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.


Welcome to the Special Forces Training Program! 

Make sure you read through to the bottom before commencing training.



Week 5 Day 1


A: Deadlift @ 41X1 X 2-3, rest 3 minutes X4
B: RFESS @ 3010 X 4-6, rest 1 minute between legs X4/leg
C: Incline DB press @31X1 X3-5, rest 2:30 X4
D: FLR on rings, accumulate 5 minutes
Row 10min easy



- RFESS Video
- Ensure that you maintain a neutral spine for FLR by squeezing glutes and thighs and bracing abdominals.


Week 5 Day 2


30 rounds:

Row 30 seconds

Walk 30 seconds



- Check out this article on rowing on Breaking Muscle for video tutorials. 


Week 5 Day 3


A: High Bar Back Squat @ 32X1 x 2-3, rest 3min x 4
B: DB Step-Ups Alternating x 4-6/leg,  rest 2min x 4
C: Weighted Pull-Up @ 21X1 x 2-3, rest 3min x 4
D: Back extensions @ 40X1 X 8-10, rest 90 seconds x 4
Walk 15min easy



- Use a weight belt for weighted pull-ups and point toes and legs to form a strong hollow position
- DB step-ups: drive through heel and engage glutes on each rep


Week 5 Day 4



30 minute swim @ easy pace.

Every 5 minutes, tread water for 30 seconds.



10 minute AMRAP @ 90% effort

AD 0.3 miles

12 burpees

100m farmer's carry, heavy


Walk 10 minutes





- Aim for the same pace on both sets

- Focus on breathing during the 10 minute walks

- Keep your shoulder blades back and down during the farmer's carries

Ensure that you're landing on your heels rather than your toes during the burpees


Week 5 Day 5


Swim 25 minutes @ Z1 pace

Bike 45 minutes @ Z1 pace

Run 40 minutes @ Z1 pace


Perform 60 walking lunges with perfect form



- A good rule for Z1 pace is a HR between 120-135 bpm


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 9 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.


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:


Phase 1:  Structural Balance / Absolute Strength / Aerobic Base

Phase 2: Strength and Power Capacity / Volume Building / Skill Work / Aerobic Power

Phase 3: Muscular Endurance / Anaerobic Training / Toughness Training / Rucking / Swimming


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.


When do the workouts post?

The workouts are released every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It is recommended that you begin the program from the beginning rather than jumping in part way through. This program is safest and most effective if you follow it in its entirety.


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.