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I Have A Way to Train - Not THE Way to Train...Be Honest

Stew Smith

Is This Program THE Way to Train for ____?

I Have A Way to Train
THE Way to Train Depends on You. 

You may have heard me use this phrase when asked about my training methods for the wide variety of tactical fitness professions out there. My Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization methodology is A way to train - absolutely.  Does it work for many - 100%, but some may have to personalize it a bit as well. 

And - it is true - there are many, many ways to prepare for ANY profession, fitness goal, Spec Ops selection or fitness competition / event and any one who is selling THE way is not telling you the truth. Because THE way is what works BEST for YOU period.  That may be a generic program you find in a book or ebook, but typically THE best way to find a program is get a personalized program OR learn how to personalize a program yourself. 

My most recent programs that walk you through these four cycles with 12 weeks of each season in two programs. 

What is THE Way? 

THE way that works best for YOU - is THE WAY.  THE way you train (and diet for that matter) that provides the results you seek, may not yield the same results for another person with the same goal. It depends on many factors that we as individuals create for ourselves during our athletic and training history. 

Quite often generic training programs need to be personally tweaked to ensure the goal elements of fitness are being properly challenged and given time to recover.  Also, if you have some specific strengths and weaknesses from your athletic / training history, you may want to focus more on those weaknesses, especially if applying for challenging and competitive selection programs. Unfortunately, many still like to focus on what they are already good at doing to the detriment of other areas on the physical spectrum. 

That may mean to lift more or lift less, run more or run less, swim more or swim less, PT more or PT less - it all depends on your current performance at these elements and goals / standards when trying to get good at everything like the tactical athlete should be doing.  If you give yourself TIME, you can work through these elements over the course of a year (maybe more) and fine tune any weakness into a strength (or at least less of a weakness that will be exposed in the first week of spec ops training).  But this takes time - so be patient. 

For instance:

The Strength / Power Athlete will want to work harder on the muscle stamina and cardio conditioning more.  However, you may not be up for the prescribed baseline of running yet, so you need to pull back on some mileage and do more non-impact cardio (typical overuse injuries occur in non-runners).  You may not be good enough to handle the swim workouts so you need to spend more time on technique and working on errors in swimming.   You may be strong enough for all the load bearing activities (logs, boats, rucking, fireman / equipment carry), but you have to work on your stamina to be able to do it longer - aka build your work capacity.  This was me.  I stop lifting and started working only on calisthenics and cardio for a good 18 months because in my head at the time - long distance running was anything over 100m.  However, a few supplement lifts during the week is fine, but not super heavy when trying to adjust mileage increases and speed capability, swim practice, and high rep calisthenics.  

The Endurance Athlete - If you are coming off years of endurance training whether it is running, biking, swimming (or all three), or rowing, etc...there will be strengths that you bring to this journey, but it is not strength and power typically. The running athlete, will need to work on strength and muscle stamina of the entire body that can start off with calisthenics base, then gradually build to a strength / hypertrophy phase to gain some mass that will help with both strength and over all durability.  The running athlete does not need to run 50-60 miles a week, but could spend time running shorter daily miles but faster in the 6 min mile pace zone.  Depending on the runner that maybe easy, but it maybe some work involved in that energy system not fully developed.  The non-running endurance athlete will need to build into running GENTLY and most likely pull back on total miles per week and mix in some non impact cardio just to avoid the overuse issues. Adding weight training cycles to an annual training cycle is a must and will likely require longer time in the lift cycle to balance out the weaknesses related to load bearing and over all strength / power. 


There are many other sports and athletic histories (or non-athletic histories) that have to start at the beginning of this tactical fitness journey being honest with themselves and assessing current fitness levels - both strengths and weaknesses.  See assessment tool to help you have a ballpark range of fitness standards that are acceptable prior to joining. 

When you assess your weakness, you will see what you need to work on the most. That is THE way to train for you. Personalized training programs are an answer, but so is supplemental training (lifting, calisthenics, running, swimming) workouts.  But you have to be smart about how to place them into your training program as you can easily overdo your weakness as well as your strength.  This can be a waste of time / effort spent in an overuse state and injured or just wasting time getting stronger in strengths that are really GOOD ENOUGH. 

See What is Good Enough - Spec Ops Scores / Events

What is Good Enough Strength Scores  

Other Tactical Fitness Reports
Related to THE Way to Train

Tactical Fitness Report 68 - The Hockey, Baseball, Rowing Athlete (and others) Prepare for BUD/S.

Tactical Fitness Report 67 - The X Games Athlete Prepares for BUD/S

Tactical Fitness Report 66 - The Non-Athlete Prepares for BUD/S

Tactical Fitness Report 63 - The Lax, Rugby, Soccer Player Preps for BUD/S

Tactical Fitness Report 62 - The Wrestler / Combatives Sports Athlete Preps for BUD/S

Tactical Fitness Report 61 - CrossFit Athlete Preps for BUD/S

Tactical Fitness Report 60 - Powerlifting / Football Player Preps for BUD/S

Tactical Fitness Report 59 - The Swimmer Preps for BUD/S

Tactical Fitness Report 57 - Cross Country Athlete Preps for BUD/S

Tactical Fitness Report 54 - Tactical Periodization Wrap Up Discussion

Personalized Training Programs

If You Need a More Personalized Approach to Fit Your Needs, Goals, Time per Day, Days per week, Facilities, Abilities, etc...Try Online Coaching

Online Personal Coaching – Receive one on one training with Stew Smith as he personally designed programs for you that fit your schedule (time per day / days per week), abilities, facilities / equipment, and goals. There personally designed programs for YOU are received one week at a time and each week YOUR feedback helps to create the following week of training. We work around issues that get in the way of our typical training days – injury / aches / pains, work, family, travel, and deadlines. Call and talk to Stew to see if it is right for you. 

Do You Want my REAL TIME Seasonal Periodization Training?
Get Weekly Unpublished Workouts Tested and Evaluated by local Stew Smith Training programs. 

Stew Smith Fitness Membership – You have access to several years of workouts for both beginner / intermediate and advanced / special ops levels of fitness. Each week you will receive new and unpublished workouts being tested by Navy SEAL veteran / Stew Smith CSCS and his local group of future tactical professionals in both basic training and advanced spec ops training programming. The latest videos, articles, and other programming will be part of the weekly data feed to members as well. We go through the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization program one week at a time.

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.


Books and Ebooks (Generic) 

EBOOKS (Military, Police, Fire Fighter, Special Ops, General Fitness– Most of my programs tend to focus on getting TO and THROUGH a specific tactical training program.  So you may see a mix of all the seasons in some of these books, but if you are training long term, you can take advantage of Seasonal Periodization and save yourself some of the over-use, long term pains that tend to follow many of the tactical preparations - especially on the spec ops level of training. 

Start training today with workouts that focus on the specifics of getting to and through tactical profession training from firefighter, police, swat, military to special ops. We have programs to help you get TO and THROUGH training. We also have training programs to help you with training as you age in these professions (Tactical Fitness 40+ series).


Programs that follow Seasonal Periodization Training

BOOKS – Eleven Published Tactical Fitness Books and more than 30 other printed programs specifically designed for a special test, event, or selection training program or training cycle.

Tactical Fitness - Walks through all the phases / seasons of tactical fitness

Tactical Strength -  This is my Fall / Winter Lift Cycle with more of a strength / power lifting cycle compared to Maximum Fitness Winter Lift Cycle. 

Tactical Mobility - You have to do mobility regularly - year round. 

Warrior Workouts Vol 1  |   Vol 2   |    Vol 3 - All three books of Warrior Workouts contain 100 workouts each.  They are organized by calisthenics only, cardio, weights / cals mixed, and weight only.  Warrior Workouts 1 is organized with seasonal periodization is mind.  These are individual workouts you place into your program ala-carte.  These books are not part of system or program - just individual workouts for your choosing each day. 

The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness - This is ALL calisthenics and cardio (run / swim).  Basically a high rep / moderate to high volume of running and swimming with SEAL training specifically in mind.  It is essentially a Summer training cycle.

Navy SEAL Weight Training Workout - This is a Fall / Winter training cycle with SEAL Training in mind - complete with cardio (run, swim, ruck), lifting for logs and boats, as well as still maintaining calisthenics scores. 

Maximum Fitness - This is a 52 week program that was my first full year of Seasonal Periodization as discussed above.  The Winter Lift Cycle is more of a hypertrophy body building routine with some isolation exercises as it is meant to help rebuild the joints, put on mass in the Winter.  But the Spring, Summer, Fall are similar to other programs - just different.

The SWAT Workout - Is a mix of PT Test Prep for Academy training that advances into SWAT Tryouts, and active SWAT Team member.  It is a mix of Spring / Summer and Fall / Winter with the Run / lift cycles.  But much of the running can be replaced with non-impact cardio if needed. 

Special Ops Workout -  Is a mix of foundation building program for aspiring Special Operators with specific training programs for Army Ranger / SF, Navy SEALs, and Air Force PJ.  This program was written before MarSOC was part of SOCOM, so we offer the MarSOC / RECON workout EBOOK for free with the purchase of this program.  I would call this a good intermediate to advanced level of fitness preparation. 

Like I said - We have MANY ways to Train...Which one is THE Way for you?


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