Urban Fire Fitness Assessment Training Plan


• 3.5 Week Plan specifically for the Urban Fire Fitness Assessment
• Assessment tests core strength, shoulder strength, grip strength, leg strength and loaded work capacity
• This training plan is one of the 450+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


This 5 week, 4 session/week training plan is specifically built to increase performance on the MTI Urban Fire/Rescue Fitness assessment. This is an is efficient and functional assessment of the mission-direct fitness demands of urban firefighters.

Urban firefighters have four distinct fitness demands:

  • Relative Strength or Strength per Bodyweight
  • Grip Strength and Grip Strength Endurance
  • Intense, Multi-Modal Work Capacity ranging from 5-20 Minutese
  • Chassis Integrity (functional core)
  • Overall Endurance

One of the key, often overlooked, fitness demands of urban firefighters is load carriage. Regular bunker gear, especially when wet, and including breathing apparatus, can weight as much as 70 pounds. Wearing this weight, while performing the multi-modal fitness demands of urban firefighting including level changes, is a signficant chore un-assessed by most existing firefighter fitness assessments.

The MTI Urban Fire/Rescue Fitness Assessment assesses each of the five major urban firefighter fitness demands in a super efficient, easy to administer test.

This training plan is assessment-based. You’ll take the MTI Urban Fire/Rescue Fitness Assessment three times over the course of the plan – beginning, week 2 and week 5. The follow-on training sessions and progressions are based on your most recent fitness assessment results. In this way the plan automatically scales to the athlete’s incoming fitness, and continues to push him/her as their fitness improves.

This is version 2 of this assessment, updated January 2024. 

A couple of notes on this assessment

  • Equipment is minimal by design.
  • Grip/”tactical chassis” focus. This assessment will really test your grip and tactical chassis strength. Tactical Chassis = legs, lungs and core.
  • No Joke. This assessment is difficult. So is fighting fires and other rescue events.

 Required Equipment

  • 60# Sandbag for men, 40# sandbag for women
  • 16” Bench or Box
  • Pull Up Bar
  • Stopwatch and Repeating Interval Timer (smartphone will work)
  • Known 800m and 1.5 mile distances

The Assessment

3 Rounds
10x Air Squats
10x Push ups
5x Walking Lunges
10x Situps
Instep Stretch

Uniform: Gym Gear


(1) Max Rep Sandbag Burpee @ 40/60# in 90 Seconds

Protocol: Sandbag starts laying on the ground at the athlete’s feet. On “go” he/she drops, does a push up down to where his/her chest touches the sandbag, then clean’s the back to the chest and pushes to  full elbow extension overhead. Athlete can change hands and rest as needed, – just keep working for 90 seconds. Each press overhead to full elbow extension counts as a rep.

 What this event assesses: Test of explosive power, work capacity, Grip Strength, Upper Body Pressing Strength.

Rest 5 Minutes before next event

(2) Max Reps Pull Ups

Protocol: Strict Pull Ups. Dead hang, to chin fully above the bar. No kipping, bucking, swinging, etc.. No time limit, but you cannot change your grip, or touch your feet. You can “rest” at the full hang position, but cannot touch your feet.

 What this event assesses: Upper body pulling strength.

Rest 5 Minutes before next event

(3) Sandbag Clean and Step Over – Max Reps in 5 min, 40/60# sandbag, 16″ Bench
Protocol: 60# sandbag, 16″ bench. The bag must touch the ground to start on either side of the bench. Alternate legs each rep when stepping up and over the bench. Max reps in 5 minutes.

 What this event assesses: Test of total body strength, level change, work capacity and mental fitness.

Rest 10 Minutes before next event

(4) Run 1.5 Miles for Time
Protocol: Flat course, max effort.

 What this event assesses: Overall endurance.


  • Sandbag Burpee – Each rep counts as 1 point
  • Pull Ups – Each rep counts as 1 point
  • Sandbag Clean + Step Over – Total reps divided by 2
  • 1.5 Mile Run – see chart below


Athlete Results:

  • Sandbag Burpees – 18 Reps
  • Pull Ups – 16 Reps
  • Sandbag Clean + Step Over – 52 Reps
  • 1.5 Mile Run – 11:15

Score: 18 + 16 + 26 (52 / 2) + 24 = 84 Total Points

Overall Scoring Chart:


  • SESSION 1: Fitness Assessment or Sandbag Burpee and Step Over progression
  • SESSION 2: Endurance
  • SESSION 3: Pull Up Progression, 800m Run Intervals.
  • SESSION 4: Sandbag Burpee & Step Overs or Pull Ups and 800m Intervals

Common Questions: 

What equipment is required?
Fully-equipped functional fitness gym.

Who is this plan appropriate for?
This is an intense training plan not appropriate for athletes with questionable fitness. It is appropriate fit, tactical athletes who want to build their mission-direct overall endurance.

How long do the training sessions last?
Training sessions are designed to last 40-60 minutes.

What does “4/8x” mean? How about “15/25#”?
First number is for women, second is for men, both for reps, and loading. Examples:
4/8x Chin Ups = Women do 4x, Men do 8x
15/25# = Women us 15#, Men us 25#.

What does “40/60#” mean?
Women use a 40-pound sandbag, men use a 60-pound sandbag

What if I miss a training day?
Ideally, you will train 4 days in a row, and take 3 full days off for rest. If for some reason miss a session,  do not skip ahead. Start again where you left off and complete the sessions in order throughout the plan.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
On our “Exercises” page HERE

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

More Questions?
Email rob@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

- 60# Sandbag
- Pair of 30# Dumbbells
- 18” Bench
- 48” Ledge
- Stopwatch with Repeating Interval Countdown Timer
- SCBA Pack with Tank

Sample Training


Focus: Pull Ups, Military Press, Lunges, Keg Litt

Warm up:
4 Rounds
4x Walking Lunges, Unloaded
4x Keg Lift (alternate direction each round)
8x Push Ups
8x Situps
Instep Stretch

(1) 9 Rounds, Every 60 Seconds
Sandbag Keg Lift @ 60#/48”
30% of your Reps
- Alternate sides each round

(2) 5 Rounds, every 90 secs
Mixed Grip Pull-ups @ 30% of Assessment Reps .... then, 1 Round, max reps

(3) 6 Rounds, Every 90 Seconds,
In-Place Lunge @ 30# Dumbbells
30% of your Assessment Reps

(4) 6 Rounds, every 90 secs
Seated Military Press @ 30# Dumbbells
30% of Assessment Reps

(5)  3 Rounds
Hip Flexor + Pigeon Stretch
Lat + Pec Stretch
Foam roll legs, Low back

Focus: Pull Ups, Military Press, Dumbbell To Overhead, Sandbag Clean and Step Over

Warm up:
4 Rounds
4x Walking Lunges, Unloaded
8x Push Ups
8x Sandbag Back Squat
8x Situps
Instep Stretch

(1) 10 Rounds, Every 90 Seconds:
Sandbag Clean and Step Over
10% of your Assessment Reps

(2) 5 Rounds, every 90 secs
Mixed Grip Pull-ups @ 30% of Assessment Reps.... then, 1 Round, max reps

(3) 9 Rounds, Every 60 Seconds
Dumbbell to Overhead @ 30#
30% of your Reps
- Alternate arms each round

(4) 6 Rounds, every 90 secs
Seated Military Press @ 30# Dumbbells
30% of Assessment Reps

(5)  3 Rounds
Hip Flexor + Pigeon Stretch
Lat + Pec Stretch
Foam roll legs, Low back

Obj: Step ups, pull ups

Warm Up:
3 Rounds
20x Step ups, Unloaded
10x Push ups
10x Situps
Instep Stretch

(1) 15 Rounds, every 75 Seconds
Step up reps @ WK 1 Step-up Table wearing SCBA Pack

(2) 5 Rounds, every 90 secs
Mixed Grip Pull-ups @ 30% of Assessment Reps .... then, 1 Round, max reps

(3) 10 Minute Step ups, unloaded, Moderate Pace

Moderate = Comfortable but not easy

(3) 3 Rounds
Hip Flexor + Pigeon Stretch
Lat + Pec Stretch
Foam roll legs, Low back

Show More

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.

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?
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 coach@mtntactical.com.

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

Athlete's Subscription Package

Need all access programming? The Athlete Subscription gives you 450+ Plans and 4 Daily Programming Streams.