Rob, I'm currently half-way through your Rat 6 program. My Week 5 1RMs were all ~13-24% higher than Week 1 across the board for all 6 lifts! I've been using your programming on and off for about 2 years now so I wasn't shocked at the efficacy, but I have to admit that I was pretty impressed by the size of my gains for the period of time. I'm excited to see what my total gains will be at the end of the program! That aside, I do have a couple questions for you:
The first is about my squat clean. My squat clean 1RM (235#) comes out to 88% of my front squat 1RM (265#), which is probably about right based on what I've heard. However, my squat clean 1RM came out the same as my power clean 1RM (both 235#) and I know it should be higher. I thought my technique was pretty solid, but based on this I'm assuming I need to reevaluate my squat clean technique and work on a lower catch point? Any thoughts or tips with that?
Question two is about proportionality. My power clean is 88% of my front squat (which seems a little high) and so is my squat clean (which should be higher). At 6ft, 195# is my front squat still on the low side or do you see anything awry in these #s? I know every person is different and there isn't an exact 'magic equation,' but just looking for areas to improve and ensure I'm well rounded.
My last question is about your opinion on what next? For the last few months I've predominantly concentrated on improving my strength. I've made some great progress in that regard, but I feel like I've lost a step or two on my overall fitness. I don't want to abandon my strength gains, but I feel like I could use a cycle of work capacity or endurance training or something to improve my overall fitness. Recommendations?
Thanks for everything!
Understand I'm not an Oly lifting coach, so take my opinion here with that in mind. In general, your squat clean should be higher than your power clean – but how much higher, I'm not sure. Mine is maybe, 10# higher.
My strength standard for both front squat and bench press is 1.5x Bodyweight – so you're around 30# light on the front squat.
Next Plan – yes, get out of the weight room for a while and give the barbell a break. It's refreshing!! I'd recommend our Endurance Cycle: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&cart_ID=111
Quick question for you. On many of your programs it states "increase load rapidly each round until x is hard but doable". My question is are you referring to moving quickly between sets with little to no rest or are you referring to adding weight in larger increments?
Adding weight rapidly – not moving. Here's two examples of how I would personally work through a 6 Rounds of 5x Bench Press. My "hard but doable" load for 5 reps is probably 195#>
See the difference? I want you to get as many rounds as possible at the "hard but doable" load – ideally be there by the 3rd or 4th round and then use that same load "across" the remaining rounds in the circuit.
My wife wants to get back into training since having our child (she's been out of the game for about 3 years now). She has access to a free gym through her work but it has limited equipment – basic dumbbells and not much else. I can supplement that with my sandbag though. Where should I get her started? I thought the bodyweight program and move on to the on-ramp plan or the sandbag/weightvest plan. Her previous workout history has mainly been free weights and running.
Thanks for your help.
All our stuff is pretty intense – even the bodyweight plan. I'd recommend the OnRamp Plan first: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&cart_ID=87
I recently completed the Ultimate Meathead Cycle with a group, and we really enjoyed the program. We especially liked the final UMC training session (25 rounds of bench, deadlifts, pullups and squats) and are contemplating making that specific session a quarterly "challenge" or test of sorts. We also perform the Operator Ugly test on a quarterly basis. Do you have any other tests or challenges that you have created that we should consider adding to our regimen? We have truly enjoyed these two efforts and would welcome the addition of others into our annual programming. Thank you for the great training plans.
For something really different, challenging and fun, I'd recommend the Operator Pentathlon: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=51&cart_ID=108
It's a military-specific, multi-modal fitness event:
1) 1500m Fin using the Combat Side Stroke
2) 6-Mile Run
3) Max Reps Bodyweight Bench Press
4) Max Reps Pull ups
5) 5 Mile Ruck at 60# + 10# rubber rifle, sledge hammer or dumbbell
The plan includes the assessment, train up based on your first assessment, and a re-assessment.
I would like to switch it up for a while and gain some strength and put on a couple pounds of muscle. Should I run a UMC followed by RAT 6? Any ideas, I am currently in a deployed environment?
You can do two strength cycles back to back, but you need to do at least 1x unload week devoid of any heavy lifting, in the week between.
Start with the Ultimate Meathead Cycle: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&cart_ID=79
Doing power curls, bench press, etc … – great stuff when deployed!
thank you for your nice training plans, I love them!
Have you ever thought about making some training plans for fighters? I really would be thankful for one.
And have you thought about making one which includes additional training in the box gym, so that you can do both (Kickboxing and 2-3days strenght training).
I've been asked this several times, but haven't moved in that direction yet. I think it would be a super interesting project, and need to learn more about the training load put on boxers/grapplers/MMA guys during their fight-specific training.
Good Morning Rob,
I just wanted to provide some kudos/feedback on the RAT6 program. This was the 5th MA program I've bought and completed. As always, I enjoyed it and felt like I made gains overall.
Me: 5'8", 173 lbs
(1st week –> 5th week –> last week)
Power Clean : 185 –> 205 –> 215
Squat Clean : 195 –> 225 –> 215
Shoulder Press : 170 –> 175 –> 170
Bench Press: 235 –> 245 –> 245
Deadlift: 335 –> 345 –> 355
Front Squat: 235 –> 245 –> 245
Percentage Change (Final):
Power Clean: 16%
Squat Clean: 10%
Shoulder Press: 0%
Bench Press: 4%
Front Squat: 4%
As you can see, I made decent gains in the first portion of the program and then hit a plateau or even got worse. I felt amazing during the 5th week tests, but this last week really felt like I went backwards. Do you have any thoughts on the causal factors of this plateau/decline? Have you seen similar results?
Thanks as always for the great programming. Take care,
We saw solid gains across the board.
Could be something simple as sleep/stress/nutrition changes, but could also be that for you, 5 weeks was just right, and 6 weeks was over training.
I wish I could offer more.
Currenly a signaller in a mountain unit of the French Army, I'm transitioning to Target Acquisition. My work will mostly be alpine patrols (alpine touring in winter, rucking in summer) and high altitude observation post.
Time passed out of base make me interested in your Bodyweight Training Program ; I was wondering if the versions available on Military Athlete and Mountain Athlete are different. If so, which plan would you recommend to me, as I have mountain rucking as a primary requirement.
The plans are different. You should do the military version: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&cart_ID=96
For the ultimate meathead cycle, would you see any issue with rucking 5 or 6 miles on Saturdays vs. the 3 full days of total rest?
No. You should be good.
I'm currently working my way through some Wendler 5 3 1 programming, but I want to come back to the Military Athlete programming. I was looking at Rat 6 since you told someone else to do it. How many days a week does this program train? I'm looking to only lift 3-4 days/week to incorporate some swimming in my life (using your 4 week swim program) in addition to my unit PT.
Rat 6 is a 5 day/week plan, and includes work capacity work. You could sub swimming for the work cap stuff, but I'd rather you didn't and follow the plan completely. Here's the link to the plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&cart_ID=84
After using your GoRuck Heavy training plan (which I thought was excellent, by the way), I decided to purchase your plan for GoRuck Selection. Since I certainly have some time on my side to maximize my preparation for Selection, what would you recommend I do training-wise as I work my way towards the beginning of the 10 week training plan? Thanks.
Best Option: Subscription to the Operator Sessions at militaryathlete.com
Next Best Option: 357 Strength Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&cart_ID=69