Mountain Base Atalanta: Balanced Base Fitness


  • 6 Week, 5x Day/Week Training Plan. 30x Total Training Sessions
  • Trains strength, work capacity, mountain endurance, chassis integrity and climbing fitness concurrently
  • Atalanta is 4th and final plan in our “Greek Heroine” series of Mountain Base plans
  • This training plan is one of the 250+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


Mountain Base Atalanta is the fourth and final in our Mountain Base “Greek Heroine” series of plans.

These plans deploy our most recent evolution of “Fluid Periodization” and train the five elements of mountain athlete “base” fitness concurrently: relative strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, endurance (running, uphill hiking) and climbing fitness.

Atalanta is a “balanced” cycle in the sense that all 5 attributes are trained in nearly equal proportions.

Strength – Atalanta’s strength work hinges around “back squats” and our version of “Super Squats” progression. If you’ve never done Super Squats before – you’re in for quite an experience! “Super Squats” is 20x reps of a percentage of your 1 Rep Max with 3 deep breaths between each rep. The barbell remains across your shoulders the entire time, and the result is a 3-5 minute total effort. Super Squats is one of the most efficient strength progressions we’ve come across.

You’ll also train upper body strength. Atalanta includes an assessed and progressed pull up work, and upper body pressing work. As well – our Chassis Integrity work is strength and strength endurance training for your “mountain chassis” – knees to shoulders.

Work Capacity – Alternates between a hard, intense, gym-based 10-minute density effort and a longer, 20-25 minute effort which combines light lifting and step ups or a run.

Endurance – Atalanta’s endurance work deploys two modes and intensities. The first, on Wednesdays, is an intense, combined, relatively short (24-30 minute) step up and 25m shuttle effort. After completing an assessment, you complete intervals of step ups and shuttles based on your assessment results.

Friday’s is a moderate uphill hiking under load effort which progresses across the cycle in distance – specifically vertical feet. You’ll begin by hiking uphill 2000 vertical feet, and finish at 3000.

Climbing – Atalanta’s climbing fitness is focused on strength. You’ll complete short, but hard, hang board and campus board intervals.

Here is the weekly schedule:

  • Monday – Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
  • Tuesday – Super Squats, Upper Body Strength (pull ups included), Climbing Fitness
  • Wednesday – Endurance (step ups + shuttles), Chassis Integrity
  • Thursday – Super Squats, Upper Body Strength (pull ups included), Climbing Fitness
  • Friday – Endurance (uphill hiking under load)

– Rob Shaul

Required Equipment

Atalanta is designed to be completed in any commercial climbing/bouldering gym which also has a general fitness area including a set of dumbbells or kettlebells, rack, barbell, pull up bar, etc.

If equipment issues arise, please email and I'll help with substitutions.


Sample Training


Obj: Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity

Warm Up:

4 Rounds

  • 5x Power Clean @ 65/95#
  • 5x Wallking Lunge
  • 10x Push Ups
  • Instep Stretch


(1) 10 Rounds … Every 60 sec:

  • 3x Power Clean @ 85/115#
  • 3x Box Jump @ 24”
  • 3x Burpees

(2) 20 Minute Grind

  • 6x Sandbag Clean Toss & Chase @ 40/60#
  • 3x Standing Keg Lift @ 40/60
  • 6x 1-Sided Dead Lift @ 15/25#

(3) 3 Rounds

  • Hip Flexor + Instep + Pigeon Stretch
  • Foam Roll Legs/Low Back



Obj: Strength, Climbing Fitness


  1. Work up to 1RM Back Squat

Record 1RM

(2) 1 Round

20x Back Squat @ 65% 1RM.

Take 3 big, slow breaths between each rep (leave the barbell on your shoulders). 20x reps should take 3-4 min to complete if done properly.

(3) Max Reps Pull Ups

Record Max Reps

(4) 6 Rounds

  • 5x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#
  • 35% Max Rep Pull Ups
  • 5x Shoulder Dislocate

(5) Hang Board Primary Position Complex at 5 Sec work, 10 sec rest.

(6) 5 Rounds

  • 60 Sec Campus Board Constant Movement
  • 60 Sec Rest

(7) 2 Rounds

  • Foam Roll Legs, Low Back
  • Ultimate Elbow Stretch


If you managed 3 or less max pull ups today, do 3x negatives for part (4) and for the remaining pull up progressions until we re-asses.



Obj: Endurance Speed over Ground, Chassis Integrity

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • 10x Squats
  • 10x Push Ups
  • 10x Situps
  • Run 100m
  • Instep Stretch


(1) 24 Min AMRAP

  • 25x Step Ups at 20”
  • 6x 25m Shuttle Lengths

Record Final Rounds - Include Half Rounds

(2) 7 Rounds

  • 20 Sec Hinge Lift @ 65/95#
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • 20 Sec Swings @ 16/20kg
  • 10 Sec Rest
  • 20 Sec Ab Wheel
  • 10 Sec Rest

(3) 2 Rounds

  • Hip Flexor + Instep + Pigeon + Frog Stretch
  • Foam Roll Legs/Low Back


Part (1) is serious effort. Our lab rats managed 11-13 rounds.


Obj: Strength, Climbing Fitness

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • 6x Back Squat @ 40/50/60% 1RM
  • 6x Hand Release Push Ups
  • 6x EO’s
  • Instep Stretch


(1) 1 Round

20x Back Squat @ 65% 1RM.

Take 3 big, slow breaths between each rep (leave the barbell on your shoulders). 20x reps should take 3-4 min to complete if done properly.

(2) 6 Rounds

  • 35% Max Rep Pull Ups
  • 5x Kneeling Curl to Press - increase load each round until 5x is hard, but doable.
  • Lat + Pec Stretch

(3) Hang Board Primary Position Complex at 5 Sec work, 10 sec rest.

(4) 8 Rounds

  • 15 Sec Campus Board Rapid Movement
  • 15 Sec Shake
  • 15 Sec Campus Board Rapid Movement
  • 15 Sec Shake
  • 60 Sec Rest

(5) 2 Rounds

  • Foam Roll Legs, Low Back
  • Ultimate Elbow Stretch


Obj: Uphill Climbing Endurance, Downhill Running Fitness


(1) Hike 2000 vertical feet, Moderate Pace, Run down

Load: 3 Gallons of Water (approximately 25#)

Moderate = Comfortable but not easy.

Note: If possible, dump water at the top and run down unloaded.


You likely won’t have a 2000 foot hill to hike. You can do laps … i.e. up/down, up/down, etc. It’s important you get in 2000 vertical feet.

If you have no easy way to measure vertical feet, hike for 60 minutes.


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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?
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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?
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Do you have a mobile app?
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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

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?

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