Phase 2 Special Forces Prep: Strength, Skill Work, Aerobic Power

Wes Kennedy


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 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 two phases, each with a different focus:



Download Phase 2 Special Forces Prep: Strength, Skill Work, Aerobic Power as PDF


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 1, Day 1

Side planks on elbow w/ 12 leg lifts - 3 sets per side
A: Deadlift clusters; rest 3min x 3; rest 10seconds b/t
B1: Weighted pull up @ 32X1 x 4-6; rest 60sec x 4
B2: AMRAP straight arm lat pull downs 55lbs; rest 2min x 4
C: Cable pull throughs @ 31X3 x 9-11; rest 60sec x 4
EMOM 10min
odd - 50m sandbag drag backward - hard and heavy
even - 20 wall ball 20#/10ft
Jog 11min cool down



- Shoulder blades back and down on farmer's carry
- Stay true to tempo
- Straight arm lat pull down, done from standing position with arms straight out in front, press downs to thighs, FEEL your lats


Day 2

60 minutes easy ruck walk on gravel road 40#



Swim 100m in pool @ 90% effort
Rest 90sec
x 5
Swim 200m in pool @ 90% effort
Rest 3min
x 3
AMSAP tread water w/ 20# Brick; 1 attempt




- Dig deep when treading water with brick, go as long as possible
- Ruck walk: leave your ego at the door, keep it at an easy pace; it will pick up over time; don't burn yourself out now


Day 3

Clam shells 3 sets of 10 each side
A: Build to a tough complex of 6 heavy back squats + 1 push press from the back; rest as needed
B: Seated behind the neck press @ 30X1 x 8-10; rest 2:30 x 3
C: Good mornings @ 31X1 x 10-12; rest 2min x 3
D1: Trap-3 Raise @ 3011 x 10-12; rest 45sec b/t arms x 3/arm
D2: Tabata sit ups 20sec on/10sec off x 3; rest 45sec x 3


EMOM 10min
odd - 10 BB front rack walking lunges @ 135#
even - 15 wall ball 20#/10ft
Rest 10min
EMOM 10min
odd - row 12cals
even - 5 wall walks


- Tabata sit ups, feet hooked, get as tall as possible at top of every rep
- Seated behind-the-neck press
- Trap-3 raise


Day 4

2min AMRAP @ 80-90% effort
Row 250m
5 Burpees
Rest 2min
x 3
3min AMRAP @ 80-90% effort
4 Strict pull ups
Run 10m, 20m, 30m, 40m, 50m (there and back)
Rest 3min
x 2
4min AMRAP @ 80-90% effort
5 Burpee pull ups
10 Box jump step-downs 24"

- General, dynamic, and specific warm up - touch on all the modalities when doing the specific warm up


Day 5

30min easy swim

Warm up: 3 sets of 10 scapular push ups
A1: Standing press @ 31X1 x 6-8; rest 20sec x 3
A2: 45sec FLR on rings; rest 2min x 3
B1: 12 ring rows w/ 20# Vest; rest 20sec
B2: row 500m hard; rest 2min x 3
C: deadbug level 4 x 3411 x 8-10/side; rest 90sec x 3
20 Burpees AFAP
Row 300m HARD
Rest 8min
x 2


- keep the swim as easy as possible, especially if you're a
bad swimmer, focus on technique
- FLR on rings
- Deadbug level 4


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


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