Q&As 6/26/15

Lab Rats sprinting back on the 2x Shuttle Sprints + Jump over box (20").
Lab Rats sprinting back on the 2x Shuttle Sprints + Jump over box (20″).

Questions include – What’s different about our new bodyweight program, Adding running to our Ultimate Meathead Cycle, The difference between our LE and Military On-Ramp Programs, How to hold a sledgehammer while rucking, What program to do with limited PT time, What to follow the Peakbagger training program with after you’ve completed your trip, Best program to strengthen a firefighter’s chassis, an example of a day on Rob’s diet and more…



No response necessary, I just wanted to drop you a long-overdue note to thank you for the Peak Bagger Program.   Although I probably should have used the Big Mountain plan, I used Peak Bagger to get ready for Mount Rainier last summer. I have never been stronger (or looked better) than after completing those tough six weeks.  On the last day of training, just a few days before the climb,  I discovered I was pregnant.  Thanks to the solid training, I decided to climb anyway and was able to have a very enjoyable climb (and summit). I had such a great experience that the following weekend I went to Colorado and successfully (and easily) summited Pike’s Peak.   

I now have a healthy and shockingly strong two month old baby girl and am looking forward to using your programs to get back in shape and head back to the mountains together this summer!  

Thanks again!


Just wanted you to know that we finished the 6 week Maximus program and my son, and two friends, were really impressed.  We only missed a couple of days but I could tell, at least for my son, that he really got much stronger.  He really liked it and wants to continue it but I’ve said no since he’s running and it would be too much.  We are now moving into xc and we’ll try and work in the Endurance program in with his xc workouts.  Again, thanks a lot.



I have a question. I have a fractured back from deployment, but I need to keep my cardio up.  What are some good workouts to do instead of high impact exercises.


I’m not sure what your restrictions are, but the obvious ones are biking and biking intervals, step ups and hard intervals, versaclimber, swimming.

If you can run – sprinting is my go-to metabolic conditioning mode.

I’d recommend 300m shuttles: http://mtntactical.com/exercises/mnt1137-300m-shuttle/


I have an older body weight program I really found useful and wondered what was different with this new one and what the assessment included? Is it similar to the Alpine assessment?


The new Bodyweight Foundation Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/) begins with a bodyweight calisthenic assessment and uses the assessment results for the subsequent training sessions and progressions. This way it automatically “scales” to the incoming fitness of the individual athlete.

The assessment in this plan is substantially different than the Alpinist Fitness Assessment (AFA): http://mtntactical.com/mountain-athlete-articles/34375/

I intend to build a training plan for this AFA but haven’t gotten too it yet.

If you have one of our previous Bodyweight Training Plans and have been able to work through it, you don’t need to buy the foundation plan.


I am recovering from a hamstring injury that only seems to affect longer runs (I can still sprint and do strength work). I’ve been picking and choosing strength and work capacity plans, and avoiding endurance work because of this. I just finished up 369 and just ran my own distance/pace on the endurance days. Im looking at Ultimate meathead and wondering if it would be too much to add in another day of running 3-4 miles, seeing as the plan is intended for 4x a week. Or maybe you have another suggestion for a plan that might better suit me?


Absolutely you can add another day of running to the Ultimate Meathead Cycle (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ultimate-meathead-cycle/).

You can work it in on Wednesday, or Friday.


Is there a difference between the LE and MA on-ramp plans?  Ive got the MA on ramp plan and was going to use it after I finish low back rehab -but just noticed the LE plan and am wondering. If I should use that instead.


Yes there is. Without going into specifics, the LE OnRamp is more gentle  ….. but you don’t need to buy both. Stick with the Military OnRamp.


I recently purchased the Navy PST program, and I am excited to start it! I was wondering if I add another secondary training program in the day that I would be diluting the intent of the PST program. Is it preferred by you to only do the PST program by itself with no additional training in the day, or would it be appropriate to add some more volume of work in the form of a second session if my current volume of work is already greater throughout the week?


Not until Week 4 to ensure you improve on the Re-Assessment. If you go up, then you can consider adding another session.


I am a member of the USMC. I am going to attend the MARSOC A&S in the beginning of next year. I have your Ruck Based Assessment Training Program. I plan on starting this program the week after next. I have a few questions. My first question is  why no rice? I was under the impression that rice was a form of clean carbs. I am aware vegetables are a better source of carbs, I am just curious. My second question is how should I hold the sledge hammer while rucking? I am right handed. Heavy end on the right or left?


Rice: My nutritional guidelines are greatly influenced by the book, “Why We Get Fat” – authored by Gary Taubes. It’s the best I’ve read and I’d recommend it.

Sledge Hammer – We hold it by the handle, close to the head. You’ll switch hands over the course of the ruck. I like the hand facing back – but some of the others run with it facing forward.


Over the past twelve weeks or so I have completed a number of your programs and at 40 years old feel as fit as I ever have.

I am coming to the end of the Busy Operators Plan 1, having already completed the Swat / ERT plan and Fortitude.

Any advice on what next?

I am a Police Dog Handler here in the UK and I also have set myself a challenge of a race type event each month for a year. This has involved an adventure race, some obstacle / mud races and a cycle sportive.

I have gravitated more towards the Operator plans due to my need for endurance in my work deployments. I operate with search and rescue on occasions and tend to be the unit called after the foot chase to track the suspect! In saying that I also need to be competent in my general policing duties as well.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for putting together a fantastic website. It is the only go to fitness resource I use and I have recommended it to many of my like minded colleagues.


Best option would be to subscribe to the Operator Sessions. Each of the plans you’ve completed were originally designed as cycles within the Operator Sessions.

Next best would be to take a break from the weightroom and focus on some bodyweight and unloaded running work. What we’ve found is getting a break from the weightroom helps preserve joints, recover from loading, and build hunger for getting back in!

I just designed the Bodyweight Foundation training plan here: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

Not ready to leave the weightroom? Do Valor: http://mtntactical.com/shop/valor/


I’m in an Army course right now with very limited personal PT time and sporadic organized PT.  I have about 1.5 months until I’ll have 0 PT time (personal or organized) for a month or two before resuming my normal training.


Work Capacity (main goal)

Maintain strength/core

Mobility (I have my own exercises – been around the block a few times) (very academic course – read:  been sitting 9 hours a day for 5 months)

Limited time to train

Translate as much training into “standard” PT (APFT, UBRR, and stretcher PT, specifically) as possible.

Shed some weight (interval training has worked well in the past)


Limited time per session (max 60 min in the morning and/or afternoon – including my 15ish min of mobility work)

Mobility (the whole sitting thing)

An old (last year) ankle injury that has resurfaced – any unnecessary rucking/running cannot be conducted in the short term (at least a couple of weeks).

Will still have to participate in organized PT (some rucking, running, team events, stretcher PT, APFT/UBRR, etc – nothing crazy or more than about an hour)

I’ve had good results with kettlebell training in the past – I see you have a KB program and was wondering if you think it would be worthwhile?  The only time I have issues with my ankle is running/rucking and going downstairs…I assume jumping, too.

And if so…If starting with the work capacity (my strength is fine for now) specific portion (the second half?) would work?

On a semi-related note – Do you have any views on “Cardio” alternates to running besides swimming and rowing?  I was thinking bike (mountain) – all the starting/ stopping, hills, etc – maybe it would be a kind of interval training aid?


It was a little hard for me to follow your question, but yes, the Kettlebell Training Plan would be a great plan for you: http://mtntactical.com/shop/8-week-kettlebell-training-program/

Cardio Alternatives?

Biking would have a better transfer to running than swimming and rowing. You can easily do intervals on a bike – either a stationary or real one.

Other options include step ups and a Versa Climber.


I have been training for the Navy PST for sometime now, and recently I have noticed that during the sit-up portion of the test, my quad on my left leg tends to tire out a lot.  This unfortunately affects my run times.  If you have any recommendations that would be greatly appreciated.


Sit-ups work the hip flexors as much as the mid section – perhaps even more – this may be what you are experiencing.

I don’t have a solution for you.


I am currently doing the Peak Bagger Training Program in preparation for some upcoming 14ers.  Before this, I followed the archived Mountain Athlete daily sessions, and before that I completed the Backpacker program.

My question is; when I get back, I want to keep training but I would like to tone things down just a little bit and let my body and mind recover from the intensity of these workouts and the climbs, as well as build my strength back up some.

What would be your suggestion for this?  I have thought about the SF45 sessions but I wanted to see what your advice might be.


Yes – SF45 – I’d recommend the CUB cycle.


Very interested in your program but a bit unsure what to do. I am a skier, biker, hiker, and just looking to have great overall fitness. I see you reccomend the athlete subscrip but i also see that SSD would be the best for me…how does this subscription work?


A subscription gives you access to the daily training sessions under all our programs – Military, LE, Mtn, SSD and SD45.

You don’t want to skip around – you want to chose one program and stick with it. SSD would be what I recommend and you’d want to start at the beginning of the most recent cycle and work forward from there. It’s a pretty awesome bodyweight/running focused cycle.

If you’re hesitant to subscribe, a great place to start our stuff would be the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/


I Felt so weak after getting back from selections it was scary. After four weeks of Rat 6 I’ve put back on 30+lbs on almost all the six lifts. And I don’t feel completely lethargic during the day. The work capacity/core days are a nice change of pace and keep your cardio in check. The hinge lift took a few weeks to get used to but it definitely helped my squat by incorporating the posterior muscles more efficiently. Bottom line is this program is the shit.

What would you recommend to continue after this program? Jump back on the operator sessions or a program to piggy back this one to keep working on all around strength? I’ll be back in the field so might have to chill on the barbell a little and get out in the heat for some rucking/running and sandbag weight vest it for a while but I would like to keep the strength.. Here’s my 1RM improvements. Week 1 to week 5:

Power clean:205,255#

Bench press:275,315#

Front squat:205,245#

Squat clean:195,245#

Strict press:145,165#

Hinge lift:355,405#


Thank you for the great note. Glad Rat 6 worked for you.

It’s okay to get away from the barbell for a cycle. We do this frequently – the little strength we lose comes back quick, and the break gives our joints some recovery time. As well – after a while we miss it and come back hungry.

You can get back to the Operator Sessions and begin at the start of the most recent cycle – it’s all bodyweight and running – could be a nice break for you.

Another option, as you suggest, is the Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/sandbagweight-vestdumbbell-training-plan/


Question about rucking in preparation for sfodd selection in accordance with your sfodd program.

I have been ruck running and rucking most of the distance for all the rucks.

Usually like 4 min ruck running one minute strict rucking.

Should I be doing strict rucking (walking fast) or trying to do a run walk mix?

I find it easier to ruck run and have better times when I do so.


As the distances increase, you’ll be pressed to run the entire way. The run/walk mix is a great alternative.

The goal is to improve speed.

I spoke to one athlete who went through SFOD Selection. At selection, unless it was a follow the leader (cadre) deal, he walked fast, but, he always wanted to be able to run, if needed – say he got off course, or the cadre changed the course on him, etc.

So, during his train up, he did both.


I’m a Krav Maga instructor and EMT in Washington State.  I’ve got a lot of miles on me.  I’m familiar with your methodology (I’ve used your Ruck based training program to compete in the Sniper Adventure Challenge and your Bodyweight II program; I bought my son your USMC PFT program).

Which program would you recommend to use as a foundation to forge a fighter’s chassis?  I need to train grit and perseverance to “grind it out” for 8 hours of consecutive Krav Maga training (i.e. work capacity).  Speed and a strong core are preeminent. I will incorporate bag work into the program.

Also, Krav Maga has great methodology for exiting vehicles if you’re still researching that.


Almost perfect timing.

This spring I’ve totally re-thought our core strength training philosophy and have evolved to what I’m calling  “Chassis Integrity.”

I’ve been lab ratting the sessions and theory the past couple weeks on myself and a few of my mountain professionals, and will fully implement it next week when we begin required training sessions with our FreeSki Team.

The theory was driven by my own experienced. Last winter I pulled out of the Operator Sessions and spent time focusing on endurance. Knee issues prevented me from doing a lot of squatting, so my gym work involved some bodyweight stuff and fairly intense core training using my previous theory – which programmed core work based on movement – flexion, extension, rotation and isometric holding. Much of this is ground based like weighted situps or EO’s.

When I came back to squatting, my legs were weak, as expected, but so was my mid section during the front squat and hinge – it was the first to fail. And I’d been hammering it.

“Chassis Integrity” is the idea that the combat/mountain chassis – legs and core – must not only strong in isolation, but more importantly, strong in function.

I’ve developed training sessions which focus on this “strong in function” idea. They include a heavy, total body, ground to overhead exercise combined with 20-30 minutes of standing based rotational, isometric and flexion trunk exercises.

As well we’re experimenting with all types of training implements – sandbags, tires, rubber blocks, ropes, climbing walls, and water/slosh-type sandbags, kettlebells and balls.

I say “almost” perfect timing because I’m not quite ready to publish a plan.

But, if you want to follow along with what we are doing, a subscription to the website will give you access to our Free Ski sessions – we will be testing next Monday and Tuesday, and will begin the Chassis Integrity work Wednesday.

If you can’t wait – Core Strength II: http://mtntactical.com/shop/core-strength-ii/


I am thinking of purchasing one of your training programmes, and was hoping that you could offer me some advice.

I am primarily focussed in rock climbing (crag and alpine), but also general mountaineering. Due to a couple of injuries (which I have recovered from) I am now out of training, but looking to get back into shape.

My main sport specific goal is to be able to complete single day mountain trips that may have a 1 day approach and involve alpine rock climbing.However, my main goal is to make my body more ‘durable’ so as to avoid injury from muscle imbalance and flexibility issues, while increasing strength and fitness. My main injury concerns have been around joints (ankle and elbow).

I live in New Zealand, so we are in the depths of winter and I figured now would be a good time to start a proper training programme. November is the start of our season here, and I would like to be in reasonable shape by then. I have access to a gym if needed and a gymnasium (I work at a school).

I was contemplating starting with you bodyweight foundation training plan, and then progressing to a mountain based plan depending on my progress.

Would you recommend this?


Given you won’t have access to a climbing gym for a couple months, right now I’d recommend you begin our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bodyweight-foundation-training-plan/

After a week break, follow it up with the Alpine Rock Climb Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/alpine-rock-climb-training-program/

I designed the Alpine Plan specifically for trips like you describe – alpine approach and traditional climb in one or more days.

The Alpine Plan will require access to a rock gym – we’ve found the sport-specific work you can do in a rock gym is needed to train for rock climbing.

Good luck! I hope to get down to NZ next year!


Hope all is well, looks like you are busy to say the least! Probably don’t remember me, but I took your seminar in Bozeman back in 2009 or so. I have been working a protective detail the last 3 years out of DC and spend about 3/4s of the year on the road. Needless to say, I have lost some fitness and want to jump back in starting on July 1 when I go to a two month rest stand down and will have plenty of time for gym work and a stable work schedule. I was looking through the plans available online and am stuck with which one to choose. I could write up a program based on my knowledge, but it looks like your training has progressed quite a bit over the last 5 years so I was going to get one of the new programs. I was going to go for the body weight to ease back in but it looks like you program that after the on ramp programs. The new Valor looks interesting too but I am afraid it may be too much for an “on-ramp”. And now with the LE Athlete, should I stick with that over the Military Athlete? I attached a picture of my garage gym to give you an idea of what I am working with if that guides your recommendation (Still got the MA sandbags and PVC pipes for shoulder dislocates going strong!).


I remember you! It’s been awhile – and I see you’re still with the Marshall’s Service.

I’d recommend the LE Athlete OnRamp Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/on-ramp-training-program/

It’s 8-weeks long – so fits your time frame, and starts out with bodyweight work that progressed to barbell and other loaded work. It includes sprinting, work capacity, and some short distance running. It’s a perfect way to get back at it.


Rob could you send me the entire pull up training plan. I am looking at going to the usmc mait course in Sept and want to max out at 20 pull ups for the pft.


We’re testing 3 different protocols and don’t have final programs yet. I’d recommend the USMC PFT Training Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/usmc-pft-plan/


I am a German officer candidate about to start OCS and my goal is to apply for the KSK in three years.

I am interested in your rucking based SFAS training packet and the KSK training plan. Do those two go well together, i.e. first doing the SFAS packet and then the KSK plan? What is the starting level one needs to have for the SFAS packet?

And are there a few people who successfully went through SFAS after using the packet who I could talk to?


You wouldn’t need to do both the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and KSK. Just KSK prior to selection. (http://mtntactical.com/shop/german-kommando-spezialkrafte-ksk-training-plan/)

We should have a translated KSK plan up soon.

The feedback we’ve received on the RBS plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-program/) is posted on the product page under the KUDOS tab.

Both plans are intense and I’m not sure where you are in your fitness. A good plan to start is Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/

Good luck at OCS!


Just had a few questions about the program listed in the subject of this email (8-week low back fitness training). I’ve had chronic low-mid back pain for quite awhile. It started around December of 2014 due to muscular imbalances and lack of good form in my early stages of working out.. From there my back became very tight and was in constant pain. I went to physical therapy for about 3 months and it got better. However, I got in a very bad car accident in November of 2014 and have been in physical therapy since February of 2015. I have had x-rays done, gone to multiple physical therapists, as well as seen many doctors and all have said it is a muscular problem, not a skeletal problem.

I still workout extensively and do boxing on the side; however I cannot do lower body workouts until my back pain is gone according to my doctor. Would you recommend this program sometime further down the my recovery? I understand there are risks doing any physical training program and I could injure myself again; however, I wanted to get some feedback on if this is the type of program for me. Let me know if I can provide any additional information.


I”m not a doctor and can’t give you specific medical advice. The program does include lower body exercises – which your doctor precludes.

From our stuff, I could suggest the Core Strength, Bodyweight Only Plan: http://mtntactical.com/shop/core-strength-bodyweight-only/


I want to start by saying thanks for all the valuable training your website provides.  I intend to try out for BORTAC selections next year.  With that said, I plan on using the 8-week BORTAC selection training plan prior to selections.  My question is, what program(s) should I uses or bounce between until then to keep me primed? I was thinking maybe the rookie training program?  Also, do I just repeat the program(s) until next year?  What programs to you recommend until then? I am a border patrol agent and I would rank my fitness level as beginner/intermediate.  I run, swim, and do crossfit-like regimen 4-5 times a week.


Couple options:

You don’t want to keep repeating the BORTAC Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/bortac-selection-training-plan/).

Best would be to subscribe to the website and follow the daily Operator Sessions until you’re 8 weeks out from selection, then complete the BORTAC plan directly before selection: http://mtntactical.com/shop/bortac-selection-training-plan/

If you are hesitant to subscribe, I’d recommend you begin our stuff with Fortitude: http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/

Fortitude will give you a great taste of our programming approach, and begin to build a solid foundation of strength and operator endurance (running/rucking).


I have the 2011 version of your plan. What version of the Ranger School Training Plan are you all issuing? Do you think the difference between the two would make it worth it for me to purchase a newer version?

Background: I’m training for early Ranger school which will send me to Ranger school before I go to IBOLC sometime next summer


I updated the Ranger School Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ranger-school-training-plan/) last year. However, you don’t need to purchase it. The 2011 plan you have has worked for several.

Good luck.


Mondays’ sandbag training has “Lee Special” in it.  Perhaps it is my slow internet connection here in the room in New Zealand but I cant get the description of Lee Special to appear. Can you please quickly explain?


Here’s a link to the exercise video for the Lee Special: http://mtntactical.com/exercises/mnt2510-lee-special/


30-foot rope tied to a 40 or 60 pound sandbag.

At the far end of the rope, get into a push up position facing the sandbag. While in the push up position, balance on your two feet and left hand, and make three pulls on the back toward you with your right hand. Then switch hands, and make three pulls with your left hand. Keep switching hands every 3x pulls or so until you pull the bag to you.


I just found your programs a week or so ago and been studying.  I just have a few questions if you don’t mind so I know I’m on the right track.

Background:  33 year old male flatlander (Louisiana) started running and core work 4 weeks ago and P90X a week ago.  Over the 4 weeks I’ve gone from 178 lbs to 158 lbs.  I am 5’8”.


4-6 weeks out a 5-7 day backpack trip scouting for Elk in the Weminuche Wilderness in Southern CO.

8-10 weeks out 5-7 day backpack trip in the same area scouting with the addition of Windom and Sunlight peaks, both 14’ers.

16 weeks out 7-14 day backpack elk hunt all DIY in the same area.

I was looking at the Peak Bagger then the Big Game however I work out of town and won’t be home to start the peak bagger for another week.  That means the course will overlap into my events and likely into the time period needed to get the Big Game done.

Do you think the choice of these two sequential courses is a good plan and if so how do I work in the events?

How much rest is needed before one of these events?   In particular the actual hunt which (hopefully) could be packing 80+ lbs 10 miles a couple of times.

I understand your eating habit… no carbs lots of meat.  Could you give me an example or two of exactly what you are eating and times during the day?  I struggle with being creative with this.

Once purchased, how are the workouts delivered?  Text like the samples on the website or is it videos of how to do each exercise?


First, you don’t need both plans. Just purchase the Backcountry Big Game Hunting Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/big-game-hunting-training-program/). Start it now prior to your scouting trip.

On return, complete the last 2 weeks of the plan prior to your next scouting trip.

Complete Fortitude (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/) after your second scouting trip, take a week off, then re-complete the Backcountry Big Game prior to your hunting trip.


Breakfast – scrambled eggs, avacado, bacon,

Snack – apple and almond butter

Lunch – 2x Chicken thighs and salad

Snack – Protien shake

Dinner – Steak, sweet potato, blueberries and sunflower seeds for desert.

Training Plans are downloadable .pdfs after purchase.


How do you feel about recovery rucks versus a recovery run/row etc…

I like a 5K ruck with 45# at about 14:15 pace.  I usually do it after my legs/squat/hip hinge workouts.



I’m not sure it would be a recovery effort for me, Brian – but if it works for you, keep doing it!



Just a couple questions on the campusing warmup.


Is there a particular objective to the wall traverse?

What constitutes a lap with feet on?

How many 2 hand dynos per set?



1) Warm up for your hands/fingers

2) Up and down the campus board, hitting every rung, feet on the rungs – it’s a continued warm up

3) Depends upon the number of rungs on the campus board. Ours has 8, if I remember right – but it also depends upon the spacing. Don’t skip rungs, and don’t go to failure. Go to the top of your board, if possible. Put feet on the rungs to come down (don’t dyno down).



Following your nutritional guidelines what percentage of my daily macros should be carbs with the only source coming from fruits and vegetables daily.  Regarding training I am looking for your suggestion on which program I should follow Rat 6 with, I want to continue to focus on strength training, but would also like to increase my endurance training.



Diet – There is no caloric restriction, so you can eat as much good carbs as you want. In terms of percentage, 20-40%, I’m guessing, depending upon the training cycle (more for endurance, less for strength).


Training – 2 Options, best is a subscription to the Operator Sessions. Next best is Fortitude (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/) which combines strength and endurance training.



Have a few questions, deployed right now and recently bought your APFT programs; I am wondering if you offer any free strength building programs that would help me improve for the apft for deployed soldiers? And which strength training programs do you recommend?

Also, I am doing crossfit ontop of your APFT program, do you have any tips or advice for soldiers who want to do better on the APFT ontop of your apft program?



We don’t have any free plans. I would recommend the APFT plan to prepare for the APFT (http://mtntactical.com/shop/apft-plan/).


I wouldn’t recommend doubling up the APFT plan with any other training. If you do – the only training I’d recommend is heavy, low volume low body strength training.



I’m going to be a senior in Air Force ROTC. I am also planning on going to Phase II for Combat Rescue Officer Selection in mid October of this year. I recently purchased the SSD CRO training program (which I am really looking forward to) and it specifically calls for beginning the regimen nine weeks prior to selection. My goal was to train hard in order to prepare myself for this program, specifically: pull-ups, water-con, running (my areas of improvement). My current issue is that I am between different workouts, none of which are sticking, and I am not positive what to move forward with in order to continue my training this summer.


Therefore, these are my questions:

1) Could I begin the SSD CRO program now then repeat it again after I finish the first nine weeks, starting two weeks into the program the second time around so I taper off training right before selection?


2) If not, do you know of any training programs or workouts that would help fit my needs before I begin SSD?


3) Lastly, as you know CRO Phase II is very water con intensive so I am just curious how much this SSD program deals with water con events other than treading – unders, crossovers, ten-ups – and if I should add extra water con training myself if I feel that I should.


Rob, thank you very much for your help. I really appreciate it as well as your time, especially being that this email is a lot to take in. I look forward to hearing from you.



1) That’s an option, but the USAF CCT/PJ/CRO Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/usaf-cctpjcro-selection-training-plan/)  is no joke and doubling up this close to selection could lead to overtraining. I wouldn’t recommend it.


2) I’d recommend Fortitude (http://mtntactical.com/shop/fortitude/) and the Swim Improvement Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/swim-improvement-plan/). You could do 2-a-days – Fortitude in the AM, Swim in the PM, or better, alternate sessions, Fortitude Monday, Swim Tues, Fortitude Wed, etc.


3) Water Confidence – We use hypoxic swimming, 25m underwater repeats and treading, but don’t go into the hard water confidence events. We can’t because of the safety issues. Being comfortable in the water is key, and that’s the area of our focus. One thing you might consider is dryland breath holding training developed by professional freedivers and spear fishermen. There are several iphone applications available which include training protocols and this is a way you can train progressive breath holding in a safe way.



I have an SFRE (Special Forces Readiness Evaluation) in 3-4 months. I just finished Rat 6 combined with some of your running plan. Looking forward, I want to complete Valor, but I’m not sure what to do after that 7 week program. The SFRE may include an upper body round robin (no way of knowing until the day of), and so the Ruck-Based Selection Plan may not be my best bet. What would you recommend I do after completing Valor? Could I take a week off and then repeat? I need to be able to knock out training that will prepare me for SFAS-level running/rucking/team events, an upper body round robin, and an APFT. Thank you for any help. Appreciate the work you all do out there



I’d recommend the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/ruck-based-selection-training-program/) after Valor.


The RBS will help with the APFT and team events, and do an adequate job for the UBRR. You don’t want to combine it and the UBRR Training Plan (http://mtntactical.com/shop/upper-body-round-robin-training-plan/) – it will be too much.


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