Adding Extra Tasks to Tactical Fitness Routines

Pvt. Michelle Strang, a supply specialist with HHC, 1st ABCT, 1st Cav. Div., pushes herself through the 100 m "burpee" broad jump during the Iron Hammer Challenge Dec. 10 at Fort Hood, Texas. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Christopher Dennis, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 1st Cav. Div.) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Christopher Dennis)

Tactical fitness is a bit different than your average workout. Here's a way to work hard, perform certain skills under physical stress and get a good workout that will help you in fitness testing and performance.

In this particular workout, we will tie knots since it's a skill needed in many tactical professions. It's also an actual test performed underwater during SEAL training. As you advance, hold your breath while tying the knots.

Warm up with Burpee Pyramid 1-10

Knots needed for this exercise: bowline, becket bend, square knot, right angle knot, clove hitch. Attempt to tie these knots only when you're winded during the workout.

Repeat four times.

Pull-ups max: If you do not get 20 reps, supplement with heavy pulldowns.

Bench press 5 heavy

Barbell complex nonstop

  • 5 deadlifts

  • 5 hang cleans

  • 5 push presses or 15 MJDB#2

  • Sit-ups for one minute

Run 2.5 miles (easy pace)

This is part of the progressive running plan we started on Jan. 1, and we will increase mileage each week by 10% for 26 weeks.

Swim a 500-meter warmup.

Repeat five times.

200-meter Combat Swimmer Stroke (CSS) or tread without using your arms for as long as it takes to swim 200 meters.


If you're prepping for or are in the Army Rangers or Special Forces, or need general Infantry prep, skip the swim and ruck for one hour.

Enjoy adding in events into your workout. Some other tasks to incorporate are math problems, navigation problems, dive physics problems, and you even can build up to shoot/no-shoot scenarios.

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. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

Want to Learn More About Military Life?

Whether you're thinking of joining the military, looking for fitness and basic training tips, or keeping up with military life and benefits, has you covered. Subscribe to to have military news, updates and resources delivered directly to your inbox.

Show Full Article