Cart 0

Special Forces Article

stew smith

If you want to wear the green beret of the Army Special Forces, be warned that it takes more than the ability to do hundreds of push-ups. To make it in the Special Forces of any branch of the U.S. military, you need intelligence, an outstanding record of military service, and high motivation -- very high. But now, a new program will enable you to go straight to the SFAS after Army boot camp and AIT and Airborne - skipping the 3 year wait!!!

My next few columns are for those of you who think you have what it takes to go Special Forces. I can give you the requirements for each service and a workout that will help you get physically prepared for the advanced training. As for those other qualities, you're on your own.

Getting Into SFAS
The first step to becoming a Green Beret is to pass the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course (SFAS). To get into this course, you must meet some basic physical fitness requirements by scoring a minimum of 206 on the Army physical fitness test for the 17-to-21 age group. Remember, that's the minimum score.

If you're serious about applying for Special Forces, however, never settle for the minimum score in anything. Since the Green Berets are so selective and competitive, it helps to stand out in as many areas as you can. I recommend that you work toward these goals in your Army PFT:

-- Complete the 2-mile run in at least 12 to 14 minutes.

-- 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes.

-- 100 push-ups in 2 minutes.

-- 20+ pullups

-- BUT you should be capable and very used to running and rucking longer distances. Typically, six miles is a good foundation of rucks and runs to build up to in your workout programs. An occasional 10-15 mile ruck should be added from time to time to get used to the days when longer distances are part of the training plan at SFAS and the Q course.

Accomplishing these goals will bring you close to a perfect score of 300 and increase your chances of being selected for SFAS.

The three-week SFAS course, taught at Fort Bragg, N.C., consists of two phases. During the first, the physical phase, you will be expected to PT (running, swimming, sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups), run an obstacle course, log PT, and participate in rucksack marches and orienteering exercises. The second phase measures your leadership and teamwork abilities.

Next Step: The Q Course

After completing SFAS, you will be selected by the Green Beret instructors to attend the "Q Course," the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC). Depending on your occupational specialty, this course will last from 6 months to a year; the medical and communications courses last longer.

Daily training at the SFQC takes it toll on your body since your day usually starts very early and ends late. While you are training for the Q Course, you should adopt the attitude of a marathon runner. Be ready for the long haul, but take each day one at a time. Most people who quit the course lack the ability to focus through the fatigue and stress that accompanies such training.

The Workout

If Army Special Forces is your goal, here's a good standard workout that may help you reach it. I call it the military triathlon - Run, swim, ruck!

Swimming: NEVER swim alone. -- Two to three times a week, 1,000 to 2,000 meters each time. -- One day a week, try to swim wearing cammies and boots for 100 meters.

Running: -- 4-5 times a week, 3 to 5 miles for faster paced runs and 5-7 mile runs at a steady pace.

Rucking: -- 2-3 times a week, do a rucksack march carrying a 50-pound load.

PT: Every other day. -- Pull-ups, 75 to 100 repetitions (seven to 10 sets of 10 reps). -- Push-ups, 200 to 300 repetitions (10 to 15 sets of 20 reps). -- Sit-ups, 200 to 300 repetitions (five to 10 sets of 40 to 50 reps).

Remember, it's always a good idea to check with your physician before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have been inactive for a long while or if you have certain medical conditions.

With any download you buy you get access to Stew Smith (the author) for any answers to your training questions!!

If you would like to buy the SF / Ranger Workout that has worked for several clients of the PT Club please go straight to the Army SF Workout.

From recent SFAS selectee - Stew - thanks for the Army SF / Ranger workout. I did it along with the 3 mile running plan (some of the running workouts added each week) and really had no trouble with the course. From PT, running, rucking, I was able to win / finish events and still have some energy left in the tank.
Check out the Top Ten Things You Need to Know Before SFAS / Q Course

Getting ready for Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS), the first step to attending the Special Forces Qualification Course, requires commitment and a near life time of preparation. I recently spoke to a Special Forces operator and we discussed the top ten things a SF candidate needs to know before they take the SFAS challenge. He spoke of many different elements you should focus on during your training preparation. Here is the Top Ten List:
1 — Have a solid running base: You will not only run everywhere you go but you will be running with a back pack and fast. Shin splints, knee tendonitis, and foot problems occur in those who do not have a running base of at least 25–30 miles per week. Prepare your legs and your lungs by putting in the time — and the miles. Run distance and run it fast. The runs are not very long, no more than 10–12 miles at the very most, but we moved out. My SF buddy mentioned, “One day we took off and I recorded we were running a 6:10/min mile”. He continued, “I am not sure if this is still the case but if guys want to be successful I would suggest they get out and do some intervals in addition to their longer runs.”

2 — Leg endurance and muscle stamina: Two things will give out on you if you are not prepared — your lungs and your legs. Mix in both a lung and leg workout with running and leg PT. Run at timed run pace for 1/2 mile — rest with 20 squats and 20 lunges. Repeat up to 5–6 times or build up to it over time depending on a logical progression. Try a few 1/4 mile lunge walks in your training to prepare for a lunge walk around your training area.

3 — Strong Lower Back: Carrying around back packs, logs, and performing injured man drills, you need to have a strong back. Exercises like dead lift, hang clean, farmer walks, fire man carries, and body drags will prepare your lower back for lifting weight and walking with it. Be prepared to stand up all day — not even sit down at all. Also see lowerbackplan for a calisthenics based back plan to build upon.

4 — Land Navigation: Much of SFAS and the Q course is getting from point A to point B in the quickest amount of time as possible. Know how to read a map and use a compass.

5. Ruck running: SFAS is all about time and moving to your points quickly. You need to be able to move out when you are in a time crunch or are stuck in a draw. To prepare, put 45lbs in your ruck and move 4 miles as fast as you can. A good goal is to get 4 miles in under 35 minutes. If you can cover that distance during SFAS it’s a game changer. See Ruck Marches

6. Shoulder PT: During SFAS you will have log and rifle PT. This isn’t everyday but a very extraneous event that gets a lot of guys to quit. I would recommend doing a lot of push presses, snatches and light weight military presses to get ready. The weight isn’t heavy, just very repetitive. Learn to work under the log as a team and it helps. Especially if you all can do a push-press at the same time. Really muscle bounds guys could get the weight up no problem but got smoked really quickly into these events. Also see - Shoulder Workout

7. Swim: Swimming is a passable event in the course. Besides being a great non-impact aerobic activity, the survival swim with all your gear on is tough and quite a shock if you have never tried it before. You have to be able to swim 50 meters in a pool with boots and a uniform. If you are a weak swimmer, get to the pool and do some laps. This was one event that snuck in and got a few people because they did not incorporate it into their workout plan.

8. Attitude: You can be the fastest and the strongest and crush the course physically, BUT if you have an attitude and not a team player, you will not be selected to go to the Q Course. Help your classmates when you can and stay in RECEIVE mode when learning a skill from the instructors.

9. High rep, crossfit like training- The biggest reason I say this is they are now doing mostly crossfit workouts in the course. Morning PT incorporates kettle bells, bar bells, pull-ups etc. So if you have a little bit of a crossfit background you will be able to keep up during PT. Use CF workouts as a warm-up. You still need to put in the time with running, rucking, and more rucking and running.

10. Upper Body Round Robin Prep- This is a fun new fitness test the Spec Ops World is testing: This is becoming the new SF PT test. My SF buddy mentioned. “I just completed my first one a few months ago during my E8 development course. It hasn’t become a go/no-go event, yet, but it’s being heavily considered as the new standard and is already in use by some of the teams.” CIF companies are already using it as their must pass event. As you can see it’s a big test and is taken all at once. So you have to have some serious chest strength to knock it out and be able to ace a 5 mile timed run.

Take these recommendations seriously. My SF buddies from REFactor Tactical are serious operators and are still operating with the reserve SF units and other NGOs. I’d like to thank them for the recommendations. For you future Spec Ops warriors I wish you the best of luck and would like to remind you to keep working hard to prepare for the first step of a career in the Spec Ops world.

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published