From this passing strength cycle I got 285# HSC at a body weight of 185# for the 10-09-13 session.  I exceeded my PR Squat Clean of 275#.  I can honestly feel comfortable saying from the ground I can get 295#-305#.  This Big 24 was a no shitter.  Love it.  Thanks. 


– S
Which program would you recommend for a train up for Sapper school?

– M

Ruck Based Selection Program:

– Rob

I’m training to join the Navy for a SEAL contract and my goal is to crush the pst. I have looked at your pst plan and the BUD/S plan and I am unsure of which one to use. I am also trying to get my times down on my four mile run which is timed weekly at BUD/S. I also want to maintain some strength while working on my pst score.  
Thank you.

– D

I’d start with the PST Plan (, and from there move onto one of the strength plans. We recommend the BUD/s plan directly before BUD/s. 

– Rob

I came across your site while bullshiting at work, and I’m wondering what program you’d recommend,  I have 6 months of nothing but time.  I’m tired of conventional military bullshit, I’m in good shape already, but I wanna take it to the next level.
Appreciate the time,
– L

In general, I like most athletes to start with strength. I’d recommend the Rat 6 Strength Plan:

As well, I’d encourage you to visit the "Start Here" page on the site to get an overview of the work we do:

– Rob


Coach Shaul,

First off, thank you for the outstanding programming you provide.  I
contacted you back in the spring with some questions about getting serious
about my training again.  Per your recommendation, I followed your eating
guidelines, completed Squad PT plan, 2 week Stamina Plan, GORUCK challenge
plan, and other stuff I added in.  I’ve lost 20 lbs and 10% body fat.
Currently 5’9 160lbs, 14%bodyfat.
I completed the Spartan Race Beast here in VT(it’s the toughest of their
courses) and came in 73 out of 1919 competitors and 9 out of 175 in my age
group.  I also just completed a GORUCK challenge and felt strong the
throughout the event. I’ve also found that I’m able to recover quickly from
these events. I owe it all to your training.

1. I was thinking of doing the Squad PT plan again but wondered how it
differed from your new sandbag/weightvest/dumbbell plan.

2. A while back you mentioned that you may get away from some of the more
complicated oly lifts.  Any idea when/if you might publish a strength plan
to reflect this? I struggled with some of the lifts during the gym based
stamina plan and no longer have access to bumper plates.

2.5. My upper body strength is lacking.  My "combat chasis" feels pretty
solid and I can do pushups and pull-ups fairly well.  I’d like to work on
upper body strength but as I said, oly lifts are a challenge and I workout
alone.  Which of your current plans would have the least oly moves?
Goal is to do the operator sessions but I don’t think I’m ‘there’ yet.  RAT

Again, thanks for all you do.  I spent 5 weeks at Fort Benning this summer
and it seemed like everyone at the gym was doing one of your programs.
Talked to a lot of guys who had nothing but good things to say about Mil


(1) Plans are similar in the sense they both use austere equipment. The SB/WV/DB plan uses even less equipment and is simpler. Overall the Squad PT plan has a little more strength training and is a little more comprehensive. But it also requires more equipment. 

(2) Soon. I’m looking to revise our current plans to reflect this thinking beginning this or next week. 

(2.5) I’d recommend the Ultimate Meathead Training Plan:

– Rob

Hey Rob,

I need your advice! Since 5 Years its my Dream to apply in a SAS like Unit. And now i’m 25 and its really time to do the things, that i must do for it. I want this so much more than all other and i habe begun with the training.
I’m in a horrible shape..

30 Pushups
40 Situps
70kg Deadlift
50kg Squat
5k run / 30min

I tought i should start with starting strength. This is a basic Strength programm with the Goal to reach Intermediate Strength level witihn 6-12months.  after this Operater Sessions.
Training on Monday/Wednesday and Friday
Session A) 3×5 Squat,  3×5 Benchpress, 1×5 Deadlift
Session B) 3×5 Squat 4×5 Military press 1x 5 Deadlift

After a few Weeks add Dips, Powercleans ( week a 2x deadlift week b 2x PowerClean for example,  Pullups

Whats your advice how i should to train, respectively with which Programms?

– P

I’d recommend you start with our Bodyweight Training Program:

Don’t be fooled by "bodyweight." This plan is intense, and is a great way to begin your fitness work. 

– Rob


Thank you for your reply below a few months back.

To follow up, I will finally be signing my 18X contract with the Army this month – but because my training pipeline will not allow me the flexibility to follow the Ruck Based Selection Program 8 weeks out from SFAS, I’m planning to complete it 8 weeks prior to BCT/OSUT, and do my best to maintain that fitness throughout OSUT, Airborne and SOPC. 

That said, before I begin the Ruck based program, I’m looking to work up to being ready for it, and maxing out my APFT. My recruiter told me to focus on the PT prep and spending time under a ruck. Do the Operator Sessions make sense, or is there a different program, such as the APFT plan, that I can supplement the Operator Sessions with? Perhaps I’m taking the wrong approach for getting started, but in essence I’m looking to get the right amount of strength & conditioning, running and rucking before I begin your Ruck Based Selection Program.

Again, my fitness background is a 5x/week CrossFitter, with runs and the occasional swim thrown in the mix. 

Thanks again.

– N

The Ruck Plan has dedicated testing and scaled training for the APFT – in addition to rucking and a bunches of other stuff – so there might be a little doubling up if you concentrate on the APFT work now. 

Other options for you not prior to beginning the ruck plan:

Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell Training Plan:
Bodyweight Training Plan:
RAT 6 Strength Plan:

Of these I’d recommend Rat 6. A solid strength cycle before starting the Ruck Plan will simply make you durable going in.

– Rob

Hey rob, I have a question regarding strength programs. I have done the 357 program before and have seen awesome gains a PR at least every 2 weeks, great stuff. We are just about to start another program it was going to be the 357 but I have just seen the RAT 6 seeing as its much more recent I was wondering if it varies much from the 357 and if its worth the purchase or if I should just stick with the 357, thanks
– J

Rat 6 ( takes quite a different approach to strength training. Both programs have worked really well for us. 

Should you buy it? Not necessarily – here’s some things to consider: 

1) Everything works but nothing works forever. One of the reasons we fluctuate our training approaches to get the same fitness attribute (strength, work cap, etc.) is to address this one, frustrating role of strength and conditioning. If you’ve only done 357 once, you should see more gains repeating it – but don’t expect the gains to be as big as the first time.

2) Staleness – this is the second reason we apply different techniques to get to the same point – switching it up keeps it interesting for us. 

– Rob

Do you see any value to repeating the Hypertrophy program as a means to continue to increase overall strength? I did it in June and made improvements in my 1RMs with no significant weight gain. I finished the 357 strength program a few weeks back. I’ve also been considering Rat 6.

29 years old
175 lbs

365 deadlift
265 back squat
225 front squat
165 military press
205 push press
195 squat clean
235 bench press

I’m deployed so I’ve been focusing on strength — just supplemental running to carry me till we get home and its back to running every day. Only goal is continued functional fitness, durability, and of course rewarding time in the gym and improvement in olympic lifts. Thanks as always for the great programming. ‘

– D

The Hypertrophy Plan isn’t a strength plan – the goal is to increase mass. You certainly could gain some strength from it, but it’s not the focus. You’re about right for height/weight and your strength is just about there – so regularly I wouldn’t recommend it for you – but if you completed it before without gain – hell yeah! – do it again. It’s a great cycle for meat heads like us! 

– Rob

Got the leg injury program and I want to thank you for developing the programming for this.  I can’t tell you how much it’s helping me physically and mentally to keep training despite the injury.   The timing is such that it leaves me about a week in the program after getting the cast off if all goes well and I will complete the prgram before dipping my toes back into the operator sessions.  I have noticed that it doesn’t call for any kit or weight vest. Would the extra weight be something that you recommend against due to the injury or would it be best left towrds the end of the program?  I just wanted to make sure not to lose the conditioning I had gained prior to the injury.
There are a couple of listed exercises that I’m not familiar with and aren’t listed on the exercises page.  Could you give me a quick run down on these?
DC Special
Hip Swivel
Thanks for all the help.
– T

Vest … should be no problem as long as you’re smart – watch doing burpees with the vest though – it can nail your low back. 

Exercise Subs – sorry these are old exercises – here’s the subs for them: 

Mantis – 3x Floor Slide
DC Special- Ankles to Bar – same rep scheme
Hip Swivel – Hip Flexor Stretch. 

– Rob


Are you guys using weightlifting shoes for deadlifts or are you are wearing the Sambas.


– J
Unless we’re doing hinge lifts as part of a work capacity circuit involving running, we usually wear weightlifting shoes. 

– Rob


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