Q&A 9.2.16



I just got the heads up that I’ll be doing the EFMB course on 3DEC. The main physical requirement will be the 12 mile ruck which should take place on 13DEC. I would have to also do a 12 mile validation ruck prior to going, likely the last week in November. This should give me 13 weeks to prepare. I haven’t been doing much in the way of rucking recently and was looking at Fortitude as a way to get back into the swing of it. From what I can tell the rucks begin at 4 miles and increase to 7 miles at the end of 6 weeks. As my focus is currently rucking, what are your thoughts on doing 2 ruck days and 1 run day vs. the 1 ruck day and 2 run days prescribed in the plan? Following Fortitude I was thinking about doing a rest/unload week and then rolling into the air assault plan. Is this a solid plan or would you recommend a different course of action?


Plan is Solid, – but do Fortitude as prescribed. The Air Assault Plan has you rucking 2 days/week also. Make sure for the Air Assault Plan you use the same rucking load you will at EFMD.

– Rob



I just graduated from Ranger School today and after a much needed break I plan on getting back into the gym.  Do you have any suggestions on where to start / how to get back into the swing of things in terms of nutrition and workouts?  I feel pretty beat up but I don’t have a lot of time to waste, I start Airborne School in a couple weeks and then I move on to a new unit so I’d like to be able to at least hold my own when I arrive at both.  Any help would be appreciated.


Week total rest, eat anything you want for this week …. then start cleaning up your diet – 5 days clean, 2 days of cheating.

Training …. I generally recommend guys start back with simple bodyweight stuff and easy running 3 days/week for a couple weeks, then start back with a strength plan. But most don’t have Airborne school looming.

For you now, I’m going to assume your bodyweight stuff is still good and obviously you can ruck. I’d recommend a solid strength program – Rat 6.

– Rob



I am a military athlete. I will be attending the Sapper Leader Course in April 2018. I am 31. How you recommend I start training for the course? My instinct is to do the operator sessions for about 6 months, then start the SLC program, identify weakness’, continue operator sessions, then about 2 months before course try the SLC program again.

I am in fair/good physical condition. weak runner 15 min two mile



You’re plan is solid.

I’d recommend working through the Greek Hero plans on your way to the SLC plan …. these were all originally Operator Cycles. Here’s the order:





Perseus (coming soon)

Actaeon (we’re lab ratting this cycle now in the Operator Sessions)

– Rob



I’ve been hitting it hard the last few months and am currently towards the end of the BUDS V1 plan. I had a question for you. I had been consistently improving on the 2 min max push-up, sit-up and pull ups. Last week I maxed at 104-100-18. The other day, I only managed 92-88-15. Have you noticed a lot of variation on these numbers with your athletes when doing repeat testing? Or do you think it was just an off week and that I may be getting close to needing a deload week?


In general, progression improves during these cycles, but not at the same rate … i.e. your gains earlier in the program are greater than gains later in the plan.

We have had athletes plateau … it somewhat depends upon their incoming fitness. A fit guy coming in will see less overall gains than an unfit guy.

You’re numbers … everyone is different and you could very possibly be overtrained. An unload/rest week, hopefully, will help.

– Rob



I am hooked on your programming.

I was introduced to your program from a friend and just finished the Big 24.  I hurt my shoulder, although I’m not sure the exact injury.  I took a week off of the big 24 to do mobility and endurance (running).  The shoulder is sore, but feels better everyday.

The injury occurred coming down on a pull up.  Very poor form in hindsight — I was kipping to get REPs.

Anyway.  I just signed up for the monthly to keep this going.  My question is: “Can you recommend what I tackle next?”

I’m currently deployed to Afghanistan, but I’m working a staff job.  Long hours, but I’m rarely out in the austere conditions.

I am 6’4″, 185lbs (skinny dude).  I want to increase my strength while not completely losing my running times and distance.

I was thinking of starting the “Military Strength Overview”? — “Rat 6”?

Your thoughts?

Last question.  Can I still do 15-30 minutes of mobility exercises on my rest days?  If I don’t do something physical, I lose my mind.

Thank you for all that you do. I love your programing.


I’d rather you do a more balanced program next, rather than strength back to back. From our stuff, I’d recommend Apollo – you’ll be able to maintain strength, but work in sprints, TAC SEPA, Chassis Integrity and a weekly loaded run. Here’s the overview: http://mtntactical.com/plans/military-athlete-plans/operator-apollo/operator-apollo-overview/

Apollo comes with your subscription – on the site it’s called “Operator Apollo.”

Okay on the mobility stuff.

– Rob



I am interested in a program designed for British SAS selection. I checked out your SFOD-D program and I am interested in something similiar but without the olympic lifts (Hang clean etc). I am not able to perform such moves and there is no crossfit gym near me to learn how to do so safely. I require a program that has running and rucking as its main focus, with strength training such as squats incorporated. I hope that you can help.


The SFOD-D Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/sfod-d-delta-selection-course-training-plan/) is what I’d recommend for SAS, and it includes one day/week of gym-based strength, but none of the prescribed lifts are olympic lifts. You should be good in any gym with a barbell, plates and a rack.

– Rob



When looking on your FAQ page I noticed the following standards-


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

Is this for 1RM or for reps?  Or do you consider it the minimums that an athlete should be able to attain?


Yes – these are 1RM – 1 Rep Max.

These standards are what I like to get athletes too …. and not too much stronger. There are some outliers …. i.e. super strong guys who can easily excede these, and skinny, endurance types who can make the lower and total body exercise standards, but suffer on the bench press.

Understand military athletes are not strength athletes. You have a hybrid of fitness demands – strength, work capacity, endurance, stamina, etc. If you develop too far in one attribute, you lose fitness in the other attributes.

We’ve found over the past decade these standards are just about right – they provide the relative, functional strength military athletes need/can use in the field, but don’t give undo attention to just strength.

Note that these are relative strength standards – based on your bodyweight. As well, in the pure strength world, these are not all that ambitious …. but pure power lifters and competing Olympic lifters and even crossfit competitors don’t have the pure endurance demands on the ground military athletes do.

Finally, it seems at least twice a year we revisit these to verify their continued veracity. I find that in general, I’ve worked to cut the number of exercises and decrease the standards slightly, as we’ve improved our endurance programming (running, rucking).

– Rob



I have a few questions for you and am considering purchasing a Military Athlete training plan. First I would like to give you a brief background.

I am highly considering joining the military (most likely trying to take the 18x Army SF route) after I graduate with my MBA in one years time. My background in fitness is in powerlifting, weightlifting, and crossfit. I am looking for the best plan to suit my needs as a military athlete. To give you a brief synopsis of my athletic abilities here are some of my more recent tests:

1.) Last June I ran a marathon (didn’t really train for it aside from i was able to run a 15k in 57min) I am not at that level still, however I know I have the ability.

2.) I have a fairly consistent 285-300lb Clean and Jerk and 440-460lb Deadlift.

3.) My Pushup, Situp, Pullup numbers range in the 90-115, 60-80, and 21-26.

4.) I can usually run between a 4.48-5 second 40yd.

These numbers are only to give you an overall idea as to where I am physcially.

My injury prone areas tend to be:

1.) shin splints

2.) Lumbar Spine/ SI joint pain (rare)

3.) AC sprain in shoulder (rare)

Do you have any suggestions as to which plan I would purchase? Right now I follow SofWods but am a bit skeptical to their progressions and overall programming. I also appreciate the overall “pre-hab” (shoulder and hip injury prevention) that seems to be fairly prevalent in Military Athlete Programs. As I am so far out from going in I’m wondering what my training should be composed of as of now. Any information you may communicate back to me on this is very much appreciated! Thanks!


At your level, a couple options:

1) Start our stuff would be the “Virtue” series of plans – beginning with Fortitude. http://mtntactical.com/shop/virtue-series-packet/

2) Start our most recent stuff – the “Greek Hero” Plans, beginning with Apollo: http://mtntactical.com/shop/operator-apollo/

All of these plans were “lab ratted” in our daily operator sessions, tested, fixed and published. All are designed as day to day programming for Operators.

The Virtue series is older – a couple years – but still super solid. These plans signified a shift in my Fluid Periodization to include more Endurance.

The Greek Hero plans are my most recent programming, and for military athletes, train 5 attributes:

– Strength

– Work Capacity

– Endurance

– Chassis Integrity (my version of midsection strength and strength endurance)

– TAC SEPA (Tactical Speed, Explosive Power and Agility)

“Fluid Periodization” = Training all 5 attributes but with cyclic emphasis. With the Greek Hero plans the emphasis is more subtle than before. As well, we have “balanced” cycles, which train the attributes equally.

These plans were first “lab ratted” in our daily Operator Sessions, cleaned up from what we learned and published.

You can purchase the Virtue Packet – all 4 plans, or purchase the plans individually.

I haven’t created a “packet” for the Greek Hero Plans yet … we’re still working through them in the Operator Sessions.

As well, all these plans plus dozens of others are available with a subscription.

– Rob



I am confused about which plan to use. I am a 61 year old firefighter and am on the local urban search and rescue team. The team is going to hold a selection for a new swiftwater/flood team and I plan to try to pass and make the team. I have been crossfiting for about 4-5 years 2-3 time a week  and I am average  for a old guy, I had some colon surgery and hernia repair in April so I have been staying light on the weights 45-100 lbs on most of my lifts,  really don’t want to screw up the belly again. I have looked at your fire service programs and your youtube video’s. I am confused about which program or programs would work as supplemental training. Which program would you recommend.


You’re age concerns me some … as does your hernia.

I’d recommend you start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

Follow it up with the Urban Fire Rescue Assessment Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fire-rescue-athlete-fitness-assessment-training-plan/

Both these plans deploy initial assessments, and then base your follow-on progressions on your assessment results. This way the plans automatically “scale” to your incoming fitness.

Bodyweight Foundation … don’t be put off by “bodyweight” – this plan is no joke.

– Rob



I am going to be spending some time on a ship shortly and wanted to see what your thoughts were on the best training plan to get the most out of limited equipment/space but plenty of time. I am looking to be putting in a MARSOC package coming up and want to make sure I am in shape enough to jump into a prep program upon return.


I just finished today a Shipboard Training Plan. Here’s the link: http://mtntactical.com/product-category/military-athlete-plans/

This plan comes with your subscription if you’re a subscriber.

– Rob

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