5,000m Row Improvement Training Plan


  • 5-Week, 6 day/week plan
  • Specifically designed to improve 5,000m Row performance through speed, distance and strength work
  • Assessment-based plan which automatically scales to the incoming fitness of the individual athlete
  • Includes running-specific bodyweight lower body strength, mid-section strength and upper body strength work
  • This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


This 5 Week plus 1-Day  training program is sport-specifically designed to improve 5,000m Row performance. You’ll train 6 days/week.

This training program has 3 general objectives:

  • (1) Increase rowing speed
  • (2) Increase leg strength, core strength and upper body strength
  • (3) Increase rowing aerobic base and efficiency for longer distance rows

This training plan deploys multiple 5,000m row assessments and uses assessment performance for the follow-on progressions. In this way the plan automatically “scales” to the incoming rowing fitness and speed of each individual athlete and continues to push you as your rowing fitness improves.

Assessment-Based Speed Work
This training program is assessment based – and the hard, short rowing intervals paces prescribed throughout the plan are based on your most recent 2,000m row assessment.

You’ll row a 5,000m assessment 4  times throughout this plan – the first day of Weeks 1, 3, 5 and 6. These assessment times will be used to prescribe paces for the following interval row efforts.

You’ll row two distances of hard, fast intervals: 1,666m and 2,500m repeats. Your Saturday long distance rows will increase from 8,000m to 10,000m.

You’ll row hard, fast intervals 2-3 times per week, and complete an easy distance row one time per week.

Strength Work
This training plan includes lower body, mid-section and upper body strength training deploying bodyweight strength exercises. You’ll train strength twice each week.

Weekly Schedule

  • Mon: Assessment or Speed Intervals
  • Tue: Strength Training
  • Wed: Speed Intervals (1,666m Repeats)
  • Thu: Strength Training
  • Frii: Speed Intervals (2,500m Repeats)
  • Sat: Easy Distance Row (8,000 – 10,000m)


What is the Required Equipment?

  • – Stop Watch
  • – Pull Up Bar
  • – Rowing Erg

How Long do the Sessions Last?
60-75 minutes depending upon your rowing pace.

What if I miss a day?
If you miss a day, make up the session you missed the next day and follow the programming as prescribed. The programming is progressive – it builds upon itself. Don’t skip ahead.

What does “5/10x Push Ups” Mean?
Women do 5x Push Ups, Men do 10x Push Ups.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Row Interval Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

More Questions?
Email coach@mtntactical.com

Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health.  Physical training contains inherent risks including, but not limited to, muscle strains, tears, physical and bodily injury up to and including death.  This training program is not meant to provide medical advice; you should obtain medical advice from your private health care practitioner.  If you are unable to assume these risks then you should not engage in this training program.  No liability is assumed by Mountain Tactical Institute, Inc, its owners or employees, and you train at your own risk.  Mountain Tactical Institute makes no warranty, express or implied, of any kind in connection with this training program.

Required Equipment

What is the Required Equipment?

  • - Stop Watch

  • - Pull Up Bar

  • - Rowing Erg

Sample Training

Below is the first week of programming from the plan:



Obj: Rowing Assessment

Warm Up:

4 Rounds


(1) Row 5,000m for Time


(2) 2 Rounds



Obj: Strength, Core

Warm Up:

3 Rounds


(1) 8 Rounds

Hip Flexor Stretch

(2) 15 Minute Grind

Grind = Work through this circuit repeatedly and steadily, not frantically, for 15 minutes. Expect to complete 4+ rounds of the circuit.

(3) 2 Rounds



Obj: Speed Intervals

Warm Up:

4 Rounds


(1) 3 Rounds

  • Row 1,666m @ the "1,666m Interval Pace" using the MTI Row Interval Calculator and results from SESSION 1's 5,000m row Assessment
  • Rest 10 minutes between efforts

(2) 2 Rounds



Obj: Strength, Core

Warm Up:

3 Rounds


(1) 8 Rounds

(2) 15 Minute Grind

Grind = Work through this circuit repeatedly and steadily, not frantically, for 15 minutes. Expect to complete 4+ rounds of the circuit.

(3) 2 Rounds



Obj: Speed Intervals

Warm Up:

4 Rounds


(1) 2 Rounds

  • Row 2,500m @ the "2,500m Interval Pace" using the MTI Row Interval Calculator and results from SESSION 1's 5,000m row Assessment
  • Rest 12 minutes between efforts

(2) 2 Rounds



Obj: Easy Distance Row


(1) Row 6,000m at an Easy Pace

"Easy" = You can speak in full sentences while rowing

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Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI’s fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI’s programming is not “re-tread” bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We’ve built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan “Lab Rats” at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming’s effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn’t.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


4) Mission-Direct Research

MTI exists to “Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe.” To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI’s Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

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Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


6) Programming Breadth

MTI’s library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

We’ve developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI’s programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

Since 2007 we’ve taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We’ve saved these individual Q&A’s and now thousands are archived on our site.

We’re not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn’t for everyone. If we can help, we’ll let you know. If we can’t, we’ll let you know that, too.

– Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman – so I can’t put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
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As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we’ve put in and received to make these plans effective.

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Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

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If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

Email: rob@mtntactical.com


Do you have any reviews or testimonials from athletes who have used your Athlete’s Subscription
Yes. Click HERE.

Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
Yes. If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.

You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
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If I purchase a subscription and have questions about where to start or what plans(s) to use for my goals, will you help?
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If you add new plans or update existing plans after I subscribe will I have access to them?
Yes. We are continuously adding training plans and packets (2-5/month) and updating plans. With your subscription you’ll have access to all new plans, new courses and plan updates.

What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I have more questions?
Email rob@mtntactical.com

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