Off-Season Strength for Endurance Athletes


• 6 weeks, 5 days/week
• Designed specifically for endurance athletes to generate more power, build a stronger midsection, and increase durability for an injury-free season
• Best completed in the off-season with no, or little, endurance work
• This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


This training program is designed to strengthen and prepare endurance athletes for the rigors of their training and racing season.  This program is designed to be done in the off-season with a full significant break from your endurance activity – running, swimming, biking or whatever.  This is an intense strength training program, designed to be completed alone, without any additional training.

Program Goals:

  • Build relative strength for power generation, durability and overall longevity in your sport.
  • Build the eccentric strength and strength endurance in your legs to prepare you for the eccentric loading which occurs during long-distance training and descending on runs.
  • Build the lactate tolerance and recovery in your legs so you can train harder longer, and recover quicker during breaks.
  • Build your core/midsection strength and overall strength to add stability during training and increase overall durability.
  • Build your glute medius strength, hamstring strength, and landing mechanics to help protect your knees from injury during the racing season.
  • Build your legs and lungs and reduce the impact on your joints.
  • Build durability and functional movement, that teaches your body how to move effectively to reduce the chance of injury and increase strength

This is a  progressive, intense, 6-week,  gym-based strength training program. You will train 5 days/week for a total of 30 training sessions. The intention is that Monday through Friday are training days. Saturday and Sunday are total rest days.

This training program is designed to be completed in any commercial gym, with basic equipment. None of the exercises or routines described here are complicated, nor are they easy.

The program is built around these exercises:

Full and Mini Leg Blasters – An intense complex of body weight, lower body exercises, leg blasters build eccentric strength, lactate tolerance and lactate recovery,

Full Leg Blaster =
20x air squats +

20x in-place lunges (10x each leg) +
20x jumping lunges (10x each leg) +
10x squat jumps

Mini Leg Blaster =
10x air squats +

10x in-place lunges (5x each leg) +
10x jumping lunges (5x each leg) +
5x squat jumps

4 Square and Jump Rope – Basic jumping designed to train landing mechanic,s pro-perception and protect knees.

Touch/Jump/Touch Intervals– Designed to build lactate tolerance, leg power for lateral movement, recovery,

Hippity Hops– Designed to build explosivity in the legs and also eccentrically absorb impact.

Hamstring Hell– Designed to strengthen the hamstring and protect the knees and lower back through a long racing season

Jane Fonda–  Designed to strengthen glute medias and protect knees through a long racing season.


  • Monday – Total Body Strength
  • Tuesday – Core, Durability, Work Capacity
  • Wednesday – Total Body Strength Training,
  • Thursday – Gym Based Recovery, Durability
  • Friday – Total Body Strength Training, Leg Blasters


How long should the training sessions take?
Each session should take around 60-75 minutes. Unless indicated, the circuits aren’t “for time.” Work briskly, not frantically, through the sessions.

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.

What if I can’t complete the exercises using the prescribed loads?
Drop, or “scale” the load or weight as necessary to meet the prescribed number of reps. For example, if the training session calls for 10x weighted sit ups with 45# and this is too, heavy, drop down to 35# or 25#, – whatever is required, to get 10 reps.

What if I’ve never trained in a gym before?
This training program is going to be quite an adventure in athletic training for you! The strength sessions are built primarily around classic barbell exercises like the power clean and push press. These are not complicated exercises, but they can be awkward at first. If needed, you can seek exercise instruction from a local coach or personal trainer. You can also teach yourself these exercises by being patient, using lighter weights, and sticking with it. Practice helps! There are many web-based sites and resources to find information on performing these common exercises. You’re not helpless. Be resourceful.

Isn’t taking a 6-week break going to make me weaker at my sport when I come back?
Sport specifically yes, you will likely lose some endurance activity (run, bike, swim) fitness during this program.
We believe you will regain your sport-specific fitness quickly. What this program will give you is a chance to recharge mentally, and rebuild physically. Endurance athletes often suffer from overuse injuries caused by dangerous muscle imbalances. This program is aimed at rebuilding you physically and making you more durable going into your endurance training and racing season. It is also aimed at improving and increasing your endurance sport longevity.

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

How do I access the plan?
You can access the plan via username and password 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

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.

More Questions?

Required Equipment

  • Fully equipped weigh room. This training plan can be completed in any commercial gym

  • Stopwatch with interval timer

Sample Training

Obj: Strength

Warm up:
3 Rounds
5x Hinge Lift @ 65#/45#
10x Push ups
10x Air Squats
5x Jump Squats
Pigeon Stretch

(1) 6 Rounds
5x Hinge Lift (increase weight each round until 5x is hard but doable), the immediately...
2x Squat Jumps
5x Y+L @ 2.5#

(2) 6 Rounds
5x Standing Kettlebell or Dumbbell Military Press (increase weight each round until 5x is hard but doable)
5x Renegade Row each arm @ 25#/15#
Instep Stretch

(3) 6 Rounds
3x Mr. Spectacular @ 25#/15# Dumbbells or 12kg/8kg Kettlebells, then immediately
2x Broad Jumps
Foam Roll Lower Back

(4) 4 Rounds
10/10/10 Low Back Complex
10/10 Low Back Lunge
10/10 Kneeling Founder
10x Face Down Back Extensions

(5) 2 Rounds
20 Sec Jane Fonda

Obj: Strength

Warm up:
5 Rounds
3x Scotty Bob @ 25#/15#
10x Goblet Squats @ 25#/15# Dumbbell or 12kg/8kg Kettlebell
10x Sit ups
3rd World Stretch

(1) 6 Rounds For Time:
8x Dumbbell Thruster @ 25#/15#
Run 200m

(2) 4 Rounds
8x Weighted Sit ups @ 25#/15#
60 Sec Front Bridge
5x Russian Twists each way @ 35#/25#
8x Poor Man’s Reverse Hyper

(3) 2 Rounds
15x Hamstring Hell
3x Floor Slide
3x Floor Mantis


Warm up:
3 Rounds
30 sec Touch Jump Touch
10x Push ups
HUG Hip Mobility

(1) 10 Rounds
Mini Leg Blaster
45 Sec Rest

(2) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Ladder of:

Pull ups
Push ups x 2

Round 1 = 1x Pull up, 2x Push ups
Round 2 = 2x Pull ups, 4x Push ups
Round 3 = 3x Pull ups, 6x Push ups...

(3) 4 Rounds
10/10/10 Low Back Complex
10/10 Low Back Lunge
10/10 Kneeling Founder
10x Face Down Back Extensions

(4) 2 Rounds
20 Sec Jane Fonda

Obj: Work Capacity/Core

Warm up:
2 Rounds
400m Run
5x Burpees
Instep Stretch

(1) 3 Rounds, every 2:45
300m Shuttle Run

(2) 4 Rounds
6x Ankles To Bar
20/20 Sec Side Bridge
5x Plate Halfmoons each way @ 25#/15#
10x GHD Back Extensions unloaded

(3) 2 Rounds
15x Hamstring Hell
5x PVC Shoulder Dislocates
3x Shoulder Sweep


Show More

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?

Athlete's Subscription Package

Need all access programming? The Athlete Subscription gives you 450+ Plans and 4 Daily Programming Streams.