Q&As 05/21/15


Questions include The Difference Between Our Ruck Based Program and the SFOD-D Selection Packet, Explanation for the 4×40 Shuttle in the Bodyweight Training Program II, Training to Run the Grand Canyon, Scaling Running and Rucking in the Fortitude Program, Training with Limited Equipment, The Relationship Between Strength and Rucking, and more…


First of all Kudos on your backcountry ski plan.  I did some of my own training and then completed your program earlier this year straight before a 6 day backcountry tour and I was amazed at how strong I felt on the trip compared to where my fitness was 6 months earlier.  I’ve now just completed Ultimate Meathead but unfortunately couldn’t quite do it quite as prescribed due to a long term knee injury that flared up on the ski trip.  But still great programming and I’m hooked.


Mr. Shaul, looking forward to completing this program [Valor]. Once again, i have only good news to relay about your programing and ideology. My cousins CCT teams have used them in the past with great success. More recently, one of my training partners who is preparing for pre-BUDS has “enjoyed” the 5 week program.

Thank you for all the hard work your organization does, including the continued education and broad range of programming. It’ greatly appreciated by fitness professionals and non-professionals everywhere.


First of all, thank you, Rob, and the whole team for the excellent programming. For a long time I wrote my own programming with good results, until a friend turned me on to MA. I realized the programming there closely mirrored my own in structure and design, but forced me to open up my weaknesses and my improvements grew dramatically.


I am looking to purchase the athlete subscription from Strong Swift Durable.

I consider myself an all-round mountain athlete (climbing, skiing and hiking) and am looking for a suitable training solution (perform at a reasonably high level for all sports).

However, I am based in Australia and hence my seasons are the opposite to yours. I do travel North for part of the winter (Northern Winter) but do not spend the whole season there.

Would your base fitness programming (mtn athlete) still be suitable or should I look at more personalized options?

Looking forward to hearing you, love the website and the work you guys have been doing!! Such a great concept!


In general, the closer you get to the specific sport season, the more sport-specific programming your training should be. So…. you should do dryland ski training before ski season, sport-specific climbing training before rock climbing season, etc.

These sport specific cycles are key to maximizing your potential in those individual sports.

The way we work with high level recreational athletes is in-between sport specific cycles, they do general fitness programming (our SSD sessions), then prior to the sport season, a sport-specific training cycle (dryland ski for example), then during the season, when they are doing a lot of the sport, a maintenance cycle (In-Season Skiing Maintenance: http://mtntactical.com/shop/in-season-ski-maintenance-training-program/).

The trick is the duration of time between end of the sport season (skiing) and beginning of the sport specific cycle to prepare for the next season (climbing). What we find in actual practice is there isn’t a whole lot of time with our athletes here – 4 weeks at most.

So for you there, I’d recommend you begin our programming with one of the sport-specific pre-season training cycles, and see how it works for you. I know you’re headed into winter, so I’d recommend the dryland ski cycle.


I tore my ACL last August and had surgery about two weeks later. I was in the best shape of my life then and lifting a lot. Of course that all went away and my leg muscle all but disappeared. I completed physical therapy and then did your post rehab leg program. My injured leg is still atrophied so badly and I’m really looking to put some muscle back on it now that the recovery process is over. What program/plan would you recommend for building my legs back up and also increasing my endurance/work capacity (that also suffered). I have the RAT 6 plan and was wondering if that would be a good place to start gaining back some of that strength or if you’d go with something else? I work as an adventure videographer/photographer and a lot of my work is filming hunts which requires climbing mountains and lots of walking with a pretty heavy load of camera equipment on my back (about 50 lbs) depending on the project. For that reason another plan I was considering was the military endurance packet. Just curious as to which is the better route to go at this point. Thanks man for all you do and taking the time to respond to all of our questions. Really appreciate it. All businesses should be run this way.


Awesome on the hunting work. I’m a backcountry hunter myself. I’d recommend the Big Game Backcountry Hunting Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-game-hunting-training-program/

You’ll suffer at first, but grind through.


My heavy event got canceled, so I picked one 2 Weeks later.

Just finished week 3 which for original date. Which weeks should I repeat to have the right finish/taper?


Repeat weeks 3 and 4.


This coming September, I will be attempting to join an organization through my ROTC that involves intense smoke sessions 6 days a week for 2-4 hours at a time for 16+ weeks. The selection will involve substantial obstacle course, bodyweight/animal PT, and running. Along with log PT, and some heavy ruck/ ruck run days. I would love your insight as to how to train up for such a process.

As for stats, I currently weigh 175 at 5’11 and coming from a cross country background, would likely lose a fair amount of muscle with solely an endurance plan. I am in relatively good shape, running a 300+ APFT, but could definitely improve in all areas of my fitness.

My goal is to increase durability so as to reduce injury through such a long process, as well as to increase muscular and cardiovascular endurance to endure very long smoke sessions.  advice in training plan(s) you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.



I’m not sure what selection you’re referring to, but in general I’d recommend the Ruck Based Selection Training Program: http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-program/

We also have very specific selection plans here, and you may find the correct one for your selection: http://mtntactical.com/product-category/military-athlete-plans/selection/


I wanted to get your advice. I’m training up for selection having spent 6 years in SF, what is the difference between Ruck Based program and the SFOD-D Selection Packet? I have read some of the reviews on your website but wanted to hear thoughts.


The most important difference between the two packets if the finishing training plans.

We designed the Ruck-Based Selection Training Packet and Plan with SFAS in mind. SFAS includes plenty of rucking, but it’s not only rucking – there are team events, work capacity hits, etc. We’ve found this plan works well for SFAS, The Activity, Canadian JTF2, etc., and other similar events.

The SFOD-D packet concludes with the SFOD-D Training Plan, which reflects the demands of that selection – a huge emphasis on rucking. So the SFOD-D Selection Training Plan is rucking dominant.



I’ve got a buddy who is headed to SFAS and he is a huge believer in your methods and loves the Ruck Based programs you’ve put out.

However, I noticed when looking the program over that there is no barbell based strength training. I understand this is out of necessity since it is a minimal equipment plan necessary for those who may not have access whether OCONUS or for any number of reasons.

That being said, if one does have access would it be beneficial or possible to add in say 1 or 2 lifts into the program?

I know it is never a good idea to mess around with an already high volume program, but he asked me the other day about this and I was curious myself so I figured I’d shoot you an email to see what you might say.

I was thinking of advising him to maybe throw in say a couple sets of front squats before the Tuesday sandbag based strength sessions? Would it be too much to throw in one compound lower body barbell lift, either hinge or squats and maybe one compound upper body lift like bench or press during the week?

It may be unnecessary for the specific demands of the pipeline. I was on the Navy side myself so am unfamiliar with the demands of the Army’s pipeline.

Nevertheless I’m curious as I am generally interested in S&C programming.

It struck me that including one upper and one lower lift per week might be helpful for durability. But it may hinder recovery too much.




If you take a look at the plans in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-packet/) you’ll see there are two barbell-based strength cycles programmed leading up to the final Ruck Based Selection Training Plan. These are included in the train up for durability.

But in the final 8 weeks to selection, the focus should be on the specific fitness required for the event – which is why the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan doesn’t include heavy strength training.

If you want to add it in, keep it low volume, and heavy, like a 6×3 set/rep scheme, 1-2x days/week. You could even keep it efficient with a superset of hang squat cleans and bench presses.

But I wouldn’t recommend it.


I bought the bodyweight training program II, and I’m in doubt. I found the

4x 40-yard shuttle in the program, but I just found in www.mountainathlete.com the 60-yard shuttle. How can i perform the 4x 40- yarda shuttle?


Let me explain – Session 2 in the plan calls for ….

10 Rounds

10x 40-foot shuttle every 60 seconds

Set up 2 cones, 40 feet apart (12 meters)

Start a 60 second repeating countdown timer.

On “Go” sprint back and forth between the cones, touching the ground at each cone, for 10x lengths, or 5x round trips. Go hard!

The faster you finish, the more rest you get before the next round begins. It should take 30-40 seconds …. so you won’t get much rest.

Here is a link to the video of the exercise. CLICK HERE



I’ve been looking through your site and I’m looking at using your BUD/s v2 plan. I’ll be heading out in late June to get the ball rolling with a recruiter and start getting some official PST’s on record. One of the things I like about your philosophy on the site is how important strength is. My question is whether the BUD/s v2 plan incorporates strength work as well. I’ve looked through the sample operator sessions and seen a lot of barbell work but I didn’t see any in the BUD/s v2, but perhaps it just didn’t show up in that sample. I saw that you had a 40 week bud/s plan but right now I’m looking at something shorter so I can see how it works for me and either add on to or repeat as needed from there. Does your BUD/s v2 plan incorporate some heavy lifts and overall strength work or is it just a beefed up version of the PST plan? I love the sample workouts I saw but really want that strength and durability piece added in as well. Also I’ve read your reviews and realize everyone loves your stuff, have you had a lot of feed back on success from your BUD/s specific programs or success in the pipeline?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this it shows the caliber of your service.


The BUD/s V2 Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/buds-training-program/)  is designed to be completed directly before BUD/s, and it’s laser focus is on the fitness required for the events you’ll face at selection. It’s programming is high volume – running, rucking, swimming, etc.

If you’ll look at the packet (http://mtntactical.com/shop/buds-training-packet/) you’ll see we include two heavy strength focused plans leading up to the final BUD/s V2 plan, – they are in there build durability.

But, 8-10 weeks out, the focus needs to be on fitness.

I’d recommend you do the plan as prescribed and cycle in focused strength training (Big 24) after completing it.

Plan feedback – nothing solid back yet. Several have included the plan in their trainup, but like you, are just entering the pipeline. It’s not uncommon, most who use our selection plans don’t circle back around until later in their careers – mainly because of restrictions on discussing the selection process.


I am planning a solo trail run of the Grand Canyon from the south rim to the north rim and back to the south rim in early October. I have been running a number of years; mostly road races from marathon distance to the fun 5k. I haven’t run a marathon since 2001 but finished a half-marathon a few weeks ago. I’ve had to cut back on weekly mileage for the last two years because of piriformis and hip flexor issues. To rebuild my running chassis and get ready to put in the extra miles, I purchased the Off Season Training Program for Endurance Athletes. After that I’m contemplating moving on to the Ultra Running Preseason Training Program, then the 50 Mile Ultra Training Plan.

My question is does this sound like a reasonable plan to get me through the run. I have been involved in mountaineering and climbing too and given the nature of this run I was wondering if I shouldn’t incorporate one of the climbing plans, such as Big Mountain or Peak Bagger. Oh … need to mention that I’m 61 years old. Thanks in advance.


I’d recommend the Peak Bagger Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/peak-bagger-training-plan/) with some additional long weekend runs directly leading up to your Grand Canyon run.

The reason is the vertical gain/loss – and the strength that will require – especially the downhills. Road running won’t prepare your muscles for that impact.

The Peak Bagger Plan is no joke – it’s intense, and at 61 you’ll need more time to recover than is prescribed in the plan. I’d probably recommend you begin the plan 8 weeks out, and for the first 2 weeks, take a day or two total rest during the week – to recover, – so it will take you 3 weeks or so to complete the first 2 weeks in the plan. Then, aim to complete weeks 3-6 of the plan as prescribed.



In about 4 months I’ll be taking the Navy PST with the goal of getting a SEAL contract. I’m wondering how I should approach training for the next few months. I have a solid base of fitness right now, but the swim portion of the PST is what I need to work on most. I currently own the big 24 plan, the courage plan, and the run and swim improvement plans. Does this sound like a good plan to you: Big 24 and swim improvement simultaneously, then courage and run improvement simultaneously (with 1 or 2 swims thrown in each week just to keep off the rust), then purchasing and following your Navy PST program?



Your plan is solid. You can also look at the BUD/s training packet and align up your plans like it does: http://mtntactical.com/shop/buds-training-packet/



I purchased your backcountry big game program a while back and I’m into my third week of it now. Plan seems great I think you are an evil genius. Only trouble is my big hunt this year is going to be an archery hunt for elk in hells canyon at the end of September.  I’m kinda thinking I might have put my cart before my horse starting this plan this far before the season. Is there another one of your programs I should do first then do the hunting one right before I go? Normally I just do crossfit 3-4 days a week year round but I really like how your programming is tailored to specific events.



Ideally you’ll complete this program the 8 weeks directly before your season start. By my count, that would be the week of August 3 to start. This gives you about 11 weeks.


Couple options:


1) Subscribe to the website and follow the military-inspired Operator Sessions until Aug 3. Then cx your subscription and start the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-game-hunting-training-program/). If you chose this option, email me and I’ll tell you where to begin the Operator Sessions.


2) Purchase and complete Fortitude (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/) – which is six weeks. Take a week off, then complete 369 Work Capacity (http://mtntactical.com/shop/369-work-capacity-cycle/). After 369, take another week off and start the Big Game plan.



How would you recommend scaling the running and rucking in the Fortitude program? I’m looking to be really strong and move fast over distance. I’ve recently returned from Afghanistan and have not ran in a while.



Easiest would be to start at 2/3 the prescribe distances.



I recently joined the Navy, I am wondering if you have a fitness plan for Navy Diver, I am a female age 25, weight 156, height 67in.



We have yet to design a program specifically for the Navy, but just completed a program for the Army Combat Diver Qualification Course – which is what I’d recommend.

This plan includes specific training for the fitness assessment – which is very similar to the Navy’s – the only difference is the run (2 miles vs. 1.5), as well as running, swimming, finning and other course-specific work.

Here is a link to the plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/cdqc-training-plan/


When I was doing the backcountry ski program I emailed you and you gave me some advice on what to do next but my work and life plans have completely changed.  For the next six months I’m going to be working a fly-in / fly-out rotation to a remote construction site: 2 weeks away working 7 days a week, 2 weeks at home time off.  While I’m away I’ll only have access to a limited training room which has one pair of selectable dumbbells, a bench, a pull-up bar, a nautilus type machine and a stationary bike.  No other equipment available and no outdoor exercise or running.  No specific training goal right now but I was wondering how you though I could best deal with this.  What are your thoughts on 2 week training cycles instead of 4-6 week, have you ever experimented with durations this short?  Maybe alternating back a forth a few times doing something like “stuck in a motel” while away and “big 24” when back home, switching between them until programs are done; then changing out the programs?  Or should I stick with 4-6 week long cycles and just make the most of what I have (eg. strength cycle might be body weight / dumbbell while away then heavy barbell back home)? Any suggestions on programs which would best fit my “away” circumstances?



I’ve never experimented with rotating back and fourth between two programs as you suggest. Since you have not specific training goals – might be an interesting experiment for you – the Stuck in a Motel Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/stuck-in-a-motel-training-plan/) at your construction site, and Ultimate Meathead (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ultimate-meathead-cycle/) or another plan when home.

This will help spread the plans out to fill up the 6 months.


We talked last month about the relationship between strength and rucking, in which you told me about your study with Jordan and another of your athletes with a light load. You said you believe Jordan’s strength will come into play eventually; I took this to mean that there will eventually be a load with which an endurance athlete simply can’t run for a prolonged period, whereas Jordan’s balance of strength and endurance means he’ll be able to carry a heavier load, for a longer distance. I was wondering if you’ve conducted any more study into the subject; you mentioned upping the load to 60 pounds in your next iteration of the test.


I personally wouldn’t consider myself to be an endurance athlete or a strength athlete, but rather a balance, and not one I’m happy with, either. I can front squat my body weight (175) for just 3 reps, bench it for 8, and deadlift 275 for 8. I max the same lifts at 195, 225, and 345. Therefore, not very strong, particularly compared with your programming, given the bias towards strength. On the other hand, I can maintain sub 10 minute miles on rucks through 4-6 miles, and 11-12 on further distances. So not terribly slow, but never the fastest guy there, either. Have you found any further evidence through your study? Your programming is guiding my journey through fitness training as a Marine, so I’m very interested in what you have to say; it’ll determine the direction my programming needs to take.



We’re still studying this stuff, but one indication is that at 60#, Jordan’s relative strength allowed him to work less when going at a relatively slow pace. It didn’t help him on the upper end, but rather on the lower end. So being strong, simply helps you carry load at lower intensities. So, say you get dropped of 10km from the village and need to ruck in. The stronger guys will, in theory, have more energy in reserve when the team gets to the village and fighting begins, than the weaker guys.

However, this is just looking at 2 athletes, and not comprehensive. It also happens that Jordan is 25 pounds heavier than the other lab rat, so simple body mass might be the difference, not necessarily relative strength. We’re trying to parse this out.

You’re own rucking ability is pretty impressive – much faster than mine, and my relative strength is higher (or used to be before I stopped doing the Operator Sessions…).

When it comes down to it, movement over ground is the only measure that matters.

We plan to do a formal, academic study analyzing this issue, and follow on with a study analyzing the effectiveness of different ruck training methodologies, later this summer. Not sure when our results will be out. Our PhD comes on May 28th.



Just finished the On-Ramp plan and was looking to see what you recommend next. My strength went up a ton, but I’m feeling pretty lethargic and don’t really have any energy lately though I can complete the workouts. Overworking myself? I know I’m carrying too much weight on my frame as I’m 5’8″ and at 205. I’m looking at getting back down to 180ish. Because of this I was thinking the bodyweight programs combined with the core workout. I’m deploying in August for 6 months somewhere where ruck workouts aren’t really plausible. Would Valor be something that I could complete before deployment and then continue the bodyweight plans on deployment?



Yes – I’d recommend Valor (http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/). This plan is no joke, so if needed take extra rest days or cut sessions short.

Weight …. diet is 80%. I’d like you at around 175#. Dropping weight will improve everything. See our nutritional guidelines here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUiTR_zJV0cB8l8qSBYya-eg&v=VGs2tnMQJlc



Two Questions:

1) Do you have or are you contemplating, an “On-Ramp” plan for SSD45?

2) My wife is running the Low Back plan and she’s really enjoying it (read: it’s working, not that it’s actually fun, if you know what I mean). This is the edition from 2012 or so. In some of the workouts, you’ve programmed “Low Back Complex, Kneeling Founder, Low Back Lunge, Face Down Back Extensions.” Do you intend that she complete the entire Low Back Complex, then do additional Founders, Lunge, and Extensions? Or do you mean that she should do the Low Back Complex, and the other exercises are extraneous?

Thanks for the clarification. We’re really looking forward to her strengthening her back and getting back to some more serious work in the climbing gym (where she will be really happy). Thanks as always for your programming and for your responsiveness to training questions and other issues.



1) No…. but I will be publishing next week a “Bodyweight Foundation” training plan which scaled and be a good start for new athletes.

2) Typo – eliminate “Low Back Complex” from the circuit.



Hello, I’ve been looking at your website for a couple weeks now, I think I’m ready to buy a plan but I’m not sure which one to choose. I am a police officer and an army vet. I like both the LE programs and the Operator programs. I want to be SWAT one day and I currently do crossfit in my garage gym. I feel like I’m in pretty decent shape already (I mean you’ll never see me at the crossfit games or anything… Lol) but I want something that is a little more challenging than regular crossfit. I’m usually done with crossfit WODs too soon and I want to make sure I challenge myself. I also kinda like ruck marching so the Op. Fit kinda appeals to me. However there seem to be pros to the LE sessions too. Any guidance would be appreciated!



I’d recommend beginning with the SWAT/SRT Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/swatsrt-kickstart-training-program/

This is an intense, focused training plan, which will give you a great introduction to our programming and help you decide if it’s right for you in terms of a subscription.



I have some questions about a good, well rounded, training plan.  As indicated in my signature, I work with Chileans.  I am trying to elevate their “game” in the PT department.  They have to do all the same things U.S. Operators have to do; shoot, move, communicate, ruck, fin, etc.

We are currently looking for something that will help improve performance in all those aspects.  Caveats:  They do not have access to a lot of equipment and their gym is not that big.  They like to do things as a unit, as opposed to working out on their own.

I just wanted to know if you had some suggestions as to training plans or packages that you offer.



Two options for you which require limited equipment and can be done as groups:

1) Sandbag/Weight-vest/Dumbbell Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/sandbagweight-vestdumbbell-training-plan/

2) Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/?s=afghanistan+pre-deployment

Literally thousands of guys from the US and NATO used this plan to prepare for downrange deployment.

Neither of these plans include swimming, but are a great place to get started.

Finally, if the even the limited equipment required by these plans is too much, our Bodyweight I Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-training-program-i/), required no equipment except a pull up bar. Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this training plan is no joke.



I am currently signed up for your 50 dollar a month subscription. I am also setting up a budgeting plan to travel to Wyoming and sign up for your certification since my main focus is training mountain athletes and continuing my education as a strength coach is very important to me. .I subscribed specifically for your mountain athlete programming but Ive noticed that you only have programming for last year. Will you be posting more programming for Mountain athlete like I see on SSD program? I also noticed you have training plans for purchase such as big mountain training  for 79.00 so I am trying to decide if I should purchase that and cancel the monthly subscription. Your advise will be greatly appreciated. A group of my girls and myself are training to climb mt. Whitney and we are on a mission to bag as many peaks possible. I love everything I see on your site!



Yes, you should cancel and purchase one of our training plans. Instead of Big Mountain, however, I’d recommend the Peak Bagger Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/peak-bagger-training-plan/



Over the years I’ve suffered from medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow. Pain and or numbness along the medial forearm from the elbow down. For whatever reason I tend to get it on my left (non-dominant) arm. I chalk it up to overuse by way of pulling movements (pull-ups, chin-ups, rows, etc.) Anyway, I’m dealing with it again. Ice and Advil are making it bearable, but not curing it.

I know you are not a doctor or PT. I’m not looking for definitive medical advice, but I must assume you and your athletes have dealt with the same issue over the years. Do you have any recommendations for stretches or movements that might assist in healing and encourage durability there?

Thanks in advance and keep up the awesome work!



We deal with sore elbows with our rock climbers.

Stuff that’s worked for us:

1) Thera-band Flexbar: http://www.amazon.com/Thera-Band-FlexBar-Resistance-lbs-Green/dp/B007G4VGJM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1431637255&sr=8-3&keywords=theraband+flexbar

2) Armaid: http://www.armaid.com/       My climbers love this!

3) Ultimate Elbow Stretch:

This has helped a lot.



I am deciding between your backpacking plan and your big mountain plan for a backpacking trip I am taking in Vail  in July. We are going for 3 days and there is around 4,000 net elevation gain from the start of the trail to our first base camp. From there we will be hiking around various 12-13k peaks. The obvious choice would be the backpacking plan but I have 10 weeks until the trip so I thought the big mountain may be better because of the length of the program and the elevation that we need to climb. I live in Oklahoma so obviously  my training will be in a gym and pretty flat!


Go with the Big Mountain Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-mountain-training-program/). It might be overkill for your trip, but you’re chomping to get started and it’ll keep you busy.



I used to use Military athlete about 5 years ago. A lot has changed since then.

I see that you have programs now that only last a few weeks at a time. If I was to choose a program and complete it but wanted to continue to train in a similar program would I just be doing the same program all over again or would the course be rewritten with new exercises?

I used to do the daily workouts. Do you still have those or is the only option program based?



Two ways to use our stuff:

1) Subscribe to the website and follow along with the daily training sessions. We have multiple daily programming going right now – Operator Sessions (Military), Officer Sessions (LE) and SSD (General Fitness). A subscription gets you access to each.

2) Purchase Fitness Attribute Specific (strength, work capacity, bodyweight) or event specific (peak bagger, BUD/s) training plans ranging from 3-10 weeks depending upon the plan. These are one-time purchases.



I’ve done your Gym-Based Stamina program twice now. Months after each time I did it, I worked the session-8 barbell complex portion (20 rounds, 1 round every 2 minutes adding 10 situps to each round) into a daily workout. However, I only did half of it and expanded the intervals to 2:30. That half version sucks so bad and I always wonder how I ever got through 20 rounds at 2:00-minute intervals after having completed 30 minutes of loaded work prior to that.

It’s a testament to sessions 1-7 of that program. It very effectively accomplishes what its intent is.



Thanks for the note. You’ve seen the power of progression, and the body’s ability to accommodate to escalating levels of stress …. and then when you do something else …. lose that specific fitness.

Over time we’ve found that the older your “training age” the faster the lost fitness attribute will return. Training Age = how long you’ve been doing this type of training.

So ….. If you were to repeat the Stamina Cycle once again (http://mtntactical.com/shop/stamina-training-cycle/), chances are you could progress to the 20 rounds of the barbell complex faster.


I’ve communicated with Rob once or twice before via email, but I chose to reach out to [Jordan] on this particular subject because of an article you wrote around a year ago (http://mtntactical.com/strong-swift-durable-articles/long-easy-rethinking-approach-endurance-cycles/). My question is how effectively have you and the crew maintained the results from this and other endurance cycles? As the article states, generally aerobic base training constitutes a much longer cycle, and I’ve been curious since as to how well that base has been maintained. I was in the middle of the Q course when that cycle was published, so I was unable to complete it, hence my lack of first hand knowledge on the subject. And, as a secondary question, how will the data you all have gained from this “experiment” influence further program design?


Our results from endurance training, since this essay as a point of reference, have slowly increased but we’re still not where we want to be. In general, we’re on the right track with this paradigm shift in our training. However, we’ve been slow to shift enough towards the long endurance work and the consistent volume of training needed for excellent aerobic adaptation (I say “excellent” instead of “superior” or “good” since military athletes don’t need to be superior endurance athletes like a competitive runner or cyclists, yet need more endurance than the standard adaptations that come from consistent training – as a hybrid athletes, you need to balance this with so many other fitness attributes that it prevents you from specializing too much in any one area (ideally)). So, we need to continue to push volume into longer efforts, like 10 mile runs (~90 minutes), since that duration will determine the extent of the aerobic adaptation. Additionally, we need to find the right frequency of these efforts. Quite honestly, we’re not sure yet on the frequency – it’s something we’re currently testing.
Endurance is more than just volume, though, and so we can’t abandon the interval training we’ve developed and seen a number of really positive results from.We tend to favor these styles of training since they are efficient to train – you get a lot of work done in 60 minutes. But that efficiency isn’t the only factor we have to consider. And so, we may need to reduce how often we do this, at least for a bit, in order to make adjustments for more volume.
And then, of course, there’s rucking as well… Lots of plates to keep spinning.

Subscribe to MTI's Newsletter - BETA