We had spoken recently about the Ruck Based Selection Plan and how to best implement it for me. Recently I have changed gears because my unit has floated out the idea of sending me to Ranger School, so I purchased the APFT Improvement Plan to try and get the best score possible and “convince” my unit that they should send me. My question regarding the plan is this:
Is this plan a complete stand alone program, or can I implement some of my normal weight training as well? I don’t want to overtrain and negate the whole purpose of the plan. Any recommendations? Thanks!
You’ll have the best APFT improvement by completing the plan alone.
I dig your site and I make a few trips a year to Jackson, so hope to come train with you in person one day. I’m about to finish monster factory and thinking about starting to condition up for mix of in-bounds/backcountry ski season (telemark, as if anyone cares) but like holding onto the gainzzz.
For what its worth, I’ve plateaued for a year in most of the major lifts and some for much longer than that, though I did get an extra 5# so far out of Monster Factory on my front squat.
I looked at Dryland and backcountry prep but sample training on both didn’t seem to have much barbell work. I realize the impossibility of maximizing both, so I’d probably give up some peak conditioning (Dallas after all) for strength work. Any suggestions? Perhaps supplement a plan with strength or running? I don’t want to go all secret-squirrel on this.
I dig your site and general data-oriented approach. Thank you for your time, sorry for lack of brevity.
Don’t be fooled by the lack of barbell work in the either the Dryland Ski Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/dryland-ski-training-program/) or the Backcountry Ski Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/backcountry-ski-training-program/). The eccentric leg training in these plans is no joke.
You don’t want to do either of these plans and mix in any extra lower body strength training.
I’d recommend you do the Dryland Plan, as prescribed, and get away from the barbell for some time. You won’t lose much and you’ll come back hungry.
First, I just want to say that I appreciate your work and everything that you do.
My question is in regards to your MARSOC A&S plan. I purchased your plan in hopes to get myself ready when I attended A&S and I will be honest in saying I didn’t complete your program. I still attended A&S, but left a non-select.
The plan seems to revolve around phase one and the events needed to pass in order to go on to phase two.
There are two things that I noticed in your plan. One was access to an O-course and there is no brick work in the pool. From my understanding and the units I’ve been to, the O-course was off limits unless authorized for use and a Corpsman must be present. Since access is very limited, what would have been your recommendation on that situation?
As for brick work in the pool, is there a reason why it was not included in your plan? I understand it’s not a “graded” event, but one is still evaluated on your performance and comfort level in the water.
1) No O-Course? Best …. find a corpsman. Next best – do Devil Dog Circuits: http://mtntactical.com/exercises/devil-dog-circuit/
2) No reason. We’ll consider adding it.
First, thank you to you and your team for the awesome programming and training you guys provide! Here’s the question: Is there a program from SSD you can recommend that would fit best with preparing for a MMA/combatives tournament?
The tournament is early/mid April 2016. The tournament is grappling with striking 2-3 rounds for 1-2min(depending on how far you make it) with 1min rest between rounds.
I have technique/grappling/striking sessions planned for tuesday/thursday evenings; possibly some saturdays. I was not sure what I should do for strength and conditioning.
I don’t have a specific MMA/Combatives plan.
In general, you should be getting significant, sport-specific work capacity training during your MMA training. My sense is your non-MMA strength and conditioning work would be focused on strength – especially core strength, and aerobic base work – i.e. longish, easy runs.
From our stuff, I’d recommend Resilience (http://mtntactical.com/shop/resilience/) with one modification – change the weekly ruck to a weekly run.
Don’t double up with 2-a-days. – i.e. – Do you MMA 1 day, Resilience day 2, MMA day 3, etc.
Good luck at your tourney!
I am a Marathoner/ Triathlete. I have completed several Marathons and one Sprint distance triathlon. I want to incorporate Mountain Athlete style training with my standard endurance training. Are there currently any programs that could assist me with this? Thanks in advance for all the help.
I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking for, but two plans I often refer endurance athletes to are:
1) Offseason Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes: http://mtntactical.com/shop/off-season-strength-for-endurance-athletes/
2) In-Season Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes: http://mtntactical.com/shop/in-season-strength-training-plan-for-endurance-athletes/
Another, mountain-specific plan you may want to consider is our Peak Bagger Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/peak-bagger-training-plan/
The peak bagger plan is also strength focused, but designed specifically to build your legs and lungs for climbing and descent.
Look at these and email back if you have questions or can be more specific.
First off, I have purchased and used a few of your systems. They work great, almost too great because I buy a new program every year or so.
My wife has been doing cross fit for a while, but we moved to a location where they crossfit gym has no child care for our 2 kids. She signed up for golds, went twice and stopped. She was been doing bodyweight workouts in our living room for the last week and has been pretty consistent.
It isn’t a question of “if” she will do a program, but more of matter of something that interests here.
She loves cleans, deadlifts, pull ups, squats, box jumps/step ups, etc. For Christmas I would like to clear the garage out, buy her a pullup bar, kettlebells, and a box. I have been reading over your kettle bell program and seems like a perfect fit for her. The test in the first week and the last week will show her measurable improvements and she will love that.
I guess my question is… is there any advice for garage gym equipment or advice for her in general you can give?
When I started my gym almost a decade ago, crossfit was just getting started, and equipment supply was limited and expensive. Crossfit changed that and today great equipment is available, relatively cheap. Most of the stuff in our gym has come from Rogue Fitness. I’ve found these guys to be affordable, innovative, and responsive.
Garage Gym List….. for our programming
1) Simple, Mobile Squat Stand with Pull up Bar: http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-s2-squat-stand-2-0
We have six of the older model in my gym – no pull up bar – and I love them. They are bomber, and mobile …. you can move them out of the way, and into the yard, driveway, etc.
2) 2x 45 Pound Oly Barbells. You don’t need to spend $500/bar. The Rogue Beater Bar will work: http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-beater-bar
4x Bar Collars – ours are best: http://gear.strongswiftdurable.com/collections/frontpage/products/bar-collars-pack-of-two
3) Bumper Plates
4) Iron Plates
6) Kettlebells – these are optional. You can use dumbbells – which are cheaper
7) Plyo Box
8) 4-Foot Step Up Bench
9) Sandbags. Ours are best: http://gear.strongswiftdurable.com/collections/frontpage/products/sandbag
1 each of
40#, 60#, 80#
10) 40-foot Rope for pulls – old climbing rope, manila, or whatever.
11) Weight Vests – 2x @ 25#. We use the “Box Vest” from weightvest.com
12) 2x Training Rucks. Medium ALICE Packs with frames are what we currently use.
I’ve purchased a couple of workouts from your site, and now I’m looking for a recommendation for my 12 year old son who is looking for a competitive edge in competing on his middle school basketball team. He’s with me two days a week and has limited equipment at his mother’s. I’ve got Dumbbells, sandbags, bands and battle ropes at my place. Is there a workout plan that may meet his needs?
From our stuff, I’d recommend Bodyweight Foundation (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/). This plan deploys assessments and follow-on progressions, so it will self-scale to your son. You can skip the running in the plan, and just do the bodyweight sessions. Don’t skip ahead – follow the sessions in order.
Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – these sessions are hard and will push him.
After bodyweight foundation you can introduce him to sandbags, dumbbells, etc.
I’m into week 5 of the Humility Plan. I guess the 52 year old guys you hang out with are in really good shape, because this has been tough!! That said I’m pretty much on track, other than the pull ups. As my event in January will not require them I haven’t worried about it very much. I can re-focus on pull ups after the event. The decrease in running time and the ability to handle more miles has been amazing! Im down to a 28:02 minute 3 mile, and survived the 9 mile run last week. Pretty cool.
Business travel cost me a couple of days so into week 5 of the Humility and I’m 39 days out from the event. Stick with Humility? Start rucking? Thoughts??
Ditch Humility and start doing the SFOD-D Selection Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/sfod-d-delta-selection-course-training-plan/
This is a 9-week Plan. Start at Week 1, but skip ahead to Week 9 for week prior to your event. Take 3-4 days total rest before your race.
This is a rucking-focused plan. Use the same ruck weight you’ll carry during your event. Wear the same shoes, dress the same way, use the same fuel, carry the same pack, etc. for all the rucking in the plan.
Use trekking polls. This will make you more efficient and faster. Don’t use them for balance, but use them for movement – like classic nordic skiing.
This is a time-intensive plan. You know your work day and week. Many of the sessions are 2-a-days. If time is a constraint, skip the bodyweight and other work and focus solely on the rucking, running and step ups. For the rucking, buy a GPS (I like the Garmin Foreunner 15) and make sure you’re moving at 3 miles/hour.
You’re going to be moving in the dark. The volume is high, but so is your event.
Use GU or other gels to refuel during your training rucks and be strict about the schedule – every 45 minutes. Mix electrolytes in your water for the extra calories. Another option is Hammer Perpeteum. Experiment with the fuel that works best for you.
Gear – I couldn’t see the gear list on the web, but spend some money and go ultra light for everything from your pack, to your shoes, head lamp, jacket, etc. SHAVE ounces! It will make a huge difference.
Be strict with your diet when not training. Pound the protein, veggies, fruit, nuts and fat – as much as you want, but avoid wheat, bread, rice, potatoes, sugar. Don’t drink calories. Cheat every Sunday. If you can cut some fat between now and your race, again, it will make a huge difference.
Read “How Bad Do You Want It” by Matt Fitzgerald.
Many thanks for an incredible website.
I am ex-military (foreign unit similar to the US Ranger Battalions). I have been struggling with my rotator cuff the last three years. I am also not that strong in my shoulders. I am 38 years old, but otherwise I am still in good physical shape.
Can you please advise me on a program to get my rotator cuff strong, because this stops me from really training hard, especially high volume training where I have to combine pull-ups and push ups? I also want stronger legs with the aim to work up to an operator selection fitness level (my calves are not strong enough at this stage for a lot of running, although I have done a lot of rucking in my life). I have successfully created a new career for myself in the private sector, but I truly miss the physical stuff from the military. So all of this is just for myself and my own physical and intrapersonal development. I am figuratively speaking busy dying on the inside by not being able to maximise my physical development and potential and I am going to fix this. From my research I think you might be able to help me.
I’d recommend you begin our stuff with Humility (http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/). This plan combines bodyweight strength training with intense, limited-equipment-based work capacity and loaded running. It should help build your strength and still give you the intensity you miss and need.
Rotator Cuff – this isn’t a rehab plan for your rotator cuff – and at this time I don’t have one. A couple options – first, there’s a book you can buy, “Fix Your Own Rotator Cuff” which some have used with good success.
Second, we have some rotator cuff focused exercises which may help – you can look these up on our exercises page (http://mtntactical.com/category/exercises/):
– Shoulder Scarecrow
– Shoulder Hand Job
– Shoulder Blaster
– Shoulder Teacup.
Third, a popular program for shoulders in the crossfit world is Crossover Symmetry: http://crossoversymmetry.com/
I just completed your Goruck programming and found the correlation between pull-ups/fronts squat and rucking performance to be spot on. Btw your plan was perfect-went in very prepared, thanks.
Question for you now: have you seen the reverse affect, rucking improves squat, to be true? I’ve returned to your big 24 method of lifting and have seen significant gains over the past few weeks: my previous 1RM is now my 5RM. I haven’t seen jumps like that since I was a rookie.
Thanks for any insight, and keep doing what you’re doing.
Thanks for the note – glad our stuff worked for you!
We haven’t measured the reverse relationship between rucking and squats. I’d suspect for athletes with a young training age (haven’t been training long) – they would see some transfer. Not as much for athletes with a high training age.
One thing about rucking – it strengthens your mid section, and when squatting, your legs are always stronger than your core. So, a stronger core will allow you to squat more.
I am a recent subscriber to the site and I’m trying to determine which programs to use. A little about me: I am an Army officer focused on improving my overall fitness and improving body composition. I am 6’1″ and 200 lbs. My recent training is a combination of Wendler’s 5/3/1 for strength (my training maxes are: back squat 275, deadlift 335, bench press 215, overhead press 145) and Jack Daniel’s 2-mile programing for speed. My most recent APFT was 78 push ups, 82 sit ups, and a 13:58 2-mile.
I usually work out in my garage where I have a squat stand with pull up bar, bumper plates, dip station, TRX, 1x kettlebell, an elastic band training system, and a Concept 2 rower.
I was considering doing Fortitude and then Valor until mid-March before switching to the APFT plan in preparation for my next test. Would you recommend something like that, doing the operator sessions, or something different?
For diet, I plan to follow your general guidelines and see how my body composition changes. I workout first thing in the morning, so do you recommend a pre-workout meal? I’ve seen a lot of conflicting guidance on this topic. If so, what would you advise?
Yes on Fortitude and Valor. These are great, military-specific plans, and will introduce to you the joy of ruck running (I’m serious!).
Pre-Workout meal? I don’t if I train first thing in the am, but plenty of my athletes who train early get light headed if they don’t eat something. Easiest would be a whey protein shake and 1/2 a sweet potato or apple.
Trick is to eat enough to fuel yourself through the session, but not enough that you’re sluggish or puke! I’ve got a couple pukers also, who can’t eat anything close to training ….
I’ve emailed you before about training recommendations, and you’ve been incredibly helpful – I also wanted to mention that your training is the best I’ve ever gotten, and I have a background as a semi-professional athlete (ballet and outdoor leadership). I’m thinking about completing a Spartan trifecta next year and was wondering about your recommendations.
I’m finishing up 357 strength right now and have seen pretty good gains in cleans and presses. (I’m 135#, and now can finally, for the first time in my life bench press and front squat 20# more than my own bodyweight)
I’m running the Boston Sprint on June 4th and the Asheville Super on Aug 6th. I haven’t picked a date for the Beast yet, but it will likely be after that. I consistently place in the top 15% of women, and have little trouble with obstacles, but the running speed is my downfall.
I’m thinking of starting the Rat 6 (because I still need more strength for the Beast) after I finish 357, coupling the last 4 weeks of it with the run improvement plan so I can get a little better at the longer distances, and then I’m stuck. Have any recommendations about how to spend the months between Feb and June, and also prep for the races?
After 357, I’d recommend you turn to some of our Bodyweight stuff – beginning with Humility. This will be enough for the Obstacles.
Spartan events are won by the best runners. I’d continue to repeat our Running Improvement plan, but add in some progressively longer runs – out to 15 miles.
After your June Race, I’d do a 4-week cycle of 357, then shift back to the bodyweight strength work and start following the best 1/2 marathon running plan you can find – i.e. get some good coaching.
Dr. Jack Daniels is one option (http://runsmartproject.com/coaching/dr-jack-daniels/).
Another option is Greg McMillan: https://www.mcmillanrunning.com/youOnlyFaster.
After your Beast I’d encourage you to take your interests to the mountains. A couple trips here in Wyoming – sprint hike through the Wind River Wilderness, 55 miles, in 2-3 days. Start at Big Sandy and end up in Green River Lakes, or go even farther, and end up here in Jackson!
Another is to run/hike the Teton Crest Trail.
I’m stationed up in Alaska, and our unit has the unique opportunity to train on cross country skis.
I was looking at some of your ski prep workout plans, do you have any plans that incorporate skiing?
Talking with peers the thought is we should treat it like rucking, just lower the weight and distance until we build proficiency. Any thoughts on a training strategy would we great.
We have pre-season skiing plans, aimed at backcountry/alpine skiing, but though I’ve been asked, we don’t have a cross-country only training plan right now.
My recommendation to you is to not have the skiing replace rucking, but have it replace running. Have your guys ski unloaded. Cross country skiing with a pack, for new skiers, is asking for frustration and a bad experience.
Ideally you’re skiing on groomed trails. I’m assuming it’s classic style. If the base has groomed trails, use them. You’re guys will get a much better training effect.
When you sub skiing for running, think time, not distance. So if you plan to run 4 miles at 9 min/miles, have your guys ski hard for 36 minutes or so.
Make it consistent so guys get practice. 2x/week.
Thank you for the work you’ve done to improve military fitness programming; it has made a huge difference in my ability to accomplish specific goals.
I am a rugby player currently off-season preparing for my spring season. I’m looking to do Big 24 because I’m in serious need of some leg strength, but the 4 weeks I am able to do Big 24 strength are overlapping with 4 of the weeks I need for focused sprint work with my team. The sprint progression is only twice a week, but I don’t want the speed work to hinder strength gains in Big 24.
How do you recommend I mix the two? I was thinking Big 24 in the mornings (Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri) and sprints in the evenings (Tues/Thurs), or doing Big 24 on Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri with sprints on Wed/Sat.
I’d rather you not do two a days – Big 24 is too intense, and I’m afraid you won’t make the progressions. So alternate Big 24 days and Sprint days. What you could do is add in a 5th training day – Friday – to get another Big 24 session in.
As well, the Big 24 Thursday sessions include 300m sprints. Skip these.
First and foremost I wanted to say I love your guys programming, I have been training my soldiers with it for the last 6 months and have seen huge growth in their work capacity and overall durability when it comes time to go to the field/be on mission.
I was wondering what you would recommend for someone who has a little bit longer time then the 9.5 months of training prescribed in the ruck based selection packet.
To give some background, I’m 6’3/217 pounds.
2 mile run: 13:45-14:30
Bench 1RM: 300
Deadlift 1RM: 390
Pull ups: 14
Front Squat 1RM: 210
Back Squat 1RM: 270
I’m not ashamed to admit that my upper body strength far outweighs my lower body strength. My problem is I struggle between focusing on leg strength for squats, and leg speed workouts for running. My legs are big as it is an the more strength I add the bigger my legs get and the more chafing comes as a result. Since SFAS focuses a lot of running and rucking alike (often times combining both times for an overall time to make cuts) I am at a stand still in my training where I simply just want to be pointed in a direction by someone who knows best.
To sum up my question Rob, I have a little over a year before SFAS. My leg strength and running sucks. What do you recommend I do to fix this weakness/prepare for the future?
All the best, and thanks for the help,
Subscribe to the website and start with Fortitude, follow it with Valor, then jump into the Operator Sessions.
Both plans come with a subscription to the website.
I am a long-time fan of your programming and want to be one of the many who pass along their thanks for your efforts. Over the years, I have had many peers and subordinates request information on your site and programming. The benefits of your PFT programming have been noticed by many.
I have two teenage boys (16 and 14) who want to increase their physical fitness. Neither of them participates in their high school’s athletic programs so working out with their peers at school is not an option. I am very sensitive to their desire to improve their conditioning/fitness and do not want to crush them by piling on too much too fast. I recently put them through a scaled-down (weight expectations, not reps) On-Ramp Military program. I have noticed that they require some lower body work to strengthen their legs and to improve their form.
I considered putting them through a Bodyweight Program I purchased from you a while back. However, I am concerned that doing a steady diet of nothing but Leg Blasters would kill morale and set us back, in the end.
I have also considered working through Humility?
I welcome any recommendations/thoughts you have on the issue. I know that you have done some Prep work but don’t know how that has been received.
Almost forgot: looking forward to the rollout of MTI and any follow-on changes/adjustments.
The quicker you can get your sons in the gym moving barbells around the better. Lots of reasons for this – but especially teaching them not to be afraid of the weightroom, and demonstrating the power of simple consistency, hard work and progressions.
We have build several prep strength training plans, and will eventually create a new website to feature our work there – we work with high school athletes daily.
From our current site, I’d recommend Rat 6 Strength (http://mtntactical.com/shop/rat-6-strength/) for all three of you. It would be a great program to work through together.
First off, I wanted to state how much I respect the work you’re doing with SSD. Tons of fantastic information and methodologies for training.
1) In the spirit of honesty and dirt-baggery, I would like to purchase the ice/mixed climbing program and share it with my climbing partner to jointly train for a trip out to Ouray in late January. In a perfect world where money flows freely, I would advise that we both buy the program. However, that’s not our world. Do you object to us sharing it? If so, I get it and won’t do it.
2) In reviewing your mountain programs – including expedition – I noticed most don’t extend past 2 months in duration. However, based on the little that I’ve read (just finished Steve House’s Training for the New Alpinism), a much longer duration is recommended with focus on gradualness and modularization. Is there are specific reason your endurance programs are shorter? For bigger, longer objectives, would you recommend cycling through your endurance program with gradual increase in intensity?
Thanks for entertaining both questions.
1) If you’re training together – i.e. at the same time, no problem. If you’re training remotely, I’d ask you to respect copyright.
2) House and his coach seem to have a huge bias toward running focused aerobic base training – in their programming – almost to the point that they suggest this is all an athlete needs for a mountain event.
My Theory: In general, the closer to an event, the more sport specific your programming should be. Our day to day programming for mountain athletes is our “Mountain Base” programs and now, daily training. These have a solid sport-specific endurance focus (uphill hiking, trail running, movement under load), but also include strength for durability, core strength, work capacity, stamina and climbing-focused fitness.
Our sport-specific programming – like the Ice/Mixed Climbing Plan – are designed to build upon the athlete’s “base fitness” with much more intense, focused programming.
Ideally, athletes will use our Mountain Base programming as their day to day programming, then turn to one of the focused programming in the months/weeks prior to their event. Our “Mountain Base” programming deploys my Fluid Periodization to gradually build an athlete’s “base fitness” over a comprehensive array of fitness attributes – endurance, strength, work capacity, stamina, durability, climbing fitness – then deploys the sport-specific cycles to “sharpen” the fitness for the specific sport or event.
For example, the Ice/Mixed Pre-Season Training plan is focused on building sport-specific fitness for short approach ice/mixed climbing. Without training, what’s going to limit your trip and climbing experience isn’t your running based aerobic base, but your very specific ice tool grip strength, work capacity and endurance. If you don’t train on your tools, you’ll peel off, simple as that. It could be that running-based aerobic base translates to ice-tool, forearm-focused strength and strength endurance, but I wouldn’t risk it. I’ve learned the hard way that to get better at hanging on ice tools, you need to spend lots of training time hanging on ice tools.
If you’re looking for a training plan which prepares your for and expedition ice/mixed plan, which has a long approach, then chose our Expedition Ice/Mixed Training Plan, which combines focused climbing programming (time on tools, calves, core strength) with up and downhill hiking ability and programming under load.
As an athlete you are ultimately responsible for your mountain preparation, and full consideration of different approaches is encouraged and appropriate. You should be doing your research and considering all that’s out there, try stuff out, and test it in the field. All that matters is outside performance.
I am a long time subscriber and I thank you for the programming and dedication to excellence. I am preparing to join my local SWAT Team. I was previewing your SWAT programming and I think it is sufficient and wanted to make one change/ tweak. Part of our SWAT assessment is running with a ruck with all of our gear. The ruck runs aren’t long 3- 3.5 miles max and the pace is not that fast however, the pace is dictated by an instructor. Instead of the Saturday option on the SWAT program being gear acclimation how can I alter the Saturday routine to prepare for the ruck portion of the SWAT assessment? I can sufficiently handle the load now if I wanted however I am looking to build on my current stamina and ruck endurance, without causing to much damage to my knees.
Do a 3 mile ruck run for time.
The use the Ruck Interval Calculator (http://mtntactical.com/exercises/ruck-interval-calculator/) and your 3-mile assessment time.
On Saturdays, do …
Ruck Run 1 Mile at “Per mile Interval Pace”
Rest 5 minutes between efforts.
Hey Rob, I took your advice and just completed Fortitude today, with the intention to transition into your 8 week BUD/s program, but once again my ship date got pushed to March 21., 2016 putting me 15 weeks out from leaving. So I have 7 weeks to kill before I start the 8 week BUD/s program. Which program do you recommend? Also your podcast have been kick ass.
Valor (http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/) plus the Swim Improvement Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/swim-improvement-plan/). You’ll need to do 2-a-days.
The Swim plan is 4 weeks long. Just repeat it – it’s assessed and scaled so it will keep making you better.
Hi Rob, I am currently training for the Army’s SFAS. I attended SFAS in November and was injured from a high ankle sprain and medically dropped. My contract, however, allows me to return to Selection in the February class. My ankle is slowly improving, and I am interested in the military athlete subscription to get my ankle stronger, as well as to improve on my general overall fitness for my next chance.
My question is whether or not the military athlete subscription is the best option, or if you recommend something else to help recover and get better? Any advice will be helpful. Thank you for your time.
By my count you’ve got just 8 weeks between now and Feb. 1.
I’m not sure the status of your ankle, but your best best is to start the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-program/) Monday. This 8-week plan is designed sport specifically for SFAS and similar selections.
I’m not sure where you are with your ankle or recovery. This plan contains extensive running and rucking – like SFAS.
If you’re not ready for full on SFAS Prep, one option would be to do the Post Rehab Training Plan for Leg Injury (http://mtntactical.com/shop/post-rehab-leg-injury-training-plan-ssd/) for 2 weeks, then start the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan.
Another option would be to begin the SFAS plan and modify as needed for your ankle. You can bike for the running, but I’m not sure what to suggest for the rucking.
The balance you need to achieve is to give your ankle enough time to heal, but not become totally deconditioned in the mean time. You’re ankle doesn’t need to be perfect – it just needs to be good enough to get through SFAS. I imagine you can wrap it up tight.
I am/have been training for the FBI test. The event I feel least confident about is the 300m. I know I lack leg strength for my size (220, 6’2″), but i am a strong runner due to my Army SF background. Leg strength did improve, as did my sprint, after just 3 weeks on Rat 6 before I went on the FBI specific program.
That all said, I hold 400m times consistently lower than the prescribed times in the packet, and the 300m does not feel far anymore. However, I run a 16, 17, 17 100m split, usually. My best time training on my own is 50. I’m sure test day jitters, and all, I’ll do better. But my question comes from: how can I work on or develop my top end speed for the event? I get a strong start in the 100, float for 50m, then turn it on the last 150m. The numbers, though are just not falling.
I’ll have to take the in the next two weeks, but I’m looking towards the future (positive thoughts), and I’d like to improve my weakest area. My other events are: situps 5 points (50 reps), push ups 4 (45, to military standard), and a 5 point run (<10:20).
Thank you, love your work.
I’m not sure I can offer much here. It seems you’re doing sprint training beyond what’s prescribed in our FBI PFT plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fbi-special-agent-pft-6-week-prep-program/). In designing the plan we researched 400m sprint training and used it to develop our interval distances.
I’m sorry, I wish I could offer more.
One thing …. If you are doing extra training, you may be doing too much and not allowing your body to accommodate to the training in the plan. You increase fitness not by training, but by recovering after training.
I am a CrossFit coach, personal trainer, and aspiring adventure enthusiast living in Omaha, Nebraska. Next summer I will be making my way through the mountains via Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana because how else is one to celebrate turning 30?
I happened upon your website through the Google search, training programs for climbers. I was blown away by how well your program methodology aligns with my perspective on fitness. I used to run marathons and then took up CrossFit in 2011. I loved the challenge of the sport and quickly began competing. Recently however, I have lost some motivation because it seems that one of the only ways to grow is to become better and better at the “sport” of competing. I have found myself asking, “why does it matter if I can do 100 kipping handstand push ups faster than some other girl, and is it really good for me to bang my head into the ground 100 times as fast as I can?” Although I am competitive, it seems that CrossFit specific competition at higher levels has taken a turn toward stunts and tricks that look good in 15 second clips on Instagram.
That was a bit of an extended story to explain why I have decided to transition my training away from formal competition and use all that I have built to take on the challenges of the great outdoors.
I am considering your monthly programming membership to supplement my training. I already self program my workouts using barbells, dumbbells, sleds and prowlers, rope climbing, atlas stones, running, rowing, and plyometrics. My partner, Eric is also active duty Army, so many our workouts incorporate elements that will benefit him, like weight vest work and rucking. I would be interested in testing programs, or just working out a way to get some feedback. I am hoping when I travel through Wyoming next year I can swing by for a workout to say hello as well.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Couple optons –
Mountain Specific –
1) Dryland Ski Training Cycle (http://mtntactical.com/shop/dryland-ski-training-program/)
2) Alpine Rock Climbing Training Program: http://mtntactical.com/shop/alpine-rock-climb-training-program/
You’ll need to join the Rock gym for the climbing-specific sessions in this plan.
1) Valor – http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/
2) Operator Pentathlon: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-pentathlon-training-plan/
Any of these plans will introduce you to sport-specific programming and the power of progression.
You’re welcome to stop in when you pass through Wyoming. Many of our athletes from around the world do.
First off, thanks for the webinar this past week. I appreciate the great work you are doing.
First question: Regarding a work capacity cycle for older (50+) athletes, how do you account for the sometimes added rest days that these guys (me) require? Do you maybe cut down from 15 to 12 or so sessions per cycle while maintaining the same session objective percentages? Or do you stretch the cycles out to 4 weeks each to get in ~8 work cap sessions?
Second question: I recall reading where you were experimenting some with triphasic or French contrast training for power. Have you incorporated any of these methods into your fluid periodization cycles (eg, strength) or are you using them as stand alone cycles?
Once again, thank you for your weekly emails and thanks for hosting the webinar. It’s gods stuff.
Answers as best I can.
1. No – I just stretch the cycle duration out. Same number of sessions.
2. No – specific strength methodology isn’t at a high enough level for Fluid Periodization. Rather, during strength cycles we’ll plug in different strength approaches including my TLU design (subject of future webinar), Big 24, Rat 6, Density, Super Squats, Strong Man, and now, components of Triphasic. We did use triphasic for the last Operator strength cycle, and I deployed it for my skiers here.
I’m 21 years old and I am a senior at Rutgers University. I’ve seen your videos and I read an article about your training on SOFREP.com. Lot’s Delta guys are using your programs and are seeing great results.
After this next semester I’m looking to enlist in the Army under an 18X-ray contract, and I really want to be successful at selection. To be honest I can’t afford your SFAS ruck-based selection program or the packet. I just have a few questions.
1. Can you explain how you train work capacity and stamina for your athletes?
2. What are some tips you have for the tactical specific phase of training with regards to SFAS?
1. Not in an email. We have recently produced a couple webinars – one on my overall programming approach, and just this week on how to design a work capacity training session. Here’s a link to the programming overview webinar: http://mtntactical.com/strong-swift-durable-articles/ins-and-outs-of-programming-theory-webinar/.
We will have the Work Capacity Session Design webinar up on the articles section of the website soon.
2. Train sport-specifically for the events you’ll face at SFAS. Our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-program/) includes focused training for the APFT, running, extensive rucking and ruck running, work capacity smokers, multiple 2-a-days and mini events – the events athletes face at SFAS. Often athletes will do CrossFit, or power lifting or extensive running …. what they’ve always done to prepare for these type of events and even though they’ll work hard, that work won’t transfer to what they face in selection.
A client of mine just turned me on to your site, and there’s definitely some great stuff there! I really like your training philosophy / ideas, and am planning to purchase one of your programs or a subscription to help with my own training. As with a lot of trainers, I think I’ll benefit a lot from having someone else’s program to follow instead of running my own show and “doing what I always do”.
While I am mostly just a “general fitness” sort of guy, I do have two specific event performance goals at present:
Sub-20-minute 5K race time on May 29, 2016
Significant improvement on my Spartan Beast Sun Peaks performance – next year’s race is September 24, 2016
The Spartan Beast this year really kicked my ass badly, which was not unexpected since I didn’t train for it at all. My quads began seizing pretty badly about 90 minutes in, and my calves followed shortly thereafter. With a total distance of about 23 km up and down some steep, mountainous terrain, we had originally thought we’d be done somewhere around 4-1/2 hours, and it ended up taking us over 7 hours. The obstacles were no problem at all, it was just the terrain that really kicked the crap out of us. Next year, I’m aiming to hit that 4-1/2 hour mark with better preparation. I’ll also be doing a Sprint on June 4, and a Super on September 3, though the Super is a really flat course, so won’t really be great prep for the Beast three weeks later.
My best time on the 5K course I’ll be running is 22:18. The course is mostly flat, so I’m sure this will just be more a matter of getting out and actually running a bit.
In addition to those events, my biggest priority is to maintain my explosive power while improving my endurance in my martial arts training (3-5 minute work periods with 1 minute rest, for an hour or so per session).
The one nagging injury I have is plantar fascia issues in my right foot. I had a partial tear about five years ago, and it’s never been quite the same since. It didn’t bother me at all on the Beast this year, surprisingly, but any time I have gone running aside from that, it fires right up.
Basically, I’m looking to improve or maintain every aspect of my overall fitness picture – simple, right? LOL
I have a wide assortment of free weights (DB’s, KB’s and barbells with bumpers), sandbags, TRX suspension trainers and bands and a squat rack to work with, as well as Airdyne bikes, skipping ropes and battling ropes. I work full-time days at my office job, and then train clients every weekday evening until 19:30, so two-a-days would be a challenge to fit in, but not impossible.
Any suggestions you might have for what program I should start with, and what I should look to do longer-term to prepare for my events would be greatly appreciated.
There’s lots of questions in your note. I’ll do my best to answer them below.
In general, the further away from a specific event, the more “general” your training can be. The closer to your event, the more “sport specific” your training should be. Running ability, not obstacle completion, generally translates best to the Spartan event performance.
Obviously, the same is true for your 5K race in May.
Pls understand that we primarily deal with mountain and tactical athletes. I don’t claim to be an expert obstacle race or running coach.
We do have a Spartan Sprint training plan here (http://mtntactical.com/shop/spartan-sprint-race-training-plan/). As well, we have built a running improvement training plan here: http://mtntactical.com/shop/run-improvement-plan/
From our stuff, right now I’d recommend you complete Humility (http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/). This 6-week training plan combines assessed and progressed bodyweight strength training, loaded and unloaded running, and limited-equipment focused intense work capacity efforts. I’m thinking it will transfer well in general to your Spartan races.
Four to 6 weeks out from your 5K, I recommend you significantly focus on your performance for that event – likely hiring a running coach, and or following a written 5K training plan from Daniels or another. Don’t wing it – find a plan and follow it.
It seems your experience with the Beast suffered because you hadn’t prepared for elevation gain/loss. I don’t have a specific plan for the Beast, but our Peak Bagger Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/peak-bagger-training-plan/) will sport-specifically build our leg strength and cardio capacity for uphill and downhill movement.
The plans I mentioned above can be purchased at those individual links. As well, all plus 50 or so more sport specific plans, come with a subscription to the website.
Rob what’s your thoughts on using chains on the bar.
I recently started using them and it’s a whole different feel.
Using chains and bands on the barbell are what’s called “accommodating resistance.”
During any lift, the further you are towards the top of the lift – bench, squat, hinge, etc. – the easier it is to move the weight.
Chains and bands accommodate for this, and add resistance as the barbell moves to the top of the exercise.
During a bench press with chains, for example, when you first take the barbell off the rack, most of the chain is off the ground, and it’s weight on the barbell.
As you lower the barbell to your chest, the chain piles on the ground, and the barbell actually becomes lighter.
However, as you press the barbell back up towards lockout, the chain comes up off the ground, making the barbell heavier, thus accommodating for the leverage advantage in your joints so you’re able to train more strength through the full distance of the exercise.
Studies have shown that training with chains or bands can lead to better strength gains. We do it from time to time, however, just because it looks and sounds cool!
What are the major differences between the BUD/S V1 (2011) Training Plan offered in the training plans that come with membership and the MARSOC A&S Training Plan that must be bought? Understanding that they are slightly different requirements, but overall they require many of the same fitness characteristics.
Evolution of our programming. The MARSOC A&S plan is more comprehensive, advanced, and intense from a programming perspective.
I haven’t been to the gym in over a year. Moved around a lot for work and just kind of fell off the wagon. I have actually lost 10 lbs over the past year, not in a good way. I’m 5’11, 175 lbs. I tried doing a sandbag program from atomic athlete, but I’m gassed after the warm up… I feel like I need to build a base level of fitness back up. I’m not military or LE. My goal is to be physically fit in order to do obstacle courses, hunting trips, hikes/runs in the woods etc. I want to be strong again AND have endurance. Where should I start with your programs?
Start back with the Bodyweight Foundation plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/).
I’m currently doing your fat loss program, which is working great, and I have a question for you. I will hopefully signing papers in the next few months enlisting into the Army. I was curious as to what you think would be the best workout to prepare me for basic. I was looking at you APFT program. I’m currently on week 4 of the fat loss program. What are your thoughts? Thank you for your time.
Do Humility next (http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/). It will be a great, and more rounded prep for Basic.
I am in my second year of Army ROTC and looking to excel in the program. I got your APFT training plan last year and have used it with great success. I used the “start here” feature on your website in order to find a new program. After a series of questions, I was asked if I am fit or not. What do you consider to be fit? Is this meeting the strength standards on your website, passing Operator Ugly, or something else? If I meet the standards, my plan was the daily operator sessions. If I do not meet the standards, what program would you recommend in order for me to meet the standards? Thanks for your help.
As a college student in ROTC, you should be fit enough to start the Operator Sessions. Jump in.
I am about to buy your “FBI HRT Selection” plan to prepare myself for a Selection Test for a German LE unit. Once a week a take Boxing classes to improve my boxing skills (very helpfull for selection as boxing is part of the selection test).
How can i handle that during your programm? Should i skip a training? Should i do the training the day after boxing?
The selection for FBI HRT includes a swimming component and during the plan, you’ll do swim-based training sessions one day/week.
If your selection doesn’t have a swimming component, I’d recommend substituting your boxing training for the swimming day in the FBI HRT Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fbi-hrt-selection-training-plan/), and completing the rest as prescribed.
I am currently on het backcountry ski training program.
My knees are really sore. I already brought the training back to 3x p/week.
After the winter I’m thinking about doing the mtn base training. But I’m not a climber. Can i skip ore replace climbing fitness with another workout?
Knees? Don’t have an obvious solution for you – likely age/arthritis related. You may want to try glucosamine ….. some have had luck with it. You could also cut back the leg blasters to 1 day/week.
Mountain Base and climbing – my best recommendation would be to join a rock gym and start – simply to add an interesting new element to your training and athletic career. I’m not a climber either, but have found our climbing training super interesting, engaging and challenging.
For the climbing-only sessions in Mountain Base, I plan to offer non-climbing alternatives.