12 Weeks to Rifleman Challenge Intermediate and Advanced Fitness Levels

Average Weekly Training Hours 08:41
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 08:41
Training Load By Week

This is a plan for someone preparing for the MVT Rifleman Challenge. The plan is 12 weeks long and will prepare you for many of the challenges at the RC. Your PT will be an important part of qualifying at the RC, which means you'll need both cardiovascular fitness and strength. Each of these components along with some specific RC drills are included in this plan. The plan demands 5-7 hours of your time each week with a little more time on the weekends when I have you doing some solid TABs including the 10 mile "Para" standard in week 10. IF you have more time or if you are "advanced", we give you additional exercises to do in order to extend many of the workouts, so that the plan is scalable for the advanced fitness levels. (If you are doing the RC and at the beginner fitness level, then you should choose the 12 weeks to a MVT Training Camp plan instead of this one). You will need to be able do some jogging and running in this plan, so make sure you can do this and have good footwear. Similar to all our training plans (because tactical fitness is the same fitness needed to be successful at the RC) we have combined both cardio and strength exercises throughout the week, Hunter and I have created a periodized plan that allows you to increase your fitness without overdoing it. We have planned in rest weeks as well, so that you can adapt and get stronger during the rest weeks. It's important that you do your best to follow the progression of the plan and do the workouts in the order which we have planned them, as that will give you the most improvement for your training time. This plan will contain exercises that you can do with just your body weight and dumbbells, the cardio work will be something you can do around your neighborhood or at the local gym. While you can have a weight training routine in the gym, which can be helpful in many respects, We don't believe that's necessary to do for most tactical situations and therefore is not included in this plan. Functional tactical fitness is the goal. Equipment needed: Bergen (Ruck) (smaller patrol pack progressing to a larger bergen for heavier load carrying), running shoes, Combat boots, sandbags and sand(or you can use kettle bells or even 5 gallon buckets with sand in them), Exercise ball, Dumbbells of varying weight(choose dumbbells that will challenge you doing "traps, lunges, bent over rows, deltoid/shoulder raises") Optional Equipment: Heart Rate Monitor, GPS watch (Garmin) that can measure your pace. Hanging/fishing scale for weighing your bergen. Personal needs: The Rifleman Challenge contains a 2 mile TAB/shuffle run. However, if you can't run, you can still come to the RC, although you might not make the time. This plan is designed to do jogging/running in it and you will be doing some running in this plan. If you can't run, then you can substitute cycling or elliptical for low impact aerobic training. There are alternative exercises listed with guidelines on each as well. Therefore, to be perfectly clear, you can still do this plan if you can't run, but you need to do alternative cardio and by the end of the 12 weeks be jogging and some short runs.

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
Day 1 - Walk/Jog with small patrol bergen on.

Welcome to the first day of your 12 week plan to the Rifleman Challenge. This is an exciting event and something you will definitely want to train for in order to complete. The Rifleman Challenge is all about preparing you for any tactical situation. Fitness plays a huge role in this preparation. If you aren't fit, then no amount of "tacticool" gear is going to save you.

The key ingredient in this plan is cardiovascular fitness. You have to have the cardio fitness in order to run and gun, along with a higher level of fitness giving you an advantage with lower heart rates and better ability to handle stressful situations. I have attached a word document to this days' workout that includes some basic guidelines for using training zones to help you with training. (click the "paperclip" icon above and download the documents.)

For the "advanced" users here, there are additional exercises, suggestions for many of the workouts throughout. These are in the "Pre-activity" notes, which are below. Be sure to read all the way down to see these additions.

Many of the cardio workouts come with training zones that you should strive to adhere to as best you can. These training zones are built around heart rate and "rate of perceived exertion". (click the "Paperclip" icon above to download the documents. ) While owning a heart rate monitor is not a requirement to use this plan, it can help to assure that you are training in the correct zone for maximum improvement. It's important that you listen to your body as well and getting injured is NOT cool. I want you healthy and strong when you finish this plan so you can move on to the next plan (tactical fitness improvement weeks 9-16) and continue your improvements.

This week's training is designed to transition you into training on a regular basis, so while it's not overall a tough week, it might be the first week in a while that you have worked out each day. As the weeks progress, the workouts will become more intense and longer and will push you to more and more improvements.

NOTE: This SATURDAY is the Army standard 2miler test. It's tough and you will be sore after. This is similar to the 2mile PT test you'll do on Day 1 at the RC. The goal is to establish your baseline fitness in this first week and then you will re-test in week 6 to see how far you have progressed. PICK YOUR COURSE WISELY. I want you to be able to repeat this test in week 6 and again in other training plans, so make sure you have a repeatable location that you can easily re-test on. PLAN FOR IT.
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Today's workout is to increase your cardio and get you used to walking/running with a small backpack on at same time. Put 10lbs in the small bergen for now and we'll increase the load as you get fitter.
WU:(warm-up)- 10 minutes stretching. Make sure to stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles and some shoulder stretches as well. It's important you take a little time now to prepare for your workout.
MS:(main-set)- 5minutes jogging and choose a pace that is an endurance pace (RPE: 4, HR- Z2/Z3).
5 minutes walking, recover and easy.
5 minutes jogging, same pace as before.
5 minutes walking, recover and easy.
10 minutes jogging at same pace as before.
5 minutes walking, recover and easy.
10 minutes jogging at same pace as before.
CD:(cool-down)- 5minutes walking and light stretching.

Sample Day 2
1:10:00
Walk/Jog 5 run/5 walk>10run/10 walk

You are going to repeat the workout from yesterday, I want your cardio to really improve. Put 10lbs in the bergen for now and we'll increase the load as you get fitter.
Reminder, you are transitioning into a progressive training plan, so while it might be a little easy for some of you this will continue to get harder and harder. And I want you to stay injury free!

WU:(warm-up)- 10 minutes stretching. Make sure to stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles and some shoulder stretches as well. It's important you take a little time now to prepare for your workout.
MS:(main-set)- 5minutes jogging and choose a pace that is an endurance pace (RPE: 4, HR- Z2/Z3).
5 minutes walking, recover and easy.
5 minutes jogging, same pace as before.
5 minutes walking, recover and easy.
10 minutes jogging at same pace as before.
5 minutes walking, recover and easy.
10 minutes jogging at same pace as before.
CD:(cool-down)- 5minutes walking and light stretching.

Sample Day 3
1:10:00
Walk/Jog 5 run/5 walk>10run/10 walk

Same workout as past two days. Reminder, you are transitioning into more cardio, so don't push this week. I don't want you injured. Do the workouts and don't worry, they will get more and more challenging. Put 10lbs in the bergen for now and we'll increase the load as you get fitter.
WU:(warm-up)- 10 minutes stretching. Make sure to stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles and some shoulder stretches as well. It's important you take a little time now to prepare for your workout.
MS:(main-set)- 5minutes jogging and choose a pace that is an endurance pace (RPE: 4, HR- Z2/Z3).
5 minutes walking, recover and easy.
5 minutes jogging, same pace as before.
5 minutes walking, recover and easy.
10 minutes jogging at same pace as before.
5 minutes walking, recover and easy.
10 minutes jogging at same pace as before.
CD:(cool-down)- 5minutes walking and light stretching.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
Strength exercises 1: Push ups, pull-ups, one legged squats, etc.

Today is working on increasing your basic strength that you'll need in most tactical situations.

The goal today is to do 60 push-ups in whatever number of sets you can complete. Strive to do this in (2) sets of 30 reps each, but it's fine to start out with (6) sets of 10 reps for now. Do what you can do! IF you can do more than 60, then you should do more. I know guys that do 100 a day as their "norm". IF that's you, then you need to add 60 on TOP of your "norm". Resting position is on your knees.

After push-ups, the goal is 20 pull-ups. Again, do them in whatever combination you have to do them in. Resting is walking around shaking out the arms and standing under the bar. IF you cannot do a single pull-up, or maybe only a couple, you need to off-set some of your weight. Get out that exercise ball and put it under the pull-up bar. Grab that bar and stand on the ball, and then using your legs, off-set the correct amount of weight in order for you to complete 20 pull-ups. This will allow you to get the benefit and work, while getting in the training stress. See attached picture for an example.(CLICK ON PAPERCLIP above and download to view)

Now, do 60 sit-ups. Same thing applies here if you can do more, or if you are already doing 60 daily, then add this to your "norm". Resting is sitting up, NOT lying down.

Finish your workout, by putting that 10lb back pack on and doing one legged squats.

Step forward with your left leg first and squat down and ALMOST touch the ground with your right knee, then push up and step back. Now, do the right leg.
Do 30 on each leg before taking a 5minute break to rest the legs.
Do 30 more on each leg and you are done for the day!

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
Strength exercises 1: Push ups, pull-ups, one legged squats, etc.

REPEAT THURSDAY WORKOUT
Reminder of the rules/exceptions I wrote about in yesterday's workout. Re-read if necessary.

The goal today is to do 60 push-ups in whatever number of sets you can complete. Strive to do this in (2) sets of 30 reps each, but it's fine to start out with (6) sets of 10 reps for now. Do what you can do!

After push-ups, the goal is 20 pull-ups. Again, do them in whatever combination you have to do them in.

30 Sit-ups now!

Finish your workout, by putting that 10lb back pack on and doing one legged squats.

Step forward with your left leg first and squat down and ALMOST touch the ground with your right knee, then push up and step back. Now, do the right leg.
Do 30 on each leg before taking a 5minute break to rest the legs.
Do 30 more on each leg and you are done for the day!

Sample Day 6
1:00:00
Strength exercises 1: Push ups, pull-ups, one legged squats, etc.

Do these today after your have recovered from the 2 miler test. Its even fine to do these in the evening if you want. You will be adding in exercises along the 12 weeks, so make sure to get these nailed, especially since they are so critical to your success in the RC.

The goal today is to do 60 push-ups in whatever number of sets you can complete. Strive to do this in (2) sets of 30 reps each, but it's fine to start out with (6) sets of 10 reps for now. Do what you can do!

After push-ups, the goal is 20 pull-ups. Again, do them in whatever combination you have to do them in.

Do 60 sit-ups now!

Finish your workout, by putting that 10lb back pack on and doing one legged squats.

Step forward with your left leg first and squat down and ALMOST touch the ground with your right knee, then push up and step back. Now, do the right leg.
Do 30 on each leg before taking a 5minute break to rest the legs.
Do 30 more on each leg and you are done for the day!

You should now be warmed up for your walk/run. Get out there and get in some miles.

Sample Day 6
1:00:00
2-Miler Test

PT Test: ‘2 miler’:’ This will be the test you will do at the RC. If you are familiar with the MVT training facility, then you know the road in and out to the property. The test will start at MVT, run out to the paved road and run back. If you can simulate a similar course near you then that would be best.

30 lb bergen, rifle. 2 mile course run as an individual.
(If you cannot carry a rifle, put 35lb in your bergen, this isn't about open carry, it's about fitness).

The 2-Miler is an individual best effort event, designed to simulate a rapid movement to relieve troops in contact. It is a physical and mental challenge that will asses an individual’s aptitude for the Rifleman role. It tests physical fitness, heart and determination.

MVT Rifleman Challenge Event:
The MVT course is hilly and more challenging than a standard 2-miler route:
Goal: Sub 22 minutes:
Rifleman Pass: Sub 25 minutes
Rifleman Reserve Pass: Sub 30 minutes
Standard 2-Miler Route (flat/gently rolling):
Goal: Sub 18 minutes.
Slings may be used on rifles, but the rifle must not be carried on the back or on/in the bergen. It must be carried either to the front of the body or at the trail.
Note: for training purposes, if running without a rifle, add your rifle weight to your bergen weight.

WARM-UP IS CRITICAL:
10 minutes Stretching first.
10 minutes fast walking, swinging your arms, and getting your HR up.
10minutes now, jogging at a quick pace, but not running. Pick up those feet and get moving.
5 minutes easy walking back to gear and get loaded up and ready for your Test.

POST your time in the Training forum on in my MVT forum.