Mountainous Terrain Pre-Deployment Training Program
This program is designed to build your legs and lungs in preparation for deployment in mountainous areas.
It is also designed to use minimal equipment, utilize to train personnel without access to gyms.
This is a 6-week long prep program with 30 training sessions and makes the assumption that athletes will be training 5 days/week.
The program is built around the following maneuvers:
Leg Cranks – These are an intense, body weight only, lower body complex of exercises. Leg Cranks will help you prepare for the up and down that hiking assaults your body with. It also builds lactate tolerance and builds solid leg strength.
Sandbag Getup – We’ve found that core strength is a huge determinate of performance. Durability is often forgotten in the mix when training for strength
Step Ups – Step ups are a basic, but build specific leg climbing strength and used to cardio in a controlled, gym environment. This is the primary exercise I’ll use to get your legs and lungs ready for long patrols.
In And Out / Single Leg Drill – In And Outs are a basic-level agility-plyometric drill utilized as a good warm up. It helps build ankle and knee joint strength, key for hiking and rucking over uneven terrain.
200m Shuttle – This effort is divided up into twelve, 25m lengths. The athlete sprint-shuttles back and forth between two cones, 25m apart for 4 round trips (8x lengths). Sprinting is a key survival fitness attribute for military athletes facing combat, and the 200m shuttle will help build leg strength and anaerobic endurance.
300m Shuttle – This effort is divided up into twelve, 25m lengths. The athlete sprint-shuttles back and forth between two cones, 25m apart for 6 round trips (12x lengths). Sprinting is a key survival fitness attribute for military athletes facing combat, and the 300m shuttle will help build leg strength and anaerobic endurance.
The Calf Interval protocol is a 4-minute long interval of 8 rounds, 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest. For more difficulty hold at top during ‘rest’ period
Interval Calf Raises – One of the first muscles to fatigue when hiking steep hills is the calf muscles. We use the interval protocol and calf raises to help strength your calves.
Upper Body Strength Endurance – We’ve purposely limited upper body work to a circuit of strict pull ups, dips and push ups, which double in volume over the course of the program. Everything begins and ends with the legs and core – your “combat infrastructure.”
Distance Running – You’ll run relatively short distances at a moderate pace on this program. Moderate pace distance running will help build your aerobic base, add durability to the connective tissue in your joints, and work to flush out the lactic acid and other waste products from your sore legs and other muscles.
Rucking – You’ll be doing bunches of rucking down range, and nothing will prepare you for rucking like rucking. We limit rucking to avoid overuse injuries that it can cause to once a week in IBA, helmet, carrying a weapon, with an extra 25# in a ruck sack. Our goal is to prepare you not break you down before you get to your destination. Ruck on different terrain when possible.
Pacing – For the purposes of rucking and running in this program, we prescribe two paces. Here are their definitions:
“Moderate Pace” – Comfortable, but not easy: 8 min to 9 min/mile pace.
“Threshold Pace” – Fastest pace you can hold without straining: 7-8 min/mile pace.
25# Dumbbells – men, 15# dumbbells – women.
16-19” Box, bench, stool or whatever for step ups
80# Sandbag – Men, 60# – women).
Watch with second hand or countdown timer (Timex Ironman is best)
This program is designed sequentially. Exercises and volumes build as it progresses, so don’t skip around.
Again, we are assuming a 5 day/week training schedule. Try not to train on the weekends.
If you are doing the program Monday through Friday, here is what your schedule will look like:
Monday – In and Out/Single Leg Drill and Step Ups with 40# Ruck
Tuesday – Distance run, moderate pace, upper body (pull ups, dips, pushups)
Wednesday – Sandbag Getups and Leg Cranks
Thursday – Ruck in IBA + helmet, with 25# in ruck sack, carrying weapon
Friday – 300m Shuttles and Calf Intervals