I just finished my morning workout so I’m all amped up, so forgive my tone. Every time you post the collection of ‘kudos’ on Facebook I get blown away by the asinine questions about pricing… 

"Why do I have to pay $25.00?"

"Do you have special ‘operator’ pricing?" (are you serious? GFYS.)

"Can I have it for free?" 

I just want to apologize for these ass-clowns. Kudos to you for putting up with such ridiculous questions, and kudos to you for providing such a GREAT DEAL on operator sessions and store-programs. Maybe its ‘generation me’ rearing their godawful ugly head, or maybe its the crossfit culture thats used to ‘free’ main site programming (which blows, by the way). Either way, keep doing what you are doing — much respect where respect is due. 

– D

Coach Shaul,

BLUF: Is the operator session the right programming for me to go with?

Me: 40 y/o, Naval Officer (non-spec ops type), 71" 215lbs, have
reached the end of the road using Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength,
made great gains in basic lifts, but put on some fat while doing so
(not to mention burnt out on squatting 3X a week for the last 3

Goals: Drop excess weight, improve/maintain strength, mobility and durability.

-Is the programming available for the entire week prior to the start
of that week? (I like planning in week chunks)

-I know you use a 4 day model, are the days varied?

Is the "operator session" programming the right way to go or is
another program a better fit for my goals?

Thank you very much for your valuable time.

Very Respectfully,
– T


1) Yes. Operator Sessions work a week ahead of the actual date. 

2) Some cycles we go 5 days/week. Variation depends upon the cycle we’re in.

3) No – I’m thinking the work capacity and volume involved in many of the non-strength Operator Sessions would smoke you. I’d recommend you fix your diet, lose some weight, and work through our Bodyweight Training Plan before jumping into the Operator Sessions:

– Rob


I want to begin by thinking you for your APFT improvement program.  I am currently on Week 5 of the program and am experiencing great results.  At the start of the program, my APFT score was 220: pushups-59; sit-ups – 51; and 2 mile run time-16:00.  I just took a diagnostic APFT and my results were the following:

Push-Ups: 78
Sit-Ups: 65
2 Mile Run: 14:10.
For a score of 279 for my age group (32).

I still have (2) weeks to go on this program and hope to max the APFT for record.  Again-thank you.

My question is once this program is complete, what would you recommend I do?  I am trying to improve my base line strength as well as increase size and strength.  Basically, I want to get bigger, stronger, and be in great "military shape".  Many at my work place are recommending I just do a typical "body building" program.  The plus side, is these programs are free and readily available on the internet.  The down side would be I wouldn’t have functional strength that a tactical, military athlete needs.  On the flip side, just doing functional exercises won’t help with the size issue.  

I want to be big and strong, but also have functional fitness.  I’m thinking about the RAT 6, but need something longer until our next APFT.  I’m also thinking about the operator sessions, but am not sure if I’ll gain mass and strength.  I’ve done a power lifting program for a few months and just recently switched to your APFT program.  

Our next APFT won’t be until another 6 months, so I need something to do until then- but kind of feel burned out or just bored of doing a typical power lifting routine.   I appreciate your suggestions greatly.  Thank you,

– S

Thanks for the kind words! First I’d recommend completing the Rat 6 Strength Plan:

Then dropping into the Operator Sessions until 3-4 weeks before your next APFT. Cancel your subscription and complete the APFT Training Plan right before your assessment:

– Rob

Hi Rob, I was looking over your strength standards and I was wondering if you have any for back squats and the overhead squats?  Thanks

– D

No standards, but my guesses would be 1.0x bodyweight for Overhead Squat, and 2.0x bodyweight for back squat, for men. Women – .75x for OHS, 1.5x for Back Squat. 

– Rob

I am a nurse, and my work schedule is 3×12 hour shift per week. Unfortunately, these are not the same days each week, and often seem random at best. I am a veteran, and planning on attending a National Guard SFRE about 1 year from now.

Is it possible to put together a program which would meet the fitness requirements of an SF selection process, by doing two-a-days, four days out of the week, without breaking down my body? My current plan is cardio and work capacity in the morning, and strength training in the afternoon. I also attend yoga and jiu jitsu classes periodically. 

– W

I can’t custom design a training plan for you. I’m sorry. 

Seems like right now you’re interested in Base Fitness. In terms of our stuff, I’d recommend you purchase and complete one of our training plans and if you don’t feel you can train during your work days, work your way through the plan in order on the days you can train. Two plans I’d recommend: 

1) Bodyweight Training Plan:
Don’t be fooled by "bodyweight" – this plan is no joke and is a great introduction to our programming and bridge to our loaded training sessions and training plans. 

2) 357 Strength Plan:
Great, efficient plan which combines strength and work capacity in the same session. You need to know your way around the barbell and be familiar with the olympic lifts to complete the plan.

Finally – unless you’re in a work up training for a selection or school, training 1x/day is enough. 

– Rob

So first off I wanna say your programming has taken my soldiers and I to another level as far as fitness and training mindset. So the reason why I contacted you is I train mma about 5 times a week and I’m starting to feel a little beat up. Is there any suggestions you have for a guy that wants to maintain the combat chassis and still have the gas to go in and train sport specific such as mma. As of this point I feel as if I can keep going but I’m not making any gains in any department.

– W

I’d recommend limiting your gym-based training to low volume, high weigh strength. Use your MMA as your primary work capacity training mode. You may also want to cut back your gym work to 3x/week. In terms of plans, I’d recommend the Rat 6 Strength Plan – and training 3 days/week, in the am. Follow the sessions in order, don’t skip ahead. Here’s a link to the plan:

– Rob


Hello Rob,
      I’ve been reading up on your military athlete website and I’m trying to decided on a training program. All I have been doing is Calisthenics and running for the past 4 months. I’m looking to start doing weights and I’m trying to pick a program form your website. I’m thinking the 357 strength program or the rat 6 program. What are you thoughts? My ultimate goal is join the army and attending ranger school. I plan to do the ranger prep program after a few cycles of a weight program. Would really appreciate your thoughts.

– C

Rat 6:

– Rob


I am an FBI Agent who is interested in attending HRT selection next year. I graduated from the Q course this past June and am currently a Team Leader with 20th Group.  I have been doing crossfit off and on for about 5 years now and know that I need to change my training focus in order to successfully meet the demands of selection.
I have heard great things about your program and would like some advice on a way forward. I have about 10 months to train and would like to hear your recommendations on programs.
I am 36 years old, 6’2" and currently about 225 pounds. I could definitely stand to lean out and drop some bulk. I have been putting a lot of focus the past three months on strength trying to regain the losses incurred during the Q course. I know from SFAS that I handle endurance better at a lighter weight but I have a hard time trying to find that balance between strength, endurance, and size.
Any information or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for time.

– S

I’ve designed a sport-specific training plan for HRT Selection:

This plan is 9-weeks long, and designed to be completed the 9 weeks directly before selection. 

Between now and then, I recommend you purhcase a subscription to the Operator Sessions, and begin them with the last strength cycle, then work forward in order from there. 

You’ll want to cancel your subscription when you start the HRT Selection Program. 

Another option is to go the HRT Plan now, then the Operator Sessions, then repeat the HRT Plan directly before selection. 

You are a little heavy. I’d like to see you around 215. I’m not sure if it’s unneeded muscle or fat – but you’re right, decreasing your bodyweight will help with work capacity and endurance efforts, and may increase your relative strength (strength per bodyweight).

– Rob

Help, I’m stuck in a hotel gym for a month and all they have is treadmills and 35, 40, and 45lb dumbells.

– J

Sorry, I don’t have a ready-made program for you. I’d recommend our Bodyweight Plan:

It’s 4-weeks long, and no joke.

– Rob


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