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 11, Day 1

A1: Build to a tough 2 rep front squat
A2: Build to a 3RM DB press
B: SLRDL @ 31X1 x 6-8; rest 90sec b/t legs x 3/leg
C1: Side bridge L 100-120sec; rest 2min x 2
C2: Side bridge R 100-120sec; rest 2min x 2
D: Powell raise @ 3010 x 4-6; rest 60sec b/t arms x 3/arm



- SLRDL: Single Leg Romanian Deadlift. This is done w/ 1 dumbell in each hand, reach down as far as you can while maintaining a neutral spine and retracted shoulder blades.
- Side Bridge video


Week 11, Day 2

8 Rounds:

  • 6 Heavy deadlifts
  • 50m Farmer's carry, heavy
  • Row 500m
  • Walk 4min



- goal is same pace for each set

- try to increase the load on both deadlifts and farmer's carries each set


Week 11, Day 3

A1: Build to a tough 2 rep push press
A2: Build to a tough 2 rep weighted pull up
B: Walking BB lunges x 6-8/leg; rest 2:30 x 3
C: Tall kneeling Pallof press @ 1511 x 8-10; rest 2min x 3
Run 2km @ Z1 pace



- Any time that you hit the top of the rep range, you must go up in weight on the next set.
- Step-ups should be done at a continuous pace - when performing hand release, maintain
externally rotated shoulders and tight mid-section.


Week 11, Day 4

Run 5km @ 85% effort
Walk 10min
Run 5km @ 85% effort




- Your goal is the same tough but sustainable pace for each set. Focus on big belly breaths during walking.


Week 11, Day 5

35min swim @ Z1 pace
10min tread water
35min bike @ Z1 pace
35min jog @ Z1 pace 


- a good rule of thumb for Z1 pace is to maintain a HR between 120-135bpm


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.