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End of Summer Assessments - Going Into Fall / Winter Lift Cycles

Stew smith

 Get Ready to Level Up Your Training with Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization!

Training With the Seasons - Get Used to It If Your Job is Outdoors

By the end of the summer, the calisthenics and cardio programming take their toll on you. Many are mentally ready to transition into more lifting, but are they physically ready to move on?  We assess after each season and will continue for an extra 3-4 weeks before transitioning to a new training phase or moving on to the next phase. How do you determine this? ASSESS YOURSELF.  Because if you are not assessing - you are only guessing.

Here is our Summer into Fall Assessment Week - We call this our Tactical Ground Hog Week - as your performance determines if your current training cycle continues a few more weeks OR the next season is ready to proceed. 

Have You Not Heard About Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization? If not, read more about it and why getting good at everything regarding tactical fitness training is vital. 

Are you tired of your same old workout routine? Ready to take your training to the next level? Well, we've got just the thing for you - Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization. This revolutionary system of training has been proven to reduce injuries, improve performance, and keep you engaged all year long. And the best part? It's a total game-changer!

Just some of our programs that focus on the system called Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization (and Block Periodization)

How You Train Strengths and Weaknesses Matter - Learn How

Imagine being able to assess your training progress and make adjustments based on your performance. With Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization, you can do just that. By incorporating regularly scheduled assessments into your training cycles, you'll be able to gauge your strengths and weaknesses and tailor your workouts accordingly. 

So, what's the deal with the Tactical Groundhog Test? Well, it's our end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall assessment that determines whether you're ready to move on to the next training cycle. Depending on your performance, you may either extend your current cycle by four weeks or dive right into the fall training cycle. It's a make-or-break moment that sets the tone for your entire training year.

Let's break it down. During the summer cycle, we focus on building endurance in running, swimming, and rucking, as well as muscle stamina in high-repetition fitness tests. It's all about pushing your limits and reaching new heights. But once fall hits, we switch things up. Running miles per week decrease while speed increases. We amp up the weight and reduce the number of repetitions to build more strength. Your joints will thank you for this change in cycles!

This is not your typical life cycle, however. You do lift primarily with the focus to hone in on strength, power, and weight gain. But here's the twist - we also warm up with calisthenics and cardio and cool down with calisthenics and cardio to maintain our endurance and muscle stamina. This tactical strength cycle is like nothing you've ever experienced before. It's intense, it's challenging, and it's guaranteed to take your fitness to new heights. It is designed to help you endure load-bearing activities and get THROUGH challenging spec ops / military training events.

Being a tactical athlete isn't just about being strong. It's about being a well-rounded fitness machine. Are you a Cardio Machine? (Run, Swim, Ruck)
You must excel in all fitness areas, from strength and power to speed, agility, endurance, muscle stamina, flexibility, mobility, and grip. It's a tall order, but with Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization, you'll be able to conquer it all.

Throughout the cycle, you'll tackle even more events and lifts that will push your limits and help you become the best version of yourself. Most of these workouts are assessment tools, as you can gauge progress by doing them again later in the cycle. As you progress through the focused elements of fitness, the recommended scores will increase, keeping you on your toes and constantly challenging you to reach new heights.

Assessment Tool - Shoot for These Scores

Here is what we did for our Tactical Groundhog 3-Day Assessment to get these scores:

Day 1: You must take the Navy Physical Screening Test (PST), or your standard fitness test. The numbers inside the parentheses are recommended times or repetitions.

Swim 500 yards (less than nine minutes)
Push-ups two minutes (80+)
Sit-ups two minutes (80+)
Pull-ups max (20)
1.5-mile timed run (less than nine minutes)
Extra test: Tread 10 minutes (no hands) P/F

Later in the day -- or you can test the following a different day if you prefer -- assess some of the events you will be doing more often during the fall and winter lift cycles to see what the starting point is going into these cycles. The reps or time in parentheses are recommended.

Bench press -- body weight max reps (10+)
Weight vest pull-ups 20 pounds max (10+)
12 x 25-yard shuttle run (less than one minute)
Body weight deadlift 5 (pass/fail)
1.5 bodyweight deadlift 3 (pass/fail)
Fireman carry 100 meters of equal body weight (pass/fail)
Farmer walks 100 meters with 50-pound kettlebells in both hands (pass/fail)
Extra test: Plank five minutes (pass/fail)

Day 2: The Spec Ops Triathlon

Four-mile run
Four-mile ruck (40 pounds)
One-mile swim with fins

Day 3 - Sand-Baby Devil Murph (see link)

Log PT Simulator + Murph + Devil's Mile -  As the groups advanced, we started adding in more events like the Devil's Mile. Check out the OFFICIAL Sandbag Devil Murph

Run 1 mile 

Do in as few sets as possible:

100 pullups
200 pushups
200 SB squats
200 SB situps
100 SB Push Press
- run with SB 400m each complete max rep circuit

Devils' Mile
400m bear crawl
400m walking lunges (SB)
400m fireman carry (200m each person)
400m burpee broad jump or 2 x 40lb KB farmerwalk 400m

Run 1 mile

Continuing with the summer cycle largely depends on the individual's goals and the performance of the calisthenics (muscle stamina) and cardio event tests (endurance). If those are subpar, add another four weeks to the cycle. However, if you assess that strength is even more of a weakness, moving into the fall and winter cycle sooner may be the better option.

There is no "one answer fits all" regarding fitness training, goal achievement -- and focusing on strengths and weaknesses, for that matter. You will not know what to focus on if you do not assess yourself regularly. The Tactical Groundhog assessment within the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization system is one way to quit guessing with your training.

So get ready to level up, embrace the seasonal approach, and achieve your fitness goals. It's time to become the best version of yourself.

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.   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!

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.

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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 -

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Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness store if you're looking to start a workout program to get you TO and THROUGH any tactical fitness training program OR create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

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