*Editors note: Photos and article have been shared with the permission of AMTAC Shooting

This article is a continuation of the Modern Minute Man article. If you have not read that article I recommend that you start here. As I continue to explore these concepts we will be looking at different aspects of the core Modern Minute Man skills: fitness and mobility, land navigation, shooting and communication. This article will focus on fitness and the ability to carry a load.

Having the ability to move over a variety of terrain with a load on your back is one of the truest indicators of fitness and also one of the most foundational elements of the Modern Minute Man.

This plan is designed for people that are healthy and in reasonably good shape. Do not begin this or any training plan without prior consultation of a qualified physician.

This plan starts very slowly. I recommend keeping the mileage and your pack weight lower than you are capable of doing for the first two months.

Ruck days

On walk or ruck days, make sure you vary your terrain. Walk some mountains, walk trails, walk where there is no trail or hit a dirt road. If you are walking in the woods, make sure you have weather appropriate clothing/warmies with you.

Also, practice carrying useful items in your pack. Fifty-three pounds is fifty-three pounds whether it is in the form of a kettlebell or whether it consists of shelter/ water/ fire/ food/ plus normal EDC (every day carry) tools. When you are walking it won’t matter, but if you get lost or injured on the trail having useful items with you can save your life.

Shelter, water, fire, food plus other key items

Strength days

Strength days should consist of the following categories:

  • Calisthenics: push ups, pull ups, hand stand push ups, dips, crunches, air squats, lunges, etc…
  • Lifting: squats, deadlifts, overhead squats, snatches, cleans and presses.
  • Kettlebell/ mace bell: swings, one hand swings, snatches, Turkish get-ups, clean and press, goblet squats, overhead carries, farmer carries, mace bell 360s and mace bell 10-2s.
Working kettlebell snatches

For a normal strength, day pick 4 – 8 of the above exercises and do them in circuit style with 30-60 seconds of active rest in between each exercise.  Repeat 3-5 times.  I will normally rep a combative skill during this active rest (dryfire, indexed shooting with a Sirt gun, template work, striking, transitions, etc…).

When doing strength days remember Pavel’s advice: ‘When you are done with your workout you should feel like you can conquer the world’. In other words, you should feel strong when you leave the gym. Once or twice a month crush yourself so that you are crawling out of the gym. This should not be the norm, especially as we get older.

Don’t push yourself to the point of overtraining or injury. You should almost never go to failure. Remember, if you injure yourself during training it is harder to protect yourself and your family and you have to stop or change your training while you recover.

The training plan

Use this training plan as a guideline. Deviate from it as it makes sense. The key concepts are:

  • increasing your milage slowly
  • continue to train in the strength and running areas
  • one long ruck per week
  • injury prevention

After week 12 continue to increase your long ruck days. Depending on your schedule you might need to push your long ruck days to Saturday. When you start getting into 20 and 30-mile rucks, you will need to give yourself a longer rest and recovery time.

As always, the main thing is to go out and train!

The beginning of a 30 mile ruck in Montana

Week 1:

  • Monday – walk 2 miles no ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 1 mile
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 2 miles no ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 2:

  • Monday – walk 3 miles no ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 1 mile
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 2 miles no ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 3:

  • Monday – walk 4 miles no ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 1 mile
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 2 miles no ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 4:

  • Monday – walk 3 miles 15 lbs ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 1 mile
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 3 miles no ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 5:

  • Monday – walk 3 miles 15 lbs ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 1 mile
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 3 miles 15 lbs ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 6:

  • Monday – walk 4 miles 15 lbs ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 2 miles
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 3 miles 15 lbs ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 7:

  • Monday – walk 4 miles 25 lbs ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 2 mile
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 3 miles 15 lbs ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 8:

  • Monday – walk 5 miles 35 lbs ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 2 miles
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 3 miles 25 lbs ruck
  • Saturday – Active rest
  • Sunday – Rest

Week 9:

  • Monday – walk 6 miles 35 lbs ruck
  • Tuesday- strength
  • Wednesday – run 2 miles
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 3 miles 25 lbs ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 10:

  • Monday – walk 6 miles 45 lbs ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 3 miles
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 4 miles 25 lbs ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 11:

  • Monday – walk 7 miles 45 lbs ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 3 miles
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 4 miles 25 lbs ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

Week 12:

  • Monday – walk 8 miles 45 lbs ruck
  • Tuesday – strength
  • Wednesday – run 3 miles
  • Thursday – strength
  • Friday – walk 4 miles 25 lbs ruck
  • Saturday – active rest
  • Sunday – rest

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