Effective Workout Programs That Actually Work

i like the idea fitness apps, You get a workout plan in the palm of your hand, which in theory provides motivation and eliminates the guesswork from your training session. The problem is that a lot of fitness apps aren’t designed for people who really want to push themselves to the gym. At best, they offer workouts that can help you burn off some calories, At least, they are a complete waste of time. Then there’s MTNTOUGH+, a new app developed by the Bozeman-based gym of the same name, designed to address overall fitness holistically — addressing everything from mental toughness to nutrition, Yes, it is loaded with heavy workouts that will make you sweat. I spent a month testing every aspect of the app to see if it was worth the $29.99 monthly subscription fee. Result? I got my ass kicked – in the best sense.

The brick-and-mortar MTNTOUGH made a name for itself by developing a full-body workout for mountain athletes and military personnel (think backcountry hunters who need to hike for miles with a deer on their backs or soldiers who want to go to their next deployment). want to stay in shape for ) however, the workouts have an appeal that is far broader than that of that niche market. The company has always designed programs focused on building strength and stamina that anyone can purchase a la carte through their website. we covered them heavy pack workout last spring.

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This new app puts all the workout programs in one place – with nutrition guidance and bonus content like podcasts, interviews, and tutorials on mental toughness. It is divided into four types of workouts: Bodyweight, Backcountry Hunter Series, Military Specific, and Minimal Gear Program. Each of those courses is further divided into; For example, the Minimal Gear program consists of a series of workouts that use a kettlebell and another series that uses a heavy backpack. The Backcountry Hunter program features a spring training camp and a precision pre workout track with a postseason strength track.

Boy in pushup position in garage with tablet in background.
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While this all may sound confusing, it basically means that you have several different workout options within the app. Some of them will sink you into oblivion. Others rely on classic lifts like squats and cleans. But note that I used the word “program”. Rather than a single workout, MTNTOUGH+ is designed to guide you through complete fitness phases (building strength, building stamina, maintaining strength, etc.), with specific programs that you’ll follow for four months. You choose a program—like No Gear 60—then follow it for 60 days as one workout builds into the next.

Guy exercising kettle bell in garage, tablet is placed on cooler
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From a fitness perspective, the principals are solid. You are strengthening multiple muscle groups and systems, and are constantly challenging yourself day in and day out. It also takes away the fickle nature of our human brain. I workout several days a week, but before I started following MTNTOUGH+, I used to do the exercises I wanted to do on any given day, depending on how I felt. Working through something like a four-week kettlebell-dominant KB20 provides guidance on the reg and helps keep me moving toward my fitness goals because the program requires me to either add weight or do more than I do at the gym. To diversify the work being done. In other words, I’m not basing my conditioning on how I feel. I am following the prescribed guidelines which are proven to lead to the results.

And the workouts are tough. I cannot stress that enough. I had trouble getting through some of them at first. Most training sessions will take about an hour and usually hinge on supersets, so you’re constantly moving and pushing yourself without much rest. Personally, I enjoy the variety built into each program. For example, choose the Backcountry Spring Training camp program, and you’ll be supersetting the bench press and deadlifts on day one, and burn through box jumps, farmer carries, and spin bike laps. It keeps you engaged and gives results – if you can keep going.

Boy working with backpack in garage, in forward stretch position.
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On the other hand, if you’re used to doing bench presses every other day (like me), you may be frustrated by the lack of routine. There is no “leg day” or “back day” and you will not repeat the same exercise three days a week. This app is not made to build a bigger chest. It’s designed to build overall strength, stamina and mobility for performing athletes, so every day is a full-body workout.

I spent four weeks bouncing around the app and sampling different programs—but the best way to use MTNTOUGH+ is to pick a program and stick with it from start to finish. After completing one, move on to the next. There is a solid variety of programs to choose from. If you only have 30 minutes a day and can’t get to the gym, do a 30-30 bodyweight program. If you like kettlebells, knock out the KB20. If you’re a gym rat who likes to throw heavy weights, the Backcountry Hunter Postseason Strength is your jam.

Men and women doing kettlebell exercises in the garage.
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And workout isn’t the only value at MTNTOUGH+. I’m not really into motivational videos, but I became mildly addicted to mobility tutorials and worked them into my nightly TV-watching routine. I thought the nutrition plan was helpful too. It wasn’t unprecedented (e.g. eliminating processed foods and focusing on protein and healthy fats) but it did make me think about every calorie I put into my body and I realized that I could go through my training. Not eating enough protein to support

After 30 days, I’m excited with the results. I’m lean and strong and look forward to seeing where the app can take me. Curious about testing it out for yourself? Here’s a sample workout from the Backcountry Hunter Postseason Strength Series.

Boy leaves backpack on his head outside during workout.
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  • row x 500m
  • high knee x30 sec
  • butt kick x 30 sec
  • world’s longest stretch x 30 seconds
  • Overhead Lunge x 30 seconds
  • Walkout/Inchworm Pushup x 30 sec
  • Lateral Lunge x 30 sec
  • Floor Wiper x 30 sec


1. Half Mile Sprint: On or off the treadmill – as fast as you can maintain that distance.

2. Superset Ball Squats and Release Pushup Ladders: For the squat, focus on form — drop your butt until it touches the top of a medicine ball or low bench. For release pushups, do a standard pushup, but at the bottom, tuck your chest into the floor and release your arms to the side before pushing back up. You will complete a ladder in the following order:

  • 20 Ball Squats + 2 Release Pushups
  • 18 Ball Squats + 4 Release Pushups
  • 16 Ball Squats + 6 Release Pushups

*Continue until you finish with a set of 2 ball squats + 20 release pushups

3. Half Mile Sprint

4. Superset Forward Lunge and Barbell Military Press Ladder: You can do lunges with bodyweight or use dumbbells to increase the challenge. You will complete a ladder using the same sequence as above.

  • 20 Forward Lunges, 2 Barbell Military Press
  • 18 Forward Lunges, 4 Barbell Military Press
  • 16 Ball Squats + 6 Release Pushups

*Continue until you have completed one set of 2 Forward Lunges + 20 Barbell Military Presses

5. Half-Mile Sprint

6. Core Finisher

  • plank x 1 minute
  • Left Side Plank x 30 sec
  • Right Side Plank x 30 sec
  • plank x 1 minute

want to try mtntug+ for self? Right now, you can save 15% on MTNTOUGH+ with promo code “launch” monthly or for “Launcher” for annual savings. You can purchase the videos individually, or pay a $29.99 monthly subscription fee.

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