Phase 1 Special Forces Prep: Structural Balance, Strength, Aerobic Base

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 six 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 2, Day 1

A: Deadlift @ 41X1 x 5-6; rest 3min x 3

B: RFESS @ 3010 x 10-12; rest 60sec b/t legs x 3/leg
C: Incline DB Press @ 31X1 x 8-10; rest 2:30 x 3

D: Front Plank - Arms Straight; accumulate 5min +Row 5min easy




  • Ensure that you maintain a neutral spine for front plank by squeezing glutes, thighs, and bracing abdominals


Day 2

Run 30sec @ 90% effort Run 30sec @ 50% effort x8

Airdyne 30sec @ 90% effort Airdyne 30sec @ 50% effort x8

30sec WallBalls 30sec Rest




  • Distance should be +/- 1-2 seconds eac set
  • Wall-balls are 20# and 10ft target for men, and 14# and 9ft target for women



Day 3

A: High Bar Back Squat @ 32X1 x 5-6; rest 3min x 3

B: DB Step-Ups Alternating x 9-11/leg; rest 2min x 3

C: Wtd Pull-Up @ 21X1 x 5-6; rest 3min x 3
D: AMSAP Sorensen Hold; rest 2min x 3

Bike 10min easy



  • Use a weight belt for weighted pull-ups and point toes and legs to form a strong hollow position
  • Sorensen hold done either on GHD machine or strapped down to bench at calves and hamstrings with cargo straps, hip bones slightly off the pad


Day 4


30min swim @ easy pace

Every 2 lenghts swim to bottom of pool and up x 2

Tread water 5minutes



10min AMRAP @ 85% effot 16 Sit-Ups

8 Burpees

40 Single Skips


Walk 10min


10min AMRAP @ 85% effort 5 Strict Pull-Ups

10 Medicine Balls Slams 300m Row



  • A good rule of thumb for Z1 pace is a HR between 120-135 bpm, this should be based on feel over time
  • Sit-ups


Day 5

Swim 15min @ Z1 pace

Bike 25min @ Z1 pace

Run 25min @ Z1 pace



  • A good rule of thumb for Z1 pace is a HR between 120-135 bpm, this should be based on feel over time.


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


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