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Navy SEAL Pushup & Dip Workouts

author image Marcus Scott
Marcus Scott has been writing on international politics, local news and culture since 2004. He has written articles, op-eds, columns and edited for student organization presses and blogs, including the Roosevelt Institution Defense and Diplomacy blog. In 2005 and 2006 Scott attended the Journalism Education Association national conferences. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Davis.
Navy SEAL Pushup & Dip Workouts
A woman is doing pushups in a gym. Photo Credit webphotography/iStock/Getty Images

The Navy SEALs are special operations forces for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Special Operations Command. To this effect, SEALs are required to be in the best athletic shape possible to effectively carry out their missions. This fitness level includes a high degree of upper body strength. SEALs incorporate many pushups and dip reps into their workouts to develop the muscle strength necessary to perform at this level.

Pushup Standards

The pushup is an exercise that works the shoulders, arms, chest and core muscles. To do the exercise, lie on the floor in a prone position, stomach down. Point your toes on the floor and place your palms face down on the floor, approximately shoulder-width apart. Push your body up using your arms, away from the floor. Once your arms are fully extended, lower your body down back toward the floor until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. This is one pushup repetition.

Dip Technique

Dips are an exercise that heavily work the upper body, including the shoulders, arms and chest. To do dips, you will need parallel bars of some sort, most commonly provided by a Roman chair, but any bars will do. Grip the bars, and suspend your body upright with your arms locked. Lower yourself toward the floor, until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle, then push back up until your arms are fully extended again. This is one repetition of dips.

Pushup Workouts

Navy SEALs do a high amount of pushups throughout pre-training for Basic Underwater Demolition/Scuba, or BUD/S, school, as well as at the school itself, and in their normal training. SEAL applicants should be at a strength capability of 75 to 100 pushups in a single set. SEALs train for this level of fitness by doing multiple sets of pushups at high reps, such as as 20 sets of 20 repetitions or greater.

Dip Workouts

Dip workouts are also utilized by the SEALs in high rep, high set workouts to build long endurance muscle strength. SEAL pre-BUD/S workouts include working out three days a week, doing three sets of 20 dips the first two weeks, 10 sets of 15 dips the next two weeks and increasing the count to eventually reach 20 sets of 15 dips.

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