Smokejumper Selection Training Plan


• 8 week plan
• Prepares athlete for Smokejumper Rookie Training Course
• High Intensity, including 6 days/week, three 2-a-day sessions
• Work capacity, smoke sessions, running & rucking, overall durability, stamina
• This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


The following is a sport-specific 8-week program specifically designed to prepare athletes for the Smokejumper Rookie Training Course. The plan includes a 1-week taper, and is designed to be completed the 8 weeks directly prior to your training start week.

This is a very intense program that includes training 6-day a week, with three 2-a-day training sessions per week. It contains high levels of volume and stress. The intensity of this training plan reflects the volume and intensity of Rookie Training. 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. The plan has 48 total Training Sessions.

This plan is “sport specific” to the specific fitness demands you’ll face at Rookie Training – specifically work capacity “smoke sessions,” running and rucking (moving with additional weight . It aims to build your “combat chassis” – legs, core, lungs and heart, overall durability, and endurance/stamina for long days on your feet, in kit, during selection.

The plan includes:

  • Focused Testing and progressive training for the Smokejumper PFT, including the heavy pack-out rucks
  • Work Capacity Smokers 2-3x/week
  • Sandbag Getups for work capacity, mental fitnes, and core strength
  • Intense core, mobility, and stabilizer strength training for durability
  • Upper body strength
  • Multi-modal run events with and without weight
  • Intense “mini events” to prepare you for the long days



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 log in 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? Email:



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

  • GPS-enabled Watch. A GPS enabled watch will make measuring run and ruck distances much easier, as well as maintaining required pacing. We like the Garmin Forerunner 10 or Foreunner 15.

  • Stop Watch with repeating countdown timer. We like Timex Ironman watches for easy repeating countdown timers

  •  40#/60# and 60#/80# Sandbag. Females use 40# and 60#; Males use 60# and 80#. We sell sandbags here ( or you can use any old duffle bag. Wood Pellets or mulch made from ground up tires make great filler.

  • ALICE Ruck or same ruck you will use at selection, up to 110# of filler

  • 10# Rubber Rifle, sledge hammer, tool, or dumbbell. You’ll carry this while rucking.

  •  Pair of 25# Dumbbells

  • Foam Roller

  • Step-up Bench (15-18 inches)

  • Pull-up bar

  • 24” Box/Bench/Platform

Sample Training

Obj: PFT Work
Warm up:
3 Rounds:
8x Squats
8x Push-Ups
8x Sit-Ups
Instep Stretch


(1) 4 Rounds, every 60 sec.
30% of max reps Pull-ups,
Max reps Pull-ups in 60 sec.

(2) 4 Rounds, every 60 sec.
30% of max reps Push-ups
Max reps Push-ups in 60 sec

(3) 4 Rounds, every 60 sec.
30% of max reps Sit-ups
Max reps Sit-ups in 60 sec.

(4) 4 Rounds, every 60 sec.
30% of max reps Lunges
Max reps Lunges in 60 sec.

(5) 2 Rounds
Run 800m at Interval Pace based on 1.5-mile Run Time
Rest 3 Minutes between runs

PM Session:
Obj: Long Run Work

(1) 3 Rounds
Run 2-mile interval at Interval Pace based on 8-mile Run Time
Rest 5 Minutes between runs

AM Session:
Obj: Work Capacity

3 Rounds:

Run 200m
10x Air Squats
10x Sit-ups
Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds - one every 90 seconds:
10% of max reps Sandbag Get-ups with 60/80# Sandbag from SESSION 3 results

(2) 20 Rounds for time in a 45# pack or weight vest:
30x Step-ups
Run 100m

(3) 3 Rounds
5x Ankle to Bar
10x EOs
60 sec. Sandbag Farmer’s Carry - 40/60#


PM Session:
Obj: Heavy Pack-out Work

(1) Ruck 3.5 miles for time on a flat course with 110# rucksack.

Obj: Long Run

(1) Run 9 miles at Long Run Pace (pace per mile) based on 8-mile Run Assessment.

(2) 2 Rounds

Shoulder Blaster
Hip Flexor + Pigeon Stretch
Foam Roll legs and low back

AM Session:
Obj: PFT Work

Warm up:
3 Rounds

8x Squats
8x Push-Ups
8x Sit-Ups
Instep Stretch


(1) 4 Rounds, every 60 sec.
35% of max reps Pull-ups,
Max reps Pull-ups in 60 sec.

(2) 4 Rounds, every 60 sec.
35% of max reps Push-ups
Max reps Push-ups in 60 sec

(3) 4 Rounds, every 60 sec.
35% of max reps Sit-ups
Max reps Sit-ups in 60 sec.

(4) 4 Rounds, every 60 sec.
35% of max reps Lunges
Max reps Lunges in 60 sec.

(5) 3 Rounds
Run 800m at Interval Pace based on 1.5-mile Run Time
Rest 3 Minutes between runs

PM Session:
Obj: Light Pack-out Assessment


(1) Ruck 7 miles for time over hilly terrain with 85# rucksack.

AM Session:
Obj: Work Capacity

3 Rounds

Run 200m
5x Walking Lunges
10x Sit-ups
Instep Stretch


(1) As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 min of:
3x Sandbag Craig Specials - 40/60#
5x Burpees
10x Lunges
15x Sit-ups

(2) 2 Rounds
Shoulder Blasters
Instep Stretch
Foam Roll Legs/Low Back
Lat + Pec Stretch
Foam Roll Upper Back

(3) 8 Rounds
1x Depth Drop from 24” Box (Land softly as possible, knees bent, butt back)
Instep Complex


Obj: 2-hour Mini-Event

(1) Run 5 miles in 40 minutes

(2) 3 Rounds
10x Push-ups
20x Air Squats
10x In-Place Lunges

(3) 5 Rounds
Run 1 mile in 8 minutes
20x Sit-ups
20x Flutter Kicks
20x Air Squats

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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 just wanted to write and commend you guys for doing such an amazing job with your programs. I'm a smokejumper in the Pacific Northwest and in 2018 I used your smokejumper selection program to get ready for rookie training. It completely made me ready for the grueling process that we went through. As much as it made me physically ready for training, it also gave me the confidence to make it through the hard days knowing that I had trained thoroughly and properly for what they would -and did- throw at us. Directly speaking, when the going got tough I knew I could crank out set after set of push-ups and scissor kicks (etc) because I had trained for that exact moment. I've only known two others who used the program and all three of us passed. After recently witnessing a candidate break at the end of week one of his training, he admitted he was not ready although he thought he had worked hard enough leading up to it. He asked in a defeated tone what I had done years prior and all I could tell him was "Mountain tactical, smokejumper selection" it's too late for him now but I try and spread the word that this program works. Thanks again from all of those who made it."




"Coach Shaul -

I moved to Jackson Wyoming for one reason; to train with a purpose.

After becoming a Lab Rat at Mountain Athlete I was able to train hard for my upcoming Smokejumper Rookie Training. Not only did your team help guide me in the right direction, the knowledge and skill level that was provided was absolutely incredible.

I saw unbelievable results within the first month and an increase in physical fitness each week of every operator session.

After switching to the Smokejumper Training Program, I saw obvious improvement in my fitness scores and rucking capabilities. The focus in mental and physical toughness helped to ready me for my upcoming Smokejumper Selection and played a significant role in my success.

With hard work and trust in your programming I was able to fulfill a lifelong goal and solidify a career that will take me long into the future. I will no doubt continue to incorporate operator programming into my morning PT sessions and help pass along the word to fellow jumpers and firefighters that I meet.

I have already introduced the first sandbag to our gym's collection. As a rookie I'm not sure if I've been thanked hated for that.

Thank you again for all of your hard work and dedication to the success of performance in the field.

Grant Davis
Redmond Smokejumpers"
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