator Sessions with the most recent strength cycle.
I am currently in Captain’s Career Course and have stuck to your program religiously for the last 4 months. I am impressed with my strenght gains and I praise your program. I will be assigned to Fort Campbell and in order for me to command I need Air Assault. I have Airborne, but that is not as physically challenging as Air Assault. I am a decent runner, can climb a rope, but I am not a strong rucker. I want a first time go in this school. Which of your programs do you recommend I stick to? I go to Campbell in about two months, but not sure when I start AA.
Thanks for your assistance
Best Option: Go back in the Operator Sessions and start them at the beginning of the Endurance Cycle (8/19/13). This cycle includes running and rucking – and would be a great place to start. You’ll want to use 45# plus a 10# sledge hammer or dumbbell for your rucks.
Next Best Option: Start the Operator Sessions at the beginning of the strength cycle we just started (9.16.13) and completed our Ruck Improvement Training Program (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=110) concurrently with the strength cycle. Lift in the mornings, ruck in the afternoon evenings.
I am trying to train to raise my APFT score while at the same time maintaining my strength and conditioning for Operator based work. Would you recommend doing the APFT improvement training in the morning and the 357 Strength plan in the evening? Do you think this is overtraining? I am in fairly good shape and am a big guy, I am 6’3’’ and weigh about 220. Any thoughts on the best way to achieve these goals would be appreciated. Thanks!
It’s best not to double these two up. I’d recommend focusing on the APFT Plan.
Hey Rob I hope this email finds you in good health.
I have a few questions for you. I finished the bodyweight program 10 weeks ago and then started a TRX Tactical 12 week program. I’m just about finished with that and looking to complete some Military Athlete programs, and want to make sure that my progression of your programs make sense, if not I’m open for suggestions.
This is what I’m thinking:
I’m starting the USMC PFT Plan in 2 weeks, mostly for personal satisfaction but also for general fitness. I suck at running. (Right now I run 3 miles in 26 minutes.) After that I’m planning on starting your Sandbag/Weight Vest/Dumbbell Training Plan followed by the 8 week Squad PT Training Cycle. (I have the time to workout but I hate driving to a gym).
Here are my questions:
1. Should I do the Bodyweight program again before the Sandbag Plan? Will it be a smoother progression? Or should I just jump into the sandbag plan.
2. Is the Sandbag plan a smooth transition into the 8 week Squad PT Plan? Are there a lot of sandbag getups? I want to get good at those.
3. My short term goal is to sign up for the Squad PT sessions. I read a lot about the Operator Sessions on your FAQ & Q&A. Are the Squad PT sessions similar as far as building strong durable athletes only without the use of a fully equipped gym?
4. Do the Squad PT sessions have meso and micro cycles just like the operator session?
My long term goal is to get a good base of fitness and maintain it. I plan on joining the Army National Guard and go to OCS. I’m prior service Marine, and then did 6 years with the Air National Guard. In the mix of life I have lost fitness. I’m 37 years old, 5’8" 205 lbs. 30% body fat. I would like to get to 185 lbs. I’m pretty sure that the weight standards for the Army are 171 for my height. I don’t think I could make that weight but I’m sure I could make the tape.
I have been consistent with my fitness ever since I started the Body Weight Plan in June. It gave me a jump start to my fitness. I really enjoy your programming.
5. In reference to Army OCS do you think that if I’ve been consistent with Squad PT for 5-7 months I would be in good enough shape to go through OCS, or would you recommend one of the bootcamp programs right before?
6. What else could a person use the Afghan Plan for besides a deployment? It looks like it could really build leg strength and general "hiking" fitness, plus durability.
I know there are a ton of questions here, sorry. If you can think of better progressions please let me know. Thanks for all you do.
God bless bro,
1. Jump in to the Sandbag Plan.
2. Yes – it would be a good transition.
3. Yes – but we don’t update them regularly anymore – what we have available online is years of archived sessions.
5. I imaging Squad PT will prepare you well for OCS – however, you should also spend some time working on your APFT performance – you may want to also complete the APFT improvement plan.
6. It is designed for performance in mountainous terrain – so peak bagging, non-technical mountaineering, intense backpacking, etc.
More to think about –
Fix your diet. Go to the FAQ on the site and follow our daily nutrition plan. 80% of bodyfat is diet.
Don’t delay joining the service and OCS. I’m not sure about the upper age limit – but you may be pushing it at 37. Verify you’re still eligible if you haven’t already.
Hi Rob, we have been liking the operator sessions, but are about to go out for a few weeks. We won’t really have access to any weights, or an area to run other than a possible treadmill. We have to travel pretty light. I usually take a set of trx straps and a door attachment for it. Other than doing a bunch of burpees and air squats, do you have a specific program I could try adapting for this situation. I want to avoid losing what I have gained so far on the sessions. Which, by the way, I have noticed have really improved my ability on the range, and made long days wearing kit much easier. Thanks.
To start I’d recommend our Bodyweight Training Program: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=96
Don’t be fooled by "bodyweight" – this program is no joke, and can be done anywhere.
Go to paypal and cancel your subscription to the Operator Sessions while your deployed and completing the Bodyweight plan.
I just purchased your PJ/CCT/CRO Training Plan. My only question is when to begin using it. I’m not sure of my exact ship date yet, but my best guess would be Spring of 2014. My training up to this point has been structured and focused, using another online training source. A few options I’ve come up with are to 1. Continue my current training and then begin using your program when I’m 9 weeks out, or 2. Begin using your program now, and reevaluate after I’ve completed it. Thanks for your time and for the training program.
I’d recommend completing the first week of the plan – this is an assessment week and will give you an idea where you are. If you do moderately well, stick with your current training and start the plan 9 weeks out from selection.
If you stink up the assessment week – continue all the way through with the CCT/PJ/CRO plan, go back to your online training, then repeat the plan 9 weeks out from your selection.
Your programs come recommended by a very high speed friend and co-worker who is currently prepping for SFAS. I’m sure you are inundated by emails such as this, but we turn to programs like yours when we’re feeling a bit lost and want to improve ourselves…
At any rate, which program would you recommend? I’m a 32 year old Army infantry platoon leader. I scored a 300 on my last APFT (in June), passed a hilly 12 mile ruck march in August, and yesterday ran a 5 miler in 37 minutes.
And yet I don’t feel strong, fast, or durable. I can do just enough to stay in front of my platoon, but feel like I’m breaking down instead of getting better. I definitely cannot meet your strength goals. My "chassis" could use some serious work.
I have access to all of your recommended equipment and have actually been following what just happens to be your recommended diet for about 6 weeks. I have an APFT in 5 weeks and otherwise am just trying to get a good base for hopefully my own SFAS date about 15 months down the road.
Would you recommend I start with the Ramp Up to get a good base? Or maybe go for the Endurance Plan? Any input is appreciated.
The best thing I can do for my athletes is make them stronger. I’d recommend you start there too – the Rat 6 Strength Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&&cart_ID=84
Hit this plan hard for 3.5 weeks.
Take the week and a half before you APFT to get in some focused running, push ups and sit-ups. Take the APFT, then go back and finish the Rat 6 Plan.
Hey I’m an active duty marine (grunt) and I bought your Marsoc a&s program I’ve got goals beyond that at either Marsoc or FBI hrt. I was just curious if you thought that the Marsoc plan would work for either one of these or if I should buy the plans later down the road. Also was curious what the overall difference In all of these plans where. Thanks for reading have a good one
I wouldn’t recommend the MARSOC Plan for HRT, or the HRT plan for MARSOC. These aren’t "selection" plans – they are built around the individual demands of that selection. For example, – the MARSOC Plan includes extensive swimming and rucking – stuff not needed for HRT. The HRT includes work capacity smokers, special prep for the FBI HRT PFT, long distance running, etc – stuff not emphasized as much at A&S.
I tried to avoid it but I have of course more questions, and so apologies first: "I apologize." There; now with a clean conscience I can continue.
First I’d like to say thanks so much for the recommendations made about a month ago. I purchased your bodyweight program to ramp myself up for a rejuvenated fitness. After a false start, reset and restart, I am a week in and WOW. I hated the mini leg blaster – I could not walk properly for two days the first time I did it. But, true to your information, it prepared me for day five which I was able to complete with less pain and agony.
And this leads me to my first question(s): I am training for a half marathon (Big Sur in mid-November). based on my running program I should have run 5 miles yesterday or today as my "long run." I did the 4 miler as Rx’ed by your program and wonder if I should have just done 5 or go ahead and run 5 today. Flash forward to next week when I am scheduled to run a long/slow 8 miler… Should I run 4.5 based on the Bodyweight program and then an 8miler the next day, or just run an 8 miler in lieu of the 4.5’er RX’ed by you? By the way, do you have a half-marathon program (for future use)?
After the Half-marathon I have decided to stop focusing on LONG endurance training as it seems counter-productive to my LE job. I wonder if I should do your "Gym-based Stamina Training Cycle" program for recovery from the half-marathon and then start another program like "Sandbag/Weight Vest/Dumbbell" or "Rat 6" (see next question).
Proverbial next question: I would like to prepare for the Operator sessions (or maybe the in development day-to-day programming fro LE Athletes – very excited to hear that might be in the works) but I believe I need to raise my overall strength. At 5’9" and 165 lb. my 1 rep maxes are:
• Bench = 145
• Clean = 125 (and Jerk = 115; power clean = 130)
• Dead lift = 260
• Front Squat 160 (back squat = 210)
• Shoulder Press = 105
People on your site really like the Rat 6. Is this a program I should consider to balance and increase my strength before the day-to-day sessions or is there a better option you recommend?
Finally, based on your earlier recommendation, I plan to switch from day-to-day sessions to the "Afghanistan Pre-deployment" program before the 2014 summer operational season (got to get ready for mid-weight cross-country hiking in the western foothills and high Sierras).
Thanks again for your time,
I’m sorry – but I can’t advise you on how to modify our program for your half marathon performance. Use your best judgement. We don’t have a 1/2 marathon plan and I don’t have plans to build one. There are many already available.
I’d recommend you start with our Patrol Officer Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=58&&cart_ID=64
I would follow this up with Rat 6 to address your strength issues: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&&cart_ID=84
Hi my name is Troy and am 37 years old and have been working out since I was in Junior High. Wasn’t involved in sports due to being raised on a farm so that work had to be done. I am 220 and 6′ 3" . I have a goal to be as Fit as possible just like the Special Forces etc. because I desire to be "Battle Ready". About 10 years ago my lifts were:
Flat bench: 290 for 5 reps
Deadlift 370 for 5
Squat 320 for 3
I was about 245 for weight then
Since then I have sprained my back, tore my left ACL (had a hamstring graft done). Thats it for injuries. I am currently at these poundages:
Flat bench: 220 4-5 reps
Squat: 160 – 5 reps
Deadlift: 240 5 reps
Front squat: 110 6 reps
lunge 100 6 reps
You can see that my lifts have fallen alot since the injuries, Sucks man, I am struggling to get back up in the poundages. A year and a half ago I did a Stew Smith Marine Corp OCS Program and loved it, however I ran the muscle right off me and the strength so I didn’t lift much at all but I did get more functional and efficient. I then did his Combat Conditioning Course which is good too and added 2 lifting days which allowed me to gain and or maintain muscle and mass. But it did bring me to over training. I was doing these programs as I was going to join the Army and to the 82nd Airborne, which fell through. I was rucking, running, pushups, pullups etc. the typical Military stuff. I always thought his programs were missing something…. But both programs had the "one plain of motion" type exercises.
To be short here, I am frustrated with my lack of progress. I need to get stronger all over, faster, and fit to fight. I do train with 40lb weight vest as well. Lift 3 days a week and cardio 3 days a week. 1 cardio day is:
Rope pull ups
Sprint 4 x on tread
50 push ups
15lb med ball squat jump
4 set of 90 lb stair climb – holding 45lb plate in each hand- 3 flights of stairs 6 steps
I do it twice. I do change it a little week to week.
Any ideas for me Rob?
You’ve got lots going on here.
I’d recommend the Military Athlete for CrossFitters Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=63
This will give you some structure, direction, strength, work capacity and stamina and is a great introduction to our programming.
As usual kudos and appreciate for your diligence and programming website. To be brief, I have three questions. First is, in your opinion what is the best train up for OTC, and if there are not specific trainings you offer, what do they lack? And do you need feedback on the course?
Second, a colleague is trying to find his way back into fitness, at present time, he is not, and has gained significant weight. He has though, a
Legitimate and serious shoulder injury that really does not allow him many, probably most oly lifts. I assume his best bet is the program for recovery from upper body injury, but this is a chronic issue and something that he’ll have to live with permanently. My thoughts were op sessions after a train up and substituting lifts for those he can do with a similar effect.
Third, and I suppose more urgent. A friend has a UBRR coming up that he assesses he cannot afford to fail. He flunked due to the run previously, he’s been running but want to literally
Do a hard few days of training to make LT gain or speed as possible before the UBRR event this next Tuesday. Thanks for your time.
Congrats on Selection!!
1) OTC I’d recommend the FBI HRT Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=105
Changes – this plan includes some swimming and a swim day on Tuesdays. You can skip these, and on Tuesdays instead do some heavy strength training in the gym (heavy load, low volume (reps). The PFT for the HRT includes a stair sprint – and you can skip that too – but overall, it will do a good job of preparing you work capacity/stamina and core/upper body strength-wise for OTC.
2) Colleague – most of our stuff isn’t appropriate for the way you describe this guy. I’d recommend the On Ramp Plan, with exercise modifications as needed for his shoulder: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=87
3) UBRR – We’ve created a 3-week, sport-specific train up for the Upper Body Round Robin: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=51&&cart_ID=80
Apologies if this is long, I’m 22 years old and I’ve been keen to join the 2nd commando regiment here in Australia for a while but due to personal issues I’ve had to postpone it, this has caused me to become very unfit and weak. I came across a 13 week strength and conditioning program to help maximise my chances of passing the selection course but its a intense program such as doing multiple sets and reps of weighted pull ups, up to 120 push ups, ruck runs and much more but I can only do 15 good push ups and struggle to do even 1 pull up and can’t run far without having to gasp for air. My question is what program’s do you recommend I do to develop a solid foundation to be able to complete intense special forces program’s like the one I mentioned.I plan to train hard for at least 13 months before I apply. Any help would be very much appreciated.
I recommend you start with our On Ramp Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=87
Then follow it up with our Bodyweight Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=96