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If You Want to Get Through Hard Times...Do Hard Things

Stew smith

Leave No Weakness Undeveloped

If you are not willing to do things that you do not like to do (because you suck at them), you are likely doomed to fail. No matter your athletic background, if you seek a challenging future progression that requires you to level up and bring your A-game every day, you will ultimately have to assess / test to determine your competitive strengths and weaknesses. Whether that is from high school to college athletics (or beyond) or choosing to serve your country in some of the toughest jobs in the world - Military Special Operations. 

The reason is to build mental toughness and resiliency and forge the never quit attitude you need to make it to the next level of training and competitive selections. 

Weaknesses WILL be Exposed

During selection training, weaknesses will be exposed and not having time to fix it is one of the main things all Special Ops Selection programs have in common - they are designed that way, and the ones with the fewest weaknesses will be those who succeed.  

However, if you do not do the right amount of preparation and research, your weaknesses will be exposed early in the recruiting process, and you will never get the opportunity even to TRY to go to selection.  Weakness exposed during the recruiting process. 

Most people think of physical weakness, but there is more to weakness than not being strong or a fast runner. Whether it is an element of fitness that was underprepared or your will to endure the daily grind of a high attrition rate selection program, having durability, the ability to work physically hard all day, then have the ability to recover from doing it again tomorrow, and not quitting because you are tired and in pain is the key to success. Building a strong body and mind that has the work capacity and durability to keep going is what we are talking about when it comes to preparing to turn weaknesses into strengths.  To be a complete tactical athlete ready to get TO and THROUGH and become an active duty member of any tactical profession, you need to consider the following diagram as we start this journey with one or more weaknesses on this chart. 

The Elements of Fitness

Your Weaknesses Will Be Exposed Daily. Trying To Get Through Selection

If you're one of the special ops candidates who want to know how to graduate special ops selection, then here is a list of common weaknesses you want to avoid. Having an undiscovered weakness will require one of three things:  you digging deep to gut-check the event that is testing your abilities, getting injured due to an overuse injury that could have been avoided, or failing out of training because you could not meet the standard. One of these three will happen along your journey, and the fewer times it happens, the better off you are. However, if you train that weakness well before joining, you may be able to avoid one of those three options altogether.  

Mission:  Helping candidates prepare properly and leave nothing to chance and avoid having weaknesses exposed during selection. 

Special ops candidates need to understand that your preparation involves assessing yourself regularly. When you discover a weakness, that last thing you want to do is neglect an important part of your training. You will now need to specifically focus on it. However, every successful student will at some time during selection, be challenged to their core beliefs of why they want to do this profession. This could be a daily occurrence, a weekly event, or just a few times throughout training when you are especially cold, wet, and tired. The fewer of these personal gut checks, the better and you can control this by focusing on any weakness you may have NOW. 

Do you even know what your weaknesses are? 

ASSESS YOURSELF: Here is a list of common fitness tests and workouts that make each spec ops candidate dig deep to get through it each day or it could end their spec ops dreams because they do not meet the standards required by the course.  


What is Your WHY? When the day turns into night and you are cold, wet, sitting is dark water, and appears to be no end to the day in sight, what do you say to yourself? The Moment of Truth - Just You And Your Will

Mental Toughness Articles / Videos - One Stop 


Get Good at Everything - Do NOT double down on your strengths leaving a weakness exposed with Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization - Understand It. 

If you want to graduate special ops selection, check out all the Special Ops Programs Designed Specifically for YOU to get TO and THROUGH training. 

Also "Have You Ever Seen a Spec Ops Candidate Cry?" This article cuts deep and you see when Weaknesses Get Exposed. Check it out.  

There is More To than a You May Know

Who is Stew Smith CSCS? Coach, Trainer, Writer, PodcasterI'm the former Navy SEAL that tactical candidates go to for books, eBooks, local 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

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

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.  

Where Optimal Performance Will Be Tested Each Day

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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