The PT Thing: Clarification

MVT Training Progression Classes
December 3, 2014
MVT Rifleman Challenge #1: 27-29 March 2015
December 5, 2014

I have received feedback that my encouragement to get better at PT has upset some people. Now, it would be easy to say “who cares,” but that wouldn’t be helpful. There are always haters out there and it is an easy thing for them to try and paint me as the bad guy in this case.

Physical fitness is really important. That is why I talk about it so much. If you intend to conduct any small unit tactics (SUT), self-defense, or even basic survival, then your fitness levels will play an important part. I don’t bang on about it to be a hater, but of course when people perceive themselves as being criticized they get defensive. But that isn’t why I talk about it. I do so with the intent of waking people up to bad diet and exercise habits, in the hope that they will change things and get better. That will directly lead to increased operational effectiveness and higher chances of survival.

In the same way that I encourage people to stop drinking the tactikoolaid, and get some real combat training, I encourage them to work on the very important aspect of physical fitness. It’s not a personal criticism; simply if the cap fits, get a grip and work on it, whatever aspect of your tactical readiness needs improving. Too many people are in denial, or make excuses.

I also understand that many have physical injury, illness, or other reasons why they can’t get in shape. When I put out personal goals such as the MVT Rifleman Challenge it’s not to say “F you fatties” but rather to give solid goals, for those who are able, to work towards.

So many aspects of society are set up to make you physically incapable of tactical survival. From the guy who says he works all hours, the overweight guy who perceives he has no time to exercise, the crappy food that you are encouraged to eat, the commuting, the high fructose corn syrup in all your drinks. Much of this comes down to mindset and making it happen. Even with little time to exercise, you can at minimum adjust your diet so you are at least not overweight. It takes self-control – and that is exactly why it upsets people when it is mentioned, because it makes them feel crappy in the knowledge that they should, and could. be better.

So much of this comes back to your mindset. If you can’t control your diet, or get up to exercise, show some intestinal fortitude, then you will be stuck making excuses, and when the balloon goes up you won’t be ready.

Despite the fact that I have been making posts recently about PT, and setting goals for people to aim for, that does not impact on the normal class offerings. I get all shapes and sizes through my classes. One of the main takeaways for many is the need for weight control and physical fitness (despite me hammering this – people don’t listen beforehand). What differentiates these guys is that they have the mindset and heart to get out and train, and in many cases they then go away and actually get in shape, and come back, often more than once, for more training. They are bettering themselves and increasing their chances of tactical survival, and that of their families.

So don’t confuse the PT goals that I have set out for the MVT Rifleman Challenge  and the 2-Miler with the requirements for a standard class. I won’t hate you if you are not in the best shape, or discriminate against you, but I may advise you to work on your PT. Don’t shoot the messenger. You will have a better time on training if you are in shape, but with good mindset and determination you will get through the class anyway. The classes are not really physically demanding at all – they are only made so in individual cases by a serious lack of PT.

And part of this problem is that people often have no reference point for what a good level of conditioning actually is. They either have no clue, or they are exposed to unrealistic standards that they will never achieve. I am aiming to change this with the recent additions to classes, and with more PT advice to come in the near future.

Here are a couple of quotes taken from Chris in the Max Velocity Facebook Page:

Guys and gals, don’t think for a second the enemies of freedom aren’t out there preparing to end our way of life because it’s too cold or too hard. Many respond on here about too busy and not enough money to come train at Max Velocity. I say don’t train for MVT, train for life! If walking up the stairs or carrying a ruck a couple miles breaks you off, think about a healthier life style. 30 minutes watching pointless TV programs can be a little cardio, a little weight training. Stick with it and 30 minutes turns into an hour, weights get heavier, run times faster and you feel BETTER! Eat better, eat less eat smart, there’s tons of sites that help the patriot on a budget to eat healthy. Drink water! Lots of water! Reasons are too many to list and all good. So you can’t make it to MVT yet. Practice dry fires, target discrimination, tac reloads, emergency reloads, up downs. Zero your long guns! Train in gear, refine your gear. Keep at all this and get the warrior mindset and sooner or later, I’ll see you in West Virginia.

I think there is not a more appropriate time for this to be read and it should be shared! Some of you may know the author. “Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear. He doesn’t worry about what workout to do – his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about ‘how hard it is;’ he knows either he wins or dies. He doesn’t go home at 17:00, he is home. He knows only The Cause. Still want to quit?”

I’m not a hater about this, so don’t you be either. Take the advice in the spirit of how it is meant: to help you. Rather than making excuses, get it done.

Putting my money where my mouth is: Invite to attend speed march training sessions w/ Max.



  1. sfsigo says:

    Just to confirm that Max doesn’t discriminate during his classes- I took his Sept CTT. I am overweight and I acknowledge that this impacted my performance during the class, but I did complete the course. The only thing Max ever said to me about it was after the jungle walk, when we were alone, he said “You know that working on your fitness will help you move fast, stay low, and improve your survivability right?” There was no malice or elitism in his voice, just a simple statement of fact. We all have to make choices in life and I have one now. I can either get butthurt about reality and make excuses or start trying to better myself. I am choosing the latter.

  2. Mike H says:

    I agree w/ sfsigo…. Max will give feedback during class which is designed to “motivate” the student to better themselves. Also I see that method in his posts…..motivating those(me included) that need a little push. PT will not only make one tactically sound but also will improve your everyday life. Finally as Chris stated…drink water!

  3. Stinger says:


    Great words; thanks.

    Max STRONGLY encourages PT because it’s important and also because he actually, truly cares for our country and those who want to survive in it. This Rifleman qualification has moved me to work more on PT, and while I have a ways to go, I’ve started, along with my oldest brother and my wife. We do 4 mile ruck hikes weekly (hopefully bi-weekly, or more often now that i’m out of school for the semester) with between 30 and 50 lbs.

    I have a long way to go, but won’t stop. The bad guys haven’t and won’t stop their training, so why do we think we can stop ours?

  4. MQ says:

    Saying a person is overweight/out of shape/etc. is just stating a fact. Its not claiming anything about the kind of person they are. Folks (me included) really need to start envisioning a better version of their future self regardless of their current condition and not let that condition be the excuse for their inaction but to let it be the motivation for improvement. Besides, individual improvement is part of the foundation of Rationalism. If we aren’t constantly striving to improve then we aren’t being congruent with what we say we believe.

    I’m glad to see this blog post phrased as an opportunity for encouragement when it would have been so easy to say “piss off”. It actually caused me to check my arrogance and judgementalness about fitness.

  5. perioikoi says:

    The laws of Survival care nothing for excuses, the strong live and the weak die and even the strong can die. At the moment of truth and in the hour of need if one fails it must not be due to being unconditioned. For the relatively healthy such a failure is unacceptable and completely within our control. Like anything else PT is a matter of priorities. If being combat effective is a priority we will find time, if not, we not only risk our mission but the lives of our team and those who depend on us for their survival. Find a way, make it happen!

  6. BBQ'd says:

    I worked out for YEARS before attending the ol’ CRCD class and like many “thought I was in pretty good shape.” Wanna guess how that went?

    To be frank I was 5’11” weighed 245lba, 52″ chest 40″ waist, 20″ arms, 28″ thighs, and could easily do 40 sit ups and 40 leg lifts. What could possibly be the problem? Well a lack of agility was the main issue and feeding air to that size is all but impossible over and extended period of time. Ever feel like you were sucking up the entire atmosphere on a mountain?

    After the “wake up call” I spend less time on weights and a lot more time on rucking, rowing (thanks for the Concept 2 suggestion Max) and also spend more time playing racquetball. The changes have certainly helped but reversing the overtime with the weights has turned out to be a first class bitch, but I’m getting there.

    Anyway the idea, as Max keeps pointing out, it WELL ROUNDED training, not focusing on one aspect unless it relates directly to the actions and requirements of a combat scenario and developing overall fitness. Agility and endurance seem to be the key factors.

    This isn’t about “you”, it is about being someone who can be of benefit and not a burden in the type of environment under discussion. Someone who is good enough shape to offer help and not need help unless injured. Someone who will not get his battle buddy’s ass shot off while trying to help YOU because you can’t keep up.

    I have been working hard to get in shape and be able to hit the marks set by Max. At my age and after my surgeries will I be able to do it? It will be an interesting challenge to find out and if for some reason I cannot there are other places those like myself my still be of benefit and don’t let it be said I didn’t put forth the effort.

    Get lean, get mean, and get real. PT isn’t an option, it’s a life saving necessity.

    • Palmetto says:

      bbq’d gives us a great object lesson in the difference between functional strength and weight room strength. Like every other piece of equipment and gear, we should work our body to fit the mission.

      Looking like an NFL linebacker might have a functional advantage for a bar fight but that isn’t our mission. The guys doing the annual Ranger Challenge model kind of
      fitness that meets the mission.

  7. barry gordon says:

    If you are not working out. I request; for your own good, you get up right now and do:
    1 push up*
    1 ab row
    1 minute of walking**
    Take 2 days off
    Add 1 to each exercise

    The above is as basic as it gets. Hopefully, over time you will enjoy exercising and feel better and you will want to add exercises.

    * If 1 regular push up is to hard then do them on your knees until you get to 20.
    ** Once you get to 1/2 hour to 1 hour of walking start adding weight to your back!

    If you have bad legs, ok train your upper body, abs and core. Can you ride a bike?

    If you have bad shoulders or arms, ok train abs, core and rucking.

    If your whole body is broken, work on marksmanship.

    Author of book “SurvivalFit” … B00OVKQ7G6

    Cum Laude B.S. in Exercise Science.
    Formerly CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) with the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association).
    Formerly first responder with American Red Cross.

  8. revpatriot says:

    Wait….this is actually an issue for people?
    You professionally say” Hey you guys want to do Infantry type stuff you may Want to be in at least close to Infantry shape”, and people are lossing their minds on it?
    MAX your such a dick, how could you tell people their is more to a fight than fancy toys and Tacticool mag flips??!!!! ( Very sarcastic on the dick part).
    If PT is too scary their is always Call of Duty.

  9. Alex says:

    The last hour or three of my day , and probably everyone’s day , is spent on my ass in front of a computer or television.

    About two days before Max started this “wake up ” call I went to bed an hour earlier than normal and got up an hour earlier – and sacrificed an hour of wasted time.

    That morning I went for a two mile walk with a training partner. It’s been five weeks now. I wake up before my alarm , I’m used to it. Im not missing anything that matters in the least.

    My times suck , but fuck you , they’re improving. I feel better. This morning we added alternating jog / run increments. And it was easy, because the more you do anything the easier it gets. Sit on your ass – and it gets easier , get up and get out – and that gets easier, too.

    After the first week , I thought over Max’s Two Miler , and thought : NFW . Now it’s a sub goal , I’ll be there this winter easy , but I think I’m going to take it a lot farther – because it feels good.

    • barry gordon says:

      consider this:
      Instead of jogging start slowly adding weight on your back while walking.
      At the end of the walk:
      1 squat thrust
      1 push up
      1 ab row
      Do twice a week adding 1 a workout.

  10. […] Wisdom on the missing element for many patriots. […]

  11. Daniel says:

    Both Max and Mosby have lead me to feel inferior several times, and every time it was because I *am* inferior in those areas being pointed out. Somebody’s got to say it and I’m glad they did. At that point control passes to me to either work on fixing it or getting butt hurt.

    Daniel – No Speed, All Drag 🙂

  12. Jared says:

    For anyone who finds taking feedback about their fitness level offensive…if the idea of someone beating you to a pulp, or stealing everything you own or outright killing you isn’t motivating; then I would ask you to visualize that same violence being perpetrated on your most precious loved one…reflect deeply how you would feel or live with yourself, if the ones you loved most were subjected to that because YOU did not have the ability to act – because you couldn’t act – for lack of simple training. And make no mistake, through physical training – at whatever level you start – you will develop mental strength. You just have to put your ego in your back pocket and get started. It really is just that simple.

  13. RobRoySimmons says:

    For me it’s a simple binary equation, you’re either another ‘Murkan clown or you’re not. If you’re in the rubber nose column then begin the extrication process. Yes I have my moments but I don’t relish them or wait for momma to buy me a sugar treat to make me feel better

  14. You are right Max! I need to KEEP hearing the message on PT so feel free to keep saying it. Thanks!

  15. Zaphod says:

    But Big Macs are YUMMY! 😉

    • WiseCaveOwl says:

      of course they are. The diet part of physical fitness is overrated. Right now at work I’m enjoying a 20 oz. cherry coke and 3 7/11 pepperoni pizza slices. But when I get home, there’ll be a 40 minute bike ride followed by a light workout before zzzzzzzzz. And when I wake up, there’ll be a heavy 1.5 hr. workout before breakfast. And that cherry coke and pizza will be entirely burned off, nothing but a good memory

      • barry gordon says:

        I somewhat disagree. I completed a pre med nutrition course as part of my degree. While you can burn off a bad meal, it’s not that difficult to eat more calories then you can burn off and gain weight. If you have a bad diet it can make all the difference. If you don’t get enough Vit C you will get scurvy, which can kill. If you don’t get enough Vita A or Beta Carotene it will negatively effect your night vision. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, death. A well balanced diet is important, especially once you add the stress of exercise. I also like pizza.

  16. Comrade X says:

    Max I know you are right, and being so I am working on PT every other day.

    Put a warning to my fellow patriots, don’t be stupid, two days ago on my PT exercises because of the shortening day light I found myself in the woods in the dark, I had a light but a headlamp wasn’t the answer I should have had a hand carry at more power, so today I am wearing an air-cast on my right foot. The walk back up the hill was one of the longest I have ever taken in time and pain, but it was a good thing I had my 8″ Danners on. Now I am out of any real PT for a month or so, hopefully the SHTF waits till I am back in action. Otherwise I’m a cook.

    I can’t wait to be back at it, MV please keep it up, I will need that Drill Sergeant pushing me.

    • Zaphod says:

      I hear you And was only half joking with my post. Part of my problem if that I have always been able to adjust my physical fitness quickly. Getting ready for a BJJ/MMA competition, or just wanting to get in shape was something I could do on the order of 8 weeks or so. As you get older it gets harder. Entering my 40s it has gotten A LOT harder. But I still feel confident, and have demonstrated that – when I want to – Flab can be converted into muscle. The time it takes increases with age, but it can always be done.

    • barry gordon says:

      Ok, so you hurt your ankle, work your upper body. You can always do push ups, ab, core and pull ups, even if you have to do push ups on your knees for reps.

  17. john sniper says:

    Good stuff guys. Been doing P90X and rucking for years. Been in the woods all my life. My brother was 101st – I train with him. I’m 51. Had knee surgery this morning – doing pushups this afternoon. If you cant do the physical stuff then be the auxiliary or the subversive underground – but you still need training for that. Find your role and own it.

    • barry gordon says:

      Why did you have knee surgery?

      • john sniper says:

        Torn meniscus and bakers cyst. Put it off for a few months – finally had to knock it out. Not too bad though – walking around today no problem , a little stiff.

  18. Curtis says:

    Damn-it. I’m 55 with a partially collapsed lower back disc that on occasion gives me fits. I internally decapitated my foot from my leg hanging by one tendon and took almost 2 years to recover. A year ago I ripped off part of my finger and after 2 operations, I still have problems in that hand. Adapt. Overcome. Improvise. It hurts. It is going to hurt worse if you can’t protect your family. I’m not 20 anymore. I have my physical ailments. But I can still go out to mt back yard and jump my 7 foot fence. I can still force march with a 40lb ruck 2 to 5 miles.

    My wife, God bless her heart, has for several years after child birth, had a thyroid problem and a constant battle with her weight. She said enough is enough. She lost 43lbs and 10 more will be at her ideal weight for her 5′ 11″ frame. She eliminates all the junk food she was used to eating. Gave up the diet cokes. Gave up the chocolate. She used to be on the college swim team, so every other day she goes to the local pool and swims and plays pool volleyball.

    I had a Drill Sgt. who told us his story of being ambushed in the jungles of Vietnam. If I remember correctly, all his bullet wounds… one to the cheek that knocked almost all his teeth out, one to the neck, one to the chest through his arm, one in the gut that missed his vitals, and two to the leg(s). They thought he was dead. His squad made a hasty retreat, otherwise they all were going to get wiped out by a NVA Company. Anyhow, he was in and out of consciousness. Dragged himself into some foliage. Bandaged his face and plugged everything else with jungle mud. They found him 3 days later.

    Every day, he would tell us, “I am alive today because the body will do what the mind tells it to.” Will.