Special Forces fitness training is not for the faint of heart. It's designed to train already fit people to go all-out under tough circumstances when they're exhausted. If you're ready to undertake this kind of training you need to run and swim a lot and do many repetitions of bodyweight strength exercises, including push-ups and pull-ups.
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Special forces fitness training has very little to do with the comfortable indoor workout of a gym with lots of mirrors and polished stainless steel surfaces. Being able to run 2 miles under 14 minutes, complete 100 sit-ups in two minutes, and 100 pushups in two minutes is just the start. Next comes swimming, pull-ups, running with a heavy rucksack and obstacle courses.
In order to achieve the level of fitness a fully trained special op has, it is important to get into the mindset of a marathon runner. Take each exercise, each training day as one step, and be ready for daily intense physical activity for the long haul. Focus and motivation are also required to overcome the fatigue that is an effect of the extreme training.
Your current fitness level will dictate where you begin your training. The important thing is to build up gradually so you don't injure yourself. Stretching before and after any workout is essential to improved performance and injury prevention.
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Swimming is a critical part of training that often gets overlooked. Swim two to three times a week for 1,000 to 2,000 meters. Once a week, swim in camouflage and boots for 100 meters to prepare you for real-life aquatic combat scenarios. Practice swimming with fins. Build up to swimming 1 to 2 miles in 30 to 60 minutes with fins. Never swim alone.
Running is the part of training everyone loves to hate. But being able to run for long distances, in hot weather and through exhaustion is crucial. Run four to five times a week at varied paces. Run at a steady pace for 5 to 7 miles, or at a faster pace for 3 to 5 miles.
Rucking practice is separate from running. Do a rucksack march carrying 30 to 50 pounds up to 6 miles two to three times a week. Every once in a while do a longer march of up to 10 t0 15 miles.
4. Strength Training
Every other day do a strength workout consisting of pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups. Do 75 to 100 pull-ups in seven to 10 sets of 10 reps, 200 to 300 push-ups in 10 to 15 sets of 20 reps, and 200 to 300 sit-ups in five to 10 sets of 40 to 50 reps.
Health and Safety
This is a serious training regimen. You should check with your doctor before starting this program, especially if you have been inactive for a while. Certain medical conditions may keep you from participating in this rigorous fitness training.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workouts to prevent dehydration. Eat enough calories to support your activity level, and include plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean protein.
Get plenty of sleep -- at least 7 hours a night, but up to 9 hours. Your body recovers from rigorous exercise while you are sleeping, and not getting enough sleep can affect your performance.
Read more: How to Get Fit for the Army Basic Training