Tactical Fitness with Stew Smith: Getting Army Special Forces Fit

Green Berets

Hi Stew,

I'm a 16 year old student, currently homeschooled, but I will most likely be graduating early with a 4.0 GPA. I'm interested in joining the Army. I'm really interested in possible opportunities with the Special Forces, specifically the 18D MOS.

My biggest concern is fitness. I've always played sports, but I was involved in a car accident last year and put on a bit of weight. Now I have a sort of bulky, broad-shoulders build.  I’m wondering if you could give me some personal tips for someone my age.

After any injury, you should thoroughly exhaust all of your time with a physical therapist. Make sure that you are cleared to start training again by a medical doctor and personal trainer.

In an injured state, you have to treat yourself like a beginner. Throw any workouts you were doing prior to the accident out the window and start over with a beginner program. This may be too easy for you at first, but the goal is not to jump right into smoke sessions after rehabbing an injury. The goal is to rebuild the foundation that you lost.

That goes for running, lifting, even pushups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.

For Army SF, you will also have to progress in rucking, so give yourself some time and only progress 10-15% in distance, time, and weight every week for at least 4-6 weeks.  Once you have built a habit of training again, you will be good to go. 

When you finish a few months of rebuilding your base, start working on the basic Army PFT (pushups, sit-ups, two-mile run).  You have to ace this to get to the training for Army SF. Check out the Army SF Workout available once you are good to go on a high scoring PFT.

Check out these links to help you get moving again:

45 Day Plan

Lower Back Plan

What is a Ruck?

PT / Running Progression

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Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles onMilitary.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books:  Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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