Q&A 5.16.19

QUESTION

I’m planning to run a 50k this fall. I see there’s ultra preseason, 50miler and 100miler plan. While I think the latter two are in the future for me, probably not this year. Do you have any plan recommendations for a 50k trail run?
If possible, I would also like to be able to work in some strength and BJJ a few times per week without overtraining. Recommendations for scheduling/frequency?
I’m also interested in recommendations for nutrition prior to longer runs and footwear/gear. I’ve been using the merrell trail glove lately, which is pretty minimal, but I’ve run in hoka challengers as well and they were ok.
Any guidance is appreciated, as always. Keep up the good work.

ANSWER

The Ultra Pre-Season Training Plan will work for a 50K.
BJJ? As 2-a-days, and pay attention to your running recovery and if you’re making the volume increases in the plan.
Nutrition? – supplementing definitely helps for longer efforts. I like the GU gels or gummy chews (gels get messy).
Shoes? Hoka Speed Goat or La Sportiva Akasha.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently a Recruit at a Police Academy in Australia. I’m about to graduate and placed into my local station for patrol duties etc. I currently train BJJ 2-3 times a week and have been doing some general strength and conditioning. I was referred to your programs by a dear friend, and need help which to pick.

I saw your Whiskey training plan for LEOs and your BJJ plan. I was wondering which program would be best for being fit for patrol whilst training BJJ at the same time. I can’t do 2 a days due to time constraints. My goals are to be fit for patrol, gaining strength and little bit of hypertrophy whilst being well conditioned and progressing in my BJJ.

ANSWER

Job first. Whiskey.
– Rob

QUESTION

Curious.  I have five years on you at 55.   At this point in time my yearly physical is the best indicator of how I am doing.  What do you think you will do to change your programing as you age into your 50’s toward 60.  I find lifting or lifting heavy isn’t the issue.  Cardo is.  I have a lot of mass at 6’5’  240 so that maybe my issue.  Also more joint issues then I have had prior to 50.   Best thing I do is workout with people 20 years younger.

ANSWER

I haven’t developed programming for ages 55+. From what I do have I’d recommend SF45 programming, and cutting the endurance volume in half.
Getting down to 200# will make everything better for you – esp. joint impact. SF45 programming has an endurance emphasis for this reason.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off I want to thank you for creating hands-down the best physical training programs I have encountered. I am an Infantry Officer in the Marine Corps, and have been training at a high level for 12 years at this point. I have used several of your programs over the years to get ready for Infantry Officer Course, deployments, Colorado 14’ers, and generally to maintain speed, strength, and durability over the years. My favorites have been Resilience, Fortitude, and the Big 24 Strength.
I have come to trust your methodology because it is efficient (minimum effective dosage to achieve results without wasting valuable time) and low risk (avoids unnecessary movements that would only offer trivially incremental results at disproportionately high risk).
I had a membership last year while on deployment and really enjoyed it. I used a lot of the combat chassis and work capacity stuff to lead a remedial PT program for our Marines who needed some help. Everybody who “volunteered” improved their PFT score significantly. I decided I needed to save some money when I returned and unsubscribed. However, I still am constantly checking the site, reading the blog and research posts, and checking out the new training programs.
So THANK YOU. I come to you now, in this email, to ask for some input on how to best program the next few months. I will be deploying at the end of this month, for about 6 months. I will be getting out of the Marine Corps at the end of this year, and I’m in the middle of the FBI special agent application process. I will return from deployment in October and I imagine I will run an FBI PFT very shortly after that.
I’m thinking I should hold off on the FBI SASS PFT program until the very end of deployment, so that I can return to the states and test out at the highest possible level. For the beginning 4 months of the deployment however, which program would you recommend? LE Academy? FBI PFT program on repeat? One of the other Greek Hero or general fitness plans? My main goal is to crush the FBI PFT obviously. But I also would like to maintain relative strength as much as possible and work capacity while not getting bigger. Size will just slow me down.
For a little background I am 5’10 and weigh 175. I have had lower back disc issues in the past that I can manage pretty well with a strong core. I avoid the hinge lift and power cleans, opting instead for hex bar or sumo dead lift and hang cleans. I did a self administered FBI PFT today and scored a 35/50. Wasn’t feeling 100% and can definitely do better, but it highlighted my need to improve sprint, pushups, and 1.5 mile run.
Situps – 65 – 10/10 pts
300 m Sprint – 47 sec – 4/10 pts
Pushups – 47 – 4/10 pts
1.5 mile run – 9:40 – 7/10 pts
Pullups – 20 – 10/10 pts
I know you are busy and an extremely hard-working guy and that you probably receive THOUSANDS of these emails. If you can’t get back to me I understand. I want the right answer though and as far as I’m concerned, you are the guy most likely to have it.
Keep on doing what you do for all of us. I speak for MANY fellow Marines who have vastly improved themselves with your programs and are GRATEFUL. I recommend your stuff to everyone I meet.
Thanks again Rob.

ANSWER

Greek Hero Plans until you start the FBI SA PFT Plan at the end of your deployment.
Thanks for the note and good luck with the FBI application.
– Rob

QUESTION

If we are going self-sufficient as a team up Mount Rainier, and our packs way 60+ pounds, should we be using heavier packs for the long distance rucks in the Rainier training program? More than 35lbs?

ANSWER

Yep.
Also – increase the step up loading from 25# to 35#.
Sucks for you ….
– Rob

QUESTION

What is a good score for the initial 18 minute step test (w/25# pack) on the Ultimate Work Capacity Plan?

ANSWER

“Good” 450+
– Rob

QUESTION

Love your programs. I am just starting the Backpacking Pre-Season series. The instructions for Step Ups say “@ 40#” after it. Does that mean to hold 40 pounds of weight while doing the exercise?

ANSWER

40# = wear a 40# backpack.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am close to finishing the body weight foundation and was looking for a recommendation for my next plan.

I am looking for something to improve overall fitness and fat loss. Something that does not require a lot of equipment or Olympic lifts. (I have access to a gym but can’t always get there and have to get a workout done in the back yard).
Also, as far as getting stuff for a home “garage” gym, what would you recommend as the basics to have at home?

ANSWER

Training? The Country Singer Packet 1, beginning with Johnny. These deploy MTI’s Fluid Periodization for general fitness athletes.
Gym? Simple rack with a pull up bar, barbell/bumper plates, set of cheap dumbbells, 1x 20×24″ plyo box, backpack, and 60# sandbag.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am currently walking around at 230lbs. I have 3 young kids 10, 7, and 5. I have a background in Muay Thai 8 years, CrossFit 6 years, and most recently competitive Olympic Lifting for 2 years – I competed at 93kg / 205lbs in November last year.

Over January to March of this year I’ve let work and life take over and my fitness has gone down, and my body weight shot up.

I’m now looking for some programming that is strength focused, progressive, varied, functional and well though out.  I don’t want to go back to CrossFit, too much high impact, too many circus moves, too focused on the sport of fitness.

My immediate goals are building functional strength, a bit of work capacity (to keep up with my kids) and getting my body weight back down to 200lbs (this latter goal will be more to do with improving my nutrition than any specific programme, along the lines you articulate on your website regarding nutrition).

I found Rob in a recent Men’s Health magazine “Muscle after 40” and searched out his website today. The programming looks amazing, but there’s so much choice.  I’m keen to subscribe and stick with one source of programming over the next year or so.

My question is where do I start? and after I’ve completed one programme, how do I choose the next? It’s like I’m looking for a track I can follow over the next year.  Does that make sense?

Anyway, glad to have found your site and love the philosophy and values that permeate all of your content.

ANSWER

Training? The Country Singer Packet 1, beginning with Johnny. These deploy MTI’s Fluid Periodization for general fitness athletes and include strength, work capacity, endurance and chassis integrity.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am very interested in your training and being a “lab rat”. Especially the law enforcement and swat training.

ANSWER

We’ll announce our lab rat opportunities via our Beta email. – None right now.
From our current programming, I’d recommend the Spirit Packet of plans for LE Patrol/Detective – starting with Whiskey.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have seen one of the common questions is about “Grind.” It says keep going at a brisk pace but not all out. So for as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes? I read this as keep moving for 15 minutes straight, at a pace that you don’t have to stop, but with good form and intention. Is that a correct reading?

ANSWER

Correct. Work steadily but not frantically. So it’s not quite an AMRAP … just keep grinding along.
– Rob

QUESTION

Its good stuff so far Rob. One observation I have noticed is the mental discipline created by not only following the program but by the workouts being challenging enough (for me anyway) that they take motivation to do. That discipline and fortitude serve well when in the mountains chasing mountain sheep. Its not easy and if you’re conditioned mentally as well as physically you are used to going the extra distance. Thats helpful.
For me I have taken a cautionary approach to the 8 week program. Im 54 and trained all my life in one form or another. Injury avoidance is important for me at this stage of life, for many reasons. So When I started the Back Country Big Game Hunter program  I stopped after day 3 on week 1, the second week of week 1 I finished day 4, and this past week I did all 6 days of week 1. So Im going to see how week 2 feels and determine if i need to take the same approach. Does this seem a good way to go?
I do find that I can feel the workout the next day in the legs. Upper body no problem. On the days I wasn’t doing the program I’m doing my good old fashion weigh lifting and a bit of skipping.

ANSWER

The plan is intense and reflects the intensity of bc hunting – especially the leg volume aspect. If you need to break, take total rest – don’t lift.
– Rob

QUESTION

Quick question about stretching.
I see in many programs it might call for 6 rounds of a few exercises and then a stretch. Should you also perform that stretch 6 times? Should you just do the stretch once after you complete all rounds?
Please advise.
Thank you for putting out such badass programs.

ANSWER

Six times – once each round.
– Rob

QUESTION

Just read you write up on multi-modal fitness. It has my curious as how I should plan for my situation.  Full time large city fire fighter, part time Army SOT-A team member. Hobbies include mountain biking more and more, hiking, and backcountry skier in winter. What plan or plans? Need to be better at core and lower back maintenance/strength as well.  Thanks!

ANSWER

Best Option: Train for your full time job first. From our stuff this would be the Big Cat Packetof plans for Urban Fire-Rescue. These concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity (core), tactical agility and uphill endurance for highrise ops.
Then, use our sport specific plans for your mountain-sport training. So, 8 weeks out from your MTB season, drop out of the Big Cat Plans and do the Mountain Bike Pre-season Training Plan. 8 weeks out from your hunting trip, drop out of the Big Cat Plans and complete the Backcountry Big Game Training Plan. 
Between season train ups, drop back into the Big Cat Plans.
Next Best: Use the Wilderness Series of Plans for Wilderness Professionals as your sole source programming. These plans are built for forest rangers, game wardens, etc and concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and mountain endurance (rucking, uphill hiking under load, running). A simpler, but less precise option.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have been very interested in joining the program and am targeting the NZSAS when i am at 23 years of age. (19) I am currently quite reasonably fit and have been for some time. I was wondering what training program you would recommend? I have seen you offer the AUSRSAS which i was wondering if they quite similar? Also if your program have the required time e.g. pack marches.

ANSWER

Yes – the Australian SASR Training Plan does include ruck marches.
Programming? You’re a ways out from selection, and what I’d recommend for you now is to work through the plans/order in the Virtue Packet of plans, beginning with the Military OnRamp Plan.
These plans will lay a solid “base” of military fitness and help prepare you for the volume and intensity of the selection training plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a ROTC cadet at Clemson University and I am interested in your workout plans. My first question is that I was wondering if there is any discount for contracted cadets. My second question is what commercial gym would you recommend, that would have all the necessary equipment for your plans

ANSWER

1. No
2. Can’t help here. Best to look at the equipment list for the plan you’re interested in and find a gym that has the equipment.
– Rob

QUESTION

I missed the 18 miler this past weekend and would like to (kind of) make up for it by doing the following:
Tuesday (today): Strength (no running)
Wednesday: 15 Miles
Thursday: Off
Friday: Session 43
Saturday: Session 44
Sunday: Session 45
Monday; Session 46
Please advise.

ANSWER

Total Rest Sunday and Monday – get in 3 full day’s rest before reporting.
– Rob

QUESTION

I was wondering if you could suggest an alternate exercise for the 30 foot dumbbell crawl. I have been unable to perform this exercise due to my gym’s space constraints and equipment rules.
I have searched google for alternatives and have found nothing.
Your help is greatly appreciated. The programming has been excellent so far

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I’m headed to FLETC in early June. I have a pretty decent run (9:25),
an acceptable agility test of 16.25, and a very low bench at 185. I’m
a 33 year old male at 6’4″ and 215.

What plan can you recommend gaining in the bench while not losing
cardiovascular fitness? I looked at your PEB plan. I might go that
route, but I’d rather spend time focusing on upper body fitness and
pepper in a few runs a week to maintain running ability.

Thanks for any advice,

ANSWER

ADX Florence comes from our programming for correctional officers and has a significant upper body focus including specific bench press work. It includes work capacity – but you’d need to add in running.
– Rob

QUESTION

I follow more of a bodybuilder/power lifting regiment, focusing mostly on the big three lifts.
This made me pretty strong, but also slow and heavy. I’m looking for something that I can do to maintain or increase my strength, lose fat, and that will help my ruck and my two mile run. As I prepare to attend additional schools next FY.
I decided to give you guys a try after several recommendations from people in my unit. Which plan would you recommend I start with.

ANSWER

Hector. This plan concurrently trains strength, work capacity, endurance, chassis integrity and tactical agility. It’s endurance includes a 3-mile ruck run for time, and moderate paced unloaded distance work.
– Rob

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