Alternating the RTC Program

Q: I’m currently in a law enforcement academy in Canada, and was looking at your Return to Cop Land training program. Just have a couple questions though.

First off, in comparision to newer programs, how does this stand up? Second, is this a repeatable program, or would it be best to use as say, a starter program then move onto something different?

Lastly, at the moment I have Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs that I can actually workout, and I might end up with with Friday I can use as well (depends on my current job). Would it be more damaging than beneficial to do my workouts Mon/Tues/Thurs? Or should I just do two days a week?

Thanks for your time!
Matthew R.

My Answer: The Return to Copland (RTC) program is not meant for those going through the academy. I don’t know how your academy does physical training, but if it’s like a lot of academies, they focus on running and pushups. As I explained in the article, running for long distances and high rep pushups really don’t do much by themselves to improve your strength and conditioning out on patrol.

But YOUR concern is not patrol performance, since you’re in the academy. You have to physically perform for academy standards. And that means a lot of pushups and running and whatever else they will test you on.

You can certainly do the RTC program while going through the academy. But you will need to eat enough protein and fats to make sure you don’t lose strength and muscle mass, because you will be overtrained by the physical and mental stress of the academy.

So let’s answer your questions in order:

1) “In comparision to newer programs, how does this stand up?”

I have no idea what you mean by this. Are you asking how does this program compare to other programs as far as gaining muscle and strength? Are you asking how does this program compare to my newer programs? The RTC program is meant to improve your strength, conditioning and size in all aspects related specifically to physical performance on patrol. In other words, it is meant to improve an officer’s ability to chase, seize and control a suspect.

2) “Is this a repeatable program, or would it be best to use as say, a starter program then move onto something different?”

It depends on your level of training, but this is normally a very BRUTAL program in which to perform. This is not a starter program. Choose a different program to break yourself in, and then follow the RTC program.

The RTC is a repeatable program, meaning you can do it over and over. The whole program takes 4 weeks (the article has a typo; Weeks 4-5 are supposed to be listed as Weeks 3-4). However, I suggest alternating between the RTC program and another program of your choosing.

3) “At the moment I have Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs that I can actually workout, and I might end up with with Friday I can use as well (depends on my current job). Would it be more damaging than beneficial to do my workouts Mon/Tues/Thurs?”

The first 2 weeks you will workout 4 days a week. Perform workouts on Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs, unless you know for sure you’re getting Friday off. In that case, do Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri.

For Weeks 3-4, you have 3 workouts a week, so do every other day if you can. But if you have to workout 2 days in a row, then go ahead and do that. No biggie.

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3 thoughts on “Alternating the RTC Program

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  1. I've been using the RTC since February… love it!!! I can definitely tell a difference in my performance on the job (the other guys have noticed, too). I am also not having lower back pain like I use to.

    The only “problem” I've been having is that I can't seem to knock out more than 10 pullups in a set (going for AMRAP). Am I doing something wrong?

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  2. Glad you like the RTC program, Jamie. As far as 10 pull-ups, I wouldn't consider it a problem, since most people can't even do more than 5. But I get what you're saying: you want to be able to do more. If that's the case, then I suggest you do a pull-up specialization every so often:

    Increasing your pull-ups

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