Army MFT Master Fitness Trainer course Phase 2 - Day 2

Today, day 2 was a deadlift day. Supremely fun learning experience about hinging at the hips instead of hinging at the knees. Classroom instruction is getting mentally intense and challenging a lot of minds.


Muscle groups of the lower body

Planes in which movement occurs



Tendon – Muscle to Bone; Hamstring injury would be strain


Ligament – Bone to Bone; Ankle would be sprain


Muscle Contraction


Isometric – When muscle fires without causing movement

Concentric – when muscle shortens and brings attachment points together

Eccentric – muscle lengthens to control a movement while lengthening to control a movement or because the muscle is unable to overcome the resistance; more likely to cause DOMS


What adaptive aspect are you trying to improve?


Are you working Agonists – muscle doing the majority of the work
Synergist – muscles that work with agonist

Are you working fixators/stabilizer’s – muscles that stabilize and support

Antagonists – muscles on the opposite side i.e., bicep curl, the triceps would be the antagonist


Resistance Training Program Design

Setting goals|tracking progress|


If you have bad form with low weight, then imagine what you’ll have with more weight.


Hypertrophy – muscle building 


General Training Principles




Specifity - body will adapt to a specific stress that is placed upon it to overcome the load or stress

Overload - Training stress or intensity that is greater than what a Soldier is accustomed to.

Progression - Advancing training loads (volume/time/ intensity/speed) to maintain overload as the body is adapting

Variation - Manipulation of training variables to prepare for a variety tasks and prevent injury

Exercise selection|Training equipment|Volume|Intensity|Frequency of training|Duration of training|Rest intervals

Science of Overload

  • General Adaptation Syndrome (G.A.S.)

– Concept of body adapting to stress placed on it by growing stronger.

starting from nothing – Homeostasis

Introducing a new plan – Alarm Stage

Consistency with Resistance – Resistance Stage

Muscle breaks down, muscle fatigue without proper sleep, rest in programming. Best to pre plan a break, Not continuously break down the same muscle group – Exhaustion Stage

Volume to Intensity Relationship

Training volume and intensity are inversely related. This means that if training volume is high then training load needs to be low. If training load is high then volume needs to be low.

Muscle Endurance Example: 3 (sets) x 12 (reps) with 150lbs

Example: 4 x 8 with 225lbs

Example: 5 x 4 with 270lbs

*All percentages are based on 1RM for a back squat performed with 300lbs. uscle

Volume to Load Relationship



Muscle Endurance




Sets: 2-3 Reps: 12-15*

Sets: 3-5 Reps: 6-12

Sets: 3-6 Reps: 1-5


0-66% of 1RM

67-85% of 1RM

86-100% of 1RM


<30 sec*

30-90 sec

2-5 min

All Percentages are based off 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM)

Training Volume = Sets X Reps (example 3 sets of 12 reps= 36 rep volume
Volume Load = Weight x Sets x Reps (example 200lbs x 2 sets x10 reps= 4000lbs Total Volume

*When programming during the MFTC, this may be up to 60 seconds.

Rate of Perceived Exertion – These charts are to show how your RPE would change by different variables.



Repetitions Remaining


Warm up or light speed work



Good speed weight (5-6 reps left)


2-3 reps left, too heavy to maintain bar speed


Last rep very tough, but still 1 rep left


Max effort (cannot perform another rep)





Microcyle: 1 week

  • Mesocycle: 4-16 weeks
  • –  Preparatory Phase (General Preparation Meso)
  • Individual Soldier Task to Platoon Task
  • –  1ST Transition
  • Deload/Reset
  • –  Preparatory/Pre-Competition Phase (Specific Preparation Meso)
  • Platoon Task to Pre-JRTC or Pre-Deployment
  • –  2nd Transition
  • Deload/Reset
  • –  Competition Phase (Mission Ready Meso)
    Deployed (maintaining physical capabilities and mission readiness)

Macrocycle: 6 months to 1 year

Muscular Endurance Based on 1RM back squat of 200 lbs.

Volume (Rep Volume)

Load (load volume)



2 sets x 12 reps (24 total reps)

100 lbs. (50% of 1RM) (24 reps x 100 lbs.= 2400)

60 sec


2 sets x 15 reps (30 total reps)

100 lbs. (50% of 1RM) (30 reps x 120 lbs.= 3600)

60 sec


3 sets x 12 reps (36 total reps)

100 lbs. (50% of 1RM) (45 reps x 100 lbs.= 4500)

60 sec


3 sets x 12 reps (36 total reps)

100 lbs. (50% of 1RM) (45 reps x 100 lbs.= 4500)

30 sec


2 sets x 12 reps (24 total reps)

110 lbs (55% of 1RM)

(24 reps x 110 lbs.= 2640)

60 sec


3 sets x 12 reps (36 total reps)

110 lbs (55% of 1RM)

(36reps x 110 lbs.= 3690)

60 sec


3 sets x 12 reps (45 total reps)

130 lbs. (65% of 1RM)

(45 reps x 130 lbs.=5850)

60 sec


Steps to Design a Program

  1. Needs Analysis
  2. Exercise Selection
  3. Exercise Order
  4. Training Frequency
  5. Training Load and Volume – Group by ability
  6. Rest Periods
  7. RPE

Exercise Selection

  • Influenced by:

Specificity- What does their job consist of? – moveunderload(Infantry)

– lift heavy objects(mechanic/engineer)
– standing or sitting all day (operations,MP)

How much time the Soldier has to exercise
What equipment is available
Tactical athletes experience- Proper technique is key

Exercise Order

  1. Warm Up: General, Dynamic, Specific*
  2. Structural / Power Exercises**

– To load spine; increased need to stabilize posture, when performed fast, it becomes a power exercise

  1. Main Lift/ Compound Exercises: Choose 1
    • –  1 of 4 Core Lifts (Squat, DL, OHP, BP)
    • –  Multi-joint exercises, multiple muscle groups
  2. Accessory Exercises: Choose 3

– Single-joint exercises, smaller muscle group(s)

  1. Core or Grip Exercise: Choose 1
    • –  Consider all sides of the core
    • –  Grip: Heavy or sustained?
  2. Cool Down
  • Push-Pull exercise method
  • Alternating upper and lower body (circuit training)

*Specific Warm Up will be the same as the Main Lift **Optional

Training Frequency

  • How many sessions per week? – Novice: 1-3 times per week
    – Intermediate: 3-4 times per week – Advanced: 4-6 times per week
  • Will sessions be divided by body regions (upper/lower)?
  • Can change in each cycle/phase of periodization

For example training session – take 50% of weight for all ability groups (A,B,C) from needs analysis – always round down to nearest 5

I've learned plenty of things in this course so far that will be beneficial to both how I move forward and how I coach/write ebooks for the Rack Runners brand.

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