Q&A 8/28/15

Thanks to great SSD programming, I had a big increase on front squat max after the last strength cycle. I have been a subscriber, and do the operator sessions (albeit a little abbreviated due to a time constraint.)

When I started the workouts, right at the front of this cycle, the max weight I was comfortable with front squatting was 225. Today i got 275. I’m 5’10’ and 195.

My weighted pullups at 25# also went up from 7 to 9.

Thanks! – G


I live in Kansas City so any mountain activities I want to do now are legitimate trips. I take one “big” trip each year which means I want to squeeze the most out of every day I’m in the mountains. My trip last year was to the North Cascades and after some self-guided training to prepare, I got worked over… hard. This year I arranged for a trip to the Bugaboos. We planned for 6 days in the mountains if the weather agreed. With the cascades still fresh in my mind I wanted to make sure I was physically prepared to get the most out of this trip. I had been using your bodyweight training program and your SSD subscription sessions for a while with good results, so I decided to try out your alpine rock climbing plan. I completed that plan and then threw in the gym based stamina plan for good measure. 

Thanks to some stellar weather, we were in the mountains for 5 days. Only our last day got rained out. The promises made in your alpine rock climbing and gym based stamina plans were delivered. Most important I think was the mental toughness. The glacier was in miserable condition which meant a lot of added distance around crevasses and that demanded my full attention for long durations. I was able to perform at the top of my game for 5 consecutive big days. My partner (a regular trail runner and ultra-marathoner) is someone I’ve climbed with on multiple occasions and he was blown away at how fast I could cover the terrain big day after big day. He was so impressed in fact that he is going to start using some of your plans for his training.

It was really exciting to see how well all the hard work in the gym translated to the trail/ridge/wall. Thank you so much for helping me get the most out of what precious time I have in the mountains. I am an SSD believer and I will be preaching the good word whenever the opportunity arises.

Regards, – L


I was just reading through the latest Q&A’s on your website, and happened to come across your post from 17 August about the First Responder Project.

I work fulltime as a fire/rescue/EMT first responder, I also work on an on-call fire department, and I am a member of the Air Force Reserves.

I thought your post was accurate, and in all three of my positions I believe there to be an important emphasis on being physically fit for the wellbeing of myself and others.

I am curious as to what this project will look like, and would love to learn more. If possible, I would love to be involved and try to get other members of my department(s) involved as well.

Thank you, – D

Thanks for reaching out.

Here’s what we’re doing right now….

1) Fitness Culture Analysis and Identification.

Developing a fitness culture is the first step to making a lasting difference. We created a tool to do an assessment and deployed it to a mid-western fire department. That unit had a “weak” culture. I feel our next step is to find a units with a “strong” cultures, deploy the fitness assessment, and see if we can find common attributes. For example – a fit leadership, time on duty to train, intolerance of unfit first responders, etc. We’ve reached out to one unit we’ve heard has a good culture, but have not heard back. If you know of any, pls help connect us. We’re doing this formally through our Mountain Tactical Institute.

As well, it’s It’s not enough that we deploy our assessment beat up a unit with a poor fitness culture. Ideally after we beat them up, we give them the tools and steps they can undertake to turn things around. Then it’s on them to do so.

2) Created training tools and standards.

On both the Fire Rescue and Law Enforcement sides we’ve created fitness assessments athletes can use for themselves or their units to see how they measure up. Through our training program, we have “on ramp” programs to build guys up from unfit, to a tactical level of first responder fitness, and created ongoing training programs to keep them there.

3) Spread the word.

My staff had a booth at a Fire Rescue conference in Baltimore last month, and will be in Salt Lake City for a National Tactical Officers Association conference this weekend – where we’ll spread the message and hope to meet and connect with like-minded first responders. Honestly, many out of shape folks at these conferences avoid eye contact and scoot by our booth fast. We understand. Again – one officer, one Fireman, one unit, at a time.

4) Leverage partnerships.

We hope to help spread the message by leveraging partners. For example, we reached out to a major tactical clothing manufacturer about partnering with us on the First Responder project and hope to reach out to other major and minor potential partners. Getting other companies which serve first responders onboard and spreading the message will greatly accelerate the impact we can have.

I understand we have a “tough love” message for many first responders, leaders and units. And this message will turn many away – at first.

First responder “wellness” efforts I’ve seen thus far have been patronizing toward first responders is their “softness” and hand holding.

Our goal is to be a beacon, community and home for first responders who are professional about their fitness now, or want to be so. This is important – what matters most isn’t current fitness level, but attitude. Come to us committed to get professional about your or your unit’s fitness, and we’ll bend over backward to help out.

How can you help?

– Lead by example. Train for your job, stay fit.

– Be welcoming to others who want to join you. Make your training a welcoming environment to any and all who are willing to work for it – no matter where they start.

– Fight for time on duty to train and equipment. Fight for access to job-specific programming. Start the work to get a fitness assessment – but understand this will take time and resistance will be great.

– Help spread the work about the First Responder Project

– Rob


I have some questions about your SFOD-D (DELTA) Selection Course Training Plan.  About 7 months ago I graduated from Ranger School, I used your Ranger School program to help get ready.  The only complaint about it was the emphasis on the RAPFT.  I actually would skip those workout days, but continue with the other day workouts. 

My question is that now I am going to selection in November.  I am back into the shape I was prior to Ranger.  I run the 5 mile in 30min, 2 mile in 1223.  I am currently benching 360, dead 425, and squat 405.  Does this program base its workouts on the APFT like the Ranger School one did? Or is it more designed for a function fitness overall outcome?

Thank You and hope to hear back soon, – R

I greatly disagree with out about a PFT focus for the Ranger School Plan. Certainly the plan covers the RAPFT – because it’s a gateway test at the onset. The Ranger School Plan also has extensive rucking, and other event-focused training and has been used successfully by many guys – including you.

The SFOD-D Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/sfod-d-delta-selection-course-training-plan/) also includes a day/week focused on the APFT, but the bulk of the plan is running, step ups, rucking, especially rucking – focused.

Click the product page above – there’s an extensive description as well as a week of training.

– Rob


Has your organization thought about doing a training plan for completing the UBRR? The upper body round robin is a physical fitness test used mainly by Special forces, but also by Civil Affairs and PSYOP soldiers. I took one while in a leadership course at Fort Bragg. If you haven’t heard about it (it is kind of obscure) there is a link below but basically its 8 events that can be completed in any order with limited rest (at least that’s how we did it) followed by a 5 mile ruck or run. Every time I have taken part in one or assisted with one of these events it is a 5 mile run, the ruck was never offered.

My class did 6-8 weeks train up (wasn’t programmed very well) prior to taking this test, out of 35 students competing only 4 were able to complete the test. From personal experience , when I took this test I was substantially weaker than I am right now but my work capacity was better (BW Bench, .75 Squat, 1.25 Dead lift, 2mi run 14:20, for reference roughly). I passed every event with flying colors except for the run, which was par for most of the class. Roughly 10 out of the 35 made the run, making it the hardest obstacle to complete. The weighted rope climb was the next difficult test, followed by the essentially perfect pushups test.

I’m not sure how much business this would equate to but I can guarantee that a large portion of the Special Forces community uses this test along with Civil Affairs and Psyop. If you had a program I would have bought it before going to this course, since success in the course is directly attributed to Physical Performance.

I don’t know who these guys are, just the first link that popped up:



The APFT improve course is incredible, I’m seeing immediate improvements. – S


We designed a UBRR Training Plan a couple years ago. Here’s the link:http://mtntactical.com/shop/upper-body-round-robin-training-plan/

– Rob



Thanks for your dedication to athletes and working professionals worldwide. I have been following your programming for quite some time now and have developed a few questions that will help me progress even further.

I have been following the operator sessions and have developed both mentally and physically from my dedication to the gym and your programming. I know anytime we seek to take on a new challenge or become a member of a new team, the team is made before the selections even begin. The team selection is essentially made in the training and dedication to the gym before the selection begins. Having said that -I am about 9 weeks out from a selection. The selection entry requirements are the same as FBI HRT however the selection itself is about half of what HRT will complete. There is no rucking during the selection, however I am prepared if that changes as well. I feel very confident however I would like to maintain where I am at physically and specifically develop the ability to do more push-ups, sit-ups, and decrease my 2 mile run time by a minute, and I am working with a swim coach to sharpen my swimming ability. Do you think I should continue with my operator sessions, and add the run improvement, with some extra push-ups, and sit-ups?

On another note I am helping my daughter to train. She is 14 years old. She has no fitness experience. I help her workout using the bodyweight program do you think this is a good start and what should we do after the bodyweight program? – D

I’d recommend the FBI HRT Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fbi-hrt-selection-training-plan/

Go in overprepared and crush it.

Daughter – start her with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

Follow it up with Rat 6 … just be smart.



Where does Resilience fit in the Virtue series if one were to do all of them in sequence? Humility, Fortitude, and Valor was the recommended order I believe.

Many thanks, -E

Each of these plans can be completed independently.

If doing in order, here’s what I’d recommend:

1) Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/

2) Valor: http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/

3) Humility:http://mtntactical.com/shop/humility/

4) Resilience: http://mtntactical.com/shop/resilience/

Each of these plans is intense, and you’d want to take a full week’s rest between.

– Rob


Couldn’t find these on the exercise sheet, how are they different than regular dead hang pull ups? – C

“1/2x” doesn’t refer to a new exercise, but a rep scheme. The first number (or load) is for women, second is for men. So 1/2x Pull ups = 1x for women, 2x for men.



I just want to start off by saying I really enjoy subscribing to your training programming. It’s been a key factor for keeping myself fit for family, life and duty.

 I’m a Police Officer for a town in CT and also a member of a regional EST team or SWAT.  Recently, our team leader issued a new PT challenge. The Secret Service Kettle bell snatch challenge. I had never heard of before but it consist of the following:

As many kettle bell snatches with 1.5 pood in 10 minutes.

My question is, could you recommend one of your training programs to help me excel in this challenge? Back in June our EST group PT test was Murph. I was just training with the Busy Operator 1 plan during that time period prior to the test when I remembered you had created a Murph train up. I purchased  it  2 weeks prior to the challenge and finished 2nd overall on our team of 30  members.  I lost to by one second to the same team leader who issued this newest challenge and haven’t heard the end of it since.

He later told me he followed the Murph train up from SSD.

I know it sounds childish but it’s all in good competitive fun and let’s be honest, no one likes to lose haha!

I appreciate any advice you could pass along.

Thanks again for everything you do and keep up the great programming.

Very respectfully, – B

We don’t have a training plan for this right now – I’ll add it to the list.

In the mean time – here’s how I would go about designing a plan.

1) Do the assessment – and get your reps.

2) 2-3x/week, do 10 Rounds, every 90 seconds, 10% Max Reps plus 3x Reps week one, then 10% max reps plus 5x reps week 2, then re-assess and repeat.

One thing you have to be careful with is hand tears and rips. We’ve tried Kettlebell cycles in the past, and no matter what – hands were a limiting factor. So it’s not like you can do this everyday – unless your form is perfect and your hands conditioned. If you rip up your hands during the train up – you’ll suck at the test. We tried gloves, tape, gymnastics wraps, everything. I’m no kb expert, and I know there are some techniques to safe hands – consider these.

As well – I’m not sure the “rules” of your particular test in terms of switching hands or resting, but strategy is important. For example, one of our old sessions was called “Nina’s First Time” – 100x Curtis P’s at 60% bodyweight or something. We did this weekly for a month, and every time I changed my strategy. Week 1 I would get at many reps as I could – almost to failure, then go again, as many reps, repeat.

Week 2 I did 5 reps, rested 30 seconds, repeat.

Week 3 … I forget… sorry. It’s been a long time.

Week 4 – I did 3 reps, took 3 breaths, and repeat. By far, I got in the most reps on week 4. Not only did I get the most reps, I came no where near failure – pacing matters.

Point is, pacing and strategy makes another huge difference. 

– Rob


I have been searching for a good program to help prepare me for SFAS.  This is no doubt the best website I have found, but I have a few questions and was hoping you could help me out by point me in the right direction.

First off all, I will be attending SFAS on 8JAN16.  That gives me roughly 20 weeks of prep time from today.  My question is this.  Aside from just the 8 week Ruck Based Selection Training Program, what program do you recommend, prior to beginning that one?  I am currently deployed overseas in Kuwait and have access to a fully equipped gym. Rucking is a bit difficult as there is limited space, but it can be done. I will be returning stateside to Ft. Carson, CO around the end of October, beginning November timeframe.  This is when I plan on beginning the Ruck Based Program.  So, with that being said, what program do you recommend until that point?

I have been training but not really following a program.  As of right now I consider my self in fairly good shape (my last PT score was a 300, but I know this wont get me through SFAS)   I simply ruck, run and lift as much as my schedule allows, however, I know this can only take me so far, which brings me to you.  I am looking to get the most out of these next 20 weeks, both here in Kuwait and back at Ft Carson.  Please let me know what you think and what you recommend.

I have read all of the positive feedback from soldiers who have completed your programs.  Looking forward to beginning your training programs.

Thank you. – J

I’d recommend:

1) Fortitude (6 weeks): http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/

2) Valor (6 weeks): http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/

3) Ruck Based Selection Training Plan directly before selection: http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-program/

Good luck!

– Rob


I’ve just finished your bodyweight foundation plan after about a month of total rest due to illness and family vacation. It really exceeded my expectations since I was in a good fitness condition before my rest!!!

I’ve been invited to do a mountain trip which includes a Via Ferrata at “Zugspitze” (highest mountin in Germany, about 3.000 meters) on 4th of october. The trip will include hiking/climbing about 2.000m in altitude. I was thinking about the peak bagger plan or just doing mountain alpha with some additional climbing work since the climping itself will be not very technical.

It would be nice if you could tell me your thoughts!

Greets, – T

I’d recommend the Peak Bagger Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/peak-bagger-training-plan/

You can purchase the plan individually at the link above. As well – it’s one of the 30+ plans which comes with a subscription.




I am a TACP in the Air National Guard.  For my civlian employment, I just took a position with a program called Veterans Fire Corps.  It’s a 14-week wildland firefighting internship program for veterans.  The schedule will be 4 days in the woods/ 3 days off.  I am trying to also prepare for the SOF TACP assessment and selection in February, which we’ve discussed previously.  What is your recommendation for training during this 14 week period?  When I get back, I will have 6 or so weeks before the SOF TACP A&S to dial in a bit more.  I don’t even know if I’ll have access to a gym out there, so I may be very limited on equipment. Thanks in advance. – C

I’m not sure I can help you.

The issue is how much training you’ll be able to do in the woods – I suspect your woods time will be significantly physical. You’ll want to take one full days/rest/week, minimum – so that gives you two days you can really train. I think we can assume you’ll be doing plenty of rucking in the woods. What you won’t be getting is unloaded running, and bodyweight calisthenic work.

Without knowing more about your woods schedule, what I’d recommend is the Bodyweight Foundation training plan for your time in the woods (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/). Focus on the cals work.

3 days off ….. My sense is you’ll be getting plenty of volume between the firefighting and cals work. I’d recommend you train heavy strength on the days off – and maybe take a long, easy run. Strength work is for durability going into TACP. Day 1 do 8×3 set/reps of Front Squat, Push Press. Day 2, 8×2 for Craig Special, and 8×3 of Push Press – pull ups or rope climb both days. Don’t push the volume – go heavy, but few reps. Do the Low Back Complex each day.

– Rob


I am about four months away from trying out for a SEAL contract and interested in becoming better repeated for BUDS. My current PST numbers: swim ~8:30, push ~70, sit ~117, pull ~19 run 9:30. That said, do you think I can still benefit from your BUDS V2 program?

Random question: I was in the middle of a six mile run six months back when in experienced a sharp excruciating pain in the medial aspects of both knees. Couldn’t run for up to three months without intense pain. I can now run distance, but often feel a lot of pain after squatting, pushing up from the lunge and so forth. No structural damage according to MRI and X-ray. Doctors say its an inflammatory condition. Any suggestions?

Thank you kindly, – J

Yes on BUD/s V2. It will prepare you physically and mentally. (http://mtntactical.com/shop/buds-training-program/).

Knee Pain – I’m sorry – I don’t have an answer for you there. That is was both knees is strange – and doesn’t point to an injury.

– Rob


Sir is advisable to keep up with my 531 Wendler program at a reduced  load along with your Kettlebell program before I purchase thank you sir for your time. – L

No. The KB plan is no joke. You’ll over train.



I am just starting week 8 of the RAT 6 program and the results have been phenomenal. For some background, I am a 32 year old Army Officer, currently deployed to Iraq with the 82nd.  I have always had a large frame (215-230) PT regularly, and have no problems passing the APFT with 14% body weight; however, I have always plateaued on PU/SU/Running/Rucking and never found a way to break through my walls for years.  I also say that I have never engaged in a professional lifting program before this and have often relied on unit-level PT to maintain fitness or disorganized workouts of my own.

When I started off, here were my numbers

Bench (dumbbell): 180

Military press (dumbbell): 140

Front Squat: 225

Squat Clean: 180

Power Clean: 160

Deadlift: 385

After 4 weeks

Bench DB: 240

Military press DB: 180

Front Squat: 245

Squat Clean: 190

Power Clean: 180

Deadlift: 405

My clean numbers have stagnated a bit only because it took me weeks to get the form correct. Today, I was able to hit 240 and 180 on my bench and power clean in my final “Week 8, Monday” round this morning, so I’m very excited to see how my 1RM improves next week.  Now that As I look ahead towards the UMC, my questions are 1) is UMC the correct next step given my progress, or should I do something else? 2) if I go to UMC after the 1 week rest period, how should I be loading similar exercises so that I can continue my progressive loading and continue development?  With bench and similar exercises, it appears the number of reps shoots way up and after 2 months on RAT 6, I am I have never broke through like this before and just don’t want to get stagnant again. Again, I am very grateful for your advice and your great programing. I has done wonders for my confidence.

I also heard there is a program for deployed SM’s. Is that still available? Attached are my deployment orders. Thanks!

All The Way!, – A

Glad Rat 6 has worked for you.

The Ultimate Meathead Cycle (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ultimate-meathead-cycle/) is a combo strength and hypertrophy plan. Strength (low volume, high loading) for lower/total body, and hypertrophy – mass building (high volume, lower reps) for upper body. It’s designed to make your legs stronger and add muscle to your upper body.

You could lose some upper body strength doing this plan – but gain size.

A better plan to do now would be 357 Strength (http://mtntactical.com/shop/357-strength/) This plan combines heavy strength and short, intense work capacity work in a unique way. Follow it up with Ultimate Meathead.

Free Plan? Years ago we gave away our Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/afghanistan-pre-deployment-training-plan/) with guys deploying there. We gave the plan to thousands of guys, including over a dozen battalion commanders. But no longer.



What is your suggestion to lose weight, but still maintain strength? Right now I have a high protein diet with some carbs, mostly from rice. I’m 6’3″ and 217 lbs.

Thanks, – D

Continue to cut carbs, and add in some intense, short, interval-based work capacity, like 30/30 40-foot shuttles.

You’re about perfect for weight from my perspective.




I serve in the Singapore Armed Forces as an Infantry Officer, we are all conscripted here so we are all kind of young, in fact I’m only 20 years old and already a 2LT.

Despite my youth, I still want to try and become a full time soldier here and join the Special Forces Unit we have here.

The selection is two weeks long but quite intense. After that there is a 9 month SOQC, based off the US Army Special Forces Program.

I was hoping you could:

a) Outline a program for my selection (which I will give you more details about)


b) Point me to a program which would be beneficial from your selection plans

The selection has a lot of turnouts which will lead to hundreds upon hundreds of repetitions of push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, burpees, etc. etc. Some of the movements they do are quite weird, like feet elevated dive-bomber pushups, rolling left and right and doing pushups each time. Its basically just to confuse and disorient us to the point of breakdown. Once thats done, they will move on to tests like swimming, beep tests, runs etc.

Here are some of the tests they do:

8km run in PT Kit

5km run in LBV weighted to 10kg in under 30minutes

8km fast march with 15kg (under 100minutes)

Individual Physical Proficiency Test (Singapore’s APFT: Situps in a minute, Pushups in a minute and 1.5mile run)

Obstacle Courses

Swim in 10kg of Combat Gear (50m I believe)

500m swim in normal attire

20kg Ruck March (Endless march, they won’t tell us when it ends)

There are more tests I believe, I will aim to find out more from my Sergeant who just DOE due to a shoulder injury.

There are also fine motor skill tests such as balance beams, pushing medicine balls across the floor and handstands.

If you could help me design some training outline, I would of course pay you for your services.

If your schedule is too busy, please point me in the direction of a suitable training program already on your site.

Thank you, – L


I’d recommend our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-program/) with one modification. For the heavy rucks, use 20kg, not 60# as prescribed.

This plan doesn’t include swimming – but the swimming gates in your selection aren’t difficult. You’ll need to get in the pool and make sure your competent.

Good luck!



I appreciate you are very busy, however I hope you could point me in the right direction. I am looking to increase my muscle size while still ensuring my work capacity is not affected too much. I have been doing the gym jones foundation programs for a few months, but have found your website and would like to know if there are a set of programs I can cycle through the year to improve my engine and increase my muscle mass?

I was thinking of doing your Hypertrophy for skinny guys followed by 357 Strength/Rat 6 program. Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

Best regards, – D

Your plan is solid. Hypertrophy first (http://mtntactical.com/shop/hypertrophy-program-for-skinny-guys/), followed by 357 Strength (http://mtntactical.com/shop/357-strength/).

– Rob


Good day Rob, my question is about rucking. Rucking, can improve your running/cardio performance? And what other benefict we can see in our películas formance ? Did you have a ruck running tutorial? And any resource that is worth a look about rucking will be apreciated. Thanks, – N

1) Rucking is it’s own cardio mode. Anecdotally some have said it improves their running performance, but all we know for sure is rucking makes you better at rucking. Rucking is a major component of military operations and key to many special forces selections and military schools – like Ranger School. It’s also the exercise the GoRuck events are built around.

2) We’ve found rucking seems to “tighten” everything up, and is great training for the combat chassis.

3) Technique: http://mtntactical.com/exercises/rucking-technique/



Brief question before I purchase…

I have the basic squat stand with pull up bar, and bumper plates. What other equipment would  be essential for the “operator sessions?”

Thanks, – T

This will get you started ….

3x Sandbags, 40/60/80

Dumbbells: 25/35/45/55/65

Another Barbell

30-foot Rope for pulling sandbags

Plyo Box – 20/24/30



I bought your APFT plan and have seen great improvements thus far. I’m signing up for a 10 mile run and need to incorporate some longer distance runs, how should I adjust the APFT programming? I have 6 weeks until an APFT, then 3 weeks later the 10 mile run and 3 weeks following that I have another APFT. Can I adjust one or two of my runs a week while still maintaining the majority of the APFT training plan? – S

You’ll want to do at least one longish run/week – 8-12 miles. You can add it in on Saturday, or adjust one of the APFT run days.

– Rob


I am currently a State Trooper as well as on the SWAT team.  I am a former active duty, now reserve  Air force Pararscueman.  I am a small guy at 25 years old I am 6’0 and weight right in at 145.8 pds.  I have always struggled in gaining weight and muscle mass but have always been able to be extremely fit and pull my own weight around the group.

My question for you is what plan would you recommend for me to do?

I am wantitng to be the fittest state trooper are agency has and excel.  I am wanting to keep all my skills on SWAT and PJ up to par and continue to get bigger and stronger and be the fittest PJ out there. 

If you could get back to me as soon as you can that would be great.  I would love to get this program started, just don’t know which one to pick. 

I am currently extremely fit and can meet the standards below:

My 1.5mi run is currently at 9:53min


LIFT                                        MEN               WOMEN

Front Squat                             1.5x BW     1.0x BW

Dead Lift                                 2.0x BW       1.5x BW

Bench Press                           1.5x BW      1.0x BW

Push Press                             1.1x BW       .7x BW

Squat Clean                          1.25x BW     1.0x BW

Squat Clean+ Push Press    1.1x BW    .7xBW

Please help me get to where I want to be,  FASTER, STRONGER and A FORCE both on SWAT and PJ

Thank you for your time, – Z

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the SWAT/SRT Kickstart Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/swatsrt-kickstart-training-program/

– Rob


I’m currently trying to begin the enlistment process into the Air Force for PJ pipeline. I tore my ACL about a year ago but have been cleared and pretty much taken care of rehab. My PAST isn’t the best at the moment and I think I’m ready to try one of your programs. I’m hoping to be ready sooner rather than later. I noticed one option is 41 weeks while  others are 2 months. I’m currently running a mile and half in about 10:30 and swimming about 9:10 pull-ups are around 15, push-ups 60-70 and sit-ups 80-90. I’m hoping to improve these a ton and be prepared for the long grind. Would love to hear your thoughts and thanks. – F

Start with our USAF PAST Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/usaf-past-training-plan/).



I just got a short notice (6 weeks) for US Army Sniper School. I know it won’t necessarily be the most physically exhausting course, though still physically exhaustive, I’m looking to maximize my training here in the coming weeks.

Any program recommendations? I was going to defer to the APFT plan for sustainment and entry requirements. If you recommend otherwise, please advise. Thanks! – C

I’d recommend the Army OCS Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/army-ocs-training-plan/). This plan has focused APFT work, as well as a hard 5-mile run assessment and intense rucking intervals. It’s a more we’ll rounded plan for you.



I purchased your Ruck-Based Selection Training Program back in 2011 to

prepare for SFAS before I joined the Army. I’ll be attending

Selection within 3 to 5 months. The plan I have was designed in 2010

and I’m writing to see if there has been any significant changes to

this program within the last 5 years of it’s creation. Thank you for

your time and the greatly enjoy the product you produce.

Best Regards, – A

We’re currently on Version 4 of the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-program/). In general, the current plan is more sport-specific to selection, moves you out of the weightroom to focus on the events you’ll face there, and I feel is more transferable.

Do you need to buy it?

No – many have used the version you have and passed selection.

Good luck!



I am currently training for SWAT, i am always looking for new training plans. I cane across your site and i am very interested. Do you have a specific plan in mind that would help with getting me into shape for the everyday grind that swat tolls on you. – P

We have year, round, programmed and periodized programming for SWAT and other LE Officer available through a subscription ($29/month) – you’d want to do our Officer Sessions. With a subscription you get access to 30+ of our training plans, including our SWAT Selection Training Plan and multiple plans on our military side, including Busy Operator.

If you’re hesitant to subscribe, I’d recommend you begin our stuff with the SWAT/SRT Kickstart Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/swatsrt-kickstart-training-program/

– Rob


First off, a big THANK YOU! For everything you and your crew do out there- you all are improving the performance of so many of us and don’t seem to stop progressing with programs!

 So here’s my question/situation/dilemma:

I’m in LE… investigator and trainer. Probably more training than investigating. Training is firearms and tactics/defensive tactics/and similar. I’m also on a regional incident management team (support SWAT, k9 search/rescue, critical incidents, etc). That’s the profession stuff.

For the rest…   I’m an avid mountain biker and peak-bagger (weekly and monthly, respectively), backpack a few times a year, snowshoe/downhill/XC ski whenever I can in winter, and last winter discovered the heavenly sport of backcountry skiing!

I also hunt deer (mostly bow from a stand, but also still-hunt) from October through end of December.

Workouts are in my basement “gym,” and my two best workout partners are kettlebells and a sandbag. Though due to workout out solo, and in a basement, I’ve got equipment and exercise restriction.

So, I’m all over the place as far as my “needs” go.

I do my best to stick to a version of your nutrition plan as well.

I’ve also got a long list of old injuries from playing the game of life to hard sometimes….  Shoulders blown from crashing bikes, scope surgery to fix FAI on one hip, loss of ROM in wrist/shoulder (front squats suck), and disc degeneration that’s got me an inch shorter than I was 10 years go (I’m barely scraping 40!!).

I contributed to the “fitness culture” survey relating to tactical athletes and I’m very interested in what else you’ll be putting out about it. 

I absolutely LOVE that SSD creates mission-specific plans, but I find that I can’t seem to identify a direction to go in with them. I feel like, just as soon as I go in one direction (more legs and lungs for biking) something else comes up to make me change my direction.

I’ve taken a lot from your info/articles/videos, etc. but haven’t pulled the trigger on a specific training plan. Fear of commitment!

I’m currently working on increasing my strength with a Russian squat program (3 days/week) combined with KB swings and presses w the 70 pounder each workout. I throw in get ups, shrugs (to help keep my alignment in check!), rows, plank work, and sandbag carries up and down the stairs. I plan to continue this til the Russian program is done (6 weeks) and then move from there.

What I’m looking for… drum roll…    is some insight/direction as far as how to work something in that addresses alllllll of the things I do mentioned above. I’m a generalist, so focusing on a backpacking trip in 8 weeks doesn’t work as smooth as for some with just that mission in mind…    because I still want to bike hard, or hunt, etc and have the LE fitness going on as a constant.

I’ve tried a few times to lay out my “sports” for the year and see if there’s a way to just shift my “focus” while maintaining everything to some degree, but it hasn’t been easy.

Sorry for the ramble… thanks for reading!

Any insight is welcome and appreciated!!!

Keep up the excellent work!

Thanks again brother! – L

Because you can lose your life at work, your primary fitness focus must be meeting the demands of a LE Athlete. This means good overall relative strength, some upper body mass, sprinting ability and good short-duration work capacity, and a strong “combat chassis” for durability. From our stuff, your day to day training would revolve around our LE Officer Sessions.

Fitness for your recreation comes second. The LE Sessions will cover some of your sports fairly well – hunting for sure, and easy backpacking.

Peakbagging/mountain biking, backcountry and alpine skiing – for these it’s best to do some “sport specific” training just prior to the season – 3-4 weeks depending upon your “base fitness.” This is not only for performance (peak bagging) but also to be durable and fit to avoid injury (knee tear alpine skiing).

A subscription to the website gives you access to the daily Officer Sessions, as well as many of the pre-season sport specific training programs for recreation (Peak Bagger Training Plan, Dryland Ski Training Plan, backpack pre-season, backcounty hunting, etc.) plus we are adding to these all the time.

In my perfect world, you’d bounce back and forth between the Officer Sessions as your primary daily training, and short, hard, focused hits of the sport specific mountain plans before your recreation season. Once the season started, you’d move back to the Officer Sessions.

Our stuff isn’t a tailored fit for your equipment limitations, and you may have to switch up exercises around your injuries,  – be resourceful and you’d figure it out. As well- you could always email me.

Hesitant to subscribe? Start with the Sandbag/Dumbbell/Weightvest training plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/sandbagweight-vestdumbbell-training-plan/

– Rob

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