Preparing Americans to Serve in the Military, Special Ops, Law Enforcement, & Fire Fighting

Meet Stew Testimonials  |  YouTube Videos  |  List of Articles  |  Favorite APP Workouts  |  FREE Workouts |   Contact / Newsletter


back to 

Getting Fit for SEAL Training


This week a young man about to go to college emailed me with some specific questions about preparing for SEAL training as well as other special forces in our military. It seems he is trying to figure out his future and what service is right for him. That is a tough decision, but if done with some self-realization you can make a wise choice for your personality. 

For me, I always have loved the ocean. I guess growing up in Florida helped me realize that, so Navy made a lot of sense to me. And most Navy bases are very close to a nice beach! That was a big draw too. The option to choose SEAL Teams was really a no-brainer too. I grew up in or near the water (swamp, lake, river, ocean) hunting and fishing, played several sports in high school so the active outdoor lifestyle of being a SEAL appealed to me the most. And continuing to be apart of a team was a must for me. For you and others like you, you should look at the last ten years of your life and ask yourself:

1 Did I swim, SCUBA dive, surf and become comfortable in the water even at night?

2 Did I enjoy running, and back-packing in the woods and mountains?

3 Did I play sports and understand what it means to be a part of a team?

4 Were sports like football, wrestling, track, swimming, lacrosse, and soccer challenging physically and mentally?

5 Did I learn to play with pain and understand the difference between being hurt and being injured?

6- Did I workout nearly everyday and feel like you cheated yourself when you skip a workout?

If you can answer yes to these types of introspective questions, then you might be right for SEALs / EOD or other Special Forces like Army SF, or Marine RECON, or Air Force PJ.

Below are the young man's questions concerning his future choices:

1. What sports should I do to keep up my level of fitness before I attend BUD/s?  

I would recommend Swimming, running track, wrestling, then again any contact sport will do. SEALs come from all types of backgrounds. One is not better than the other, but it helps to understand teamwork and playing with pain / discomfort. No matter what you do, you should always run, swim, and pt several times a week.  Related SEAL article Teen Prep for Navy SEAL.

2. Will Mini-BUD/s help me to prepare for BUD/s?

Yes - it will make you find out if you want to do it that is for sure. It is a good test. Right now there is no mini-buds for ROTC students due to the seal training command ramping up to increase the number of seals in the navy. They are supposed to start them back up for midshipmen from USNA and ROTC in 2011 / 2012 summers.  The instructors are busy during this time of war. But, check out Extreme SEAL Experience  for another option that many Delayed Entry Program candidates and ROTC mids are doing this year. It is operated by former SEAL Don Shipley.

3. Can weight lifting help with my training?

Yes it can but it depends on if you really need it or not.  Read the article - Spec Ops Prep

However if you insist, weights can help balance out your training with shoulder workouts and other upper body gripping exercises. Rope climbing is better for grip though or towel pullups. I do recommend adding some weights to break up the monotony of training.  But it really depends - if you are an endurance athlete - it may help you to lift weights - see related link.   BUT if you are a power lifting football player type - no need to lift - time to run and swim and PT...related link

4. I'd like to be a SEAL sniper, is there thing I could do to prepare myself for that?

Practice shooting or take a shooting course...otherwise do not sweat it until you have graduated from special forces training. You are getting ahead of yourself. Get through training first.

Thanks for sending emails that motivate me to write you back and create an article for others to learn from. I appreciate the feedback. Keep sending them at

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

  Back to


flag.gif - 12306 Bytessealpin.jpg - 3244 Bytessfjpg.jpg - 5513 Bytes1ranger.jpg - 3266 Bytes aflogo.jpg - 8052 Bytes1swcc.jpg - 3028 Bytes FBI
Published Books / DVDs

Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic 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
NEW - 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

Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

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 NEW Army PRT and Combat Readiness Test 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

Why a 52 Week Workout Cycle?

  Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral

Become a TRX Trainer   

 TRX Train Like the Pros