I have been doing Crossfit for about 3 years now and have begun to feel a little stagnant. I heard a podcast interview of yours and what you said really made sense to me. I was a collegiate basketball player and have always tried to set goals for myself such as lifting goals and triathlons.
Paying 200/month to go to crossfit is becoming less and less enticing to me. I figure I can get what I need from the regular gym down the street if I have the right programming.
Is there a program of yours you would recommend for me? I would like to keep my speed, quickness, cardio for playing basketball. I am about 6’4 220lbs.
Just feeling a little in a rut right now.
Thank you for any tips or comments you might have,
I don’t have a basketball-specific program.
From what I do have I’d recommend Perseus: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-perseus/
Perseus is a multi-modal training program from our military side. You’ll concurrently train strength, work capacity, tactical agility, chassis integrity and military endurance. It will definitely introduce a new programming methodology to you.
Not sure where to start. I’m 34, turning 35 in August and would like to get fit enough to enlist in the Army. I was very fit last year, doing goruck events and Crossfit 5 days a week. Recently had a baby and things went at the way side preparing for her.
I plan on enlisting infantry, volunteering for airborne and rasp. Could you advise me where to begin?
Kickstart your fitness with our Bodyweight Foundation Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/
Follow it up with Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/
I hope you are enjoying this glorious Rocky Mountain winter we’ve been having thus far.
My fire crew and I have been utilizing a variety of your programs over the last couple years, but to be honest, we haven’t found one that seems to fit the bill both on and off-duty. The philosophy behind the Jaguar program for instance is great, but we are having a hard-time aligning it with our duty schedule, which is 48 hours on-duty, 96 hours off-duty. The main problem is that we can’t bring any of our firefighting gear/equipment home with us, so if we work out exclusively at work, and in addition to the morning we are released (as suggested in the Jaguar program), we end up with a 3 straight days of working out, and 3 straight days of rest.
How would you suggest either altering, supplementing, or replacing this programming to best suit our schedule? If you suggest supplementing or replacing the program with something else, can you provide two suggestions, one with access to “ideal” equipment, and the other with access to very minimal equipment?
Lastly, how often, if ever, would you suggest throwing in a “challenge” workout to the mix? It seems workouts like Murph, Devil Dogs, and any out of the “Power Endurance” section of the “Horsemen Training Program”, are favorites in the firehouse (I am thankful to be a part of a really fit crew).
Thanks for the help, Rob. I know you are a busy guy, but your feedback is always appreciated by the guys down here.
I don’t have a good answer for you and it’s a continual challenge for us here … as other crews have different duty schedules. In general, I recommend training the morning before taking duty, the morning the second duty day, and finally the morning before you are relieved. This is 3x sessions.
Moving forward through the week, one option would be to do 2 sessions on your own, take 2 days rest, then start again the next duty day — this sounds like what your crew is doing now.
The other option is to only complete the Jaguar sessions with your crew on the duty days and do your own training during your off days. The issue there could be over training … and in general, I recommend 1-2 days total rest from training for all athletes and especially tactical athletes. It’s okay to do active recreation, but try to stay out of the gym 1-2 days week.
“Challenge” work out? One of the elements faced by tactical athletes is the “burden of constant fitness.” Essentially, and especially for first responders, you can never risk being out of shape. This means you have to be constantly training and can lead to boredom and staleness. Over the years we’ve found with our Fluid Periodization and progressions within the cycle we’ve been able to keep athletes tracking, but also keep things fresh.
A “Challenge” workout seems in line with this idea of keeping training fresh – so absolutely. But … avoid “garbage reps.” (http://mtntactical.com/fitness/garbage-reps/) Several of my old training sessions are part of that horsemen program, and several of those have “garbage reps.” You’ll need to make exercise modifications to change these.
Can you let me know what knowledge & skills I would walk away with after the Advanced Programming Course?
Thanks for the quick response.
Here’s a start.
– Ability design and build strength and conditioning programs for tactical athletes which concurrently train relative strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, TAC SEPA and military endurance
– Ability to individually design strength programs deploying one of six strength progressions (TLU, Big 24, Rat 6, Density, 357, Super Squat)
– Ability to design training sessions which address two fitness attributes, i.e. strength + tactical agility, strength + work capacity, work capacity + chassis integrity, chassis-integrity + endurance
– Ability to design a duration based work-capacity training progression and individual work capacity training events to avoid over training, redundancy, garbage reps, etc. Understanding on “progression within a cycle” for work capacity events and how to train mental fitness using these events.
– Ability to design chassis integrity progressions and individual training sessions
– Understanding and design ability for our TAC SEPA (tactical speed, explosive power and agility) training sessions and progressons
– Functional design ability for military endurance including running and rucking aerobic base training and speed-over-ground work, as well as our new gym-based, multi-modal endurance programming events and methodology
– Ability to sport specifically and methodologically design programs for military PFTs, training schools, selections and specific military missions
– Macro, Meso and Micro understanding of tactical fitness design and a framework under which to work
– Ability to program design for injured and re-habbing athletes.
– Ability to program design for limited equipment/austere location
– Focused coaching instruction including weightroom layout, flow, managing 1RM’s, positioning, voice control, etc.
Rob, really love what you all are offering. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to add better structure to my training. A few questions for you:
– do you have a training plan specific to long distance SUP and ocean kayaking?
– how about a training plan for pregnant women?
– if I purchase the athlete’s subscription, can my wife and I do different programs at the same time?
1) Our Kayak/Paddling Pre-Season training plan would work for SUP and ocean kayaking. For SUP, you’ll want to do the on-water intervals on your board. The gym-based work with transfer to both. (http://mtntactical.com/shop/kayakpaddling-pre-season-training-program/)
2) Not specifically. We’ve had several women train at our facility through their pregnancy and they trained alongside our other athletes, but with lighter loading and decreased intensity, and sometimes, shorter sessions. But this is the second time I’ve been asked this week so I’ll put it on the list. In the meantime, I’d recommend Bodyweight Foundation: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/
3) The “Athlete’s Subscription” are intended for one user – not several. I’m sorry.
I really appreciate you taking the time to personally respond to my questions. I have purchased a monthly subscription and have studied the Humility, Fortitude and Sapper training plans. T minus 3 days.
Out of curiosity, what is the reason for preferring the ALICE pack for rucking? I happen to have one and already use it. I will use it until I get to the Sapper training plan, when I will switch to my large MOLLE field rucksack. Again, just wondering…
Thank you for your time and expertise.
We like the way the ALICE pack keeps the weight high up on your back/shoulders.
I read and enjoy your articles.
This most recent one, the multi modal endurance guy, shows again that y’all are very thoughtful in your programming.
anyway, I was just curious as to why you choose hang squat snatch as a garbage rep eliminator.
I can see that the overhead squat position sort of ‘forces’ technique, but
15 minutes of that just seems rough to me, and whereas you can continue to do things like step ups and sandbag get ups long after you’re tired without too much risk of injury, it seems like super high rep Olympic lifts could get very dangerous.
At our gym we’ve been doing longer workouts that sometimes start with Olympic lifts on the minute, but we generally cap it before they get tired.
Anyway, not criticizing, just curious
The issue isn’t the exercise, but the loading and volume. Light (say 75-95# for men) high volume (haven’t put a total here, but in general, not strength training – work capacity stuff) hang squat snatches, in my opinion, have limited transfer to real world demands. Rarely (if ever) in the real world will you be doing bunches of similar movements.
So .. at some point these just make you better at light, high volume hang squat snatches. Which may be important if your sport is crossfit, but not for the athletes I work with.
And there could be a cost to your knees. So, if there’s limited transfer, and it could be impacting the athlete’s knees down the road, why do them? Understand we’re interested in long term degeneration/impact.
Step ups have a direct transfer outside for our athletes – they sport-specifically train the specific strength and aerobic mode for uphill climbing under load.
Sandbag get ups have proven an effective transfer for chassis integrity.
Crossfit made “garbage reps” popular for work capacity efforts and we used them for years. Now we work hard to eliminate them from these efforts … we use sprints, power cleans (no squat), hang power snatches, swings, box jumps, step ups, hinge lifts, more sprints, and more sprints …. etc.
We have found sprinting to have direct transfer for all of our tactical athletes.
I am a coach strength coach for college athletes as well as doing some volunteer work with a SWAT unit, and soon expect to be running a future firefighters fitness class at a university.
I am considering attending the NSCA TSAC even this April in Orlando, but am wondering if you have any other suggestions for education events or resources?
I’d recommend our Advanced Programming Seminar in June: http://mtntactical.com/shop/advanced-programming-seminar-may-30-june-4th
I just listened to the back country podcast and have been working towards taking my fitness to the next level. I would love to hear your advice on the best step to get started. I have never trained with a program. I do a little running. I have completed 2 half marathons and am training to do a steeple chase here in Utah. Its 16 miles with 3000 vertical.
My big drive is for getting in shape for back country hunting. I backpack elk hunt about 5 miles in. Last year after packing 2 bulls out I realized I need to be in better “elk shape”.
What program would you recommend? I also travel 4 days a week for my work. I am a pilot so I am on the road a lot with sometimes less than stellar hotel gyms.
I’d recommend the plan progression in the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Packet: http://mtntactical.com/shop/backcountry-big-game-hunting-training-packet/
You’ll want to work backward from your hunt, and complete the last plan, the Backcountry Big Game Training Plan, the 8 weeks directly before your hunt season starts.
Motel? All the plans in this packet, with the exception of Resilence, are limited equipment plans. You’ll need to be resourceful and sneak a ruck and sandbag on the plane!
We also have a Stuck in a Motel Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/stuck-in-a-motel-training-plan/) which is no joke, but not as “sport specific” as the plans in this packet for backcountry hunting.
Saw your new articles about aging body and garbage reps.
Does that means there will be changes to the Afghanistan Deployment and Backcountry Big Game Hunting Plans? Can’t seem to find a date on them which confirm they were modified or updated.
Also, does that means all the plans that I subscribed to back in 2015 are now obsolete? I sitll have written notes for them. Just wondering if I should toss them in the garbage or not.
When we update plans we’ll look for and eliminate gargbage reps. We recently updated 357 Strength.
Understand that leg blasters (Afhghan), Quadzillas (Big Game) and Step Ups (both) and SBGU (both) aren’t garbage reps. Leg Blasters and Quadzillas have a distinct purpose of training eccentric leg strength, step ups train uphill hiking aerobic base and SBGU are my favorite chassis integrity exercise.
Old Plans obsolete? No.
I enjoyed your podcast with Colonel Flatten. I’m currently an officer in USAF with a goal of becoming a STO. This year will take me on a few small (1-2 week) TDY’s and a possible longer one (4 months) thrown in the middle. What plan would you recommend for TDY’s / deployment with time and unknown equipment constraints?
Here is my only current plan with 2 options because of unknown TDY’s. I’m going to submit for Phase I (packet for selection) in August 2017 or January 2018. At that time and in anticipation of getting selected for Phase II (actual selection) I would begin the 9 week USAF Selection CCT plan. Phase II would be roughly 2-3 months after Phase I packets are due.
Background: I worked off Mil Athlete from around 2012-2015. 2015-to present have been doing crossfit due to access of gyms and found a good coach/mentor with SOF experience.
Packets I own: swim, ruck selection packet from 2014, stuck in motel, and USAF PT test plans.
I can’t thank your team enough for everything over the years!
Best option would be Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/
For Humility you need your body armor and a pair of 25# dumbbells.
Next best would be Bodyweight Foundation: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/
I’m looking at the Greek Hero Packet and wondered what kind of weights/poundage I would need, since I work out at home and use the terrain here in Boston. I have up to 50lbs DBs, sandbag, and kettlebells.
Thank you in advance for answering the question.
Disclaimer: I am not military, just a very motivated civilian and experienced athlete (run, triathlon, and extreme events).
All the plans in this packet require a fully equipped functional fitness gym – racks, barbells, plyo boxes, etc.
Our limited equipment plans are here: http://mtntactical.com/product-category/fitness-plans/general-fitness-plans/limited-equipment/
I’d recommend Humility (http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/). It’s killer!
I just got done listening to your interview on the Art Of Manliness. It was awesome I think you did a good job getting your view point across. One thing that you mentioned was the burden of constant fitness and how we have different aspects of fitness we need to maintain. My question has to do with planning and priorities. When I plan my training year what are my priorities of fitness. In the fire service we have priorities on the fire ground and we use the acronym RECEO-VS
So for instance I don’t worry about putting out the fire (extinguish) if I have someone hanging out a window (Rescue).
Do you have something like that for the different types of Tactical Athletes. Such as I should train to be able to squat 1.75 BW before I worry about running a sub 18min 5k. Just curious if you have thought about this or if it even matters.
PS I just went through an older version of your body weight training plan and increased my max push ups in 2 min by 12 and my situps in 2 min by 22.
You should be doing our Fire/Rescue Programming … Big Cats Packet Plans: http://mtntactical.com/shop/firerescue-big-cat-training-packet/
Quick question – was wondering what you would recommend as far as a progression from plan to plan would be for someone who is interested in losing weight and getting selected for a military program.
I saw that you recommended your body weight foundation training program over the fat loss training program in a few of your email Q&A’s for people who are interested in losing weight, and I was wondering why that was.
I have a fairly good handle on run/swim/sit, so my focus is more on push ups and pull ups. I realize I need a whole body focus, however my pull ups are in the 1-2 range and my push ups are in the 30-40 range. Losing weight is my #1 focus, but I want to work on building my strength in these areas at the same time so it’s not a two part process where I lose weight first and then start working on my strength.
Look forward to hearing back.
Losing weight will help your pull ups. Start first with the Fat Loss Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fat-loss-training-program/
I saw your fitness plans and was looking at the Fire/Rescue On-Ramp Training Plan. I like your plans; but don’t know which plan is right for me.
I am a cubicle dwelling, apartment living, accountant and have got very much out of shape (marshmallow). I found your plan because I was hoping to put my ALICE back on and do some rucking for fitness. While pretty out of shape, I am a moderately fair skilled ruck. I volunteer with CERT as an EMR and that is why I was looking at the fire plans.
I was hoping you could help match up one of your plans that will start me back into shape, give me the opportunity to do some rucking, and won’t require a lot of equipment, and cost consideration.
Any help you could provide would be appreciated.
– Bodyweight Foundation (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/), week off, then Humility (http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/).
Next Best Option (but you’ll suffer)
– Right to Humility
Hey rob, halfway through fortitude, great plan. Question, Can I bump up the loading when? My load at 5 and 10 pounds less feels light right now. Thanks.
Sure – as long as you’re making the progression and prescribed reps. Don’t get greedy.
I have some questions about what programs I should do and when. I like to ski and backcountry elk hunt so I will be planning accordingly. Please let me know what you think of this plan and what I should fill in in the middle.
Now-01APR17- In season ski maintenance
02 APR-25 JUN- Unsure
– I would like to do Monster factory or 357 Strength to put on some strength
– One of those would only take up 5-6 weeks so I’d have a few weeks before I start up the Backcountry Big game hunt program, so is there any thing you’d suggest?
– Maybe an operator program with running and rucking in order to get into shape for the Backcountry hunting program?
25 JUN- 19 AUG- Back Country Big Game Program
25 AUG- 24 SEPT- Bow hunting on the weekends
– I will most likely do the In-Season Ski Maintenance Program during this time to maintain during the weekdays.
24 SEPT-04 NOV- Back Country Ski Program.
I look forward to your insight,
Overall plan is solid.
02 Apr – 25 Jun? Hector: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-hector/
Good morning Rob
I stumbled across the Mountain Tactical Institution while listening to The Hunt Backcountry Podcast. I am extremely interested in signing up for one of your programs, I am just curious in which one(s) you recommend. I am currently not in the best shape and might need a bit of a warm up before some of the more intense courses.
I will be hitting the mountains for a spot and stock bear hunt during the spring then chasing elk and Mule deer in the fall. I am also interested in using your programs throughout the year.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I’d recommend the progression of plans in the Backcountry Big Game Training Packet: http://mtntactical.com/shop/backcountry-big-game-hunting-training-packet/
The first plan – Bodyweight Foundation – is a great place to kickstart your fitness. The plan deploys initial assessments and then bases your follow-on progressions based on your assessment results. This way the plan automatically “scales” to your incoming fitness.
Hi Rob –
I am a Professional Firefighter in Fort Collins, CO, with my main specialty in Swiftwater Rescue (mainly the Poudre River – Narrow, fast, steep, full of obstacles/hazards). I also do Whitewater SUP several times/week during the river season.
Although I am a fit firefighter of 22 years, I am also a 5’4”, 120#, 39 year old woman, with repetitive injuries (knees, hips, lower back, left shoulder). All injuries are currently rehabbed, but I don’t want to bring them back with poor training/over-training.
Swiftwater/SUP season will be here @ mid-April and I would like to be in top shape for both. I would like to not only be injury-free from the training, but also in shape to prevent injuries while working/playing.
I’ve used your programs before for Backcountry Skiing and Firefighter, and love them.
Today, I looked through your programs, and components of several seem to be useful, but no one program seems to fit the bill, and the ones that seem to make the most sense (BUDS, USCG) lend me to concern about overtraining injuries.
Could you please point me in the right direction?
Our Kayak/Paddling Pre-Season Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/kayakpaddling-pre-season-training-program/) would do a good job for SUP … you’d just want to do SUP intervals on the river instead of kayaking.
Pls better describe the fitness demands of swiftwater rescue for me …. especially what on you was smoked after a technical training session or actual rescue.
FOLLOW UP QUESTION
Thank you for the fast response.
Unfortunately the kayak/paddle plan is not possible, as the lakes and rivers are frozen solid.
As for the Swiftwater Rescue, that’s one of the funniest response’s I’ve seen in a while! It is with great sadness that I cannot answer your question, as being a Firefighter, I am restricted from partaking in the freedom’s of Colorado changed laws after a rescue. A few cold beers would be nice though, if we didn’t have to continue working after a rescue. ☹
As for the fitness demands of Swiftwater Rescue: We have to swim across the river (up to 300’) in drysuit/pfd/helmet with boogieboard and fins. The river is usually running extremely fast with swirling currents, strong/small/difficult eddy-lines, with rocks and strainers that must be avoided. Generally we swim just to get across and back, but sometimes we jump into the river to catch a floating patient and have to swim the patient to shore (buddy tow or on top of boogie board).
Basically, high intensity anaerobic very short swims, where you are usually gulping water instead of air, and fighting to keep the current from taking you downstream.
I struggle with not having as much power as the larger male swimmers, which can result in me ending up farther downstream in the across-stream take-out. I also get severe calf/foot cramps and have a hard time keeping the fins underwater water, and not on the surface. Swimming sideways w/ a “mermaid kick” does make this better, but often the river is too shallow of has rocks underwater that make sideways difficult.
What I am looking for is something that will increase my short anaerobic ability, but my energy must last for hours. Increased strength/ability in swimming with fins. Also though, all of the needs of balance, core, back/shoulder strength that Whitewater SUP requires.
I wish I could do 2 workouts, but time only allows for one, and I am prone to overtraining injuries, and would like to avoid that.
I have been looking at the USCG and Surf workouts, (but kick with legs holding a board rather than using arms without legs in the Surf workout) for the Swiftwater component. Then adding the weightroom component of the Kayaking Workout since I cannot get on the river. If I did that though, I would need to cut out some of the USCG or Surf workouts.
This is where I a bit overwhelmed with what to do. Which workouts should I combine to meet both the needs of Whitewater SUP and Swiftwater Rescue, and which parts of each workout should I remove to create only 1 workout’s worth of workload.
By “smoked” I meant physcially spent, though it didn’t read that way.
Swift Water Rescue? I’d recommend the BORSTAR STC Training Plan. (http://mtntactical.com/shop/borstar-stc-training-plan/). This plan includes multi elements of PT, assessed/focused swimming, and long mini-events to push to that 4-hour duration.
Make these changes to the plan:
1) It was a little unclear from your note on the specific swimming you do during your rescues – I understood the fins, and I assume the boogie board is held out front. For all the swimming in this plan, wear your fins.
2) Complete the swim assessment pushing your boogie board, and all the Tuesday intervals based on the assessment results. You can still do the hypoxic swimming, just count your kicks.
3) Complete the swimming in the weekend mini-events without the boogie board, but wearing your fins and doing the combat side stroke.
4) So the prescribed rucking with a 25# pack.
SUP? The on-water paddling intervals in the Kayak/Paddler Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/kayakpaddling-pre-season-training-program/) are what I recommend.
SUP – we get our kayakers on the river, when it breaks up, in March … and start the cycle mid-march through April. If you wetsuit-or dry-suit up you can do the intervals. The on-water intervals/work capacity events in this plan will make a huge difference when you start the season. You don’t need to start these until the river melts out enough.
When this happens, alternate training days …. BORSTAR on Monday, Wed and Fridays. Paddling on Tues and Thurs.
Hi Rob, i listened to you episode of “Beyond the Kill” last evening during my cardio workout and I was super impressed and interested in the gear studies you have been doing ie comparing sleeping bag temps, actual fuel canister volumes, etc. I have done similar studies on personal hunting gear but nothing near the volume of which you described. Is any of this info you found available on your website? I’m currently working through your articles but I am only on page 10 of 22 so I apologize if this info is in there and I just have not read it yet.
Take care and many thanks!
Play safe in the mountains!
Click the “Articles” under the “Research Tab.” and go to page 3 (http://mtntactical.com/category/research/page/3/)
Here are some quick links:
I recently was selected through SFAS to continue in the SF Q-Course as a hand amputee. The difference between success and failure in many aspects was your Ruck Based Selection Training Plan. Thank you for your passion and ability in programming effective workout regimens.
I’m continuing on from here through the Q-Course to earn my Green Beret, and as such I wanted to ask your opinion on programming and timing from here to the beginning of the course and on.
I have 8 weeks until the beginning of SOF Common Core training, which is a 16 week course. After that is the Introduction to Unconventional Warfare, which will have testing in the Upper Body Round Robin and APFT veins.
My plan right now is to follow your SFOD-D packet. That way I can use Humility for the next 7 weeks to recover my functional strength and ability. Then, for the 16 week Common Core, I continue to the Big 24 plan, then shift to the Q-Course plan, followed by the UBRR training to round out that 16 weeks. Once that’s complete I will be ready to excel through the initial gates.
After the IUW gates I can move back to Fortitude and finish out the SFOD-D packet with a few breaks of strict field time.
Again, thank you for all your help. I really appreciate the effort and methodologies that you employ and I can’t get enough of learning from your institute.
Have an excellent day and I hope to hear from you soon
Congrats on selection!
I’d recommend the Q Course Plan prior to the initial gates …. the UBRR plan won’t prepare you for the rucking elements. Rest of your plan is solid.
Thanks a lot. I seem to have access to everything I need. My 17 year old daughter and I (47) are signed up to climb the Grand the week of August 7. I’m sure you get this question a lot but working backwards from August, I see us using the Alpine Rock Climbing program for 6 weeks but that leaves us about 18 weeks. We currently work in the gym 4 days a week and do some form of cardio 2 other days. We have climbed some 14ers around our home in Colorado. We are reasonably fit for paying customers I guess. We alpine ski quite a bit as a family but with smaller children too, those are not always big days in terms of intensity.
Looking at the fitness assessment, I would say we will be weak in the long run. My daughter has run half-marathons before. I usually bike for my fitness. I can run 3 miles without much problem and have ordered a book by Brian Mackenzie to help me plan on improving my running over the next few months. Also I am willing to bet our Vsum will not be higher than 8.
Any suggestions for weeks 1-18? Or should we just take the assessment and then the training for the assessment?
Do you use Training Peaks? Do you know of a way to get the workouts uploaded into that particular training app?
I heard you on the AoM podcast. Good job. Really informative. I believe I used to have an Mountain Athletics/TNF app last year that I used to get ready for ski season. Was that you too?
You’ll want to complete the Peak Bagger Training Plan the 6 weeks directly before your Grand trip, not the Alpine Rock training plan … – the Grand Trip won’t require much technical rope climbing.
Between now and then your could start with the Alpinist Fitness Assessment training plan. You can run/walk the run if needed.
After the Alpinist Assessment plan, I’d recommend our Mountain “Base” programming – either follow the daily sessions online (begin at the start of the most recent cycle) or follow the plans and the order in the Greek Heroine Packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/greek-heroine-training-packet/).
Yes on TNF.
I was looking at purchasing one of your strength plans. I’m interested in increasing strength overall for climbing and skiing, and just generally building some mass. I’m 44 and have not done any significant weight training in the gym for a few years. This last year of life has been tough on training, but cardiovascular fitness is still pretty reasonable.
I was looking at the 357 or Big 24 plans and interested in how they compare. Also, is there anything special you’d do for someone starting one of those plants, but just getting back into the gym for the first time in a while? I used to have relatively good lift technique, but that was a while back.
Thanks for your advice. BTW, I used your skimo race training plan two years back and really enjoyed it.
Both 357 and Big 24 are focused strength training plans which deploy different types of progression.
For you I’d recommend Big 24 (http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-24-strength-training-program-v4/) — it’s deploys fewer exercises, and you get lots of practice with each. The progression is simple, hard and effective.
Hi Rob, I am halfway through week 4 in the leg rehabilitation program and have just purchased the peak bagger program. My mountaineering season usually lasts from mid may till the snow flies sometime in the fall. Should I hold off on this program and try another program till my season gets closer? Also what would you recommend for my in season weekly work out? To give you an idea of my goals, I have many 5,000 vertical days planned in Idaho on some obscure 11,000ft summits, The Grand Tetons Owen Spaulding, The standard route on Granite Peak in Montana as a two day adventure and a few multi pitch routes in the Tetons of similar length and difficulty to Durance Ridge on Symmetry Spire. Thanks in advance and also for the amazing work you do on getting us all Mountain ready.
I’d recommend our Mountain “Base” programming for both your work up to peak bagger, then in-between trips this Summer..
Mountain Base programming deploys our Fluid Periodization and concurrently trains relative strength, mountain endurance (running, uphill hiking under load, and gym-based multi-mode), Chassis Integrity and Climbing Fitness (rock). I understand your peak bagging is mainly non-technical and you may not need to the climbing work.
Couple options to access this …. our Greek Heroine Packet: http://mtntactical.com/shop/greek-heroine-training-packet/
You can purchase the packet or the individual plans. These represent our most recent iteration of Fluid Periodization for Mountain Base. Helen is the place to start.
Also – through a subscription you have access to these plans, as well as our daily mountain base programming.
So in 2011 I went to Ranger school and was medically dropped for my IT Band
and went back to Campbell to recover and retrain up. Unfortunate I was not
able to go back and was then put on recruiting duty. I now have a chance to
go back to Ranger School in early 2018 and also back to the Infantry. My
question is I still have a lot of stress on my Right IT band on the outside
of my right knee and it seems to never go away. I’m going on 36 yrs. old and
68 in and 173lbs. This is truly my true probably last chance to push through
and achieve this feat. Looking for some suggestions and programming that may
help me. I do have access to a normal (LA Fitness) gym and have my own small
gym with kettle bells and combat ropes at my home. I run in the mid 13s for
my 2mile and stay around 13 to 15 on my rucks. These are the times when my
IT band really give me the issues. I’m currently on your 300 APFT
programming and I have to wait till I have a little extra money to purchase
your Ranger school programming. I really look forward to your insight on
what I can do to better improve both my fitness and this reoccurring IT band
issue. Much respect and thanks.
I’m not a PT or doctor, and can’t offer anything you haven’t heard already about your IT band.
Fitness-wide, I’d recommend you jump in with both feet and complete the Ranger School Training plan now (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ranger-school-training-plan/).
Couple reasons for this … 1) It will help you make sure your ladder is up against the right wall. It’s going to push you mentally and physically, and you’ll know soon where your at. It’ll be a long 7 years since your first attempt, and perhaps what you want has changed. This will test that.
2) It will test your body, including your IT band in real world way.
I would appreciate your guidance on choosing a plan or plans.
So, I want to improve my run, condition my legs (some comments about that below), I don’t want to pack on any more muscle mass than I already have, and I want to improve and keep improving my overall strength and condition.
I saw the APFT Improvement Plan, Running Improvement Plan, and the Body Weight Foundation Training Plan. Those looked like a good place to start, but I’m not sure.
Just recently I did about 4 weeks of the Military On-Ramp Training Plan with a buddy of mine. I absolutely loved it. The only negative thing I found is that all the lunges, step-ups, and squats seemed kill my leg stamina for running. This could also be that my legs just aren’t and weren’t conditioned like they should be.
The following is a little about me.
I’ve been in the Army for 13 years and just turned 34 years old. While I would say I’m in good shape, I want to be in better shape. I’ve never been a great runner, and my age group gives me quite a bit of leeway for the passing time (17:42). However, I don’t want to start being ok with the bare minimum for my run. I’ve always been able to max my situps and pushups. At 5’4 and weighing 195 I’m great at sprints but not so much at longer runs. I’ve found that as I’ve moved into my 30s I have to be more consistent with my running. In my 20s I could miss a week or slack off and still be able to push out a good 2mile APFT run.
I also was big into strength training. I didn’t do too much weight training with my legs as they genetically stay big (18’’ calves and 26’’ thighs). It seemed if I did anything beyond some air squats and lunges or split squats occasionally it would impact my run time.
At 5’4″ and 195#, your 3″ shorter than me and 30-40# heavier!! If possible, I’d like you to cut at least 20# in mass …. that will improve everything – including run times, and the stress on your knees, low back.
I’m training for Recon and it’s about a year out. I have a lot of your special ops programs but don’t want to keep doing program after program for a year straight. I’m worried about over training in preparation for the school. I planned on utilizing your brc program directly before shipping off. What do you recommend in the meantime to prepare for brc without over training.
You’re right … you don’t!
You want to do our “base” military training – either subscribe and complete the Operator Sessions daily, or purchase the Greek Hero Packet (we’ve got a deal going on now) and complete these plans in the order prescribed.
The packet is 42-weeks of training – not quite 52, but you can cycle back through the 6 plans – from the beginning, when you finish.
These plans don’t include swimming … you can add it in on your own or sub some of the endurance in the plans (running or rucking) for swimming.
Quick question the GORUCK Selection training program. I’m not an actual Selection candidate, but I am using it to train for a double-tough in April.
Pull-ups are admittedly a weak area for me. For days that are pull-up heavy, like http://fitness.mtntactical.com/session.php?id=2554&page=1, is there an alternative exercise I can sub in to build my pull up ability without having to wimp out early before I finish all the cycles. For example, could I switch to “max body rows” or something else after I reach the point where I can no longer do pull-ups?
It’s better to do the prescribed reps but do “negatives” when you fail … Jump up to get your chin above the bar, then let your self down to full elbow extension on a slow 5 count.
I am working on the hypertrophy for skinny guys and I am really enjoying the routine and pace. I am planning on adding the core workout for an evening workout as well. I was wondering what you would recommend for the next training plan to follow on. Thanks for the help.
Get away from the barbell and do some solid bodyweight strength and endurance work with Humility (http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/).
More on the plan here: http://mtntactical.com/fitness/plan-focus-humility/
I’m a 53 y/o male, in ok shape (at best). I do Orangetheory Fitness two to three times a week. I would like to complete a GORUCK Tough in August. I did a Light in December without much difficulty, though the PT at the end was hard.
What plan would you recommend for a guy like me?
6 feet tall
188 lbs (pretty heavy for me)
No health issues
No military experience, did not play sports in high school.
Completed a 12 day backpacking trip at Philmont last summer. 85 miles, 50 lb backpack, lots of elevation. Completed this without too much trouble.
I’d recommend our GoRuck Challenge Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/goruck-challenge-training-plan/
Hi Rob, I was wondering if you could suggest one of your programs to me. I’m looking for a program that has a strength progression or at least maintenance of power and Olympic lifts, as well as incorporates chassis integrity and military conditioning such as rucks, runs, step ups, and whatever else may prepare me in that way. If possible, I’d like to do a program that requires no more that an hour 5 days/week. When I read that now, it looks like a lot to fit into a short amount of time. But I was just curious. I’m at my MOS school until October and plan to try out for Marine Corps recon once I hit the fleet.
All of our Greek Hero plans train these attributes: http://mtntactical.com/fitness/packet-focus-military-athlete-greek-hero-packet/
Start with Hector: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-hector/
Sending you this email from beautiful Iraq in hopes to hear from you soon. I
have your TACP school house prep program and I was wondering about the time
line. In the description, this program coincides with your arrival at the
school house and I just began my transfer process to the TACP unit. I took
the initial PAST TEST and medical passing both. My deployment back to the
states is still three months away and I would like to be as healthy and as
ready as possible would you recommend doing your TACP program two times in a
row or have some sort of precursor programs? Since the transfer will take
time I would like to work on my running and rucking because I’m 5’3″ about
170# any recommendation or ideas would greatly be appreciated.
For sure you’ll want to complete our TACP plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/usaf-tacp-training-plan/) the 8 weeks directly before you report for selection.
I’d recommend completing the TACP Plan now, then dropping into our daily Operator Sessions or completing the Greek Hero plans, then repeating the TACP plan directly before school.
I’ve been using your Military Athlete programming since 2011 and wouldn’t choose anything else. Kudos to the Ranger School Prep and RASP packets making it physically less demanding so I was more attune to the mental side. On to my question; What program would best suit a high intensity cardio or TAC SEPA in a limited space environment? Right now I am 3/4 of the way through 357 Strength and have about 8 weeks left forward deployed.
Limitations and Constraints:
– High Altitude (great for training)
– no more than 20ft of flat, unobstructed ground that isn’t covered in 4ft of snow
– 1 Treadmill, shared by an entire company (that rarely works)
– cannot leave the wire to run
– increased cardiovascular ability
– increased lung capacity
– lighter under load over short distance
Thank you for your time, I appreciate everything you and the Lab Rats have done in pursuit of perfection for our Nation’s Military.
I don’t have a specific plan built to your exact limitations there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train well, and still get much of what you’re after. You’ll just have to understand the intent behind the programming and be creative when you need to make exercise substitutions.
TAC SEPA – look at the prescribe exercise and modify as needed for your space. You may need to go down, back, down … but most of these don’t have high space needs. The TAC SEPA – Tactical Pro Agility drill and variants will work in your space, as well as the Sprint/Low Crawl/Sprint/Low Crawl work. You may need to be creative, which is okay. The idea is to move tactically – and fast – it’s not conditioning. Plenty of rest between reps.
Endurance Sub? Step ups. Sorry. Do unloaded step ups instead of unloaded running. Loaded step ups (30#) for Ruck Running. Conversion? – 400m = 50x Step ups. Use a 15-18″ Box. We’re currently developing theory on Gym-Based Multi-Modal endurance (http://mtntactical.com/all-articles/new-theory-gym-based-multi-modal-endurance-mountain-tactical-athletes/), but don’t have a full plan built with it yet. If you have a Subscription, you can do “Luke” in the Operator Sessions.
Work Capacity Subs … here is a quick list:
10-20 Rounds of
30 sec work (sprint!)
30 sec rest
…. Exercises you can use:
– Box Jumps (jump up, step down, 20″ box)
– Hippity Hops
– Jingle Jangles
– Treadmill at 5% incline, Speed 6+
– Jump Rope
– Ball Slam
Note on these subs …. avoid “Garbage Reps”.
Recommended Plan? Actaeon: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-actaeon/
If you get seriously stumped with an exercise sub, email me.
Hello Rob Shaul, my friend from the law enforcement recommended you for training programs.
Here is some info about me and what i need help with.
Im 28 years old, trained some strength training, but had a shitty diet that is finally coming along thanx to your nutrition tips.
benchpress 1 rm is 220 lbs
Back Squat: 3 rm 225 lbs
Pull ups: 1-2 ( clean ones )
Overhead press: 130 lbs 1 Rm
Weight: 290 lbs ( very overweight )
FIre rescue and here its very strict Qualifications, i haven’t googled much how is it compared to US, so i can give you some short info.
* 3000 meter run –> Max 14.00 min ( Recommended is around 12
Treadmill test 12 min with full gear + flask 20kg i think. ( 12 min, last 6 min on 12.5% incline ), 5.6km speed
7 push ups with full gear 20kg+
15 Deep squat ( 20kg gear )
7 pull ups ( No gear )
I got 0 clue what you think or what programs i should do in order. But i been looking at Bodyweight foundation first, then advance slow down? Im planning on be ready for selection in 8-12 months ( based on when they are having the jobs ready ), but i want to be as fit as possible.
Start with Bodyweight Foundation: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/
Then do Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/
Then roll into our Fire Rescue “Big Cat” series: http://mtntactical.com/shop/firerescue-big-cat-training-packet/
Email back when you get a date for your PT test.
So, due to my current job, I had to push my “long walk” selection date back until this coming fall. Now, work is super predictable which gives me time for a dedicated train-up. I’ll have about 30 weeks (this week included) until its go time. I plan on using your training packet culminating with your 10-week selection-specific training plan (which looks brutally awesome).
Background on me: I’m an endurance guy (triathlete). I’m a decent runner, but not a gazelle. I’d say my strength levels are relatively low compared to your recommended standards. As far as rucking fitness, I have not done much of that as of late.
I know I don’t have the full 46 weeks required by your training packet to dedicate. I’m currently about to start Week 4 of your Big 24 plan (I’m also doing some light maintenance running in the PM). As far as the way forward, this is what I had in mind:
Fortitude (after Big 24) > 1 week rest > Valor > 1 week rest > SFOD-D plan
However, “Resilience” also looks like an excellent preparatory plan for SFOD, whereas “Valor” looks more work capacity-focused. So I was also thinking that something like this would work:
Fortitude (after Big 24) > 1 week rest > Resilience > 1 week rest > SFOD-D plan
Both these progressions have an extra 2-3 weeks of unused time as well (I just don’t know what do with them yet).
I just wanted get your thoughts about what was the best way forward. Keep up the great work!
I like Valor Better – as it trains running and rucking speed-over-ground, but via short intervals. Resilience includes Rucking, but it’s not as concentrated.
You need a full week’s rest between plans … not sure if you accounted for that. If so, add a week to Fortitude and another to Valor.
Suggestions to sub out the sled pushes? No sled, no space.. : ( …
THEN for the next piece of pricier equipment to add to the arsenal, more performance gains with GHD or a sled?.. Alping skiing being main focus of training, mt biking, golfing, running, swimming coming in behind…
– 6x 40-foot shuttles
– 15x Box Jumps at 20″
– 60 Seconds Touch/Jump/Touch
Don’t waste money on a GHD. We’re selling ours.
I have a question about the 357 workouts. I started it today and was wondering if when it says do 6 rounds of 2x hang power clean rapidly adding weight until 2x is hard but doable then…. does that mean every round I start at say 135 and work up to where 2x is hard but doable or do I leave the weight be and only do rounds 2 through 6 at the heavier weight?
This is how I’d work up. 2x reps each round:
4-6 175 (This is my “hard, but doable” load)
Hi Rob! I’m looking for a training plan(s) to help me prepare for my upcoming Spartan Races (including the Beast). Any recommendations?
We have one spartan-specific plan – for the sprint: http://mtntactical.com/shop/spartan-sprint-race-training-plan/.
One which would work well for the Beast would be Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/
Humility is a limited equipment, full on training plan from our military side. It has a significant endurance component – including weekly weight vest or 25# pack runs, and unloaded runs which would train you for the 12 miles in a Beast.. At the top of the progression, the loaded runs hit 7 miles and the unloaded runs hit 12. It also includes significant leg strength training, upper body bodyweight work, and intense multi-modal work capacity events.
I was hoping you could help me with selecting a program to start using. I
am in the military and have gone through some pretty tough training but
some injuries keep lingering. I am looking to get back into it and really
enjoyed the sample week of the military training you had online. My
question is if I should do the Greek hero package or the athlete
My goal is to get stronger and quicker, I have typically been a more
I generally recommend athletes begin with a plan purchase – to make sure our stuff is for them. Start with the Greek Hero packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/greek-hero-training-packet/).
These plans represent our most recent evolution of Fluid Periodization for Military Athletes and train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, endurance (running, rucking) and TAC SEPA (speed, explosive power, agility) concurrently.
More on the plans and the packet here: http://mtntactical.com/fitness/packet-focus-military-athlete-greek-hero-packet/
I recently purchased a yearly athlete subscription to your website and am loving it. I have been following the daily operator sessions and they’re brutal and well thought out. I am in the Army National Guard and have no doubt they will help me with both my PFT scores and my operational needs. However, I was recently hired by a police department and the type of fitness needed in that realm is slightly different than in the military. I want to maintain my endurance and rucking capability for the Army, but also develop the explosive power, strength, and speed needed in law enforcement. Do you have any recommendations on programming to follow or will the operator sessions continue to suit me just fine? I know it’s a tricky balance to achieve.
We also have LE-specific programming. Start by working through the plans in the LE “Spirits” Series: http://mtntactical.com/shop/law-enforcement-spirits-plan-training-packet/
You have access to all these plans with your subscription … follow the order recommended in the packet.
Thanks for the great programs. I just reupped my subscription. Really enjoy the training.
Are the Greek Hero training plans and the Virtue training plans designed to be executed in a certain order? Do they build off one another or are they independent? I understand they have different focuses, but I wanted to know if they are designed to be conducted each as part of a larger program.
If they are independent, do you have a recommended order to them to take into account rest/recovery between training plans?
Complete the plans in the order recommended by the packets.
Long time user of the program — I used it religiously during two deployments as a USMC infantry officer. The Marines loved it, especially the squad workouts. I’m currently using a Work Capacity plan myself.
That aside, I got out and my new role is the management and training of 50+ Cadets trying to become Denver PD, SWAT, deputy sheriff, and Fire & Rescue. They each have unique fitness levels, but one common goal — to be functionally fit and pass their PFT.
I’m looking for some help on where to start. I haven’t incorporated a unit training plan, but I’d like to. I’m currently considering the LE Onramp to get everyone oriented on the style and techniques of the workouts, and then ramp it up to LE Officer / Urban Fire sessions or a PFT plan.
I appreciate any thoughts / advice / suggestions. I’ll probably have more questions when I hear your feedback. Thank you!
I’d recommend starting with Bodyweight Foundation: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/
This plan deploys an initial assessment, then based the following progressions on the assessment results … this way it automatically “scales” to the incoming fitness level of the athlete. This means super fit guys and unfit guys can train alongside each other doing the same plan and each be pushed. It will also establish a baseline from which to move onto strength training.
I’ve been using your Dryland preseason plan for 2 seasons and started the Maintenance plan this year. My question relates to the quadzillas and leg blasters. I snowboard, and I find the jumping lunges consistently kick my ass and leave my legs incredibly tight and sore. The rest of the exercises will push me, but not to the point where I feel I cannot ride for 3 days afterwards. I would think the movement translates better to skiers because their legs are separated. Is there anything you would substitute in place of the weighted/unweighted jumping lunges that would be suitable for the boarders doing these plans, like squat jumps/box jumps?
The quadzillas/leg blasters are super effective at training eccentric leg strength. That’s why I deploy them. When riding, gravity “bounces” you down the hill, and much of your work is fighting against gravity each turn/hop when it tries to force you into the mountain. This type of strength is eccentric strength and needed by both snowboarders and skiers – and event for skiers, 2x legs at a time.
That being said, gym training should improve your outdoor performance, not hamper it. In the middle of the season like this, if doing leg blasters costs you riding time or performance – don’t do them.
If you had a client that was a member of US Army SOF, who spent most of their free time training and competing in ultra marathons, what type of gym based strength workout would you have them do if because of the demands of their job (i.e. Long unpredictable hours) and their obsession with running (all free time spent doing this) they only were able to make it to the gym once a week?. Looking to get the most out of a workout that translates to performance on the job in terms of strength and work capacity , since endurance is not an issue. Said individual runs 5-6 days a week, usually 40-60 miles depending on what phase of the season they are in.
He’s was making a mistake prioritizing fitness training for recreation over the fitness demands of his job.
The fitness demands of SOF are high relative strength, high work capacity – especially loaded sprinting with level changes, chassis integrity, military endurance (running, but esp. rucking and ruck running), and Tactical Speed, Explosive Power and Agility.
Ultra runners can afford to be relatively weak and slow.
I’d have him take our Operator Ugly Fitness Assessment (http://mtntactical.com/fitness/operator-ugly-fitness-test/) and see how he scored. Army SOF should score in the high “Good” or “Great” Level.
Gym once a week is all? Heavy strength – Big 24 from our stuff.
Well I’m headed to air assault school end of March so I’m starting that program. I broke my hand a few months back I get it checked out today to see if they have to rebreak it. I know it sounds strange but it’s a mix of army doctors and field problems, not being able to get a check up at all. But after that … I am going to to ranger school in Oct. But we will also be in the field alot for a deployment in Jan… alot of complex variables I know. But that’s why I’m asking haha. Any help would be appreciated!
Air Assault now. After Air Assault School, the Operator Sessions with a subscription or plans from the Greek Hero Packet. Then the Ranger School Plan 8 weeks directly before Ranger school.
Ranger School: http://mtntactical.com/shop/ranger-school-training-plan/
I just finished SFAS a couple of weeks ago and am transitioning into
training for SFQC. A lot of my buddies used your “Ruck Based Selection
Program” prior to SFAS and were really successful. I unfortunately did not
know much about your company until I listened to your interview on the “Art
of Manliness” podcast today. I am all in on your company’s mission statement
and am excited to get started. My question for you is concerning my
timeline. As an officer, I need to attend the SF Captain’s Career Course in
May, and will not get to IUW until the end of August. What program should I
be on at this time/should I wait to do the SFQC training plan or just repeat
it? I assume that’s not the way to go after listening to you articulate a 6
month SFAS training timeline on the podcast. I also am not sure when exactly
I should ramp it up being only 2 weeks out from SFAS. I feel good, but don’t
want to get hurt if I hit it too hard too soon. I’m sure you’re incredibly
busy, so thanks in advance if you find time to get back to me. Looking
forward to buying in.
You won’t want to do the SFQC Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/special-forces-qualification-course-training-plan/) the six weeks directly before your course. You’re right, you need a break from 2-a-days and mini events now.
Right now I’d recommend either subscribing and following the Operator Sessions, and/or following the plans in the Greek Hero Packet: http://mtntactical.com/fitness/packet-focus-military-athlete-greek-hero-packet/
Both are day-to-day programming for guys like you, and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, endurance and Tactical Agility. The plans in the Greek Hero packet were first cycles we ran in the operator sessions. You get access to all with a subscription.
Thanks for your stuff, I am commissioning as an officer in the Marines in June, then I will attend The Basic School in November for 6 months with the intention of going to Infantry officers course after. What series of training plans would you recommend?
Right now I’d recommend you follow the plans in the Greek Hero Packet: http://mtntactical.com/fitness/packet-focus-military-athlete-greek-hero-packet/
7 weeks prior to IOC, complete the USMC CET Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/usmc-cet-training-plan/
I’m interested in purchasing one of your workout programs in order to prepare for the Army’s 18x program – Special Forces – and namely, SFAS. It appears that there are three prescribed programs pertinent to what I will do: “Ruck-Based Selection Training Plan V5,” “Ruck Based Selection SFAS Training Packet,” and “Selection Training Packet.” Can you help guide me to selecting the most appropriate program? Some more info on me that might help: I ship out to boot camp on March 14 of this year. SFAS should therefore take place sometime in August (from what I’m told). I’m 29 years old, 6’1″, and weigh 210 pounds. Although my college football experience is a bit removed from now (5+ years ago), I am still active daily in the gym, running outside, or swimming in the pool. Your help and guidance will be much appreciated.
For 18x guys like you I recommend the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-plan-v5/) before boot camp. You’ll arrive at boot camp over prepared, and lose some fitness there and have to do your best to maintain through airborne school, etc., then hopefully get some time bandwidth to re-complete the plan directly prior to SFAS … but you can’t predict. What doing this plan now is help introduce your body to this type of challenge and training and mind to the intensity. This plan is no joke – and several have used it successfully for SFAS.