Special Forces Workout: Cycle 3, Week 4
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.
- 1-10: 5 heavy push press
- 11-20: heavy Pendlay rows
- 21-30: 10 sandbag over shoulder cleans with an 80lb sandbag
- 31-40: 8 moderate deadlifts
- 41-50: 50m sprint @100%
35min swim @ Z1 pace
Accumulate 3:30 treading water with a 20lb brick, moderate intervals
25min AMRAP @ 85% effort
- 10 sandbag squats, left shoulder, 80lbs
- 25 double unders
- 10 sandbag squats, right shoulder, 80lbs
- run 200m
- 10 sandbag push press
3:30:00 ruck with 75lbs on gravel road while carrying a 10lb sledge hammer at the low ready
position with both hands
- moderate pace for ruck march
- steady pace throughout on AMRAP
A: Back Squat @ 1,1,1,1,1, rest 20 seconds between clusters, rest 2:30 between rounds, X3
B: Pendlay eows x 7-9, rest 2 minutes, X4
C1: AMRAP wide grip pull ups (-1), rest 20 seconds, X4
C2: straight arm lat pull downs X7-9, rest 2 minutes, X4
D: 12-18 windshield wipers, rest 90 seconds, X3
3 rounds for time with a 20lb vest
- 2 minutes continuous 18" step ups with a 20lb DB in each hand
- 2 minutes AMRAP double unders
- 2 minutes rowing
- re-rack the bar between back squat clusters
- Pendlay rows: no hips or back swing involved. Pull each rep from the ground to the sternum then lower back down over two seconds
- no "chinnin" on the pull-ups, head neutral
Run 13min @90% effort
30min swim @ Z1 pace
45min bike @ Z1 pace
45min jog @ Z1 pace
45min ruck walk with 40lbs @ Z1 pace
- AM workout is tough but sustainable
- PM workout, leave the ego at the door
A: Front-racked barbell walking lunges x 14-16, rest 2:30 x 3
- odd - 50 seconds step ups with 20-30lb weighted vest
- even- 15-20 hand release push ups with the same weighted vest
3 hang power cleans @135lbs
3 deadlifts @135lbs
3 24" box jumps
6 hang power cleans @135lbs
6 deadlifts @135lbs
6 24" box jumps
9 hang power cleans @135lbs
9 deadlifts @135lbs
9 24" box jumps
12 hang power cleans @135lbs
12 deadlifts @135lbs
12 24" box jumps
Walk 12min easy pace