A few months ago we exchanged emails and you offered some great advice about improving my speed over ground with the Valor program which I have completed and I then moved onto doing Hyp for Skinny guys and have made good weight gains. In a few weeks I will be starting Army ROTC and finishing college. I was looking for advice on programs to follow before then to help improve my bodyweight (165 @ 6’1) and overall strength before I start ROTC and doing vastly more endurance training. As well as what to do during ROTC as far as nutrition/programming so I can continue to make strength and weight gains even with the added activity. I want to be the best and won’t take anything less.
Endurance work and weight gain, in general, work against each other. As well – you’ll be amazed at how you’ll fill out in a couple years as you move into your 20’s … for most guys, it’s just hard to add much mass in their college years.
In general – I’d recommend you pound protein and focus on increasing strength over mass …. the mass will come with age. At the same time, don’t ignore work cap or endurance – these are needed for military athletes.
From our programming, two choices – continue with the virtue series of plans …. Fortitude, then Resilience, or move on to the Operator Sessions, beginning at the start of the most recent cycle.
I am looking for help picking out the right plan. I am looking to get into better shape and ready for the upcoming seasons. I am 5’11” 182 lbs. Hunts range in distance but never exceed 5 days. We hunt steep country which is why I am looking to get a plan to help prepare. We start with bear in Hells Canyon Oregon, just before memorial day. Then it’s mainly hiking and fishing until an Arizona bow hunt late this summer. The backcountry hunter programs is definitely more than I could handle right now, if I pick it up is there a reduced version (somewhere between hunter and backpacking preseason)? I work out of town so stay in hotels rooms 3 nights a week, I like the thought of just carrying an extra duffle bag around and building a 16″ step. Any ideas or help with where to start? Thanks a bunch
A couple options to get started –
1) Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/)
This plan uses initial assessments, and the follow-on progressions are built on your assessment results. This way it automatically scales to your current level of fitness. Because it’s all bodyweight – you can do it traveling.
2) Stuck in a Motel Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/stuck-in-a-motel-training-plan/)
Great plan built around the equipment in most motels – treadmill, bench, set of dumbbells.
My life became overcomplicated and had to roll back on a number of things from top to bottom from relationships, diet and fitness to job prospects.
Right now, my priority is my career which essentially boiled down as being a digital nomad– working from a computer and moving to whatever city which can sustain my lifestyle. Contracts are a bitch that way.
To make life easier, I have decided to let go of most of my possessions except what can be scaled down to a carry-on bag and a messenger bag (counts as an accessory on planes). Outdoors sports will fit into a hockey bag which goes into a cheap storage locker or a friend’s basement when not in use.
As per our correspondences in the past, I didn’t always have access to a functional gym. So, you were able to recommend the Backcountry Hunting Training and Afghanistan Pre-Deployment and Backcountry Big Game Hunting. Those two put on a considerable amount of muscle mass.
Hence, why I keep returning to Strong Swift Durable (or Mountain Tactical Institute)– because of austere-based plans.
Had the Athlete Subscription Package for awhile then cancelled due to having to rearrange finances to go back to school, so I was able to take a look at the RAT-6. Virtue packet, Mountain Base packet and Mountain Guide program which are aligned most closely with my goals.
So, my plan is this: if the city has a well-equipped gym, then gym-based training will be standard. If none exists, then buy a pair of used 25# dumbbells and a pull-up bar/hangboard locally.and make do with sandbags. Then sell or give away the equipment when it’s time to pack up and go. In my experience, trying to sell equipment other than dumbbells and pull-up bars is a hassle.
The only equipment I will take with me would be rings and canvas bags.
How much does your canvas bag weigh individually? And how much space do they take up if rolled?
And is there anything else I should add to my carry-on bag for training?
Our sandbags pretty much the same size as a big army duffle bag – not sure the weight – but that will give you an idea. Issue for you will be finding filler for it as you bounce around.
We fill ours with wood pellets for wood stoves – and like the bulk that comes with them – it must makes the training a little more functional. Other sandbags out there use actual sand – which is more dense – and thus the bag much smaller. Rogue Fitness and others sell these – which I’m thinking might be a better choice for you. Pellets can be hard to come buy in many places, but you can always find sand or gravel.
As well – one thing you may want to explore with your training is some long endurance. Seems like you’re moving into that headspace, and long endurance work could bring you solace. Look at our Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan.
Training gear? I’d recommend a GPS watch like a Garmin Forunner – we use the cheapest ones and these are amazing – esp. for rucking and running distances and pacing. Jump rope is always good to have as well for an austere training place.
I was told from a buddy to check out your website. It looks amazing, i almost feel overwhelmed by how many program you guys have out there.
I am a soldier of the Canadian forces, my goal is to become a SAR tech (search and rescue tech) selection are not until February 2017, preselection have to be in July-September 2016. I understand i have alot of time ahead of me and i am looking for a program that will prepare me for the unknown.
There is a variety of skills i need to improve such as swimming, rucking, running and just overall durability and endurance. I am an intermediate crossfit/weight lifter and am currently coming off a year long of strict powerlifting.
What program would suit this mission best?
From what you describe I’d recommend the BORSTAR Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/borstar-stc-training-plan/) the weeks directly before your pre-selection, then repeat it again the weeks before your actual selection next February.
Right now I’d recommend you begin our stuff with Valor: http://mtntactical.com/?s=valor
On the Burpee Beep Ladder Assessment in the opening sentence you talk about a 6-week body weight only strength/ work capacity training cycle. The program we designed consisted of six exercises: (1) sit-ups, (2) push-ups, (3) box jumps, (4) jump lunges, (5) pull-ups and (6) burpees. Could you point me in the right direction of where I could locate this program? Thanks.
We completed the cycle you describe as part of our Operator Sessions on the website.
Closest stand alone plans:
1) Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/
2) Bodyweight Foundation: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/
I am applying to RASP2 and will most likely not be able to go until the class that starts 26 September. Unfortunately this is 3 weeks after I get back from NTC. What do you recommend for my train up starting now, going through NTC and in the 3 weeks following NTC?
As you probably know, while at NTC I will be in a field environment for about a month with no access to a gym. For 2-3 of those weeks I will have minimal sleep and be on a field diet of Army “meals” and MREs.
I’d recommend you work through Fortitude and Valor now into NTC.
At NTC focus on the PFT sessions of the RASP Plan as you can with your schedule – running, push ups, sit ups, pull ups. Let your rucking there take care of that event. You’ll obviously won’t be able to swim.
Post NTC complete the first 3 weeks of RASP plan in its entirety.
How do you go about correcting upper/lower strength imbalances in your athletes? My current goals are to finish a cycle of your hyper trophy for skinny guys program and then transition to on-ramp and operator sessions, but am unsure about how to address my upper body strength. What’re your recommendations?
Current numbers are:
- 5’10” 165
- Strict Press 135
- Bench – 175
- FS – 240
- Back squat – 255
- DL – 355
- Squat Clean – 205
Be patient …. it’ll come. I’d recommend the Ultimate Meathead Cycle to start. Ultimate Meathead trains lower strength, upper hypertrophy. You don’t need the lower hypertrophy you’ll get with the Skinny Guys plan.
Browsing through the climbing webinar I see that you have chosen strength, work capacity and stamina. Is there a reason that you don’t specifically train max power or power endurance – Big moves, fast pulls low reps or long moves high reps.
What are your thoughts on these being incorporated into climbing workouts on systems and campus boards?
“Max Power” and “Power Endurance” don’t make sense to me from a programming perspective. It’s a connotation thing. I’ve seen other coaches use these and we’ll often have athletes skip row’s on our Tech Board or campus dyno/lock and reach …. but I consider these strength or work capacity efforts depending on the duration.
Issue for me is the fitness demands for the big moves – other than finger strength – simply aren’t that great. Certainly there is a pulling issue for a big campus dyno, but in my gym athletes (other than women) don’t fail because of the pulling effort alone – if they were doing it on monkey bars or huge holds they would have no problem. The issue is finger strength – pulling hard against a small campus run and then having the contact strength for the “catch” at the top.
The issue is mostly connotation – “Power Endurance” seems like an oxymoron to me – it comes down to 1-4 minutes of effort on finger grip strength (my work capacity). “Max Power” to me is a finger strength effort.
I think you’ll find when you peel off the board it will be not because your lats fail from pulling and big reaches – but because your fingers/grip fail.
I have been an avid follower for the past few years and hope you can provide me some insight now. I am a 28 year old USMC 2Lt, who has recently graduated the Infantry Officer’s Course. The course was quite difficult and left nearly no room for PT aside from the curriculum demands, with the main evaluated event being several hikes of increasing weight and distance (as I am sure you are aware). So now having finished that, I am good at rucking, but not much else. Furthermore, my body feels completely worn down and nearly broken. I have a follow on school that begins in 8 weeks, and I will take a PFT during week 1. Also, I will have the opportunity to screen for a position with one of the Reconnaissance battalions. These are events I obviously want to excel in, and I am asking for advice on how to get from my current state (pretty beat down) to a state where I can dominate the PFT and Recon screener. For what it is worth, the screener will most likely be conducted towards the end of July/beginning of August, with the PFT taking place in about 9 weeks. Any advice you have is greatly appreciated. Thank you again, I look forward to hearing from you.
Take a full week off, then I’d recommend Valor for 6 weeks, then the USMC PFT Training Plan for 2 weeks just before your PFT.
Sorry to bother you again. Quick question about humility. The gorilla complex is listed as 25# DBs. In the demo video and in one of our emails it talks about using a single dumbbell or barbell. Just didn’t know if it was single or double dumbbell at 25#s for humility.
Secondly, I know you talk about trail running shoes and Adidas sambas for training. What shoe do you recommend for weight vest runs and for ruck runs (looking to the future and fortitude).
Thanks again for everything. Humility is definitely a gut check. Was nervous about getting away from the main lifts but man those weighted runs and the quadzilla complexes are deceptive smokers! Hope all is well and thanks again!
1. 1x dumbbell or 2x 25# dbs for the gorilla complex.
2. Trail running shoes. Your choice.
Just finished the Big 24, with great results. I just started on RAT 6, but I also have the USMC PFT to prep for at the same time. Pullups and crunches don’t need much work, but I want to work on my run (currently around 20:30). What do you recommend?
USMC PFT through your assessment, then pivot to Rat 6.
I am a subscriber to the website and I am on my last week of the 3-5-7 Strength plan. You recommended this to me after I finished the post rehab leg injury plan.
I am 6’ and about 215# and my best recorded 1RM numbers from 3-5-7 are as follows:
- Front squat: 195#
- Back squat: 255#
- Box Squat: 255#
- Push press: 190#
- Military press: 140#
- Power clean: 195#
- Bench press: 220#
I feel like I need to cut some body fat and was contemplating doing the fat loss plan, but have noticed on the site Q&A’s that you recommend the virtue series workouts frequently and I am wondering what program to follow next.
Appreciate any guidance you can give and as always thanks for all that you do.
Move on to Valor – it has a work capacity focus which will help you cut fat. But it’s so much more, too.
I’m a DoD Firefighter for the Navy. I’m also a Volunteer firefighter. I started out a volunteer in 2004. In 2007 I graduated with an A.A.S. in Fire Protection Technology. In 2010 I got hired as a DoD firefighter in Iraq where I was there for 16 months. And finally in 2012 I got hired by the Navy. I have always been an active person. I played the usual sports like soccer basketball and football. After high school my sport playing died down and turned into just being active like working out running and obstacle races. I have competed in firefighting events like the Firefighter Combat Challenge and the World Police and Fire Games. I’m not super firefighter athlete not a crossfit junkie or an elite OCR runner. I’m just your average firefighter who likes to train and compete. I do the races and FF events not just for fun but to be in better shape because I am a firefighter after all. There are quite a few fitness programs out there that are firefighter based. I’m the kind of person that likes to follow a program. I will occasionally do a Firefighter based crossfit style workout but I like to have a program to follow so that I can see improvements. That’s where I came across your company. I’ve been looking at the fire rescue athlete on ramp program. I am going to do the FR assessment this week and go from there. Any advice to give would be great. Thanks.
P.S. I was going to order a shirt and sticker but I see you don’t have that in the Fire Rescue Athlete. Just the hat.
At your level I’d recommend starting with the Fitness Assessment then using your scores and following the Fire Rescue Fitness Assessment Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fire-rescue-athlete-fitness-assessment-training-plan/) – and seeing how much higher you can push your scores the second time around.
Follow it up with Fire Rescue Tactical I.
I’m interested in the SCRUM you’re hosting in June. For clarity, is this a discussion specific seminar, or is there a strength and conditioning lab as well as a range day?
We’ve got a few goals with the Scrum –
– Identify Mission Direct problems for our research in the areas of fitness, gear, training and policy
– Create an enriching, thought-provoking experience for attendees
– Foster relationships amongst the attendees for continued collaboration beyond the Scrum
– Churn the idea of the Scrum for future events in Wyoming and elsewhere – i.e. intense, solution-focused workshops for those working in or part of mountain and tactical athlete mission performance.
For Attendees –
– Be introduced to the methodology and application of Mission Direct research, and get first hand experience applying the principals in an workshop setting with others from diverse backgrounds
– Networking – we’ll have senior military officers, professional mountain athletes, tactical instructors, gear designers, etc. in attendence
– Hands Introduction to MTI’s application of Mission Direct principals in two areas – fitness program design and range training
Understand the Scrum isn’t a workshop/course focused on our fitness programming methodology or range fitness theory. Attendees will contribute mightily to the overall effort including pre-scrum reading, and specific task completions while here.
If your interested specifically in our programming methodology I’d encourage you to attend one of our programming courses.
Hope this answers your questions.
I am currently an Army ROTC Cadet who might be attending CDQC this summer. I had a quick question about the CDQC Training Plan. Can it be done in conjunction with other plans? On top of CDQC, I will be attending CLC (Cadet Leadership Course), which involves mostly rucking and some lifting. Is it possible to mix plans, and if so what would you recommend? (I already own Valor, and Ultimate Meathead.) Thank you for your time.
You got to get into the pool. The CDQC Plan is swimming intensive – as is the course. I wouldn’t mix plans.
I am going to the Fall delta A/S. So I don’t have 10 months, which of the programming should I use?
Follow the plans in the packet, but work backward from selection start date. You’ll want to do the SFOD-D selection training plan the 10 weeks directly before selection. By my count you’ve got 23-24 Weeks:
7 Total Rest
14 Total Rest
15-24 SFOD-D Selection Training Plan
what is a rule in choosing weights/number of reps if my goal is power and strength without muscle hypertrophy? I have followed your preseason ice climbing program which was great but I have noticed instantly bigger delts and biceps. Part of that is probably inevitable but I’m wondering if that trend will continue. I am an alpinist, rock and ice climber so I want lean muscles without adding extra body weight or muscle bulk. How do I achieve that?