EDITOR’S NOTE: Special Forces workouts are written by Wes Kennedy. Wes developed his passion for fitness during his eight years in the Canadian Forces. He spent the last five of those eight years as a Special Forces Operator, which required him to develop into a mentally tough and physically robust individual.

 

Who is this program for?

  • Military members preparing for a Special Forces selection phase
  • Anybody who wants to train like a Special Forces Operator

 

How does this program work?

This will be a nine month program designed to prepare military members for Special Forces selection.  The term Special Forces is used broadly and does not necessarily mean U.S. Army Green Beret.

 

This program will not contain the exceptionally large volume of swimming or rucking that might be required for a SEAL or SAS selection phase, although both modalities will be included.

Breaking Muscle Shop

 

The program will be broken down into 3 phases, creating a logical and  progressive plan that will have the tactical athlete peaking at the end.  Each phase has a focus, but all pieces will be blended together appropriately throughout:

 

Click on any phase to download that 12-week portion of the program.

 

Where can I find more information and ask questions?

I will post notes at the bottom of each workout that will go into more detail. I will also post links to videos whenever possible. I am constantly adding videos to my Vimeo and YouTube pages that break down various movements in great detail.

 

If you have more questions, you can head over to the Breaking Muscle Forum, and I will get back to you as soon as possible with an answer. For a detailed explanation of how to read the workouts, warm up properly, and get the most out of this training plan, check out the Special Forces Workouts FAQ.

 

Why should I use this program?

Whether you are looking to increase your chances of passing Special Forces selection, or you simply want to train at this level, this program follows an intelligent progression over nine months that incorporates injury-proofing, strength, stamina, toughness training, and event specific modalities such as swimming and rucksack marching. It is written based on my experience as an ex-Special Forces soldier turned coach.

 

What equipment do I need?

Mondays and Thursdays will generally be strength specific days that you can perform at most gyms. Tuesdays and Fridays may require equipment typically found at a CrossFit-type gym. Saturdays will often include things such as boxing, swimming, biking, and running outside.

 

Record your results!

The only way to make this program better over time is if you give us your results. So comment in the forums with your age/weight/height/gender/results.

 

Sample Programming: Phase 3, Week 1

Day 1

AM
50min EMOM

  • Min 1-10: 2 Heavy CGBP
  • Min 11-20: 3 Tough Strict HSPU (adjust deficit to challenge
  • accodingly)
  • Min 21-30: 10sec Sled Push Tough but Sustainable
  • Min 31-40: 3 Tough Thrusters
  • Min 41-50: 15sec Row Sprint @ 90% effort

 

PM
20min swim @ Z1 pace
+
Accumulate 2min treading water with a 20# brick, easy intervals

 

notes:
- CGBP is close grip bench press. Place your hands approximately 16" apart.
- HSPU: hand stand push-ups, done against a wall
- sled push: arms straight
- Thruster weight should be tough but sustainable. Start with less than you think you should and increase as you go, rather than go too heavy and have to drop weight.
- row sprint: tough but sustainable

 

Day 2

AM:
20min AMRAP @ 85% effort

  • 10 hand release push ups
  • 10 sit ups
  • 10 prisoner lunges
  • 10 forward rolls (alternate shoulders)
  • 10 double unders

 

PM
A two-hour ruck with 75lb pack on gravel road while carrying a 10lb sledge hammer at the low ready position using both hands.

 

notes:
- prisoner lunges: walking lunges with hands behind head and elbows back
- If you can't do double unders, learn them. If you don't have a skipping rope, do lateral ski hops 

 

Day 3

A: 3X back squat @ 3,3,3,3, rest 20sec between clusters, rest 2:30 between sets of clusters
B: 3X Pendlay rows x 10-12, rest 2min
C1: 3X wide grip pull ups, stop 1 rep short of failure, rest 20sec
C2: 3X straight arm lat pull downs x 10-12, rest 2min
D: accumulate 2min in the L-sit position
+
3 rounds for time:

  • 12 one-arm overhead walking lunges with 25lb DBs
  • 12 burpee pull ups

 

notes:
- Re-rack the bar between back squat clusters.
- Pendlay rows: no hip or back swing involved, pull each rep from the ground to the sternum,  then lower back down over 2 seconds
- No "chinnin" on the pull ups, keep your head and neck neutral.
- active shoulders for the overhead lunges

 

Day 4

AM

3 rounds:

  • Run 10min @90% effort
  • Walk 10min

 

PM

  • 30min swim @ Z1 pace
  • 30min bike @ Z1 pace
  • 30min jog @ Z1 pace
  • 30min ruck walk with 40lbs @ Z1 pace

 

notes:
- AM workout is tough but sustainable
- PM workout: leave the ego at the door

 

Day 5

A: 3X front-racked walking barbell lunges x10-12, rest 2:30
+
12min EMOM with a 20-30lb weighted vest

  • odd - 50sec step ups
  • even- 15-20 hand release push ups

+
Rest 8min
+
12min EMOM

  • odd - 2 TGU, heavy
  • even - 15-20 2-pood kettlebell swings

+
Walk10min, easy pace

 

Click Here to Download the 12-week Phase 3 PDF

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