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The Basics - TO and THROUGH BUD/S

Stew Smith delayed entry program navy seal spec ops special ops

Your Quick-Start Guide for The Basics: 
Getting TO and THROUGH Selection

There are three phases of tactical fitness and to get through BUDS you need to master only two of them. Many people miss one of more phases and quickly become an attrition statistic. Here they are:

Phase 1 - Getting TO the Training - Qualifying for BUDS requires crushing the PST, but also passing MEPS (medical review), ASVAB, and other tests such as criminal records and finanicial checks (not in high debt).  Most of the attrition actually happens here due to people not qualifying for other reasons than physical fitness. Many also fail to pass the PST with above average scores thus ending their spec ops dream before they even start boot camp. My rules in this phase are the following:

- Be a Better Recruit - Do not even talk to a recruiter until you are crushing the PST. 

Timeline - Your preparation may take time. Understand the recruit timeline and have a performance starting point - not some arbitrary timeline

- Learn How to Crush the PST - Actually train for the PST if you want to be competitive. BUT your training does not stop then. 

Take the PST so many times you create a strategy for success and can pass the test even on a bad day. 


Phase 2 - Getting THROUGH the Training - To become a SEAL (or any operator) you will have to pass a basic training, advanced training / prep school, then the actual selection in this case BUD/S. (Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL Training). 

Phase 3 of Tactical Fitness - Operator Maintenance. You will maintain your fitness and tactical skills so you are capable of the demands of the job. This phase does not look like the above two phases with butt-kicking cardio and high rep calisthenics. In fact, a major part is about recovery and learning to alleviate the stresses of the job. One thing you will learn if this is your career, you will be older longer than you are younger in this profession. Your longevity matters. Longevity is the Mastery of Recovery. 

 U.S. Navy SEALS conduct free fall with Romanian Special Warfare Operators

Here is some information to help you focus on EVERYTHING you physically need with the journey:

Once You Understand the Above Check Out the Steps You Need to Take:

- Step By Step Process to Getting Your Special Ops Contract

- Research WELL! Know what Navy Special Ops / Special Warfare Contracts are Available to You:  (SEAL, SWCC, EOD, Diver, Rescue Swimmer)

- Fully Understand the requirements to joining the military (Medical Review, Criminal Record Check, ASVAB, Physical Fitness Standards + PST Scores, etc)
- Make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for these Special Ops Professions (Be Able to Crush the PST THEN talk to a recruiter)
- Find a Recruiter and Set Up an Appointment (Know what you need to bring into the meeting)
- Be Honest and Prepared to Answer Questions about HIgh School Diploma, Criminal Record (even Speeding Tickets), Drug Use, Physical / Mental Health)
- Understand that Navy SEAL Training (as well as these other professions) will be the hardest thing you have ever done so far in your life. Know Your WHY!
- Be prepared to commit to at least four years in the Navy regardless of your success or failure at BUDS (or other Spec Ops Schools)

Read this (links included - articles and videos)

So You Wanna Be a Frogman - Check out this list of articles / videos you need to watch. 

Do not join the spec war training pipeline based on a time - do it based on your physical conditioning as it may take more time.

Advice for Teens Who Want to Start Preparing 

Getting THROUGH BUD/S requires much more: 

See what is "good enough" - PST Type Scores:

Now how about your durability - strength numbers 


Who is Stew Smith? Coach, Trainer, Author, PodcasterI'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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