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Build Your Own Combat Conditioning Course - Make it Job Related!

Combat Conditioning Workout

One should realize that the standard fitness test most groups take is NOT a perfect marker of one's skills as a military member, police officer, SWAT Team or other Special Operator.  Many people ask why do I need to do these fitness tests as it has nothing to do with my job.  However, statistically speaking, it has been proven in many programs that the higher you score on the "entrance exam" fitness test the better you will do at basic training programs.  But, it is also true that it does not matter how high you score on a pushup, pullup, or running test, it does not equally translate to how well you operate with a weapon in a high stress environment.  So for the sake of argument let's call the standard Physical Fitness Test (PFT - pushups, situps, sit and reach, and 1.5 mile run) that most military members take is just that - a fitness and health test.  This test is an indicator of basic cardiovascular function, core movement ability and flexibility, and upper body conditioning.  That is all the PFT will give you.  But that is fine - we need to prove our troops are healthy on a regular basis.

An Option:  An additional test can be performed that can contain both cardiovascular performance, strength, endurance, agility, team work, speed, and tactical applications like shooting.  This test can be developed to hone skills, build combat skills in a safe environment, and just be good training for the soldiers on any tactical level.  In the SEAL Teams, our training department would develop Combat Conditioning Courses that usually included, rucking with gear, swimming with gear, obstacle courses, more running, and shooting.  These events could last as short as 20-30 minutes or as long as several hours.  What our trainers did was develop tasks that mimicked the actual job performance of our duties in future or typical missions that we could be called to perform. 

An Idea of a Competition Combat Course from PG County SWAT Team Competition

To start off the race your team began a 3.1 mile trail / road run, came to a creek and had to cross it.  Then the teams had a wet quarter-mile run to the Zodiac F470s that the team of four used to paddle across a river and back and then land carry the boat a few hundred
yards and quickly store their gear.  Then they ran again to the field exercises.  They were met with a tractor tire and each team member had to flip it 14 times before they could go to the next obstacle.  Following the tire flip was a shuttle run. Then, each team had to do 100 pushups and 100 sit-ups as a team (each 25 reps individually).  After the PT, each member had to individually pull a rope tied to two tires 30 yards.  After the pull, each member had to pick up two five gallon buckets filled with concrete and carry them for 40 yards, then the teams had to run with a PVC pipe half full of water and run 60 yards round trip in a relay fashion.  Finally, the injured man drill was to carry one person of the team 60 yards and then it was a sprint to the finish about 60 yards away.

Another option is to perform a combat conditioning course on a moments notice, so there is no preparation for it.  In the Spec Ops world, things happen quickly and your previous training all comes into play at this critical moment in time.  Your standard operating procedures are tested at this point, teamwork, physical ability, and tactical proficiency.

Designing a course should be job specific.  For instance, the admin officer or supply chief of the command should not be required to do this type of training.  Though with some imagination I am sure you could develop a challenge for any one in your command that is job related.  It does not have to be a physical challenge - just job related.


The Heroes of Tomorrow program was developed by former Navy SEAL Stew Smith, fitness author.  We can help prepare you for ANY profession that requires a Physical Fitness Test and YOU pay nothing for the training!  Warning - it is rather advanced but we can scale it back a bit and teach running and swimming techniques and help you build up to your goal level of fitness.

where we train the Heroes of Tomorrow for Free

Pullups / Dips W/swim PT               Run on B/A Trail outside of SPCC

Winter Workout - Good Gear / TRX Atomic Pushups - see video

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the
Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

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Published Books / DVDs / APPs

Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)  Book DVD set only
Maximum Fitness  Book only
The Special Operations Workout  Book only
The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member  Book only
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD  Download (MP4)
The Pre-Habit Workout DVD  DVD only
New Fitness APPs:
(Navy SEAL, FBI, Pushup. Pullups)
Navy SEAL Fitness APP
Coming Soon - Navy SEAL Fitness with Weight Training 2013


The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:
Fitness for All Levels of Fitness
The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness eBook, book
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program eBook only
Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program eBook only
Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach eBook only
The Busy Executive Workout Routine eBook only
The TRX Workout eBook only
NEW - Circuit Training 101 eBook eBook only
NEW Obstacle Course Race eBook eBook only




The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout (Vol 1 and 2) eBook, book, APP
The DEA Prep Workout eBook only
The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB eBook, book
The Fire Fighter Workout eBook, book


Why a 52 Week Workout Cycle?

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