Phase 1 Special Forces Prep: Structural Balance, Strength, Aerobic Base

Wes Kennedy

Contributor - Special Forces Workouts

Athbasca, Canada

Military Fitness, CrossFit

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 six 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 two phases, each with a different focus:



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.

Week 1, Day 1

A: Deadlift @ 41X1 x 6-7; rest 3min x 3
B: RFESS @ 3010 x 12-15; rest 60sec b/t legs x 3/leg
C: Seated DB Press @ 3010 x 10-12; rest 2:30 x 3
D: Dead Bugs @ 1511 x 10/leg; rest 2min x 3
Walk 10min


Day 2

Bike 30sec @ 90% effort Bike 30sec @ 50% effort x 10

Row 30sec @ 90% effort Row 30sec @ 50% effort x 10





  • Distance should be +/- 1-2 metres each set


Day 3

A: High Bar Back Squat @ 32X1 x 6-7; rest 3min x 3 B: DB Step-Ups Alternating x 10-12/leg; rest 2min x 3 C: Wtd Pull-Up @ 21X1 x 6-7; rest 3min x 3
D: AMSAP Sorensen Hold; rest 2min x 3

Bike 5min easy



  • Use a weight belt for weighted pull-ups and point toes and legs to form a strong hollow position.
  • Sorensen hold done either on GHD machine or strapped down to bench at calves and hamstrings with cargo straps, hip bones slightly off the pad.


Day 4

60min Bike @ Z1 pace

10min AMRAP @ 85% effot 20 Walking Lunges
Run 200m
20 HR Push-Ups
Walk 10min
10min AMRAP @ 85% effort 20 Situps
Row 250m
20 BW Squats



  • A good rule of thumb for Z1 pace is a HR between 120-135 bpm, this should be based on feel over time.
  • Ensure shoulders don't rotate forward on hand release push-ups
  • Military standard sit-ups


Day 5

  • Swim 10min @ Z1 pace
  • Bike 20min @ Z1 pace
  • Run 20min @ Z1 pace



  • A good rule of thumb for Z1 pace is a HR between 120-135 bpm, this should be based on feel over time.


Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.


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