Q&A 11/5/14

Questions include:  next steps after pre-season ski program,  which military boots to use, modify BUD/s for a shorter timeline, difference between work capacity and stamina sessions, workout program for HS football, how to make your own sandbags, training after Ranger School, and more!


I’m about to cycle off your 357 program.  The plan is amazing.  I got a little banged up from the snatches/overhead squats (first experience with those movements) at first but with the shoulder patterning/mobility exercises I overcame that in a couple of weeks.  All in all I feel strong and my recovery from day to day is remarkable.

Having completed your 369 program followed by the 357 program I feel like I have built a solid foundation in strength.  I’m looking to take it to the next level and I’m not sure which direction to go.  I definitely do not want to lose any of the strength I just accumulated, but I want to boost my work capacity as stamina.  Honestly, I just want to improve across all fitness domains.  I was thinking about doing the 369 program along with the run improvement plan, but I was curious what your thoughts are.

Thanks in advance for your advice and guidance.


I’d recommend Valor: http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/

This plan combines strength with focused work capacity. Enjoy those 1 mile ruck run repeats!! Killer!


I’ve been following your programs for several years now. Between operator sessions, the ruck selection program and more recently RAT6, I’ve been very happy with the results from your programming.

Unfortunately, at a recent lifting competition I sustained an avulsion in my left hip flexor in the bottom of a 345# squat. This was very disappointing as I had just finished week 5 of RAT6 and was already seeing big gains. The doc says no training for me for at least 8 weeks. How do you think you’re injured leg program would suit working around this injury?


Athletes with legs in casts, recovering knees, recovering ankles and recovering foots have all used our Leg Injury Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/training-program-for-athlete-suffering-from-leg/). It works perfect for injuries below the hip.

Hip Flexor injury? I’m not sure – here’s why. The plan includes seated swings, and dumbbell/kettlebell clean and presses, for example – and both have limited hip extension involved.  I’m not sure the extent of your injury – but while I can squat one leg, I can’t extend just one hip ….

My guess is if you can do situps without pain, and sit down and stand up, without pain, you should be good.

Do understand the plan isn’t a rehab plan for your injury, but trains the rest of your body around your injury while it recovers.



I Have a selection date March 27. I am going to be doing pt with sf guys in the mornings. It is going to consist of:

  • 5-18 mile road or cross country rucksack movements 40-60 lbs
  •  3-10 mile runs and variable paces
  • Numerous agility and speed drills
  • Upper body strength and endurance
  • Rope climbing and climbing techniques
  • Pool workout with ACU’s and boots

I was wondering what you recommend that I do in the evening time? I always train 2 times a day for 4 days a week?


Train low volume, heavy loaded strength and core strength in the evenings. Heavy, low volume (few reps) strength will make you more durable, and if you’re careful, won’t over train you.

From our stuff, I’d recommend Big 24 Strength: http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-24-strength-training-program-v3/

Watch for over training and if you go this way, start with the strength sessions just 2x/week. If you’re recovering, and keeping up with your morning PT, then you can go to 3-4 days/week.

Understand the strength work will help with your selection durability, but not necessarily performance. You likely won’t have any selection events which involve moving heavy barbells ….. so your rucking/running and other morning work takes precedence. This work is “sport specific” to your selection events. If your having trouble with your morning improvement/pacing, cut out the evening strength work.



We are almost done with your Free Ski program which I have been following religiously and enjoyed immensely. Instructors in my ‘fancy’ gym just look at me 6:30am each morning shaking their head wondering what I’m up to.  Gotta love it.

Anyway, I’ve cursed your name a few times over the last 6 weeks much like some of your athletes I’m sure, but my first big free ride tour (Dec 11) is only days away any I feel the best prepped I’ve ever been.

So, my question is once the FreeSki program is done what do you suggest I continue with? Especially considering I have a big trip to Japan scheduled Feb 20.  I feel I still need to work on my endurance, work capacity and strength. Do I just continue with the Base fitness training? If so, with which date should I start?

Trust you and staff are doing well. Snow here in Switzerland has been falling but more in the south than anywhere else. I wish you all a fabulous Xmas and thank you for your dedication and enthusiasm.


I’d recommend our In-Season Ski Maintenance Training Program: http://mtntactical.com/shop/in-season-ski-maintenance-training-program/

It’s built to accommodate both ski professionals who ski frequently over the week, or weekend warriors who get to the slopes primarily on weekends.


I just had my client perform the test (front squat, bench press, pull UPS, deadlifts, sandbag get UPS, sprints and weighted 3 mile run) in under 30 minutes.  I had a girl score 97.5 and my guy scored 88.5.  My guy got 6 bench and only 1 front squat at the specified weights.  How do I get their strength up for those lifts so that they can perform more reps at that weight?  They work out 2-3 days a week and their workouts are super intense.  The  guy’s one rep max for his bench is 215 and he weighs about 211 pounds (who performed this test) The girls one rep max for bench is 110.

I would appreciate any advice you could give me.  I never repeat workouts and  I try to have all compound and Olympic type lifting in each workout.  I don’t waste time on isolation moves but use them as accessories or top offs.  On a good note, they have gotten a lot stronger.  Going from not being able to perform pull-UPS to now doing 5 and 13 and they are moving up on weights lifted, but how do I get them to see greater strength results?


In general, cut down on your exercise menu and bring focus to your training cycles. Focus means not only fitness attribute but also exercises.

Start with Big 24 Strength: http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-24-strength-training-program-v3/

Next, do the Operator Ugly Train up: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-ugly-train-up/

Big 24 is a focused strength cycle – and while not directly transferable to Operator Ugly, it will do a great job of increasing overall strength. Your male athlete is weak – and getting him stronger is the best thing you can do for him.

The Operator Ugly Train up is focused on the assessment. Super intense.



I have both Monster Factory Strength and Off-Season Training for Endurance Athletes. If I was going hiking in Vermont in 7 weeks (20 continuous miles), which program would you recommend I follow first?


Off Season Strength, but only do 2x sessions a week. – Mon/Wed

Tuesdays do step ups – start at 500x and increase each week until you get to 1,000. Use the same load as you expect you’ll carry in your pack.

Thursdays take an easy run. Start at 40 minutes and work up to 80.

Fridays – do step ups again – same number as Tuesdays.

Saturdays – hike – but keep track of your mileage, and work up to 15 miles.


I have worked with you guys over the past few years and more recently with preparation for Combat Dive School. I used the BUDs program with deployed in the Philippines but like military life tends to do and things change, I wasn’t able to attend training. I want to use the same program again to prepare for upcoming training but 8 weeks isn’t feasible. How can I modify to meet the following timeline?

  • December 7 to December 19: At home with access to full gym and pool
  • December 20 to December 30: No access to gym or pool. Able to do runs and BW stuff
  • December 31 to January 15: At home with access to full gym and pool
  • January 16 to January 19: No access to gym and no ability to work out
  • January 20 to January 24: At home with access to full gym and pool
  • January 25: Begins Combat Dive School.

I appreciate any recommendations. You guys are doing great stuff out there and I am definitely a believer in your programming.


Split the plan up by pool and non-pool sessions and focus on the non-pool sessions when you have pool access. Your pool work is most important to Dive School success.

When without pool access, add flutter kicks to each session – and keep increasing the progressions.


I’m currently in the process of purchasing the equipment needed for you’re Ruck based program for SFAS.

I was gonna ask what military boots you’d recommend for the training ? Thank you.


No preference on our part – you’ll want to wear the same ones you’ll use for SFAS.


Regarding Fortitude, when it says 4x walking lunges is that 4 lunges per leg or 4 total?

And regarding diet, what are your views on oatmeal and sweet potatoes for carb sources, especially during the Hypertrophy program?


4x lunges = 4x each leg, 8x total.

Sweet potatoes are OK. Oatmeal isn’t, but carbs won’t add muscle mass. Protein will.


I’m a security forces member in the air force and I’m in the process of cross training into TACP. I have purchased your 8 week ruck plan for sfas and “the activity”. The plan was actually recommended to me by a cadre member. As I begin my training 1 Dec 2014. I was wondering how to make the program more tuned to the TACP requirements. I have no problems with the PAST test but I’m more concerned with the rest of the pipeline including rucking because I’m 5’3″. If there’s any recommendation and other programs to follow I would appreciate your guidance.


I don’t have a specific plan for TACP right now – but if your swimming is solid – the Ruck Plan will definitely build your calesthentic, work capacity, core and rucking ability. The plan is solid there and very successful.


I am looking for a plan from your shop that would be a good intro plan to this kind of fitness.  I am currently in the military, but I mostly just lift weights and don’t focus too much on my cardio.  I’ve realized that I need to get into a functional fitness type of training.  I bought the Valor plan, but it looks like it’s too much to start out with.  What are some good plans that you would recommend to start with and then transition into?  (Next August I am going to EN-BOLC and want to go to Sapper school.  I currently have about a 255 APFT with running as my weakest point.)


I’d recommend the OnRamp Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/on-ramp-training-plan/


I recently purchased your Military Athlete Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet to train for the Army SFAS. I am currently in week 4 of the Rat 6 Strength Training Plan and have decided to attend BUD/S in hopes of becoming a Navy SEAL instead of attending SFAS. What changes would you recommend to my training plan for this? I was thinking about continuing the packet as written, but possibly switching out the 4-week Ruck Improvement Training Plan for a swim improvement plan and changing the Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan at the end of the packet to your BUD/S Prep Training Plan. Is there a better option than this?



The changes you note are good.


I’m a subscriber to the operator sessions and in training for a Goruck event.


  1. I’m struggling to understand the difference between work capacity sessions and stamina sessions. They look identical to me overall in terms of exercises/ rounds etc. The main difference as I understand it is that there is more rest between exercises in a stamina session than in a work capacity session. Generally speaking it seems like there is about a 2:1 rest interval (or less) in a work capacity session (say, 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest between exercises) and about a 1:1 ratio (30 seconds work 30 seconds rest) in a stamina session. Does that sound about right?
  2. In your Goruck Saturday mini-events, how much rest should I take between exercises during the PT portions after extended rucking?  Given the overall duration of the mini-event, generally speaking I need more rest than in a shorter, gym based session.
  3. I definitely have to ruck run portions of the Goruck mini-events to maintain the 15 minute/ mile pace. Thoughts?
  4. Unrelated to rest, how do you increase the weight in your Alice pack? I can only fit about two ten pound weights in the inside top compartment, and sticking a dumbbell in the bottom of the bag turns in to real dead weight. I want to be able to vary between 45 and 60 pounds.

Thanks Coach. BTW I’m 52 so I’m really looking forward to your programming for the 45+ set.


1) Work capacity is more metabolically intense – i.e. – harder breathing. Stamina is primarily muscular volume focused – lighter weights, not as metabolically intense, but much more volume. The goal of stamina is to train muscular recovery from long events – or multiple events over a long day. For example, we’ve found through our strength and work capacity sessions we can go do a long day in the mountains pretty well – climb the Grand Teton in a day, for example, but the next day, we’re so sore we can’t walk. There’s no way we could do it again. Tactical athletes can’t afford this vulnerability – and over the years, we’ve developed stamina cycles to address this.

2) Grind through – minimal rest to refuel, etc.

3) Absolutely. Ruck Run – as much as possible. One strategy is to run 1 minute, walk 1 minute, and push to run 2-3 minutes, walk 1 minute, etc. I recently ruck ran 7 miles at a 10-11/min mile/pace, and top operators can maintain 9-10 minute miles for 10-12 miles. They aren’t walking.

4) I use 10# plates plus a dumbbell. Do whatever it takes to keep it high.


I am in my second year of college and playing lacrosse. My goal is to become a Navy Seal. I have quite a bit of time to train so my main focuses right now are to:

  1. increase my strength/mass
  2. become a proficient swimmer and runner
  3. gain muscular endurance for my calisthenics
  4. make myself more durable

So I’m at a crossroads on how to get all 4 goals done. Can I get them all done together over a period of time following a plan or in steps over the next year and bring it all together towards the end? How will I maintain strength while working on endurance and vice versa especially when it comes to working on swimming? If you can set up a time line I could follow using your plans that would be very appreciated.


Lacrosse comes first. I’m not sure if you’re at a D1 school, but I’m assuming you have seasons in the spring and fall and strength and conditioning in between. The strength and conditioning coaches at your school will likely work on increasing your strength/mass. What you’ll need to do in addition is swim. I’d recommend our Swim Improvement Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/swim-improvement-plan/

If lacrosse is a club sport for you, or you don’t want to concentrate on it, here’s what I’d recommend from our stuff:

1) 357 Strength (http://mtntactical.com/shop/357-strength/) plus the Swim Improvement Plan. You’ll do 2-a-days, 357 in the AM, Swim in the PM, or vice versa.

Follow this up with the BUD/s Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/buds-training-program/


Over the last few months, I have become familiar with your exercise programs and I am interested in purchasing one for myself.  I wanted to give you my background and goals and see if you could line me up with the proper package or a choice between a few that might offer the elements that I am looking for.

Starting with myself: I am 33 years old (male) and I enlisted in the Army in April.  I completed BCT in August and am now completing my MOS training at Ft. Huachuca, AZ and I hope to be here for another few months, including some immediate advanced training.  I am an above-average athlete having studied and taught self defense to civilians, military and law enforcement for nearly my entire life.  I am a black belt Krav Maga instructor and I’ve become very familiar with mentally getting through workouts because that’s what needs to be done.  I enjoy pushing myself and pushing past obstacles.  I’m not the strongest of runners (I don’t enjoy running so much) but I am looking to get better at it, no matter my dislike.  When I left BCT, I ran a 14:30 2-mile at sea level but I am now at about a 16:25 at about 5,500 ft elevation.

My goals: I am 5’7″ and about 161lbs and built athletically.  I would love to gain some solid muscle (10 pounds or so), but still be able to call upon my sprinting capability and be considered very strong for my size.  I like your programs as I’ve seen thus far as they mix up the workouts and do not become mundane or repetitive on any given day.  With the MOS that I have, I need to be able to operate on a tactical team and I do not want to be seen as anyone who is not pulling their weight.  There is also a chance I could support SF units in the future, which is something that I would like to do if the opportunity presents itself.

So understanding all of this, I would love to hear what you think would work best for my present situation as well as where I’d like to go.  Please let me know if you have any questions for me that will help you in guiding me.


At 5’7″, I wouldn’t want to see you any heavier through increased muscle mass. That extra 10# is must more weight you have to carry when you run or ruck – which will slow you down. We’re interested in your relative strengthstrength per bodyweight – not max effort strength or bulk.

I’m assuming you know your way around a weightroom, and would work with you first to improve your speed over ground – specifically running and rucking speed. From our stuff, I’d recommend Valor: http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/

This program combines solid strength work with military-athlete specific work capacity and endurance. Enjoy the 1-mile ruck run repeats!!


I am in charge with finding a workout program for a high school football team. From my understanding I need something that will increase strength, explosiveness ,work capacity, agility, and short sprint speed. I was wondering if any of your programs fit the bill and if not what you would recommend?


We’ve been working with prep athletes for years and just started publishing our approach through our Prep Strength Programming. I’d recommend our Maximus Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/maximus-strength-power-training-plan/


I returned to running last month after an 18 month layoff due to plantar fasciitis, so I’m slowly trying to build up the distance again. I want to add some strength/core work to help avoid injury but not sure what to do. Should I subscribe to the site or buy the off season strength plan plus core strength for runners? My aim for 2015 (besides staying injury free!) is to complete a trail 50k around late summer.

Appreciate the help.


Just purchase the Offseason Strength Plan for Endurance Athletes: http://mtntactical.com/shop/off-season-strength-for-endurance-athletes/

This plan includes core strength work so you wan’t need to double up with the Core Strength for Runners Plan.


Just purchased your Ranger RASP training program. It says to do this 6 weeks prior to attending selection. Since I will be in the army pipeline (basic-OUST-airborne), when would be a good time to incorporate your training? Should I start and finish before I leave for basic?


Yes. I’m not sure you’ll have training time to complete the plan during your schools.


I have been interested in starting MA programing for some time and have talked to you in the past about not being strong eneough to do some of the programing as Rx. You have guided me to the On Ramp program before, but I have recently started doing Starting Strength programing to increase my base strength level and like the program a lot so far.

What I wanted to know was if On Ramp could be used in conjuction with a program like Starting Strength or if it really needed to be a stand alone system. Thank you in advance.


It’s a stand alone program. You wouldn’t want to double up. Perhaps come back to our stuff after starting strength.


I am currently preparing for USASED selection and assessment next September and I know I will be rucking upwards of 16 miles in 4 hours or so. What packet do you recommend?


Ruck Based Selection Training Packet:http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-packet/


I remember seeing an article on the website back in the day about how to make your own sandbags.  Can you send that to me so I can make one for Operator Ugly.


Old article we took down a while ago – but it’s simple. You can use any old duffle bag or sea bag – best filler is wood pellets for a wood stove, or mulch made from ground up tires – which you can purchase at home depot or a garden store. If you use a sea bag or army duffle bag, tie off the top with parachute cord. We used to use electrical ties – but they often broke.

We sell empty sandbags at the site if you want what we use: http://gear.strongswiftdurable.com/collections/frontpage/products/sandbag  We have these custom made and they are pretty bomber.



I’m looking for ways to better integrate cross-training into my ultra running programing. I’ve found that my upper back and shoulders really start to wear down when I approach and pass marathon distance, especially carrying my water. During the last trail 50k, I had more soreness in my traps and delts than my quads and hamstrings.

I already incorporate some cross training centered primarily around pull ups and deadlifts, but it’s randomized and I’m having a difficult time finding good training resources for what I need. Any recommendations you have, or if you can point me in the right direction, that’d be great.


We build the In-Season Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes specifically for cases like yours: http://mtntactical.com/shop/in-season-strength-training-plan-for-endurance-athletes/

Another option would be our Core Strength for Runners plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/core-strength-for-runners/


I’ve been looking around your website for the past few weeks to find a training program for myself, but haven’t found the totally right fit and wondering if you could help me.  The biggest issue is that I am looking to be contiually training for about 18 weeks and most of your prgrams are in the 4 to 8 week range.  Is there a way to manipulate your exsisting programs to make that work for me?  I backcountry ski, climb, ad xc ski in the winter and would like a program that works upper, lower, and core… combine two plans like a climbing and skiing plan?  Extend the 357?

I haven’t done a gym or strength training program in a long time and was hoping to add in about two or three days in the gym dedicated to strength training to help me be stronger and smarter about training for all the sports I love to do.  In looking at the programs, I wonder if the ski professional would work with throwing in one day training at the rock gym with the preseason rock program.  I like the ski programs, but would also like to focus on my core  and upper body since they get neglected in the winter more and I would like to try to stay strong for a ski/climbing trip to France in the spring.


I’d recommend the In-Season Ski Maintenance Program: http://mtntactical.com/shop/in-season-ski-maintenance-training-program/, and do the ski professional programming.

Rock Climbing – our Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Program (http://mtntactical.com/shop/pre-season-rock-climb-training-plan/) will certainly bring focus to your Rock Gym work, but you’d want to train at least 2 days/week at the gym.

If you only want to train one day/week at the rock gym, do the V-Sum each week. It’s the most bang for your buck: http://mtntactical.com/mountain-athlete-articles/mnt3365-v-sum-a-one-stop-assessment-for-climbers-2014-09-24/



I have the version 3 ruck based selection plan from 2010. I used it during SFAS and now I need to use it again. My question is how different / more effective is the newer version to warrant me buying that versus sticking with what I have.


As our programming evolves and we learn more we update our plans accordingly. The latest version of the Ruck Based Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-plan/) reflects this evolution.

I feel the latest version is an improvement over the older versions – it includes our best progression theory for the APFT events, uses limited equipment, has assessment based progressions for running/rucking, etc.

Do you need to purchase it? No.

The version you have has worked for bunches of guys. Re-do Version 3 and save your money.


First of all, thank you for the excellent programming! I’ve been a member for a few months now, after being turned on to it by a good friend. Your programming is very similar to what I had been writing for my self previously, but improved in many ways.

My question is what, in your experience, is a good body weight for an operator? I’m currently in the Q course, 70″ tall, and 170 pounds. I’m undecided whether or not I should focus on adding a little more muscle mass, or if I should continue training in the same manner. For reference, my 1rm lifts are:

Back squat 305, Deadlift 410, Bench press 230, front squat 245, over head press 155, power clean 205. My 5 mile run hovers in the 36-37 minute range, while my 2 mile goes from mid 12’s to 13.

Any suggestions? And again, thank you and your team very much!


I’d like to see you at 175-180 pounds, and stronger. Ideally, your bench press and front squat will both be 1.5x bodyweight, and able to do 15-20x strict pull ups.

You’re running is solid.

Ruck Running? I’d like you to be able to ruck run 3 miles in 27-28 minutes, at 45# ruck plus a carbine. From our stuff, I’d send you to Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/

In terms of an Operator Fitness standard – pls see our Operator Ugly Assessment:


Congrats on SFAS and good luck at Q!


I am looking to complete my first marathon in May. After getting out of the Army a year ago, I’ve run very little and switched mainly to strength training. To give you an idea of my current fitness level, I ran a 10k last week at a slow 62:55. I saw that you previously had a Meathead Marathon training plan on your website but it’s no longer listed.

I will likely start with your 4 week run improvement program.

What plan(s) would you recommend from there?


Here’s the link to our Meathead Marathon Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/meathead-marathon-training-plan/

The beauty of this plan is it includes serious lifting and is only 8 weeks long. The bad thing about it is it’s not designed to get you your personal best marathon time – it’s designed to get you through the training and experience and get you back to lifting!

There are marathon train ups readily available for free online. I did a quick google search and came up with these links:




First off, a big thank you for all of your training programs. I have been using your programming exclusively for over a year now and the results have spoken for themselves. I used your Bodyweight, 357, ruck based selection, and ranger school prep (x2) programs in order to prepare for Ranger School. I was able to maintain a high level of performance throughout the course even with a few extensions… I greatly respect your professional opinion, and was curious as to any suggestions you might have on recovery, nutrition, and training following Ranger.  I will graduate this Friday, and do plan on taking a few days off, but I want to get back into fighting shape as soon as possible, but without overuse/overtraining injuries.  Any suggestions you might have on these subjects as well as a recommended training progression would be greatly appreciated.  I look forward to hearing your reply, thanks again for your service!


Congrats on Ranger!!

I’d recommend at least a week total rest, and during that week, eat whatever you want.

Week 2, start to clean up your diet in terms of quality- but keep eating.

Training? Put your initial focus on gaining back strength and mass.


Can you give me a 12 month plan to follow, I’m not sure in what order to do the plans and when to switch to operator sessions? I have 1 year and a bit left before I begin boot camp and then infantry training to be a rifleman (Australian Defence force). How should I train, I don’t think I am at the best strength level to start the operator WODs.

For the last three months I have been on a 5 * 5 strength program

  • Me: 150lb
  • Bench: ~150lb
  • Press: ~88lb
  • Back Squat: ~ 230lb
  • Deadlift: ~ 280lb
  • all for 5 reps
  • 5k run: 23:18

My entire body is a weak link..I need to bulk up, increase strength, drop run time to below 20 min and increase work capacity. Any idea on a 12 month plan?


Start with our Rookie Training Packet: https://mtntactical.com/shop/rookie-training-packet/

This is 5-months worth of training and will prepare you to drop into the Operator Sessions afterward.


I am about to start your Valour programming on Monday. However, I need include swimming into my training where possible.

Firstly, what days do you recommend to me to do my swimming? And secondly, do you recommend me doing my swimming session in the AM before the Valour sessions, or in the PM after the Valour sessions?


Swim during the gym-based strength days. Best would be to lift first, swim later.


I’ve got some of your stuff on my christmas list this year, but I wanted to touch base just to see what you thought.  I have a training goal of completing a GORUCK heavy in May 2015.  Not just any heavy but the bragg heavy so I know I need to be in top shape.  I was thinking a cycle of 357 strength and ruck improvement.  The date isn’t out yet but it sounds like I have about 21 weeks before the event if it is the first week of may.  I’m a meathead/powerlifter and I ruck once a week.  Closer to the event I was planning on doing the 10 week heavy plan.  Would love to hear your thoughts on a plan layout for the event.


Your plan is solid.

Good luck!


It appears you guys are behind the Mountain Athletics site/app I saw on the TNF page recently.  I was wondering if that program is sufficient or ideal for someone like myself who is looking for a yearlong training plan/recovery schedule.  I also saw the plan you guys put together in one of the climbing magazines for a Wind Rivers Grand Traverse training schedule.

To put it simply I am hoping to go to Patagonia to climb in December of 2015 for a month.  I would like to be on some sort of training plan that allows me to peak around then as well as a few times prior to that over the next year (probably some trips to the Tetons, Winds, or the Sierra).

Would repeated cycles in the Mountain Athletics App be what I am looking for or would your Alpine Rock Climbing Training plan be more what I would want?  Currently I am climbing or skiing in the backcountry 3-5x a week and am focusing a lot on banking vertical (I usually sub out box steps in any given plan for doing laps on stairs as we have those at work).

  • Rob: The plans we put together for TNF were “lite” versions of what we do for our high level pro and recreational athletes. Are you trekking in Patagonia or alpine climbing? Will your climbing in Patagonia be all rock, mostly rock and some mixed, or half and half?
  • A: Alpine climbing. Climbing fitness wise I’m basically a 13a sport climber, v9 boulderer, 11+ trad and WI5 at the moment. Just want to be able to do all of that over the course of a month with relatively long approaches. It will be mostly rock, with some mixed on approaches though that will depend on conditions.  From the routes I’ve been looking at it does not appear that there would be much of anything over WI4/5 regardless of conditions.  Possibly climbing in mountaineering boots will be a hurdle as I’ve usually only climbed in rock shoes.
  • Rob: Best – Alpine Rock Climbing Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/alpine-rock-climb-training-program/). Complete this the 6 weeks directly before you fly south. This plan includes rock climb specific work in a rock gym, as well as focused conditioning for approaches. It’s not joke – you should purchase it now and complete it to get a taste. If you’re partner for Patagonia is with you now, make him/her suffer with you.  Next best …. I’m currently working with 3 climbers making an attempt on Fitz Roy early January. This plan will be more intense, and focused on the attempt – and I hope to publish it sometime next year.



I have been a devout military athlete for some time now, a couple years. The big issue being here is I may have skipped some…quite a bit of stamina and work capacity sessions and programs over this time period. I am 5’11”, 228Lbs and a strength athlete more than anything. I am on a course which has me going to ranger school somewhere in the February time frame. I understand that you have the Ranger school program and Iown it. The issue is losing my general level of strength. I want to remain strong not as strong of course I know that most likely isn’t possible but i need to improve my run and overall stamina without sacrificing strength. What program or just op sessions should I be doing to reach my goal by then?


Ranger school isn’t a strength effort – it’s stamina and endurance. Good relative strength going in will help keep you durable and injury free, but a 600 pound dead lift is overkill. 7 weeks before you report, start and complete the Ranger School Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ranger-school-training-plan/).

Between now and then, I’d recommend Fortitude which combines heavy strength training with military-specific endurance (running and rucking). Link: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/



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