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.


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.


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.


Week 5

Day 1

WARNING: Saturday will be a one-day mini selection beginning at 2am and ending at 10pm.


A: Find your 1RM push press in 10 minutes
Run 10km as fast as possible 


Day 2

5 rounds for time:

  • 5 wall walks
  • 12 burpee pull ups
  • Row 350m


Day 3

A: Find your 1RM back squat in 10 minutes
B: AMRAP military standard pull ups, 1 attempt
C: AMRAP military standard push ups, 1 attempt
D: AMRAP military standard sit ups in 2 minutes, 1 attempt
Run 400m for best possible time


Day 4

Run 1km @ 80% effort
Walk 5:00
x 3


Warm up: 200m sandbag carry, 80lbs
Row :45 @ 100% effort
Walk 4:30
x 3
Rest 10:00
:45 burpees AFAP
Walk 4:30
x 3 


Day 5

20min AMRAP
10 hand release push ups
10 sit ups
10 squats (no going back to bed after this, and no naps today)

In and out x 3
Tread water :60 with 20lb brick 
Swim 200m
x 4


7km run to gym
8 rounds
10 deadlifts 95lbs 
10 push press 95lbs 
10 ring rows
10 toes to bar
7km run home


2000 12km ruck march with 90lbs 


- lots of carbs and protein after this (tubers, white rice, fruit) then go to bed for a solid 10 hours