Special Forces Fitness Training


Through the years, the approach to physical training within the military has evolved to coincide with the tactical requirements of the modern-day soldier. I have outlined a typical 6-week program for a Special Forces operative. Do you have what it takes?

Military Style Training

Down through the years, the approach to physical training within the militaryhas evolved to coincide with the tactical requirements of the role of the modern day soldier. Below is a typical 6-week program for a Special Forces operative. The training program below is suitable for Army Rangers, Force Recon and the SAS. Those units are required to maintain outstanding levels of fitness and hiking massive distances carrying heavy weight is not uncommon. (Only intense workout days are listed here. Do weight training or swimming workouts on your “easy” days.)running

Week 1

Day 1 

Fitness Test:

  • Sit and Reach flexibility test
  • Push Ups: maximum in 60 seconds
  • Sit Ups: maximum in 60 seconds
  • Pull Ups: maximum in 60 seconds
  • Run: 2 miles as fast as possible

Swim: 100 meter nonstop using any stroke, without touching the side or bottom of the pool.

Forced march with 30-pound rucksack: While carrying 30 pounds in a backpack, walk 3 miles in 45 minutes on a road or 1 hour if walking cross-country. (Wear well broken-in boots with thick socks.)

Day 2

Push Ups: 3 sets of maximum in 30 seconds

Run: 3 miles at moderate 8-to-9 minute mile pace

Rope Climb or Pull-Ups: 3 sets to failure

Forced march with 30-pound rucksack: While carrying 30 pounds in a backpack, walk 5 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes on a road or 1 hour and 40 minutes if walking cross-country.

Day 3

Forced march with 30-pound rucksack: 5 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes (along the road) or 1 hour and 40 minutes (cross-country).

Week 2

Day 1

Forced march with 30-pound rucksack: 5 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes (along the road) or 1 hour and 40 minutes (cross-country).

Day 2

Push-Ups: 3 sets of maximum in 35 seconds
Pull-Ups: 3 sets of maximum in 35 seconds
Sit-Ups: 3 sets of maximum in 35 seconds
Run: 5 miles at moderate 8 to 9 minute mile pace
Squats: 3 sets of 50 reps with 35 pound rucksack

Day 3

Forced march with 35-pound rucksack: 10 miles in 3 hours (along a road) or 4 hours (cross-country).soldier-exercise

Week 3

Day 1

Push-Ups: 4 sets of maximum in 40 seconds
Pull-Ups: 4 sets of maximum in 40 seconds
Sit-Ups: 4 sets of maximum in 40 seconds
Run: 4 miles at moderate to fast 7 to 8 minute mile pace
Squats: 4 sets of 50 reps with 40 pound rucksack

Day 2

Forced march with 40-pound rucksack: 12 miles in 4 hours (along a road) or 4 hours and 40 minutes (cross-country).

Day 3

Push-Ups: 4 sets of maximum in 45 seconds
Pull-Ups: 4 sets of maximum in 45 seconds
Sit-Ups: 4 sets of maximum in 45 seconds
Run: 6 miles at moderate to fast 7 to 8 minute mile pace
Squats: 4 sets of 50 reps with 40 pound rucksack

Week 4

Day 1

Forced march with a 50-pound rucksack: 14 miles in 4 hours (along a road) or 4 hours and 40 minutes (cross-country).

Day 2

Push-Ups: 4 sets of maximum in 60 seconds
Pull-Ups: 4 sets of maximum in 60 seconds
Sit-Ups: 4 sets of maximum in 60 seconds
Run: 6 miles at moderate to fast 7 to 8 minute mile pace
Squats: 4 sets of 50 reps with 50 pound rucksack

Day 3

Forced march with a 50-pound rucksack: 18 miles in 4 hours and 45 minutes (along a road) or 6 hours (cross-country).

Week 5

Day 1

Run: 3 miles at a fast 6-to-7-minute mile pace.
Swim: 500 meters Swim nonstop, using any stroke but backstroke.

Day 2

Fitness Test:

  • Sit and Reach flexibility test
  • Push-Ups: maximum in 60 seconds
  • Sit-Ups: maximum in 60 seconds
  • Pull-Ups: maximum in 60 seconds
  • Run: 2 miles as fast as possible

Day 3

Forced march with a 50-pound rucksack: 18 miles in 4 hours and 30 minutes (along a road) or 6 hours (cross-country).

Although the above program is typical of any elite Special Forces Operative around the world, the distance and weight being used are not for the untrained individual, and the word ‘elite’ cannot be emphasized enough. Never run with weight on your back; the chance of suffering an injury is huge. Always be sure to wear good boots when hiking.

So now you know what it takes physically to be as strong as a Special Forces Operative, are you brave enough to attempt the workout? Have you got what it takes? Remember, only the strong survive and to the brave and the faithful, nothing is impossible.