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Spec Ops Candidates: Is Strength Your Weakness?

Stew smith

Preparing for Spec Ops BUT
Strength is Your Weakness? 

Are you crushing calisthenics and cardio elements of training, but worried about the load bearing events of your future Spec Ops training? Logs, boats, rucks, and equipment / personnel carries are tough on those who are not strong. If you are a prior endurance athlete and need to work on overall durability when under a load, you may need to get into a lift cycle to put on some mass and increase your strength. To go where you want to go, you need to be good at ALL of the elements of fitness (strength, power, grip, speed, agility, muscle stamina, endurance - run, swim, ruck - and flexibility, mobility)

Here is why getting GOOD at all of the above it critical to your success - Your Weakness Will Be Exposed on Day 1 of Selection.

If you are an endurance athlete (runner, swimmer) who has been looking to gain strength without sacrificing your running and swimming speed, you need a special lifting program. Typical lifting cycles are great, but tend to focus purely on strength or power. A tactical fitness lifting cycle, needs to still focus on strength and power, but maintain other elements of fitness such as the ability to run, swim, and do high rep calisthenics as well. The following programs are our latest versions of such a program that addresses all of the needs of the tactical athlete:

The Latest Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization Lift Cycles 

If you are such an athlete with special ops goals, you might feel like you’re in a no win situation. You want to get stronger, but you’re worried about the impact that weightlifting could have on your endurance. The good news is all you have to do is just get good at lifting (add strength / mass), you do not have to be great at it. Just adding durability to your frame does not require your typical power lifting cycle that you may have seen strength athletes do. It is possible to gain strength while still maintaining your endurance and muscle stamina. All you need is a carefully designed weightlifting cycle that takes your goals and abilities into account. That is what we do for tactical athletes of ALL types at

Instead of trying to figure this out by yourself, take the time to check out the carefully designed strength / mass building cycles at in the Seasonal Periodization Section. By the way, just because we title our lifting cycles during the Fall / Winter, does not mean you have to wait until then to start the plan. If you need to add weights to your training, add them regardless of the season and build some needed strength and mass to be a more durable tactical athlete WHILE maintaining your endurance and muscle stamina (work capacity) to handle the grind that is Spec Ops Selection.

Plus, You Can Ask Stew for help by email at

You can be sure that you’re on the right path to gaining strength without sacrificing your running and swimming speed. With a little bit of hard work and dedication, you can reach your goals and become a stronger, more durable tactical athlete.

Prepare Yourself to Crush Selection vs. It Crushing You...

Training is What We Do: 

Need Programming for Fitness Tests and Beyond?  We are all about getting you TO and THROUGH your future training program.  See how that works.  

There is More To than a You May Know

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

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

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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