Good Afternoon!


Quick question if you don't mind as it seems my Doc and physical therapist don't really be of much help – I understand you can't give me medical advice, I'm just a bit frustrated and am hoping this purchase will be helpful.


I'm a broadcast engineer in live sports and I seem to be wrecking my lower back more from standing for long periods (anywhere from 8 to 12 hours) than from my Goruck training (various types of training with a 65lb GR2 Ruck..including pushups…bear crawls…veerrry slow burpies and a "speed shuffle")


Seriously, working one event (standing for the above referenced hours) can put me out of commission for 3 days with back pain. BUT speed rucking (11 to 12 minute mile) for 8 to 10 miles I'll be tired but otherwise feeling great?


I should add that I have had two lower back surgeries (L4/L5).


I'm confused!


Any thoughts?  Think this 8 week program will help me…or am I just insane thinking that at 45 years old that I'll be able to accomplish a Goruck Challenge?



Many Thanks and Have a Great Evening!


– G



Low backs can be a mystery. You're issue related to standing could be your shoes, the height of your camera, totally mental….. and I can't answer. If I could I'd be a bazillionaire.


If you can ruck and do bear crawls, etc, you should be able to do this plan. Try it and see if it helps. 


But even if it doesn't – keep searching and working until you find something that does. 


– Rob






I am wondering the best and fastest  way to reach your strength standards would be. I am fit, fairly active, and motivated to obtain these strength standards. I would like to get there in the fastest time possible.


Also, are there any Mountain Athlete gyms or certified mountain athlete trainers anywhere but in Jackson? if so, where can I find a list of them? Do you have a recommended gym or trainer in the Seattle area? Thanks for your help!


– R



Strength Standards – these can take time to attain. – but a good place to start the journey is the Rat 6 Strength Plan:


No coaches in Seattle. I'm sorry. But you don't need one – many guys work through our stuff on their own. 


– Rob




Hi Rob,


In prep for a Jackson Hole trip starting 2/2, I've been following your backcountry ski training programming.  First, let me say the training is great and much tougher than I thought.  Next, as I just completed the fifth week of programming, should I keep on with the final week for the period leading up to my trip or draw down my training in prep for a big ski week?  If you recommend a drawdown period, I'd appreciate any guidance you could offer.


Thanks much,




You'll only need 2 days of total rest to be ready for your trip. Continue with the plan and stop accordingly. 


– Rob





I would like to buy one of your plans and would like advice on which one to do.  I am an endurance athelete and my goals are to loose 15# and get to a point where I can run a 5k at a 7min mile cofortably (something I was able to do prior to residency).  I am a medical resident and have no more than 60 minutes to work out a day.  I started working out 6 weeks ago doing crossfit.  I have access to a basic gym in my hospital w/ free weights, a bench, a smith machine, and a treadmill.  Do you have any recommendations?  



– M



I don't have a perfect plan for you – esp. since you're mostly interested in improving your run time. 


First – losing 15 pounds …. 80% of bodyweight is diet. Pls go to the FAQ on the site and follow our nutrition guidelines. Fix your diet and you'll lose weight. You can't out-work a shitty diet.


We don't have a plan just to increase a 5K time. One that might work for you comes from the military side of the work we do. The US Marine Phyiscal Fitness test includes a 3 mile run, as well as pull ups and crunches. This would be a great way for you to work on your running, and also get in some general fitness. Here's a link to the plan:


– Rob Shaul





Hi rob,

I was just looking over the programs offered on your website and decided to send you an email.  I have finished your 8 week kettlebell program and just recently the kb strength program. I really enjoyed both and am having a hard time deciding what's next.

I was a division 1 softball player and I still play at a competitive level. I have a certification in crossfit, however, I prefer doing Olympic lifting with barbells, not the typical crossfit wod. I love training with kettlebells 🙂 anyway, just curious if or what you would recommend.

Big skies,


– T



Sounds a little like you just want some thing different – 


From our stuff, a couple options: 


1) 357 Strength – barbell focused, and great work. I know you'd enjoy it.


2) Wildland Firefighter Pre-Season Training Plan:

Would give you a taste of sport-specific programming. It will test you.


– Rob Shaul






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