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 3, Day 1

A: Deadlift @ 41X1 x 4-5; rest 3min x 4

B: RFESS @ 3010 x 8-10; rest 60sec b/t legs x 3/leg
C: Incline DB Press @ 31X1 x 6-8; rest 2:30 x 4

D: FLR on Rings; Accumulate 3min +
Row 5min easy




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


Day 2

Run 30sec @ 90% effort Run 30sec @ 50% effort x6

Airdyne 30sec @ 90% effort Airdyne 30sec @ 50% effort x6

30sec WallBalls 30sec Rest

Row 30sec @ 90% effort Row 30sec @ 50% effort x6




  • Distance should be +/- 1-2 seconds each 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 4-5; rest 3min x 4

B: DB Step-Ups Alternating x 8-10/leg; rest 2min x 3

C: Wtd Pull-Up @ 21X1 x 4-5; rest 3min x 4
D: AMSAP Sorensen Hold; rest 2min x 3

Bike 12min 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 lengths, 6 muscle ups on side of pool
Tread water 6minutes


11min AMRAP @ 85% effot
Run 400m
50m Bear Crawl
50m Walking Lunges w/ dowel overhead +
Walk 10min
11min AMRAP @ 85% effort
5 Strict Pull-Ups
10 HR Push-Ups
15 Squats
20 cals rowing
25 Single Skips



  • 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

  • Run 30min @ Z1 pace
  • Bike 30min @ Z1 pace
  • Swim 10min@ Z1 pace
  • Tread Water in place 10min



  • 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.


See more about: , , ,
Breaking Muscle Newsletter

Breaking Muscle Newsletter

Get updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.