A Guide For Our Program Clients

Update: 8 July, 2018

Thanks for undertaking The Mill Gym Training Programs. All of our programs have been designed by former Special Forces Operators using decades of hard won experience, and the feedback from 100's of clients and members over the past 10+ years at The Mill.

Our programs are designed according to tried, tested and scientifically proven training principles. The key point of difference for our programming is that we incorporate proven methodologies, which assist to develop greater overall resilience. These programs have been designed by exponents of these skills, not theorists who train the exponents. It doesn't matter how much you know about the topic, you will always be a theorists until you have personally put the theory into action. This includes physical strength and conditioning as well as developing the elite mindset and mental attributes which increase the probability of your success and put you in the top 5% of your field. All of the workouts have been individually tested and selected to compliment each other in order to achieve your overall goal. The level of success of our programming and the true test of effectiveness is measured by one metric only - the successful achievement of your individual goals.

Since 2008 we have been committed to ensuring our members and clients become more resilient and effective people. We believe that everyone has the capacity to become an elite operator in any field. As current and former Special Forces Soldiers ('Operators') we understand that being physically fit not only enables greater capacity for battle but also for every other facet of life. The underlying premise of all of our programming is to firstly build an athlete who is physically and mentally hardy and tough. This includes the capacity to solve complex problems in adverse conditions and hostile environments. We have incorporated these lessons-learned into all of our programming. This serves as the ultimate foundation for developing skills in any specialty field, pursuit, craft or vacation.

Program Design

theMill online programs are designed according to 6 levels. These are:

Level 1 GPP - Foundation and Ground-Zero. This level is designated for a complete beginner at training (Foundation) or someone who has had a extended lay-off (years) from regular physical training (Ground-Zero). If you don't know where to start when it comes to training then either of these is as good a place as any. These programs are designed to progressively introduce (or re-introduce) you to physical conditioning, and increase intensity according to a 4-week cycle which includes a (1) week of deload training. The program starts with short sub-maximal effort (easy) training sessions 3 to 5 times per week of between 8 and 30-minutes. It then builds up over the course of 24-weeks to 4 to 6 sub-maximal sessions per week of 20 to 60-minutes each. The initial focus is on: i)  breath control; ii) glute-engagement; iii) shoulder-setting; iv) technique development; v) developing the training habit; and vi) building work capacity.

The Foundation program is designed for you to train according to how you feel. The workouts are formatted so that you can do one or 2 or the workouts per day. You can tick these off as you work your way down the list, If you feel as though you haven't yet recovered from the previous days workout, then only do the cardio workout OR take the day off. Do no more than 2 workouts per day and tune into your body by being disciplined about filling in the Journal provided. 

The Ground-Zero program is more structured and is designed for an athlete who has successfully completed the Foundation program, or for you if you're an athlete who has previous experience in training and is more attuned to what your body is telling you about your recovery and subsequent readiness to train. Once again, the supplied Journal will help you quantify this.

Level 2 GPP - Ready-Ready. The 24-week Ready-Ready program is seen as the stepping stone into more specialised training programs. It is designed for athletes who have a training history/age of 6-months of 3 to 6 sessions per week at an average sub-maximal intensity level. It is the progression from the Ground-Zero program and starts to reinforce the foundation built in Ground-Zero as well as starting to incorporate more intensive sessions. The focus is on: technique development and full ROM; ii) developing aerobic energy systems; iii) developing anaerobic energy systems; and iv) developing military orientated training skills and techniques.

Level 3 and 4 GPP - General Athletic Conditioning (GAC). The GAC is our main general physical preparedness ('GPP') program. It is designed to be general in nature and is a good alternative for athletes who want to remain ready for anything. The fundamentals techniques and skills used in this program are applicable to any more advanced programming. This program is a 6-day per week program which follows a 4-week cycle of 3-weeks ON: 1 week OFF ('deload'). The program is designed for athletes who have a training age of 12 months or more of 3 to 6 sessions per week at a medium to high intensity. Our recommended weekly regime for this program is 2-ON: 1-OFF:3-ON: 1-OFF (days).

Level 5 and 6 (GPP) - Increase the weights, decrease the rest and/or increase the intensity of each interval to achieve Level 5 or 6 while training the GAC cycle.

Level 5 and 6 (Military) - For our military athletes and Special Forces candidates we have Levels 3 and 4 Military Preparedness programs then Levels 5 and 6 Special Operations Forces (SOF) Preparation programs. The Level 3 and 4 programs are similar to our Level 3 and 4 GAC however the training incorporates more military orientated activities to specifically prepare the athlete for the rigours of working in our military fighting units. Once again the intensity is slowly ratcheted up throughout each level (from Level 1) up to Level 6 which is a program specifically designed for high-level military athletes looking to achieve world-class standards in elite military strength and conditioning.

Program Feedback

For our bespoke program clients these programs have been created to meet your/ our Clients' specific needs. We have designed these programs based on the information you have provided which may include your recent assessment results. However these test results do not provide a complete indication of many other factors, which will have an impact on the success of this program. These factors include such considerations as: diet and nutrition; your ability to recover from progressively intensive training programs culminating in up to 6-hours per day for up to 6-days per week; duration and quality of your sleep; mental health and well-being; and energy and fatigue levels. Therefore [for our remote clients only], we are heavily reliant on your subjective feedback, and so it is imperative, especially in the initial stages, to provide feedback to us regarding your perception of the intensity of the training and any other points you may have.

Please take as many notes as possible on your progress, recovery, mood and energy levels throughout the process. This will ensure you and your trainer have all the required information to adjust the program in detail to better suit your needs. It will also enable you to see where you started and just how far you’ve come in months to come.

We have included a 'Training Journal' template for you to use as a guide.

Please note that because our programs are bespoke it should be treated as a ‘live’ document. I.e. as you progress through the program, it will be changed for you based on the feedback you provide to your trainer. It is imperative that the feedback-loop is maintained with your programmer/trainer to ensure the best results are achieved.

Feedback frequency: End of week #1, #3 & #6. To provide feedback, please email:


Your specific program is designed as part of a training continuum. Your fitness test results and your goals will dictate where in that continuum you will need to start the program. Advanced athletes may start later in this program, whereas candidates new to fitness training will need to start at day-1 week-1.

We advise you to execute every facet of your program as diligently as possible. You must also treat this process as an opportunity to, along with your physical preparation, develop productive habits with regard to your nutrition, routine, work ethic, recovery, sleep and also to prepare your mind. Developing these key areas in unison will assure maximum effective results for you as an elite-Operator and maximum benefits in your life. Therefore the preparation for both the physical and the mental starts right now. The better you know yourself and how you perform under certain conditions, the more you will increase your confidence and capacity especially under duress - when it is truly tested. So it is important that take the time everyday to log down as much detail as possible about your performance and physical and mental everyday.

Some aspects that you may want to monitor in a logbook/diary are:

  • Body-weight

  • Waking heart-rate

  • Mood

  • Energy levels*

  • Fatigue (physical fatigue and mental clarity etc.)*

  • Muscle soreness*

  • Nutrition

  • Sleep quality and duration

  • Willingness to train

  • Time and duration of training

  • Weights lifted in relation to what was scheduled in the program

*Subjective, perceived levels

If you don't already have one, we include a training journal for you with every program. When providing feedback to us, please send a completed copy/photo of this journal.