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 Questions and Answers with Stew Smith CSCS
Concerning SEAL Training

With regards to meeting the physical requirements to gain entry to BUD/S, I have a few questions you may be able 
to answer...MY ANSWERS ARE IN CAPS AMONG YOUR QUESTIONS…STEW SMITH
 

How are SEALs able to do hundreds of pushups, situps and pullups without stopping?  BY PRACTICING HUNDREDS OF REPS
FOR ABOUT A YEAR AND AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR 5-10 YEARS THERE IS NO STOPPING YOU.  EVEN FOR
ME (NOW 40) i CAN STILL DO 100 REPS IN UNDER 90 SECONDS (GOOD ONES) AND MY PULLUP WORKOUTS ARE
ALWAYS OVER 100-150 REPS BY END - SOMETIMES 200 WHEN I PUSH..

JUST TAKES PRACTICE BUILDING UP YOUR MUSCLES SO THEY CAN BUFFER LACTATE BETTER AND VERY EFFICIENTLY...

Did you train the same muscle groups everyday?  I DID NOT - EVERY OTHER DAY..read:

www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/trainingeveryday.htm

What about resting the muscles?  EVERY OTHER DAY DOES THAT 48 HOURS REST AS IF YOU WERE RESTING WHILE LIFTING WEIGHTS...

MANY PEOPLE MIX THIS UP BUT I NEVER HAVE / DID AND I THINK THAT HELPED BE MAINTAIN DOING HIGH REPS
EVEN AT 40+ YRS OLD...

What if you also wanted to do this what would be a good plan?
(if you wanted to tell me the secret you could but really all I
need is to be pointed in the right direction to find the info) THE KEY IS PERIODIZATION.. READ THIS

www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/periodization.htm
 

Was that all they did? Meaning did they do calisthenics and pushups etc.. In the morning and then lift weights at night? 
YES - THAT IS WHAT I DID BUT PRE-BUDS ALL I DID WAS CALISTHENICS - NO WEIGHTS FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS AND
DID TONS OF RUNNING AND SWIMMING - BASICALLY TURNED A FOOTBALL PLAYER BODY INTO AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE...

read this - www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/changeneededSEAL.htm

but also READ - www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/changeneededSEAL2.htm  - as the answer depends on your athletic background / strengths

      Will someone be standing on my feet while doing sit-ups? YES
 
o       How long do I rest between sets in your Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness Book? TRY NOT TO REST THAT LONG 
BUT REST AS LONG AS YOU HAVE TO SO YOU RECOVER – IF YOU DO NOT FULLY RECOVER AFTER 1 MINUTE REST THEN START AGAIN 
WITH THE NEXT SET ANYWAY
 
o       Right now I rest for 30 seconds between each set – THAT IS FINE
 
o       What can I do about hitting a plateau with my pull-ups & pushups? PUSH THRU THEM - HAVE YOU SEEN THE ARTICLES? :
 
         http://www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/pushuppush.htm
 
         www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/pulluppush.htm
 
THESE METHODS WORK IN THE ABOVE ARTICLES FOR A FEW TIMES A YEAR WHEN YOU HIT A RUT IN PERFORMANCE – YOUR BODY RESPONDS 
TO CHANGING STIMULI (WORKOUTS) BEST SO CHANGE THINGS UP A BIT WHEN YOU HIT A PLATEAU.
 
o       I've only been making small gains for the past 3 weeks, is this even something I should worry about?  NO – 
AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT LOSING PROGRESS…THOUGH YOU WILL LOSE SOME PROGRESS IN THE MIDDLE WEEKS OF THE 12 WEEK WORKOUT 
AS I AM PUSHING YOU HARDER DURING WEEKS 5-8 THAN ANY OF THE OTHER WEEKS SO YOU WILL BE BURNED OUT…
 
o       Do you think Rugby is good practice fore BUD/S?  YES – I PLAYED RUGBY TOO IN COLLEGE FOR 3 YRS – PLUS IT IS 
FUN – TRY NOT TO GET INJURED.  BUT OTHER GREAT SPORTS ARE WRESTLING, BOXING, CREW, SWIMMING, CROSS COUNTRY AND EVEN 
FOOTBALL – THOSE ATHLETES TEND TO DO WELL AT BUDS.
 
o       Each practice, we'll typically do 5 miles of running/sprinting. The downside is that it wears down my shoulders
 quite a bit. Your thoughts? RUNNING IS GREAT BUT YOU SHOULD WATCH YOUR SHOULDERS – TRY TO PROTECT THEM AND DO THE 
LIGHTWEIGHT SHOULDER WORKOUT FOR MORE STABILITY.  OF COURSE SWIMMING AND BEING COMFORTABLE IN WATER IS EXTREMELY 
IMPORTANT IF YOU WANT TO GO TO BUDS. 
 
         www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/shoulder.htm
 
 
o       Have you heard of the PowerLung? If so, what do you think about it?  HEARD OF IT NEVER USED IT…SOME SAY IT 
HELPED THEM, BUT I HAVE NOT TESTED IT OUT…I AM 39 YRS OLD AND CAN STILL SWIM A 50M UNDERWATER SO I AM NOT SO SURE YOU 
NEED IT. 
 
o       Right now, my biggest obstacle is the 50 yard underwater swim. PRACTICE GLIDING IT OUT AND NOT TRYING TO DO 
TOO MANY STROKES ACROSS THE POOL – I DO IT IN 4 STROKES / KICKS AND ALWAYS WITH A SWIM BUDDY OR LIFE GUARD WHO KNOWS 
YOU ARE ATTEMPTING IT.
 
o         I can do the flip and swim 25 yards but have not been able to complete the full 50.  KEEP TRYING IT JUST 
TAKES TIME…THE HYPOXIC SWIM WORKOUTS WILL HELP YOU LATER TOO – THEY TEND TO HELP ME WITH INCREASED SWIM STAMINA.
 
o       Would you recommend drinking protein shakes or sticking to a diet close to what BUD/S will be like?  PROTEIN 
AFTER WORKOUTS IS FINE – YOU CAN TAKE PROTEIN SHAKES AT BUDS TOO IF YOU WISH…
 
o       Currently I have a protein shake immediately after my workouts – VERY SMART IDEA – HAVE YOU SEEN THE STRENGTHPRO.COM 
NUTRITION PRODUCTS - GOOD STUFF FOR PRE / POST WORKOUT ENERGY AND RECOVERY.
 
o       What would a good weight be for military presses? (practice for log PT) I WOULD DO 20-25 LB DUMBBELLS AS YOU 
WILL BE LIFTING 40-45 LBS OVER YOUR HEAD INDIVIDUALLY AND ABOUT 250-300 AS A TEAM…
 
o       Things I can do to get ready for BUD/S
 
o       Showering in colder water? – PERHAPS – MIGHT HELP – SWIMMING IN WATER THAT IS 50-70 DEGREES IS PERFECT AS 
THAT IS AS WARM AND AS COLD AS IT GETS IN CORONADO.  I USED TO BODY SURF ALL THE TIME IN WATER TEMP LIKE THAT AND 
IT SEEMED TO HELP.
 
o       Becoming Scuba Certified? – VERY SMART THING TO DO AS WELL.  IT WILL HELP YOU WITH GETTING USED TO HAVING A 
REGULATOR IN YOUR MOUTH AT BUDS.  I HAVE BEEN SCUBA DIVING SINCE 13 YRS OLD…
 
o       I have a friend at UNSA who is very, very serious about becoming a SEAL (Naval Tri-athlete, Finished 
Dive School, Trained with an SEAL Team 3 this summer, and completed the "Pre-BUD/S Screener"). His view was that they 
teach you completely different ways of using Scuba gear in civilian life vs. BUD/S and that it may do more harm than 
good.  NO – IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE UNDERWATER YOU WILL KNOW BEFORE HAND AND PERHAPS BE ABLE TO WORK ON IT SOME 
BEFORE BUDS OR YOU CAN WAIT AND BE KICKED OUT DURING BUDS FOR PANICKING.  SO WHAT IF THEY HAVE TO RE-TEACH YOU.  
YOU WILL LEARN SO MUCH NEW STUFF ANYWAY IT DOES NOT MATTER.  SAME GOES FOR SHOOTING GUNS TOO – THEY WILL RE-TEACH YOU 
HOW TO DO THAT AS WELL.
 
o       Martial Arts?  - NOT A PRACTITIONER OF IT THOUGH I WRESTLED AND DID SOME JUDO / JUI JITSU FOR FUN…THEY WILL 
TEACH YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AT BUDS / SEALS TEAMS…
 
o       Do you have any books that you would recommend I read?   SEAL TEAM ONE – by Dick Couch, 
Combat Swimmer – Gormly AND ALL THE ONES YOU LISTED BELOW
 
o       There are a HUGE amount of books on Navy SEALs/Spec Ops, however, sorting out the crap from the good stuff is 
pretty tough. Do you have any recommendations on good ones to read?
 
         Ones I've already read...
 
1.      The Warrior Elite, by Dick Couch   - GREAT ONE    
 
2.      The Warrior Soul, by Chuck Pfarrer  - GREAT ONE
 
3.      Without Remorse, by Tom Clancy   - OK – NOT REAL - ENTERTAINING THOUGH
 
4.      Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell  - AWESOME – BEST ONE TO DATE FOR ME
 
5.      Suffer in Silence, by David Reid  - OK – WRITTEN BY A GUY WHO QUIT BUDS – THOUGHT HIS STORY WAS NOT VERY REAL 
IN MY OPINION - FICTIONAL I KNOW
 
6.      The Coveted Black and Gold, by JD Lock  - NOT READ THAT ONE
 
7.      The Navy SEAL Physical Fitness Guide, by Patricia Deuster  - OK
 
In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with ANYTHING Dick Couch writes.  I have been reading his books since SEAL Team One in 1990.
 
 

           

                            

 

Most important of all my questions is this...
 
          I know I can reach the physical level that I need to be at in order to have a good shot at passing all the 
physical evolutions of BUD/S...however, the more people I talk to that have had Special Ops experience say that 
90% of it is, "all between your ears". I realize that even the strongest and fastest people may not have the 
mental fortitude to be cold and wet the rest of their lives, much less their time in BUD/S. 
 
          How can I test, prepare, research and study for the mental rigors I'll face in BUD/S? YOU CANNOT REALLY PREP 
LIKE THIS OTHER THAN TRAIN REALLY HARD AND UNDERSTAND WHAT DISCOMFORT / COLD IS.  JUST BY PRACTICING / TRAINING YOU
 WILL BUILD MENTAL TOUGHNESS.  MANY PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO “PLAY WITH PAIN” ATHLETES ETC DO VERY 
WELL AT BUDS AS IT IS TOUGH AND THERE ARE DAYS THAT YOU WILL “PLAY HURT” OR EVEN SICK.  
 
          THIS IS WHAT MAKES BUDS SO GREAT – IT MAKES YOU GO INTO THE UNKNOWN AND CHALLENGE YOURSELF WITHIN TO SEE IF 
YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES…
 
          GO TO BUDS TO COMPETE NOT JUST SURVIVE – TRY TO WIN THE RUNS, SWIMS, O COURSES, PT CONTESTS AND YOU 
WILL NEVER THINK ABOUT QUITTING I PROMISE.  I DID NOT.  I ONLY FEARED GETTING INJURED.
 
 
MY 2 CENTS
 
STEW SMITH         - www.stewsmith.com      

BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs

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Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook
 

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout



The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT

 

The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout


TRX Train Like the Pros