My wife and I had a baby six months ago. She has since expressed interest in beginning a workout program, so I’m trying to figure out which plan will be ideal.
A little background – my wife is 37, and has previous back injuries which prevent her from running. She had a discectomy in 2006, and has been advised by her neuro to avoid running altogether. She is 5’7″, about 150 and doesn’t have a lot of background in fitness.
With her limitation, would you advise a.) the Low Back injury plan, b.) the Bodyweight Foundation plan with a ruck/walk instead of running, or c.) The Fat Loss Plan with a similar modification.
I refuse to allow her to follow anyone else’s programming, as yours has yet to steer me wrong in over 7 years of training.
Any advice would be appreciated
I’d go with Bodyweight Foundation and walking. Stretch the plan out to 3 days/week if necessary. Don’t push her …. you know what will happen.
Your “Ruck Deep Dive” report seems to show that a male athlete’s biggest influence on rucking ability seems to be his 2 mile run time. I was just wondering if it’s bad juju to try and combine programs? I have 5 weeks until a major assessment which involves the Army PT test and 12 mile ruck march. I see that Body weight Improvement includes running as well. Would you suggest combining Body weight Improvement + Running Improvement + Rucking Improvement? Or would you combine Body weight + Running and sprinkle in Rucking days?
I don’t have an issue working out on the weekends. While my goal is to make as high on PT test as possible, I am aiming for 270 (66 pushups/73 situps/13:50 2 mile) which I feel is very achievable as well as 12 mile ruck (45#) under 2:45. Thank you for all you do for the military community.
Combining all those different programs is just too complicated.
I’d recommend the Air Assault School Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/air-assault-school-training-plan/)
This plan includes specific training for the APFT as well as for a 12 mile ruck …. all in one plan.
Your programs have done me wonders, so thank you for all the good work you’ve done. Right now I’m a Marine reservist poised to deploy very soon. I know I’ll be doing a PFT test as soon as we activate so I’ve been doing the USMC PFT program and it’s helping a lot.
I do have a couple questions if you have the time.
I’d love a recommendation for a program to do during the workup to the deployment. I’ll have about three months of access to a gym, etc. We’re going to a hot, humid location and will be spending most of our time doing construction, if that helps. The operator sessions seem like a good fit since they’re more generalized, but if you have any better recommendations I’d like to hear them.
While I’m there, we won’t normally have access to a full gym (except when we get some R&R) , so I’ve been looking at the 4 bodyweight programs as options. Do you have any other recommendations?
I’d recommend first Fortitude (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/) then Valor (http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/) for your deployment work ups. Both great, military-specific general training plans, and together = 12 weeks. Valor would be pretty good prep for your PFT.
Downrange – Bodyweight Build (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-build/), Humility (http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/) and the Sandbag, Weightvest, Dumbbell Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/sandbagweight-vestdumbbell-training-plan/).
Good luck and stay safe.
I’ve noticed that your plans have set weights for the most part and occasionally vary the reps based on past scores on work capacity events. Is there a reason you don’t use percentage of 1rm for some of the parts of the workouts? For example a workout might be 8rds with 5 front squats going up in weight rapidly until 5 is hard but doable. Then a For Time workout of 10 front squats @115lb and 10 box jumps. What percentage are you basing this 115lb off when you plan this? As a 200lb guy I struggle a lot less with the 115 than a 145lb guy. Do you base the 115 programed in off of your 1rm or perceived difficulty? I know I could always add a little bit of weight to make it more challenging for me, but I’m just trying to add the right amount to meet the intent.
You’re looking at two types of circuits here and my answers for both are different.
1) 8 Rounds of 3x Front Squats – increase load each round until 3x is Hard, but Doable
This is a strength circuit. For some of our strength session methodologies we prescribe % of 1RM. For others we don’t. For our TLU Methodology, we’ll complete a 1RM for the first strength exercise, then prescribe “working rounds” directly after based on that 1RM, but for the remaining 2 strength exercises in the session, will use the “increase until hard but doable” that you describe above.
Why do I use “increase until hard but doable” for some strength circuits? Two reasons.
First – weightroom efficiency. Specifically for our TLU sessions, if we were to prescribe percentage of 1RM for every strength exercise, the athletes first would need to know their 1RM for that exercise …. which some will and some one, and depending upon how long ago it was since 1RM was completed, they may be stronger today, or weaker. Overall, using the “hard but doable” is a super efficient way to find their loading for that day’s rep scheme. My goal for my athletes is them to work up “rapidly” to their “hard but doable” load for that day. Ideally, they will be there by round 4, and use the same “hard but doable” load “across” rounds 4-6 or 4-8. They chose their own loading for the first three rounds which are effectively a warm up to the hard but doable load.
As well, it also depends upon the previous training in the week and day …. Your 1RM for a certain lift could be higher on a Monday after a weekend’s rest, than a Friday, after 4 days in the gym.
Understand overall all that I’m not trying to get our athletes as strong as possible. They are not competitive Oly or Power lifters. They are not Crossfit competitors. My main focus is relative strength, and our strength standards are relatively modest (1.5x Bodyweight Front Squat and Bench Press, for example).
If we focus too much on Max Effort strength, other important fitness attributes decline – like endurance and work capacity. I believe our strength standards represent the appropriate level of strength for tactical athlete performance and durability outside the gym.
2) 10x Front Squats @ 115# + 10x Box Jumps:
I’ve found using percentages of 1RM for these type of work capacity efforts isn’t super important.
First – if you’re stronger, you’ll finish faster, but your heart should still be thumping hard. We’re training work capacity here – so you’ll achieve the desired training effect.
Next – If there’s more than one guy training and guys have to share barbells, often changing the load around just won’t work.
Third, this would require guys to know their 1RM’s for all types of exercises, and often I’ll prescribe exercises in these work cap efforts which we don’t do 1RM’s for – Mr. Spectaculars for example.
The loading I prescribe is based upon my estimation of what is appropriate for full time tactical athletes and my own lab rats. Often our loading would be light for competing crossfit athletes, but crossfit athletes don’t have the endurance and other demands tactical athletes do.
So in general, the idea here is to get your heart thumping, and prescribe loading for tactical athletes which will hopefully challenge everyone, but not be too heavy for most.
I am very interested in the GORUCK Selection Training Plan. I would like to try it out earlier in the year, get comfortable with the program then do it again ten weeks before Selection. Do I only have access to the program for exactly 10 weeks? There is a GORUCK Challenge in Detroit on 4/15. I would like to line the plan up perfectly for the April Challenge. Should I wait to purchase until Friday or can I order this evening?
When you purchase a training plan, you have access to it pretty much forever. So you can do the plan now, and again before your event.
I started your 9 month ruck based selection course 1 Jan and am currently in the “humility” portion.
Well, I broke my ankle Saturday rock climbing and need some advice on how to continue so I don’t fall behind. The last few days I’ve simply been doing rope climbs, one legged hack squats, one legged dead lifts, core routines etc… To tackle endurance I’ve considered utilizing swimming with arms only. My concern is I don’t want to simply be working out, but want to continue training for selection the best I can.
Also, how do I start again when I’m healed… Selection is in October… Pick up where I left off and cut out another portion out or pick up where I should’ve been by then?
I know this is asking for additional training/coaching and am more than willing to pay for any services you can provide.
Just FYI the physical therapist has given me the go ahead on training in any way I can.
Looking forward to hearing back and really appreciate your time and programs.
Last thing you want to do is push your training and risk an accident or setback to your injury recovery.
As well, you don’t want to go into selection with a weak link. Let your ankle heel, then get it strong.
Now I’d recommend our Training Plan for Athlete’s Suffering Leg Injury: http://mtntactical.com/shop/training-program-for-athlete-suffering-from-leg/
This isn’t a rehab plan for your ankle, but rather trains the rest of your body around your injured limb.
Next, when you’re done with rehab and cleared to train, I’d recommend 3-4 weeks of the Leg Injury Post-Rehab Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/post-rehab-leg-injury-training-plan-ssd/
From there, work backwards from your selection and begin the appropriate plan in the 9 month Ruck Based Selection Training Packet. You won’t have time to start again where you left off. The most important plan in the packet is the last one – which you want to complete the 8 weeks directly before selection.
Individual programming? You don’t need it and I honestly don’t have time unless it’s for a really unique event.
I hope you’re doing well this afternoon. I wanted to touch base on which of the available training plans through the subscription would be best for me to follow to prepare for OCS this summer. I have a report date of May 29 and I want to make sure I’m sharp in all of the right areas. As of right now, running is the big struggle for me. Rucking, strength are definitely my strong areas. Thanks for any help!
We’ve built a sport-specific training plan for Marine OCS: http://mtntactical.com/shop/marine-corps-ocs-training-plan/
You’ll want to start this training plan the 6 weeks before reporting for OCS.
By my count, you’ve got 10 weeks between now and starting the OCS Plan.
Here’s what I’d recommend:
1-6 Fortitude (Strength and Military Specific Endurance) http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/
7 Total Rest
8-10 3-30 Work Capacity (http://mtntactical.com/shop/3-30-work-capacity-cycle/)
11-16 USMC OCS Training Plan
Which plan do you recommend to prepare for the USAF Air Liaison Officer assessment?
I’d recommend the USAF TACP Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/usaf-tacp-training-plan/).
I’m a Army Wounded Warrior who is still in the fight and serving. That said, even with the lost of leg and other injuries I’m fighting to stay combat ready with my Soldiers. I’m looking at your programs to not only add another facet in my training regimen, but to push to even higher goals to support mission and other wounded/injured service members.
I’m writing because I don’t know if you have dealt with amputees in the past. If so was there a specific program or adaptations that seemed to work better for these guys. If you do not have any information on this, I’ll proceed with the program that I’ve been interested in and just adapt as it comes. I already have a lot of experience with adapting to situations, but it’s good to get knowledge from others previous experience.
I’ll appreciate any advise or information that you have to give. Thank you for your time and assistance with this question.
I have and do now.
For you to start I’d recommend our Training Plan for Guys Suffering Leg Injury (http://mtntactical.com/shop/training-program-for-athlete-suffering-from-leg/)
This plan will train the rest of your body around your missing limb.
I was hoping to get a non-doctoral opinion on my current situation.
I had a skiing incident on 12/20/14.. I was told I more than likely tore my ACL. I went over a jump landed on my butt and I was pretty sure I heard a pop. I sat on the mountain for about 10 minutes, until the pain went down… it wasn’t excruciating or anything. There wasn’t much swelling, but I did the RICE protocol.
I walked with a limp for a few days and then it was fine. I could extended it but not flex it all the way. I was feeling really good at about 3 weeks so I decided to go play on my rec volleyball league. I went up for a hit and came down with all my weight on my left leg (the knee I hurt) and there was a sharp pain. I walked it off and continued to play (no jumping after that).
I got an MRI on 3/4/15. The Dr. said I had either a partially torn or stretched ACL – he recommended ACL reconstruction. I saw 2 other ortho’s before mid August, they both confirmed full tear and said I should get surgery if I want to continue an active lifestyle without further damage.
Since about mid February I have continued to lift weights, circuit & HIIT train and hike on a daily basis. A few things right away would bother my knee (step ups, lateral jumping/movement, lunges and jumping) I also wasn’t lifting as heavy as I normally would. I was doing some sprinting in there as well, but after a few days my right hip would be sore. I figured it was some type of compensation from the knee. Currently, all the previous movements that would irritate the knee no longer do.
I also went skiing in the tetons a couple weeks ago. The first day, the powder was a little heavy which made me a little uncomfortable cause I was worried about doing more damage so I stuck to the groomers. The other day I went the powder was super soft so that was pretty easy to maneuver through, I was very cautious but overall my knee felt fine.
I have been doing tons of research and I’m really not sure which route I should take. Keep doing what I’m doing or have surgery. I am thinking about another opinion with Dr. LaPrade out of Steadmans Clinic in Vail, CO.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts or recommendations since you are on the training side of things.
Thanks for your time!
Listen to the docs. You need surgery. My sense from them is your current activity isn’t sustainable, and you could further injure your knee. As well – esp. for any backcountry mountain time, it could be argued doing any backcountry skiing or climbing/hiking with a torn ACL isn’t responsible. You could put yourself and/or your partners in danger.
I’d recommend you pick your poison – i.e. the mountain season you want to miss for recovery (winter or summer) and schedule your surgery accordingly, and stay active accordingly.
Figure 8-9 months or rehab/recovery/fitness.
If winter is more important, you want to be fully recovered by Dec 1, next year. Which means surgery in March or so.
If summer is more important, you may want to continue along as you are now and be recovered by May 1 next year. Which means surgery in August or Sept.
Whichever choice, I’d recommend you purchase and start wearing an industrial knee brace (Don Joy, CTI or equivalent) now until surgery. If nothing else, it will make you more confident and could protect your LCL and MCL.
I have been a Los Angeles Police Officer for over ten years. I am currently assigned to the gang enforcement detail in an area of the city called Watts. I am a big fan of the content that I see your company putting out on youtube. I was injured in a fight with a suspect on New Years Eve 2015 which resulted in 2 herniated discs on L/4 L/5 and L/5 S/1. I have intermittent sciatic pain down my left side and it’s made back squats difficult and the mere sight of dead lifts just make me cringe now! Long story short, I still have a desire to go out there and get after it, and to continue to do my job. I eventually want to be healthy enough to try out for SWAT. I don’t want to meet the minimum standards, I want to exceed them.
Should I be looking to do the back rehab 8 week training BEFORE I do anything else on LE Athlete? Or is there enough core work and stability available with the LE training/ monthly membership? Thanks for what you guys do and it’s clear that you and your staff care about first responders which is pretty awesome to see in 2016.
Start with the Low Back Fitness Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/lower-back-fitness-training-program/). See if it makes a difference before jumping in to full on training.
Currently I’m working through the hotshot / jumper pre season program for the second year now and loving it. Last week I told my crew sup about the program and sounds like he is on board and wants to implement the training into the crew this summer ( smokey bear hotspots). Prior to working fire I was Navy SAR swimmer and CFL for my unit so I have done a very small amount programming. what would you recommend for as far as training gear to train 22 individuals with your hot shot pre season program?
If everyone trains at the same time …..
• 6x – Pairs of 25# Dumbbells – men
• 4x – Pairs of 45# Dumbbells for Farmer’s Carry
• 2x – Bench Press set ups (bench, bar, rack, plates)
• 8x – 80# Sandbags
• 4x Step Up Benches (16″)
• Pull-up and Dip Bars
• 10 pairs – 5# Ankle weights for Jane Fondas
• 5x – 10# Sledgehammers and a tires or logs to hit with them.
• 10x – 2.5# Plates for Shoulder Hand Jobs
• 5x – 5’ long 1” PVC pipe for Shoulder Dislocates and Lat + Pec Stretch
I’ve been using Military Athlete, SSD, and now MTI for years now and love the programs I’ve purchased. Currently using a few plans in conjuncture with one another in hopes of achieving two goals boiled down; improving running (quicker 1.5 mile time) and gaining weight. I have been between 170-175lbs for a few years now and can’t seem to gain anymore without burning it off. I’m 6’2″, so pretty low body fat. I eat pretty healthy and am basically looking for pointers that I haven’t maximized yet. I have the Hypertophy workout but my main concern is that I still need to be running 5-6 times a week. Thanks for your help always!
You’re two goals will work against each other. As well, you wouldn’t want to double up with the Hypertrophy plan and running.
What you could do is train heavy strength in conjunction with your running focus. Rat 6 Strength would be one option.
Hi Rob. I have been a customer for a while and love what you are doing. So thank you. Question, I am running the Leadville Heavy Half Marathon in Colorado in June. A dirt road / trail run with an out and back course going from Leadville (10,200 feet) to Mosquito Pass (13,300 feet) then back for a total 6,200 foot gain/loss over 15.8 miles. My plan, based on some earlier published Q&A, is to use Peak Bagger (which I have used before and own) and still incorpoarte the weekly long run, and take advanatge of the running already incoprated in some of the Peak Bagger workouts. My longest trail training run will be 16 miles. I am in Minnesota and have some good trail running with rolling hills nearby, and a small ski area where I can do the hill repeats (dont laugh we are talking about 150 vertical feet here). I think the plan is solid. I have been using your plans for a while as I am a mountaineer and have solid leg strength but my only concern is wether Peak Bagger too much in this case? In the past you have suggested this plan for folks trail running the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, hence that is where I got the idea on how to train for the race. This past summer I ran two marathons (within 30 days of each other, including the Jackson Hole Marathon) and three half-marathons including the Vail (CO)Pass Half marathon. As I am 51 my goal is to simply finish and feel good about the journey, and get strange looks in the gym doing step ups with my loaded pack while dropping pennies. Thoughts?
The downhills are what kill your quads, not the uphills. As well, fatigued calves can take their toll.
What I’d recommend given your goals is to complete just the Leg Blaster sessions in the Peak Bagger Plan and skip the step up session. This would be the Tuesday and Friday sessions.
Given the running you’ll be doing, you should be good to work these two sessions in each week.
Starting selection for Brit forces in Jan 2017. Already at a decent level of fitness. I follow competitive CF most days but am interested in your Delta programme. I’ve a test week to pass in July but wanna find the thin line between overtraining and not doing enough.
Would I need to dote complete 10mth package you provide or would you be able to help me work towards what I’m looking for. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
All the best
I’m assuming you’re looking at SAS selection. If so, the 10 month packet is our suggested build up.
The part we feel is a must is the last plan – the SFOD-D plan. It’s up to you how you train to get to this plan, but we strongly recommend you complete this plan directly before selection.
CrossFit is a great general fitness program, but SAS is not a CrossFit comp. It’s fitness demands are heavily weighted toward rucking. We feel to become proficient at and improve at rucking, you need to ruck, lots.
The SFOD-D plan is rucking focused, and reflects the rucking demands for both SAS and SFOD-D (which was originally modeled on SAS selection.
I’ve written you several times over the years. To provide feedback on plans that I purchased. To inquire about internships. To correspond with Adam about some of his research. I’m writing now to offer some thoughts about your knee pain, inspired by your recent post on “Garbage Reps”.
First, a bit of background. I’m around your size and age. 5’7″, about 155#, and soon to be 52 years old. But just last week, I high-bar squatted 280# for 5 solid reps, clean and jerked 210#, and snatched 165#. None of those are PRs, and none of that is remarkable — except perhaps for the fact that I’m small and old and those lifts were part of a typical pain-free week of training that also included running up and down some canyons, deadlifting, box jumping, pressing, weighted pull-ups, and a bunch of other stuff that you program.
My knees used to hurt in the way that you describe, but they don’t anymore, and so I wanted to share the three most important changes that helped me. You’ve probably already tried all of this, but in case you haven’t…
1. Give your legs/knees a full day of rest between training sessions.
I don’t know how you currently train or even how your current Operator sessions are programmed. But when I followed your Operator sessions several years ago, I had a lot of trouble with recovery and with joint pain (I was 48). But it wasn’t the volume per se, it was the way things were organized. Changing to a simple lower/upper split worked wonders for me, and I still follow that general scheme. Generally, I do one or two heavy lifts (for strength) followed by conditioning that primarily uses the same muscles. Some examples:
Day One – Lower
Snatch / Clean and Jerk / Canyon Run
Day Two – Upper
Bench / “Girlfriend Meltdown” (a long up-down pyramid of pull-ups, dips, sit-ups you created years ago)
Day Three – Lower
Squat / Deadlift / Stair Sprints
Day Four – Upper
Overhead Press / Weighted Pull-ups / Gorilla Complex
If I’m smart about the conditioning, I can run this general type of scheme for *weeks* without taking a single day off.
There are a lot more details, obviously. For instance…
The sessions for each individual lift tend to alternate between volume (e.g., 5 x 5 heavyish sets across) and intensity (work up to a single max set — could be a triple, double, or single). But the key is that there may be as much as an entire week between my squat sessions. A drawn out version of Pendlay’s Texas Method, basically. And I’m not wedded to any particular lift or metcon and those change whenever I feel like it. Sometimes “lower body day” is nothing but a long trail run. Sometimes it’s max reps deadlifts in 20 minutes @ 225. Sometimes I decide to do a long chipper, like an Ultimate Driving Machine, and just plan to take the next day off.
Again, the main point is that my legs generally get a full day of rest between training sessions. And that simple change immediately reduced all of my aches and pains. My lifts went up, my running times came down, and I was much happier.
2. Change your squat to Rippetoe’s “low bar” style.
Hips back, torso inclined forward, shins relatively vertical. That really changes the moment arms and takes the stress off of the knees. It’s not the bar position so much as the hip and torso positioning, but low-bar placement does facilitate the forward lean.
That said, because of the rest I now schedule between squat sessions, I’ve gone back to high-bar squats, which feel more natural and athletic to me.
3. Reduce the volume of movements that put you in “knees forward” position.
To me, this is where I really have to be careful about “Garbage Reps”. Even when training for strength, choose your lower-body movements carefully. Dipping with the bar in the front rack (as before a push press or jerk) really puts stress on my knees. So I choose my exercises carefully. Since I do full snatches and clean-and-jerks every week, I no longer do front squats or push presses.
Hope some of this was interesting or helpful.
Thanks for the note and the suggestions. Awesome stuff.
One training element that impacts my knees is our work capacity efforts and my own endurance work. I’ll often double up with our LE Officer sessions to get in endurance as endurance isn’t a major component of LE fitness, but is important to me on the mountain side. Long runs, trail runs and loaded hill climbs also take their toll.
Great article on “Garbage Reps.” Your article serves as a reminder that I want to to be able to function on the job the same way 20 years from now, minimizing the wear and tear with proper training and long term considerations. How do you think Step Ups (especially weighted with IBA and ruck) factor into long term knee health? Being a short guy, my knees are parallel with the ground at 16″ step ups! I’m only 28, and still early in my career as a tactical athlete. However, I think step ups are a great training exercise for tactical/job-specific fitness and selection.
I’m not sure if step ups and loaded step ups have the same impact on knees as garbage rep squats. I do know they do have a direct transfer to outside performance for mountain athletes and tactical athletes with schools/deployments/selections scheduled which include elevation gain under load.
So …. I’ll still program them. I’m 5’7″. If you want, you could drop the step size to 12″, but you need to add step ups to account for the 16″ step we use as the standard.
I’m five months post op for L4/L5/S1 laminectomy. Currently in the final weeks of Low Back Recovery V2. Finishing these fine rx but unloaded on hikes and steps to avoid irritating the joints. Step ups and short jogs are tolerated well. Confidence gaining, pain is low or non existent, mobility better.
Current goals are 1) bombproof core, 2) get lean and 3) rebuild endurance. I’m just shy of 54, 6″2, 245 (27% body fat).
Outside goals are general ability to bike, kayak, tele ski, mixed mountaineer and survive my first hang gliding lesson.
Looking at either Fat loss or starting Mountain Base Endurance Cycle from week one.
Which direction would you suggest? How would you recommend splitting up work/rest to keep an older body in motion?
Do Bodyweight Foundation next.
I had a quick question for you. I’ve been doing the body weight program for the past 6 months. I wanted to transition back into lifting but I started doing the 357 about a month ago and ended up straining one of my external rotators on a snatch. I’ve been rehabbing it and also my foot (I strained my arch sprinting in bad shoes). I’m abroad right now but get back in 2 weeks and wanted to start getting back into the workouts. Do you have a suggestion for getting back into a lifting program after not lifting for 6 months? I don’t wanna hurt myself again …
Don’t be so delicate. Get back to 357 and go lighter, or change the exercise. No need to purchase another program.
Be smart and patient, but work hard.
I’m in the same boat as you. 47, no major knee injuries, life long athelete, but my knees and hands ache all of the time. I haven’t done a lot of squatting either. I think that it is just genetics.
My genetics isn’t helping me!!
But I think the point about garbage reps is still a good one.
I just got an excellent score on my PT test to get into selection this past week, and I believe a huge factor was ditching the weights, as hard as that was, and following one of your PFT specific programs, so , thanks! I have one more question, I am slated to go to selection in mid April, but am going on exercise for most of February to the arctic. By the time I return I will have about 6 weeks before selection. I also purchased your ruck based selection . So where should I start on that? I will have little to no time to train during February. Cheers.
Start the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan at week 1 – don’t skip ahead out of the gate.
But skip ahead to Week 8 in the plan the week directly before your selection. Week 8 is a taper week.
I am looking for a training program recommendation and am hoping you can provide me some guidance. I am 6’0′ 215lbs and 40 years old with a naturally muscular frame. I am a former Navy SEAL, but have been out since 1999 (I was 198lbs at my peak in the Teams at 24y/o). I’ve been training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu for 10 years now and am at a pretty high level. I train and spar 3-4 times per week from 7-8am before going into the office. Outside of jiu-jitsu, I do little to get stronger or more fit. I’ve got about an hour per day that I can slip away to the building’s gym and do something. There is a smith machine, pull up/dip bars, dumbbells, old school bicep bench, a few adjustable benches, and pretty much everything else is some sort of machine. I want to build strength, power and agility as I get older, so I can continue to compete in jiu-jitsu and also pursue my interests in other rigorous sports. I need focus outside of jiu-jitsu, rather than ad hoc runs, swims or random days at the bench.
I basically have that one hour a day to better myself outside of my regular sparring routine. When I use that time, I am literally regurgitating workouts from the Teams circa 1990s. How would you recommend I focus my time in the gym using your methodology, and do you have a course or sequence of courses you would recommend?
I realize you must get 1,000s of similar emails. I appreciate any time that you take in pointing me in the right direction.
I’d recommend our Busy Operator Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/busy-operator-training-plan/) which trains strength, work capacity and endurance in a super efficient manner. However, the plan requires a fully equipped functional fitness gym, and unless you’re adept at making dumbbell exercise equivalent substitutions for barbell exercises, it could frustrate you.
Another option is Humility (http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/) which trains bodyweight strength endurance, dumbbell strength and work capacity, and loaded endurance (weight vest/IBA runs). It’s a great place to start our programming.
Be aware of the possibility of over training given your jiu-jitsu training. Rather than 2-a-days, I’d recommend beginning by alternating jiu-jitsu training one day, and Humility or Busy Operator the next. If you’re recovering, you can then start doubling up.
I’m super stoked to have found your website. Your philosophy and programs are what I’ve been looking for. I actually found MTI by referencing the Mountain Athletics program through North Face.
I’m considering starting with your Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. I just wanted to get your thoughts and introduce myself before proceeding.
I’m 49 years of age. I’m not in great shape but have past experience training for the outdoors. I run semi-regularly. I’m in the gym semi-regularly and surf regularly. I enjoy mountaineering in the Eastern Sierras, but have neglected my fitness, making it difficult to climb mountains.
My goal is to get into great shape this year and make my 50th birthday a year of adventure travel, mountaineering and surfing big barrels. I’ve recently examined my life and have decided that my overall health and time with my family are more important than corporate work. (I’m also making adjustments to my professional life as well.)
So, I’m starting this year’s training with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan and looking forward to a full year of getting my fitness on track for big mountains and big surf.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful. I’ll more than likely need some guidance after the Bodyweight Foundation Plan.
Also, at 49 years of age are there any concerns I should be aware of? I’m in overall good health, about 10 pounds heavier than I’d like to be and my cardio and strength really need help.
Bodyweight Foundation is the perfect place to start, Mike.
The plan is assessment based, thus will automatically scale to your current level of fitness.
49? No concerns.
You don’t get to old to go to the mountains. When you stop going to the mountains, you get old.
I’m a mountain athlete who lives outside of Aspen, CO. I’m planning on purchasing a few of your plans for my winter training but have a few questions.
First of all, my outside fun includes ultra running, backcountry snowboarding, rock climbing, and mountain biking. At first I was looking at your sport specific plans, like the climbing one because I made some big climbing gains this summer/fall and want to continue that trajectory when things thaw out. After some thought and reading, I think I should go with a more general plan. I’ve been thinking that the Bodyweight Foundation and Bodyweight Core Strength programs would be the best for me. Do you have any thoughts here? I want to continue to set up good work capacity and stamina so I can have a great start to the running/biking season. I also really want to boost my overall core strength and upper body gymnastic strength for climbing.
Do those two programs sound like the best place to start or do you have another suggestion?
You’re multi-mode mountain sport interests is not unusual. In terms of your training now, you need to be somewhat concerned about overtraining with your backcountry snowboarding. If you’re just hitting it on the weekends, no problem – just take Fridays off total rest.
If you’re able to get out during the week, be sure your training doesn’t pre-fatigue you or leave you so sore it negatively impacts your outdoor experience.
In general, the further from a sport season or specific trip, the more general your training should be. The closer to the season or event, the more specific.
Now, unless you’ve got a Spring desert climbing trip planned in April or May, Bodyweight Foundation would be a great place to build some solid general strength. You don’t need both the Bodyweight Foundation and Bodyweight Core Strength plan – Foundation includes core strength.
If you have a climbing trip planned, you’ll want to complete the Pre-Season Rock Climbing Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/pre-season-rock-climb-training-plan/) the 6 weeks directly before your trip.