Phase 3 Special Forces Prep: Endurance, Rucking, and Swimming

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.


Week 8, Day 1


12 rounds:

  • 10 push ups/10 sit ups/10 squats
  • Swim 50m @ 90% effort
  • Tread water for :20 with a 20lb brick
  • Rest 2:00

A: back sqaut x 3, rest 3:00 x 4
B: push press x 3, rest 3:00 x 4
C1: weighted pull ups x 3; rest 2:00 x 3-4
C2: weighted dips x 3, rest 2:00 x 3-4
D: 26 x 4-count flutter kicks, rest :60 x 3
20:00 bike @ Z1 pace


Day 2


AMRAP 10:00 @ 90% effort

  • 8 burpees
  • 50m bear crawl
  • 2 man makers with 25lb dumbbells
  • Run 200m

Rest 10:00




2:30:00 walk at an easy pace while carrying a 90lb rucksack and 10lb sledge hammer


Day 3

Bike 30min @ Z1 pace



A: deadlift x 3, rest 3:00 x 3-4
B: bent-over barbell rows x 8-10, rest 2:30 x 3-4
C: jumping lunges x 18-20 unbroken and powerful, rest :40 x 3
C2: AMRAP clapping push ups, rest :40 x 3

3 rounds:

5 unbroken TGU L with 1pood, no rest
5 unbroken TGU R with 1 pood, rest :60


Day 4


5 rounds:

Run 1km @ 90% effort
Walk 4:00



3 rounds:

Bike 8:00 @ 90% effort
Walk 6:00



- wait at least 6 hours between the end of the AM workout and the start of the PM workout
- maintain a tough but sustainable pace throughout


Day 5

A: barbell front rack RFESS @ 3010 x 6-8, rest :90 between legs x 3/leg
B: step ups to 18" box while wearing a 25lb weight vest - AMRAP 9:00 @ 90% effort
C1: 45% of max reps push ups, rest :15 X4-5
C2: 45% of max reps sit ups, rest :15 X4-5
C3: 45% of max reps pull ups, rest :15 X4-5
C4: one unbroken set of wall ball shots to a 10"' target using a 20lb ball, rest :70 X5
20:00 jog @ Z1 pace


- steady pace through out on the step ups
- stop your set of wall ball shots when you lose your quickness/explosiveness


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


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