Chassis Integrity Training Plan


  • 30x Chassis Integrity training circuits which implement the most recent thinking of MTI’s Chassis Integrity programming theory
  • Circuits train rotation, anti rotation, total and extension (low back) midsection strength and strength endurance from a standing or kneeling position
  • Circuits extend 10-20 minutes, and can be completed as stand alone training sessions or add on components to any training session.
  • This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


Our Chassis Integrity programming theory evolved in Summer 2015 after a personal experience. I had moved away from the tactical programming to some distance running and bodyweight work. The bodyweight training included plenty of core work – sit-up variations, bridging, lower back complexes, EO’s, and some ground and equipment based work such as Russian Triangles, Ankles to Bar, GHD Sit-ups, etc. Further, my core circuits pushed beyond what I commonly programmed for athletes in both rounds and duration. I really hammered it – or so I thought. After a couple of months, I got back underneath the barbell for some front squats and struggled to go heavy. My legs were strong, in isolation, and my core was strong, in isolation, but the link and coordination between the two weren’t there – I lacked “chassis integrity.” This had a real impact on me – as I’d hammered my midsection, but all that work hadn’t translated into the functional task of lifting heavy while standing. It caused me to question my core programming theory to that point and I began to develop the Chassis Integrity model. Before Chassis Integrity My prior core training theory had alternated between two circuits – FIRE, and LBC. “FIRE” is an acronym for “Flexion / Isometric / Rotational / Extension”. A FIRE Circuit has one exercise from each, for example: 4 Rounds

  • 10x Weighted Sit up @ 25# (Flexion)
  • 30/30 Side Bridge (Isometric)
  • 10x EO’s (Rotation)
  • 10x GHD Back Extension (Extension)

“LBC” is an acronym for “Low Back Complex” and we learned this approach from the book “Foundation Training,” by Eric Goodman and Peter Park. The authors note that few miss a day of work because of ab pain, and correspondingly wondered why so much core training focused on the front of the body, and not the low back. They aimed to change this, and our typical Low Back Complex circuit comes from their exercise menu. Below is an example. I’ve since expanded the scope of our Low Back Complex to mean a circuit of four extension exercises. 4 Rounds

  • 20/20 Standing Founder
  • 20/20 Low Back Lunge
  • 20/20 Kneeling Founder
  • 10x Face Down Back Extensions

Chassis Integrity Theory

My experience last summer caused me to question three things about this core training approach.

  1. Why were we doing so many ground or equipment based core exercises when in reality most core work is done standing? I reasoned that not performing core exercises from a standing or kneeling position had compromised my chassis integrity.
  2. I questioned the need for isometric and flexion core exercises in general. Real-life core for the athletes we serve (mountain/tactical) is seems dominated by extension and rotational movement patterns. Real-life also includes isometric work, but not in the way we had been training it. More specifically, rather than isometric work, what really occurs is anti-rotation. Mountain and Tactical athletes must fight force trying to torque them rotationally.
  3. Previously I had programmed core circuits using the standard round and reps format used as examples above. This approach seems to train strength, but not necessarily strength endurance. Perhaps grinds for time would be more transferable outside the gym, I reasoned.

What evolved is a new approach to core trainingChassis Integrity. First, I moved away from most ground-based core exercises to prescribing exercises performed either standing or kneeling. To achieve Chassis Integrity I needed to train the system holistically. Second, I began to replace the FIRE circuits in favor of Chassis Integrity circuits and move from rounds and reps to time. This Plan deploys 5 types of Chassis Integrity Circuits – most with 3x exercises. Each circuit deploys a combination of these movements:

  • Anti Rotation
  • Rotation
  • Total
  • Extension (low back)

The first 10 circuits in the plan are 10-15 minute long grinds and use relatively light loading. Beginning with Circuit 11, the duration jumps to 15-20 minutes, and loading increases.


How Should I Use These Circuits in My Training? These Chassis Integrity circuits are 10-20 minutes long and are designed to either supplement existing training by serving as focused mid-section “finishers” to other training sessions or replace current core training in existing training. The circuits can also be completed as stand-alone training for endurance and other athletes.

Required Equipment? These circuits are designed to be completed in any commercial or functional fitness gym. Exercise substitutes are included for gyms that don’t have sandbags or kettlebells.

How Fast should I work Through the Circuits? The circuits are to be completed as 10-20 minute “grinds.” “Grind” equals work briskly, but not frantically. These are not “As many rounds as possible” efforts. Again, work briskly, not frantically.

What does “45/65#” or “12/16kg” mean? This is the prescribed loading for women/men – so in the first example, women use 45# and men use 65#. In the second example, women use a 12kg kettlebell and men use a 16kg kettlebell.

Why is Chassis Integrity Is More Appropriate for Mountain and Tactical Athletes? Foremost is its transferability outside the gym to the real world. The Chassis Integrity movements and exercises closely mirror the mid-section strength and strength endurance demands faced by mountain and tactical athletes. Most likely, these athletes will be lifting or moving something fairly heavy, bulky and awkward and deploying extension, rotation and isometric strength (total core) in one movement. As well, sometimes real-world midsection strength demands a single movement. But more often, mid-section strength is a strength endurance effort – think uphill hiking with a heavy pack for miles. Chassis Integrity, with it’s extended “grind” duration, trains not only the absolute midsection strength for single events, but also the strength endurance needed for extended work.

Have you and your athletes noticed a difference? Absolutely – anecdotally, myself, I’ve seen a significant improvement in real-world midsection strength for activities like hauling out game from a backcountry hunt or getting firewood. Several of my athletes, both mountain and tactical, have reported similar improvement and experience. It’s like we’ve built an integrated band of muscle and functionality around our midsection.

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

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.

How do I access the plan?
You can access the plan via username and password either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

More Questions? Email


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

These circuits are designed to be competed in any commercial or functional fitness gym. Exercise substitutes are included for gyms which don't have sandbags or kettlebells.

Sample Training

Below is Week 1 from this Training Plan:



Obj: Chassis Integrity (1) 15 Minute Grind

** 3x Sandbag Clean = 3x each side, 6x total.



Obj: Chassis Integrity (1) 10 Minute Grind



Obj: Chassis Integrity (1) 15 Minute Grind



Obj: Chassis Integrity (1) 15 Minute Grind

**5x Total. Alternate Sides each Round



Obj: Chassis Integrity (1) 15 Minute Grind

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1)  Mission Direct

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.

5) Field Proven

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.
We don’t stop there – our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

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.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

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.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
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.



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?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.

If I purchase a plan or subscription, how do I access the programming?
All of our plans are online, accessible via username and password.
You can log in through our →Website  or Mobile App →IOS and Android.

Do you have downloadable .pdf’s of the training plans?
No. But you can print the programming, by week, from your browser. You access individual training plans online via a username and password.

Do you have a mobile app?
Yes, we do. Available for IOS and Android.

What is the difference between purchasing an individual training plan, packet of plans or an Athlete’s Subscription?

  • Plan – Like purchasing the DVD of the first Star Wars movie. You own it forever, including any updates we make to the plan.
  • Packet – Like purchasing the DVD’s of all the Star Wars movies. You own them forever, including any updates we make to the plans.
  • Athlete’s Subscription – Like subscribing to Netflix. You get access to all 200+ plan in our library, but lose access if you unsubscribe.

If I purchase an Athletes Subscription Can I cancel on my own, anytime?

Do I have to contact MTI to cancel or can I do it myself?
You can do it yourself. Instructions HERE.

If I purchase a subscription and have questions about where to start or what plans(s) to use for my goals, will you help?
Yes. We answer dozens of training questions from athletes weekly. Email

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?


"Above all, I wanted write so that I could thank you and your team for your awesome work at MTI. Your programming was key in taking me from a fully ruptured Achilles in the summer of 2017 to the best shape of my life this year. Your Chassis Integrity training has, in particular, been a game-changer, across every outdoor sport that I do (I’m primarily a skier and mountain biker)—I didn’t realize how weak my functional ‘core’ actually was."




"I just wanted to drop a note to say that I really took to heart your chassis integrity theory.  I actually used to follow your programming when I was a tactical athlete back in Afghanistan.  Now I’m the head coach of a prenatal and postpartum strength and conditioning program.  We applied the theory to how we format our conditioning in our prenatal and postpartum strength and conditioning program, and we have had a lot of success with it. Our athletes are less affected by the discomforts of pregnancy and the postpartum, and are feeling stronger than ever.  We had a mom tell us she picks up her baby now without pain. While our athletes aren’t tactical or mountain athletes, the functional demands of pregnancy and motherhood require a stable and strong core, and this theory was the missing piece for us."




"I bought the chassis integrity training plan and I am not an athlete. I tweak my back easily after training. Regular core exercises with abdominal work usually only worsen the situtation. I stumbled on your website while looking for tactical/ rucking training tips. Your article on chassis integrity was the best core training article I have ever read. I tried some exercises, found them to be back friendly and invested in the training plan. My back feels stronger, no tweaks so far. Running and rucking feel better too. At first, I modified the circuits and integrated other exercises but found out that it was better to just follow the program. Thank you for the great program."
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