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 4, Day 1

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

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

D: FLR on Rings; Accumulate 4min +
Row 8min easy



Day 2

3 Rounds: Row 150m Rest 30sec +

13 Rounds:
8 Wall-Balls
12 Walking Lunges Rest 30sec




  • Goal is same time each set of row, and same time for each set of wall-ball/lunges


Day 3

A: High Bar Back Squat @ 32X1 x 3-4; rest 3min x 4

B: DB Step-Ups Alternating x 6-8/leg; rest 2min x 4

C: Wtd Pull-Up @ 21X1 x 3-4; rest 3min x 4

D: Back Extensions @ 40X1 x 8-10; rest 90sec x 3 +

Walk 10min easy




  • Use a weight belt for weighted pull-ups and point toes and legs to form a strong hollow position
  • DB step-ups: drive through heel and engage glutes each rep


Day 4

30min Bike @ easy pace

Swim Hard 10min Tread Water 5min Rest 5min



  • Aim for same pace both sets
  • Focus on big belly breaths during the 5minutes of rest


Day 5

Swim 20min@ Z1 pace

Bike 40min @ Z1 pace

Run 35min @ 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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