MTI Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan



Relative Strength Assessment Training Plan Overview
This plan is designed specifically to develop strength results from the MTI Relative Strength Assessment. It has a heavy strength focus, utilizing a density format 3 days/week a week. You will also train Work Capacity and Chassis Integrity 1 day/ week, and easy endurance 1 day/week in this 5/day, 5 week training program.

The plan focus is to increase your 1-Repetition Maximum (1RM) for the Hinge Lift, Front Squat and Bench Press. You will also train to increase your max number of strict Pull Ups.

This is Version 3 of this Plan, Updated August, 2023

MTI Relative Strength Assessment

This assessment and scoring standards were updated, January 2021.

Warm Up:
(1) 3 Rounds
Barbell Complex @ 45/65#
Instep Stretch
Lat + Pec Stretch

(2) Get on a scale and weigh yourself

(1) Work up to 1RM Front Squat (1RM = 1 Repetition Maximum)
(2) Max Rep Strict Pull Ups (no kipping, bucking, jerking, etc.)
(3) Work up to 1RM Hinge Lift
(4) Work up to 1RM Bench Press

Record 1RM’s, max pull ups reps, and Bodyweight.

Add together your finishing loads for front squat, hinge lift and bench press.

For pulling strength, multiply your max rep pull up times 10% of your bodyweight.

For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, and get 12 pull ups, you’d multiply 10% of 200 (200 x .1 = 20) and 12.

20×12 = 240.

** Note on Pull Ups … the Max Number you can use for scoring  for this assessment is 20. So even if you tested at 25x pullups, the most you can use for your scoring is 20.

Add your pulling strength total to your other 1RM’s, and divide by your bodyweight. The final number is your score.


Male Army Infantryman ….

    • Bodyweight – 201 lb
    • 1RM Front Squat – 275 lb
    • 1RM Bench Press – 275 lb
    • 1RM Hinge Lift – 435 lb
    • Max Rep Pull Ups – 22

Pull up scoring maxes out at 20 reps. So, 10% of Bodyweight x 20 Reps … 201 x .10 = 20.1 x 20 pull up reps = 402

275 – Front Squat 1RM

275 – Bench Press 1RM

435 – Hinge Lift 1RM

402 – Pull Up Score

1,387 / 201 (bodyweight) = 6.9, or “Excellent” for Tactical Athletes.


Male Mountain Athlete ….

    • Bodyweight – 182 lb
    • 1RM Front Squat – 215 lb
    • 1RM Bench Press – 185 lb
    • 1RM Hinge Lift – 285 lb
    • Max Rep Pull Ups – 13

Pull up scoring … 10% of Bodyweight x 13 Reps … 182 x .10 = 18.2 x 13 pull up reps = 236.6

215 – Front Squat 1RM

185 – Bench Press 1RM

285 – Hinge Lift 1RM

236.6 – Pull Up Score

921.6 / 182 (bodyweight) = 5.06, or “Good” for Mountain Athletes.

In general, we want professional mountain athletes and all tactical athletes to score “Good” or better on this assessment

Strength Programming
This plan uses MTI’s Density Strength Progression to train strength. The Density Strength progression uses percentages based off your 1-Rep Max, with working rounds to be completed in a prescribed amount of time.

Training Example:

  • 5 Rounds, every 90 Seconds
  • 4x Power Clean @ 85% 1RM

If your 1-Rep Max for Front Squat is 200#, you will use 170# for all 5 Rounds (200 x 85% = 170).

Set a running clock. Every 90 seconds, complete 4x reps of the exercise. Rest the remainder of that time. Repeat once the 90 seconds is up. The entire effort should take 7:30 min.

In addition to density programming, you’ll take the full Relative Strength Assessment 3 times … week 1, 3 and 5.

Work Capacity & Chassis Integrity
Tuesdays each week you’ll train short work capacity (10 minute) via single mode exercise (shuttle sprints, for example) and Chassis Integrity (functional core). The Chassis Integrity circuits include a total, rotational, anti-rotational, and extension exercise.

Trained once per week on Thursdays via an easy-pace 3-4 mile run.


  • Monday: MTI Relative Strength Assessment or Density Strength
  • Tuesday: Short Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
  • Wednesday: Density Strength
  • Thursday: Endurance – 3-4 mile easy run
  • Friday: Density Strength


  • Stopwatch
  • Fully equipped functional fitness gym with barbells, plyo boxes, racks, bench for bench press, pull up bar, kettlebells and/or dumbbells, plyo boxes, etc.


How long should the training session take?
In general, all sessions should take approximately 60 minutes to complete.

Why are there two numbers listed for the exercises with assigned loads?
The lower weight is the prescribed weight for women, and the higher is for men, for example, 5x Scotty Bobs at 15/25# means women use 15# dumbbells and men use 25# dumbbellls.

What does 3/5x Pull ups mean?
The first number is for women, second for men. So women do 3x pull ups, and men do 5x pull ups.

What if my gym doesn’t have kettlebells?
Substitute dumbbells at the same weight. For example, if the session calls for a pair of 16kg kettlebells, use 35# dumbbells.

What if I am unfamiliar with an exercise?
A complete list and video demonstration of our exercises can be found here:

More Questions? 


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

  • What Equipment is Required?

    • Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including racks, barbells, bumper plate, dummbells/kettlebells, plyo boxes, slam balls and sandbag.

    • Stopwatch with repeating countdown timer

Sample Training


Obj: Relative Strength Assessment

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

Barbell Complex @ 45/65#

Instep Stretch

Lat + Pec Stretch

Get on a scale and weigh yourself


(1) Work up to 1RM Hinge Lift

(2) Work up to 1RM Bench Press

(3) Work up to 1RM Front Squat

(4) Max Rep Strict Pull Ups (no kipping, bucking, jerking, etc.)



Obj: Work Cap

Warm up:

4 Rounds


(1) 10 Rounds every 60 seconds

(2) 15 Minute Grind


Obj: Strength

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

Use your SESSION 1 results to calculate today's loading and pull up reps.


(1) 4x Hinge Lift @ 50% 1RM, then...4x Hinge Lift @ 75% 1RM


5 Rounds, every 90 Seconds

(2) 4x Bench Press @ 50% 1RM, then...4x Bench Press @ 75% 1RM


5 Rounds, every 90 Seconds

  • 4x Bench Press @ 80% 1RM

(3) 4x Front Squat @ 50% 1RM, then...4x Front Squat @ 75% 1RM


5 Rounds, Every 90 Seconds

4x Front Squat @ 80% 1RM

(4) 5 Rounds every 90 seconds

  • Pull-Ups @ 30% of your assessment max

(5) 3 Rounds



Obj: Endurance

(1) 3 Mile run at Easy Pace

(2) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back



Obj: Strength

Warm up:

3 Rounds

Use your SESSION 1 results to caclulate today's loading and pull up reps.


(1) 4x Hinge Lift @ 50% 1RM, then...4x Hinge Lift @ 75% 1RM


5 Rounds, every 90 Seconds

  • 4x Hinge Lift @ 80% 1RM

(2) 4x Bench Press @ 50% 1RM, then...4x Bench Press @ 75% 1RM


5 Rounds, every 90 Seconds

  • 4x Bench Press @ 80% 1RM

(3) 4x Front Squat @ 50% 1RM, then...4x Front Squat @ 75% 1RM


5 Rounds, Every 90 Seconds

  • 4x Front Squat @ 80% 1RM

(4) 5 Rounds every 90 seconds

  • Pull-Ups @ 30% of your assessment max

(5) 3 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.



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?


Wanted to let you know I really enjoyed this program. It has been quite a while since I’ve spent this much time with barbell lifts. It was really rewarding to see the gains being made. Challenging program but well worth it.  Below are my numbers.

Thanks for all you do


Body Weight Day 1: 170  vs.  Final: 168

Front Squat Day 1: 205  vs.  Final: 235

Pull Up Day 1: 18  vs.  Final: 19

Clean Day 1: 175   vs.  Final: 195

Bench Day 1: 205  vs.  Final: 215

Score Day 1: 4.70  vs.  Final: 5.17
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