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
David D. (10+ Rounds)
I can’t say enough good things about HDT, especially when paired with Pathfinder. Pathfinder gives you a solid set of challenges, but it is self paced. HDT gives you the workouts and accountability to fill in those gaps and crush the training. My pre-training for round X l-19 was 21 push-ups, 64 sit-ups, 41 Burpees. I finished that round and just did my pre-training test for XI, with 51 push-ups, 78 sit-ups, 56 burpees, and my last heavy mile was with 110 lbs on my back, between ruck and sandbag.
This program works, and combined with Pathfinder, I feel better than ever. So...thanks Bryan and CARC for all the time, encouragement, and dedication - we appreciate it!
If you haven’t done HDT...SIGN UP NOW!!!
Jill B. (10+ Rounds)
After finishing all the workouts in my first round of HDT, I had some improvements over the 6 weeks. Nothing drastic but small is still change. I'm still power-lifting and have been for the past 3 years but I have wanted to change things up and HDT was a good addition.
2 minute improvements:
* Pushups: +2 (my nemesis)
* Burpees: +10
* Situps: +8
* -59 seconds from my 1-mile run
* +37 reps to care package 1 (same as 6)
* -10# from my body during the 6 weeks (I have been tracking my macros but the added cardio/work helped)
My battle buddy and I pushed each other to finish all the workouts and the group was a place to talk about working out without boring my friends & family.
Great training program that prepares you for GORUCK events as well as rucking in general . There is a variety of exercises that are performed that help you become a more fit and better you so you can thrive during events instead of just surviving. Bryan does outstanding work with his program and is very accessible when you need to contact him. It is also easily adapted to fit your schedule and complete when you have time to do so.
Just finished my first round of HDT and have to say it is amazing. Have done a lot of other programs before but if you want some great gains this one is the best. I feel stronger and faster then ever. Workouts are very tough, the new logging system is extremely easy to use. Finally found what I have been looking for in a workout program!
HDT was an awesome experience! I've been training with my ruck and my sandbag for a couple months, but HDT really turned things up. I thoroughly appreciated having someone else write the programming. Not only did I do movements I tend to avoid, but Bryan is very creative in coming up with movements I've never heard of or imagined. I'm just finishing up my first round and I'm already signed up for my next round. Thank you HDT for helping me get in the best shape of my life!
Cadre Shredder (10+ Rounds)
Heavy Drop Training - AAR.
What’s up folks? Cadre Shredder here. I just completed the HDT (Heavy Drop Training) Round II sandbag and ruck training programming offered by Bryan Singelyn and developed for his Cleveland Area Rucking Crew - C.A.R.C. As promised I have produced a simple AAR for your consideration.
I was privileged to have been offered the opportunity to include this program into my daily routine. I had recently begun reincorporating two-a-day workouts back into my weekly regime. The fact that I was considering adding more focused sandbag and ruck work made this opportunity very timely for me. Bryans offer was serendipitous.
The HDT program is entirely focused on full body, functional fitness and effectively incorporates sandbag, ruck, and body weight exercises. The program is structured as a 4 day a week plan with 3 HDT specific routines per week…one for UPPER, one for LOWER, and one for your CORE. The addition of a once weekly “Care Package” AMRAP workout rounds out the program nicely. The workouts are designed in a way to allow the participant to be utilizing full body motion regardless of which workout is being done. When doing the UPPER you are using those legs of yours, when doing LOWER you are using your upper body a lot. And of course you are always doing CORE work regardless. It’s the nature of the beast when working sandbags and rucks.
Being able to modify as needed is a highly desirable aspect of this program. That is to say that although the individual workouts are designed to be started and completed in sequence and in a timely manner, each workout can be modified for weight, pace, and days of the week conducted. As a second daily workout the length of each workout is also very desirable. I believe the average length of time for workouts was about 25-35 minutes. For me, I found that getting busy early in the week and completing the workouts each day Monday – Thursday worked well. As a GORUCK Cadre I often conducted events on the weekends during this 6 week program so flexibility in scheduling was critical for me. You can organize as needed
Each workout consisted of 5-6 well thought out exercises. Bryan gave serious attention and consideration to the order/sequence, reps and recovery time for each module. He also provided the potential for participants to choose the appropriate weights for their individual fitness levels. Sometimes fast and unbroken is more effective than heavy and methodical. In general, I chose to use a 60 lb SB and a 30-40 lb Ruck. I made a point of staying as strict as possible to the suggested recovery times between sets. I also pushed HARD in order to realize as much cardio endurance benefit as possible. I personally really like the sandbag work and found this part of the programming to be most enjoyable. Besides some well known favorites such as sandbag squat cleans, sandbag sit-ups, sandbag get ups, and sand bag tosses (10 minutes of this will test your patience and willingness), Bryan also introduced me to some new exercises. New to me at least were Sandbag GTSS, Sandbag Curtis P, and Sandbag sweeper squat holds. Each made the workouts fun and more challenging.
For the Ruck work, I found the chosen exercises well suited and inspired. Each selected for developing the individual participants strength, agility, mobility and dexterity (skills so often used during a GORUCK event yet overlooked in training). I suffer from some chronic shoulder and wrist injuries, so the ruck work was often challenging and I found myself occasionally modifying the weight in order to best accomplish the movement. Again, the ability to modify as needed is a strong positive. Lowering the weight of my ruck during the early rounds allowed me to comfortably work on my technique and build strength in the supporting muscles groups of my shoulder and arm. By the end of the 6 weeks I was able to increase the weight appropriately. My favorite ruck exercises consisted of some tried and true beauties like burpees, 8 ct body builders, and over head squat holds. These were plentiful, but there were also some new routines. I particularly enjoyed the 8 ct spider jumps, ruck to toe levers, and sandbag good mornings.
Bryan and his C.A.R.C crew produced effective and useful videos for each exercise. These videos were helpful when tackling new (or new to me), movements.
In all my results from this program were genuine and pleasing. I lost 8 lbs during this 6 week program without really altering my nutritional plan (beer and burgers). I Gained strength and endurance and finally became an Astronaut. Ok. I didn’t really become an Astronaut, but this program effectively and noticeably increased my strength and my endurance. In addition, the sandbag work has helped with some of the chronic pain I experience in my shoulder and wrist. I attribute that to the strengthening of my supporting muscles.
In closing I am very comfortable in recommending this HDT program to ALL potential GORUCK event participants. In addition, I also recommend this program to anyone looking to add a second daily workout in the hopes of improving your overall conditioning and fitness. This program is highly effective and fun, so go get after it. Tell Bryan that Shredder sent you.Facebook - @CadreMichaelShredder
Cadre J-Dub (10+ Rounds)
Cadre J Dub
Heavy Drop Training (HDT) AAR
I just finished up the HDT Round III Sandbag and Ruck 6-week Training Program offered by Bryan Singelyn and it has been a blast! When initially approached, I did not know much about the program and I was doing a lot of endurance work trying to increase my capacity in longer events like ultras, triathlons, etc. I’m typically a larger than average American so I’ve always struggled slimming down and getting fast in the longer distances. The offer from Bryan to check out the program was immediately a welcomed addition to my training plan as I found myself trying to fill more time with functional fitness and wanting to get outside.
The weekly format is fairly straight forward and is laid out in a manner that is easy to follow. Each week you will get an initial 3 workouts that get sent out Sunday evenings. This includes 1 lower body workout, 1 upper body workout, and 1 core workout. Depending on how I’m feeling, these workouts typically take anywhere from 30 min to 45 min. There is also a care package that is posted Tuesday evenings which is in the AMRAP format, typically 15 min to 25 min. With each workout, you choose the ruck weight and sandbag weight, if you are using a sandbag, and it is so simple just to grab my sandbag and ruck and take it wherever I need to knowing that I’ll be doing a workout that has already been carefully planned for me. I chose to go with a 60# sandbag and 45# dry weight ruck and it was a challenge throughout all 6 weeks. I will likely stick with these weights for Round IV and may look at stepping up to the 80# sandbag in Round V.
You will also test ruck and run times every other week. This is something I had not done with any legitimate structure for a while and with my endurance goals, wanted to get back into. I chose to do a 5 mile timed slick run on the treadmill because it was snowing here in NC at the time and I didn’t want the weather to affect my times too much. I also wanted to make sure I was within standards of GORUCK selection, since I think that is something I should be able to do as a Cadre. Since the beginning of this round, I have improved my run time by 5:24! For the strict ruck, I went with the 3 mile distance as there is a PT trail right next to my schoolhouse that would easily allow me to test this on varying terrain on a regular basis and I improved that time by 4:32. These separate sessions dedicated to increase performance and form helped me to concentrate on multiple energy systems and a focused mindset simultaneously. On the treadmill, I would just enter my pain cave and push until the end, then walk for a bit to cool down.
In my opinion, one of the best parts of this program is the community and accountability. Both aspects are fostered through the assignment of a Battle Buddy and daily posts from other members of the HDT Round. I got to personally know an individual, their story, and what challenges they faced while we both grew through the workouts. Shared common experiences and especially shared suffering, whether done while co-located or 1000 miles apart, always bring people together. This allowed us to push and challenge one another to better ourselves and those around us every day.
Bryan puts a lot of hard work and thought into the programming and it shows. This isn’t something that he just writes and lets run. He is intimately involved on a daily basis and completes all workouts along with Battle Buddies of his own. He also tailors the program to individuals based on injury or what they have going on in their lives. For example, I will be in Ireland for the first week of Round V (WOOT WOOT!) and he is sending me the bodyweight program for the first week and then transitioning me back to the sandbag version when I get back to the states where it is easier to travel with some weight. Bryan creates new and fun exercises on a regular basis and supports them with detailed explanations in easily accessible videos. I promise you will not get bored with what he has us doing.
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Heavy Drop Training program and greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication that Bryan has put in to making this an awesome adventure. I look forward to what Round V will bring and forging fortitude with those of you who elect to join us. If you have any further questions or just want to jabber hit me up on Facebook.
Cadre J Dub
Great program for all around body fitness, mobility, and endurance. I have enjoyed it so far. It is great for the Military since you are not always next to that 24 hour fitness. Also it will help you to look delicious naked. Did a round right before a Norway trip. Norway mountains were crushed.
AMAZING program!!! Wanted to personally thank you Bryan! Now that I've completed my first round of HDT and now my first TOUGH...I can honestly say your training program better prepared me for the event. From doing multiple rounds off 67 burpees (66 representing the 66 miles marched at Bataan and 1 extra for Cadre Roony...the ranger in the sky) to volunteering to solo carry or buddy carry our coupons! Your program is legit and awesome and I thank you! ❤ #WorthIt
Doug Schwerin (011)
How Heavy Drop Training (HDT) Applies to Training for Selection
What’s up crazies? I just wanted to take a moment and write some thoughts down with regards to the program that Bryan put together that we all know and love. I’ve always stayed active and as a part of that I am usually doing some sort of strength and conditioning training. Over the spring / summer I decided to change some things up and did a couple rounds of HDT…can’t remember exactly. It may have been rounds 4 and 5? It was an excellent and much needed change to my current training protocols. I usually always incorporate some form of sandbag work for accessory activity, along with ruck workouts for conditioning, but had never dedicated so much time to just those activities. A couple things that stand out with the program are the balance between higher heartrate and lower heartrate activity, the limited equipment required (can easily do these workouts anywhere including vacation), and my favorite…the mental toughness that is being created to complete all the reps. For example, knowing you have to do 25-100 sandbag get ups your brain instantly shoots to the end and thinking how loooooooong it’s going to take to do that many. You have to learn how to block the end out and learn to set micro-goals to get through the majority of the workouts. Just think about the discipline it requires but the confidence that is created knowing you are going to start a workout with 5 minutes of burpees and then also end it with 5 minutes of burpees! Awesome. The program itself hits all the major and minor muscles of your body and really captures the definition of functional. It’s not really a program designed to increase your deadlift by 500lbs but you will definitely be a more capable and overall ready human after doing a few rounds of the training. My only addition (and it may have been added since) would be the inclusion of some more specific pulling movements like bent over ruck or sandbag rolls or various forms of pull-ups. But other than that, it’s a solid program and is easy and straight forward for anyone to do.
So how did I utilize HDT when I was training for GORUCK SELECTION? First, training for that event is rather unique as it requires you to be good at quite a few different activities. You need to be strong but agile, you need to be able to run but also ruck, you need to be able to hit your redline but recover quickly, etc. etc. To be able to do all those things for 48hours, the trick is to figure out how to come up with a training plan that hits all those enough but not too much at the detriment of something else. The way I normally train I ended up needing to reduce my time strength training to have more time for running and the PT test, etc. One of the most important things when training for any endurance event is volume. That’s where HDT came in for me. I would not necessarily do each and every workout as programmed but would pick some of the exercises for parts of the body I was focusing on that day and use them as accessory / volume work to compliment strength training days. It seemed to work out well and when I would get sandbags or other similar exercises during the event I had the confidence and composure to perform the work because I had done 1000s of reps of similar activity coming into the event. About the only thing I would have done differently would have been to do some of the HDT workouts when I would have been totally smoked…like say after any hard running or rucking day when all I wanted to do was veg out.
Doug / 011
AFTER ACTION REPORT -- Heavy Drop Training Round 17
DATELINE, GAINZVILLE, USA
After I crushed three 12-plus-hour events in five weekends last fall, I got complacent to say the least. After GrowRuck 16, a 14.5-hour rain-soaked Tough, I pounded three beers and a bunch of nasty food and kind of never stopped. In late October I was trying to break 3 hours for a 12-mile ruck and ended up breaking my foot at mile 10.5 before finishing. In the ensuing months I reverted and reverted and reverted … and started seeing a “3” as the first digit on the scale for the first time since a dramatic transformation for the better in 2017. I limped through an introductory Pathfinder class I had crushed several times previously. I had to do a bunch of miles and workouts in the final days just to make it, which symbolized how lazy I got in the winter but also reminded me what I could do with some strong DFQ spirit. Sensing the events I had over-zealously booked for 2020, a few weeks before COVID and its ripple effects, I signed up for Heavy Drop Training combined with Pathfinder to get myself back on track.
HDT is a prescription training plan of weekly on-your-own workouts (each week has a Core, Lower, Upper, AMRAP “care package” and either run or ruck time hack) based out of Cleveland (the Cleveland Area Rucking Crew [C.A.R.C.] has chapters throughout Ohio and over 700 members), and it’s where many Assessment, Selection, Special Forces and other bad-asses bolster their hard-core training. I’m nowhere near elite, but it’s fun to be a junior varsity member of a pretty legit group. I did Round 13 of the six-week program in July/August last year, finishing the same weekend as the 9/11 events in Indy. I was in beast mode, but the return to school, a debilitating toothache, and a rapidly deteriorating phone that held no charge caused me to mismanage my schedule and miss one workout and one 12-miler (which, due to a number drawn from a hat, ended up being worth about the same points as one full week of WODs) and miss out on the 90-percent points mark and a SWEET combo patch for HDT and Pathfinder. Round 17 started March 9, and I was determined to get back into some semblance of shape, but I bought it mid-February long before stay-at-home measures. Good timing for me.
Anyway, the last round I was mid-events and couldn’t really post scientifically accurate gains. This time I could chart things better. I approached each workout treading a fine line between just enough weight to keep form and build endurance but not too much as to get overly sore or hurt being stupid. I had to double-down with two WODs on the final day, which is a suicide mission, especially after logging a 15-miler Saturday night to complete Pathfinder 12 days early. Still, here they are. “Week 0” is a fitness test I did the Friday before the round began. Some of these are bad starts or just modest gains, but as a pesky winter wanes, there is no shame because these are all pretty positive results regardless of how weak the overall numbers are.
*BURPEES (5-min AMRAP) -- Week 0: 36. Week 6: 44.
*MERKINS (2-min AMRAP) -- Week 0: 54. Week 6: 60
*SITUPS (2-min AMRAP) -- Week 0: 36. Week 6: 45
*STRICT RUCK (3.0 miles, 30# plate) -- Week 0: 49:57. Week 6: 42:50.
*2-MILE RUN -- Week 0: 22:37. Week 5: 21:58.
*APFT (Army Physical Fitness, max 300) TEST -- Week 0: 163. Week 6: 183. Both still failures. Run score is killing me.
*RUCKDOOM (20-min AMRAP of 10 thrusters, 10 ruck-to-toe leg levers, 10 ruck squats, 10 ruck curls) -- Week 1: 8.75 rounds (350 reps). Week 6: 9.9 rounds (395 reps).
In the time between now and the next round (discounted 50 percent for everyone thanks to COVID), I need to run, run, run. #EVERYDAMNMILE! Thank you all for the encouragement.
Heavy Drop Training has been in my training plan for nearly 6 months now and I don’t even hesitate to sign up for the next round. The weekly work out plans are developed to hit every part of the body in consistently unique ways to ensure a well rounded training approach. On top of that, I usually walk away from the workouts already feeling stronger.
Once you see the results after “gains week”, it is easy to be a believer in the program.
This is an Amazing program and it really helps you work harder when you have an accountability log. I just finished my 1st Heavy Drop Training at age 58 1/2 and signed up for my 2nd Heavy Drop Training. Believe me if I can do this anyone can do this.!!!!!! I’ve never felt stronger and my arms definitely have more definition. It’s worth it, just got to make the time.!!!!
My husband has been doing this program for awhile. He convinced me to give it a try. I had fallen out of working out and really needed to get moving. It really was not EVER something I saw myself doing. I secretly (now not so secretly) LOVED it! I have pushed myself and I feel so much stronger. I work a very hands on job and my body was not having it before from all the abuse I was doing without caring for it. I have got so much relief in strengthening my body. Can't wait for the next round! Thanks for the encouragement! I would highly recommend giving it a try- you might just love it!