Hypertrophy Program for Skinny Guys


  • Intense, 7-Week, 5 days/week training plan specifically designed to increase total body muscle mass
  • Includes focused Chassis Integrity (functional core) training
  • This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.




The Hypertrophy Program for Skinny is an intense, 7-week, 5 day/week training cycle which focused on mass-building upper body meathead training – high volume bench presses, military presses, barbell curls, etc, with lower body mass-building exercises and volume – moderately loaded, high volume squat, hinge lifts, lunges, etc.

The focus this program in loading, exercise selection, volume and design is hypertrophy – or muscle mass building.

The program also chassis integrity (functional core) training, two days/week.

Week 7 in the plan is an unload/taper week.

This is Version 4 of the plan, Updated October, 2020.

Lower Body Mass / Upper Body Mass Super-Sets
Monday and Wednesdays in the plan feature lower body mass / lower body mass “super sets” where two exercises are paired together such as Walking Lunges and Bench Presses or Back Squats and Dumbbell Curls. The programming is purposely designed so just one exercise in each circuit deploys a barbell – the other exercises in the circuit deploy either dumbbells/kettlebells or a pull up bar. In this way athletes can efficiently work through these efforts.

Each circuit also includes a stretch or mobility drill, which is the athlete’s “working rest” between rounds.

Upper Body Press / Upper Body Pull Super-Sets
Tuesdays and Thursday in the plan feature upper body press / upper body pull “super sets” where two upper body exercises are paired together such as Bench Presses and Pull Ups or Dumbbell Military Presses and Bent Over Barbell Rows.  Again, the programming is purposely designed so just one exercise in each circuit deploys a barbell – the other exercises in the circuit deploy either dumbbells/kettlebells or a pull up bar. In this way athletes can efficiently work through these efforts.

Each circuit also includes a stretch or mobility drill, which is the athlete’s “working rest” between rounds.


  • Monday: Lower and Upper Body Hypertrophy
  • Tuesday : Upper Body Hypertrophy
  • Wednesday: Chassis Integrity
  • Thursday: Lower and Upper Body Hypertrophy
  • Friday: Upper Body Hypertrophy

Required Equipment:

  • Squat Rack, Bench, Pull Up Bar and Full Set of Kettlebells and/or Dumbbells


What if I miss a day?
Don’t skip ahead. Start where you left off. The plan is progressive, and its training sessions designed to be completed in order.

How long will the training sessions take?
60-70 minutes.

Can I see a sample of the training?
Click the “Sample Training” Tab to see the entire first week of programming.

What if I can’t handle the training volume at first?
Expect to be sore and fatigued for the first two weeks as your body accommodates to the programming. The volume needed to build muscle mass means intense programming.

Why isn’t any endurance or cardio in this plan?
Cardio/endurance will negatively affect the goal of the plan – building muscle mass.

Can I add endurance/cardio on my own?
Sure – but you won’t get as much muscle mass gain as you would if you followed the programming. Cardio/endurance negatively affect muscle mass gains.

How do you count reps for lunges?
5x Lunges = 5x Lunges each leg, or 10x lunges total

What does “3/5x Pull Ups” mean? How about “15/25#”?
3/5x Pull Ups = Women do 3x Reps, Men do 5x Reps
15/25# = Women use 15 pounds, Men use 25 pounds

What about nutrition?
Here are our nutritional recommendations. In addition to these, if you are focused on increasing upper body mass, you may want to consider increasing your protein intake by drinking 1-2 Whey Protein Shakes per day. As well, increase your overall food intake – still eat “clean” following our nutritional recommendations – but increase the amount you eat daily. A great between-meal snack is an apple with almond butter or no-sugar peanut butter.

More Questions?
Email rob@mtntactical.com

Required Equipment

Required Equipment:

  • Squat Rack, Bench, Pull Up Bar and Full Set of Kettlebells and/or Dumbbells

Sample Training

Below is Week 1 from the training plan:


Obj: Total Body Hypertrophy

Warm Up:

3 Rounds


(1) 6 Rounds

(2) 5 Rounds

(3) 4 Rounds

Obj: Upper Body Hypertrophy

Warm Up:

3 Rounds


(1) 6 Rounds

(2) 5 Rounds

(3) 4 Rounds


Obj: Chassis Integrity

Warm Up:

4 Rounds


(1) 15 Minute Grind ....

"Grind" = work steadily, not frantically through the exercises in this circuit for the prescribed time.

(2) 2 Rounds


Obj: Total Body Hypertrophy

Warm Up:

3 Rounds


(2) 5 Rounds

(3) 4 Rounds


Obj: Upper Body Hypertrophy

Warm Up:

3 Rounds


(1) 6 Rounds

(2) 5 Rounds

(3) 4 Rounds

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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?
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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.

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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?

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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


"I just completed this plan, and I loved it. It was a little tough at my age (48) but I gained almost 4 pounds of muscle in 4 weeks. My major lifts SRM is all up, I improved by bench by 30 lbs! Taking a recovery cycle and then going to run it again next month. Fantastic program, would recommend to anyone."


Coach, I wanted to say nice job on Hypertrophy & Rat 6.
Started the two right after SFAS, at 150lbs. Ate everything during Hypertrophy, finished it at 165-168 depending on time of day. Ate clean, but lots of carbs through rice. Did a 1 week deload, then started Rat 6. Weights are before-after
Bench 245-275
Strict Press 135-165
Power Clean 200-225
Clean & Jerk 200-245
Front Squat 220-295
Deadlift 315-375
*I replaced squat clean with full c/j, and hinge lift with full deads.
Current weight is about 175, below 10% body fat.
Planning on doing valor again next then restarting the 3 over again in order.

Thanks again coach!


I'm excited to write this email, because this will be the second military athlete program I have completed. The first being the Afghanistan pre deployment program. I am currently on a rest day anxious for week 4 of the Hypertrophyprogram. I have been following the meal plan and eating everything I can and can tolorate. As far as protien and peanut butter I just re supplied myself with the help of friends and family in the states. I wanted to get advice from the man himself, on what workout would be beneficial to keep gaining size and overall strength and durability.  I went from 134 to 148lbs. I recently scored a 300 on a pt test here in Afghanistan about a week ago with my 2 mile time sitting surely at 11:52. I'm happy with where I'm at for running that has always been part of a weekly schedule. What program(s) though would you recommend for me, whether it be part of LEA, MA, or MA it doesnt matter to me. Im actually looking into SWAT once I leave the military this next summer. Look forward to hearing from you!

Thank You,
- J

I am one week away from completing my third military athlete program and am once again more than satisfied with the results.  To date I have completed the body weight, skinny guy and am one week away from completing the 357 plan.  I am sure you get inundated with emails so as a refresher my initial goals were to increase strength and to add some mass.  I started at 158 and am now somewhere around 174 (I am 6'1" and 32 years old); so I am headed in the correct direction. I would like to eventually get back up to a weight of 190; where I was prior to training for/running a marathon a couple of years ago.  I have also seen strength gains via the 357 plan and feel fitter and healthier overall.
- P

You're a busy guy; I'll try to keep it short:  I'm a 5-year swat vet in Virginia and just finished the Hypertrophy Program for Skinny Guys. Great program.

I'm 5'10, 36 years old.
Pre-Skinny Guy workout weight: 169-173#
Post-Skinny Guy workout weight: 175-178#

- B


I recently used the Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys plan…it was awesome.  I added 7lbs of muscle over the month and saw some strength gains along the way.
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