Phase 2 Special Forces Prep: Strength, Skill Work, Aerobic Power

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 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 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.


    Day 1

    3 Sets of 10 scapular pull ups
    A: Deadlift clusters, rest 3min x 3; rest 10sec between
    B1: Weighted pull up @ 32X1 x 2-4; rest 60sec x 4
    B2: AMRAP straight arm lat pull downs 60lbs; rest 2min x 4
    C: Cable pull throughs @ 31X3 x 7-9; rest 60sec x 4
    EMOM 10min
    odd - 24" box jump step down x 15
    even - 10 hang power clean 115#
    Jog 13min to cool down


    - stay true to tempo
    - straight arm lat pull down, done from standing position with arms straight out in front, push downs to thighs, FEEL your lats


    Day 2

    2 hours 30 minutes moderate walk on gravel road with 40#. Every 30 minutes do a light jog for 3 minutes


    Swim 50m in pool @ 90% effort
    Rest 60sec
    x 25
    Rest 10min
    Hold breath with hand on pool deck and face under water as long as possible, rest 3min x 3 (done with lifeguard supervision)


     - ruck walk: slightly faster pace than last week, but still walking, and still not difficult
    - swim pace should be tough but sustainable



    Day 3

    Glute activation 2: 3 sets of 10 each side
    A: Build to a 4RM back squat, rest as needed
    B: Seated behind-the-neck press @ 30X1 x 5-7, rest 2:30 x 4
    C: Good mornings @ 31X1 x 7-9, rest 2min x 4
    D1: Trap-3 raise @ 3011 x 6-8, rest 45sec between arms x 3/arm
    D2: Tabata sit ups 20sec on/10sec off x 5, rest 45sec x 3


    EMOM 10min
    odd- 100m heavy prowler push
    even- 8 burpee box jumps 24"
    Rest 10min
    EMOM 10min
    odd- 12 burpees AFAP
    even- 50m sprint x 2


    - Glute activation 2: video
    - 2nd EMOM dig deep each set, breath deep through the belly for remainder of each minute


    Day 4

    2min AMRAP @ 80-90% effort
    15 jumping lunges
    10 kipping pull ups
    Rest 2min
    x 3
    3min AMRAP @ 80-90% effort
    5 heavy push press
    Row 250m
    Rest 3min
    x 3
    4min AMRAP @ 80-90% effort
    10 walking lunges with 135# BB, front rack
    100M bear crawl
    x 3


    - general, dynamic, and specific warm up: touch on all the modalities when doing the warm up

    Day 5

    30min easy swim
    60min easy run


    Warm up: 30 light TGUs with perfect form
    A1: Standing press @ 31X1 x 3-5, rest 20sec x 4
    A2: 60sec FLR on rings, rest 2min x 4
    B1: AMRAP BW pull ups (-2), rest 10sec
    B2: Row 500m hard, rest 3min x 3
    C: Deadbug level 4 x 3411 x 10-15/side, rest 90sec x 3
    20 burpees AFAP
    Row 300m HARD
    Rest 8min
    x 5


    - keep the swim as easy as possible, especially if you're a bad swimmer, focus on technique
    - FLR on rings
    - deadbug level 4


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


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