Fire/Rescue “Big Cat” Training Packet: Base Fitness – 5x Plans

Original price was: $295.00.Current price is: $219.00.

  • 5 Training Plans designed specifically for full time Urban Fire/Rescue athletes
  • 35 weeks of mission direct fitness programming for tactical Fire/Rescue athletes. Cycles are 4 days/week, and each includes an unload week between cycles.
  • 30% savings over purchasing the plans individually.
  • You can purchase these plans together in this packet, individually, as well, all are included with an Athlete’s Subscription to the website.


The MTI “Big Cat” Training Packet is composed of our 5 big cat training plans developed tactical training of full-time Fire/Rescue athletes.

The “Big Cat” plans represent deploy the most recent iteration of our Fluid Periodization model where we train the 4 fitness attributes of a Fire/Rescue Athletes:

  • 1) Relative Strength – strength per bodyweight
  • 2) Work Capacity – horse power for short, intense, dangerous events
  • 3) Chassis Integrity – mission-direct midsection training which transfers to the job
  • 4) Tactical Agility – Tactical Speed, Explosive Power, and Agility 

This is Version 2 of the packet and plans, updated March 2023 to include the Fire/Rescue On-Ramp Training Plan.

6 Plans are included in this packet are designed as tactical training for fit, full-time urban firefighters and other Fire/Rescue Athletes

Fire/Rescue On-Ramp

The first plan is the Fire/Rescue On-Ramp Training Plan, which provides an entry to MTI programming for incoming Fire/Rescue Athletes.

Training is designed in a Monday – Friday format (5 days on, 2 days off).  Each week you will have five prescribed training sessions. Most sessions take between 55-65 minutes depending on your run speed. Below is the weekly schedule for the On-Ramp plan:

Weeks 1-3:

    • Monday: Physical Fitness Test or Bodyweight Strength & Work Capacity
    • Tuesdays: Bodyweight Strength, Work Capacity, “Chassis” Circuit
    • Wednesdays: Endurance Run
    • Thursdays: Bodyweight Strength, Work Capacity, “Chassis” Circuit
    • Fridays: Bodyweight Strength, Work Capacity, “Chassis” Circuit

Weeks 4-7

    • Monday: Physical Fitness Test or Dumbbell Strength
    • Tuesdays: Endurance Assessment or Work Capacity & “Chassis” Circuit
    • Wednesdays: Run Intervals
    • Thursdays: Dumbbell Strength
    • Fridays: Work Capacity & “Chassis” Circuit
Big Cat Plans

Following the On-Ramp Plan are the 5 plans in the Big Cat series. These are designed as day-to-day programming to address the mission-direct fitness demands of full time Urban Fire/Rescue athletes:


We recommend completing these plans in the order below:

  1. Jaguar
  2. Leopard
  3. Lion
  4.  Panther 
  5. Tiger

Click on the links above to find a detailed description for each plan, as well as finding the first week of training for each plan.


  • Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including racks, barbells, bumper plates, plyo boxes, dumbbells or kettlebells, sandbags (40/60/80#).
  • Sprinting area for sprints/shuttles up to 25m. These can be outside.
  • 25# Weight Vest, SCBA, or 25# backpack
  • Stopwatch with a countdown interval timer.


What order should the plans be completed? 
We recommend the order listed above:

  1. Fire/Rescue On-Ramp
  2. Jaguar
  3. Leopard
  4. Lion
  5.  Panther 
  6. Tiger

What Equipment is Required”

  • Barbell, Rack, Plates and/or a Full set of Dumbbells or Kettlebells
  • Sandbags:  40, 60, and 80 Pounds
  • Flat Bench
  • Bench/Box for Step Ups
  • Parking Lot/Open Garage Bay for Sprints
  • Turnout Gear
  • Foam Roller

*** Note: Many of the weight training exercises in the plan can be completed with either a barbell and plates or dumbbells/kettlebells. For example, if the session calls for power cleans, and your station doesn’t have a barbell/plates, you can substitute dumbbells and/or kettlebells and complete the dumbbell/kettlebell versions of the exercises. Be resourceful.

What if I miss a training day?
Ideally, you will train 4 days per week, and take 3 full days off for rest or active recovery. 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.

The programming is progressive – it builds upon itself – and the training sessions are designed to be completed in order.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. 

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
To see the first week of programming for each of these training plans click on the individual training plans below, and then click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

What if I can’t do the whole session?
If you don’t have enough time to complete the whole session, you can split the session into two.

How do I access the plan? Pdf? Online?
Plan access is online, via username and password.

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

More questions? Email

The $199 price for this packet represents about 30% savings over purchasing the plans individually!


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

  • Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including racks, barbells, bumper plates, plyo boxes, dumbbells or kettlebells, sandbags (40/60/80#).

  • Sprinting area for sprints/shuttles  up to 25m. These can be outside.

  • 25# Weight Vest, SCBA or 25# backpack

  • Stop watch with countdown interval timer.

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?



I'm thoroughly enjoying the Big Cat Series! I'm a Firefighter in a booming city and I want to eventually get on a ladder truck. This program is building my upper body strength steadily without risk of injury. I'm training for longevity and I found the right fit!

Also, programming is simple and the demonstration videos really help.


I’ve used a few different on-line programming sites over the last few years, all designed for the “tactical athlete”.   In my opinion MTI is definitely the best.  I’d love to help you out and tell you that this or that needs a tweak but everything on the site/app works great.   As far as the programming, I’ve spent 17 years with the FDNY and your fire rescue plans are the best that I’ve seen when it comes to transferability to the job.  Most people mix something designed for the Military or PD with some cross fit and call it a “Fire Fighter” Training plan.  Your emphasis on longevity In the programming (real core work and eliminating garbage reps) is something that is rarely taken into account in this type of training.  Some pay lip service to it but you’ve adapted your plans to stress it. The attention to detail in your programming and in the set up and maintenance of the site really set you apart. Thanks for a great product.


I just completed Jaguar, the first plan in the Big Cat series. Just wanted to share my results with you and anyone who might be interested in purchasing the packet.

*About 182lbs Bodyweight*

3RM Front Squat:  255 --> 285

3RM Barbel Walking Lunge:  185 --> 225

3RM Push Press:  195 --> 200

10 MIN Sandbag Clean and Step-Over:  64 reps

9 MIN Sandbag Clean and Step-Over:  68 reps

8 MIN Sandbag Clean and Step-Over:  72 reps

Program Comments:

  • I was training six days a week on this program. Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat was the Jaguar plan. Tuesdays and Thursdays I had group PT with 5 other officers I work with. Tuesdays were track days, 400m and 800m repeats. Thursdays were some type of upper body, bodyweight circuit.

  • The additional PT did not generally interfere with the Jaguar programming, however, that will probably vary with each athlete depending on fitness level. There were a couple days I felt beat up, but overall it wasn't a problem. Might have been able to see a bigger increase in my 3RM Push Press without the extra upper body work, but a 5lb PR is still a PR. I'll take it.

  • I think you've mentioned this in your videos a couple times, but that transition from 60lb sandbag get-ups to 80lbs was a b**ch. The 60lb isn't too bad, but for some reason the 80 just feels like a small elephant sitting on your shoulders haha.

  • There is definitely a hardening effect from this training. Throwing sandbags and doing farmers carries just naturally has that effect. My mid-section feels like a brick wall. It's great.

I will likely take a de-load week, then start up Leopard. Thanks for all the great stuff Rob!

Just wrapped up Fire Rescue Jaguar. I had 3 fires toward the end of the plan and was very pleased with my performance.

Urban Fire Rescue

Height - 5’-10”

Weight - 175 lbs

Plan Results

Max Front Squat: 230 -> 280+ (I ran out of room on my bar with the weights at home)

Max Bench Press: 200 -> 230

Max Pull Ups @ 25lbs: 7 -> 11

Sandbag Get Ups at 60lb for 10 min: 84 -> 106

Fire Rescue Sandbag Clean and Step Over at 60lb for 10 min: 52 reps (104 total step overs) -> 64 (128 total step overs)

Feedback from the plan:

Improvement in all areas was very steady throughout the entire plan, except my max bench press weight. I increased to 230 by the Week 4 reassessment, but did not increase again at the end. I was unable to finish the “5 rounds at 85% every 90 seconds“ as intended without modification of breaks or weight, even after staying at the same weight for the remaining weeks.

Overall, I’m still happy with the results! This is the fittest I have been in my life.

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