Q&A 7.22.21

QUESTION

I am currently following the SFAS packet with the plan on entering the Army and going to SFAS. As I follow the training programs I have increased my mileage i.e Humility week 6 calls for a 9 mile run I increased the run to a 14 mile run and maintained the prescribed average mile speed. I want to run 50 mile race in August. How should I prepare for a 50 mile race in conjunction with the SFAS packet and the ultimate goal of becoming Army SF? Thank you for your time

ANSWER

You have to train long to go long. Best would be to drop out of the SFAS Packet programming and complete the 50-Mile Ultra Training Plan. Then, after your race, drop back into the SFAS Packet where you left off.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’ve just been on and passed the Officer version of the Potential Royal Marines Course. I’m now looking into starting a program to build a base level in aerobic fitness and strength training.
I’ve done various forms of training previously but I’m really keen to start learning how to program for myself. I have done bits of CrossFit but I’m not convinced how much it makes me fitter for military style training as opposed to just making me fitter at CrossFit. I like the idea of doing OCR style training where the emphasis is still on running but also strength and weight bearing.
Time is on my side as well so I don’t need anything which is designed to make me feel beat up all the time, as I have just come off an arduous course and intense training block.
It would be great if you could make some suggestions or tell me to go back to the website to find some of the answers. I think that the membership suits my needs the most as I’d like to have a look at various programs and do the learning portion too. Any extra info please send my way!
Equipment – everything on the essential list apart from the #25 dumbbells but I’m ordering some right now (are your weights in lbs instead of kg?).
I live by a beach with good sand dunes and trails and have a road bike and swimming pool which is also close.
If you need any more contact info let me know.

ANSWER

Congrats on passing the course!
It’s a little unclear from your note how much equipment you have to train with.
Fully Equipped? I’d recommend the plans/order in Virtue Packet, starting with Humility.
Limited Equipment? I’d recommend starting with Humility, then pivoting to the plans/order in the Tribe packet of plans, beginning with Apache.
– Rob

QUESTION

1) Loved your answer re sharing plans…your plans are fairly priced. FUCK people sharing that.

2) I’m a wildland firefighter on an engine. My goal is to go 18X at some point after this fire season. I’ve been following your hotshot/smokejumper plan getting ready for the season because with my goals it makes sense to be over prepared vs under.

3) What do you recommend in the season? On some fires we end up doing nothing day after day…some days we end up absolutely smoked. It’s hard to predict. Do you have a minimal morning/evening PT plan for the days that end up easy? Or just improvise with push-ups, core, etc?

4) Post-season…straight to your SFAS prep? Or, if I have time, other plans first? What training plans maximize chances of success in SFAS (up against endlessly training which ends with nothing because at some point you’ll train your whole life and never go for it).

I appreciate the service you provide as a “private employee” in terms of providing a service to a lot of public employees as such. If people can’t find money to buy your plans or subscribe…drink less beer and take your goals more seriously. With all due respect to them: take your goals seriously, the plans aren’t that expensive.

Thanks for all you do Rob!

ANSWER

In-Season? I’d recommend working through the limited equipment Tribe plans, starting with Apache. If you’re smoked at work, just don’t train that day. Goal is to maintain.
SFAS? It depends on your timeline. If you’re going 18x, we recommend completing the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan directly prior to Basic.
Here is our SFAS Packet – which is 52 weeks of progressive training.
– Rob

QUESTION

I am thinking about purchasing the Chassis Integrity training and can’t find out how many weeks it is or workouts are included.  Please advise.

ANSWER

30x total training circuits – and each is 20-30 minutes long.
These are designed as an add on or supplement to your current programming. We’d recommend doing 2-3x circuits per week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a 32 year old Canadian Forces reservist and also a paramedic and volunteer firefighter. I’m a very skinny dude but I’m trying to bulk up and gain strength. What program would you suggest? I saw your food suggestions, how come you have advised against foods that aid in mass gain? Foods such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, milk, etc?

ANSWER

Rice, grain, pasta add fat, not muscle. If you want to get fat, eat these.
Milk/protein add muscle.
– Rob

QUESTION

This e-mail is a bit different… Looking for dope on what a “Broken Operator” or “Old Guys Rule” program would look like. Do you all have a Seasoned Operator program? Can’t find anything in the searches. Been a user of Military Athlete or MTI for nearly a decade.

I’ve had bulging and herniated disks from C2-C6, torn achilles tendons, broken hands with open fractures, pin, resets of bones, casts, torn hamstrings, surgeries for a Lvl3 MCL, ACL, FCL, Hamstring autografts, bicep tendinosis and relocation, torn rotator cuff, and PRP done on my arms for years of chronic tennis and golfers elbows (bilateral), and partial tears of almost everything else.

Have you thought about making programs for the broken? I can’t keep up with the programs, even after clearance from the various doctors, to begin working out, I’m not there or will never be 100% like I was at 20, or 30, as I am now at 40. I still have to operate. I can scale everything, but it takes days to recover sometimes.

ANSWER

Quick answer is no.
The fitness demands of the job are the same regardless of your age/injuries and at 37 (I’m 52) – so you’re not old.
I’m not sure how I can get you to the fitness demands of the job without training those demands. So the training and its intensity is the same. What could change is the recovery time – you may need to take more time between training sessions, etc.
Overall, in our programming, we’re moving toward efficiency by reducing volume. We’ve conducted a couple studies now that have proven we can achieve the same results in a 45-minute gym-based session as we can in a 60-min session, and we’re changing over all of our tactical programming with this in mind.
As well, over the years our emphasis on strength work, and our strength standards for all the athletes we work with, have decreased. Part of this is the result of my improvement and maturing as a strength coach, and learning more about the actual fitness demands of the jobs/events. Our focus on relative strength has been key here.
We haven’t found a shortcut for endurance, yet … i.e. you can’t ruck for 3 miles max and expect to do well and recover from a 12-mile ruck. You have to train long to go long.
As well, for all athletes, and esp. older athletes, I recommend you lean up. Here are our ideal body weights based on height. What I’ve found for myself (hip replacement, foot fusion) is dropping 10-15 pounds is huge in terms of speed over the ground performance and day to day arthritis, low back and other pain. But … to get to these standards you really have to tighten up your diet. Here are our recommendations: https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/nutritional-guidelines/
There are some small technique things that can make a difference esp. for running. (1) Shoes (Hoka One One or others with extreme cushioning) and (2) Running Form – look at POSE Running or Chi Running – form fixes can help your knees incredibly.
Some claim to have found improvement from supplements (fish oil, cbd, etc.) – but the research on all this stuff is shakey at best and I don’t recommend any over the shelf supplementation. However, if it works for you, do it.
One thing I do recommend for older men (40+) is getting tested for testosterone and getting prescribed testosterone if you need it. I do and it helps a lot. You may be young for this but there’s no harm in asking your doctor to get tested and see.
Yoga, stretching, cold baths, saunas, etc? Again – there’s no research that backs up that any of this stuff works – but, several have had anecdotal success with it. Not me, but several have. Again, I can’t endorse any of it but if it works for you, keep doing it.
So – from a training perspective, if you want to stay in the game, you have to do the same training as your younger self, and as you and I both know, deal with the pain (my knees hurt today from training vertical yesterday ….)
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m currently serving in the military and have been using your programming for military fitness for the past 6 years and it’s beyond helpful. Recently I’ve gotten into more Climbing and Mountain style training for a hobby outside of work. I wanted to send an email to see if there was a recommended program that has the Military athlete standards and exercises but also has a climbing improvement potion, similar to your climbing training that is in the Mountain Athlete part of the website.

If there isn’t a program that exist that has this type of training would you recommend mixing two programs together and use some of the training methods from the Climbing plans and include it on some of the military plans?

Thank you for all the helpful advice and training programs that have helped my men and I get ready for anything we could face down range.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Greek Heroine series on the Mountain Side. Much of the non-climbing fitness will transfer to the military side, and weekly climbing work is included.
– Rob

QUESTION

Question I have done big 3 and the 2 and 5 mile in the past. But looking at the sfas selection pack. (I am former army sof) so no upcoming selections or anything but like to maintain peak fitness. I got off track and went heavy on lifting this winter gained about 12 lbs of muscle but now running sucks need to drop weight and run times. If I were to do the sfas pack how would you recommend tying in the run improvement pack or 2 mile run work? Any way besides the big 3 plus run? Big 3 plus run was great but looking to mix it up some gain more work capacity and run fitness and drop 10 lbs of well mostly muscle but. Thanks coach for any suggestions and options. Keep getting after it!

ANSWER

Too complicated, and you don’t want to combine plans.
To cut some muscle, stay away from the weightroom. I’d recommend the 5-mile Run Improvement Training Plan– which deploys bodyweight strength work.
Follow it up with the Country Singer 1 Packet.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m a freshman cadet at Norwich University in the naval battalion (Marine Corps Option). Since being home from school I’ve been taking summer classes, working, and lifting weights. I decided it was time to start doing some more training towards the PFT. I subscribed to the athlete’s program in the hopes that I could max my next PFT which should be late July. I already have a max pull up and crunch. Running is my down fall. I was hoping to maybe to the marsoc program as well for the swimming and rucking benefits. All in all my issues with all of this is that between weight lifting, classes, and working a physically demanding job my body only has so much to give and I haven’t quite found the drive to create a diet that will give me the energy and calories that I need. Any suggestions on time management with exercising. Sorry for the bit of a jumbled up email, I look forward to hearing back.

ANSWER

You’ll want to start the USMC PFT Training Plan 6 weeks before your July PFT. This plan includes focused running.
Between now and then in terms of managing all fitness and life, I always recommend training first thing in the morning, and not doubling up on programming.
From our stuff, for you right now, I’d recommend completing Valor until you start the USMC PFT Plan. Valor is a multi-modal plan which includes strength, work capacity, endurance (run, ruck run) and chassis integrity.
You have access to all our plans with your subscription, but don’t bounce around.
– Rob

QUESTION

I just signed up for a subscription and am looking for help picking the right plan for my resources and goals. I will be going on a trip to Oregon to do some sport climbing including at least one multipitch (~4-6 pitches) for a few days during the second week of August (12 weeks out) I’ve climbed at the gym regularly throughout the winter but the walls at the only gym readily accessible during covid were short, so I need to build my climbing endurance back up. I have decent fitness otherwise; I ride my bike 7 miles to work and 7 miles home about twice a week, I generally lift three days a week, and climb about twice a week, indoors or out.

I now have access to a climbing gym with taller walls, a bouldering area (not my favorite), and lead climbing, but it’s an hour away so twice per week is the maximum number of visits I can reliably commit to. I have outdoor climbing relatively nearby when the weather is good.

I’m hoping to build my mental strength as well.

My partner is available for training during the week but will be taking three consecutive weeks at the end of June/early July to hike the Long Trail, so I’ll need to be ready to do some solo training then.

Can you point me to a plan?

Thanks for your help!

ANSWER

Your case is tricky with your restriction to the climbing gym.
Some things we’ve learned ….
– By far the most important key to rock climbing fitness is climbing-specific finger/grip strength
– The most efficient tool we’ve found to train rock climbing fitness is the Bouldering V-Sum at a bouldering wall
– It’s best to use the rock gym to fitness + technique, and real rock to train technique
– Total body strength via freeweight strength training (lifting) has little transfer to rock climbing
– Use endurance and multi-modal work capacity, plus a restrictive diet to cut weight during pre-season training.
Recommendations from what we have:
Now …. Mountain Base Artemis and add in a second day of rock climbing. Do the Wednesday prescribed day at the rock gym doing the Bouldering 4×4 which will push technique and grip endurance, and on Saturday, or whenever, get to some real rock and push your technique.
6 Weeks prior to your trip, Pivot to the Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Plan … as best you can given your schedule. You’ll want to be in the rock gym 2x/week doing the Bouldering V-Sums prescribed in this plan (Mon/Thurs). You’ll also want to be getting in 60-90 minutes of endurance (run is best, but cycling is okay), 2x/week. If possible, add in a third day on real rock, pushing your lead climbing and technique.
Schedule could look like this:
Mon- Bouldering V-Sum
Tues: Run/Bike
Wed: Real Rock pushing lead climbing
Thurs: Run/Bike
Fri: Bouldering V-Sum
Sat: Real Rock and/or Run/Bike
Also – for this six weeks, clean up your diet. Here are our recommendations …. you’ll want to follow them and cut the cheat day. Losing 5-10 pounds of bodyfat will make a huge difference in your climbing performance.
Approach your real rock training in a professional manner … aim to lead climb 6+ routes/day (if you have a full day with a partner) with a focus on technique, efficiency and confidence. Push the ratings as the summer develops.
Finally – if you can do it, set up a tree limb and/or rings, or even a finger board at work and work through MTI’s Grease the Groove Pull Up protocol over the summer. Pulling strength isn’t super important for rock climbing, we’ve found, but it doesn’t hurt.
Email back with questions now and as your summer proceeds.
– Rob

QUESTION

I have a long LE training week about 8 weeks from now. A physical and mental grind that will include many physical events (fartlek-like courses, hill grinders, some long distance, etc.).. while my endurance is pretty good, the short burst endurance over a long period of time will be necessary (likely with hills incorporated).

I’m currently considering purchasing one of the four below plans:
-Gratitude
-Bourbon
-Operator Vl
-SWAT/SRT Beretta

I have about an hour a day to train a week (more on weekend) and will need to keep in mind that I’ll likely have to taper down the week prior (and want to ensure I’m not hurt going in)..  appreciate any guidance/thoughts before I make my choice.

ANSWER

I’d recommend the SWAT Selection Training Plan. or one of the specific LE selection plans – FBI HRT, DEA FAST, etc – the one which you feel most closely matches the events you will face. All of these plans have a taper/unload week.
– Rob

QUESTION

I’m recovering from a hip labral tear and I wish to increase my performance with the multi-stage beep test whilst minimising any further injury to the labral muscle. Is there a multi-stage beep test program provided by yourselves you would recommend as a gradual increase minimising jarring or stress as much as possible, I’m only training for personal goals not job activity.

ANSWER

I’m sorry – but as you know the beep test is a shuttle sprint repeat test with multiple change of direction and I’m not your doctor – and don’t know where you are in your recovery, so I can’t recommend our Beep Test Training Plan.
There are a couple other options:
(1) Leg Injury Training Plan – this plan will work the rest of your body around your injured leg/hip and is a good way to try to maintain fitness while you recover.
(2) Check with your doctor about training on a spin bike, – including sprinting on a spin bike. If you’re cleared, I’d recommend our Power-Based Endurance Training Plan. I’m not sure of the transfer to the beep test when you are ready to run, but there should be some transfer.
– Rob

QUESTION

Would there be a proper running form, such as slight lean forward or keep straight posture, land on forefoot/mid-foot, large strides or shorter steps and fast cadence?
Also in the SERE plan it requires a ruck with 60 lbs, but would a weighted vest (also with 60 lbs) work as well?

ANSWER

Running Form? Research/google POSE Running or Chi Running.
Ruck –  no, use a ruck.
– Rob

 

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