Ultimate Work Capacity I


  • 7-Week, 6 day/week training plan purposely build to increase an athlete’s single and multi-mode work capacity
  • Includes single mode (running, rucking, step-up) intervals as well as gym-based, multi-mode events
  • Events span 5-30 minutes in duration.
  • Also includes Chassis Integrity work and 1 day of endurance.
  • This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


Intense bouts of cardiorespiratory and muscular stress at high, but sub-maximal levels best mirror the most dangerous tactical and mountain situations.

We call this type of fitness “work capacity.”

Everything comes together during an intense Work Capacity Effort:

      • Aerobic base
      • Sprint cardio
      • Raw strength
      • Strength endurance
      • Mental Fitness

Work capacity efforts, both in the field and in the gym, can be single mode (one exercise i.e. sprinting) or multi-mode (2 or more exercises … i.e. lift/sprint/jump, repeat.)

Tactical Mission-Direct Work Capacity Event Examples:

  • Sprint/Fireman’s Carry Injured Teammate 400m
  • Sprint/Stop/Shoot, Sprint/Stop/Shoot firefight
  • Extended, Forceful Suspect Apprehension and/or Hand to Hand Combat
  • Emergency Fireline Construction/Sprint uphill to ridge safety for Wildland Firefighters
  • Fire suppression in a super hot, very confined space for Urban Firefighters

Mountain Mission-Direct Work Capacity Event Examples:

  • Carrying an injured climbing partner to safety
  • Uphill sprinting/skinning to avoid worsening conditions
  • Mountaineering Rescue
  • Avalanche Rescue

Event Duration Variation
In terms of strength and conditioning program design, the duration of the work capacity events, and the modes/exercises deployed are important.

At MTI, we limit our work capacity event durations to 40 minutes. This is an artificial limit needed for structure and progression. In general, we feel fit athletes can burn hot for a max of 40 minutes, before pacing is required and the event changes from work capacity to endurance.

Programming various event durations below this 40-minute threshold is also important. Anecdotally, we’ve found programming all work capacity events for the same duration can create a “training scar” for athletes, which can affect performance when faced with shorter or longer events. For example, if we only program 10-minute work capacity events, we found our athletes don’t go hard enough when given a 5-minute event, and go too hard for a 30-minute event. Event duration variation helps prevent this.

Ultimate Work Capacity I deploys events of multiple durations …. 5 minute, 9 minute, 15 minute, 20 minute and 30-40 minute.

Modes which Transfer to the Mountain and Battlefield
All that matters is outside performance. On the fitness side, MTI aims to design programming which transfers to the mountain and battlefield.

In terms of work capacity, the “modes” or exercises, we chose for our events need to reflect the activities/challenges mountain and tactical athletes would likely face during the real thing. As a result, you’ll see an emphasis on sprinting/running, step ups, and other modes we feel transfer well in this cycle. 

Program Details
Ultimate Work Capacity I cycle brings together many of our most proven work capacity events for mountain and tactical athletes into a single, focused cycle, and is a response to athletes who express an interest in this type of plan.

This is a very intense, 6 day/week, 7-week training plan for a total of 42x training sessions (week 7 is an assessment/unload week) It is designed for fit athletes, who want to spend several weeks focused on training work capacity.



  • Monday: Work Capacity (Run or Ruck 800m Repeats, Bodyweight work capacity)
  • Tuesday: Work Capacity (Lift + Run/Step Ups), Chassis Integrity Grind
  • Wednesday: Work Capacity (Single Mode), Step Up Intervals
  • Thursday: Work Capacity (Lift + Run/Step Ups), Chassis Integrity Grind
  • Friday: Work Capacity (Short, Lift + Burpees), Shuttle Sprints
  • Saturday: Easy Distance Run



  • Fully-Equipped functional fitness gym including barbells, bumper plates, plyo boxes, sandbags (40# women, 60# men), kettlebells/dumbbells.
  • Track or course for a 1.5 mile ruck run or running assessment and 800m repeats.
  • Parking lot, field, park, etc. for 25m shuttle sprints.



How can I be sure I’m fit enough for this plan?
This is an intense training plan, appropriate for fit athletes. Is it right for you? The way to test is to complete the Week’s worth of Sample Training under the Sample Training Tab.

I tried the sample training and got smoked. What should I do?
Option (1): continue with the plan, but take a day’s full rest between sessions for a week or two. Option (2) Start our stuff with the Bodyweight Foundation Training Plan. Then come back to this plan.

I looked at the Sample Training and found many exercises I didn’t recognize…..? 
Unfamiliar Exercises can be found HERE at our Exercise Library.

I’ve never done this type of training!
This will be quite an adventure for you!! It will take a couple weeks to understand our language, learn the exercises and follow the training session flow. Don’t get frustrated and quit. Be patient and consistent. It’ll come and open up a whole new world of training methodology for you.

I don’t have a sandbag. What can I substitute? 
Nothing. Be resourceful and build a sandbag.

I’m in the military. Should I actually run during the ruck 1.5 mile assessment and 800m intervals.
Yes. Run with your ruck.

I’m female soldier. Should I still use a 45# ruck?

What does 40/60# mean?
The first number is female loading. The second is male loading. Same is true for reps … so 4/8x Pull Ups = 4x for women, 8x for men.

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: 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

Equipment Needed:

  • Fully-Equipped functional fitness gym including barbells, bumper plates, plyo boxes, sandbags (40# women, 60# men), kettlebells/dumbbells.

  • Track or course for a 1.5 mile ruck run or running assessment and 800m repeats.

  • Parking lot, field, park, etc. for 25m shuttle sprints.

Sample Training

Below is Week 1 from this Training Plan:




Obj: Work Capacity

Warm Up:

  • 4 Rounds
  • 5x Walking Lunges
  • 10x Push Ups
  • 10x Sit Ups
  • Instep Stretch


(1) Run 1.5 Miles for Time


(1) Ruck Run 1.5 Miles for Time @ 45# Plus 10# Dumbbell or Sledge Hammer


(2) For Time:

  • 200m Bodyweight Rob Shauls for Time

Part (1) - It’s up to the athlete if you want to run the 1.5 mile assessment unloaded, or ruck run it @45# plus a 10# sledge or dumbbell. Military/SWAT/Wildland? - You should ruck run.




Obj: Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity

Warm up:

3 Rounds

  • 10x Hinge Lift @ 65/95#
  • 20x Step Ups @ 20”
  • 10x Push Ups
  • Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds

  • 10x Hinge Lift @ 95/135#
  • 50x Step Ups @ 20”
  • Rest 30 Seconds

(2) 20 Minute Grind…

  • 6x Cauldron @ 10#
  • 3x Keg Lift @ 40/60# Sandbag
  • 15/15 Standing Founder
  • 6x Sandbag Get Up @ 40/60#

(3) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back




Obj: Work Capacity

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • 5x 1-Arm Kettlebell/Dumbbell Clean + Push Press or Snatch (your choice) @12/16kg
  • 10x Push Ups
  • 10x Goblet Squats @ 12kg
  • Instep Stretch
  • 5x Dislocate


(1) 4 Rounds

  • 5 Min 1-Arm Kettlebell/Dumbbell Clean + Press or Snatch @ 12/20kg. (Alternate Arms Every 3-5 Reps)
  • 1 Minute Rest

(2) 18 Minutes Step Ups for Reps @ 25# Pack or Weight Vest

- Use 15-17” bench or step





Obj: Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • 5x Power Cleans @ 65/95#
  • 10x Push Ups
  • 10x EO’s
  • Instep Stretch


(1) 17 Rounds, Every Minute on the Minute ....

  • Rounds 1-5: 5x Power Clean @ 85/115#, then 5x Burpees
  • Rest Round 6
  • Rounds 7-11: 5x Power Clean @ 85/115#, then 5x Burpees
  • Rest Round 12
  • Rounds 13-17: 5x Power Clean @ 85/115#, then 5x Burpees

(2) 20 Minute Grind…

  • 6x Cauldron @ 10#
  • 3x Keg Lift @ 40/60# Sandbag
  • 15/15 Standing Founder
  • 6x Sandbag Get Up @ 40/60#

(3) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back




Obj: Work Capacity

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

  • 5x Scotty Bob # 15/25#
  • 5x Box Jump @ 20”
  • Run 100m
  • Instep Stretch

(1) 6 Rounds for Time

  • 5x Renegade Man Makers @ 15/25#
  • 5x Box Jumps @ 24”
  • Run 200m

(2) 8 Rounds, Every 1:40…

  • 6x 25m Shuttle

Faster you finish your shuttles, the more rest you get before the next round.

(3) Foam Roll Legs/Low Back


Part (2) - set a countdown timer for 1 min, 40 seconds. On “go” sprint back and forth between 2x cones set 25m (82 ft) apart. Touch the line at each turn. 6x lengths = 3x Round Trips.




Obj: Endurance


(1) Run 5 Miles at “Easy Per Mile Pace” using SESSION 1’s 1.5-Mile Run Time and the Running Interval Calculator

Or … if you completed a 1.5 mile Ruck Run assessment for SESSION 1,

(1) Ruck Run Run 5 Miles at “Easy Per Mile Pace” using SESSION 1’s 1.5-Mile Ruck Time and the Ruck Interval Calculator.

Ruck @45# Plus 10# Dumbbell or Sledge Hammer

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


I just completed your Ultimate Work Capacity program last week. I've been training online with Atomic Athlete for about 5 years now, and love their training, but was looking for something new to switch it up. I'm in a bit of a no mans land  for a training purpose, and thought your work capacity program would be a fun kick in the pants.

A bit about my background if it pertains to the results from the program:

Male, 31, 6'0" 160lbs, military athlete. Life long cross country/track athlete, backpacker, been lifting consistently with some on/off since about 2013, made most of my strength gains in the last couple years. Definitely more of an aerobic endurance athlete, but I like to try and stay well rounded. If you need more data on me for how the program affected me, happy to provide anything to give you guys the feedback you need.


1.5 mile ruck:

Week 1 - 14:06

Week 2 - 12:46

Week 3 - 11:40

25lb 16" step ups max in 18:00

Week 1 - 512

Week 2 - 546

Week 3 - 584 (was on pace for 600 but ate it over the box at about 550 and took a while to recover and couldn't make up time)

Overall, the program was definitely as advertised. It was nice to work with a new gym/program, so I could hold myself accountable to sticking exactly to every workout and set and rep. It felt like my improvement in ruck run and step ups came from being able to handle the mental stress of hammering out a workout at a high intensity, more so than my body adapting to it. I did feel stronger with the ruck run, step ups, and sandbag movements in the end, but overall I think my mental ability improved more than my physical ability, which is always fine with me.

The amount of clean related movements were a bit too much for me, but that's because I haven't worked that in forever. I came to enjoy the single arm clean and press kettle bell workouts, but going back to back to back days with some form of either barbell, kettlebell, or sandbag clean came to be too much for me. I was getting shooting nerve pain down both arms on the barbell clean days and had to switch it up with heavy medball cleans or over the shoulder throws. Additionally, doing a longer ruck on Saturday and then ruck intervals on Monday wasn't ideal, but I also understand doing the longer effort on Saturday is more doable on a weekend for most athletes, myself included. The 800m repeats for ruck runs were brutal, but I did feel they helped me complete the final ruck run test without stopping to walk by the end of the program. Also noticed there wasn't a difference between the rucking calculator and the running calculator for spitting out times and paces, but I had a hard time myself figuring out how to adjust for overall load and intensity of ruck running, so fair to say that's a harder problem to solve. I kept track of all the other sets that weren't for time, just to see if I improved throughout the program, and I did. I enjoyed the 20 minute grinds, it was a great way to get in other work without it feeling monotonous.

This program was a great introduction to how you guys do business, and I'm already planning on purchasing the Ranger School Training Packet. I'm actually in the Air Force, but have been trying to get the OK to attend Ranger school for the last 3+ years now. We have our own Ranger Prep, known as RAC, similar to SURT and run by RI's from the Lightning Academy on Oahu, that we have to attend and be selected from, before attending Ranger school. Currently they haven't run classes because of Covid, but the word is the next class will be in October/November, roughly 6-7 months from now. I see the training packet is 42 weeks long, which is longer than the period I have to train, so I'm wondering which program I should start with. Is the work capacity similar enough to military on ramp, or should I start with on ramp, continue with the programs in between, and once I know a solid date for selection, start the specific Ranger School training plan? I would be excited to start with Humility, the idea of getting back in the gym is appealing, but I'm open to your suggestion of what I should start with.



I am deployed right now and currently about to start week 6 of the Ultimate Work Capacity Program 1. I was a little worried at first that I wasn’t making very much progress, then we did a hero WOD for one of our soldiers that was killed on this deployment and I crushed it! I was really happy with how well I was about to keep my pace throughout the entirety of the WOD. Coming up on the last two weeks of the program I am already researching which one I want to do next!
Show More

Athlete's Subscription Package

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