Sandbag/Weight Vest/Dumbbell Training Plan


  • Intense, 7-week, 5 day/week cycle which concurrently train strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, and endurance.
  • Designed for athletes with limited equipment
  • This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.



This is an intense, 7-week, 5 day/week cycle which concurrently trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity, and endurance. This limited equipment training plan uses a 25# Weight Vest, Sandbag (40 or 60-pound), Pair of Dumbbells (15 or 25 pounds), and Pull Up Bar.

This is Version 2 of the Plan, Updated July 2019


The Sandbag/Weight Vest/Dumbbell Training Plan trains strength in two ways: (1) a 4-exercise assessment and follow-on progressions, and; (2) Complex training which combines a strength exercise with a fast/explosive bodyweight exercise which deploys the same muscles and movement patterns.

Work Capacity
Trained via 20-minute, multi-modal events, and through the MTI Tactical Athlete Work Capacity Assessment and follow-on progressions.

Chassis Integrity
You’ll complete 10-15 minute TRE Circuits 2 times per week. TRE circuits deploy a Rotation, Total and Extension core exercise in the same circuit.

Trained two ways: (1) 1.5-Mile Running Assessment wearing a 25# Weight Vest and follow-on 800m intervals based on your most recent assessment results, and; (2) 2-3 mile moderate-paced unloaded run.


  • Monday – Strength
  • Tuesday – Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity
  • Wednesday – Endurance
  • Thursday – Strength, Chassis Integrity
  • Friday – Work Capacity, Endurance


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.

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

How do I access the plan?
Access is online, via username and password. You can login 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.

More Questions?


Required Equipment

  • 25 pound Weight Vest

  • Sandbag (40 or 60-pound)

  • Pair of Dumbbells (15 or 25 pounds)

  • Pull Up Bar

Sample Training

Below is the entire first week of this plan.





Obj: Strength Assessment

Warm up:

5 Rounds

5x In-Place Lunges

5x Hand Release Push ups

1x Pull Up

Instep Stretch

Lat + Pec Stretch


(1) Max Rep In-Place Lunges in 90 seconds wearing 25# Weight Vest


*** Rest 2-3 Minutes

(2) Max Rep Hand Release Push ups in 90 Seconds wearing 25# Weight Vest


*** Rest 2-3 Minutes

(3) Max Rep Pull Up wearing 25# Weight Vest.

Can't do 1x rep wearing the vest? Pull it and do a Max Rep Pull Ups Unloaded.


*** Rest 2-3 Minutes and take off the weight vest

(4) 10 Minute Sandbag Getups for Reps @ 40/60# Sandbag


(5) Foam Roll Complex





Obj: Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity

Warm up:

4 Rounds

10 Squats

8x Hand Release Push ups

4x Prone to Sprint

Instep Stretch


(1) 20 Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible)

3x Sandbag Squat Thrust @ 40/60#

75m Shuttle (down 25m, back 25m, down 25m)

Walk Back to Start

(2) 5 Round Grind ...

3x Sandbag Cross Clean @ 40/60#

5x Kneeling Slasher to Halo @ 15/25# Dumbbell

5x Dumbbell Crawl @ 15/25#

"Grind" = work steadily, not franticly

(3) 2 Rounds

HUG - Hip Mobility Drill





Obj: Endurance Assessment

Warm Up:

4 Rounds

10x Squats

10x Push Ups

Run 50m

Instep Stretch


(1) Run 1.5 Miles for Time Wearing 25# Weight Vest






Obj: Strength, Chassis Integrity

Warm up:

3 Rounds

Sandbag Complex @ 40/60#

3x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#

Instep Stretch

Lat + Pec Stretch


(1) 6 Rounds

3x Sandbag Craig Special @ 40/60#, then immediately ...

1x Squat Jump with Sandbag

Pigeon Stretch

** Don weight vest if the Craig Specials are easy

(2) 6 Rounds

5x Sandbag Walking Lunge @ 40/60# Sandbag, then immediately ....

1x Jumping Lunge

Toe Touch Complex

** Don weight vest if the Walking Lunges are easy

(3) 6 Rounds

5x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#

3/6x Chin Ups

Lat + Pec Stretch

** Don weight vest if the Scotty Bobs and Chin Ups are easy

(4) 4 Round Grind ...

10x Sandbag Good Morning @ 40/60#

15/15 Standing Founder

15/15 Kneeling Founder

"Grind" = work steadily, not franticly

(5) Foam Roll Complex





Obj: Work Capacity Assessment, Endurance

Warm up:

4 Rounds

5x Push Ups

5x Walking Lunges

Run 25m

Instep Stretch


(1) MTI Tactical Athlete Work Capacity Assessment


(2) Run 2 Miles, unloaded, moderate pace

"Moderate" = comfortable but not easy


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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?


"I am in Week 4 into your Sandbag/Weight Vest/Dumbbell Training Plan, and I have noticed a significant improvement in my functional fitness, stamina, and endurance. I originally purchased this routine as a substitute for gym strength training since my college’s gym is always full and desire to continue strength training with limited equipment. I have been using the training plan, on top of the USMC PFT Plan, to improve my PFT score and functional fitness, taking up between 1-2 hours a day for SSD/Military Athlete training. As a result, I have more energy, I am mentally stronger, and my recovery time from PT has dramatically reduced. The training sessions on Mondays and Fridays end up being Two-a-Days with my college’s OCS Preparation program, yet I have noticed a dramatic difference in my physical and mental performance and injury prevention during the grueling 1.5-2 hour PT sessions, thanks to your plans. I am looking forward to continue using this plan in addition to purchasing other plans that require limited or no use of equipment."
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