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Secret Tips To Make It Through BUDS, SOF Selections, and Anything Else That is Hard...

Stew smith

No...Just Kidding!  There are no secrets, special insider tips, or hacks that will help you accomplish anything that is difficult.  However, you know what will? 

Hard Work, Processes, Training Strategies, Programming, and a Never Quit Mentality

PC: D. McBurnett from @mcTeams3842

When people ask for tips usually they are young and do not fully understand the challenges that are ahead of them. Once again (my opinion) - another reason why immature kids have no business going into challenges like these on a whim. Below are listed about as many TIPS as I can think of that will help you understand just how much you do not know about what you are getting into.  Because, as Jeff Nichols and I discussed in this Tactical Fitness Report 204, tips are not useful unless you are fully engaged in a process of preparation toward a challenging goal. Here is what I mean:

How Useful Are These Tips?

Just Don't Quit

Know Your Why

Do More Pushups

Run Faster

Swim with Fins

Just Get Tougher

These "tips" are about as vague as the question you just asked:  Do You Have Any Tips for BUDS?  Any Tips for Pushups? Do You Have Any Running Tips? Swimming Tips? Mental Toughness Tips? 

There are Tons of Tips for Special Ops Training

TIP #1 - Step 1 - Crush the PST - The first piece of knowledge you need to know is that you have to be ready to crush the entrance PT standards BEFORE you join the military.  Being a weekly PST failure is doing you and everyone else in the recruiting process no good and is a waste of time. You are wasting time being unable to prepare to get THROUGH the training (Phase 2) because you are stuck at phase 1 - trying to get TO the training by passing the entrance PT test.  Read the PST Clinic and Learn HOW to Take This Test

TIP #2 - Understand the Phases of Tactical Fitness / Spec Ops Prep - Learning the differences between the specifics Is the first part of this training education as many people do not realize the differences of each phase of training and train "out of phase" depending on their immediate and future goals. 
Phase 1 - TO the training,  (specifics to testing)
Phase 2 - THROUGH the training, (specifics to selection / training)
Phase 3  - Active Operator Maintenance / Stress Mitigation 

Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization is an answer to staying in the phase of fitness you should be focused as well as the improving the elements of fitness that are your weaknesses. These elements of fitness can be viewed in the diagram below:
Strength, Power, Speed, Agility, Endurance (multiple modes), Muscle Stamina, Flexibility, Mobility, Grip are the physical elements that the tactical athlete has to engage to remain "good at everything."

New Block Periodization System to Maintain Strengths and Improve Weaknesses at the same time.  See 3:1 Block Periodization System for full details.

As you can see, it may take some time depending on your athletic history until you are GOOD AT EVERYTHING!  That is what is required of the spec ops candidate.  Have You Ever Seen a Spec Ops Candidate Cry? I Have...It Sucks. Don't leave any of this to chance and quickly get in over your head because this is not a kid's game. 

TIP #3 - Better at Pushups, Pullups, Situps etc - Your first rep is a strength exercise, beyond that is an endurance exercise (muscle stamina). Crushing PT test is part strength - part endurance - aka strength-endurance. You can add strength training to help, but eventually, you will want to increase the volume of your reps so you can increase the reps during PT tests. Build up the volume progressively with Pyramids, Super Sets, and Max Rep Set Workouts

Tips #4 - Better at Running - Learn the technique and get into running shape. Learn the pace in which you need to run.  For most, that is a six minute mile or faster for shorter timed runs and seven minute mile pace for longer timed runs 4-5 miles. These are standards that are above average and they should be your goals. See Goal Paced Running, Beginner Running Plan, and 20 Miles a Week of Running to get TO and THROUGH Selection. 

TIP #5 - Better at Swimming - Learn the technique and get into swimming shape. There are countless videos that are worth 1000 words of me writing how to swim.  See Dude You Are Not in Swimming Shape (if you get winded), CSS Technique Mastery Article, The CSS Stroke Sequence. 

TIP #6 - Assess Yourself - How do you stack up against years of people in front of you who have made it TO and THROUGH selection? Use this Assessment Tool as a reference guide to compare if you are ready or not to those who were. 

TIP # 7 - Don't Do Daily Pushups / Pullups / Lifts etc - Daily resistance training at a high volume of repetitions or heavy weight OF THE SAME MUSCLE GROUPS is NOT recommended. Every other day is perfect and this will allow for your body to recover and actually get stronger. 

TIP #8 - Mental Toughness is not achieved by a single event, it is accumulated over years of doing difficult things (work, school, training, sports, life) even when you do not feel like it. You build mental toughness ONE DAY AT A TIME. See the mental toughness article / video archive for more info. 

TIP #9 - Rucking Progression and Foot Care - There are countless tips to improve in this area, but the number one tip is to make sure your gear fits you perfectly.  You will have to tweak your gear each ruck to make the hot spots, noise, and nagging issues to be fixed. You will ruck in soft sand at BUDS - be prepared for that evolution. 

TIP #10 - Be a Better Recruit - In the end, it is up to you and your mature preparation that will lead to success. There is much to consider to become so prepared that when that day arrives when your will is tested to the maximum of your abilities, you have an answer to WHY you keep moving forward. Because your weakness that you neglected in this preparation journey will be exposed almost immediately is selection. 

Trust The Process...

And Remember, in the end:

High Intermediate Military / Advanced Spec Ops
Building Programming:

Which Program is Right For Me?
It Depends...Special Ops Candidates

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. 

Other EBOOKS (Special Ops– 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).


Lifting Cycle Programs For Those Who Need a Strength Focus

You may have seen my Winter Lift Cycle that I discuss in the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization article as well as have our actual lift programs we have done over the years in the following books.


It is not all just calisthenics and cardio at Stew Smith Fitness

Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, Navy SEAL Weight Training Workout, Weight Vest Workout,  Stew Smith's Fall Winter Cycle, Warrior Workout #2Maximum Fitness

These programs as well as my online coaching programs have Winter Lift Cycles in them as part of our Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System. But, do not get these lift cycles confused with ACTUAL strength / power lifting programs, these are strength / power programs that also have a focus on cardio fitness maintenance BECAUSE you need to be good at all the elements of fitness and develop into an all-round Tactical Athlete

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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