SF45 Alpha


  • 7 Week, 6 Day/Week Training Plan designed for tactical and other high impact athletes ages 45-55 years old.
  • Plan concurrently trains gym-based heavy strength, chassis integrity, endurance, work capacity and chassis integrity.
  • This training plan is one of the 190+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


“SF45” is an acronym for “Strength and Fitness 45” and this programming is designed for older tactical and other high impact athletes in the 45-55 age range.

SF45 Alpha is the first of a series of 4 training plans in this collection – Bravo, Charlie and Delta are the other 3 plans in this series.All four plans can be purchased together in a packet, HERE

SF45 Alpha is a 7-week, 6 day/week training plan with an emphasis on endurance. Week 7 in the plan is an unload/re-assessment week.

This is the first version of this plan, published May 2017.


SF45 Programming has the following general characteristics:

Heavy, Low Volume Strength – think heavy barbel and 1-3 reps per set. The goal is to increase or maintain relative strength (strength per bodyweight) in the most efficient manner possible. Some SF45 cycles will feature bodyweight strength training, but none will include moderately loaded free weight strength training in the 5-12 reps per set range. This is to avoid unnecessary joint impact.

Endurance – Recreationally, most activities for athletes in this age range are outside and have a strong endurance component – biking, hunting, trail running, hiking, alpine climbing, etc. As well, for experienced athletes who’ve spent decades throwing iron around in gyms, the appeal of training inside wanes. Endurance programming includes assessment based intervals at a threshold pace, long distance intervals at an easy pace, and gym-based endurance training. This programming may include rucking and ruck running, as well as loaded step ups.

Chassis Integrity – MTI’s mid-section training methodology aims at building transferable mid-section strength and strength endurance. Four movements are emphasized: Rotation, Anti-Rotation, Total Body and Extension. Chassis Integrity can be trained in focused circuits, as well as in complementary gym-based endurance events.

Non-high Impact Work Capacity – In this age group, gone are the days of hard, intense, high impact multi-modal gym-based work capacity programming. For day to day training, the interest and need for this type of fitness is not worth the joint impact. Work capacity training is limited to lower impact gym exercises and shuttle sprints.

Deep Squat Avoidance – For our over-40 lab rats, it’s nearly impossible to do heavy back or front squats without limited joint pain. Lower body strength training in these cycles will focus on lunges, hinge lifts and bodyweight or lightly loaded complexes.

Here is the weekly schedule for SF45 Alpha:

  • Mon: Heavy Total Body Barbell Strength, Gym-Based Endurance
  • Tue: Heavy Upper Body Strength, Low-Back Focused Chassis Integrity, Shuttle Sprints
  • Wed: 6 Mile Running Assessment or 2-Mile Threshold Repeats
  • Thu: Heavy Leg Strength (lunges), Gym-Based Endurance
  • Fri: Long, Easy Run/Trail Run
  • Sat: Athletes Choice: Long, Easy Run/Trail Run or Endurance Mode of Choice

Common Questions:

Who is this plan appropriate for?
Experienced tactical and other high-impact athletes age 40-55. This plan includes olympic and functional fitness exercises and knowing your way around a weight room will easy your learning curve for the programming. 

How long should I rest between Strength Circuits?
The strength circuits each have stretch or durability exercise. Consider this your rest between rounds. There is no- rest between circuits more then what is required to change equipment and load barbells. Understand the strength circuits not mini CrossFit-like WODs. Work briskly, not frantically.

How long with the Training Sessions take?
60-120 Minutes. Gym work is designed to take 60-70 minutes. Endurance days will extend to 120 minutes. 

What does “4/8x” mean? How about “15/25#”?
First number is for women, second is for men, both for reps, and loading. Examples:
4/8x Chin Ups = Women do 4x, Men do 8x
15/25# = Women us 15#, Men us 25#.

What does “Grind” mean?
We use this term to describe the pace for your gym-based endurance efforts. In this training plan, these multi-modal circuits extend to 30 minutes and we want athletes to work through them steadily, not frantically. Effort is moderate, not threshold.

What Equipment is Required?

  • Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including barbells/dumbells, plates, bumpers, rack, bench, plyo boxes, sandbag (40/60/80 pound)
  • Stop watch with countdown interval timer.
  • Optional – GPS running watch to make finding running distance easy

What if I miss a training day?
Ideally, you will train 6 days in a row, and take 1 full days off for rest. If for some reason miss a session,  do not skip ahead. Start again where you left off and complete the sessions in order throughout the plan.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run Calculator is listed as an exercise.

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.

More Questions? Email coach@mtntactical.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.

Required Equipment

What Equipment is Required?

  • Fully-equipped functional fitness gym including barbells/dumbells, plates, bumpers, rack, bench, plyo boxes, sandbag (40/60/80 pound)

  • Stop watch with countdown interval timer.

  • Optional - GPS running watch to make finding running distance easy

Sample Training

Below is Week 1 from this training plan:




Obj: Strength, Gym-Based Endurance

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • Barbell Complex @ 45/65#

  • Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds

  • 2x Power Clean + Push Press - increase load each round until 2x is hard, but doable

  • 2/5x Pull Ups

  • Hip Flexor Stretch


(2) 20 Minute Grind

  • 4x Sandbag Getup and Run @ 40/60#

  • 20x Box Jumps @ 20”

(3) Foam Roll Legs/Low Back




Obj: Strength, Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity

Warm up:

4 Rounds

  • 8x Bench Press - Men start at 95# and add 10# each warm up round. Women start at 45# and add 10# each warm up round

  • 10x Goblet Squats @ 12kg

  • Instep Stretch

  • 5x Shoulder Dislocate


(1) 8 Rounds

  • 3x Bench Press - increase load each round until 3x is hard, but doable

  • 4/8x Chin Ups

  • Lat + Pec Stretch


(2) 6 Rounds

150m Shuttle Sprint every 1:15

(3) 12 Minute Grind

  • 8x Good Mornings @ 45/75#

  • 15/15 Standing Founder

  • 8x Ab Wheel

  • 15/15 Kneeling Founder

(4) Foam Roll Legs/Low Back




Obj: Endurance

Warm up:

4 Rounds

  • 10x Squats

  • 10x Push Ups

  • Run 100m

  • Instep Stretch


(1) Run 6 Miles for Time





Obj: Strength, Gym-Based Endurance

Warm Up:

4 Rounds

  • 5x In-Place Lunge @ 45/65# (barbell)

  • 3x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#

  • Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds

  • 2x In Place Lunge with Barbeel- increase load each round until 2x is hard, but doable

  • 2/5x Mixed Grip Pull Ups

  • Pigeon Stretch


(2) 20 Minute Grind

  • 6x Sandbag Burpee @ 40/60#

  • 3x Keg Lift @ 40/60#

  • 50m Shuttle with sandbag (down 25m, back 25m)

(3) Foam Roll Legs/Low Back




Obj: Endurance


(1) Run 7 Miles at the “Easy Per Mile” pace using Session 3’s 6-Mile Run Assessment and the MTI Running Calculator




Obj: Endurance


Athlete’s Choice:

(1) Run 9 Miles at the “Easy Per Mile” pace using Session 3’s 6-Mile Run Assessment and the MTI Running Calculator

Or ….

(1) 90 Minutes of Endurance of Choice …. swimming, cycling, rowing, hiking, etc.

Easy pace. Easy = you can speak in full sentences

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.

Email: rob@mtntactical.com


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 coach@mtntactical.com.

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?
Email rob@mtntactical.com


"Just completed SF45 ALPHA-HOTEL.  Took awhile and - at age 60 with 2
artificial hips - it was a great push - challenged me and pissed me
off but was great (cannot ask for more than that).  Took a week in
between programs and will am heading for HUMILITY soon. Cannot state
enough how fortunate I am to have been with you and MTN TACTICAL for
years now.  You continually garner my admiration for the relentless
pursuit of the best programs over a range for professionals.  I did 38
years active duty in the Marine Corps and over 60 months of combat and
2 hard rehabs from wounds/injuries.  Your programs have always -
ALWAYS - been in the core of my daily ethos."
Show More

Athlete’s Subscription Package

Sign Up

This Plan is one of 200+ plans included in the Athlete’s Subscription.