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 8, Day 1

A1: Front Squat @ 31X1 x 4-5; rest 2min x 3
A2: Standing DB Press @ 30X2 x 5-6; rest 2min x 3
B: SLRDL @ 31X1 x 9-11; rest 90sec b/t legs x 3/leg
C1: Side Bridge L 100sec; rest 90sec x 3
C2: Side Bridge R 100sec; rest 90sec x 3
D: Powell Raise @ 3010 x 9-11; rest 60sec b/t arms x 3/arm




  • SLRDL: Single Leg Romanian Deadlift. This is done w/ 1 dumbell in each hand, reach down as far as you can while maintaining a neutral spine and retracted shoulder blades
  • Side Bridge


Day 2

50 Push-Ups

Run 2km @ 80% effort
100 Perfect Squats
Run 2km @ 80% effort
30 Strict Pull-Ups
Run 2km @ 80% effort
150 Sit-Ups
Run 2km @ 80% effort
80 Perfect Standing Lunges




  • Goal is to maintian exact same pace for each 2km run, and to perforem all movements with perfect form, adjust your pacing and breaking up sets accordingly



Day 3

A1: Thruster x 6-7; rest 2min x 3
A2: Bent Over BB Row @ 41X2 x 6-7; rest 2min x 3

B: Alternating Front Rack Barbell Step-Ups 18" x 6-8/l

C: Tall Kneeling Pallof Press @ 1511 x 12-15; rest 2

D: Band Pull Aparts @ 3113 x 12-15; rest 2min x 3



  • BB Step-Ups
  • Anytime you hit the top of the rep range on a given set, you MUST go up in weight on the next set


Day 4

Run 400m

Walk 1 minute x 10



  • Goal is same hard pace each set.
  • Each set should be within 1-2 seconds of each other


Day 5

50min Bike @ Z1 pace 50min Jog @ Z1 pace


20min swim @ Z1 pace
Every 100m swim to the bottom of the deep end, and back up x 2



  • A good rule of thumb for Z1 pace is to maintain a HR between 120-135bpm.


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


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