EDITOR’S NOTE: Special Forces workouts are written by Wes Kennedy. Wes developed his passion for fitness during his eight years in the Canadian Forces. He spent the last five of those eight years as a Special Forces Operator, which required him to develop into a mentally tough and physically robust individual.


Welcome to the Special Forces Training Program! 

Make sure you read through to the bottom before commencing training.



Week 3

Day 1

Side planks on elbow with 14 leg lifts - 3 sets per side
A: Deadlift clusters 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, then 3 minutes rest, x 3. Rest 10sec b/t sets of 2
B1: Weighted pull up @ 32X1 x 3-5, rest 60sec x 4
B2: AMRAP straight arm lat pull downs 55lbs, rest 2min x 4
C: Cable pull throughs @ 31X3 x 8-10; rest 60sec x 4
EMOM 10min
odd - 16x 24" step-up with 70# Sandbag on one shoulder - switch sides halfway through
even - AMRAP Bench Press 135# @ 20X0
Jog 12min to cool down


- stay true to tempo
- straight arm lat pull down, done from standing position with arms straight out in front, push downs to thighs, FEEL your lats 


Day 2

120 minute easy walk on gravel road with 40#. Every 30 minutes do a light jog for 3 minutes


Swim 100m in pool @ 90% effort
Rest 90sec
x 5
Swim 200m in pool @ 90% effort
Rest 3min
x 5
Tread water with a 20# brick for 30 seconds, rest 30sec x 6


 - ruck walk - leave your ego at the door, maintain an easy pace. It will pick up over time, so don't burn yourself out now.
- swim pace should be tough but sustainable 


Day 3

Clam shells - 3 sets of 14 each side
A: Build to a 5RM back squat, rest as needed
B: Seated behind-the-neck press @ 30X1 x 6-8, rest 2:30 x 4
C: Good mornings @ 31X1 x 8-10, rest 2min x 4
D1: Trap-3 raise @ 3011 x 8-10, rest 45sec between arms x 3/arm
D2: Tabata sit ups - 20sec on/10sec off x 4, rest 45sec x 3


EMOM 10min
odd- 100m Heavy Prowler Push
even- 8 Burpee Box Jump 24"
Rest 10min
EMOM 10min
odd- 15 clapping push ups
even- 30 jumping lunges


-clam shells: place hand on hip and make sure motion is coming from hips, not from back


Day 4

2min AMRAP @ 80-90% effort
Row 250m
15 back extensions
Rest 2min
x 3
3min AMRAP @ 80-90% effort
5 hang power cleans @ 135#
Run 10m, 20m, 30m, 40m, 50m (there and back)
Rest 3min
x 3
4min AMRAP @ 80-90% effort
20 double unders
20 wall ball 20#/10ft
x 2


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

Day 5

30min easy swim
45min easy run


Warm up: 3 sets of 14 scapular push ups
A1: Standing press @ 31X1 x 4-6, rest 20sec x 3
A2: 60sec FLR on rings, rest 2min x 3
B1: AMRAP bodyweight pull ups (-2), rest 10sec
B2: Row 500m hard, rest 3min x 3
C: Deadbug level 4 x 3411 x 10-12/side, rest 90sec x 3
20 Burpees AFAP
Row 300m HARD
Rest 8min
x 4


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


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 9 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 3 phases, creating a logical and  progressive plan that will have the tactical athlete peaking at the end.  Each phase has a focus, but all pieces will be blended together appropriately throughout:


Phase 1:  Structural Balance / Absolute Strength / Aerobic Base

Phase 2: Strength and Power Capacity / Volume Building / Skill Work / Aerobic Power

Phase 3: Muscular Endurance / Anaerobic Training / Toughness Training / Rucking / Swimming


Where can I find more information and ask questions?

I will post notes at the bottom of each workout that will go into more detail. I will also post links to videos whenever possible. I am constantly adding videos to my Vimeo and YouTube pages that break down various movements in great detail.


If you have more questions, you can head over to the Breaking Muscle Forum, and I will get back to you as soon as possible with an answer. For a detailed explanation of how to read the workouts, warm up properly, and get the most out of this training plan, check out the Special Forces Workouts FAQ.


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.


Record your results!

The only way to make this program better over time is if you give us your results. So comment in the forums with your age/weight/height/gender/results.