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Old School Life Hack: Work Harder!

Stew smith

Old School Life Hack

Work Harder!

Why do people always want to find the "easy button" or "life hack" to everything these days. Maybe it is because now we can push a button and get instant gratification with products and services, but we cannot confuse that with the good old fashioned hard work required for goal achievement especially when it applies to very challenging goals.

You cannot just want to do something exciting and difficult - you have to work for it, prepare for it, have a solid WHY you started in the first place. Because there will be a time when you are tired, unmotivated, maybe failed along the journey in someway and start to doubt yourself. You just want to stop and quit. That is when you have to take a big - deep breath, check in with your A-game and come back even stronger and harder and fix yourself. Most things in life that seem cool to you are tough journeys that may require years of dedication and commitment. If you are easily swayed from your goals with a comment like, "maybe you should try something else" you did not want it bad enough in the first place. If you really want something, nothing will stop you from doing everything you can to get it. 

I call this the Moment of Truth as it is easy to be swayed when you are tired, unmotivated, and on the brink of failing. This is the moment every special operator, doctor, lawyer, professional athlete, entrepreneur has at some point either in their journey / training / schooling. You have to have the discipline to not listen to yourself but talk to yourself and get through it. Double down and push harder and become mentally tougher is the only way to get through that moment AND remember your WHY! 

I used to say the MOTIVATED find the Teams - but actually - the DISCIPLINED find the Teams. 

I have been called the OG, or Old School with training methods and honestly take it as a compliment even when it is not directed as one, because I know what I do is effective and still works today. I see it in every recent selection class throughout the military, police, and special ops training. Personally, some things are timeless especially when rigorous selection programs are concerned. There is still room for evolution and making things even better, I am not that locked into my old ways.

Work Smarter - Not Harder - Great quote but this is not what I am talking about. I’m always down for the smarter way to do something but long term goals require the type of focused hard work and persistence I am talking about.

In fact, check out these articles on the topic of "Old School" - Personally, I think we need some more OLD SCHOOL mindset of training - because IT WORKS - IF YOU DO!

Old School vs New School?

Timeless (old school) Workouts You Need to Know

Old School, Timeless, Classic, or Revolutionary?  Live Q and A video


 Check out the Special Ops One Stop Research Reference Post!

 Which Program is Right For Me
- Special Ops Candidates



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 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 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.  

Other 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).


Updated Training Programs! 

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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