I’m training to eventually go to Army SFQC and need to improve my running. I’m currently working full time as a cop and I’m a cav scout in the army national guard.
About me: I’m 27, 5’10”, 185#, ~20% BF
- APFT (as of today): 70 push-ups, 85 sit-ups, 14:56 2 mi run
- Deadlift 335
- Bench 225
- Front squat 225
- Back squat 280
- Military press 155
- 400m run 1:09
- 4-6 mi run ~8:30 min/mi pace
- 5 mi ruck w/40# 14:00 min/mi pace
- I’ve been doing Crossfit at a gym with a heavy Olympic or powerlift before the wod 4-5x/wk. I’ve been running 2x/wk with one day focused on faster intervals (somewhat inconsistently). I’ve been rucking about 2x/month.
First thing I need is to get 80 push-ups, 85 sit-ups and a 13:42 2 mi run, minimum, in my mid-June APFT to qualify for the SFRE tryout weekend in August.
I’ve always been pretty good at rucking and smoker type PT events. I’m seeing good strength and work capacity improvements with my Crossfit gym and I would like to continue with Crossfit a few days a week.
The main thing I struggle with and need to improve a lot on is running. I need to run a 13:42 2 mi or better in June and I need to run a 7:30 min/mi pace 6 mi run or better for the SFRE in August. What running plan (running improvement, APFT, or other) would work best along with a few Crossfit workouts/wk? I could do 2-a-days a couple times a week if I had to.
The running progressions in the APFT plan is what I’d recommend. As well, fix your diet and perhaps drop 5-10# of fat and/or replace it with lean mass – this will help too.
You can double up the running and other training.
I have a leg injury that I am currently working through. It’s the result of pulling my groin and hamstring multiple times in high school and college. So the bottom line is now I have a major imbalance in my lower body/pelvis which causes knee pain when I run.
I would like to start the virtue series and ultimately finish with the Ruck Based Selection plan for SFAS next year. Since I have a little bit of time on my side, could you give me some basic pointers on how to even things out on my lower body so that I can get back to running well? I’d like to try to get balanced and build a good foundation before beginning the training ramp up.
Your list of exercises is massive, and I’m only familiar with some of them. Could you recommend a top ten for asymmetry correction/stability in the groin/hamstring area?
Thanks so much!
To start, I’m not sure I agree with your diagnosis. It sounds suspicious to me.
Other than that, I’d recommend single leg work with both legs – specifically Bulgarian Split Squats, Hinge Lifts, and Single leg Box Squats holding a dumbbell or kettlebell goblet-squat style. If you have the mobility – pistols would be great also.
I’d start by 5×6 set/reps of increasing load. You can treat the legs individually – i.e. don’t load your “good” leg lighter just because. Go as heavy as possible with both.
Hey Rob I wanted to follow up with a huge thank you. Your advice has been spot on. I haven’t lost weight I’m still right around the 210 mark. But the belt size is down to 35.5″. After doing OU train up, rat 6 and a few weeks of valor I wanted to see where I was at fitness wise. So I circled back and did the OU test again. I’m not ready to join delta force but compared to where I was I feel like I have made a huge jump. I went from a 107 score to a 152.5. Maybe a little higher. Near the end of the sandbag getups the world was getting a little fuzzy so I may have under counted reps.
- 12/17/2015 4/28/2016
- Front squat 185 6 18
- Bench press 185 15 18
- Dead lift 225 11 20
- Sprint Intervals 31 45
- Strict pull ups 7 10
- SBGU 74 83
- 3 mile 25lb run 28 27.3
- Total…. 107 152.5
Thanks again for great programs!
Good for you!. 30% improvement is awesome!
Would you recommend the Afghanistan deployment prep program to prepare for any deployment? Or would you tailor it to suit the terrain?
The region we are going to is much flatter than the areas in eastern Afghanistan, but my assumption is since the deployment prep program focuses on the combat chassis (“building the legs and lungs”), the benefits of the program would carry over regardless of terrain.
Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time.
No – the Afghanistan Pre-deployment Training Plan was build specifically to prepare athletes for patrols in the mountainous terrain of that country.
I’d recommend Valor for a general deployment.
Greeting Sir. My question is about training to muscle failure, what is your opinion on that subject. In BCT and Army PRT is used sometime. And I can’t tell for sure if help in anything beside to smoke you. Does help in anything at all?
We do it all the time. I understand the theory behind not training to failure, but the athletes I work with have a hard time not pushing it to the limit. We’ve always been able to make the prescribed progressions and/or see improvement.
I wanted to reach out to see if you think the TACP Prep Program http://mtntactical.com/shop/usaf-tacp-training-plan/ would be the most optimal program for me. I have already taken the PAST and passed but just BARELY. My training for the past 3 years has been focused exclusively on powerlifting and literally trying to get fat. The last month I have been doing an upper body one day, lower body one day with a mile run before and after each training session plus a day of intervals with cals mixed in and a longer run day with cals at the end. If my schedule allows I try to throw in a run/ruck/HIIT type training day but it doesn’t happen as much as I’d like.
I don’t have a date for he schoolhouse yet but wanted to see if you think I should run this until I go to school or wait until I know my date? My runs are good some days and I struggle others. All in all with the above mentioned set up I’ve been seeing improvement but really want to blow it out of the water.
Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!
I’d recommend you do the program now, and again just before selection. Couple reasons – first to get a full dose of this type of training and what you’ll face at school. Second, to change up your current training and tailor it toward what’s ahead of you. Finally, the plan is no joke – it will get your head right for the coming school.
What are the main differences between RAT 6 and Big 24 strength plans are. I understand the movements are different, but I was looking for a little more detail. I cannot decide which one to go with. Thanks a lot!
The progression is different.
Rat 6 uses a percentage-based progression.
Big 24 uses a progression unique to us at Mountain Tactical.
If you’re a relatively new lifter, begin with Rat 6.
If you’ve been training for some time. Go Big 24.
Big 24 is the closest I’ve ever come to throwing up in the gym!!
Good afternoon and thanks for doing these Q&As,
I’m a bulky 235 pound 5’10” civilian (who still passes the tape test) hoping to go to Army OCS within the next year to year and a half.
Would my size create problems if I’m running like the routine shown in the Operator Session sample workout? Would the Operator Session workouts be a good fit for me? If not, is there any other program you’d recommend?
I’m a strong guy when it comes to strength training, and I’ll freely admit that endurance has always been something I need to work on. I already run 400m and 800m sprints during the week, with interval mileage runs on the weekends though.
You should be good.
A great program to start our stuff for you would be Valor. (http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/)
Then, subscribe and drop into the Operator Sessions.
I really like the work you guys do. This past off season I have done your 6 week hotshot program followed by your 8 week smokejumper program leading up to the start of this season where I’ll be working on a handcrew. I feel strong, I’ve lost 10lbs. I’m going to be the top fitness guy on my crew thanks to your program. I believe its easier to stay in shape than to try to get back in shape. Yet, I was losing motivation towards the end, especially for workouts like 1000x step ups. Looking forward to next off season, what can you recommend to keep me in shape throughout the winter and to keep myself motivated for the next workout session?
Off season I’d recommend a subscription to the website and following the Operator Sessions. Wildland firefighters are perhaps the ultimate “mountain tactical athletes” – you have load carriage responsilities nearly as heavy as military guys, and the uphill/downhill hiking demands of alpinists.
Motivation? 1,000 step ups is a grind. In fact, most training is a grind. Working through is all part of being a professional athlete.
Be safe this season.
Just started utilizing the subject training plan this week in prep for Alpine Skills Course in mid-June. So far so good. I was wondering if you had a recommendation for a substitute session for ice climbing. The ASC is more focused on alpine ice than waterfall ice. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
You could do a V-Sum (http://mtntactical.com/mountain-athlete-articles/mnt3365-v-sum-a-one-stop-assessment-for-climbers-2014-09-24/) – but understand in our experience rock climbing grip/finger strength is not the same as the grip strength needed for tools.
I’m not sure what you’ll face on your course – and it could be instructor/weather dependent – but I’m assuming ice/mixed climbing – which will require tool grip strength.
This is why we dedicate a day to in in the plan.
Rob, so going off your nutrition video, would you eliminate carbs from your post workout meals? I usually included a cup of rice in my post workout meal.
Best would be to change the type of carbs. Try a whey protein shake, baked sweet potato (carbs) and butter/olive oil (fat). Yummy!!
I’ll take and bake several sweet potatoes ahead of time and just nuke them at work.