GORUCK Heavy Training Plan


  • 6 weeks, 5 days/week
  • Focus on rucking, endurance, stamina, overall strength, core strength
  • Includes “mini-events” to prepare you for demand of GORUCK Heavy
  • This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


Demanding, 6-week training program specifically designed to prepare athletes for the GORUCK Heavy. This program designed to be completed directly before your GORUCK Heavy. You’ll start training the Saturday exactly 6-weeks before the Saturday of your event.

The program also includes specific training for the Goruck Heavy Physical Fitness Test:

  • 2 minutes max reps push-ups.
  • 2 minutes max reps sit-ups.
  • 12-Mile Ruck Run: maximum time allotted is 3 hours 30 minutes.

This plan will take commitment to complete.



  • Sunday: Total Rest
  • Saturday: 4-6 hours (Mini events)
  • Monday/Wednesday: up to 4 hours. This depends largely on your ruck time.
  • Tuesday: less than 60 minutes.
  • Thursday: 3 – 4.5 hours
  • Friday: Total Rest



1. Build Rucking Performance/Endurance – The best way to improving rucking performance is to ruck. During this program you’ll ruck 4 days/week, and at the top of the cycle, will ruck 18 miles in one session, and 58 miles in a week.

2. Build Stamina and Strength Endurance – We’ll build your work capacity through Sandbag Get-ups, long weekend events and stamina sessions aimed at improving recovery and preparing the body for the long event.

3. Build Overall Strength – We focus on hips and legs, but maintain upper body as well.

4. Build Core Strength – Rucking under load and the long events will especially stress your midsection. Every session will challenge your midsection. You’ll come to love/hate sandbag getups and other core exercises.

5. Build Mental Fitness – Saturday training sessions are long, hard grinders which combine distance rucking with multi-modal, work capacity events. Your Saturday training will most closely resemble what you’ll face at the GORUCK Challenge and build/test both your physical and mental fitness.



  • Sandbag. Men will need a 60-pound sandbag, Women will need a 40-pound sandbag
  • Ruck Pack.  Ideally you’ll use the same Ruck to train with that you’ll use during the GoRuck Heavy. You will also need to load it with the same weight, food, and water you’ll carry during the Heavy, so 35# not counting food and water.
  • Stopwatch with interval timer
  • PVC Pipe or Broom Handle
  • Foam Roller
  • Wrist GPS (optional) – easy to measure distance and pace



What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.

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

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training? 
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see one entire week of programming.

How do I access the plan?
Access is online, via username and password. You can log in 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: 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

  • Sandbag. Men will need a 60-pound sandbag, Women will need a 40-pound sandbag

  • Ruck Pack.  Ideally you’ll use the same Ruck to train with that you’ll use during the GoRuck Heavy. You will also need to load it with the same weight, food, and water you’ll carry during the Heavy, so 35# not counting food and water.

  • Stopwatch with interval timer

  • PVC Pipe or Broom Handle

  • Foam Roller

  • Wrist GPS (optional) - easy to measure distance and pace


Sample Training


Obj: 4 Hour Event

Squats w/ Ruck Sack held by straps to your chest
Weighted Sit-ups w/ Ruck Sack against chest
Burpees - no ruck

So, the first three rounds look like this:

15x Squats w/ Ruck Sack held by straps to your chest

15x Weighted Sit-ups w/ Ruck Sack against chest

15x Burpees

then immediately...

14x Squats w/ Ruck Sack held by straps to your chest

14x Weighted Sit-ups w/ Ruck Sack against chest

14x Burpees

then immediately...

13x Squats w/ Ruck Sack held by straps to your chest

13x Weighted Sit-ups w/ Ruck Sack against chest

13x Burpees...

(2) Ruck 4 miles in 1 hour

(3) 6 Rounds for time
5x Overhead Squats w/ Ruck
5x Push-ups - no ruck

(4) Ruck 4 miles in 1 hour

(5) 3 Rounds, every 90 sec.
10x Walking Lunges w/ Ruck
20x Mountain Climbers

(5) Ruck 4 miles in 1 hour

(6) 30x Sandbag Get-ups for time

Obj: GRHPFT Work
(Use Session 11 results)

Warm up:
3 Rounds
2x 4-Square Drill
8x Push-Ups
10x Sit-Ups
200m Run
Instep Stretch


(1) 5 Rounds, every 60 sec.
30% of max reps Push-ups, then immediately...
Max reps Push-ups in 60 sec.

(2) 5 Rounds, every 60 sec.
30% of max reps Sit-ups
then ...
Max reps Sit-ups in 60 sec.

(3) 2 Rounds
Ruck 3-Mile at Interval Pace based on SESSION 11 finish time.
Rest 5 min. between intervals

Load: 35# + food and water

Obj: Core/Durability

(1) 5 Rounds
3x Kneeling Sandbag Halfmoons - 40/60#
6x Ankle to Bar
12x Poor Man’s Leg Curl
30/30 Elevated Side Bridge

(2) 2 Rounds
30 sec Jane Fonda
45x Shoulder Hand Jobs - unloaded

(3) 3 Rounds
Hip Flexor + Pigeon + Instep Stretch
Foam Roll Back/Quads
5x Shoulder Jackknives

Obj: Ruck

(1) Ruck 18 miles in 4:30 min.

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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.

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


   Wanted to take a quick second to send a thank you your way for your advice and programming that allowed me to accomplish a major goal of mine.  I completed the GORUCK HTL a few weeks back and I owe a lot of credit to you for helping me to prepare physically and mentally to take on this challenge.  Your programming enabled me to succeed during the PT test and continue through the physical aspects of the three events.  Across the board your programming made me feel strong throughout and also, I feel, made me more injury resistant.  Additionally, I think the nature of your training made me stronger mentally and allowed me to push through some of the darker times when I was tired, sore, and being asked to shoulder weight once again.  I would argue that your program not only allowed me to succeed in this, but it also made me a better and stronger team member and it is my hope that my level of preparedness helped me to be someone that enabled others to push beyond their perceived limits.  I say all that to say thank you for helping me to achieve this goal of mine and for helping me to be a stronger more capable team member able to contribute to the teams success.

- M


I just completed the 24-hour GORUCK Heavy event in Pittsburgh PA this past weekend.   Myself along with 4 other friends used your 6-week GORUCK Heavy training plan (the first version with the long ruck on Wed and the long events on the weekends).   We even did the overnight sessions @ 10 & 12 hours.  Everyone that trained using your plan finished the Heavy!  (30 total started the event, and 22 finished).  The Cadre for the this event also uses your MA Plans and actually talked about Rob Shaul several times and carried a 10# “freedom sledge”  for the whole after telling us about how he does the ruck workouts with the sledge as stated in you plans.  Also, at one point about 1/2 through the event, he made us do Sand bag get-ups!    So glad we used MA to train up for this! Thanks for the great programming – we are big fans and plan to keep using it! –G
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