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12 Weeks to BUDS Workout

stew smith

For the past decade, people young and old have been using The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness - Twelve Weeks to BUD/S workout. The program has evolved to include a beginner and an intermediate section in its third revision as well as the infamous Twelve Weeks to BUDS. Much of the update is due to the recent changes in recruitment for SEALs, EOD, SWCC, and Rescue Swimmers in the Navy. See recent recruiting changes at How to go Navy Special Warfare / Operations article.

The Navy SEAL program is still as tough as it has ever been, even though the Navy needs more SEALs. The good thing about the SEAL community is that it does not make BUD/S easier when it needs more SEALs, but better prepares them with mentors around the nation and pre-BUDS training after boot camp. Now the SEAL training pipeline takes you out of boot camp and into a 6-8 week training course to prepare you for BUD/S. All you have to do is workout everyday! Sounds like a great way to earn a pay check if you ask me!!

The 12 weeks to BUD/S workout is designed to help students ace the Navy SEAL PST of 500yd swim, pushups, situps, pullups, and a 1.5 mile run, plus most of the challenging events at SEAL training. For example, 99% of your swims at BUD/S is with fins and your runs are in boots. The book reminds you to be swimming and running with these to prepare your legs for the miles of both events. Also you will be doing hundreds of repetitions of pushups, pullups, abdominal exercises like situps and flutterkicks in your workouts. It helps teach your muscles to have that kind of endurance to handle multiple sets of high repetition exercises.

Common Question: can I add weights to the CGTNSF3?

There are no weights in the 12 week program other than the light weight shoulder routine that is mysteriously omitted from the pictures / explanations (sorry - long story). My recommendation has been to only use weights with this program IF you need them. Meaning, if you are an endurance athlete and really have no power / strength training in your history, then I would supplement with weights in a periodization style routine. See link Spec Ops prep for more info.

I have typically added weights into my year round routine for a 12-16 week cycle and increased the weights, reduced the reps of calisthenics to take a break from the high repetition exercises during this time. It has enabled students and myself to maintain high levels of fitness year round. You do have to keep up with the running and swimming routines as well however, IF you are preparing for BUD/S. See The NEW Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Weight Gain Cycle) for ideas on how to change the program up during the year.

HOWEVER, if you are a power - strength guy who thinks a 1.5 mile run and a 500yd swim is long distance, then I would lay off the weights and focus on your cardio / high rep routines (12 week program). To make that transition that you need to succeed at BUDS or any other Navy Spec ops training like dive school, SAR swimmer school, and SWCC takes some time - perhaps more than a year to be truly prepared for the miles of running you will be doing at BUDS.

Order the book/DVD combo now! This product is an annual favorite with an average of 85% of BUD/S graduates stating they used this program to prepare for SEAL training.

Comments from CGTNSF users: A friend of mine in Army SF recommended to me your book, Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness and I just want to say that it is amazing. It pushes me physically and mentally every day. When I first started I couldn't do more than 30 pushups, 50 situps, 5 pullups, nor could I even swim, and running was certainly not one of my hot spots. After using your 12 week program one time, my scores have improved vastly. 75 pushups in 2 minutes, 85 situps in 2 minutes, 16 pullups in 1minute, 9:50 500m swim (which isn't bad for never swimming until the age of 21), and 9:00 1.5 mile run. I'm going to keep training hard until I reach your recommended scores prior to entry into Navy SEAL BUD/s. I just want to say thank you for you awesome workout program. I'm not going to stop until I reach my goals and then some.... I credit you with my success thus far. Take care sir.

Just a few words about your Navy SEAL Fitness book: In December I passed your 4-week IM workout. And I was amazed about the progress I made. My overall physical fitness has grown around 30 %. For example: 1.5 mile running in boots from ~14:00 min to 11:20 min 500 yd swimming using sidestroke from ~15:30 min to 10:30 NO KIDDING! And the same results for my upper body strength and stamina...I got rid of 8 lbs of fat. And that was only 4 weeks! Now I decided to go further with the 12-week to BUD workout. Will be very hard I am sure, but worth on it. So I can say no other than HOOYAH for YOU!

PST scores pre intermediate workout:
500 yard swim-10:39
Pushups-56
Situps-69
Pullups-15
1.5 mile run-12:00

PST scores post intermediate workout
500 yard swim-9:21
Pushups-70
Situps-84
Pullups-16
1.5 mile run-9:51
Now to the actual 12 weeks to BUDS!!!


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