Tactical Fitness: The "Grinder Reminder"

Tactical Fitness: SEAL training in San Diego bay
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trevor Welsh/Released

There are places that are not comfortable when doing sit-ups. Certainly, you can think of better places to practice sit-ups than on concrete, but, if you are preparing for BUD/S training, expect sit-ups and many other exercises done on concrete. At SEAL training this concrete PT area is also known as "The Grinder."  Here is a question from an observant SEAL candidate:

Hey Stew,

I have recently been working on my pushup and situp scores using the workout you designed. When I did them, I was in a room with carpet. But, I saw a Navy SEAL PST video where they do the sit-up test on concrete. I went in my back porch, which is concrete, to do some sit-ups and immediately felt pain in my tailbone from laying on the hard surface. Is there any way to avoid this pain, especially while taking the PST? 

Thanks! Sam

Sam –

Sit-ups and other ab exercises on concrete is not fun. You will do many workouts in the sand and on concrete at SEAL Training. The good news is that usually an actual PST is only done a few times at BUD/S before First Phase. You may do one of the sit-up tests on grass one day, or they could be done on the pool deck or Grinder area as well. You just have to find the right angle on your butt to lean so your butt bone (coccyx) is not rubbing directly against the concrete. I used to lean on my left or my right side just enough so I would not feel like I was breaking my butt bone.  But you still received some form of sore no matter what.

At SEAL training, we called these the Grinder Reminder, because as soon as you jumped into salt water, you were quickly reminded that you had a bloody sore on your butt. The goal is to keep it clean through the day, bandage it every so often, and let it dry out over night with some alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

Consider the Grinder Reminder as a rite of passage. It is one of those aches and pains at BUD/S that is a part of the program.

Time to get "comfortable being uncomfortable."

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 on Military.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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