Question & Answer 10-31-14


First off I wanted to thank you Rob for all of the work that you and your team put into your website and your plans.  I had a quick question about what direction I should head in next.  Quick background info (sorry if it is too much).  I’m 28 years old 5’10 170 working as a Firefighter/Paramedic.  I have seen good results from your MA for Crossfitters program along with the Rat 6 program (2 weeks left).  My problem is that I know for a fact that I overtrain (I guess admitting the problem is indeed the first step).  I feel as though I need to do some type of training every day, which is counterproductive, as I know I haven’t made the gains that I should.  This is (in my opinion) because I never give myself time to heal/rest.  My question is what step I should take next.  Should I follow another strength program or plan or should I jump into the subscription and follow the operator sessions?  My numbers aren’t where they should be (in my mind)  I train alone so I know some of it may be from not pushing myself far enough.  Currently: BP: 225 FS: 235 (definitely think this is low) DL: 305 (always worried about injury so I really don’t push this) Press: 135 PC: 185 Squat Clean: 195 Strict Pull-ups: 15 or so.  Running/stairmill/rucking not really an issue feel pretty solid.  Long story short I guess I am not sure where I should head next and what schedule I should use (4 on 3 off 5 on 2 off etc) for the operator sessions.  Having identified the overtraining I guess is a big step, just need to know where you think I should head next.

I really appreciate your time and everything that you guys do.


Take a week rest after Rat 6, then do a work capacity plan. Follow the plan, and don’t do anything extra. If I can recover from this schedule at 46, you’ll be able to at 28.

I’d recommend Valor to mix things up. This combines Work Capacity, a little strength, and some endurance. It’s my most current programming:


I just stumbled upon some information and a video of yours regarding your military athlete programs.

In your video you welcomed viewers to email you if we had questions about what program might be best for us based on our goals, so that’s what I’m doing.

I am a 29 year old guy, and hoping to land an SF contract.  I am only a few months away from my 30th birthday (the advertised cutoff age), and have no prior military experience.  This goal has been derailed over the past few years with a number of injuries that have limited my ability to train in the volume that I would need to for proper preparation.

I have a pretty good base of strength and decent movement quality.  My best numbers include about a 500lb deadlift, 400lb squat, 250lb clean and jerk and 200lb snatch at about 180lbs bodyweight.  The olympic lifting numbers are from about 3 years ago, and I don’t actually perform them anymore (aside from power cleans) due to a shoulder injury.

I’ve felt that my biggest weakness would probably be my stamina and ability to withstand the pounding from rucks and running.  I started ramping up the volume at running last spring, and improved my running times to a sub-13 minutes for 2 miles and 35 minutes for 5 miles.  However, about 2 months ago I developed a foot issue which has kept me limited since.

 I continue to fear that I don’t have enough time to build up the base of stamina and injury-proofing that I will need.  Any input from you would be greatly appreciated.  If you have any thoughts based on your experiences and programs about whether or not somebody such as myself can still get where I would like to go and what you would recommend, I would be very thankful.


A great place to start building endurance base, while maintaining and even building some strength, would be Fortitude:

This plan combines military-specific endurance work (running, ruck running) and gym-based strength training. It represents the latest evolution of my fluid periodization.

You’ll need a 45# ruck and 10# dumbbell or sledge hammer. We like using old, medium ALICE packs for rucking. You can pick up a used one for $50 or so.



I hope you are doing well.  Your APFT plan worked nicely for me and made a good impression on my reserve unit.  It may have been overkill but I am ok with that.  I scored a 291, with a 91 on the run.  Getting a sub 14:00 two mile has always been tough for me and has only increased in difficulty as use and age begin to take effect.

To give you an idea on how my numbers improved, my last APFT was in May and I scored a 261.  PU-89, SU-96, and 2MR-76.  I did not prepare for it at all.  I used just my regular training and PT to coast through.  When I decided to go to the reserves after active, I wanted to show up ready for anything.  I ran through the program and showed up ready and the test got moved back.  I took a week off and then went through from about halfway and ended right before the rescheduled date. I think the results speak for how effective the plan is.  Thanks!

I will try to keep this short but I had a few questions.  With my new job (tactical EMS/LE) and everything else (teaching mountain medicine seasonally, alpine climbing for recreation, and being Army Reserve) I need to keep up physically.  With no gym within 50 miles what would you suggest? It is fairly rural here and the 2 crossfit boxes, one anytime fitness, and an Anytime fitness are pretty much all we have besides a small “garage” gym at work that isn’t at all optimal (donated machines, KBs, and dumbells).   I was looking at the limited equipment training packet and maybe adding the swimming improvement at the end.  Also, I noticed that the ranger school plan says you need a fully equipped gym.  Are these two different ranger programs?  Would this packet be repeatable until I get to a place where I can have a home gym or move?

 With the Ruck, I know you guys suggest the ALICE pack but would a mystery ranch pack or internal frame pack work?  It is what I use from day to day, but I also enjoyed my ALICE before I upgraded.

I dread not doing loaded strength training for that long, but if you don’t think it is an issue, ill go with it.  Sorry to write so much and thanks in advance for the advice!


Thanks for the note and glad the APFT Plan worked from you.

Not sure why you have equipment issues with the gyms there. My first recommendation for you would be to train for your job – and I’d send you to a subscription to the LE Sessions on the website.

If you don’t want to subscribe, any of the plans in the limited equipment packet would work. The Ruck Based Selection Plan also requires just limited equipment.

Ruck – the Alice Pack, with it’s radio pouch and external frame, keeps the weight high up on our shoulders – which is why we like it. With internal frame packs, the weight falls to the bottom and rides at our low back or at our hips – and isn’t as comfortable. But its up to you.



I was wondering if the choice between all your training plans are included in your 1-year subscription + 5 plans package? I was particularly interested in your Ranger Training Plan along with some other plans to help me with Ranger school. I also wanted to ask for your recommendation on which plans might be beneficial to achieve my goal of passing Ranger school.

Here’s some background on where I am at: I’m currently serving in a V-coded (Airborne Ranger) slot in SOF as a direct combat support attachment to the teams but I was recently injured. I had a wrist operation in August and today I’m back to about 60% to 70% of where I was at originally before the injury. My overall scores of pushups, situps, and run time has decreased signifigantly since my surgery. I’m looking to get back into shape while train up for Ranger. I have about a year until I’m slotted for Ranger school (early 2016) while I recover at a year long non-physical language school. I’m currently 32 and my baselines for the APFT are 62 strict chest-to-floor pushups, 68 situps, 8 dead-hang pull-ups, and a 2-mile run time of 15:36. Ideally, I’d like to perform better than the fresh 20 year olds I’ll be with in Ranger school.



Any and all plans from the Strong Swift Durable site are included – but just the individual plans – not any of the training “Packets”.

In terms of which plans to use, take a look at the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet ( and you’ll see the plans and the progression there. You could use the same progression for ranger school – just have the Ranger School plan be the last plan directly before ranger school – instead of the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan.



I’m currently a senior high school right now training to go to bud/s after college. My question is what should be my training plan progression from now to then four years from now where I should be going to bud/s?


Start with the Bodyweight Training Plan:

Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this plan is no joke.

Follow it up with Fortitude:

This plan combines gym-based barbell strength training and military-specific endurance (running and ruck-running).



I was just reviewing your LE Fitness Assessment protocol.  The only question I had was on the shuttle sprint.  Is it actually a shuttle (down and back), or is it just a straight out 300m sprint?  Just curious.


300m Shuttle Sprint.

 Set 2 cones, 25m apart (82 feet).

Sprint back and forth between the cones for 6x round trips or 12x total lengths.



I am a little over halfway through your North Face dryland ski training program and am starting to think about what to do when I’ve finished.  I can certainly continue to increase reps and/or weight and carry on with the program for a few more weeks, but once ski season starts I’ll probably be ready for a change.  I will want to maintain my cardiovascular fitness, but I’d also like to start some focused barbell-based strength training.  Most weeks I only ski 1 day, so I should be fine maintaining 4 or 5 days of workouts per week.  Of your available programs, what would you recommend?

If it matters, I’m 47, 6’4″, 190#, fit but not strong (meaning I can bike 150 miles without trouble, but I end up on my knees to finish the Scotty Bobs).   I’m a tall skinny guy…interested in getting stronger without adding much bulk or weight.  I have access to a gym.

Thanks for the great programming.  Over the past 4 or 5 years I have depended 100% on indoor rowing (on a concept 2 machine) for my preseason ski fitness, peaking with a sub-7 minute 2k in November.  It has worked pretty well for cardio fitness and lactate tolerance but less well for leg and core strength and durability.  This year I’m doing your program and adding 15 or 20 minutes of rowing at the end of each session.  I’m looking forward to testing the difference on the mountain.



A couple options for you:

1) In-Season Ski Maintenance Training Plan:

Designed to train general fitness including general strength, while at the same time maintaining the sport specific strength you build doing the dryland cycle.

2) Rat 6 Strength:

Old-School, barbell-based strength plan.


I just wanted to say thank you for your AFPT program. My running sucked ass when I started, in fact on week one AFPT one I failed (19:11). By week three I had shaved three minutes off my two-mile time and scored a 262. By week six I was in the 280’s. So thank you!!

I have a question or questions for you unique to me. I read you Q&A’s and FAQ’s often but haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for so if you’ll indulge me I’d like to start at the beginning.

First off I’m injured, I have tendonitis in both my knees and I’m rehabbing them. It started over the summer, I ignored it and it got worse. So currently I’m pissed and going to PT once a week and a globo gym during the rest of week to do my rehab in the morning as well as going my local crossfit gym at night. I just started this new schedule two weeks ago. Let me also say I HATE my CF gym, I only go because my two really good friends go and it’s more of a social thing. The reason I hate my gym is the coach sucks, there is no instruction or supervision. Usually you can find him sitting on a box playing facebook or texting during our wod and, in between CHIVE topics he will lift his head and yell, good job, keep it going, almost there or whatever BS he is spouting. However his membership is cheap and my buddies go there so… there it is.

Well this summer I decided to say fuck it and kick my fitness into high gear, I ordered your AFPT improvement program, cleaned up my diet and started kicking ass. My CF times were getting very respectable, my strength was increasing and I was feeling great. My legs and knees hurt but I just chalked it up to the 2 a day workouts and fought through the pain. I ignored it and now I’m sidelined (sort of).

So that brings us to now. I have cut out the running; I have to modify most all my moves at the CF gym and I’m generally bummed out. Currently I hit the Globo gym M/W/F for my PT regime. I do CF every night accept Thurs and the weekend, lately I have been skipping Fridays every other week because I’m tried of rowing all the damn time. I’m in a fitness slump.

I have the time and the schedule to change my fitness attitude and use my time wisely and try something different, cross training if you will. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels at the CF gym. I was thinking of taking a break.  So I was thinking for the next 8-12 weeks while I rehab I should use one ore some of your products. Maybe work on my core (which sucks), kettlebells or something in the am’s and something else at night. The point is I want to do something, and I have found that going to the gym at night and working my ass off has become therapy for me mentally, and I don’t want to give that up.

Can you help me?  Can you recommend a program that won’t stress my knees but keep me challenged and interested? I am willing to ditch the CF gym for a while anyway, I have access to another  “crossfit” type gym, meaning it’s the same price as my other membership and it is fully stocked but there is no WOD, no coach just you and a bunch of bumper plates and horse mats. And for the next two months Ill have that globo gym membership. I need the accountability, a schedule or routine. Your program was so great because the percent’s were right there; all I had to do was perform. It was fantastic!



I’m not a doctor and am not sure what you should be doing in terms of addressing the tendonitis in your knees. I’m guessing your doctor is telling you to avoid all squats, running, rucking, etc.

If so, this is an opportunity to get away from the gym for a few weeks and to focus on core strength and do something totally different. From our stuff I’d recommend the Core Strength Bodyweight Only Plan ( combined with the Swim Improvement Training Plan ( You could do both together at a Swimming Pool.

If your doctor is telling you just to avoid running, then I’d recommend the Ultimate Meathead Training Cycle ( This plan combines heavy and moderate volume total and lower body exercises with mass-building upper body exercises. Might as well get jacked!



I’m finishing up my first deployment here in Afghanistan and began doing crossfit at the beginning of August, it has been about 3 months now.  I like it, but I’m not a huge fan of lacking an overall goal.  I’m also not a very big fan of how much they treat it like a sport i.e. doing this uses more energy/effort, there do this shortcut that takes less effort but will increase your reps or decrease your time.

I really do enjoy some of the workout’s and I feel like I’m getting into better shape than I have been since I joined the military about 4 years ago.  On to my question.

There are many exercises in a crossfit workout that I am unable to complete, because of lack of mobility, strength, unfamiliar movement, etc.  Many times the trainers offer a scaled down versions of the exercises.  They have been good for making progression.  I was reading over the sample plan you have on your website.  I found a few exercises that I’ve done scaled versions of in the past.  Do your plans list scaled versions if purchased?  Is it possible to still see positive results from your plans if you do the scaled down versions?

Overall I like that each of your plans trains for a specific goal.  I mountaineer as a hobby and I would like to attend a few of the courses you have plans for on your website i.e. RASP 1&2, SFAS, etc.  I like that I can purchase these plans and cycle through them with specific events in mind.  I appreciate your help and thank you for your time.


My quick answer for you is: No. I’m sorry.

In general, for our strength and gym-based training plans, you’ll need to know your way around a weightroom, and basic barbell exercises …. or be willing to put in the work and have the patience to learn.

One of the differences between our gym-based programming and CrossFit is my exercise menu is smaller, and isn’t as exotic. And as we evolve and get better, I continue to focus on the gym-based exercises which have the most transfer to outside performance.

But there is still a learning curve if you’re new to this stuff. Our programming doesn’t hold your hand like a crossfit trainer might in one of their introductory classes.

When we teach programming courses to soldiers we start with a few paradigm shifts ….

1) You are a professional athlete.

2) Your body is your primary weapon.

3) You are responsible for your fitness.

One of the frustrating realities of the military is you are expected to be fit for combat, but don’t receive the programming or coaching to get there. We can bitch about this all we want, but it’s not changing anytime soon. Many guys, myself included, have taught ourselves these exercises. Many others like you, have come to our programming with little or know lifting experience, stuck with it, been resourceful and patient, and taught themselves.

Good thing about these exercises is learning them isn’t rocket science. I’d be in a world of hurt if it were!

From our stuff, I’d recommend you start with our OnRamp Training Plan:

Enjoy the trip!



Currently I am a contractor so my deployment cycles vary quite a bit. I noticed the valor is gym based and when I am home a commercial gym is where I go because of 24 access. If I am reading it correctly only 2 days are required for the gym and the rest can be done with road work and a ruck. Am I reading this correctly? If so, I think this is a program I have been trying to find.



Valor ( is a 7 week hybrid plan which begins and ends with assessment weeks. The assessments are a 3-mile run, and a 3-mile ruck run – both at a track or of a known distance.

Here’s the weekly schedule:

Monday: Gym-Based Strength, Work Capacity and Core

Tuesday: Track Based Ruck-Run Intervals

Wednesday: Gym-Based Strength, Work Capacity and Core

Thursday: Track Based Run Intervals

Friday: Moderate Pace Distance Run



I’ve completed the Bodyweight and Sandbag/Weightvest/Dumbbell plans, and I have a membership to a fully equipped gym. Im preparing to start the RAT6 plan however I am not very familiar with power cleans or squat cleans. I know they are technical lifts and I’m a little concerned I don’t have the experience to do them. Can I substitute another exercise instead? Should I seek professional instruction? Are they lifts that I could teach myself?


You can teach yourselves these exercises – I did. It’s amazing how much free instruction is up now on the internet. Be resourceful


8 weeks ago my dad purchased the Rat 6 Training cycle, he and I used it, and I completed it this week. It was a great program, with my strength increasing an average of 20% over each of the lifts. As a method to prepare for fights I have used crossfit for years, and I have several crossfit and olympic lifting “certifications’. I looked over most of your programs, but didn’t find one specifically for martial arts training, I just purchased the Mountain Athlete program for crossfitters, and was curious if that is the program that you would recommend for physically preparing for martial arts? My apologies for the long email, just wanted you to have a bit of background before you gave me a program recommendation.


I don’t have a training plan or program specifically for Martial Arts. Haven’t moved into that area.

The program you purchased – Mountain Athlete for Crossfitters ( is a great general fitness plan.


Hope this finds you well, I have a question regarding the Endurance Training Cycle.

It’s next in line for me as I make my way through the rookie packet, I’m new to rucking as I’m not serving in the military, the online research I’ve done makes it seem like hiking with a heavy pack.

1) Can it be done at a jogging pace?

2) Will it be a benefit for someone who isn’t serving in the forces?

3) Is there any way I could modify the program so that I’m just running?

I respect your opinion and would value your input.


1) The assessments are meant to have you go as fast as possible. It’s hard to sprint with a ruck, but you can do more than jog, depending upon your fitness and the distance. Don’t over think it.

2) None of us Lab Rats are in the military and we enjoy rucking. Hard to explain why – there’s a primal element to it. It does require much more leg, core and lung strength. You’ll see.

3) Yes – just run both.



I’m looking to become a better runner and training for some ultras in 2015.  I’ve run quite a few trail marathons, a 50 mile race, and paced a few guys at 100’s for around 30 miles.  I am prone to injury and believe it’s my serious lack of cross training and knowledge of fitness.  I typically only conduct basic bodyweight sessions two times a week.  I took a North Face Mountain Athletics course in Denver earlier this year and I was super impressed with what I attended.  It helped me understand that I am not nearly as fit I want to be.  Since I have access to military gyms and the desire/time to do this, which programs do you suggest I look into?  If it matters, I’m 38 years old, 5’10” and about 178 lbs, looking to get stronger and lean out.


I’d recommend our Offseason Strength Training Plan for Endurance Athletes:


I have purchased the apft training plan and hoping you can answer two questions.

First the simple one: is there any strength training that can be done concurrently (but at a different time of day) with the apft plan?

Secondly, I have a question regarding what I should do upon completion of this plan.My goal is to work up to the busy operator plans and possibly one day the sfas selection plan IF my career goes that route.

I have considered the on ramp program, the bodyweight program, or one of the work capacity programs. Is there a progression you would recommend considering my goal. I have just completed Ait and will follow the apft plan while holding to go to my unit so I can possibly max once I get to my unit (275 pr). My fitness has declined while in the Army as prior to it I ran four days a week, lifted three days, crossfit two, and rucked one. I would like to return to being physically useful again. I also plan to return to competing in triathlon and bjj and am not sure which plans might best compliment.



Extra strength training? Not if it will inhibit your ability to make the progressions in the APFT Plan. Perhaps you could do some heavy, low volume lower body work and some pulling work, but your focus should be on the plan’s sessions and progressions.

Next? Rat 6 Strength:


I purchased your Ranger School Training Program and your Endurance Program. I have enjoyed both so far, and have been seeing great results. I have been telling many people I work with and friends about your training programs and how effective they were for me. I have a buddy who is joining the Army soon and will be going into Explosive Ordinance Disposal. I did not see any EOD related programs, but I know the Air Force EOD guys say it can be quite physically demanding. I was wondering what program you would suggest to help him get prepared for the course. I appreciate your help. Thank you!


Thanks for the great note!

For EOD, I’d recommend the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan:


I just started the 4/21/14 Endurance cycle, and read Jordon’s post about endurance training at the appropriate level. I also just purchased a heart rate monitor. My first question is, do you feel that using a heart rate monitor during endurance training is worthwhile? If so, what heart rate range or zone would you recommend to maintain during this endurance training?

The heart rate monitor I am using displays my actual heart rate as well as five different zones or ranges. Based on my fitness level I have set the ranges as follows:

Range 1: 94-112

Range 2: 113-149

Range 3: 132-150

Range 4: 151-169

Range 5: 170-189

Thanks for your help and the great training programs you folks produce.


Using a heart rate monitor (HRM) during endurance training is absolutely worthwhile. There’s nothing (for running) better at training your body to know what level of effort you’re at and, by extension, how long you can maintain it. After a couple months, you’ll be able to know what zone (zone = effort) you’re at without even looking. Moreover, you’ll be far more consistent at maintaining that effort, which is to suggest that, here at the beginning of HRM training, your HR will probably be all over the place, even though you feel as though your effort is consistent.

For the 4/2014 Endurance cycle, you’ll use Zone 2 for your efforts everywhere it says “moderate”. “Easy” is Zone 1. “”Tempo” is zone 3. “Threshold” is zone 4, though I think only “Moderate” is used in that cycle. The ranges your watch gives you below are really large, so I’d say high Zone 2. It looks as if your HRM is basing your zones off of a 170 lactate threshold heart rate (LT).

 Use the percentages below to recalculate your zones (well, I did it for you). They come from Dr. Joe Friel. There are different percentages out there from different endurance coaches – all are valid and really only slightly different – but we’ve had good luck with these, so we continue to use them.


% 170
1 0% 85% 0 145
2 85% 89% 144.5 151
3 90% 94% 153 160
4 95% 99% 161.5 168
5 100% 106% 170 180


As you can see, this table tightens up your zones, which is to your benefit since it makes you keep a more consistent effort and therefore a more consistent adaptation from on the back end.


I’m interested in using your training plans. I was wondering if you had a group of plans, to be performed in succession, that you could recommend for year round fitness. In the winter I’m a backcountry skier and in the summer I backpack and road cycle. I recreationally rock climb, but it is not a focus for me in general. I’m a 5’8”, 130lb woman.

Any advice would be great.


One option would be to subscribe to the website and follow the Mountain Base, and sport specific training cycles, as appropriate. For example, currently we have a handful of guides and climbers doing our mountain base sessions, but also have FreeSkiers doing their sport-specific dryland cycle and our Ice Climbers doing their sport specific climbing cycle. In addition to these sport-specific cycles, in the Spring we generally have rock climbing specific and kayak/paddling specific cycles. So … you can drop in and out of the Base Sessions into the sport-specific sessions as appropriate for your own interests/sports.

Another option would be to follow the SSD general fitness sessions during transition periods, then cancel your subscription and follow one of sport specific plans on the website – For example, I’d have you do the Backcountry Ski Training Plan now.

Finally – you could put together a packet of plans which would cover most of the year. We’ve put together a Summer training packet, but not one for the entire year. But here’s an example of what you could do….

Let’s say you backcountry ski, rock climb in the desert in the Spring, and peak bag during the summer. Your year long packet could look something like this ….

  • Sept-October: Backcountry Ski Training Plan
  • Nov-Jan: In-Season Ski Training Plan
  • Feb-Mar: Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Plan
  • April – in the desert climbing ….
  • May: Strength and Honor Training Plan
  • June: Peak Bagger Training Plan
  • July – August: Peak Bagging/Hiking, and following the SSD Sessions 3-4 days/week



I’ve been looking at a few different train up programs for SFAS, and always come back to your ruck based selection one because I feel like it does the best job of getting the distance in, without overdoing it. I’m writing to ask if you’ve made any adjustments to it since 2009? My friend used this in 2010 and swore by it—he’s who I received the program from. I’ve got about 5 months until I go. Any help would be much appreciated.


Yes – we’re actually on version 4 of the plan – revised in June 2013:


I’ve noticed that in a lot of your training plans you tend not to work strength more than 3 or 4 times a week with work capacity or endurance filling in the other days. Why is that? Would it hurt me or be over training if I worked strength 5 days a week?


Quick answer is military athletes are not strength athletes. You have a hybrid array of fitness demands:

  • – Strength (Relative strength, or strength per bodyweight is most important, and the focus should be on the Combat Chassis – legs and core)
  • – Work Capacity (a “turbo” gear for dangerous situations – sprinting ability is key)
  • – Endurance (running, rucking)
  • – Stamina (able to physically and mentally handle bunches of volume – i.e. long days)
  • – Durability

 Strength is super important – it is the foundation of performance, durability and confidence – but it’s not everything. First – you don’t need superhuman strength – our strength standards are what I feel is appropriate – for example, 1.5x Bodyweight for front squat and bench press.

Second, too much strength training can get in the way of training the other attributes.

Would extra strength training hurt you? Perhaps – especially if you doing it because you liked it and were good at it, and thus sacrificing training in areas you may need work (work cap, endurance).


I’m currently in a line company within the Marine Corps. I plan on attending A&S next fall. What training plan/program would prepare me the most physically until then?


Couple Options.

1) Subscribe to the Operator Sessions and complete these until 9 weeks out from your Selection, then cancel your subscription and complete the MARSOC A&S Training Plan directly before selection:

2) Follow the training plan schedule in the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet ( but finish with the MARSOC A&S Plan.

Finally – if you’re a weak swimmer, like me, you will want to work on your swimming with the Swim Improvement Training Plan:



I went through the Athlete Suffering a Leg Injury program twice, and had great results. Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen cartilage issue  between the leg and foot (think top of ankle), I had to undergo surgery. The ligaments and tendons in the back of my foot, ankle and lower leg had been severely damaged. Add in the cartilage issue, and surgery was the only option for a 30 year old wanting to stay in. I’m 7 weeks out of surgery, and just completed session 8 of the program for the third time. Ironically, I feel like I am getting MORE out of it this time around than the previous two. It might be because my left leg (knee to toes) is in a walking cast, or it might be the fact that I get absolutely insane looks from people when they see what an injured person will do to stay in shape and keep fighting. Ironically, my Brigade Commander is going to have the same surgery, but on the opposite leg- guess who they decided to train with once the crutches come off? Again, thanks for the great programming.

One other question…I read the book “Why We Get Fat”, and there was one topic not covered, and was wondering what your take is on it. How much coffee can/should an athlete drink? I am not trying to figure out the magic formula for winning a race, but rather, the average daily amount that is safe.

Thanks for your time.


Thanks for the note and glad that plan is working for you. It’s killer!

Coffee? No dietary restrictions within reason. I used to drink a lot more at your age than I do now – and sometimes it upsets my stomach. Others get headaches. A couple cups in the am is fine. I do that, and sometimes have another early afternoon. 


In your programming, how long should one hold the stretches for?


10-15 seconds.

I’ve been doing the Operator Sessions and followed various military athlete plans of yours since June of last year. I sprained my right ankle really bad back in August and had an MRI done as a result. It turns out that I completely ruptured anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) – Grade 3 full tear. I have tried conservative treatment, gone to physical therapy, but continue to have signs of instability in my right ankle and cannot seem to run because of its pain. I was finally referred to an orthopedic surgeon, and he told me that I would probably end up with getting a surgery down the road and recommended a surgical repair to improve the stability in the ankle. It will take about 6 months until my ankle is back at full strength and no longer in need of a brace.

I am not a huge fan of surgery in general and hoping that functional/conservative treatment would help strengthen the ligament instead. Any thoughts on this? If I decide to get a surgery, I was wondering what would be best program/workout regime since I won’t be able to run for 6 months? FYI, I am a 25 year old  5’7, 158 lb guy. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


I’m not a doctor and can’t give you specific medical advice. I’m sorry.

I have built a Post-Rehab Leg Injury Training Plan ( which you could try before deciding on surgery. It’s designed to bring guys back up to strength after surgery, but could possibly work for you in making your decision.

If you decide on surgery, you can continue to train around your recovering ankle using our Leg Injury Training Plan ( This isn’t a rehab program for your ankle, but rather trains the rest of your body (and your head) while you recover. In addition, if possible, you could get in the pool and either swim with a leg buoy, or if possible, use your ankle.


My question pertains to the 25m shuttle sprint intervals. I was supposed to do 4 every 30 seconds but could only maintain that for 4 rounds with around 5-6 secs rest then I was just doing the shuttles until I completed 12 sets. Is this normal for these? By round 9 I wasn’t even making 4 in 30 seconds. Thanks


It somewhat depends upon the fitness of the athlete. The idea is to get some rest – so next time, drop to 3x 25m shuttles every 30 seconds and see how you do.


Quick question for you.  But first… I’ve been following the military athlete operator sessions alongside my husband for the last year and a half and have seen huge improvements in my fitness and have really enjoyed your training program and philosophy.  I’m a 35 year old female firefighter and am continually striving to improve my fitness… and keep up with my husband.  I’ve been looking over your other programs and am wondering do you have a firefighter specific training program coming out soon similar to the operator sessions?  Would it be more beneficial for me to switch over the the strong swift and durable sessions?  The only part of your operator training i don’t fully follow is all your ruck running and marches as that would kill my knees to do all that so frequently.  I am an avid road cyclist and often substitute that in place of.  Should I continue to follow the operator sessions?  Your feedback would be much appreciated!


You should stop doing the Operator Sessions. These bring an intensity, and impact, which you don’t need – ruck running is an example. Instead of the SSD Sessions, from our stuff right now, I’d recommend the LE Sessions. These include strength, work capacity, power, agility, and stamina.

Sometime in the future I hope to develop daily sessions for Fire/Rescue athletes, but am not quite there yet. We’re currently developing a fitness assessment for full time firefighters.


I love your site and love your work.  I don’t train to be great in the gym, I’m trying to keep up with two very active daughters, but I’m struggling with my training right now and hope you might be able to help.  I have a wide variety of things I want to be in shape for.  I’ve done crossfit scaled WODS pretty regularly on my own for the last 7+ years.  I’m 40 years old, 5’9, 185 pounds.  I’d like to say I’m in decent shape, but in the last year or so, I just don’t seem to recover well enough from day to day to keep up the CF workouts for more than a month or so, before I get run down (even with consistent 8-9 hours of sleep a night; and quite probably my ego is not scaling the WODs properly!)

Here’s what I’m generally training for:

  • Jujutsu twice a week with some friends and law enforcement officers
  • My daughter loves rock climbing and I try to keep up with her a couple times a week
  • A ski trip with the same above daughter once a winter for a couple of days (This has never been a problem from a fitness perspective, but I mention it because my family and I love the mountains)
  • Possibility of becoming a reserve Sheriff’s deputy with my jujutsu training partners
  • A GoRuck challenge next spring with some jujutsu partners

I’ll certainly purchase the GORUCK training plan and complete prior to that, but I’m struggling with how I should approach my day to day training when I don’t have a specific event looming.  Strong Swift Durable sessions?  LE Athlete Officer sessions?  Complete a specific training plan over and over?

Any advice you can provide is extremely appreciated!


I’d recommend you start our stuff with strength, specifically our Bodyweight Training Plan (

 Don’t be fooled by “bodyweight” – this program is no joke.

This will help lay a great foundation for moving into one of our daily programs and/or a combination strength/endurance program.


I want to say first off I love your trainings and I have found them very useful. I was adapting your mountain training classes (before your rebranding) to fit my needs as an aspiring LE professional, and I am very excited you have an entire section of your website dedicated to that now.

Currently I have the monthly subscription and can view all the daily LE workouts as well as look at previous days. I am interested in the FBI special agent 6 week program. Is that covered under my subscription? If it is, how can I access that through the website?

If the training plans are separate add ons can you tell me the best way to incorporate them into the general daily workouts? Should I use the daily workouts to build a base level of fitness before starting a specialized program? For the daily workouts where is a good starting point to jump in? I know the training is not random and broken down into cycles and want to plan accordingly. 

As a beginner, I appreciate the input from you and your team.


FBI Special Agent Plan? No- it is not included. 

Ideally you’ll use the daily training sessions until a few weeks out from an event – for example, if you’re scheduled to take the FBI SA test.

However, if you’re just looking to add more focus to your daily training (focus on strength, or endurance), or just want to try one of our plans, you can suspend or cx your subscription to complete the plan, then come back to the daily session.




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