Training Our Nation’s Finest

The Tactical Athlete: For the tactical athlete (military and first reparachute-704403__340.jpgsponders), fitness isn’t just a hobby or something done just when there’s spare time, it’s a core job requirement that his or her life and the lives of those around him or her depend on; fitness is life or death. Tactical Athletes also face the “burden of constant fitness” meaning there is no “off-season”; the tactical athlete must always be able to perform at a moments notice because he or she will never know when the call will come. Because of this, tactical athletes must train like professional athletes, but aren’t afforded the same specificity in training that typical professional athletes enjoy. Tactical athletes must be “good” at everything not just a single sport or discipline. Mountain Tactical Institute (MTI) provides tactical athletes with training knowledge so that they
an fight, win, and live.

Mountain Tactical Institute: Based in Jackson, WY, MTI was founded by Rob Shauls and caters to military, first responders, and mountain athletes like backcountry ski and backpacking guides; all professions where fitness affects job performance and survivability. The very first thing you see on MTI’s website is their mission statement, “Our job: Improve mission performance for mountain and tactical athletes, keeping them safe”. The “Read More” link under this takes the viewer to a page titled “What We Do” and clearly explains MTI’s purpose and goals as well as their “Mission Direct Approach” making it very easy for users to figure out what MTI is all about.

Elements of MTI: MTI’s core competencies include fitness, research, education, and consulting; all of which have tabs on MTI’s homepage. The drop down menu under fitness displays each type of tactical and mountain athlete that MTI seeks to serve; Military, Mountain (professional mountain athletes and guides), Law Enforcement, and Fire/Rescue. Upon clicking on any community, the viewer is taken to a training page specific to that community. One the community specific page, MTI offers links to training plans, and explains the programming philosophy for that specific community. MTI’s LinkedIn Page also breaks down the different fitness attributes that are specific to each community and explains why those attributes are most important.

MTI Research: MTI’s philosophy behind research is the same philosophy that drives it’s training, a mission direct approach is best. MTI is also on the forefront of training research, taking the latest studies in sports science and using “in the trenches” research to find the best real world applications. Under MTI’s Research tab, you’ll find links to opinion articles written experienced professionals that are mostly based off of anecdotal evidence and experience. There are also full case studies that dive deep into topics such as rucking performance, affects of stress on marksmanship, and gear durability.

My Use of MTI: My favorite parts of MTI are its video examples of exercises and mobility drills (choose Exercises under the Fitness tab) and the research articles they publish. For the exercise examples, the viewer just has to click on them and it will take you to MTI’s YouTube Page, which not only has the exercise examples, but also has videos that explain MTI’s philosophy behind training, periodization, and nutrition. In all, their YouTube page has a wealth of knowledge. As far as the research articles go, my favorites are the ones that study rucking performance, like the one that finds that one pound on your feet would equal another four pounds in your ruck. I also follow MTI’s LinkedIn Page, which posts recent articles by Rob Shauls and other MTI trainers. Overall, MTI is an invaluable resource for me and anyone else whose career depends on their fitness.


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