Q&A 9-3-14 - Mountain Tactical Institute (2024)

QUESTION:

Hello Rob,

I am a US Marine (Military Police), and am 6’2”, 255lbs at about 14% BF. I have been following your youtube videos for awhile now and have been extremely interested in your programming. To date I have only completed your run improvement plan and saw some pretty solid results. Dropped my PFT run by 1:30. I want to try one of your training packets and I have my eye on the rookie training packet. I have been lifting for years but mostly basic bodybuilding lifts. My main goals are to develop a solid foundation to build off of, improve Olympic lifting technique and increase mobility and flexibility. I think that your rookie training plan will meet my goals. Am I in the right ballpark?

Also, since I have already purchased the run improvement plan, will I still pay the full price for the rookie training plan? Thanks for the advice.

Respectfully,

T

ANSWER

Hi T-

The Rookie Packet would work (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=128), but I can’t give you a deal because you’ve already purchased the Run Improvement Plan. You could also purchase the plans separately and safe money that way.

A better plan would be to jump into a more intense plan with a strong work capacity focus. From the military side, I’d recommend the 369 Work Capacity Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=134). On the law enforcement side, you could complete the Patrol Officer Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=134) fromleathlete.com.

– Rob

QUESTION

Just wondering the equipment needed for the On Ramp beginner plan so I know if i have to get a gym membership or not. Thanks

-T

ANSWER

Hi T-

You need access for to a fully equipped gym – so yes, you’ll need a gym membership.

– Rob

QUESTION

Hi Rob-

I plan on attending the Marine Corp Basic Recon Course in July of 2015, I was planning on purchasing and using your USMC recon prep, however I also took a look at your training packets for Ruck Based selection and SOFD-D and I noticed the similarity can I use the same training concept by following the programs in order but replacing the final program with your Recon Prep instead, which wouldn’t be difficult since I have already purchased 3 of the 7 plans required.

Respectfully Sent,

R

ANSWER

That will work. Just complete the Basic Recon Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=88) directly prior to your course.

– Rob

QUESTION

Hey Rob,

I’m just finishing up your Rat 6 program in two weeks and I’ve seen wonderful gains in my strength. Now I’m looking for the Day to day workout to maintain health and fitness. First my goals. I’m 36 years old wife andtwo sons. My job is with the Air Force but I’m a full time civilian with Drill on the weekend. My job is basically mechanical work. I’m looking for which daily program that would be right for me from your Military Athlete,

Mountain Athlete and Strong Swift Durable sites. I know all three focus on different end goals. I want to maintain a good quality of health and life for my future. So question is which one of your daily plans would be best for the Joe Schmo that wants to be fit and healthy for Life?

-S

ANSWER

Hi S-

Strong Swift Durable or the Operator Sessions at Military Athlete.

The day to day Base Fitness sessions Mountain Athlete includes climbing work which requires access to a climbing gym.

The Operator Sessions are the most intense day to day programming I design. They reflect the programming I feel is necessary for SOF guys and other active military athletes. Because they are designed to transfer to outside the gym, military-related operational performance, there are parameters around their design…. for example, we have to include rucking and ruck running, can’t get too far from “combat chassis” fitness, and the intensity is such that it may not be appropriate for guys 40+.

The Strong Swift Durable sessions have some general parameters, but also give me some freedom to be super creative and push programming into new areas. For example, this last cycle we focused on single limb strength, and the cycle we’re moving into is work capacity built around work at a running track.

Regardless of the day to day training, I’d encourage you to identify outside-the-gym goals or events, like competing in a triathlon, climbing Mount Rainier, joining an adult rugby team, etc. Use your fitness!

– Rob

QUESTION:

Hey Rob,

I’ve had great success with your programs so far and look forward to continuing.

I completed your OCS train up prior to coming to the Engineer Basic Officer Leadership Course. I got here last weekend and found out that the gym with all the free weights/barbells, etc. is under renovation until at least the end of September. There is another gym with free weights but I can only get to it a couple times a week because it is so crowded. We do PT here at the course but it is minimal right now because it is PRT based (during the first module of about 5 weeks we are required to re-learn PRT).

I am looking for a program to do for the next 4 +/- weeks to continue to get stronger, but also get in better shape. I can most likely get a gym workout in 2-3 days a week but am open for any suggestions you might have for my situation.

Thanks. I appreciate all the help so far!

-P

ANSWER:

Hi P-

Couple Options:

(1) Fortitude (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=136). This training plan represents the most recent evolution of Fluid Periodization, and trains strength and endurance concurrently. You train strength 2x/week exclusively and it’s possible you could work the strength sessions into your schedule. One day is a combo session (strength, followed by a run). The 4th and 5th days of the week you train endurance (running and ruck running).

(2) Bodyweight Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=96). No weightroom needed, but no joke. One of my most successful programs ever.

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

I need some help, I have been a Corpsman for 7 years now and was getting ready to try out for the SARC pipeline four months ago when I shattered my foot in a motorcycle crash. I feel like I am back to square one, went from running marathons to barely walking to the gym.

I want to get back to where I was prior to the crash. I wont be able to run or ruck for up to 6 more months but is there one of your programs that I could start in the meantime to build strength and endurance. Any advice that you have would be great. Thank you so much for your time.

-C

ANSWER

C –

It’s unclear from your note where you are in your recovery.

If you can’t load your recovering leg, I’d recommend our Training Plan for Athletes Suffering Leg Injury (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=51). This plan isn’t a rehab plan for your injured limb, it trains the rest of your body around your injured limb.

If you can train your injured leg/ankle, but just can’t run, I’d recommend our Post-Rehab Leg Injury Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=119). I built this plan for athletes who have injured a knee, ankle, etc., been released from their Physical Therapist to train, but are weak and not sure how to start.

– Rob

QUESTION

Hey Rob,

So I was fortunate to get my hands on the RAT 6 plan and it looks great. My goals right now are to max the RPFT test by the 1st week of October and possibly go to Ranger School. I’m coming off a long layoff from the gym and just started working out again 2 weeks ago. I was thinking about purchasing the APFT plan for the morning sessions and stack the RAT 6 on top to start getting the strength I lost back. What are your thoughts?

-F

ANSWER

F-

You could double up Rat 6 Strength (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=84) with the running portion of the APFT Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=30), but not the push up and situp portions. You’ll overtrain.

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

I have a quick question. I fractured my back in Afghanistan in 2011. Ever since then, I have been having a lot of back problems. I currently am on the Delta Selection program, but my back is giving me a lot of problems. My question is, are there workouts I should be focusing on to strengthen my back. Thank you in advance for your time.

Very Respectfully,

A

ANSWER

Hi A-

I’d recommend our Low Back Fitness Training Program: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=55

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

I just completed your APFT Program v4, and I’m wondering what programming I should use next. Bottom Line Up Front: I have a weak upper body, and I want to improve my strength overall, but my long term goal is to be a relatively strong endurance athlete.

I’m 28, 6’8″, and my bathroom scale says 223lbs with 18% body fat.

I took the APFT on Wednesday 27AUG and got 54 reps pushups, 83 reps situps, and a 13:07 2-mile run. I followed your APFT Training Program V4 from mid-July until 23AUG. I max out at 7-8 strict pullups.

I am way below the MA Strength Standards found on the militaryathlete.com FAQ page. My 1RMs are as follows:

0.92x BW (205lbs) for Front Squat
1.46x BW (325) for Dead Lift
0.87x BW (195lbs) for Bench Press
0.92x BW (205lbs) for Clean and Jerk – I have never max tested for strict Push Press!

Since I’m in an OES school, I have to do squad PT 3-5 days a week, but I have plenty of time to work out on my own.

I’m trying to balance competing fitness goals. One is to max my APFT in 6-8 months, when I show up to my next unit. The other is to build strength and size while I’m still young enough to do it, so that I can peak for SFAS-type events in 3-5 years. Ever since I was a high school rower and basketball player, I have been told that I need to get stronger, while at the same time needing to train aerobically for the next selection event. I’ve thought about jumping right back in to your APFT program, starting Operator Sessions, doing the On Ramp, or downloading a strength packet. Any thoughts?

Thanks for your help, and for continuing to lead the way in developing tactical fitness.

V/R,

D

ANSWER

The best thing I can do for most guys is make them stronger. Strength helps everything – performance, confidence, durability.

I’d recommend the Ultimate Meathead Cycle (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=79) for you now. Solid strength training for your lower body and “combat chassis.”

Hypertrophy volume (mass) training for your upper body.

You’ll need to work in and around your Squad PT. Watch for over training, if if PT is intense one day, postpone lifting until the next day.

One thing …. I’m a little concerned about your height. Be smart and safe with the Hinge Lift, Back Squat and cleans. “Own” a load, really “own” it before adding weight. I’m concerned about your low back.

You’re so long, you could be vulnerable there. For the hinge, I’d recommend raising the barbell up some- perhaps on top of a pair of bumper plates. If squat cleans and power cleans from the floor don’t feel right – start in the hang position. Overall, just be safe and think long term.

Overall, I’m interested in getting your stronger, not necessarily how much you can lift. My relative strength standards are my best guess at usable fitness for tactical athletes – they are guidelines, not rules. But there’s not 1RM bench press or front squat test at SFAS. So be smart.

– Rob

QUESTION

Sir,

I just found your program and was very intrigued by what it offered. I am competing for the USAEUR best soldier competition, and if I win that I will be going to the army competition. My question is which of your programs would you recommend for me to use. The competition is coming up pretty quick but If I will I really want to train harder for the army competition. I am currently at about 360 on the APFT. Any suggestions on which of your programs to use would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

N

ANSWER

Hi N-

I did some research and couldn’t find a lot about the fitness demands of the comp besides taking the APFT, a little rucking, and some O-Course work. From our stuff, I’d recommend the Army OCS Training Plan to prepare (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=131). This plan includes specific APFT work, ruck running, unloaded running, and multi-modal work capacity work.

– Rob

QUESTION

Mr. Shaul,

I am in the Army (Infantry) and going to a Long Range Surveillance unit in the next month and I have long term goals of attending SFOD-D selection or other such selections in the future. I am in pretty good shape. My last PT test score was 334 (12:35 run and 92 push ups/ 93 sit ups). A few months ago I scored a 1405 on the UBRR. I feel that running/rucking is my biggest area of weakness. My last 5 miler was a 35:50 on a somewhat hilly course and my last 12 mile ruck was 2:48 also on a fairly hilly course. I am really looking to improve these last two areas. I have been running about 20 miles/wk with some interval training included. I was looking at your programs and I am just trying to figure out how I should go about getting better at my distance events without trying to do too much to fast. I have tried ramping up mileage too quickly before and ended up with terrible shin splints and a stress fracture in my foot. From what I know about the high end selections previously mentioned, which is fairly minimal, I know rucking and long range endurance is very important. I grew up swimming and played water polo at a Division 1 school in college. My running has improved steadily but continues to be an area that needs improvement. The strength component comes very naturally to me. Honestly, I’m just a little lost right now in terms of what I should be doing and how I should go about programming for the next year or so. I’m tired of being a decent runner/rucker and I would really like to become an exceptional runner/rucker. In your opinion, what distance should I be training for (10k/half marathon/marathon/ultra)? Any help in regards to this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Very Respectfully,

Z

ANSWER

Hi Z –

I came to this work with a strength and work capacity focus, but over the years we have continued to learn more and do more programming on the endurance side. In general when it comes to endurance athletes need to train two things – general aerobic base – the ability to go long and make their “slow” gear relatively faster, and speed over ground. You improve your aerobic base with easily or moderately paced long runs/rucks, and your speed over ground with short, threshold interval work.

The traditional endurance programming begins with several weeks of aerobic base training, then moves into shorter and more intense tempo and interval speed work.

Concerning running and ruck running – we have found a couple things. Because of the strength component associated with rucking, you can’t just run and expect to be good at rucking. You have to ruck too. Second, the two seem to complement each other. When combined, running makes you better at rucking, and rucking makes you better at running.

If your just interested in improving your running and want to get serious about it, I’d recommend training for a half marathon, and finding a professional endurance coach or training plan to follow. Invest the time, money and effort, and do it like the pros do. I haven’t build a 1/2 marathon plan yet, but there are plenty of resources available for this.

In a separate email you’d asked about low back issues when running. Again, I’m not an expert running coach so don’t have a quick answer for you. One thing I would suggest, if you haven’t done so already, is to purchase and read POSE Running or Chi Running, and make sure your running form is solid. This alone could be the issue. Second, again, would be to ask a professional endurance coach.

– Rob

QUESTION

My only experience with the Paleo diet is when I started this training plan. Do you recommend the Paleo diet while doing Rat 6 and the Ruck improvement program? How about the other programs?

At the beginning of this program, for the first few days, the mini leg blasters kicked my ass, but it was only the first few days. Those first few days also coincided with me starting the paleo diet. Could the mini leg blasters kicking my ass been a result of changing over to the paleo diet at the same time I started the training plan?

I am really enjoying your training plan. I think it is fun and challenging at the same time and I am getting in great shape!!

Regards,

D

ANSWER

Hi D-

My dietary recommendations (http://militaryathlete.com/subpage_details.php?subpage_ID=1906&page_ID=34) aren’t exactly “Paleo” and I don’t claim to be an expert on the paleo diet. But in general, this is the diet I recommend day to day for all athletes.

Leg blasters made you sore not because of your diet, but because they train eccentric strength, which is very intense. They make everyone sore at first.

– Rob

QUESTION

Is the new Fortitude plan something that can be repeated, continually lifting heavier weights and rucking/running faster throughout the subsequent cycles, as a means to increase GPP? I like the idea of classic barbell training with endurance training as well and would like to find a simple go-to schedule to use as a weekly template until the need to train for something more specific (PFT, running race, etc) arises. Thanks for your time.

-B

ANSWER

Hi B-

The strength programming in Fortitude (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=136) automatically scales to the individual athlete’s current level of strength – so if you were to repeat the plan, I would hope you would be stronger the second time around, and thus the loading would be heavier.

The endurance component doesn’t quite work the same – it’s focused on increasing endurance base at a moderate pace, and is progressed through the plan via increasing volume – in other words, you run and ruck further the last week of the plan than you did the first week.

It does represent the most recent evolution of my programming theory, and next I’ll be programming “Valor” – which will be a 6-week Work Capacity/Endurance cycle.

When we think about endurance, we look at two areas – increasing aerobic base – or the ability to go long (volume), and movement over ground (speed). The endurance programming in Valor will be designed to make us go faster over ground. With Fortitude, we could go longer and fartehr, but didn’t really get significantly faster. Now we need to work on this component.

Short answer to your question is No. Fortitude’s focus is on strength and volume endurance, but you also need work capacity and speed over ground endurance.

What gives you the base general program to do until you have to prepare for a specific event (PFT, etc.) is a subscription to the Operator Sessions.

– Rob

QUESTION

Hey Rob,

Hope you’ve had a great summer. Quick question for you: can you compare the old “Strength and Honor” program (which I’ve completed and really liked) to the new “Fortitude” program? I am between events (GORUCK Heavy is up next in 4 months) and just looking to keep a good level of varied, base fitness with a strength bias, but enough endurance to stay in the game. Thanks a lot.

-B

ANSWER

Hi B-

I built Strength and Honor several years ago, and it was a strength-focused cycle. A little maintenance endurance but not much.

Fortitude (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=136) deploys the strength programming theory I developed for Big 24, but at the same time trains endurance base with moderate pacing, but increasing volume. It’s the most recent evolution of my overall programming theory and it has a much greater and focused, endurance component.

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

I’ve recently signed up to the operator subscription.

I’m new to the concept and never done crossfit.

Do you go from exercise to exercise without pause? How long is the rest between rounds? If any

Regards,

J

ANSWER

Hi J-

For the strength sessions, work steadily, not frantically. You can chalk up or get a quick drink between exercises.

Each circuit includes a stretch or mobility drill. This is your “working rest” between rounds.

In general, aim to complete most sessions in 60 minutes.

– Rob

QUESTION

Coach,

I would say I’m in below average shape. I used your APFT PREP plan to prepare for the State Police PT test and it worked great. I have 18 weeks before the academy starts and am not sure of the best plan going forward. I own your bodyweight plan, so I could do that for four weeks, then your eight week on ramp followed by your patrol officer plan. That would cover all 18 weeks. I want to improve my general fitness. Would you recommend anything different? Thanks!

-L

ANSWER

Hi Logan –

I’d recommend OnRamp, then Bodyweight, then Patrol Officer.

Good luck!

-R

QUESTION

Hi,

I’m a Captain in the U.S. Army. First off, I’m really excited to be starting your Mountain Athlete program. I have a few friends who’ve used Military Athlete and love it. I’m going to be transitioning out of the Army in the next 16 months or so and plan on embarking on a career as a mountain guide (I have a pretty long recreational background before the Army). My question is where exactly should I start. I’m looking at the Base Fitness page and am looking at all the workouts by date. Should I just jump into the program with the most recent/current sessions or should I go back and start a particular cycle (strength/endurance/stamina, etc). Thanks!

-B

ANSWER

Hi B-

Start at the beginning of the most recent strength cycle.

– Rob

QUESTION

Hello sir,

I just wanted to know if someone could use the SFOD-D workout to successfully prepare for RASP.

Thanks

-D

ANSWER

D –

The SFOD-D Selection Course Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=99) isn’t appropriate for RASP. I’ve built a training plan specifically for RASP I&II here: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=118.

– Rob

QUESTION

I have enjoyed several of your w/o. Sent my son to school with the Body weight strength and bw core

Strong , Swift, Durable : I like these goals but what is the best way to keep working at it over time , (periodization ? ) so that one can branch off and do an obstacle competition here a Baatan there or a Marathon . In other words stay SFD and then as need be do the specialized programs just before the events ( specific training)

What’s a good sequence of programs over 6 mo or a year. And ……. I love Turkish get ups with sandbag . I finished Core I started Core II , She’ll I just do them based how I feel or does one need to be more specific

-S

ANSWER

S-

The Strong Swift Durable daily training sessions are designed to build your Base or foundational fitness. On top of these plans you want to build “sport specific” – or event-specific fitness directly prior to the event.

For example, if you wanted to do the Bataan Death March, 8 weeks out from the event, you should cancel your subscription to the SSD daily sessions and purchase and complete the Bataan Death March Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=82).

Same idea for any other event. The closer you get to the event, the more “sport specific” your training should be – including a marathon, triathlon, Rainier climb, etc.

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

Hello, I am currently at a military selection school and will be finishing in about 2 months. I’m excited to get back to the gym again and get strong again. Before the military I was heavy into crossfit but someone told me about your programming and I became very interested in your philosophy of training and the concept of the military athlete. I watched the video about your programming talking about a military athlete and how one should rotate between strength, work capacity, and stamina cycles. I was interested in your military strength packet with the rat 6, ultimate meathead, and 357 cycle. They seem to be very heavy on strength with some cycles having small work capacity parts to it. I also saw that you have 3 other programs, 369 work capacity cycle, a stamina cycle, and the fortitude cycle. I was interested in all this cycles and following the mesocycles you recommend of strength, work capacity, and stamina.

My question is would you recommend mixing in the work capacity, stamina, and endurance cycles between the different strength cycles or finishing the whole strength packet to get a good base first then start mixing in the work capacity, stamina, and endurance after the whole packet is done. I don’t want to lose the endurance I have with running, rucking, and swimming by only focusing on strength. Since triathlons were a hobby of mine before I would like to start training for them again following the crossfit endurance style of training. I plan on having two a days with your workouts and the crossfit endurance training. Your workouts would definitely take priority of the triathlon training because of the nature of my work. I was wondering what your opinion would be on that also. Thank you for your input

Respectfully,

M

ANSWER

M-

When you focus on everything you don’t get good at anything. It seems you’re split between training specifically strength, training appropriate for a deployable military athlete, and training for triathlons. Some things to consider:

1) If you’ve already purchased the Strength Packet (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=125), it’s possible to do 2-a-days by doing the strength training in the morning, and your triathlon-specific training in the PM.

2) You wouldn’t want to combine your tri training and any of my stamina, endurance or work capacity plans. Nor would you want to combine a stamina or work capacity plan with strength – you’ll over train.

3) On the endurance side, one endurance “mode” unique to military athletes is rucking and ruck running. Some guys are naturals at rucking and can do other types of endurance and still be good at rucking. I’m not one of them. I need to ruck and ruck run to keep relatively proficient in that “mode.” Depending upon your job, deployment schedule, training schedule, it’s could be possible to get away from rucking for extended periods of time, then focus on it before deployment/school, etc. The day to day Operator Sessions are militaryathlete.com are designed specifically for SOF guys, who could be deployed at short notice, without warning, and thus rucking is a common component there. Something to think about.

My recommendation for you …. complete one of the strength plans, then complete 369 Work Capacity for variety, then reevaluate your work/training schedule and fitness goals.

– Rob

QUESTION

Sir,

I am a current cadet at the Virginia Military Institute and I am trying to select a plan for training. I will be commissioning in the Army in the next year with Infantry and Field Artillery as top branch choices with the end goal of attending SFAS and the Q-Course somewhere down the road. I haven’t done much weight training in the past year and have mostly been doing bodyweight workouts and running. This past summer I attended LDAC and basically ate MRE’s and couldn’t exercise for 4 weeks. The end of my summer included spending some time with a few ODA’s at 5th SFG at Fort Campbell and then traveling with little time to exercise. I was thinking of starting with the Fortitude plan because that seems to be a good progressive strength and endurance plan that will help me to build a better foundation for the more specific and intense plans. I was just wondering if you had any feedback for that or any better plan recommendations. Thanks for your time and help.

-J

ANSWER

Hi J-

Fortitude (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=136) is no joke. It’s full on.

Based on your summer, even though you’re young, you may not be ready for it. I’d recommend the OnRamp Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=129) first.

– Rob

QUESTION

Hi Rob,

Looking for a program suggestion. I’m a full time SWAT guy (37 yrs old, 5’9″ 175 lbs) but I sh*t the bed over the last few months. I was skipping from program to program and also skipping lots of days. Unacceptable. I am not starting from zero, but have some ground to recapture.

I own a few of your programs but always have struggled meeting the strength bench marks and running volume. And my durability blows. Work capacity and grinder type PT is my comfort zone. I do well on sprints and shuttles but can’t run distances for sh*t. I like rucking and do okay at it.

Goal #1 – build strength for immediate job requirements.

Goal #2 – crush physical tests next April (obstacle course style, takes about 8 to 10 minutes, seems like a VO2 max test that favors the runners)

Goal #3 – build endurance and durability for some Goruck events next summer – maybe a heavy.

Suggestions on a programming progression?

Oh and do you have any suggestions for a substitute for cleans? They kill my elbows and shoulders so I either have to go super light or avoid them all together.

Thanks,

-K

ANSWER

Hi K-

Start with Rat 6 Strength (http://store.strongswiftdurable.com/collections/le-athlete/products/rat-6-strength) and follow up with SWAT/SRT Kickstart (http://store.strongswiftdurable.com/collections/le-athlete/products/swat-srt-kickstart-training-program).

These should focus you for work demands. Once tuned up you can begin to prepare for your April assessment and GoRuck events using one of the GoRuck Plans and/or our Running or Rucking Improvement Plans.

Clean substitute? Loaded squat jumps (barbell across your back) work well. However, don’t go super heavy. I won’t let my lab rats go over 115#. When we bump up to 135#, someone gets hurt. Instead of adding weight, jump higher!

– Rob

QUESTION

Hello Rob,

I wanted to ask which session would you recommend specifically for RASP. I looked at your website and saw that you had both Ranger School and SFAS training programs and was torn between the two. I’m currently in AIT and leave from here Nov. 22 and score a 329-350 on my APFT to give reference for considerations of time and physical ability. I’m not sure of my dates going to RASP but can’t imagine too long after I graduate AIT. Just wanted your professional opinion and looking forward to take on your training sessions.

-N

ANSWER

Hi N-

We’ve built a plan specifically for RASP I&II here: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=118

– Rob

QUESTION

Dear Rob,

I have been training with the intent to do the Marines Infantry Officer Course (IOC) since it has been open to women to attempt it. I started cross fit type workouts last year around this time. I found I made gains, but was eventually unmotivated and unconvinced that these workouts would actually help me to achieve my fitness goals and prepare me to do IOC.

I have roughly 11 months now before I start The Basic School. I wanted to be roughly IOC ready before TBS since I heard from all my peers that it’s also known as The Body Softener. I don’t know if I can get strong enough to keep, but I thought if I prepared as if I were going to IOC, TBS should naturally not be as hard.

This is what I can do:

Bench Press: 110lbs 1rpm

Squat: 170lbs 1rpm

Deadlift: 255lbs 1rpm

Last PFT:

3 mile: 23 min

Pull-ups: 8 (but my max is 13)

crunches: 100

I’m 5’2, and I weigh 130lbs. When I was lifting my heaviest, I was 140lbs, but I exceeded the height and weight limits, so I have had to cut weight and switch to a cardio program since I was taking my PFT, so those numbers for my 1rpm may be about 10%-15% lower than what they were at my best.

When I talked to the people in charge of IOC, I was advised to be able to do about twice as much weight as what I’m currently putting up. Their concern was not only have no women made it past the initial phase, but that I’m also considerably smaller than any of the officers who have tried. However, I thought since I have a year of masters education left before I have to do TBS, I I could use this time to see how far I could push my body, and see what I can actually do.

I’m currently in the United Kingdom. There is no formal command that’s nearby for me to train with, and for the most part it’s just me trying to improve on my own. I’m looking for a plan that is comprehensive, that I can build from my current level of fitness, and that I can be confident will help me reach my goals and get me where I need to be if I follow it. Also, which will help me develop the strength and endurance to prevent injury like stress fractures.

I saw your ruck selection packet, and wanted to know if you thought that would be my best plan to follow if my aim is IOC? Or, if you had any advice/ insight? Ruck marches is what concerns me the most- that is what I struggled with when I was being selected for Marines. Also, just overall strength and endurance. While I’m great on a PFT since it’s just my body weight, when it came to say the endurance course, I fell behind my male counterparts.

Thanks for your time (sorry for the long email) I hope to hear from you soon.

Very Respectfully,

K

ANSWER

Hi K-

I’ve been trying to work with female Marine officers trying for IOC over the past several months, and it’s been fits and starts. A couple I’ve tried working with are your size/weight.

The issue isn’t necessarily the training, or being able to do handle the programming, it seems the issue is the other training requirements which get in the way.

TBS is one for you, and for a current officer at Quantico now and slated for the Oct. 6 IOC course start, she’s having to do the “Marines Awaiting Training” program with the others, plus a combatives course – which doesn’t allow for focused training. All the other Marine officers in your IOC class are doing the same, but most of them are men who go in with the natural size/strength advantages …. So we’re struggling to figure out the best course.

With this this officer, and for you, the focus should be on the Combat Endurance Test. From what I can gather, the failures occurred there for either rucking ability give the load, or upper body strength (O course, rope climb failures).

The male attrition rate from CET isn’t super high, which tells me fit, motivated women can do it. Obviously, upper body strength, hand size and grip strength, and simple bodyweight all come to play.

Of the stuff I’ve got, yes, the Ruck Based Selection Training Packet (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=122) is what I would recommend. This is a 9-month plan, and you’ve got 11 months. To “kick start” I’d recommend the Ultimate Meathead Cycle (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=79) – which will train “combat chassis” strength (hips/core) and upper body hypertrophy (mass/strength). I’d complement Ultimate Meathead with the Ruck Improvement Plan or at least long weekend rucks.

Size/weight and performance – you have to be a little careful here. As far as I know, there is no 1RM bench press, back squat or dead lift test at the CET or IOC. So gym numbers are important in terms of strength, but only important if they transfer to what will count …. primarily rucking performance, overall combat chassis strength, movement under load, and upper body strength under load. So what’s important is how fast you can ruck and for how long with a 65# ruck, not how much you weigh. Packing 20 pounds on you may make you stronger in the weightroom, but it’s also 20 more pounds you’ve got to run and ruck with, and pull up the rope. Always focus on performance.

Secondly, it’s easy to get caught up in the fitness demands of the CET and lose track of the technical skills (weapons, land nav, etc.) Given your size, you can’t afford f*ckup under pressure on the land nav which adds distance. You’ve got to be skilled and confident and solid in these skills. Much better than the men.

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

Currently in Afghanistan and would like to train for EOD school. I was considering the AF pj/cct plan but I dont have a swimming area. What do you recommend?

Current stats:

205lbs

73″ height

11:31 1.5 mile run (have ran 10:52 for a past test when pushing 99%)

59 pushups 1-min

62 situps 1-min

12 pull-ups

Would like to increase pushups and situps to 70. Pullups to 18. Run to 10:15.

I have access to full gym. Can train twice a day most days if needed. Nutrition is not the best at my current location. Lots of fat and carbs in foods.

Thanks,

-B

ANSWER

I’d recommend the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=45

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

I am a former military, now Law Enforcement guy in upstate NY. I have used a lot of your programs over the last several years. In fact they drastically changed how I keep myself in shape. Being in the over 40 club I can honestly say they have made me significantly stronger than I was 10 years ago.

Four months ago a local gym went up for sale where I live and low and behold I ended up buying it. There is, as you know, a lot of trial and error. It is a combination of cardio, nautilus machines and free weights. I intend on keeping it a well rounded gym with all those areas. In a town of 4500 people I need to offer it all.

However, my weight lifters are more and more intrigued with what they see me and a few others doing for workouts. Many of them are quick to ask if we are turning to a Crossfit gym. When I explain your programming they are even more interested. I have the space to and am adding in a lot more olympic weightlifting and functional based equipment through Rogue Fitness.

My question for you is this, are you planning any Programming Courses in the near future? I would love to add to my knowledge base in this area. In my current role as a police and military firearms and tactics instructor I feel it is important for me to go to training programs at least twice a year to keep myself freshened and the constant student. With my new venture in the gym I feel the same rule should apply. I want to make sure I am adding to my knowledge base and improving what I can offer folks that walk through the door.

I appreciate your time and as I have said to you each time I bought and ran one of your programs, Thank You.

Regards,

C

ANSWER

Hi C-

Thanks for the note and congrats on your gym!

We just talked about this last week here in the office, and will get these out on the websites soon. But here’s what we’re looking at for 2015:

Feb 7-8: Mountain Athlete Advanced Programming Course

May 2-3: Military Athlete Advanced Programming Course

July 11-12: Mountain Athlete Advanced Programming Course

Oct 3-4: Military Athlete Advanced Programming Course

Cost will be $1,000 and all courses will be in Jackson, WY.

Every once in a while we teach an open course remotely – in the past CrossFit gyms have invited us in. If one of these comes up, we’ll announce it on the websites(s).

– Rob

QUESTION

I have just finished week four of the patrol officer program. Good stuff. When I am done with week six, do you suggest continuing with the same type of training or should I do some other type of training (strength bias etc) to periodize? Also do you suggest any additional rest period beyond two days before I start? Lastly, if I sign up for the monthly programming, do you get access to past workouts or only the daily one posted.

Thanks

M

ANSWER

Hi M-

Best would be to subscribe to the day to day “Officer Sessions” at leathlete.com. You’re subscription gives you access to the entire archive of past training sessions.

If not, train strength with the Rat 6 Strength Plan: http://store.strongswiftdurable.com/collections/le-athlete/products/rat-6-strength

– Rob

QUESTION

Sir,

I am starting the running program and am wondering if you could either explain or give some articles for me to read about why it’s good to be doing the 8 mile runs at that slower pace that is not very difficult? Thanks

Very Respectfully,

M

ANSWER

M,

Running at a “slow” pace forces changes at the cellular level that make you more efficient at low intensity efforts, allowing you to move faster for an easy effort. The less energy you expend moving at a low level of intensity, the more you’ll have in the tank at a high level of intensity.

Run efficiency is the number one predictor of run performance over long distances. Running at a low intensity increases run efficiency.

-Jordan

QUESTION

Hey Rob,

Any chance you have a program tailored to training for the USMC CFT?

Thanks!

-C

ANSWER

Hi C,

I’m sorry. Not at this time.

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

Quick Background: I am on my Company Sandhurst team at USMA and just fractured my wrist. I intend to do your injured arm plan until my wrist is healed, which should be about 6 to 8 weeks. However, I am afraid that I will fall behind the team in terms of strength and endurance.

Once my wrist heals, what plan or combination of plans should I do in order to “close” the fitness gap with the rest of the team?

-V

ANSWER

V-

Sorry about your wrist.

I’d recommend Fortitude (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=136)

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

After a 7 year stint I separated from active duty leaving behind great teammates and unforgettable experiences. I’m currently enlisted in the Illinois guard. I’ve always been a top physical performer on each of my teams. I left the Army to return to school, and in doing so I can now only describe myself as soft.

I’m looking for a organized program to keep me track with my aspirations of surpassing previous peak physical capacities. Upon graduating from college next year I am considering getting back into the fight. I’m not sure how much you know about SF, but if you’d like to return once you’ve left the regiment you are not only subject

to a board of Sergeant Majors, you have to meet the rigors of the SF gated events scoring a minimum of 90% in each. This is far from an impossible task, but I’d like to face each of them head on, not only passing the event but I’d like to make them my own. The events include, 12 mile ruck, typical pt test age group 21, 5 mile run, rope climbs, unsure but there might be a swim test as well.

What program suggestions do you have for me?

Regards,

-J

ANSWER

Hi J –

1) Ruck Based Selection Training Packet (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=122)

Seven training plans laid out for 9 months of training and designed to deliver you to selection.

2) Start now with the Bodyweight Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=96).

Folllow it up with Fortitude (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=136).

The subscribe to the Operator Sessions until 8 weeks out from your boards. Eight weeks out, complete the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=45).

– Rob

QUESTION

Rob,

I was introduced to your gym by one of the Exum Guides. He guided me on the Grand this season in preparation for my 2 weeks I just spent climbing in the Alps. I summited 7 peaks including Mont Blanc (but the Matterhorn was my ultimate goal and conditions didn’t allow for a safe attempt).

I am considering goals for next summer including the Matterhorn or the easy route on the Eiger. I was ready for the Matterhorn and want to maintain and improve my off season fitness. Can you recommend a few of your plans that I can purchase to start off my fall/winter training? I think my upper body strength is something I would like to improve– the fixed ropes on that climb would have been challenging and I’d like to be able to fly up those ropes next season. Maintaining my current fitness and weight is a priority as well.

Can you recommend any of your pre-set programs?

-J

ANSWER

Hi J-

A great place to start an offseason program is our Bodyweight Training Plan (http://mountainathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=85&&cart_ID=72).

This plan is no joke, gives you no excuse not to train, will build overall strength and fitness, and is a great entry into any of our other training plan.

– Rob

QUESTION

Sir,

I am a US Navy EOD Tech that is currently deployed to Dubai. In the states and here I play rugby. I have used parts of your workouts in conjunction with a military workout program, and loved the results. I was not crazy about some of the other parts of the program thought. Have you ever thought about doing any workouts that are more tailored to sports? Some of the aspects to climbing are very similar, i.e. strength, endurance, cardio, and for a rugby a high work rate. What I mean by high work rate is the ability to make a tackle, contest the ball, then get back into play and do it again. This is one of the hallmarks of a quality player. If this is something that is outside your realm of interest, no big deal. It always no until you ask the question. Thanks for your time.

V/R

-J

ANSWER

Hi J-

We’ve worked for years with the local high school here and their sports teams and actually have a pretty incredible library and growing theory around team-sports training. We’ve also worked with professional hockey players who summer in Jackson, and actually trained the local Roller Derby team for a couple ears. Would love to move further in this direction someday.

– Rob

QUESTION

Dear Rob,

First off, thanks for your programming. I’m seeing great gains across the board.

So much so, that my goal for 2015 has become GORUCK Selection. In a previous email exchange you advised me to follow the SFOD-D packet, but sub in the GRS plan at the end. Sounded like good advice, so I’ve been laying that out on my planning calendar.

According to the latest info from GORUCK, I’ll be heading to Selection on 20 AUG in Bozeman, MT. That got me to thinking… Bozeman is 4800ft above sea level, and my house is only 500. Since the packet calendar has some space in it (because I’m laying it out early), I wonder if you think that there would be any point to inserting the Afghanistan Deployment Plan in there anywhere to build up the military/mountain chassis for the Bozeman mountains rather than the sea-level beaches of Jacksonville, FL (the other site). And if so, where in the packet would you recommend that I insert it?

Thanks again for your programming and your availability to guys like me who are dreaming big.

-M

ANSWER

Hi M-

First, there are some gimicks out there, and some drugs, which some claim help people coming from lower elevations adjust to high elevations … but effectiveness is questionable. The best thing is to be in as good as shape as possible.

The Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan (http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=101&cart_ID=83) is designed to sport specifically prepare servicemen and women for mountainous deployments. It is leg and lung intensive and “mode specific” to hiking up and down mountains under load. It’s a great plan, and it won’t hurt you to add it to your train up, but it’s transfer will be most effective if the GoRuck Cadre have you hike up and down steep stuff.

If you do use it, complete this plan before 357 Strength and Run Improvement.

– Rob

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