Navy SEAL TAP Test Pyramid Workout

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Spec ops member honors fallen Navy SEAL.
A member of Special Operations Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve, with his ballistic vest, is in the middle of completing the push-up portion of the ‘Chuck Heavy’ workout of the day on May 3, 2020, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The WOD is conducted in remembrance of Chief Petty Officer Charles H. Keating IV, a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in action four years ago that day. (Spc. Christopher Estrada/Special Operations Joint Task Force-Levant)

Sometime throughout the training pipeline, a SEAL candidate (BUD/S/SQT or BUD/S Prep student) will be introduced to the SEAL Tactical Athlete Program (TAP) test.

The SEAL TAP test is a challenging new tactical fitness test that tests more of the elements of fitness than the standard Navy SEAL physical screening test does. You also have to master the SEAL and BUD/S PST in order to get to the training. (Also see the BUD/S PST Classic Week Workout.)

The SEAL TAP test is the new Tactical Athlete Program (TAP) where the focus of the test is strength, power, speed, agility, muscle stamina and endurance (run and swim). Here is a way to mix in all the elements into a variety of pyramids. The following are important to performing well, as your success through Hell Week could depend on them:

Navy SEAL TAP test

Standing long jump

Pro agility test is the 5-10-5-yard shuttle run

Body-weight bench press for max repetitions

25-pound pull-up for maximum repetitions

Deadlift (+1.5 body weight) 1 rep, but can you build up to twice or more times your body weight?

300-yard shuttle run -- 12 x 25-yard runs (sprint nonstop)

3-mile run

800-meter swim

Pull-up and deadlift pyramid 1-10/10-1

Pullup pyramid 1-10 (with body armor, 25-pound weight vest)

Do a reverse pyramid with deadlift and build up to body weight and 1.5x body weight in the 10 to 1 sets.

1 pull-up, 10 deadlifts

2 pull-ups, 9 deadlifts

Keep going until 10 pull-ups and one deadlift (optional to increase weight on sets 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) Add in a shuttle run of 25 yards x 2 throughout the pyramid for a total of five times.

Bench press/long jump pyramid 1-10

Bench press x 1 at body weight -- see how high you can go up the pyramid.

Add in long jump, full 300-yard shuttle and 5-10-5 agility (odd/even sets)

  • Long jump x 1 (odd sets)
  • Add in a pro agility test (5-10-5-yard shuttle run on the even sets)
  • In place of either of the above, try a 300-yard shuttle run in full

Finish with a three-mile run and 800-meter swim. You can do this as part of the same session or make it part two of the workout day. Or save the cardio events for a different day altogether.

You can mix in some running and swimming pyramids if you prefer.

Getting used to this test and all of the events in a single workout is critical to preparing fully for this long, challenging test. You may need some days where you just focus on the cardio events or strength events to improve certain elements, but the overall conditioning that the test requires is not to be underestimated.

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 stew@stewsmith.com.

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