I have ran eight 100 mile Ultras so far and now wish to push it to a 200 Mile Ultra. I would like to know if you have a plan or could come up with something for me? I am not sure how many miles per week or how far the long runs should be and what other exercises I should be focusing on? I would love to work with you. If you could help me or know someone that could it would be greatly appreciated. The first 200 mile Ultra is on May 14, 2015. I have other races leading up it.
I’m sorry, we don’t have a 200-mile plan currently and can’t create an individual one for you. It’s possible we’ll write one for a 200 this fall, but honestly, this is the first request we’ve had.
I’m currently in Afghanistan, trained last year while out here for a 50k, and marathons currently doing the same again…so to the question, do we need a lot of gym equipment to complete it? I know it specifies a heart rate monitor but is anything else needed? Also just out of curiosity why is this plan considerably more expensive then others? Can I possibly have a sample day of one of the workouts to see if it is something that I would like before spending $199.00
The plan does include weekly or bi-weekly strength training sessions which require a fully equipped weight room.
Cost – I price the training plans based on duration and the work we put into developing them, plus their outside success.
Sample training session below.
Obj: Gym-based Strength
and Base Run
5-5-3-3x Front Squat –
(1) 5 Rounds
2x Front Squat @ 85% 1RM
(2) 3 Rounds
3x Shoulder Hold Lunges –
increase load until 3x is hard
5x KB Floor Press – increase
load until 5x is hard but
5x Shoulder Dislocates 5
(3) 6 Rounds
15 sec. Russian Twists – 25#
15 sec. Front Bridge
15 sec. Rest
(4) 6 Rounds
20 sec. Bicycle Crunches
20 sec. Face Down Back
20 sec. Rest
(5) 3 Rounds
Hip Flexor + Pigeon Stretch
5x Shoulder Jackknives
(6) Run 7 miles Zone 1
I was contacting you in order to see if you could help me get fit for service. I am one year and a half away from graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry (3 Bachelor’s Degrees in One: Biology, Microbiology, and Biochemistry), but I have decided to take a semester off to work so that I can pay for the upcoming semester. I am considering the idea of finishing up my Master’s Degree in Intelligence and National Security Studies in the following 2-3 years, but that’s still up in the air.
My situation is the following: I am highly interested in joining the SF, maybe through the 18x program, or the Rangers, and then progressing to join either SFOD-D or ISA (“The Activity”). I want to get fit enough to be able to pass and excel at the selection courses and training, and I want to know if you can help me out.
Here’s the catch though: I just turned 20, I weigh 119 pounds, and I have minimal muscle. I do however exercise, but only on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 1 hour in my Hapkido class. I recently transferred stores to a new Walgreens that gives me 40 hours a week, with the schedule available 2-3 weeks ahead of time, with my only other engagement being the aforementioned bi-weekly hour long Hapkido class, which allows me to be able to create my daily schedule 2-3 weeks ahead of time.
Would you be able to help me create a fitness plan, and recommend programs so that I can be “Operator-Fit” within these next 2-4 years?
I’d recommend you start with the Rookie Training Packet: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=128
new to this….spend my winter ski touring in BC interior…..any suggestions as to which program?….should I just jump in?
First thing to know is when you plan to start your touring. Do your best guess and get a firm date.
Exactly 6 weeks and a couple days before that, you’ll want to begin and complete the Backcountry Ski Training Plan (http://mountainathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=74&&cart_ID=25).
Between now and that date, I’d recommend our OnRamp Training Plan: http://mountainathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=85&&cart_ID=87
I am surprised to see Sat/Sun as complete rest days. As a past competitive Ironman, marathon runner, etc those have typically been the days to get longer more sustained workouts in. And as it applies to mountaineering I would think that would be the case as well. It’s currently weekends that I’m able to get those 10-16 hr days in the alpine in. Maybe this plan was developed for those that don’t actually have access to the mountains and altitude out their back door (I live in Breck)?
Anyway, given that I’m not going to give up my weekends of climbing, biking, etc is there something different I should be doing with this plan than what is prescribed?
I think you’ll find this plan has a strength component you haven’t seen in your standard endurance training. But so does the event – this programmed designed for non-technical, high altitude, walk up mountaineering events like Denali. Unlike a marathon or triathlon, you’ll be carrying a heavy load (25-70#), and have a vertical component which requires leg and core strength not needed for typical endurance events.
The first 4 weeks of the plan are strength focused. The last 6 weeks are designed to develop your sport-specific strength and fitness for climbing up and down mountains, under load.
You’re welcome to do your long weekend mountain days, but watch for recovery and overtraining. The strength element of this plan is no joke.
I own BW Training ang Patrol Officer Program just to name a few. These program are all excellent, they have taught me a great deal of programing, periodization and probably the best exercise for the legs the Leg Blaster. Many people evade Back Squats, but just as many if not more run from Leg blasters. Now, I have being doing my own BW workout, I like to use mainly BW exercises, full body training. My favorite training schedule so far. This workout is my adaptation hybrid from PO Program and BW Program:
A) Leg Blasters or 500 Squats AFAP
B) Upper Body Blaster
20 push ups
10 pull up changing grips
Day 2: 10 x 100 meters sprints or 20-1 Burpee ladder
Now my question is how many rounds of Leg Blasters can I use for effective lower body building and create a balanced ratio between lower and Upper Body?
I don’t have a good answer for you on your leg blaster question. In general, we generally top out at 6x full leg blasters with 30 seconds rest between.
Do you have a sandbag with 30 – 45 minute sessions? I’m LE, have a kid, and work long hours, so even though I enjoy your sandbag training, I find it difficult to fit in a full session and end up half-assing it. I have the Busy Operator but was looking for more options. Any suggestions?
I don’t have a sandbag-based plan in the Busy Operator duration. The Squad PT Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=65) is build around sandbags and other limited equipment, but the sessions are designed to be 45-60 minutes long.
Looking at making a purchase on your site. I’m currently a Ranger Instructor in Mountain Phase of Ranger School. I’m coming back from a back injury and have been sedentary for a while. My back just got a clean bill.
To achieve a good base level of fitness I’m thinking of getting the On Ramp plan and going from there, more than likely a selection plan. Thanks for your time.
Agree with OnRamp – but be safe and patient.
I’m planning on completing the Sandbag/Weight Vest/Dumbbell Training Plan followed by the Squad PT plan.
Do you think it would be ok to do the run improvement plan alongside the first half of the Squad PT plan as is…or should I change the days around a bit? My concern is following the stamina (Thursday of Squad PT) by an evening run…followed by Friday’s strength day and 8 mile run in the evening, would lead to over training quickly.
The stamina day is generally weighted runs, rucks or step ups for 20-45 minutes in the first few weeks of the Squad Pt Plan….should I just suck it up and do it or would you recommend changing some days around, or skipping something. Wednesday is a day off on the run plan, but Tuesdays and Thursdays are very similar…I thought about moving the running day off to Thursday and completing Thursdays run on Wednesday.
You could possibly combine the two plans – Squad PT and Run Improvement – but you’d have to watch volume as you’ve indicated. One way you could do this is instead of doing 2-a-Days, alternate days between the two programs.
For example, do Squad PT on Monday, Run Improve on Tues, etc.
Thank you for having such an awesome site and keeping me and my Marines in awesome shape. I had heard that you offered to send a CD with video demostrations of your exercises to deployed units. I know
most of the movements, but some of them we do not know.
I’m sorry. We used to, but several years ago went to the “cloud” of youtube – so we don’t have a CD to send you.
For the ruck improvement are you supposed to do any kind of warmup and since I am doing the RAT 6 strength training concurrently do I rest before doing the second workout?
No warm up before starting the rucking.
When doing plans concurrently, it’s best to do a 2-a-day, if possible. Rat 6 in the AM, Ruck in the PM.
I was told by a friend the other day that a subscription to your program was free to Active Duty Military. I am just inquiring about this as I have heard nothing but great things about your program. I’ve done CrossFit and am looking for something to up my game. If I am speaking out of turn please let me know. Thanks in advance.
I’m sorry. You friend was mistaken.
I have decided that I need to back into shape and was wondering if you have any recommendations/plans for a 61 year old. In particular, do have a base line test to judge my current fitness level and any plans that would work for someone my age.
Up until a couple of years ago, I hit cross-fit really hard and am a level 1 instructor. But between practicing law and running a farm, I have not been very diligent about working out and am clearly not close to the level of most of your subscribers.
You could certainly do one of our strength plans. I’d recommend Rat 6 Strength: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=84
I have used your BW program and your Ultimate Meathead program, both with great success. I started in my garage and then went to a CF gym and now i’m back in my garage. I’m comfortable with all the oly movements.
I have read all your articles on mountain and mil athlete and I want to meet the strength standards for mil athlete 1.5 FS/BP 1.1PP etc etc.
im 6’1” and 195#
I train in my garage gym with this equipment: pull up bar, squat rack and bench, 1 53# kb and a pair of 30#db, a box for jumps and step-ups and a homemade ghd, belt for weighted dips/PU I have a pile of bumper plates, steel and 2x oly bars. no free weights to speak of.
this week I worked to find my 1RM for these movements
Back squat – 205#
Front squat 195#
fs and bp are not in balance 12/13% off.
from reading the training descriptions and it looked like the Rat 6 program would fit the bill. if not what program would you suggest?
Yep. Start with Rat 6 Strength: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=84
Just finished 2nd week of BUD/S selection plan. I was supposed to ship to boot at the end of the cycle. I just found out my date has been pushed back 19 weeks with a good chance of leaving in 14 weeks.
My question is should I finish up the cycle and switch to different plan or start operator sessions and then repeat BUD/S Program again prior to leaving? I’m good on swimming but thought about using your run improvement plan to supplement as well.
I’d recommend Operator Sessions then start the BUD/s cycle again directly before leaving. A good place to start Operator Sessions is with the most recent Strength/Endurance cycle – lots of running/ruck-running.
I am entering the military with an 18x contract in 5 months. I am looking to greater prepare myself physically in the time I have. After reading through your plans there are many good options. What is your option on the best plan to increase my apft (I score 260+ on practice test now) and general strength and running endurance. I also have been struggling with bursitis in my shoulder, I have noticed it effects my push ups the most, is your arm recovery plan right for building strength in my shoulder.
Here’s what I’d recommend in order:
1) APFT Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=30, followed by a week of rest
2) 357 Strength + 4 Week Run Improvement Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=69, http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=104, followed by a week of rest.
3) Ruck Based Selection Training Plan directly before shipping: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=45
This is a petty question, but do you or your staff have a recommendation for the best type of shoe to wear for your programs? I currently wear an Asics cross-trainer built on a running shoe last, but it’s not good for running. My Asics running shoes don’t have the support necessary for lifting. Are the Reebok Cross Fit shoes best or have you guys found another solution?
No shoe does everything well. Best case is you’ll have 3 pair:
1) Oly lifting shoes. These are awesome – Adidas Powerlifters are what I use – cost about $80
2) Shoes for sprints/lateral movement, gym-based work caps – The Reebock Crossfit shoes are good, so are the The North Face Mountain Athletic shoes, and a cheap solution are Adidas Sambas indoor soccer shoes. The Sambas are cheap and are what I recommend our athletes get for all around if they don’t want to pay for Oly shoes.
3) Running shoes – we do more distance running in the Operator Sessions – and a good pair of running shoes is a great investment.
So… for all around – any of the the shoes in number (2).
I am currently working through the In Season Endurance Athlete program and had a question about the programing. Typically when I think of an endurance workout it is medium weight for a high number of reps. I am wondering if I had learned this wrong in the past and why you instead go for medium to high weight for low reps.
Our thinking is different, and there’s a semantics issue at work here.
Typical set/rep schemes for strength “endurance” use light weights, for high reps – like sets of 15+. It’s interesting me that many aerobic endurance coaches also prescribe this type of lifting for their endurance athletes.
We don’t, for these reasons:
(1) Our weight training is focused primarily on durability. I believe that max effort strength is key to durability – the stronger you are, the more durable you are. Stronger athletes, as a rule, are harder to injure, if they do get injured don’t get injured as bad, and if they do get injured, recover faster. Again – our strength work with endurance athletes is aimed at durability. I never tell our endurance athletes strength work will make them faster – we know that mode-specific endurance performance is driven primarily by aerobic base, lactate threshold, etc. …. – all stuff you improve via your mode-specific endurance training.
(2) In season, endurance athletes are already putting a lot of volume into their bodies via their mode-specific endurance training – running, biking, etc. Pumping a lot of low weight, high volume (high reps) into them during their weightroom days doesn’t make them stronger and can only lead to more muscular fatigue and thus, impact their mode-specific endurance training. We’ve found that lifting heavy, for low reps, doesn’t lead to this type of fatigue. What we are really training is your central nervous system – or your ability to recruit more muscle fibers. Athletes can lift heavy, for low volume, and have it not impact their mode-specific training.
3) Hypertrophy – it’s counter-intuitive, but lifting heavy for low reps is actually a way to get stronger without significant weight gain. Again, we’re primarily training the central nervous system – not trying to enlarge muscle fibers which happens with high reps.
Ive read your article on how front squats dominate the squat world and am currently working on a 5×5 lifting program as in season programming for cross country. Which squat variation should i use? Which is more beneficial?
My goal is to be strong BUT not huge, movement, endurance activities and durability is more important to me than pushing insane amounts of weight in the gym. the weight lifting program is a supplement to my Rucking and Running.
I like Front Squats.
Keep the load heavy and volume low (high weight, low reps) to gain strength without much body mass gain.
I am currently 17 and in my senior year in HS, enlisted as an infantry candidate in the US Army DEP. It has been my dream to serve with the 75th Ranger Regiment. I am currently temporarily disabled till I get surgery on my wrist but I had a question about your training programs. Let me start off by telling you where I was at. My RPFT was 93 push-ups, 96 sit-ups, the five mile run in 41:26, and fifteen pull ups. I want to let you know I am the real deal. I don’t know if you get many other kids going to your site but I am different because I want it more than anybody and am willing to put in the work no matter what it takes. My question was even though my desire is to attend RASP, do you recommend my training regime line up more with your SFOD-D workouts. RASP,or SFAS? My philosophy has always been to train like the hardest so the lesser doesn’t feel as bad. I know RASP will still be a kick in the nuts but I was just wondering which plan/packet you recommend.
Start with our RASP Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=118
I recently returned from the Basic Recon Course and thankfully graduated. I am 31 years old and had a few questions as far as follow on training. I recently had a meeting with my captain the other day about fitness and this is what he proposed to me. He approaches fitness as the 1/2 1/4 1/4 method, those fractions rotate monthly, so 1/2 is Cardio, 1/4 Muscular Endurance and last 1/4 is strength. To me it seemed like his workouts were too short and not really what I was looking for. Finally, let me just get to my question. My main goal as of right now is to start one of your operator cycles which will aid me in burning fat the most efficient way. I understand is mostly nutrition, but I’m referring to the training aspect of it. I’m 5’11, 215, and want to get down to 205, but I do not want to lose any strength. I guess my end goal is Leaner, Stronger, Faster and more muscle, if that makes any sense. I do notice you dont have a lot of Running or rucking in your operator sessions, is there a reason for that? Which one of your cycles should I be looking at inintially, Work Capacity, Stamina, Endurance, Strength(with my own cardio in there), or a hybrid? Of course I would continue to follow the next cycle after I completed that one. I know this is a long question, but any help would be appreciate it, thank you.
Congrats on Basic Recon!!
Not true on running and rucking – our current Operator Session cycle has us running 2 days/week, and ruck running 1 day.
To your question ….
Option 1) Start with the current Strength Endurance cycle in the Operator Sessions
Option 2) Purchase and complete concurrently the Rat 6 Strength Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=84) and the Running Improvement Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=104). Do 2-a-Days – Rat 6 in the AM, Run plan in the PM. You’ll be able to work through the running plan twice.
At 5’11”, I’d like to see you down around 200#. I’m not sure how strong you are – but check here for our strength standards: http://militaryathlete.com/subpage_details.php?subpage_ID=1909&page_ID=34. If you’re much stronger than these, you’re too strong, and should replace some of your strength work with workcap/endurance. You’re also probably carrying around too much upper body mass.
If you don’t meet these standards, you’re fat. Sorry.
You can’t outwork a shitty diet. Fix your diet first.
Finally, I worked with the BRC Cadre on developing our training plan for the Basic Recon Course (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=88). This thing is pretty terrible.
I bought your Peak Bagger plan last year and am finally getting after it. I’ve never run a sub-9:00 mile in my life and don’t think that’s going to magically change, so I’m trying to get a good sense of what “moderate” and “threshold” mean for me. I’m guessing that they’re as much about heart rate as anything – perhaps “threshold” really means holding at the anaerobic/performance threshold?
What guidance can you give me here?
Moderate Pace = comfortable but not easy.
Threshold = fastest pace possible without straining. Not comfortable, but not straining.
You may want to try our 4-Week Running Improvement Plan which sets your interval paces based on assessment finish times: http://store.strongswiftdurable.com/collections/strongswiftdurable/products/run-improvement-plan
I was wondering if there is any plan you recommend for someone that has an injured ankle. I was browsing through and I couldn’t find anything. Thank you
I don’t have a rehab plan for an ankle – that’s up to your PT.
If you’re cleared to train, I would recommend our Post-Rehab Leg Injury Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=119
If you’re on crutches, and can’t train the injured leg, I’d recommend our Leg Injury Training Plan which trains the rest of your body around your bad leg: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=95&cart_ID=51
I cam across your website a few weeks ago after I read an article on SOFREP.com. Im a MV-22 pilot with the Marines here in NC. I’ve been doing crossfit for about 4 years and played football in college. I really enjoy lifting and functional movements but I would like to start incorporating more running, swimming, rucking and endurance training in my programming. I’m hoping to transition to MARSOC as a FAC or another supporting billet after this tour and I’d like your advice on which one of your programs you think would suit me best. I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you!
A great place to start would be our Operator Pentathlon Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=108
Here are the Operator Pentathlon Events:
1) 1500m Fin using the Combat Side Stroke
2) 6-Mile Run
3) Max Reps Bodyweight Bench Press
4) Max Reps Pull ups
5) 5 Mile Ruck at 60# + 10# rubber rifle, sledge hammer or dumbbell
I’m am Army LT that left Ranger with a tab and a couple broken bones. After rehabbing for a couple months and getting back into lifting, I tackled the Big 24 Strength plan along with the bodyweight ab plan. At the start, I thought it wasn’t too bad, heck it was easy but I had faith and decided to follow through. Then week 2 came, and I regretted everything I said. Great program, I saw great gains on all my main lifts and the extra core work has helped with my midsection strength and stability. Thank you for a great program!
I was wondering if you had any recommendations for another 4 week plan (I have an FTX in 4 weeks so I can’t commit to anything longer)? I would like to try to keep making gains in strength but also start working on a higher rep range for the work capacity training. Would you recommend the hypertrophy for skinny guys program for this? Thanks for your help.
I’d recommend the 369 Work Capacity Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=134
It includes strength work and more core. It’s full on.
I’ve been enjoying your operator sessions for some time now and enjoy
how the work I do in them transfers over to my job.
I plan to attend SFAS in April or May time frame and have started
working through the ruck-based selection packet. I’m currently on
post-deployment leave and while I was away, I wasn’t able to keep up
my running nearly as much as I wanted due to our location. I’m
starting the Bodyweight I program this week and thought about doing
the run improvement program in the afternoon to make sure that I’m
prepared for an upcoming APFT.
Do you see any issues with this? I know the run improvement program is
prescribed later on with one of the strength plans. If I do that plan
now, should I continue with the running sessions during the bodyweight
workouts or just conduct the run improvement in the afternoon?
You can do those together, but ….
The leg blasters in the bodyweight plan will make you sore as hell at first. These will effect any running. I’d recommend 3 weeks of bodyweight alone first, then starting with the Run Plan. When you start doing both, try 2-a-Days – Bodyweight in the AM, run in the PM. If it’s too much, alternate days, Bodyweight session day 1, run session day 2, etc.
I found your information on an article from SOFREP. I’m looking for a
new fitness training program. I’ve been recently hired as a federal
officer with a long term goal of becoming SWAT certified. My fitness
background includes 2 years of Brazilian jujitsu and 3 years of
crossfit. I’m generally fit but I want to step it up and improve my
performance as a shooter, ground fighter, and law enforcement officer
(SWAT). In preparing for my academy program I found crossfit failed to
deliver the results in upper body and core strength (I was at a local
box) to sprint faster, perform push ups and sit-ups to a certain
standard, and improve my 1.5 mile run time. I worked with a fitness
coach for 6 months with drastic improvement in my overall fitness, but
I no longer have direct access to him and he is just too expensive to
maintain for the long term. I’m 6’4 weighing in at 210lbs with 12%
Looking forward to hearing back as to how you all might be able to
help me reach my fitness goals.
It’s a little unclear what you’re after. The situps/pushups/run stuff sounds like a fitness assessment for an academy. The general upper body/core strength stuff sounds like post-academy, real world fitness.
Start with the FBI Special Agent PFT Training Plan: http://store.strongswiftdurable.com/collections/le-athlete/products/fbi-special-agent-pft-6-week-prep-program
Follow it up with the SWAT/SRT Kickstart Training Plan: http://store.strongswiftdurable.com/collections/le-athlete/products/swat-srt-kickstart-training-program
Sir first of all I want to thank you for all your work you’ve done helping my fellow soldiers and I with our fitness. The question I have is if it’s more beneficial to do a high percentage of my 1 RM on oly lifts than the frequent 1 RM finding work outs. Obviously it is important to know where your standing on loads to better your workouts but isn’t it more simple to just add weight when the athlete feels he is ready? I have been frequently following the Horsemen Training Program but I feel as if my strength (an aspect I could use work on the most I feel) training is limited with the frequent 1 RM workouts. If you could please give me some insight on this subject it would be much appreciated. Thank you sir.
It’s unclear from your note if you’re doing our programming. My sense is you’re not – so I can’t answer for sure your question.
In terms of my programming, we frequently do 1RM’s for two reasons:
1) To push athletes past their natural hesitancy to go heavy.
2) To establish loading for subsequent “working rounds” in the training session.
For your MARSOC training Package what could I do instead of the Marine O course. I’m out know and do not have access to it.
This is a tough one because the O Course reps are in the plan as much to learn and drill obstacle technique as build sport-specific fitness.
As a substitute do this:
1x O Course =
10x Burpee Pull Ups
10x Ankles to Bar
100m Shuttle Sprint (25m lengths, so down/back, down/back)
Thanks for your programming! I survived three deployments to Afghanistan, and couldn’t have done it without “Afghanistan PreDeployment Training” and half a dozen other programs I’ve purchased from you. Great stuff. Love the technique videos you’ve been putting out, too; between those and the patterning exercises my form and technique are better than ever–and that translates to real-world durability.
I’ve noticed that many of your programs call for either kit or a 25-lb weight vest, so I’m planning to purchase a vest. I want to future-proof that purchase though, so can you tell me if you anticipate prescribing more than 25-lbs? If so, I’ll order a heavier vest and remove the extra weights until needed. If not, I’ll save money and just buy the 25.
Thanks for the great note.
Vest …. 25# is good. We use the Force vest from weightvest.com.