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


navy seals training

By Rennett Stowe from USA (Navy SEAL Training Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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.


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