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End the Struggle: Crush Your Fitness Test and Get Through Selection!

Stew smith

The Calisthenics and Cardio Progression
(for Beginner / Intermediate Levels New to Endurance / Muscle Stamina Testing)

Are you an aspiring special operations candidate who wants to crush your fitness test and earn that coveted contract? Are you looking to get rid of physical weaknesses, such as swimming or running, while also building a foundation of fitness to get through training? Look no further than our Calisthenics and Cardio Program for Beginners/Intermediate Levels of Fitness New to Muscle Stamina/Endurance Training.

This is my first step for people new to Calisthenics and Cardio Training Cycles -

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The Problem: Many special operations hopefuls struggle to meet the rigorous physical demands of training - just getting accepted into the training is a massive hurdle for those who have not done cardio events like running, swimming, and rucking, but have no muscle stamina for competitive calisthenics testing. Whether it's lack of endurance in running or swimming, or simply not having a strong enough foundation of fitness, failing a fitness test can mean the end of your dreams of becoming a member of a special operations unit.

The Solution: Our Calisthenics and Cardio Program is specifically designed to help you crush your fitness test (run, swim, pullups, pushups, situps) and build a foundation of fitness that will see you through the rigors of training - THOUGH you will need training on the next level (see progression below). This program combines both calisthenics and cardio workouts to help you build endurance and muscle stamina (strength too). The results speak for themselves:


Phase 1 of Tactical Fitness means preparing to get accepted into training programs. This ultimately involves you crushing your fitness test, BUT this is just the first step and where many people neglect to prepare for Phase 2 of Tactical Fitness - Getting THROUGH the training.

You cannot get through the training if you cannot get TO the training by simply passing the fitness test. By integrating calisthenics / cardio into your workouts now, you'll build the muscle stamina necessary to conquer pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, running, and swimming that are part of the assessment to see if you are capable of entering the training in special operations. There will be daily forms of progressive cardio workouts that will improve your endurance so that you can run, ruck, and swim for longer periods of time without fatigue.

But don't take our word for it - try it for yourself! Our program is designed to be accessible for beginners and intermediate levels of fitness, so you don't have to worry about being left behind. Plus, our workouts are customizable, so you can adjust the program to meet your specific needs and goals. And while there may be minor challenges along the way, they are not significant issues and can be easily overcome with dedication and consistency.

Email Stew if you have questions! 

So if you're serious about reaching your goal of becoming a special operations member and want to lay a solid foundation of fitness that will help you succeed in training, give our Calisthenics and Cardio Program a try as your first step on this journey. You won't regret it.

The Next Steps to Progressing TO and THROUGH Selection 

The new trilogy is updated to reflect recent changes to PST prep as well as BUD/S itself and all three have increased intensity of training to help you get TO your Spec Ops Selection (SEAL / SWCC / EOD/Diver, SAR, SARC) and THROUGH that selection (BUD/S specifically).  Here is more about the programs (in book and ebook format)

Navy PST Phase 1 - Crush the PST and Get TO Selection - This program is focused on teaching you about PHASE 1 of tactical fitness training – getting TO the training. You will not get accepted to attend training without crushing this fitness test. Since the road to becoming a Navy Special Warfare / Special Ops member is long and challenging, you really want to be able to exceed the minimum standards. In fact, exceeding the standards IS the standard. You will learn this from doing this workout. There are no minimum standard goals that work in this journey. However, this program is for those who can barely meet the minimum Standards on the Physical Screening Test and takes you to a level where you can handle the Navy PST easily. Then you have the foundation to keep working to prepare yourself to get THROUGH selection.

Navy SEAL Phase 2/3 - Getting THROUGH BUD/S:  There is much more to BUD/S than the PST. You need to add in some rucking/load bearing as you will be rucking wearing a 40-50lb backpack in BUD/S – also prepares you for boats/logs. Longer runs and swims are weekly tests you have to endure as well - on top of treading, pool skills, and other tactical skills you will also have to master. In fact, this is one of several programs you can choose from to help you prepare for what could be a long journey of challenges and hard training.
This Workout – Navy SEAL Phase 2/3 includes another 12 weeks of workouts to help you prepare to not just maintain high-level PST scores but actually get THROUGH BUD/S.

Navy SEAL Phase 4 - This is as best as I can make a first phase BUD/S simulation training even with a Hell Week simulation week! What this program does is prepare you mentally and physically for the daily struggles of BUDS. Not only the Grinder PT, but the class punishments for losing races, failing inspections and runs, and your swim buddy screwing up will be addressed in this 5-6-week program. You will build toughness by pushing past the failure point in any exercise (running, pull-ups, pushups, abs etc…) BUT you have to be careful NOT to injure yourself. There is a fine line between pain and injury as well as mental toughness and stupidity. Be smart with this program. 

Cals and Cardio Program for Starters
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1

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

There is More To than 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 

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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