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The Long Journey: Lose Weight, Crush PST, Get Contract, Complete BUD/S - SQT

Stew smith

If You Have to Lose Weight
AND Get Into BUD/S Shape,

Be Ready for the Long Preparation Journey
(But Start to See Results Quickly...)

Here is a great story of a recruit who needed a lot of help:

There is young man who is an aspiring special operations candidate who needs to not only get in shape to pass the PST, but needs to lose weight in order to meet the height weight standards set by the Navy. Understanding flirting with the minimum standards is not a wise move, dropping well below the weight maximums is the goal and means more than 40 lbs for this candidate. 

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence as many young candidates are too big to join the military period – much less be fit enough to enter any spec ops program.  In fact, the number one reason why an American cannot join the military today is simply not meeting the height and weight standards as well as the PT test because of that. Generations before largely had issues with education (lack of high school diploma) or criminal records as the primary issues, but today’s generation the biggest issues are physical and medical issues preventing them from service. 

This potential recruit dreamed of losing weight, getting in BUDS shape, and becoming a special forces operator. This is going to be a long journey, but it can be done and results can come quickly with some specific and focused training consistency. 

Every day, the recruit thought about nothing else but losing weight to be able to meet the height / weight standards and crush the PT test to get accepted into the training, then get through the training. Some might even say that he was obsessed with this dream. Others said he was a wishful dreamer with no chance of success. All he could think about was how he could lose weight as fast as possible. 

But after a while, he started to wonder if he'd ever truly get started toward his goal. He was starting to doubt if his goals were anything more than just a pipedream of a pipe hitter wanna-be. 

It Can Take a Long Time to Truly Prepare for These Jobs

Then one day something happened that would change everything.  He overheard someone making jokes and saying there was no way he was ever going to lose weight…let alone belong on a special ops team! Sometimes this type of feedback can supercharge you or cause you to quit on your dream.  If you don’t want to hear this kind of feedback, don’t tell small-minded people your dreams. But, for this candidate, that was it! He was so mad he could barely see straight and he got moving!

Pic Credit - D.McBurnett

In that moment he made a commitment that no matter what it took, he was going to figure out how to make this work!  At that very moment, he resolved to go "all in" on his goal! And that is losing weight, getting in spec ops shape, and becoming a special forces operator truly began FOR REAL. 

He was no longer wishing for it or waiting for it... he was on his way.  This is also when you get smacked with some hard truths and reality of the situation and just how long the journey is.  Because it's one thing to say you're committed to lose weight and get in killer shape... 

To say you also have the ability and confidence to get TO and THROUGH SEAL training and serve your country with like-minded people in an elite team setting is quite another thing. 

Like many aspiring special operations candidates at this stage, he realized he faced some critical questions with no immediate answers. 

  • How can I safely lose weight? 
  • How do I become a better swimmer, runner, and crush high repetition calisthenics too? 
  • How can I get stronger to handle the load bearing activities of training (such as rucks and log PT)? 

This is what he did for the next year and a half: 


He has struggled losing weight for a long time and never succeeded long term. He also came face to face with the fact that getting in spec ops shape at the same time as losing weight is a long road and it's even harder to get through the training after you finally crush the PT test - training never ends.  He was haunted with the misunderstanding that you must be a lean runner or swimmer to succeed didn't help either. But it was the crippling notion that if great athletes quit all the time, how is an overweight weightlifter going to survive training which caused him to truly start doubting himself. 

As the situation seemed completely hopeless, a light appeared... a beacon of hope in the cold, dark, wet, and sandy moment of discomfort. As if by chance, he discovered the system of tactical fitness phases – getting to and through BUDS were two phases – steppingstones if you will. He saw how things could turn around for him in just in as little time as a month. Being able to see incredible results in a few weeks even though the journey is long was a light at the end of the tunnel each week and month.

Next, he had to prepare himself for the full ride by paying his dues now and doing many of the specific events seen in actual SEAL training to prepare properly to get THROUGH the training (phase 2 of tactical fitness).  This meant longer runs (4 miles) and swims (2 miles with fins in open ocean) and some lifting too in order to prepare for the loads of rucking, logs, and boats. 

In fact, check out this email recently sent to me. He clearly saw how he could accomplish that weight loss goal without falling prey to yo-yo diets, weak discipline, and even thinking about quitting.  And he improved his fitness significantly enough to earn a contract and still have time for finish preparing.

This is what he did for the past year and a half: 


Which Program is Right For Me?

No matter what it takes, nothing was going to stop him from getting prepared for the next steps – Boot camp, BUDS Prep, and First Phase / Hellweek. He did whatever it took to also get into Spec Ops level shape and crush the PT test to get a BUD/S contract and got rid of physical weaknesses (such as swimming, running, strength). Using the Navy SEAL Phase 1, Phase 2/3, and Phase 4 training programs he was able to have a long-term programming to walk him specifically through the process of starting from scratch (basically). 

He was able to learn how to get in better shape and achieve fitness and health goals.  He was also able to learn how to get into spec ops shape to get a BUDS contract and accepted into the SEAL program. 

And finally, he was also able to learn how to also get THROUGH the training and never think about quitting. Now, he is about to put all of this to the test – SEAL training. 

See similar fast improvements if you are feeling stuck with your training program as this candidate using the same programs:

And that's the story of how many recruits transformed from an overweight candidate to get in BUDS shape and afforded the opportunity to serve in the Navy Special Warfare program as a career. Somewhere along this journey, he figured out the secrets of "Achieve Your Goals and Never Think About Quitting".

Check out the line of progression this recruit did to get started:

The new calisthenics and cardio program has a progressive program that begins with a beginner program and build up to intermediate / advanced level to handle the Navy SEAL series. 

Who Is The Tactical Fitness Coach / Author Stew Smith?

 I'm the former Navy SEAL that military recruits and 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

Check out the Complete List of Training Programs (Spec Ops, Military, Police, Fire)

We Have Answers For Beginners to Advanced Spec Ops Level Training Programs (see below)



DO NOT RELY ON THE MILITARY TO GET YOU INTO SHAPE AT BASIC TRAINING.  You will get into better shape for sure during your training if you arrive in lower fitness form, but you need to arrive with a foundation of physical fitness that is specific to your future job in the military / fitness tests / training. If you show up out of shape, you could end up failing standards or injuring yourself causing longer delays or removal from training altogether. 

For You Special Candidates (Get in Shape LONG Before You Join) 

High Intermediate Military / Advanced Spec Ops
Building Programming:

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

BOOKs - These two books are NO LONGER SOLD AT - but you can get them at
Navy SEAL Weight Training Book
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness Book

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.  

Most Recent Spring / Summer & Fall Winter Programs:
(click to read more)
Or Do You Want my REAL TIME Seasonal Periodization Training - Delivered Weekly?


Get Weekly Unpublished Workouts Tested and Evaluated by local Stew Smith Training programs. 

Stew Smith Fitness Membership – You have access to years of workouts for both beginner / intermediate and advanced / special ops levels of fitness. Each week you will receive new and unpublished workouts being tested by Navy SEAL veteran / Stew Smith CSCS and his local group of future tactical professionals in both basic training and advanced spec ops training programming. The latest videos, articles, and other programming will be part of the weekly data feed to members as well. We go through the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization program one week at a time.

Join the Online PT CLUB:
One On One Coaching with Stew Smith

If You Need a More Personalized Approach to Fit Your Needs, Goals, Time per Day, Days per week, Facilities, Abilities, etc...Try Online Coaching

Questions?  Just email me at

At - List of Products and Services

  1. FREE Articles
  2. Podcasts and Swimming Videos at page  
  3. eBooks
  4. Books and eBooks in PRINT
  5. Stew Smith Fitness Club membership site
  6. Online Coaching   

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