The following is a sport-specific 8-week program is specifically designed to prepare athletes for the SFAS (Green Beret) and similar Ruck Based Selection Courses. The plan includes a 2-week taper, and is designed to be completed the 8 weeks directly prior to your course start week.
We built the first Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (RBSTP) in 2009 and multiple soldiers have use it successfully for SFAS. This, Version 6, is the latest version, updated December 2022.
***************** CAUTION ****************
This is a very intense, 6-day a week, often 2x/day training program with high levels of volume and stress. Be safe and smart about your training as you work through the program and don’t be afraid to cut down sessions, or if necessary take an extra rest day if needed.
This program gets progressively harder each week, until week 7, when the training tapers down into the start of selection. Don’t skip ahead!! The plan is designed to build upon itself. If you have to miss a training day, start up back where you left off.
This is a 6 day/week training program with many 2-a-Day training sessions.
To successfully complete this program you’ll need to make training for selection a priority during your work day.
This plan is “sport specific” to the specific fitness demands you’ll face at SFAS and similar selection courses – specifically rucking, running, calesthenic-based “smokers,” grip strength, etc. You’ll ruck 2 days/week and run 3 days/week. It also includes:
– Testing and progressive training for the current SFAS PFT (Hand Release Arms Extended Push Ups, Strict Pull Ups, 2-Mile Run)
– Extended, mulit-modal work capacity events
– Grip strength training.
– Shoulder strength endurance work
– Sandbag Getups for work capacity, mental toughness, and core strength
– Loaded runs and carries
– Intense core, mobility, and stabilzer strength training for durability
The plan includes 48 Total Training Sessions. It is intended that you’ll train Monday – Saturday, and take Sunday’s off. Sessions 1, 7, 13, 19, 25, 31, 37, and 43, are Mondays and the beginning of each training week.
Here is the general training Schedule for weeks 2-8:
Monday: AM – PFT Work & PM – Heavy Ruck
Tuesday: AM – Strength/Core
Wednesday: AM – Work Capacity & PM – Run or Work Cap
Thursday: AM – Run or Work Cap
Friday: AM – Work Cap or Rest
Saturday: AM – Long Ruck
Saturday Long Rucks
You’ll work up to 18 miles at 60# Ruck plus a 10# rubber rifle, sledge hammer or dumbbell.
The plan includes 5 specific assessments, and follow-on progressions. You’ll take these assessments multiple times over the 8 weeks:
- SFAS PFT – Max Hand Release Arms Extended Push Ups (2 minutes), Max Pull ups and 2 Mile Run
- 2 Part Work Cap Assessment – 10 min Sandbag Getups @ 80# for reps, Interval 25m Shuttles for Reps
- 10 Mile Heavy Ruck for Time – 60# Ruck, 10lb Rubber Rifle or Sledge Hammer, Full Cammies/Boots, Helmet
- 6 Mile Run for Time, shorts and t-shirt
- Multi Modal Work Cap for Time
During this train-up every number of repetitions you perform is based on the number of repetitions you completed during your latest SFAS PFT , 25m 60/60 Shuttle Interval for reps, and 10 min Sandbag Getups @ 80# for Reps.
The programming methodology utilizes your most recent assessment scores to determine the reps/intensity of the progressions. In this way the plan automatically “scales” to your incoming fitness, and continues to push you as your fitness improves.
RUN/RUCK INVERVAL CALCULATORS
The training plan includes scaled paces for your runs, and heavy rucks. These paces are based on your assessment results from the heavy ruck, 2-mile APFT run, and 6-mile run. You’ll take these assessments 3 times throughout the plan. Use your latest assessment results for the subsequent training sessions.
We use interval training to train your run and rucking fitness. The interval distances are shorter, and pace faster than your latest assessment pace.
HEAVY RUCK RUCK, IBA RUN, RUN, UNIFORMS
- 10 Mile Heavy Ruck Assessment and 2-Mile Repeats – Full cammies, boots, helmet, 10 pound rubber rifle, sledge hammer, or dumbbell, 60# ruck plus water
- 6-Mile Run, 2-Mile Run and their interval repeats – Shorts, t-shirt, sneakers
- Long Saturday Rucks – Full cammies, boots, helmet, 10 pound rubber rifle, sledge hammer, or dumbbell, 60# ruck plus water
Use this training plan to get your rucking dialed – including boots, pack loading (weight high instead of low seems to help), pacing, nutrition, and hydration dialed. Ruck in the same boots you’ll take to selection. Refuel the same way you’ll refuel at selection, etc. One tip for the Heavy Rucks – run the entire time if possible (some can). If not, – Run 3 Minutes, Walk 1-3 Minutes can help you keep on pace. Also, work to increase the frequency of short strides to increase speed, rather than stretching out your stride.
What equipment is needed to complete this program?
- Stop Watch with Repeating Countdown Timer – Timex Ironman is best.
- 60 and 80# Sandbags
- ALICE Ruck or same ruck you will use at selection, 60# of filler, 10# Rubber Rifle (No rifle? Use a 10 lb sledge hammer or a 10# dumbbell)
- Pair of 25# Dumbbells
- Pull up Bar
- Known course distances for 10 miles, 2 miles, 6 miles, 3 miles and 1 mile for your run and ruck assessments and intervals.
- Repeating countdown interval timer – smartphone application will work
- Highly Recommended – GPS Watch for your long Saturday rucks
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 have less then 8 weeks before I start the Selection Course?
Still start at the beginning of this training plan anyway. Don’t skip ahead.
What if I can’t handle the training volume at first?
Building stamina and reslience is a key training goal of this plan, and physical and mental stamina is also key to completing the Selection course. If you can’t handle the training volume at first, its better to cut training sessions short, rather than take unscheduled rest days.
What if I can’t make the prescribed reps for the bodyweight exercises, or the prescribed interval times for the rucks or runs?
Do your best, and be sure to do the total number of rounds, even if you can’t make the reps or the time. Don’t quit.
How do you count reps for Sandbag Getups and 25m Shuttle Intervals?
Sandbag Getups – The prescribed rep count is total reps, so 50x Sandbag Getups at 60# sandbag = 50x total reps, 25x each shoulder. 25m Shuttle Intervals – Every length = 1 rep. So each round trip = 2x reps. Only full lengths count.
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 print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.
More Questions? Email: email@example.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.
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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.
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→ 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.
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→ 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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– 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.
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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.
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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
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Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
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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.
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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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?