I was wondering if you had any recommendations for supplements Ex: protein, pre-workout and vitamins etc.
Also during this week off.. does that mean no running or training at all?
Hi S –
Quick answer is no. Generally it's best guys eat real food.
Sometimes for convenience, or laziness really, I'll drink a whey protein shake after training in the morning and before coaching the next session.
So, about the only supplement I think you should consider is whey protein. Week off= week off. Enjoy it.
I have just become a subscriber to Military Athlete and I have a question.
When conducting the training portion of the workout. What should the
transition time be between the different sets of rounds if it is not stated?
(1) 6 Rounds
3x Quadzilla Complex @ 15/25#
10x 2-Leg Poor Man's Leg Curl
(2) 6 Rounds
5x Bench Press – increase load each round until 5x is hard, but doable, then
2x Clapping Push ups
2x Squat to Stand
(3) 5 Rounds
Double Eagle or 5x KB Front Squat (increase load) + Suicide Sprint
Rope Climb or 3x Tarzan Pull ups
2x Shoulder Sweep
There is no stated transition time but in the next workout, listed below,
(1) 10 Rounds
20 Sec Thruster @ 45/75#
10 Sec Rest (can't put barbell down)
*** Rest 3 Minutes
(2) 7 Rounds …. every 45 seconds
8x Back Squat @ 45/75#
6x Sit ups
*** Rest 3 Minutes
(3) 5 Rounds for Time
10x Box Jump @ 20/24"
3/5x Pull ups
Thanks in advance for your help.
The first session is a strength session. The second a work capacity session.
In general for the strength sessions, work briskly, not frantically. The goal is to lift as high a weight as possible, but still finish the entire session in 60 minutes.
If it takes 45 minutes, you're moving too fast (these aren't mini crossfit wods) and probably not lifting heavy enough. If it takes 75 minutes, you're moving too slow.
Directly to your question on the strength session, there is no set rest between circuits other than the natural rest which comes from getting the next set of equipment out.
I am in the final week of your On Ramp training program, and I am wondering what program you would recommend next. I have enjoyed the On Ramp program and it was scaled about right for me. I am now ready for more.
I have a unique job in which I am primarily a police officer in rural and woodland settings, but I also have responsibilites for wildfire suppression and search and rescue. I generally have to hike 1-3 miles per day on average, but sometimes in excess of 10 miles. The rest of the time is spent on vehicle or boat patrol. In addition to local wildfire suppression, I usually work 2 weeks a year on a federal fire which could be anywhere in the U.S.
I am considering the Police Officer training, but I am not sure how that compares to the On Ramp training. I would like to gain more strength and core fitness, but I could also stand to lose about 20 pounds (or at least convert some of the weight to muscle).
I work out at home about 1 hr per day. I have olympic weights and a rack, dumbells up to 35#, sandbags up to 60#, a plyobox, an elliptical, pull-up/dip bars, and I can run outside.
Please advise what you consider would be a good next step program for my situation. Thank you in advance for your input.
What an interesting job!! Hell yeah.
I'd recommend the Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&cart_ID=83
This plan is low tech, but kick ass, and includes great work for hiking under load, but also sprint fitness and upper body work for the law enforcement side of your job. It's a great compromise.
Diet – click here for our nutritional guidelines: http://militaryathlete.com/subpage_details.php?subpage_ID=1906&page_ID=34
80% of bodyweight issues are diet related. Start eating clean and you'll shed weight. Once you do, everything will get better.
First off, thank you for all the time, dedication, and effort you put into developing your programs.
I actually have two questions. First, what program of yours, on top of operator sessions, would you recommend to prepare for trying out for the expert field medical badge?
And second, do you think you'll develop a program for medics/corpsmen to train for performing medical procedures under austere conditions like you have for other professionals?
Thanks for your time and have a good one.
1) Based on what I can learn about the medical badge events, I'd recommend the RASP I&II Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&cart_ID=118
2) Are you referring to our Range Fitness program? … accurate marksmanship under stress? If so, we've actually messed around with this a little bit before with USAF PJ's, but haven't pursued it further. It could be an option for us.
If you're referring to corpsmen who are assigned to combat units …. I'm not sure I'd do much different than what we do already for combat fitness.
Started the bodyweight plan and love it. I can do the shuttle runs and
suicides at work (doing this on my lunch break), but the longer 100 m / 200
m runs aren't doable on our campus. We have a rower, treadmills, and
kettlebells. Would an equivalent distance on the rower work for the 100
m / 200 m sprints or would kettlebell swings (45 seconds for 200 m run) be
better? I could also jump on and off the treadmill, which is always an
adventure, but I am comfortable doing it. Any suggestions would be great!
Best would be to leave the treadmill running and jump on it. I've done this before.
Next best would be step ups. 50x Step ups = 400m run. Use this to figure the step ups equivalents.
Hey Rob, I'm a Marine and one of those pogs that does good with books and computers but always struggled with pt(low 1st class pft). Recently I've been running my ass off 5 days a week twice a day and not doing anything else, I aim to make it into radio recon within 2 years but I don't even lift or have much strength so I suspect attempting a recon preparation program would be both inappropriate to my level of fitness and a fast way to injure myself. What do you recommend?
Start with our Bodyweight Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&cart_ID=96
Don't be fooled by "bodyweight" – there's bunches of solid strength training in this plan and it provides a great bridge to the strength/power/work capacity stuff we do in the gym.
I wonder which plan i should get. Im looking for a program to take me from my shit shape, to "elite" operator shape. Bold goal but im here to pull the weight to do it. I got access to lots of nice forest/walking spots for rucking + a Crossfit center. I need a "specific" plan that focus on condition + strength that is operator worthy, ;).
Thanx, and I'll buy the plan you recommend. Sincerely J from Norway
Hi Jon –
These plans, in this order:
1) Bodyweight Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&cart_ID=96
2) Big 24 Strength Plan in the Mornings: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&cart_ID=36
Ruck-Improvement Training Plan in the Evenings: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&cart_ID=110
3) Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&cart_ID=103
4) 357 Strength in the Mornings: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&cart_ID=69
Run Improvement Train Plan in the Evenings: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&cart_ID=104
5) Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&cart_ID=45
Want to start by saying I really love your programs, know a lot of guys in various units I've been in who've had a lot of success with them. I've used them before a long with routines from stew smith, fatal fitness etc. and absolutely love your system. Love the blend of sandbag training, weight work and calisthenics. Only thing I've ever seen a lack of is the calisthenics and ab work compared to a lot of other programs but compared to most of the programs yours are some of the best and most well rounded for functional strength and preparedness needed by soldiers of all different branches and missions.
About 8 weeks ago I injured my lower back during deadlifts. After a long shitty 8 weeks of not getting to train for my transfer to special operations, it finally recovered to the point where i was able to do some exercises and I purchased your lower back injury plan. I did my first workout with it today and am going to try to work myself back up to the level I was at pre-injury and then follow your ruck selection plan.
When I opened it up, I read the beginning comments where it talked about diet. You mentioned in there to stick with meats, veggies, nuts etc. And to stick away from any grains potatoes etc. Could you go into the reasoning behind that with me? I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on it, breads and such I can kind of understand, but you don't get much in the form of carbs from only veggies and nuts. Most trainers I've worked have me eating well over 400 g of carbs. Especially when I'm doing endurance training like rucks etc. Your body needs the carbs for sustenance. In addition to that, I'm a small guy. 5'9" and about 145 pounds. I'm strong for my size, but when your 250 pound buddy gets shot and you need to carry him and his gear out. I need to throw on some size and keep my strength ratio the way it is. My metabolism is fast as all hell, just lifting weights and eating well doesn't get me any bigger unfortunately!
Not meaning to question your methods, I'm just curious as to your reasoning behind it and your recommendations to me in order to gain weight again as well. I'd like to be at least 160, 165, not sure how I'd get to there without a lot of carbs though. It seems since cross fit came around everyones anti bread and grains when rice and potatoes used to be staples for athletes, would love your insight! And thanks again for putting together such great workout programs, looking forward to getting healed up and back on track!
Hi Jerry –
My thoughts on diet are influenced by this book, "Why We Get Fat" by Taubes, and our 7 years of experience with it.
Weight Gain – do our Hypertrophy Program (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&cart_ID=35), and drink lots and lots of milk!
I have been on the Challenge GORUCK plan with a friend of mine, and we were able to do all but the very last week before having to taper for the event. Id like to do a heavy in the future, is it reasonable to progress directly into the Heavy plan from the challenge plan?
Yes. Here's the link: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=61&cart_ID=90
Hi Mr. Shaul!
I'm a huge fan of your programs. I'm very interested as to how you plan them out; I notice it doesn't follow the typical NSCA format. This is non-linear periodization right? How does it work? I figure I might as well ask someone who has succeeded at it and ask.
Hi Ben –
I developed a theory I call Fluid Periodization. Here's an explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDFlJbC1IiM
Hey Coach Rob,
within both the Afghan pre deployment training plan and the bodyweight plan there is distance runs/rucks and sprints. Right now I'm stationed within a tight compound so outdoors running/sprinting /rucking isn't a option. I do have a treadmill available to me but that is it. How can I possibly substitute such a critical part of the training sessions?
Hi S –
Step ups. 50x Step ups = 400m run.
I completed my GORUCK Challenge this past weekend. I’d like to send a big thanks to you and your team because your training program was the primary reason I was physically prepared for the event. I was able to perform at a high level for the entirety of the event. While I think it would be a bit arrogant and probably wrong to say I was one of the strongest; I certainly was not one of the weakest. I was able to enjoy the event.
Below I’ve added feedback specific to the five stated goals of the program. If you’re interested please keep reading, if not, no worries.
Stated program goals
Build Rucking Performance/Endurance – I wholeheartedly agree with the first statement: The best way to improving rucking performance is to ruck. I was very intimidated by Session 1 (8mi @ 15min/mi) and I suffered through it. However, within a couple of weeks an 8mi ruck at 15min/mi was an enjoyable way to spend two hours. The amount of time spent under a weighted ruck really, really helped during the event. By the time the event happened carrying a 50# ruck was like carrying an empty ruck. I was so comfortable and used to the weight it didn’t slow me down at all. In retrospect I felt over prepared in the rucking domain (which is not a bad thing at all!).
Build Work Capacity – This really helped during the multiple smoke sessions; especially for the 3 hour smoke session at the end. There was never a point in the event where I was close to out of breath.
Build Overall Strength – I definitely had the leg strength. Legs were never a limiting factor. In this particular event we spent many hours carrying multiple logs as a team. I spent nearly the entire time under a log, which really exposed one weakness in me. My shoulders got smoked. They are still a little sore. More on this later.
Build Core Strength – You were right I simultaneously love & hate sandbag getups. It’s a miserable ten minutes but dammit it’s an effective ten minutes. Through almost the entire event my core felt strong. It was only at the end when one of the cadre decided to destroy everyone’s core did my core finally fail. Awesome work on the core stuff.
Build Mental Fitness – I did this whole program by myself so during the event to suffer in a group of people felt like paradise. That said, it did help to have those long Saturday events. It was helpful to see how my body reacted to that type of effort for so many hours.
Things I wished I had done
These are things I didn’t address or address well enough during training. Keep in mind this is just one man’s opinion after one specific instance of an event.
More time rucking with extra weight on my shoulders at a slower pace. Only in very short bursts did we move at 15min/mi or better. The majority of the time we were much slower than that because we were loaded down with logs or buddy carries. It would have been helpful to do multiple 2mi rucks at 17-20min/mi with the ruck and the sandbag.
More vertical shoulder pressing movements. I think this would have helped the log and odd item carries we had to do and the log press PT we had to do multiple times.
Basically my shoulders needed more work.
With no specific events in the near future I think it’s an appropriate time to sign up for your daily programming but I’m not sure which one. I’ve really enjoyed the programs I’ve done so far (skinny guys, sandbag/weightvest, and goruck challenge). I will likely do additional goruck events in the future. I enjoy hiking/backpacking. I also do volunteer non-technical search and rescue in the Cascade Mountains (immediately east of Seattle). By day I’m just a simple software nerd. Do you think the operator sessions or the base fitness sessions would be more appropriate? I’m leaning towards the operator session because I desire a greater challenge and the ‘start here’ page the military athlete site resonates more with me.
Thanks again for the programs and for answering all my emails. I really appreciate it.
Hi P –
Thanks for the note and the feedback. We're constantly improving our training plans and will incorporate your feedback into the next version of the GoRuck Heavy Plan.
Definitely do the Operator Sessions. For fit guys who love to train, they are pretty awesome.
Hey Rob! How's it going? I've been doing good on nutrition and I had a question. What do you suggest eating in the field when we stay there? What would be good to bring in my pack instead of eating MREs?
I'm not sure I'd worry about it too much. Consider MRE's "Event Nutrition" – for example, I'll eat high carb gels and clif bars on a long mountain day.
Backpacking food is probably a little less healthy than MREs.
On long backpacking trips I'll take hard salami and hard cheese – which is high in protein, calories and fat. Works well for me. Another option for you could be whey protein for shakes.
Im interested in starting military athlete as my training program. Ive done crossfit and basic meathead lifting (more for strength than body building). But have found myself in the past 2 months lacking motivation to lift on my own. I currently run cross country and indoor/outdoor track for my college and am pursuing a ranger contract.
what plan(s) would you recommend spanning the next 9 months?
i have looked at the operator sessions, boot camp plan and rasp plan
I'm a little concerned about your cross country/track training obligations. If you're running competively for you're school, you owe it to the team to focus on your running during the sport season. The intensity of our stuff could affect your running performance.
However, if you're between seasons, and since you know your way around a weightroom, a great place for you to start our stuff is the 357 Strength Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&cart_ID=69
From there I'd recommend the the Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&cart_ID=103) , then drop into the Operator Sessions.
Good luck on Ranger. I'm jealous!
I'm currently training for SFAS and I'm getting ready to begin the Ruck Based Selection Program. You mentioned in one of your videos that a good sign of optimal strength is being able to bench press 2.5 times one's own body weight.
I'm a little dude and cannot quite meet that number. However I can do a high amount of push ups (110+ in two minutes). I do not focus on putting up heavy weights.
I was wondering if I will need to meet the strength requirements before I begin the SFAS training program. Will the workouts contain exercises that require that kind of strength? I noticed that when I increase my bench, my push ups numbers seem to fall. I feel as if push up ability is more important between the two.
Thank you very much, very excited to try this program out.
Not 2.5x bodyweight on the bench, but 1.5x bodyweight.
Here are my Strength Standards for Military Athletes:
LIFT MEN WOMEN
Front Squat 1.5x BW 1.0x BW
Dead Lift 2.0x BW 1.5x BW
Bench Press 1.5x BW 1.0x BW
Push Press 1.1x BW .7x BW
Squat Clean 1.25x BW 1.0x BW
Squat Clean+ Push Press 1.1x BW .7xBW
"BW" = body weight
Our programming begins with strength. I believe strength is the foundation of performance, durability and confidence. But, my strength standards are modest in the gym world. If we focus too much on strength, other fitness attributes decline.
Military Athletes are "hybrid" athletes – you have a wide swatch of fitness demands:
– work capacity for short, hard, intense events (sprinting)
– Stamina for long events or multiple short events over a long day
– "Sport-specific endurance" – long rucks, like those you'll face at selection
– Fitness Assessment demands (APFT – the pushups, situps, short run)
More on strength – our strength focus is on the "Combat Chassis" – legs and core. You'll be taxed here with the loading and movement at selection.
So back to your question, strength now will make you more durable going into selection. Before starting the Ruck-Based Selection Plan, I'd recommend one of our strength cycles – Rat 6 is good: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=55&cart_ID=84
You'll lose some strength endurance doing Rat 6, however the Ruck Based Selection Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&cart_ID=45) does include specific programming for the APFT – push ups, etc.
We've got you covered.