WHY HDT IS DIFFERENT AND WHY I WILL DEFINITELY RETURN (AFTER A LITTLE REST...)
In recent years I have become passionate about rucking and functional training related to this fantastic activity.
I tried almost a lot of training proposals, then through social media I came to discover HDT, and I stopped looking.
Yes, because after 6 weeks of Round #37, I can say that Heavy Drop Training is not only different...it's another planet, and now I'll explain why.
There are many reasons, primarily Bryan: the man behind the acronym HDT.
Bryan is a professional, as an athlete and as a coach which are two completely different things: he know how to do and he know how to teach, a trainer and not a .pdf compiler.
He knows rucking, he knows biomechanics, he knows sweat and he has a lot of experience in all of them.
You will see it, feel it and thank it.
Let's move on to the program: first of all it's a "Program", not a jumbled collection of workouts.
You start, build and reach a destination: there is a project, a path, an idea, a strategy, a method...and it is perceived with each repetition
Here you work with a purpose and you change, you improve and it shows.
Finally, the group, the companions, the team: a label heralded by all but which is often reduced to a chat in which everyone publishes their own records, ephemeral snapshots of their own ego.
The people you will meet thanks to HDT will not only tell you about sets and repetitions, they will not only show you how good they are: they will help you when you don't understand or fail, they will advise and support you when you are in difficulty, they will rejoice in your successes, they will encourage and console you if you fail.
It is beautiful and welcoming, and even if like me you are on the other side of an ocean, you will feel like you are in the family: side by side with your new friends.
Would they need a more user friendly site? and a more captivating app? Yes, maybe yes: but this is form, not substance. And whoever is here for the form has already got the wrong address.
Is $99 a lot? It's the wrong question, too subjective: it depends on your budget, what you compare them to, with what criterion you're judging.
The right question is: is it worth the 99 dollars? Every penny, because in the end you will be satisfied and happy, tired and better, convinced that you have invested and not spent, full of good memories and good sensations...and I don't think this has a price.
Try and you will come back, start and you will understand: here you are in the right place, at home.
Virginia N. (10+ Rounds)
When I first heard about HDT about 3 years ago I was intimidated to say the least. I looked into it but thought it was too hard. After Team Assessment Class 001 I was paired with someone who had done a
few rounds and he convinced me to try and now I’m hooked. After 10 rounds I’ve done bodyweight, ruck and ruck/sandbag and have loved (loved hated) all of it.
I used it to train for team assessment class 002 and later selection and it got me in the best shape of my life. The way Bryan programs for all levels and allows me to push on certain weeks and back off on others makes it challenging but not impossible at all. I went into Selection in the absolute best shape of my life.
The community has also been huge. Seeing people post accomplishments and struggles keeps me going at times. So many great people of all levels do the programming and continue to make huge gains each round. I also love seeing the people that come back from difficulties and crush their first event. Now having completed a round with my daughter I’m even more convinced this is the best. We had so much fun doing the work each week. During the pandemic she became one of those kids that gained weight due to activities being shut down. After doing one round she is having more fun being more active and has found that she wants to try new sports because now she has more confidence.
Through all 10 rounds my kids have watched me do the work at home and at the gym. They see the work and they see my effort to stay in shape which allows me to keep up with them no matter what
By the numbers doing HDT with the barbell work:
2 minutes Pushups 47 to 59
2 minutes situps: 64 to 75
5 minutes of burpee 60 to 74
Running and rucking have all improved by 2 minutes at a minimum
Barbell work (actually did a powerlifting meet and this is what I got)
Back squat 155 to 185
Bench press 85 to 105
Deadlift 210 to 305
In a nutshell it’s the best thing I have done overall. Programming, support, community all of it. 10 rounds went way too fast! Now it's time for 10 more!
Nate G. (10+ Rounds)
I started HDT with the intent of preparing for the 9/11 20th anniversary HTL in NYC but having some pretty bad foot issues sidelined me which ultimately resulted in having to have surgery. It was a long frustrating and disappointing recovery process. My goal at this had point shifted from HTL to just getting back to where I was pre-surgery.
I remember being so discouraged my first rounds back after surgery. I’d been laid up for 16 weeks and physically, mentally and emotionally I was a mess.
I trusted the process and with the help and support of friends, I kept grinding away round after round, until I returned to my pre-surgery form and have now significantly surpassed that.
The original goal was an HTL but GORUCK reduced their event schedule quite a bit and there was nothing within driving distance of the Northeast. I just continued training hard and waited for something big to come up that I felt I could test myself out at.
The custom survival HH was announced in NY and I set my sights on finishing that. While the event was educational and I learned a ton, had a great time and made some awesome memories…it wasn’t the physically demanding event I needed it to be.
Here comes Bragg Heavy.
Bragg was an event I had my eyes on in 2021 and 2022 but due to injury, surgery, recovery and life changes I just didn’t feel I was ready to give the devotion that I felt Bragg deserved.
I signed up for Bragg 2023 and dedicated myself to being physically and mentally prepared to thrive at that event. I followed HDT religiously and was very fortunate to have Lovers Quarrel to inspire me to go harder, be faster, and get stronger. I was so proud of myself for earning that Bragg patch.
While completing several GORUCK events through the time I’ve been doing HDT, one of my biggest accomplishments I’m most proud of is winning an HDT round with my battle buddy Kyle Crutcher. That felt like the perfect way to wrap up what has been an awesome run with Heavy Drop Training.
I’m grateful for the community and the support. I’ve grown a lot physically, mentally and emotionally and I’ve had the opportunity to make strong friendships stronger.
Michael W. (10+ Rounds)
Even knowing this was coming, I haven't done a very good job of organizing my thoughts. Somehow I managed to complete 10 rounds in 10 attempts, but that has gotten more difficult with each round and especially this last round with the QMODs. I started with a bodyweight round and after that I've done 3 ruck rounds and 6 SB/ruck rounds. I chose my own battle buddy the first time, I've had various random battle buddies including a few late starters and I've done a solo round. I turned 50 during XXV and I don't think I'm the oldest HDTer, but I'm one of the older ones. I think turning 50 and the possibility of not finishing this round because of other planned activities during the round got inside my head and made it a bit more stressful this time...but even with that, the key to completion still seems to be consistency. In each round I knew that I needed to get each week started by Tuesday at the latest and work through all of the stuff one day at a time. Two goals I came in with were to get stronger and to do another GORUCK Tough. I have definitely gotten stronger over time and increased my SB weights, and I can do 6ish strict pull ups where I couldn't do any before I started HDT. The pandemic interfered with my GORUCK plans, and now it just doesn't seem that important to me to do another event right now. Another goal I added along the way about the time the lockdowns started was improving my nutrition. I was in my second round of HDT at that point and I had a regular physical with bloodwork. My labs weren't as good as I had hoped with all of the exercise I was getting, so I started tracking what I eat with MyFitnessPal. With the combo of HDT and MFP, I lost 20ish pounds between March and July of last year, and mostly I've kept it off with only some minor fluctuations in weight (aka holidays and vacation). During XXV I did two local 5k races with my kids (neither of which coincided with HDT slick run weeks) and our first 4 hour adventure race on Father's Day. The two 5K races are part of a three race summer series and I'm currently first in my age group after the first two races, with annoyingly consistent times of 21:28 in both races. We had a blast doing the adventure race and we plan to do more. After we were done with the adventure race, my daughter thanked me and said she didn't think too many dads would do that with their kids. I don't know how true that is about other dads, but I wouldn't be able to do it if I wasn't staying active and healthy.
Joel U. (10+ Rounds)
Man, time flies! I'm horrible about taking pictures, so no before/afters for me.
I started HDT after my first Tough solidly kicked me in the hindquarters and I started researching ruck-oriented training programs... HDT always was at the top of the list! I did a couple of rounds which fed into a T/L which went much, much better, and then my first HTL in DC. I took a break over the winter, but then Bryan had the idea to do March Madness, and that got me back into the community full throttle. My wife even tagged along for a couple of rounds, which I thoroughly enjoyed. HDT was my companion for 2020's lockdown, and was key in helping ramp up for Bragg Heavy in January. I've been a bit inconsistent lately with being on the road a lot for work, but HDT has been there to challenge me to stay active and keep training. I'm looking forward to being back home and being able to give 100% to the next round, and hopefully have my wife come back on board for another round this fall!
Looking back at my progress, I'm realizing that my fitness habits used to default to what I was "good at", or at least comfortable with. I stayed in shape from running, but wasn't particularly strong, mainly due to a lack of confidence in my technique on lifts. Naturally, getting into rucking made me realize I needed to improve in the strength department (I distinctly remember needing my wife to lift a pitcher of water for me at breakfast following my first Tough!). I wanted something to prepare me for the demands of rucking and make me a more positive contributor at events. Heavy Drop provided the perfect balance of strength focus while allowing me to still work on distance and even running. My confidence in lifting techniques increased with sandbag work, and my endurance under weight went up as well. I regularly ruck with 45# dry now, and often use an 80# or 105# sandbag. HDT has helped work through the tweaks and imbalances which were common in my early rucking days, which has been a huge confidence booster. Doing hard things with a "no one cares what you can do fresh" mentality has built up mental toughness and encourages me to keep finding new goals and challenges, even outside of events.
Finally, the community of HDT is something unique and very special. The time and energy that Bryan dedicates to the program is incredible, and makes HDT feel like a much stronger community than just another workout group.
So thanks to Bryan Singelyn and everyone else in the HDT family! I'm on board for the long haul.
Brandon B. (10+ Rounds)
Oh man! I’ve given quite a few reviews over the rounds, but I started HDT to get out of a training rut, and holy shit! It worked! Went on to get after an HTL soon after and now just training for life. I run faster, ruck farther, and constantly surprise myself with benefits of functional fitness. Gonna keep getting after this for a while!
Bill G. (10+ Rounds)
I started Heavy Drop Training to bridge the gap from doing OCR's and preparing for GORUCK events. I guess I am a bit of a masochist because I love the accountability, expectations and the grueling perverted workouts. I have started 12 rounds, however, do to illness only finished 11. HDT prepared me to complete two HTL’s last year and numerous other OCR and GORUCK events. I am often called the OLD MAN by the Cadre and other GRT’s. I just smirk and smile when they ask if I need help with the 80 or 120# sandbag and calmly say – “I got this”. HDT helps you get into your own mind. It etches in your soul an indelible mark of GRIT. A mark that I refer to during hard times and tell myself– “I can get through this – I have been here before!” HDT builds stronger Americans – mentally and physically. HDT is FAMILY.
Brian C. (10+ Rounds)
After my first couple of events I found myself lacking severely in everything other than putting one foot in front of another . Like others who partake in this insane hobby, there is always a desire to be better teammates at events, have that edge and to thrive..not just survive.
I found HDT after looking around for a program geared toward GORUCK and reading a few comments on the effectiveness of the workouts. The program did not disappoint. As a lot of folks have stated the workouts are extremely well rounded and not only focus on strength and endurance but also mental toughness. Working through the physical thrash helps you build a mindset of achieving micro goals that when added push you over the finish line. I've been really happy with the gains I've made over the rounds, and the boost in confidence when getting put through the wringer during a welcome party. Hell, I'm even excited to carry coupons (.. except railroad ties). It was an integral part in helping me complete my first Heavy and will no doubt prepare me for future success in other grueling events.
In addition to the excellent programing the community is really special. People are genuinely excited to see others beat time hacks, increase weight in movements and push through a solid week of beat downs. If people are having a rough go at it, people chip in with advice, and encouragement. Then there's the lead sadist himself, Bryan Singelyn. He's always there helping folks with questions, giving advice on form, and modifying workouts when necessary. One thing that really stood out this past round was one individual had a couple WO to get done and not a lot of time left in the week to do it. He setup time on Zoom and worked through both WO's with them. That speaks volumes.
Like others, HDT is always the first recommendation when people ask about prepping for events. Bryan, thanks for the hard work and heart you put into the program! HDT is amazing, and will be a main component in my training for a long time.
Gabriel R. (10+ Rounds)
I found HDT on IG in 2018 while looking for ruck related training pages. After going through their page I was sold and signed up, the round was VIII-18.
I had just done the MOG Mile T/L and felt that I could have been better prepared, my previous event prior to that was back in 2015.
My goals going in to HDT was to complete a Heavy then an HTL.
Thanks to HDT and the community I ended up doing 2 HTL’s within 5 months in the brutal Texas heat .
I was definitely prepared thanks to the HDT training, there was no doubt I was going to not only finish but be an asset to my team! I also completed a few more T/L in between and after those 2 HTL’s.
My take away is the awesome community that comes with HDT and a sense that if you put in the work there is nothing you can’t accomplish.
So here I am about to go into my 12th round
Thank you Bryan for an amazing program and community!
I have always been athletic. I was strong - naturally strong, stronger than most every other girl in my grade, without trying. But there was one thing I was not: I was not skinny.
I also was not fat. I was just a bit larger - more muscular - than the other wispy thin girls at my school. Even though I was proud of my athletic ability, I hated the body that came with it. And I hated it more than I was proud.
I went to college, and in my newfound independence quickly discovered that I could, in fact, be smaller. I dropped twenty pounds in about six weeks- and thus began my many-years-long relationship with an eating disorder. I cycled through normal and too-low weights many times. No matter how close I got to recovery, I always slipped back because I just could not accept the fact that when I was a healthy weight, I was not stick thin. My recovered body was too big, at least that was what my eating disorder told me.
My last serious dip into weight loss was just a few years ago. This time I reached almost thirty pounds under a minimum healthy weight, the lowest point in my life. Yet again, I put the needed weight back on. And yet again, I hated it. I hated my body, I hated myself. I felt like a failure because I could not seem to stay "skinny enough"
Somewhere around this time, I found rucking. Suddenly I was surrounded by strong, amazing women - women who could literally carry me on their shoulders if they wanted. They were positive and encouraging, even though I could barely keep up with them. They were not skinny, but they were strong, mentally and physically. And I wanted to be like them.
Along the way, I heard many good things about HDT, so I decided to try it. I was embarrassed by how physically weak I was. I couldn't do a single pushup. I couldn’t carry a forty pound sandbag half a mile without getting winded.
Six weeks later, I could a pushup - a full pushup, not on my knees. I could carry 40 pounds for two miles without effort.
I also saw my body change, which initially terrified me. I started to gain visible muscle, and I actually got a little bigger - but I could see progress in the weekly numbers, and the support of the group propelled me along in moments of fear. I started to feel a bit more confident. I felt a growing strength that was not just physical, it came from somewhere deep inside.
I've now done HDT for several rounds. I've seen so many more changes, all positive. I am so much stronger. I eat much more normally, and I eat much MORE- five times more than when I was at my lowest weight. I have happily ditched the clothes that are too small for my healthy body, the clothes that used to torture me when I could not fit into them.
Finally, being strong has become more important than being skinny.
To say that HDT cured my eating disorder would be silly. I am not “cured-“ I definitely still struggle. Also, nothing can cure me, I can only help myself.
However, it is very accurate to say that HDT has given me the structure, the tools, and, most importantly, the support to help me over that last hill- the hill of self-hatred and self-defeat. I am very lucky that my body survived the years of abuse I subjected it to. I feel just as fortunate to have found a group of individuals who have unknowingly helped me through a (still ongoing) transformation- a transformation back to acceptance, pride in myself, and the true desire to work for and welcome health over sickness.
So, thank you, Bryan. Thank you, HDT community. Who I am today would not have happened without you.
Katie G. (10+ Rounds)
This is my 10+ HDT round sharing post/review:
A few years ago I was doing some random training, but nothing purposeful. I've always been active throughout my life, but I hadn't been doing anything really structured since my college basketball days. I played DIII where I was an undersized power forward at 5'9, but still led my conference in rebounding one year 🙂 I was now in my 40s and feeling like if I was going to get "serious" about my training and if I had any fitness goals I wanted to achieve, I needed to get going on them now before it would be "too late." I was thinking about doing an OCR, but it felt intimidating, so I was reading blogs about OCRs and came across one where the guy raved about HDT training. I don't remember exactly what it was that made me sign up the first time, but I am glad now I did!
I struggled so much at the beginning - workouts sometimes would take me 1.5-2 hours to get through. At the start I was SO sore ALL the time. But I've always loved pushing myself and I could tell I was getting stronger. I did some rounds off and on for a while, and knew that I felt better when I did it, but I rarely did 100% completion rate and soloed all those rounds (didn't sign up for a battle buddy). I think I felt like doing something was better than nothing, and I still listened to excuses I came up with too often. But it helped me get stronger and have the confidence to do a local OCR, the Gladiator Assault Challenge, and then a Spartan Stadion.
At the end of 2021, after some self-reflection, I had a better sense of the type of person I wanted to be. The type of strength I wanted to have and feel. The types of things I still wanted to try and get after. I didn't have all 100% completion rounds in 2022, but I had more than ever before and ended the year on a strong 100% completion streak. And during this year I started signing up for a battle buddy and have virtually met a lot of incredible people through that experience, and enjoyed another level of accountability and connection.
I've had strength and rep gains, of course, but most important to me has been the gains in physical confidence, the gains made in better planning and sticking to the plan (i.e. fewer weekends of multiple workouts that have to be done!), and the way I feel on a daily basis. I feel like I am building a very solid foundation now in my mid-40s for the second half of my life, and I plan it to be full of activities and experiences and not becoming someone who is happy sitting on the sidelines as they get older.
Things I've gained: successfully completed multiple OCRs and started Brazilin jiu jitsu after feeling I had the strength to try them; have committed to doing the Camino de Santiago with my mom this year, as I know I have the preparation needed to carry her gear and mine, if needed. And I just plain feel stronger, because I am stronger.
I'm on the quiet side and don't post much during the rounds, but thanks to Bryan Singelyn, and thanks to all the members of this community that inspire and push me each round. I appreciate the difference you've made in my life!
Heather F. (10+ Rounds)
I really don't even know where to begin with my HDT journey. I started back in 2020, like many, when we were stuck at home with no gyms. I'd done Pathfinder and that was great but the workouts were only what I made them. I thrive on being told what to do for a workout so HDT was perfect. It forced me to work areas I didn't like to or wouldn't do on my own.
My main goal, in the beginning, was to be able to survive a tough with the ruck PT. I can ruck easily, the PT always tried to kill me (some of it still does). As I went through the program my goals changed many times. Through injury, running, crossfit, travel and just a busy life, each round was different for me. Sometimes the BB was great, others, I knew I'd just let someone down so I flew solo.
Now that I've completed my 10th round, I've not only survived a tough but at least 2 T/B, a LLL and my latest goal was a Spartan Ultra. Yep, you heard me, not all goals have to be ruck related. Rucking made that Ultra easier! I trained with a 30# ruck so on race day I was 30# lighter.
I've lost 40# over the last year and part of that was the dedication to the Ultra training. I am stronger and more confident in events after my HDT rounds also.
I still scale where needed. I'll never be the strongest or fastest and my pre/post numbers are all over the charts...BUT...HDT is for everyone at any skill level. It can all be modified or adapted to needs and as long as you put in the work, you'll see gains and rewards!!
I recommend HDT to most everyone I chat with that is looking for something new and different.
Liz D. (10+ Rounds)
My 10-round review:
I came into Heavy Drop Training in 2020 with the goal of becoming a Team Assessment Finisher. I had been using CrossFit training and regularly rucking prior to HDT, but finally decided to incorporate HDT into my training in 2020 when everything shut down. HDT was exactly what I needed to keep accountable and targeted in my goal.
Regularly testing fundamental movements meant that I could track whether:
1) I was making the minimum standards that would be required during Team Assessment
2) If my movements had improved as the round progressed
Having a battle buddy kept me accountable – it’s one thing to let myself down, but to let another person down… nah, I think I’ll just grind through the movements. After all, a bad workout is better than no workout.
After 7 rounds with HDT, it was time to put my training to the test. I became one of 22 finishers (1 of 4 women) to complete Team Assessment Class 002! Mission accomplished!
Since then, I’ve come back to HDT with additional goals in mind (I’m not a big fan of broadcasting, so I’ll keep this a secret lol). HDT has been wonderful in keeping me familiar with various ruck and sandbag movements, working out on my own patio on my own time, and building strength.
In my time with HDT, I’ve achieved the following accomplishments:
- Sub-2H30M 12-mile ruck with 30# (02:15:42) – I could have done this with 20#, but why not challenge myself even further?
- 5 min burpees: 102
- 2 min sit ups: 85
- 1 min butterfly sit ups: 55
Finally, body composition. I’m not a big fan of using this as a measure of fitness success – I believe numbers are a better indicator of the successes of a program. Nonetheless, if you’re the kind of person that wants to see aesthetic gains, I’d say that I’ve leaned out and bulked up a little since starting.
Bryan is a wonderful coach who will listen and adjust to your needs. Are you having a big event this weekend? He’ll set you up with a taper week. Did you recently hurt yourself? He’ll give you alternative movements so you can still go after the work. I highly recommend HDT and look forward to continuing with the program!
Kevin H. (10+ Rounds)
My first round was X-19 where I finished first with my first battle buddy, Blake. I had completed the 2018 Pearl Harbor Tough a few months prior to my first round of HDT (followed by rucking a marathon 24 hours later). I was looking for something to improve the non-rucking components of my fitness. HDT has been the answer to that for me. I had signed up for another GRT in Spring 2019, which was canceled. The Army moved me that same summer. I continued training into the winter, COVID struck and more events were canceled. While I teleworked for a few months, my children also stayed home with distance learning for school. That gave me the opportunity to do a few rounds of HDT and HDT Kids with my son. COVID restrictions eases up, I returned to the office and also spent more time traveling for work. Now I am preparing for another Army move and phase in my career with retirement coming over the horizon in a few years.
My main goal coming into HDT was to be better conditioned for events like another Tough; to do as well during the PT as I do with the rucking. Events were canceled; my work and family requirements changed. So my goal changed to staying ready for opportunities that come my way. I competed for and was selected battalion command; part of that assessment included more than merely passing the APFT. I challenged myself to complete HDT combined with the Pathfinder programs (currently putting in the work for HDT and Pathfinder Advanced). Finished Pathfinder Endure last month and competed with my battle Buddy Melanie for HDT leader board top spot. My schedule also aligned last month, giving me the opportunity to complete a night trail half marathon (my first in almost three years).
Now, I am staying ready. The next six months will be turbulent professionally and personally. So I am eyeing fall and winter events.
Wye-Khe K. (10+ Rounds)
I've owed this to Bryan for a long time now, Sep 2021 when I finished Round XXVI-21 specifically, it's been a challenge trying to boil down what to say, which has also changed over the last few months. *Spammy Long Post Warning*
My roots might be quite different to some folks here. I've never served in the military, and have always been involved with deskwork involving mice and keyboards. As a kid, I've never been the sporty type, more akin to the slowest kids in PE class, not wanting to stick out. Certainly excelled at video games a bit through my teen and young adult years though 😃
I happened across Goruck via a smart phone game called 'Ingress' back at the end of 2015 in Okinawa, Japan. Ended up doing a bunch of Ruckgress events over the next couple of years, and we finally got an actual Goruck Challenge in Tokyo, with Cadre Jesse H. It was rough...PT was largely my weak point, and I probably couldn't even do a single proper push-up, and rucking with 20# was just manageable.
Spartan also came into Japan about the same time, and in 2017 I started to get more active in OCR, which also took on a journey into trail running.
Fast forward to 2019 and Tokyo was due to get its first Goruck Heavy in October. My PT was better, primarily through Spartan Training, but I knew I needed something more to survive the event. Preferring outsdoors stuff, and simply not being a gym person, I signed up for Pathfinder Advanced and paired that up with HDT round XIII-19, having seen some recommendations on the PF community as well as the bundle option. It was time to figure out how to actually use that GR Sandbag sitting around doing nothing.
Totally...kicked...my bottom...I remember lying on the floor in a daze after Sandoom with 40, and wondering what the hell just happened...
Long story short, I finished both courses in time for the Heavy...which was incidentally canceled from the biggest typhoon ever to rock Japan in 50 years. That was a shame, but I wasn't mad. I was fit as I'd ever been.
It was about then that the Covid Pandemic start winding up, and I came back to Japan from Australia where I'd been working remote for about 2 months just before the world started locking down, just in time for March Madness 2020 when it popped up in my FB feed. Rolled straight into XVIII-20, and from there, it was 9 straight rounds of HDT SB & R, with the pandemic happening in the background, all the while making the most (and staying sane) with Work from Home (Both Job/Fitness). I'm signed up for XXX-22, so will see you guys again soon 🙂
So what did I get out of (now 11 rounds) of HDT?
Goals: I'd really just intended to train for the 2019 Tokyo Heavy. I think my improved physical fitness might have gotten me through part of it, but there's been so much happening since then. Just the way in which I see challenges of sorts through now compared to then has changed a lot. I just finished Path Finder Stirling, and am onto Path Finder Compete now. I couldn't even dream of rucking consistently with 45/50# 2 years back. I smashed all my Spartan events that I signed up for last year, better than any of my performances before in fact, so that was definitely a bonus right there 🙂
Injuries/recovery: I've noticed that I get less injured now (previous wrist/ankle injuries from OCR/running) as I'm stronger overall (esp core/upper). I also recover faster from injuries, especially with the mindset of keeping moving, rather than just stopping activity altogether.
Form: Bryan's always spoken about Form over Everything. I didn't even know how to clean a sandbag without using detergent and water before. It's been great to have not just him, but also you guys, the community, weigh in on the embarassing videos that I post here and there on how to get an exercise done properly 🙂 Just knowing when to drop weight/take a break when grinding before injury creeps in too.
Grinding/Mental Conditioning: Related to the last point. It's not just about tolerating pain, but being smart about it. Knowing more about when something can lead to a strain, as opposed to just pushing harder to get through no matter what the cost. Never thought I could carry my own BW in weight for a mile...Well- that's happened 🙂
Accountability: This is one of the big ones. The Buddy System works. With a week to get the 5/6 workouts in, it's just flexible enough (for most I imagine) to work your life schedule in, but not to the point where you might find yourself with a 50% to catch up in a month. It's been great to just have someone to check on you to keep things going, be able to chat about Bryan's latest brutality, or tips on some part of the course. There's been times that I've been faced with getting two workouts and a CP done in a single day, just to close out the week. Having that buddy silently cheering for you from the un-checked on the webpage might just make the diff. I've also learned something new from everyone of my BBs, book recommendations, workout tips, nutrition advice...whichever!
Nutrition: This was another major gamechanger for me (and don't worry - will do another sep review for you Kimberly McGrath), but the nutrition program gave me info about calories and macros which I never understood before, and just how different food affects my body. I initially dropped weight as I leaned out, then have actually put on more muscle since as the scale numbers came back up (nothing to worry about). More importantly, have shifted more towards whole foods with a lot of my fridge being filled with veg, and biscuits on the counter being replaced by bananas/oranges, and also, find this to be quite sustainable.
Community: This is by far the biggest one, and that's you guys 🙂 Just going through the posts on the current round, even if I've never met any of you f2f before, has just been the best thing. Whether it's for a little laugh with the latest workout, a bit of inspiration on someone going hard, videos of pets and kids on workouts and rucks...it's just made for such a nice global team, and personally, the lockdowns/restrictions so much easier to get through this last couple of years. A few of us were even doing occasional zoom CP meets (you know who you are 😉 ), and I can't wait for March Madness to roll around again to see some of you beasts in action again!
Will let the numbers speak for themselves 🙂
XIII-19 (Jul-Sep 2019)
push ups: 36
sit ups: 50
6 miler (30): 1:48
12 miler (30): 4:57:36
XVIII-21 (Nov-Dec 2021)
push ups: 60
sit ups: 68
PR 6 miler (30): 58:05 - XXI-20
12 miler (50): 2:22:53
Next Steps: I've still not been able to get to the US for events, as the quarantine returning to Japan makes that difficult. We're still in restrictions here, so am still mostly training by myself, though am looking to get more Coalition stuff happening with the local ruck club. If/When restrictions ease off, would love to attend a Throwdown session, some GBF events and maybe even a Cerberus with some of you folks sometime!!!
Kyle C. (10+ Rounds)
Finishing up my 10th consecutive round of HDT on February 20th. Here is a little bit about my self and my journey how I found HDT and how it’s affected me. Sorry for the lengthy post, hard to say everything I want in just a couple paragraphs.
A little back ground on me first. I have always been the athletic type, always looking for a physical challenge. I started playing football at 7 and continued into college. After football I focused on my studies and got into graduate school and didn’t have a lot of time to exercise (I now
know that’s a piss ass excuse). I ended up getting soft and had gained a ton of weight and lost a lot of my strength getting to 230lbs.
After earning my doctorate and graduating from pharmacy school I got back into a routine and started exercising and eating right and got myself down to 180. Then I got into running Spartans and long distance endurance races finishing multiple trifectas, finishing 4th overall in the Aspen Ultra in my age group and nearly qualifying for the Boston marathon completing a marathon in 03:32:03 coming in 7th in my age group. During all this I ended up loosing another 15lbs. At my lowest weight of 165lbs I was kinda sickly looking and skinny and wasn’t very happy with the way I looked and honestly how I felt. Definitely a lot different than I was used to playing ball and lifting heavy.
I started to do Spartan hurricane heats as a change to the OCR world and stumbled upon GORUCK in 2019 and that’s how I ended up in the rucking world.
Now on to how I ended up here.
I first heard of HDT from doing research on doing a GORUCK heavy in 2020. I came across a lot of AARs and packing lists and training ideas. Not looking into so much training at the time I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward to September 2020, I completed my first heavy and HTL and honestly, it was rough. Knowing I wanted to achieve bigger goals and do more events like this I then turned into researching training ideas like WOD workouts, ruck and SB exercises, and that’s when I again came across HDT. At the time, Bryan was offering a free round to front line workers due to the COVID pandemic. I figured what the hell, I’ll try it and see what the hype is all about cause, what do I have to lose, right? I’m so glad I did, and haven’t missed a round since. My only regret is that I hadn’t signed up sooner. It truly is fit for anyone with any goal and not just rucking events. As cliché as it is to say that “I am in the best shape of my life”…it’s the truth, hands down. With me approaching 40 next month I couldn’t be more happy with were I am at with my fitness and health.
The main goals I wanted to accomplish through this program was to gain back my strength, put some good weight back on, all while staying fit and able to crush some events. And I have done both! Gaining nearly 20 lbs of muscle (up to 184) with a body fat percentage at approximately 11-12%. I absolutely feel amazing, and I haven’t lost much of my cardio endurance either. I also have done a few events as well, completing 2 HTLs, a Double Heavy at Bragg, several TLs and some star courses as well as attempting some big events in the near future like Cerberus in august and selection in 2023 is on my bucket list.
I have always said numbers don’t lie, so I’m going to share some numbers comparing my first round and tenth round.
2 min push-ups - 77 to 91
2 min sit-ups - 70 to 84
5 min burpees - 86 to 106
3 mile strict ruck w/60lbs - 38:59 to 30:04
60 sec butterfly sit-ups - 47 to 61
1 min hand release push-ups - 42 to 47
1 min 80lb SB Squat cleans - 17 to 21
sub 1hr 6 mile AFAP Ruck 45lbs - 57:52
Sub 2hr 12 mile AFAP Ruck 30lbs - 1:51:22
And so much more within the program
doing AMRAP workouts.
I sometimes think that this program was tailored specifically to me. I love the fact that I don’t have to think of what to do just do what I’m told. I am very much a check the box type person so the fact that you literally check off the boxes when you complete the workout is huge for me. To have that visual of completion is nice, for me at least, which is probably why I have finished every round with 100% completion because it drives me absolutely insane if I don’t have a box checked off. I have done the personal trainer in a gym before and honestly, for me, it was a waste of time. I love being able to just go in my basement with my ruck and SB, choose my weight and be good. I honestly think the inter rounds are the best thing. It gives you a 2 week “recovery session” that is all body weight exercises and by the start of the new round you are ready to go without missing a beat while maintaining your gains. The program is seriously set up perfectly. It’s always changing and improving and no round is the same as another. Huge thanks to Bryan for putting in the work and effort evolving this program to what it is today.
The community and inspiration I get from everyone crushing their goals is something you don’t get from the gym, and is absolutely huge in maintaining accountability. The battle buddy system (while I mostly go solo) is awesome cause it makes people more likely to complete a workout cause they are in it with someone else rather than alone. This is something I think I’m going to do more of in the future. I have developed a really good discipline in my workout routine and would love to help others out more, so I will opting for the BB more in the future. I have made a lot of new friends in this community, in fact, most of my friends today are people I have met from HDT.
With all that being said, I don’t see myself moving on anytime soon. Even after I stop doing events I will continue to use this program to keep my self fit and strong to take on life. Thanks again Bryan!
Who knows, maybe you will find your bromance
Bryan W. (10+ Rounds)
I started HDT 10 rounds ago at the recommendation of my steadfast and faithful Battle Katherine Hannibal. We did the HDT plus and pathfinder advanced and finished. Before I changed jobs I had the time to do that. Numerous events.
My two biggest accomplishments were a significant weight loss. When I started my fitness journey I weighed 210 pounds. I got down to 138 and have evened out at 155. A comfortable weight for me.
Work requires a 2000 meter row rest. For my age and weight I was able to finish the row test in the 99 percentile earning the Thor Fitness Award. I was the oldest patrol officer in the department. Since changing jobs my time has become very limited. Seems like I'm at work more than I'm at home.
Recently I had COVID-19. Missed work half the month of January. Still dealing with some residual effects but doing much better. I also had to deal with some major anxiety issues from my time in the military and work. HDT has helped me alot with being comfortable with being uncomfortable. I'm still getting after it.
I appreciate having the accountability from Katherine. I have no plans to quitting. Quitting isn't even in my vocabulary. Thank you!! Let's get after it!!
Trenton W. (10+ Rounds)
My 10th round wraps up on 20 Feb. In order for me to explain my progress, you must first be aware of where i was at....
Unofficially i retired from active duty Marine Corps on 28 June 2012. My give-a-fuck about what i looked like, what i ate, and my physical well being was sky high. Seeimingly overnight i put on 25 lbs, at my heaviest i weighed 238 lbs. Only being 5'8"...i was a model for being unhealthy. I got winded walking up a flight of stairs, i was not sleeping well, i was pre-diabetic, my body hurt, and worst of all i lost my confidence in myself.
Eventually i began to take back my life. I began by walking between 5-7 miles three times a week around my neighborhood. Then i realized that if i put a kettlebell in a backpack that would probably be better. Eventually i joined a local GORUCK club and 14 Sept 2020 i did my first challenge, the GORUCK 9/11 Light. It was there i learned about this program called Heavy....Drop....Training.
My first class was Round XX-20. I weighed 205 lbs and i most often used a 20 lb plate in my workouts, pre-training i did 14 push-ups 46 sit-ups 36 burpee's and a 2.2 mile hike with 20 lbs took me nearly 34 minutes.
I've gone 10 straight rounds, i alternate BW&R and SB&R every other round. As Round XXIX began i weighed 183 lbs and my PR over the 10 rounds has me completing 64 push-ups, 69 sit-ups, and 49 burpee's in pre-training.
When i started this program i did not look forward to physically challenging events. Over these 10 rounds i now weigh 183 lbs and I have completed 1 GORUCK Tough, 3 GORUCK Lights/Basics, multiple GORUCK 12 mile Star Courses, the Boston Marathon Tough Ruck and I am currently signed up for 1 GORUCK Tough and 2 GORUCK Basics and keep my eye on several more. I am signed up on Operation Buckwheat with Green Beret Fitness and HDT Rufus in Fredericksburg, VA.
Can i say that HDT saved my life? I'm not entirely sure but what it's done is returned my physical and mental confidence, leaned me up, been a positive influence on my weight. Bryan's program is incredible...you can see how each workout builds onto another and no two workouts are ever the same!
Tim F. (10+ Rounds)
10 rounds huh? Wow that went fast. It seemed as if just in the recent past I was cleared to go back to full workouts after my bicep surgery when the Covid shutdowns occurred. Obviously I needed to find something else to do since the gyms hard closed in March 2020. I had always heard about HDT but didn't think it would be enough. Well...I joined HDT for my first round of out now 10 consecutive at this point in April 2020. It was enough and then some. More than enough.
I wanted to get back to doing GORUCK events and more once again. I knew I could do it but needed to be methodical. HDT gave me more than I had ever wanted or thought as this was the first time I had ever followed a prescribed written plan. You just choose the weight. Heavier for some than others.
Needless to say I have collected some fine patches and accomplishments since HDT. Not only am I in the best shape of my life at 41, but I feel better than ever. I was also able to find my now forever partner, whom was a battle buddy during my 4th round- Marianna Fridinger.
I have completed Team Assesment in May 2021 with Rob Stafford, another HDT alum. My goals have not concluded yet, and ironically today I just signed up for my 11th round.
There is so much more I can say about HDT, and a lot you already know and have heard or learned yourself in the program. I love how not only have I grown, but the program is morphing as well as Bryan Singelyn adapts from feedback received round to round. If you are skeptical, don't be...just do it!
Keep crushing all.
Nick P. (10+ Rounds)
My first round of HDT was in January 2020. For those of you who were around with me back then, do you remember how terrified I was of doing my first Tough?
This year I got my bolts, which far exceeded any goals I originally set for myself when I started this program. The best part was doing it alongside so many of my friends from HDT and Pathfinder, and even though I had never met most of you in person before, you felt like family.
Looking forward to bigger goals ahead, and I know HDT is the program to help me get there!
I have been a member of the HDT program for (4) cycles now! It has been, without a doubt, the most grueling, challenging program I have ever undertook!
Since starting the HDT program I have quit my regular gym and have been using the program exclusively as my training regimen!
Thank you Bryan for putting so much effort into this program as it has truly changed my work out mind set!
I am 43 years old and can say I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in!
Thank you more than you know!
Tim R. (10+ Rounds)
Over the last 6 years, I have done many events from Spartan Sprint/Super/Beast level races, running 5k to marathon level races, and various Goruck light and tough events. It is not about a fast time or placing at these events, but for me is about just completing them. My “why" in life is to push my physical and mental limits to see where is the ceiling. Therefore, it was time to tackle the Goruck Heavy event. During previous Goruck events, I noticed that one of my weaknesses was not knowing the exercises and being sore for days because I never did those body movements. I knew the training for the Heavy was going to take more than just working out at the gym with weights. Many of the Goruck club members have taken HDT and recommended it to me.
The HDT was perfect. I started with one 40 lb sandbag and my ruck sack. The exercises were challenging and there were many days I woke up sore. But the work paid off and I completed my Heavy in Tampa. The Heavy was challenging and I struggled at the early morning hours, but as the sun came up my whole mental focus changed and I was off to the races. Even though I only did a couple rounds of HDT, it definately prepared me for the event. Especially, when the HDT program kept doing sandbag get ups, which I am not a fan of. However, the Heavy entailed many rounds of ruck get ups. So I was definitely grateful, I did this in training.
I continued doing HDT because I decided to set my sights on my first Goruck HTL. I specifically choose my first HTL to be NY 9/11 20th Anniversary, which is next weekend. This event is also special for me because I just completed 26 years of service as a paramedic/firefighter. The danger me and my fellow firefighters face everyday is real and I am bless to have a great career. This event is about being able to remember those that had their career end short and do something in memory for them. Overall, I know I am ready physically and mentally for this event and I am looking forward to it.
How do I know that I am ready for the event, well I did an event a couple of weeks ago that was a whole other level of hardness, Cerberus Cleveland. This also brings me to my gains. Over the course of 10 rounds my sandbag collection and weights grew. My garage is now an unofficial gym with everything spread out on the floor. I also added 2 Pathfinder rounds to increase the intensity and keep me focused on the training. During the Cerberus event, I was challenged on every level. I am not sure how many workout WODs were done during this event, but it was a lot. Cerberus was very close to my physical ceiling. I was really struggling on certain aspects with the 60 lb sandbag and when my feet started to blister, I thought it would be over early for me. I miraculously was able to persevere and complete the event. There is no doubt that the gains doing the HDT program was why I was able to complete the event.
However, the story does not end there. Though I almost hit the ceiling, I did not hit it. So I continuing my “why” and signed up for the Cerberus Florida event. As a south Floridian, this event is going to be brutal. The Florida sun can sap even the strongest athletes of their energy and increase the complexity of any event. So I am continuing the HDT and looking forward to crushing Cerberus Florida while being a “10 of 10 feeling” during the entire event.
I just finished a round of Heavy Drop Training (HDT) and wanted to share my experience with everyone.
After doing a few cycles of Ruck Strong, which I LOVED, I decided to change up training a bit these last few (😬) months before NYC. A lot of GRTs have spoke highly of HDT, and I noticed many big events have HDT athletes as strong finishers. Without knowing much more than that, I dove in.
One of the features I liked right off the bat was being assigned a random battle buddy. This is a partner who holds you accountable, and there are points assigned as a team based on number of sessions completed. My partner was a great guy from Texas, Bob Morgan, and he and I communicated well - letting each other know when we planned to get things done, commiserating about the training, and encouraging each other the whole time.
The six-week round was…intense. Like nothing I have done before. The weeks each have a theme with the training sessions focused around that. The exercises, with the exception of the basics, change up each session too. The exercises all have training tips and a video associated with them, so it’s easy to know what you are doing.
But back to the basics - they provided an excellent way to track progress. Here are my improvements in the past six weeks -
2 minute sit ups - 48 to 52
2 minute push ups - 37 to 44
5 minute burpees - 48 to 57
Slick run (1 mile) - 10:55 to 10:00
Slick ruck (2 mile - no shuffles) - 31:32 to 27:42
To say I’m thrilled with the physical and mental gains from this program is an understatement. HDT has challenged me in all the ways I need to be in order to be a strong teammate for the HTB.
Barbara W. (10+ Rounds)
A picture is worth a thousand words.... So here is a picture showing my progress over 10 consecutive rounds, starting January 2020 through July 2021. About six months in, I did start working with a nutrition coach, which also contributed to my progress physically.
When I started HDT, I really was just looking for a new program. I had loved my lifting program at the gym but my schedule and amount of time wasn't conducive to it. Enter HDT. I needed someone programming what to do so I could actually make progress. And HDT did that. My progress hasn't been linear (progress never is) and this last round has really left me feeling beaten up. But overall I have seen myself get stronger and tougher. Bryan has put together a really comprehensive and thoughtful program that pushes you beyond your limits but is also scalable to your abilities. And the community here is second to none. The HDT Zoom Crew (Wye-Khe, Bob Morgan and Mark) and our weekly Zoom workouts were often a highlight of the program.
Some notable highlights:
-my running improved with little actual running (in my 1st 2 rounds, I dropped 4 min/mile) and the setbacks I have had off and on over the rounds were due to an old injury that still pops up from time to time.
-I prefer obstacle course racing to rucking events, and I mastered climbing ropes and conquered the 8 foot wall, both things I inconsistently hit prior to HDT. I also improved my spear throw which I think is directly related to my strength gains -I could throw further. And just last week I made it across the Olympus wall.
-Any of you who have been with me the last 10 rounds know how much I disliked the 12 miler. I did it every freaking round but man, I dreaded that thing. My recovery from both the six and twelve mile rucks, as well as my time, has improved on those. And I don't dread them... as much...usually 😂 Two items of note... In the picture top left, I had just completed a Star Course (used it as my 6 miler for round 1). The friend whom I did it with had done a handful of OCRs with me as well as a Light and he was concerned about how sore my feet and legs were (it was the end of week 1 and Lower caused major DOMs). He said he had never seen me in so much discomfort. Then last summer after a 12 mile ruck, I can remember talking to an acquaintance and how much pain I was in after that particular 12. Now I can do both without either affecting much of my other activities.
I am probably one of the few in here who prefers running to rucking most days, only owns 1 ruck 😳😂 and who has done very few GORUCK events - a Light in 2018, a Tough in 2019 and a Star Course in 2020. I plan to do a Cloverleaf this year, but I am sure with this training that I would be an even stronger asset to the team. But whatever the goals, this program works.
A bit about my progress because it has been absolutely unreal. Coming into this program, I had a goal to complete my first Tough (which I knew would be hard but achievable) and to do the 20th Anniversary 9/11 Heavy in NYC (which I thought was a bit of a pipe dream but nobody talked me out of it).
My starting level of fitness wasn't great. I did BW&R for my first round of HDT with a 20# ruck and it kicked my ass. But I stuck with the program, gradually added weight, and now I'm at the point where I'm pretty much comfortable doing almost everything with a 70# or 90# sandbag. Strength gains ✅
My first round, when I saw the timed 6 miler and 12 miler my first thought was "that's dumb, why do I need to ruck fast?" A bit funny to think about that, since the 12 miler is now the highlight for me each round. Last round I set a new PR on the 12 miler with a 45# ruck in 2:56. I also ran a 5k race back in April at an 8:22 pace, another PR for me. Speed gains ✅
Since starting this program I've done so many 20+ mile rucks that I've stopped counting them (including a 31 mile ruck back in December) and I've done the 10 mile PATHFINDER Coupon Challenge by myself several times (the last time was with 70# and 90# sandbags, a full 5 gallon jerry can, and a spare 50# ruck). Endurance gains ✅
My first Tough was last weekend (followed by a Basic) and even though it was an "easy" Tough I still felt just as prepared as most of the other people there and have no doubt that I pulled my weight in contributing to the team. My next TB is in Austin in August, and I'm expecting a much harder event for that but I still have no doubt I'll do just fine. First event goal ✅
And that 9/11 Heavy: Not only did nobody talk me out of it, I got talked into making it an HTB because some very experienced people who know what they are talking about think I'm ready. I feel like they're right! Confidence gains ✅
Chris S. (10+ Rounds)
HDT is a game changer for me. Started it when I moved back to Houston and was looking for a training program aligned with my goals, all the way back in 2018. Barely able to do 30 pushups or sit-ups, now cruising through 50+ of each and wishing I had more time to do more. That first sandbag getup at 40# is a distant memory with me doing them at 85# now.
But the biggest gain I have had is being able to pick up my sleeping daughter as she continues to grow and carry her upstairs to bed without strain or waking her up. #functionalfitness at its finest.
Couldn’t be more thankful for the program, and highly recommend it to all that will listen.
Jennifer H. (10+ Rounds)
Prior to starting HDT I had done several GORUCK lights. I really wanted to do a tough but was afraid I would not be able to finish or that I would let down my team.
My workouts had consisted of regular strength training with dumbbells and barbells. I heard about heavy drop and decided to try it out. The workouts kicked my butt but I would push through them and get them done. I decided that if I could get through HDT workouts that I would be able to get through a tough. HDT gave me confidence to Sign up for Operation Red Wing tough in Tampa. And guess what?
I was able to finish and not let my team down!!
I started HDT with cleaning a 20 lb sandbag. After a few rounds I was cleaning a 55 lb.
Recently I’ve had some injuries and am slowly coming back from them. Bryan has been so helpful in suggesting substitutions for the exercises I couldn’t complete. I’ve seen an improvement in myself from the most recent round. My goal is to keep moving forward and get back to where I was before my injuries.
Ian L. (10+ Rounds)
For me it's been a series of incremental goals to finish each event, but the theme for all of them was to reach a little bit higher and survive.
In October 2019, I did my first GORUCK Light event and had a tremendous amount of fun, but the welcome party wiped me out and my back was sore for the entire week after. I hadn't done a lot to prepare beforehand so I realized I needed to do some training if I wanted to do more and not hurt myself. So I signed up for the next Pathfinder class, and then HDT after a friend told me about it the following January. I remember the first few workouts being a reality check that I wasn't in as good a shape as I had thought, but also useful in that I was feeling the same kind of burn and fatigue from the Light, which meant it was the perfect preparation--both mentally and physically--for what I would encounter during events.
The world as we knew it ground to a halt in March 2020, and I ended up not being able to go to any of the events I signed up for that month. But thank goodness HDT is all virtual so I kept on trucking, thinking that if I kept pushing myself I'd be better off whenever the world (partially) opened back up again, which turned out to be the summer of 2020.
I wasn't sure how well I would do overnight but I signed up for a Zombie Tough in June for my friend's birthday weekend, and as it turns out the months of training paid off and I had no problems with all the PT we did. I did not do the Light after because I didn't think I was quite ready for it, but then in August I went to a Desert Storm Tough/Light and found out that it wasn't so bad. Since then I've done another Tough/Basic, a Tough/Basic/Cloverleaf, and then finally a 50-mile Star Course mid-June, and each time my trepidation gave way to elation with the realization that all of it was doable.
For each of those events, I can recall distinctly a moment months earlier when I would think "that's crazy, I'm not sure I can or want to do that", but with each step of the way HDT helped build the confidence, mental resilience, and physical strength I needed to get through them. I'm still working on doing longer events (Cerberus Series next month and the 9/11 HTB after) and my goal remains the same: to push myself a little more, and survive to tell the tale after.
I highly recommend this program to anyone! After completing a few rounds of HDT, I feel I am the strongest I have been. The workouts are always different and offer a new challenge each time. Although im not training for anything in particular, I love having a solid routine and plan I can count on to push me and find new limits. I feel I have found something good when I look forward to the start of the next round!
Bryan is very responsive and is focused on making sure everyone gets the results they desire.
If anyone wants to see gains, do this! If its something important to you, make the time and get it done. you will see the results!!!
Jacob R. (10+ Rounds)
I just finished up round #10 and about to get started on the pre training for round #11.
Prior to my first round I had completed a couple Goruck toughs & lights. I always felt completely beat down after any type of heavy coupon carry. I knew I needed to find a training program to help get stronger for future events. I found HDT and jumped in.
After just a couple rounds I noticed the sandbag carries were getting easier and easier. They quickly went from being a weakness to a strong point. I’ve also seen huge gains in push ups, sit ups, burpees, and ruck times. Highly recommend this program to anyone regardless of fitness level. Put in the work and you’ll see great results, guaranteed.
Heavy Drop Training is the best training program that I have ever been apart of. HDT is more of a community than anything else, and the camaraderie within the Facebook group is outstanding. The day to day programming of workouts is very easy to digest and every workout is different. The aim is to be functionally fit and the different array of exercises certainly emphasizes this. Aside from the great training and great results, Bryan Singelyn (owner of HDT) is an awesome guy and resource. Whenever I have a question, I can message Bryan and he immediately responds. This shows him going the extra mile. If you're looking for an outstanding community and workout program, look no further than HDT.
Currently on my 4th class and I have no plans to stop enrolling in this awesome program!
Bryan has struck gold with this program...it is the perfect mix of workouts, cardio, and functional fitness. Personally...6 months ago (right before my first class) I weighed 205lbs. Today I weigh 177! Granted health isn't tied to a number...but I physically and mentally feel so much better. I have seen reps and weight increase as a result of this program; yes it is challenging (5 minutes of burpees will never be my definition of fun)...but this program, if followed, inspires you to do 1 more rep, take 1 more step, set a goal....and then crush it!!!
Justin C. (10+ Rounds)
I was fortunate enough to be invited for a free round in July of 2019. My brother in law Jim Salerno could not say enough good things about the program. It was the best worst decision I think I've ever made. I haven't missed a round since that time. I have never seen the results I get from HDT from any other program or gym membership. I have completed a few lights, toughs and TL events, but have never attempted a Heavy and that is my goal for this year. My ability to be an asset to the team at events since being in HDT has improved greatly and my recovery time has shrunk. I won't anticipate that a Heavy will be an easy feat for me, but I feel that I am prepared and that is solely due to Bryan and his Heavy Drop Training Program. Here's to 10 rounds down and looking forward to the next 10+.
Eric W. (10+ Rounds)
Oh man where to even start!! I first heard about our dear leader Bryan Singelyn in 2018 after my first Tough event. Couple of guys killed the event and I asked what their secret was. Pic on the left was my first ever 6 mile as fast as possible ruck with 35 pounds and I was exhausted after. Back then the goal was to eventually get under a 14m mile pace. Fast forward to the right pic which was just a week or 2 ago and I’m now well under that initial goal and now I’m doin it with a 55 pound ruck. I used to struggle with a 40 pound sandbag now I’m consistently using an 80. Future goal is to use HDT to complete GORUCK selection this October. Back in my first round I never thought I’d be at the point I am now. Stick with it and the gainz just keep coming!
So here is a quick run down of my time with HDT being a foundation of my fitness and training especially when it comes to endurance events. I won a free round back in July of 2019 while I was prepping for my first HTL let alone heavy or any back to back events that was also a 9/11 weekend so to say the least I had a lot of work to do but this program helped get me ready and I’m confident had I not used this program my event experience wouldn’t have been as enjoyable. I was definitely prepared and never felt like I couldn’t perform! And now 9 additional rounds later and still love it! It helped me crush my PT test numbers and put me in the best shape I have ever been in. I’m very thankful for the community and support as well and I have made many friends along the way using this program.
I just wanted to say the way you’ve set up and are running HDT is amazing. The amount that I’ve gotten out of this program can’t be put in words.
Not only the physical part of being able to throw around heavy stuff and look great and feel great (the amount of people that think I look a few grades older or I’m taking steroids is hilarious when really all it’s just these workouts)😂.
The mental side is just as beneficial as I’ve had to work through some tough workouts and a lot of soreness.
This round especially I started it at the end of wrestling season and needed to get some hard workouts in to maintain and build on all that I’d gotten from wrestling and this was perfect. I worked up to 30# in my ruck and using a 50# sandbag. My mile times for rucks and runs jumped up a good bit. The workouts kept me grounded over the week to have something to go to at 5am.
Jason M (10+ Rounds)
It seems like only yesterday that I started my first round of HDT. Now, 10 rounds under my belt, HDT workouts are a regular part of my exercise regime. When I started HDT, I was barely able to finish a GoRuck Light event, weighing in around 220 lbs and weak AF! My goal was to complete a Tough while not feeling like I was slowing the team down. Now, 25+ events later and around 180 lbs and much stronger, I don’t blink at signing up for, train for and complete a full Tough/Light (even seeking the pain of a Tough/Basic )! (Bring on that 80 lb SB, and do I dare say the 120 lb??) Now, I have my sights finally set on not only my first Heavy, but the full HTB (Heavy/Tough/Basic) in NYC over 9/11 weekend! HDT is an integral part of my preparations for that weekend. Bryan may be a Sadist, but his workouts are tailored to get you ready for whatever challenge you face, on any type of battlefield you are on. For me, the accountability and discipline aspects of leadership were things that I was also looking to improve on. Bryan delivers yet again in both of those areas. It goes beyond the scope of a GoRuck event. He helps you become the best you possible! Thank you Bryan for keeping the pain coming each week and making us stronger both physically and mentally!
Since starting HDT over a year ago as I was preparing for my 50 mi Star Course in Nashville my health, my mental perspective, and my strength have drastically improved. HDT was a big part of helping me finish my 50 miler and then some, as well as carry large logs, and move trees in disaster zones all throughout the southeast with confidence. It is a "healthy" addiction that I can not imagine going without. I tell everyone I come in contact with about my experiences in HDT and how it could positively change their lives.
Aside from the physical aspects, Bryan Singelyn has been there for me day or night, even on his wedding day and honeymoon! He has volunteered to help me in any way to help me hit my goals. He has always answered my questions no matter how busy he is. He pours his heart and soul into these workouts and programs like no other I have met.
Lastly the friendships I have made within the HDT community are friendships that are beyond just cursory. They are bonds that are lasting. I am happy to say my best friends are within the HDT community and live all over the US. If we as a country could be as positive and supportive to one another like the HDT community is, this country we call home would be so much more pleasant. It is a community like no other. It isn't clickish or elitist. It is open and welcoming in every way.
There are many programs out there to use, but NONE and I mean NONE are as impactful as HDT when it comes to performance increases, community, and commitment from the coach!
This April I turn 50 and thanks to Bryan Singelyn and his HDT program, I can honestly say I feel healthier and stronger than I did 10 years ago.
Wanted to say your program is awesome!!! I have seen some really awesome gains. Went from 0 real push ups to 20 during last round. Moved from less than 20 on overhead presses to 40-60. Went up to 60 on Curtis P and Bear complex this week and last week. Finally, Sit ups and all core work has improved significantly (praise the Lord!). And I can do real burpees now instead of these fake modified ones I used to do!
I’m loving the program and being able to do the whole thing! Thanks for giving Dana a free one last round and a discount this time. It means more than you know! In a time when a lot of other things aren’t going how I had hoped it feels good to be improving and making progress in my fitness! Thanks for everything!
The program was GREAT! Exactly what I needed – a kick in the butt to do a more well-rounded, thorough strength and fitness program. I do a lot of rucking on my own but don’t always get in other workouts.
Your advice, suggestions, and videos are fantastic. I am not good at regulating breathing when I run or do certain exercises or strength training. Not sure if this is just me. I would find it helpful if you included breathing info in the videos – i.e. inhale or exhale on the up portion of the sit-up or push-up, etc.
For a while, I had heard about HDT from several people in my ruck club (Tim Fridinger and David Williams in particular) but didn’t really know what HDT meant or understand it to be something accessible to me. In late summer, Tim promoted the discount to us in the ruck club so I decided to check it out (and wish I had known that discount was happening most of the year!!). I was a little overwhelmed by the website initially and had trouble deciphering exactly what I was getting myself into. There is a lot of info on the site – I had trouble finding a focused page describing what the program was and what the daily/weekly expectation was. I dove in anyway and am glad I did! Your intro in FB live was very helpful for me to be able to ask questions and get my head around it.
The battle buddy program is great. It’s really smart to do that and encourage people to participate. It made a big difference for me to be accountable to myself and someone else in terms of timely getting the workouts done.
I just registered for the next round and look forward to another great session.
So, it became official last night, that I have completed my first round of HDT.
I had heard about this program from guys I was with in F3 in Toledo. Many bragged about it being tough, and I saw many complete this in preparation for other events. I then moved to Texas, and heard about it some more from Mark McCaghren. So much so, he decided to buy me a round as a Christmas gift. I have to admit, I am glad he did. This has to be one of the most thorough and complete workout programs I have ever seen.
There were many times that I considered giving up. But when I did, there was the best part of the whole thing, this group on Facebook. Logging in and seeing all you badass mofo’s putting in the work was motivational to me, and helped push me through those times. I also would like to thank Michael E. Workman, my late assigned Battle Buddy. For checking in on me every few days, to celebrating my successes with me, thank you! Bryan Singelyn it was tough, and I loved all of it! Thank you for this program. It allowed me to know that I am capable of WAY more than I ever thought I was. I am going to take a round or two off, but I WILL be back. I am proud to be an HDT FINISHER!
So it’s been a few days since the round ended, and I thought I would weigh in with a review. Heavy drop training is TERRIBLE! Let me explain: I spent a significant amount of effort (and money) to acquire all the Goruck sandbags and the corresponding patches denoting the weights of the bags. 20,40,60,80,120 lbs. Like the infinity stones-balanced as all things should be. Then Bryan ruined everything. HDT made me stronger so I needed heavier bags. My wife says I can’t have new ones when there are perfectly good ones in the garage (I think they conspired somehow) so now I have to make my sandbags heavier than what the patches say, thus rendering the patches no longer accurate. Heartbreaking.
In all seriousness, this program is awesome and is I think the missing piece in my training. Thank you Bryan and the HDT community. You have helped me more than you know.
Cadre Heath (10+ Rounds)
I am halfway though the 6-week program and so far it has been an amazing!
I have completed countless workout programs in my 25 year career in Special Operations, changing them out often in order to stay in a well rounded combat-fit state.
Honestly, I can’t think of any program I have done that is as good as this one. It has a very solid “core” base to combat injuries, while hitting all the other combat-fitness components to include running and rucking with extra weight.
Recommend this to everyone who is serious about fitness!
I just wrapped up my first round of #heavydroptraining, if you are not aware of it, it's 6wks of some pretty intense workout programming with a FB based group of folks to help keep you encouraged, a battle buddy to keep you accountable, and a trainer who is seemingly always available to answer any questions you may have about the programming. I cannot recommend it enough. Coming into the 6wks you do some baseline tests to get a general idea of your fitness, and on the last week you re-do those tests to measure those ever important GAINS! Here are my results from those tests...
2 minutes max push-ups: 43 to 63
2 minutes max sit-ups: 32 to 40
5 minutes max Burpees: 65 to 70
Run(I chose a 5k): 25:37 to 23:23
Ruck(5k again): 47:07 to 38:33
So, I've been super happy with my improvement in all of the categories. If anyone is interested in trying something different or looking for something that they can manage entirely from home then give #heavydroptraining a search or ask me about. 4 different tiers of plans to choose from and then completely scalable from inside of those plans based on your strength levels. The next round starts in 2wls and is currently 50% off of you are interested.
I just want to share a little about my kid...he did his first round of HDT Kids this past round. In the first week, I had to prod him a little to get his workouts done. But after that, he motivated himself to do them, without reminders from me. In fact, there were days I drew from his motivation when I didn't want to complete my workouts. He still has work to do and goals he wants to achieve, but I am proud that he stuck with it and completed the workouts. An area where he still needs to work are the activity minutes. He doesn't have many solid male role models around, so just having Bryan program his workouts and the group to show him what's possible and how strong and motivating all of you are...I am grateful. Not only did he drop a few pounds, he proved to himself that he could do it. He said to me that when he was doing his own workouts, he didn't push himself, he did what was easy for him. But with this, he had to push himself.
HDT pushes me harder than any other group or individual workout ever has. I am beginning to feel and see changes by week 5. My man boobs are starting to morph into hard pecs! My musculature, in general, feels much more “balanced.” HDT actually delivers what INSANITY and other programs promise. The secret sauce is 1. the incredibly motivating and supportive community 2. Bryan Singelyn, who has the expertise to design HIGH quality routines, but also the soft skills of empathy and motivation Don’t sign up unless you truly want to accelerate your fitness.
Heavy Drop Training was the perfect final puzzle piece in the training strategy that I used to tackle my first HTL. After building a good base of mileage and ruck workouts with the PATHFINDER Ruck Training program, I added HDT with the Sandbag option to boost my strength and my ability to do work while fatigued.
Bryan does a fantastic job of keeping things fresh with his program. Each week focuses on a different training modality or theme, to keep your muscles and nervous system on their toes and primed to adapt and keep growing. I’m traditionally a body weight exerciser, since I come from a running and OCR background. HDT has helped me gain confidence in working with sandbags and lifting heavy things.
Following the program requires hard work and persistence, because there’s a lot to do each week. There battle buddy system and competition provides the needed motivation, though. Stick with it, and you will see gains. I’m happy to report that I did earn my bolts a few weeks after completing my first round of HDT. HDT definitely helped prepare me for that. Thanks for the great program!
Been going 100% for 100% of the time and pushing hard with no excuses. My recovery is great since I'm a protein whore and eat clean. Do I get sore...absolutely...but never enough to feel sorry for myself and get fat and do nothing.
I just signed up for next round and actually canceled my gym membership(which doesnt exist anyways). Finding working out at home in this fashion is PERFECT and really fits me well for my lifestyle. Prior to HDT I was doing the BruteForce WODs and they were great...but your programming slays it and keeps me on a higher standard with the "mental apsect". Gym is great for sightseeing...but I have always been a solo worker so I'm good without partners to train with etc...
If anything I've made more gains here than the gym.
Ready to crush the Double Heavy and beyond...
Alicia T. (10+ Rounds)
During my latest Heavy when the cadre announced that the run would be 6 miles (and it ended up being 7+), I didn't panic like I would have before. Instead I was grateful for all the times that I cursed Bryan Singelyn for being the sadist that he is. For the first time I felt really good about my performance on the PT test portion of a Heavy.
When left to my own devices, I end up doing the same exercises over again. I wanted someone to just tell me what to do and this program MADE me do the things I hated (ahem, running). I needed a challenge so I could go into events knowing I could do more than just survive.
If you sign up, don’t fly solo. Choose the Battle Buddy because it’s a lot harder to skip a workout when you know your partner isn't going to. More importantly, it helps to be able to message them and say “WTF! Were you struggling on that workout? I was!” then you reassure each other that it’s going to be okay and Singelyn likes it when you hate him. AND you now have another GRT friend to get the low down on events and such.
So my husband doesn’t do HDT but has said that Rufus is now officially part of the household budget because “Heavy Drop has given you the butt that I’ve always wanted”. #TrueStory #HDTforLife #WorthIt