Q&A 6.15.24

Q: I bought the LE patrol training plan. When I open the workout there are multiple months and workouts to start from. Since this is June should I just start at the beginning of the month or is there another starting point I should start at?

A: Thanks for reaching out. You are correct.  Start with week one of June.  If you aren’t perfectly aligned with the date, that is ok.  Once we roll into July, you will still have access to complete the June programming.

Q: I purchased Greek heroine series and peak bagger last year and successfully summitted Mount Whitney via Mountaineer’s route last Friday. I am planning on climbing Mount Rainier next July (13 months). Besides just repeating Greek heroine series up until 8 weeks out and transitioning to Peak Bagger, are there any other plans you recommend now or in the future? Thanks

A: Hi Chris, If you’re looking for some additional variety from the Heroine Plans, you can check out the Mountain Elite Programming (https://mtntactical.com/shop/mountain-elite-daily-training-subscription/). Either will work. For Rainier, the Mt. Rainier Training Plan is going to be the most specific to that summit. You can get by with the Peakbagger plan, I don’t want to try and upsell you.

Q: I’ve got a broken ankle and am going to start the leg injury program, but I don’t have access to a rower or stationary bike for the endurance work. I might be able to scare up a bike, but was wondering if you all have any other suggestions for the endurance work?

A: The only other option is some variety of swimming if you can wrap the cast. Your best bet is to figure out a solution for the bike.

Q: Hi super excited to do the rim to rim training plan. I’m not going until sept 19 and I’m not doing it in a day- I’m doing it 4 days/3 nights camping so a bit less intense but more weight. Your fitness plan is highly spoken of in multiple rim to rim groups I’m a part of- any advice on ramp up and modification? I think a lot translates well- strengthening legs and core. Decent but not exceptional shape. I can run a 5 k but like 10min mile pace and its effort. Can’t bang out 50 pushups and only have like 1 pull up.  Have done plenty of hiking but live in Texas so it’s flattttt. But should get good heat training which is one big component of r2r.  Hiked some good elevations in Colorado multiple times. I can easily do 8-10 miles with 30lb pack, but again flat and not super hot yet.  So maybe moderate novice? Not starting from scratch. Typically 3-5 days a week gym rotating cardio and weights. Try to average 12k steps a day. I’m committed to rucking and incline work and putting in the sweat equity. I have heard the down slope on this hike is killer for many.

A: Start with the Backpacking Pre-Season Plan now (https://mtntactical.com/shop/backpacker-preseason-training-plan/). This will gradually build your aerobic and muscular endurance to prepare for the Rim to Rim hike, as well prepare you for the eccentric demand of the downhill. Take a week off, and then start the Rim to Rim plan. This should line up perfectly with your arrival/start on Sept 19.

Q: I’m currently subscribed to your SRT daily training plan and I love it for work. For play, I’ve got a busy alpine season coming up and I wanted to try out your plans for that as well. I have the Teton traverse in July and AMGA guide courses all of August in the Cascades and Squamish.

Problem is, I just moved to Houston for work and it’s flat as hell so I need some guidance.
Am I able to add training plans to my subscription? I saw that there was a comprehensive subscription for all training plans and I’m wondering if it would save me money to do that or just add an additional mountain specific plan.

A: Thanks for the info.

The best option is to drop the SWAT/SRT Daily plan and switch to the Athletes Subscription—$35/month—which allows you to pick the plans that work for your upcoming trip or courses.

Q: Coaches,

I’m finishing up Mountain Base Helen this week and am looking for guidance on next steps.

For context: I’m coming off of nearly three years of injuries and relative inactivity and am focused on rebuilding my base fitness. In recent years I’ve been focused on road marathoning and have neglected strength work, which I think has contributed significantly to my recent injury history. As I get back to fitness, my goals are trail and mountain focused: primarily endurance (sub-marathon to 50k races and technical but not excessively difficult mountaineering in the lower 48), with some rock climbing in there for fun and balance. I’m also a member of the Army National Guard in a non-combat arms MOS, but I am a Former Action Guy™ and prefer to maintain that standard (and could potentially deploy in support of SOF elements in the near to medium future in any case).
It looks like the Greek Heroine series builds progressively on itself, do you recommend continuing with that or moving to something else? I’m moving to the monthly subscription package as I finish Helen so I have that flexibility in terms of programming.

A: The Greek Heroine series will certainly develop/maintain a base level of mountain fitness for many of the activities that you want to do (Artemis is the next in line after Helen).  However, if you think about knocking out some 50Ks, we may need to shift your programming focus.  Let me know when this becomes the case.

Let us know if you need any recommendations for military-related programs.  Thanks.


Q: I am a recently commissioned officer via Army rotc as of May. I am looking for some advice on which plan to choose as I prepare to leave for logistics bolc on October 29th 2024 (around 21 weeks away).

On my most recent acft in March I scored a 550 which is about 30 points below my best acft. In the last 6-8 months I have felt very much stagnant and at a plateau in my fitness. Since 2020 I have completed the millitary on ramp and various other virtue and Greek hero plans but never done either series in order from start to finish.

Most recently I just had to take a 5 week break from exercise as I recovered from sinus surgery but now am fully cleared and getting back into the gym.

My question is which series would make the most sense for me to do at this point to get my self back on track fitness wise and where should I start in the series since I don’t have time to complete either before leaving. My overall goal is to get myself back to my best physical fitness level both functionally and for the acft. (at the earliest, the ACFT is early November)

Thank you in advance.

A: Thanks, Stephen-

ACFT can go on the back burner for now.
Regarding a training pack, the Greek Hero is a good option. You mentioned being unable to complete the whole thing, which is no big deal. If you can, great, but the intention of the Greek Hero packet is to continuously increase your baseline fitness. I recommend hitting it again in the following order.


Q: Hello!

I just purchased your Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Training Plan in anticipation of attempting this in the fall (mid October). Although it’s an 8-week program, I’m curious if it’s possible to spread this out over ~16 weeks, given the challenges around my schedule and some likely weekly conflicts? If this is possible, how might you recommend I alter the workout progression? Initially, my thought is to give myself two weeks for each weekly session, but I’m wondering if this is the best way to do this (and if so, how I should do this)?
A bit of additional info:
  • I’m a 38 y/o female
  • I live in a mountain town (Steamboat Springs, CO)
  • I have a solid baseline fitness:
    • former D1 athlete (women’s crew/rowing)
    • backcountry ski guide and functional nutritionist
    • strength + conditioning 3x/week (1hr each)
    • ample endurance mountain cardio, weekly (biking, skiing, running)
I will likely continue going to my gym 3x/week alongside this training plan, which I usually attend on Mon/Wed/Fri. What, if any of your workouts for this plan might be appropriate to “stack” on these days? Alternatively, can I stack any of your workouts with other endurance efforts (such as longer mountain bike rides)? Thursdays will also typically need to be my “rest” day, based on prior work commitments that run extra long on these days.
I certainly don’t want to over train, so any insight into how I can best layer in your training program would be greatly appreciated (particularly if it’s possible to stretch out each weekly session over a two week period + how to do this, as long as this still provides the goal/benefit of adequately preparing me to successfully complete a R2R2R).
I realize this is a ton of info right off the bat, so my apologies in advance! But many thanks for your help, if you’re able to offer it!
A: There are a bunch of different questions and considerations here, so I am going to break them apart to answer.  Also, thank you for the additional info- it helps when considering different options and fitness base.
1. Can you break the program apart and spread over 16 weeks?
Kind of, but not drastically. It is progression-based, so if you miss a workout, you start where you left off. Below is a (13-week) potential split option.  I put the personal days in there for your personal rec activities.  















2. Can you stack weight training on various days?
This is an aggressive plan. Complete the MTI workout first. If you continue going to your gym, upper body work is recommended only.  
3. Can I stack your workouts with other endurance efforts (such as longer mountain bike rides)?
You can do an uphill hike in lieu of step-ups. Be cognizant of the prescribed vertical gain via step-ups and translate it to outdoor vertical gain.  
-Recovery runs can be substituted with a non-aggressive mountain bike ride.  You’ll want to make sure you aren’t crushing yourself.  

Q: Good evening Rob,

I am emailing you because I wanted to know if you had any advice on a workout program for bodybuilding/athletic training. I want to do a 50/50 training program that incorporates weight lifting but I also want to train like an athlete. I’ve been working for about 5 years now so I’m good the weights department but have zero clue where to start training like an athlete. I recent just turned 21, I’m 5’10 and weigh 170 and I’m in pretty good shape. My goal is to put on around 10-15 pounds of muscle and to be an athlete at the same time. If you could help guide me that would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
A: If you want to train like an athlete – your weight training can’t be bodybuilding focused. I’m assuming by “athlete” you mean outside performance. Bodybuilding is designed for aesthetics, not performance. For example, one of the goals of bodybuilding is to add mass … but extra muscle mass without function is just extra weight you need to carry around while moving/running etc – it can be an impediment to athletic performance.

For what you’re asking, I’d recommend our Max Effort Strength + 1.5 Mile Run Training Plan.
This plan will shift your weight training focus from bodybuilding to strength, and add in distance and threshold running. As part of the running plan you’ll do threshold 800m repeats – which totally suck, but are great training not only for 1.5 mile run times, but also short work capacity.
Good luck.
– Rob

Subscribe to MTI's Newsletter - BETA