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Are You Just Interested OR Actually Interested in Hard Work?

Stew smith

Many Are "Interested in Special Ops" But Few Want to Work Hard to Get There...

Many just fail to understand the level of preparation required. It is not just the fitness test, it is a lifetime of hard work in school. sports, and tedious jobs to earn some spending money or help your family with bills. Team work, building resilience / mental toughness, and creating a never quit mentality IS all part of the type of life long preparation needed to succeed in ANYTHING you are interested in doing.

If you are interested - WHY are you interested? Do you have a good answer when your will is tested? 

Are you just "interested" in becoming a special operator or actually working hard to become the most qualified candidate to apply? I use this term specifically because too many candidates are just interested in becoming special ops, but not interested in (nor fully understand) the hard work and preparation required to get there. Most do not understand the level of fitness and mental / physical toughness that is needed to just get TO the training much less get THROUGH the training. Nor do they understand just how bad you have to want it - you cannot just be interested in these professions as there is much to endure - not just in training but in the daily grind of the job as well. 

You will be cold, hot, wet, parched, tired, hungry, and in pain, and find yourself in uncomfortable situations in the dark, underwater, and at heights. These are just a few of the situations where you will have to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Then you have the steep learning curve of tactical training that requires not just working hard to get it right but working even harder so you cannot get it wrong. 

I find one of the major issues with recruiting for special ops is that the candidate population is full of people interested in becoming a ________ (name spec ops job) and not the most qualified. Being just interested in the unconventional is the quick way to find yourself serving in conventional ways for your years of service. 

The military recruiting departments do a fine job finding people to serve in these conventional roles which are the backbone of our military. Thank you for serving in these jobs as you are part of a big team that needs to work together. However, the recruiters do not do a good job finding the most qualified people for the special ops jobs that boasts over 50% attrition rate. (some branches are better than others). Unfortunately, that is where most of you are going if you do not take responsibility for your preparation long before you join the military.

It is easy to find people interested in the job but most of those people wind up serving their 4 year enlistment in a job they were not interested in a matter of a few weeks of selection. That is YOUR fault - not the military's.

It is on you. 

We all have to be initially interested in a future goal. However, your interest to be something does not prepare you for the level of fitness, durability, work capacity, and resilience needed to endure the specific events of your training.
Can you do these events and score in the recommended zones for most of them (all of them)?

Are you really ready or just interested? Do you even know your weaknesses and strengths? If not assess them then get to work as your weaknesses will be exposed in the first days of spec ops prep and selection immediately.  

Are You Interested in Hard Work?

If you want help, that’s what I do…. Check out these resources that have helped spec ops candidates succeed where others have failed for the last 20+ years!

Training is What We Do: 

Need Programming for Fitness Tests and Beyond?  We are all about getting you TO and THROUGH your future training program.  See how that works.  

There is More To than a You May Know

(In fact, there are more than 40 books, 1000+ articles, online coaching - and more) 

Who is Stew Smith CSCS? Coach, Trainer, Writer, PodcasterI'm the former Navy SEAL that tactical candidates go to for books, ebooks and online coaching to prepare themselves to get to and through intense tactical assessment and selection programs and qualify for service in their chosen tactical profession.  See More at

Where to Find More Information About Optimal Performance Training Programs

When you start training again, consider the seasonal tactical fitness model.  I call it A WAY to train and obviously not the only way to train. But it offers the opportunity to never neglect your weaknesses, helps with flexibility and mobility, but will also put you at a level of physical abilities where you are happy with your overall ability to do just about anything. We have a system where the seasons dictate our training. When it is nicer outside, we tend to run and do more calisthenics. When it is colder and not so nice, we lift more, run less, and still maintain our outdoor activities with shorter runs and rucks. Check it out: Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System.  

These Seasonal Tactical Fitness BLOCK Periodization programs will walk you through 4 x 4 weeks cycles with 16 weeks of each season in two programs. (32 total weeks)

Increase Strength & Crush the PST / PAST
3 Weeks Strength - 1 Week PT / Cardio Focus 
(16 weeks)

These programs will walk you through 4 cycles with 12 weeks of each season in two programs. 

The Specific Military / Special Ops Physical Fitness Workouts 

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT
Navy SWCC Workout

Army / Air Force Advanced Fitness / Special Ops 

Army PFT Workout (Prep For Rucking, OPAT, ACFT)
Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout
Army Air Assault School Workout
Army Airborne Workout
Air Force Special Warfare IFT / OFT / Selection Prep


Advanced Running Program - Special Ops Supplement Plan
USMC OCS / TBS Workout


The Combat Conditioning Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout  Battlefield Airman Prep Course
The UBRR Upper Body Round Robin Workout / Spec Ops version


The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer / Navy SAR Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Boot Camp Workout


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Workouts

The FBI Academy Workout  |   FBI Workout Vol 2  
The DEA Workout
The FLETC Workout - Ace the PEB
The PFT Bible: Pushups, Sit-ups, 1.5 Mile Run
The Fire Fighter Workout - Ace the CPAT


Online Coaching Options

Online PT CLUB - Weekly Workouts created personally for you.

New Member's Only Content / Services Program!

If you want access to years worth of workouts, many of the top eBOOKs, favorite workouts of the week, free fitness APP, closed Facebook Group, video / picture library of exercises, and more access to LIVE Q/A sessions check out the Stew Smith Fitness Members Section

The dashboard below has the links to all the information, archives, videos, and links to workouts, podcasts, live Q and A lessons. 

Consider this! - A Membership Program and Gain Access to Exclusive Content
(click for Fitness Club Dashboard - members only)

Best of all, if you have questions, email Stew Smith himself (  Join the tactical fitness group discussions, latest articles, videos, podcasts at the Stew Smith Tactical Fitness Training Closed Group on Facebook.


Questions?  Just email -

At - List of Products and Services

  1. FREE Articles
  2. Podcasts and Swimming Videos (Youtube, TikTok, Instagram)
  3. eBooks
  4. Books and eBooks in PRINT
  5. Stew Smith Fitness Club membership site
  6. Online Coaching  

Stew Smith Fitness 


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