Q&A 5.13.16

Part (3)'s box jumps before the suicide sprint.


I just finished Humility. I had previously been doing a mix of different workouts from your Ruck Based Selection Packet that I bought a couple years back. I’m finally starting to prep for SFAS and your new philosophy on prepping for it caught my eye, especially with all the research you put in to back up your change of programming. I decided to get Humility and see how the new programming method was. I loved it.

The Quadzilla and Gorilla complexes thrashed me, as did the Devil Dog Circuits. Now that I’ve finished the program my “combat chassis” feels better than ever. The 7 mile IBA run and 12 mile unloaded run were once far off goals and are now a reality. Here are all my assessment numbers for Weeks 1 and 7. The program took me about 9 weeks to complete due to field ops etc.

Burpees                                      66  81
EOs                                               60  72
Box Jumps                                38  40 (Week 1 done with 16″ box, Week 7 done with 20″ box. My bad.)
Hand Release Pushups       31  36
Jump Lunges                          24  30.5
Pullups                                      23  24
3 Mi Run                                   22:14  21:29  20:49

Thanks for the great program. I really enjoyed it and made some great progress, especially on my lower body. Up next is Big 24 and I can’t wait.




I am a Deputy Sheriff in North Carolina. I ran across your website and really liked what I saw. I recently got on our Special Response Team and am looking to go from good shape to elite. I have a background lifting and endurance work but have had trouble maintaining a good weight and upper body strength. I have never had a problem with putting in the work to get better and would like to get some more tools to be a better member to our team.


A great place to start would be our SWAT Selection Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/swat-selection-training-plan/

– Rob



I hope you are doing well! I’ve been a very satisfied customer since spring of 2012 just wanted to let you know before I got to the question and topic of the email how grateful I am for you and your programs they’re amazing and you’re a very awesome guy!

Anyways, I am an Active Duty Navy Corpsman currently stationed on the island of Guam. I am planning on putting in a package request to o to BRC and I see you have a workout plan for that which I plan on buying and also a USMC PFT plan but I have to take a PST and pass with SEAL standards, in order to get my package rolling and I was wondering if there’s a prep plan I should utilize like maybe the BUD’s prep plan or something of that nature to specifically help me prepare or if the BRC package will suffice?


Thanks for the note! I’m glad the programming has worked for you.

Focus on the PST first. We do have a US Navy PST Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/us-navy-pst-training-plan/

After acceptance, complete the Basic Recon Course plan the weeks directly before the course.

– Rob



Greetings and thanks in advance. I used your military athlete program in 2012 when I was in Afghanistan and I’m pretty certain that’s the fittest I’ve ever been. So, as I’m setting some new goals, I figured I’d look you up again. Cool new website!

I’m planning on running a 50k or 50 miler in the fall, but I’ll also be sheep hunting (also in the fall) and then mountaineering in the winter. I’m currently running low mileage (10-15/week) and am just getting back into a workout routine (as opposed to cutting wood and digging holes and other manual labor involved with running a lodge in AK). All I’d like to do with the race is finish and not injure myself in the process. For mountaineering, I don’t have any specific goals other than to go farther, faster.

Sheep hunting will be mid-August to mid-Sept and I’d like to run a race in October (it’ll be a bit colder). The requirements for each are obviously a bit different…hiking over mountains with heavy weight vs running over mountains w/ light weight. So, just a running plan with some extra strength work thrown in?

Anyhow, thanks for the advice. I’ll be purchasing something after I hear from you guys.


I’d recommend you begin with the Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/ultra-running-preseason-training-program/

It will spool you up through the summer and includes lifting and running:

8 weeks out from your sheep hunting trip, I’d recommend the Backcountry Big Game Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-game-hunting-training-program/

This plan includes lots of step ups, eccentric leg strength training for the downhills, sandbag get ups and heavy ruck running for the pack out.

Then return to running for your ultra later in the Fall.

– Rob



I did the body weight foundation plan this winter in prep for a big hike and it got me into great shape. Now im back in the real world and am looking for a plan to maintain the gains i made over the winter. Any suggestions? Preferably one that doesn’t require alot of equipment.


Sir –

Bodyweight Build: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-build/


Humility: http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

– Rob



I’ve taken the liberty to write to you before when I followed some of your plans with great results, so here I go again!

My girlfriend, an endurance runner, is looking at the “In-Season Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes” because the objectives seem to match hers closely.  She’s looking for durability and to a lesser extent performance, which is why I’ve pointed her in your direction (Not being injured through a Goruck HCL after following your GRH program has convinced me that you know what you’re doing when it comes to durability!).

So she’s looking at stronger core/legs/hips/knees for the running performance, and just keeping everything turning fine.

So, the kicker… She doesn’t have access to a fully equipped gym. In particular, she has access to dumb bells but not barbells.  Do you think the program could be adapted by e.g. replacing squats with holding dumbbels in front rack, etc?  It seems like I would be able to adapt the sample training days on the page, but I don’t know beyond that.

Do you have any advice?  Do you think we could figure out modifications to the program, or would modifying another program be more worthwhile?

Hoping this was clear enough, and thanking you for your time,


Dumbbell exercise substitutions are fine.

Another option is the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan – it’s a great all around plan which deploys some advanced bodyweight strength training programming. http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

– Rob



I contacted you a little under 2 months ago about a personal deployment training plan.  You recommended the Virtue series and holy shit, I am grateful.  The workouts have been challenging and fun and the gains are real.  I’m actually contacting you because my CO just gave me quite the challenge.  He wants me to develop a training plan that will  meet some undetermined metric while only implementing a weekly workout so as not to mess with the only outlet the boys have to blow off steam.

Before I just start assigning arbitrary numbers to lifts, I wanted to get some input from people much more experienced in this realm than I. My CO’s intent is to use back squat, deadlift, bench press, pull-ups, and a 3 mile run as a metric to monitor our Marines’ progress throughout the deployment.  At the same time; however, we are not trying to just go for a 1 rep max.  This is where I could really use some help. Do you already have some kind of standard to use for a “combat fit” individual? (Ex. Squat 150% of bodyweight x 10 or bench press body weight x 10) I really don’t even know where to begin with this.

The second challenge is going to be developing some kind of weekly or bi-weekly workout that the boys will enjoy doing, won’t be too overzealous (op tempo is high AF right now), and will actually produce results.  All of these guys are working out every day, just maybe not in the areas that will “measure combat fitness” if there is such a thing.

TL;DR: Is there a way to measure combat fitness and how do I develop a non-intrusive workout regimen that will ensure results if followed for 5 months.

I’m extremely grateful for any advice you can send our way.

Courage in adversity,


I’d recommend Operator Ugly with a couple of changes, and the Operator Ugly Training Plan – with a couple of changes.

1) Drop the sandbag getups and the 3-mile Ruck run from the assessment.

2) Use These Loads for the Assessment:

Athletes         Bench   Front Squat   Dead/Hinge
Veteran          185         185                     225
Moderate      155         155                     185
New/Small    135        135                     155

3) Complete The sessions in the Operator Ugly Training Plan, in order, but just 2x/week. I’d recommend Monday and Thursday. Obviously you’ll skip the sandbag getup and rucking work in the plan. (http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-ugly-train-up/)

The beauty of this plan is it uses the assessment results to automatically “Scale” the progressions to the individual athlete. Doing this plan just 2x/week will give you around 8 weeks of programming.

– Rob



Just emailing to pick your brain on something. I am training for Australian SF and I need to improve my webbing run (3.2km in 16mins with 8kg of patrol order).

I currently run the 3.2km in 18mins with 8kg of webbing and running it clean skin I hit 14:24.

Would the run improvement program be best for me or is there something else I can look at?

Thanks for your time.


I’d recommend you enter your fastest 3.2 km, with 8kg into our Running Calculator (use 2 miles for the distance) http://mtntactical.com/exercises/running-calculator/

Then, 2x/week, I’d recommend you do this at the track, with the 8kg:

Day 1:
5 Rounds
Run 800m at interval pace
Rest 3 minutes between runs

Day 2:
3 Rounds
Run 1600m at Interval Pace (use “per mile” interval pace)
Rest 4 minutes between runs

– Rob


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