Q&A 5.23.21

QUESTION

I’ve been looking at your nutrition/ideal body weight guidelines and there seems to be some sound reasoning behind your model. However, I’m a tactical athlete (pursuing a career in law enforcement) and my primary challenge is gaining mass/strength (currently 5’11” and roughly 155lbs). Will I be able to gain lean mass using your guidelines, especially given the intensity of the training? In the past, I’ve always had trouble accidentally losing weight when shifting to a lower-carb diet (as I interpret your guidelines to be).

ANSWER

It’s likely you’re going to be skinny forever, but even if not, eating sugar and carbs will add fat, not muscle to your body. Fat is “mass” – but I don’t think it’s the kind you want.
Most important is performance. We have assessments for this which you can take to see how your fitness stacks up.
I’d recommend the MTI Relative Strength Assessment and the MTI Tactical Athlete Work Capacity Assessment to start.
All of our fitness assessments are here: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/mtis-fitness-assessments/
Follow these up with the Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys plan and really hammer the protein.
– Rob

QUESTION

What are your thoughts on swimming as it relates to climbing? I have always been a strong swimmer and my gym recently reopened its pool.

ANSWER

I’m assuming your talking rock climbing and the only transfer might be pulling strength … however, in my experience, pulling strength is far less important than finger strength and, especially technique, for rock climbing performance. This is why many women out-climb men.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am sending this email to get your opinion about which program(s) to follow. I have recently decided to train for SF. I am in the Army National Guard and there is a Guard SF unit near me.
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Disclaimer
Before reading this, please know I am the “nobody cares, work harder” type – this is not a resume. I hate appearing or sounding pretentious and that is not the goal here. Just wanted to give you an idea of where I’m at and where I’d like to go.
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Programming question
As I’m sure you know, I must attend an SFRE in order to be considered for SFAS. I have 21 weeks until the SFRE event (September 2021). I could follow the 7-week SFRE program 3 times or so, but my main concern is whether or not the Army (or, more importantly, SFRE+SFAS+SFQC) will have transitioned to the ACFT. I am thinking I need to be prepared for doing well in BOTH the APFT and ACFT. I also would like to get used to heavier ruck loads (minimum 70-80# loads – not necessarily referring to ruck-running, but willing).
Given my 21 weeks, do you have any suggestions for preparing for the SFRE, while also increasing/maxing out my APFT and making improvements in my ACFT, while increasing capable ruck weights/loads? I know you know there are differences in exercises between the 2 tests – i.e. standard push-ups vs. hand-release push-ups, etc. and I know I’m asking a lot. I need a lot of work! haha
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Perhaps extraneous background information
For what it’s worth, I took a diagnostic ACFT last year and my weakest events were Deadlift and Standing Power Throw (90+ points in all other events). I definitely need improvements in all events. I also definitely need to get my run scores down for both 2 mile and 5 mile runs, and rucking is of course on my mind. I had started Actaeon about 6 weeks ago (1.5 mi ruck run @ 45# ruck – time 15:01) but caught COVID and had to give up an Air Assault slot. Oh well, life goes on!
I am willing to follow multiple programs at once or add certain exercises if that’s what you suggest, but I have a feeling you’ll have some suggestions that are completely off my radar. Also for what it’s worth, I am a full-time Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic in the fire department and I am a Sapper-tabbed Engineer in the Army National Guard (thanks to MTI!). I have access to relatively full gyms at firehouses and a decent home gym setup (including 60 lb&80 lb sandbags). I have completed many MTI programs, including but not limited to Humility (my OG favorite program), Fortitude, Sapper Training Plan, Hector, Johnny, etc. and dabbled in countless others.
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TLDR;
 
SFRE 21 weeks out – need to improve all events of APFT and ACFT, get 2-mile/5-mile run scores down, continue to increase ruck weight+speed.
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Regardless, I appreciate your time and expertise. I know you read a lot of emails throughout your work week, so I do want to apologize for the long one here. I thoroughly enjoy the programs that you write and provide at MTI, and I am constantly spreading the word about your programs. I put a lot of creedence into the plans you develop and stand behind, and I whole-heartedly believe in the results.

ANSWER

21 Weeks – Here’s What I Recommend:
Weeks.     Plan
1-7           SFRE Training Plan
8-14         Fortitude
15-21       SFRE Training Plan – Repeat directly before SFRE
Your focus on the APFT and ACFT is misplaced. SFRE will be a full on deal … work towards it. The SFRE Plan incldues focused training for the APFT – and because of the ACFT controversy – I have no idea what you’ll see at SFRE – but my guess would be the APFT.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am interested in purchasing one of your programs but don’t know which one to purchase. A little bit about me, I’m 28 yrs old and weigh 280 lbs at 5’9 and I was a navy corpsman for eight years. After my separation from the military I had a difficult time with keeping up with my performance in the gym with working and going to school full time. I tried different work out regimes but I didn’t follow thru with them because of the repetitive exercises and no results. I did joined Crossfit for a little bit and was in the best shape but with a new job and demanding hours I couldn’t make the classes. I want to train again and go back to the level of fitness I was in when I was in the military (running 5 miles every other day, swimming an Olympic mile in 30min, doing 50 pull ups and 100 push ups with 100 sit ups). I was looking at the busy operator plan and the running improvement and work those programs together. Is that a lot to do? I’d appreciate your input. Thanks!

ANSWER

At 5-9″ and 280#, you need to cut some weight and doing both these plans together would be too much.
I’d recommend the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Don’t be fooled by “bodywieight” – this plan deploys an initial assessment and progressions are based on your assessment results. It will push you.
Also – fix your diet. Here are our recommendations: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve been posted out to area on ops that has limited area to run and there’s no gym so I’ve been combing your bodyweight foundation with jump rope, what I’m wondering is what sort of jump rope workout do I need to be doing to help maintain my cardio. Sorry for the long question. Thanks for the help

ANSWER

Sorry – don’t have an easy answer for you. Best would be to convert prescribed running time to time jump roping. So – if the plan calls for a 3-mile run, assume you’re running 10-min/miles, and jump rope for 30 minutes.
– Rob

QUESTION

As my job requires a lot of rucking and just general running around with plates, ballistic helmet, and gun I often use the stair master as a staple in my workout routine to improve muscle endurance in my legs and also general work capacity. I was just curious if you guys have ever done a study on if weighted stair master workouts increase rucking speed or just general speed under load. Thank you

ANSWER

Haven’t studied this and won’t – simply because I don’t have a stairmaster and neither does most people.
We could try doing loaded step ups and seeing if there is a transfer to flat rucking … but why? … when there’s no extra equipment needed to go outside and ruck. I do know right now that even there is some transfer between a stairmaster and loaded step ups, it won’t be as good as direct as just rucking.
Nothing complicated here – if you want to improve your rucking ability and or speed or maintain rucking fitness, it’s best to ruck.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently completing advanced infantry training at Ft. Benning. I have around 12 weeks left before Airborne school. We have around 30-45 minutes of free time each day to workout, and weekends off.

Do you have any recommendations to prepare for Airborne and stay in shape for SFAS in the Fall?

ANSWER

I’d recommend Apache, followed by Humility into Airborne.
Be resourceful to build a sandbag.
– Rob

QUESTION

Appreciate your programming and the guidance you provide. I have 15 weeks to prep for a 1 day Grand Teton climb objective. What would you have me do? It is flat where I live and step ups can be a substitute. Thank you sir.

ANSWER

Here’s what I recommend:
Weeks    Plan
1-8          Helen – repeat week 6 to stretch this to 8 weeks.
If your fitness is suspect, start with the Mountaineering and Hiking Prep plan.
– Rob

QUESTION

After listening to an interview you did on the Art of Manliness about quiet professionalism, I started looking at your training plans. I haven’t pulled the trigger on a training plan because I don’t really know if I have enough experience to handle the various exercises, and if I have the fitness to manage the training load.
Although I grew up in Colorado, I’m not really a mountain athlete, per se, but am interested in building and maintaining fitness as I get older (I’m 57). Athletically, I’ve been endurance focused – cycling in my 20s, triathlon in my 30s, then back to cycling. For the past several years, I’ve mostly run or rowed on a machine. I’m a Foreign Service Officer currently posted to the US Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. I have access to a minimal gym and treadmill, but am limited due to security when it comes to running outside – though sailing and SCUBA diving are regular hobbies. I have never done any sort of regular weight or strength program.
That said, I am looking to climb Mount Wilhelm (14,793 ft) before leaving here in August and my next posting is Dar es Salaam, so I’ve also added Kilimanjaro to the list.
Bottom line, I’m not getting younger, but I want to continue to pursue things like running, hiking, climbing, diving, sailing, etc., for as long as possible.
Based on that, I would certainly appreciate a recommendation in terms of training plans.

ANSWER

It includes running – so you’ll need to get creative … run around inside the compound? – not sure … but running will transfer to your mountaineering.
Follow it up with Apache, then complete the Peak Bagger Training Plan the 7 weeks directly before your climb.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m targeting joining the Army as 18X in 2 years. I’ll need to do all the prep schools (OSUT, jump school, SOPC) before I get my shot at SFAS.
  1. The SFAS pack is 1 year long. Should I start that so it ends right on SFAS, or so that it ends when I start OSUT?
  2. What plan(s) do you recommend for this first year? I’m doing Bodyweight Foundation right now to get back into things.

ANSWER

1. It ends when you start OSUT. You can’t count on the training time once you’re in.
2. Plans/order in the Greek Hero Series.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am a person looking for advice. I’ve read through your quiet professional reading list, and I was hoping you could provide some clarity. Before reading, I would like to say thank you for taking the time out of your schedule and that I understand your advice is free and that it won’t hurt your feelings if I don’t listen.
I am a 21 year old male from Arkansas, and I have a few questions. I am graduating from college this week with a degree in Nursing. I’ve run track here in college, and I have played sports my whole life. I have a large family whom I love. I have a contract with the Army, and I will leave this June for training as a medic, and I am working to join the Rangers. My questions come in at few points. I have read your posts on happiness, work, and trying to be a better man. I am trying to balance  committing with something and following my heart over my head.
1. I am trying to find the right balance on your happiness equation. I live in Arkansas as does my family, and I think I could be happy here as far as recreation and living in a good community goes. However, I think I’d enjoy somewhere in the Rockies more regarding recreation. I’ve worked in Alaska’s mountains, and I’ve been in Billings as well. I’d like your thoughts on how you would handle the situation.
2. As of now, I know I want to be in the military for at least four years and go from there. After I get out, I’d like to work in the medical field or fire. I am honestly not as worried about my career choice because I know it will change over time, and I have general idea of what I would like to do. I would like to do work that serves others and uses my skills as well as my body.
3. I have a girlfriend who I could make a future with, and I want to know your thoughts on being too young for marriage and committing to someone and building a life together and starting a family. I’ve had a relationship in the past that was fairly serious and several years, so this isn’t my first relationship. However, I understand that I am young and have a lot to learn. I read that you recommend that men do not marry until they are 30. Maybe a long engagement? I understand that the Army will certainly put a strain on it.
4. In the military and life, I would like to be a good man. Where should I put my priorities, and what are the most important things that I should do to successfully serve others and maintain happiness. I’ve read some of your essays, I’m just looking for anything you think really sticks out.
Your programming principles and writings have both been helpful. If you have any other sources you think I should ask, I am all ears.  Thank you for your advice.

ANSWER

Answers:
1) Find a good job in the Rockies and you’ve got 2 of the three.
2) I don’t see a question there.
3) I like 30 minimum for men – women can be younger, but they mature faster. I married at 24 and it was way too young.
4) Service.
– Rob

QUESTION

First off, I appreciate the dedication you show to all of us using MTI!

I am reaching out for advice on program selection based on the following:
– Age: 30 years old
– Occupation: Marine Corps C-130 pilot
– Marine Corps PFT scores (as of Monday, 19 April):
Pull-ups: 23
Crunches: 115
Run: 19min 50s
– Note: I just completed your USMC PFT program and that’s how I improved my scores. Original scores were pull-ups: 22; crunch: 115; run: 20:46

Goals:
– Maintain/improve running work capacity.
– Maintain/improve functional (bodyweight) strength.

Limitations:
– Limited equipment: Pull up bar, 2x 16kg KBs, mat for exercises, room to run, gps watch, ruck
– I’m open to purchasing a good sandbag and plyo box

I appreciate any advice you can provide!

ANSWER

Humility first, then follow it up with the plans and order in the Limited Equipment Tribe Packet starting with Apache.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve used MTI in the past and saw results from run improvement, just jumped on athlete subscription. I’m a fighter pilot, and coming to the realization that pilots have more in common with law enforcement than tactical athletes. Good endurance to maintain a high mental state for long time in cockpit/patrol car. Chassis integrity, high work capacity and strength is good for air combat and maneuvering under G forces. No real demand for long rucks or anything. Was wondering if you would agree and had any recommendations.

ANSWER

Working with a mentoree last Fall we actually developed a Fighter Pilot Fitness Assessment – he was a retired AF O-6 – I’d forgotten about it and will get it published. I’ll look to do that within the week.
Programming? I’d recommend starting with Waylon.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am 67 my wife is 58.  We are Jackson resort and BC skiers. The pre season BC plan is great. We follow it in the fall.

No gym work this winter. Looking for a limited equip plan to restart fitness. We do a ton of cycling, mostly hills so we use that for aerobic.

Thoughts?

ANSWER

– Rob

QUESTION

I just did relative strength, fortitude, valor, and then HRT. I feel weak/broken… I likely have a broken foot which I will need to verify. I am probably going to take a few weeks off, but do you have any recommendations to rebuild while healing my foot?

ANSWER

Leg Injury Training Plan – trains your body around your injured leg.
But … take time off total rest until you feel like training again.
– Rob

 

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