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Summer Training - What Is Your Weakness That You Are Ignoring?

Stew smith

Take Your Training to New Levels.
Summer is That Time.

Some of my best workouts over the decades of training have come during the summer months when the normal grinding schedule slows down. From no school, longer day time hours, and fewer commitments (typically), you can work a little harder over the summer and not get the typical burnout that accompanies burning the candle at both ends (work, school, sports, workouts, family events etc). 

The summer presents a unique opportunity to elevate your performance as you prepare for military or special operations service. This is your chance to transform every weak link into a strength, to build a program that propels you towards the elite. Remember, it's not just about training hard, but about training smart. This is your time to shine. For me over my SEAL prep years, summer offered more opportunities to improve swimming as all the pools were open for more hours. The early mornings also offered daylight by 5am to start the day with cals and cardio before the heat of the day. The evenings continue to be bright until 9pm to help keep you awake and ready to top off the day with a final push of something you need to focus on (lifting, treading, pool skills, running/swimming distance, etc..)

As you can see, the longer days offer the ability to "put in the time" doing workouts that take time to improve upon like longer distance running, rucking, and swimming.  The is how we transition through the year with our running and higher repetition focus. During the other months, we run less but faster, lift heavier, then progress back up to higher miles and reps through the spring and peak in the summer.  See Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization and why this system works so well for the transitioning tactical athlete. 

Click graph above for more programming on this seasonal approach.

But, You Are Not Limited to High Miles and Reps this Summer...Focus on YOUR Weakness is Your Primary Goal.

Let's break it down: if you're predominantly an endurance athlete, it's time to hit the weights, not increase your running miles. Doubling down on your strength and ignoring your weakness is a classic way many get TO the training but fail to get THROUGH the training. Focus on enhancing your strength, power, speed, and agility. On the other hand, if you're more of a strength/power athlete, the running trails and swimming lanes should become your best friends. The goal is to be well-rounded, as special operations demand versatile capabilities. You need to be goo at everything as your weaknesses will be exposed immediately during selection - so do not ignore them. 

Your summer training regimen should cover many activities, but a primary focus should be any glaring weaknesses you have. If you need to improve PT Test scores, start by integrating calisthenics and cardio into your daily routine. Push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and various bodyweight exercises will increase muscular endurance and overall stamina so you can do 2 minute calisthenics sets. Throw in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to keep your heart rate up and mimic the high-stress scenarios you'll face during selection. We like to do sets of calisthenics, followed by running 400-800m goal pace sets to also work on mastering the pace of running tests. 

But don't stop there. The ability to swim proficiently isn't just a physical feat; it symbolizes adaptability to learn new skills and techniques and mental toughness, as swimming can be unnerving to many at first. Similarly, rucking – carrying a weighted backpack over long distances – mimics the grueling conditions you'll endure in the with all types of load bearing activities like log PT, boat and equipment carries. It's a perfect mix of strength and endurance training. Add soft sand and hills (or stair stepper) and you have a leg durability / endurance combo that will help you on the long days of running, rucking, swimming with fins, etc. 

Don't Blow Off Flexibility and Mobility (helps with treading/swimming)

Why Flexibility and Swimming Are Non-Negotiable for Your Special Ops Training This Summer - Especially if going SEAL, SWCC, EOD/Diver, Air Force Special Warfare, Recon, or MarSOC. Flexibility and mobility should not be overlooked. Tactical scenarios demand you to move quickly through various terrains and obstacles. Incorporate cardio, yoga, static and dynamic stretching sessions to improve your flexibility to help you with being a better swimmer and at treading water. You may find a reduction in running injuries as well. 


And if you truly want to build the work capacity required for special ops, consider getting a manual labor job. The physical exertion throughout the day will simulate the grueling hours you'll face in training and real missions. Balancing a manual labor job with your workout regimen can elevate your stamina and mental resilience to new heights. Get prepared with a hard day's work PLUS workouts. 

As you start to prepare for your summer training, remember that it's not just about working harder, but working smarter. Tailor your program to address your weaknesses, enhance your strengths, and incorporate diverse physical challenges. Keep pushing your limits, stay disciplined, and you’ll set yourself on the right path. Special operations are about doing the extraordinary – so embrace these tough routines to prepare yourself for the extraordinary challenges ahead. Learn about block periodization to see how to focus on weakness and maintain strengths. 

The path to special operations is paved with extraordinary challenges. Embrace the rigorous routines now to ready yourself for what lies ahead. Keep pushing, stay disciplined, and you'll forge yourself into a capable candidate and warrior you aspire to be.

There is More to Than You May Know

Dive deeper into the world of Tactical Athlete training and mental toughness by exploring Stew Smith Fitness Programming for the Tactical Athlete online store. Uncover the strategies and techniques used by elite forces to push past physical and mental barriers. Visit now and equip yourself with the tools for success for many special ops level selection programs in the military and police world. 

New Tactical Fitness Training Course!

Getting TO the training does not guarantee you get THROUGH the training. Learn about the two phases of tactical fitness you need to develop thoroughly before getting to BUDS. Check out the Online Course - Getting TO and THROUGH Special Ops Selection.

Who is Stew Smith? Coach, Trainer, Author, Podcaster 

I'm the former Navy SEAL that special ops 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 just about anything. We have a systems 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.  

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

These Seasonal Tactical Fitness BLOCK Periodization programs will walk you through 4 x 4 weeks cycles with 16 weeks of each season in two programs. (32 total weeks)

The Specific Military / Special Ops Physical Fitness Workouts Where Optimal Performance Will Be Tested Each Day

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT
Navy SWCC Workout

Army PFT Workout (Prep For Rucking, OPAT, ACFT)
Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout
Army Air Assault School Workout
Army Airborne Workout


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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