Four Steps To Preparing Fully for
Any Spec Ops Profession
Often people will waste time during the preparation process and fail to work on weaknesses and maintain strengths they need to endure selection. Some won't even realize they have a weakness - the reason why is they did not understand the standards or their own abilities. That is why the first step before you join the military unprepared is to ASSESS YOURSELF or you can use the Funny or Die line of Check Yourself Before you Wreck Yourself:
#1 - ASSESS YOURSELF: First assess yourself and read this article / watch the video I did with another Navy SEAL Coach / Trainer Jeff Nichols: Assessment Tool for Selection Prep
Do you want to know where your current fitness compares to most guys who succeed at BUDS / other spec ops programs? Assess yourself and strive for these standards. You may find some strengths that are above the standard - that is fine - maintain them. You will find weaknesses - focus on them as we all had them during the phase of the journey. Turning weaknesses into more of a strength and taking strengths to spec ops levels may take more time than your arbitrary timeline
#2 - SET A PERFORMANCE STARTING LINE - Don't Set a Timeline - Set a Performance Starting Line: Now that you know your status and what you need to do, get to work. Read this article / video too as this timeline differs for everyone to truly be prepared. Over 50% of the people who attend these programs are grossly under-prepared physically which will quickly downgrade your mental confidence in your decision to be there. The preparation process could be as little as six months and as long as two years - just depends on your abilities, athletic history, and your assessment numbers.
#3 - GET ON A PROGRAM - There are many programs that will save a lot of wasted time and money and to be honest help test self motivation and discipline. Which one is right for you? There is an article for that one too!
#4 - Do Your Research on the Process to Join the Military - This will keep you busy as there is a lot to learn about a future profession in the military. How do you get there? Pre-testing, What happens after basic training / boot camp? Where will I live? Take your time during the physical preparation process to also learn about getting TO and THROUGH the training. There are two steps but unfortunately over half of the applicants did not prepare well enough to get THROUGH the training.
There are many ways to prepare for military service and special ops preparation, I have A way that works for many - I don't have THE way. Truth is THE way is the one that works for you and is part physical fitness preparation, mental toughness development, as well as personal will and discipline. Your athletic history, strengths and weaknesses have to be addressed first and foremost and then a program can be arranged properly. Here is the question:
My advice for anyone who asks this question is this: ASSESS YOURSELF, SET GOALS OF PERFORMANCE, GET ON A PROGRAM, DO YOUR RESEARCH - THEN join the military when you have successfully crushed the PT test and started on your journey to get THROUGH the training.
Navy BOOKS / EBOOKS
It depends: The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness is a classic and focuses on high rep calisthenics and running and swimming base. You will build up your running over 12-18 weeks to 20 miles but very fast paced focus on both the 1.5 mile run for the PST and the 4 mile timed run for weekly run test at BUDS. If you are an athlete with a strong power / strength background in lifting and not running or swimming, Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you. IF you need some place to start Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you as well because a calisthenics base / running / swimming progression is a good place to build a foundation. Though you will likely need to spend some time in the Navy SEAL Weight Training Book OR if Navy SEAL FItness is too challenging, go with Navy SEAL SWCC, EOD, Diver, PST Phase 1 Workout. Phase 1 is a good starting point if Navy SEAL Fitness program is too tough.
Navy SEAL Weight Training - This is part two (winter lifting phase) of my SEAL Prep program. If you have done the Navy SEAL Fitness (12 weeks to BUDS) program a few times and need a break, this is the next program that integrates lifting with the Navy SEAL Prep training. This is ideal for people who have come from an endurance athlete background. Athletes like swimmers and runners will also require some strength training as you will be exposed to challenges under logs and boats during the first phase and many miles of rucking 50+ lbs of backpacks and gear in 2nd and 3rd phases of BUDS. Do not skip lifting in your year of training prep. However, if you are coming from a powerlifting / football background, supplementing a few lifts into your endurance / muscle stamina focus plan is something you may enjoy especially if training for a year or more during your prep phase.
Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver Program Series - Phase 1 is what I call a beginner guide, but it is still challenging. It is geared toward those who are scoring minimally or failing their Navy PST test - 500yd swim, pushups, situps, pullups, 1.5 mile run. It is easier than The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness and a good prep course before attempting it.
Phase 2 and 3 of the Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver program is about the same level of intensity as Navy SEAL Fitness and is also a good follow-up plan after Phase 1.
Phase 4 ot the Navy SEAL Key to Mental Toughness is by far my toughest workout ever created. It resembles a day of BUDS, complete with "wet and sandy", runs after eating, high rep punishment push-ups, 4 mile timed runs, 2 mile swims with fins, log PT simulation, and even a HellWeek Simulator with 3 workouts a day.
Tactical Fitness Series - Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, and Tactical Mobility is an ALL-encompassing program that focuses on lifting, calisthenics, run, ruck, swim, speed, agility, and flexibility / mobility. Many people focusing on USMC (OCS, RECON, MarSOC) Army Ranger / SF, Air Force Special Warfare, SWAT / Federal Law Enforcement, and Navy Special Warfare have done very well focusing on the Tactical Fitness Series and developing themselves into an all-round Tactical Athlete.
The Warrior Workout Series - If you are solid with making your own workouts, but need some ideas. This three part series has 300 workouts (100 / book) to pick from focusing on all the elements of fitness and training programs. Each book is organized with periodization cycles in mind along with calisthenics only, weights / calisthenics mix, cardio options and more.
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