Workout of the Week: Full Body Mix of Challenging Selection Prep Events

Competitors bear crawl through a mud pit during the annual Marine Special Operations Command All-Terrain Competition (Released Photo By: Jason Jimenez)

When on the journey to prepare for challenging military, special ops, firefighting, and SWAT type training programs, once you have mastered the fitness test to get selected to the training, you need to practice some events that will better prepare you for the rigorous challenges ahead, such as: weighted runs, log pt, boat carries, rucking, running stairs, carrying equipment and running a fast pace for timed runs.

This workout is best performed on a track or known distance field area with a hill or bleachers, but it can also be done on a treadmill and indoor facility with basketball court or large training area. If you are doing this on your own, mark off the following distances (400m run, 25m,50m,100m sections) or run back and forth a 25m distance (court, driveway, street, beach, etc) multiple times.

Run 1 mile warmup

Repeat 10 times Run 400m at goal mile pace (ie 90 seconds for 6 min mile pace) Run/Walk fast 100m fast (carrying 40-50 lbs. sandbag on shoulder or head) Bear crawl 25m fast Farmer walk 50m or up/down bleachers 1 minute Plank pose for the time it took you to run 400m

The above section is a way top prepare for such specific events that require a strong core and cardio combination. Running at your goal timed run pace is a way to help you learn the “goal” pace of your timed runs. If you want to run a 6, 7, or 8 minute mile pace, your 400m would be 1:30, 1:45, 2:00 respectively. Running and walking with a moderately heavy sandbag is a good way to replicate the feel of walking with a log on your shoulder, boat on your head, or other gear on your shoulder.

Bear crawls are classic exercises that typically occur to make events more challenging. It is considered a mobile core exercise (moving plank pose) that also challenges mobility of the shoulders, knees, and hips.

Farmer walks are classic exercises to simulate equipment carries, boat carries, and mixing walking up/down a flight of stairs is an even better way to add leg strength / endurance to the programming. Grip is critical for the tactical athlete and is adequately tested in this event.

The plank pose with a goal to run faster so you can plank less is a fun goal oriented way to add intensity to multiple sets of this workout.

Run 1 mile cooldown or Swim the following: Swim 500yds timed Tread 10 minutes Dynamic stretches in chest deep water 10 min Stretch 5-10 minutes

Not only are these good ideas for preparing for challenging selection program events, they will also help with many of the job tasks required of the tactical professional in the military, special ops, police, and fire fighting services.

About Stew Smith CSCS

Stew Smith is a Navy SEAL Veteran who supports the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  He also has over 1000 articles on Fitness Forum and 100 Podcasts focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

As a writer on the tactical fitness topic, Stew creates multi-week training programs to help you prepare for any test, training program, or just lose weight and get fit for duty. has the answer.


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