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How An Old African Proverb Can Help You Graduate Spec Ops Training Without Even Thinking About Quitting

Stew smith

"You Have To Do It Yourself,
But You Can’t Do It Alone"
- old African proverb 

This old saying has been stuck in my head since I read it recently as it is one of those idioms that makes you ponder a bit and reflect on your own journey. Have you really have done anything by yourself or was there help somewhere along the way? Even though you still had to endure the pain and sweat and long hours of work by yourself - or did you? Were you a good team player, mentor, or role model to those around you when they needed assistance?
This old African proverb leads me to thinking about seeking advice from others during my journeys toward countless goals in my life. Was I working the best I could to prepare myself, but humble enough to ask for help and watch other's behaviors and actions who had similar goals?  Was I a good team player when it mattered most for my classmates and teammates? And am I being generous enough to help others when they need it most?
The person who created this well known quote was obviously mentoring someone and wanted them to realize that self reliance is needed, but that you will need to experience the pain of preparation, growth, and turn weaknesses into strengths, and depending on your challenge, you will be enduring with many others. Each are going through the same pain as you so you are never really alone and you cannot do it alone. Because "team work makes the dream work" as no one gets through Spec Ops selection by themselves. If you cannot work well with others, consider a different profession. It is all about the Team. 

Here's how this applies to us and getting to and through training:

  • Focus on being a good team player, but also have patience in your own preparation so you actually exceed the standards versus just barely meet the standards. Exceeding the Standard IS the Standard! 
  • You will be a more useful team mate if you can offer assistance, tips, techniques, and advice to someone on your team that may have a weakness that is your strength. Not everyone is good at everything. Sometimes you will be helpful - sometimes you will need help.  

So, let's put this into action for a Spec Ops specific goal:

One more thing...

If you're one of those military spec ops candidates who is ready to take this to the next level, take a minute to Check out this Assessment Tool that has a list of exercises and events with scores that competitive spec ops candidates had before they crushed the training pipeline and became special operators. If you cannot come close to most of these scores, get harder. Because if you are going to be weak in something, you better be mentally hard to get through it - if you can still meet the standard. This makes it easy for you to graduate spec ops training on the first time without having to even thinking about quitting. 

Specific Training for the Special Ops Pipelines

Try Workout Programming Specifically Designed for any Tactical Fitness Goal:

Which Program is Right For Me -
Special Ops Candidates

Navy SEAL Weight Training Book
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness Book

The Pipeline of Training Options: 


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 Workout Phase 1 Beginner Weeks 1-9 
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4 Grinder PT - Four weeks before Hell Week

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. Warrior Workout 1   -  Warrior Workout 2  -   Warrior Workout 3. 

Personalized Training Programs
There are many more options as well as personalized training programs member's only program and the new :


Try Our Stew Smith Fitness Members Only Club - #1 Best Selling Tactical Fitness Programs

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