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Top Five Questions of the Week

I had several emails this week that require short and sweet answers, so I have compiled a list of the top five questions that were most commonly asked. They are the following:

Are pulls ups and dips considered resistance training? 

Yes any weight - even your body weight - is considered resistance training. If you are a person who the doctor or trainer recommends adding resistance training into your program, chances are you are probably ONLY doing cardio workouts or a beginner to exercise.

Resistance training is moving various joints of your body through a full range of motion with applied force on them. Some examples: weight training (machines, dumbbells, or barbells), calisthenics (pushups, dips, crunches, pull-ups, squats, and lunges -- the resistance is the force of gravity), rubber bands, and even common household chores such as yard work.

The best part of resistance training is that you will burn more calories in the long run and build muscle fibers (which will in turn increase your metabolism more so than cardio alone). You still need your cardio for cardio-respiratory benefits and fat burning, but resistance training will enhance your results significantly.

Which kind of crunch is best for targeting the abs where the navel is?

I recommend doing a group of exercises that not only target the stomach muscles, but help balance out your torso by focusing on lower back muscles too. In fact, anytime you do abdominal workouts you should always add lower back exercises to the equation. See one of my favorite articles / workouts -- Rest with Crunches for more ideas.

But the answer to your question is that you have to treat your stomach muscles as one wall of muscles that are affected by any movement that brings your sternum / pelvis closer together. Therefore, it is difficult to isolate any particular area of the upper, middle, lower abs because that all work together.

Also see Lower Back Plan

I am former military and current a large metro-area police officer. Can you help me with “How to Get in SWAT Shape”? I need to focus on how a patrol officer can get himself in shape to join the SWAT team.

Funny you should ask that. I just came out with another book titled the SWAT Workout that helps a full range of police officers -- from recruits to SWAT Team members.

This book has over 25 weeks of workouts in it and focuses on programs for recruits to ace the Police Academy, for active police officers to prepare for SWAT training or other Emergency Response Teams (ERT), as well as a SWAT team maintenance plan.

It was developed from over five years of training law enforcement officers at every level prepare for various PT tests. The best advice is to make time before your police shirt to workout, 7 out of 10 people decide to NOT workout after a long days work even if it was planned to do so. Running, upper body strength and stamina is highly emphasized in any special tactics team. Read some of the articles in the Article Archive for ideas on how to get started on your own.

I am not quite clear about the 100 pull-up workout you have in one of your articles. You write, "Try this workout - 100 pull-ups in as few sets as possible.  Rest with 100 abs of choice and 50-100 pushups then repeat pull-ups for the next set until you reach 100 pull-ups." Do you do 100 pull-ups first, then do abs and push-ups, and then repeat another 100 pull-ups?  

No - The goal in this workout is to reach 100 pull-ups in as few sets as possible with active rest in between sets -- for instance:

Do max pull-ups until you fail

“Rest” with max pushups 1:00

“Rest” with abs of choice in 1:00

Optional 1/4 mile run in 90-100 seconds

Repeat above as many times as necessary until you reach 100 pull-ups...then you are finished.

When swimming with fins -- what fins do you recommend? Did you have UDT Duck Feet or Rocket fins? 

If you are training to go to BUDS, PJ, Ranger or another special ops group that requires swimming with fins, you will probably be issued with UDT Duck Feet or US Diver Rocket Fins. Since you will get these for free, buy a nice pair of fins for yourself that are comfortable for open water swims or SCUBA diving. Any dive shop will have some to try, but you have to get the kind of fins that require booties (dive sock) so they have a large foot well. I like Cressi Frog Fins or Mares Power Plana. If money is tight, you can find these on eBay for under 25-30 dollars.

Please feel free to email me -- . I try to answer all emails or respond with links to find your answers. Enjoy the workouts and remember to visit the Fitness eBook Store.

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
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
- 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

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

Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral

TRX Train Like the Pros


Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format