10 Tips for BUD/S Navy SEAL Training

navy seal pull upsMy buddy Travis Stoetzel with The Forged Athlete training camp – asked me to put together 10 Tips for BUD/S Navy SEAL Training – on how to get ready and make it through BUD/S training for Navy SEAL’s. It was great to see Travis at the Underground Strength Coach conference in New Jersey recently so I was stoked to get this article posted up and fired over his way. Check out Travis at www.travisstoetzel.com. Thanks for the opportunity Travis.

The question we get asked a lot is “Coach, do you have any advice for going through BUDS?”. Yes.. read on.

Navy SEAL training (or Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) as it is 5 Tips for Navy SEAL Trainingknown) is not for the weak in body or spirit. Here are 10 tips from a young man who went thru BUD/S twice (11 months of Hell) – and served as a Navy SEAL, this training is more demanding than anything you will experience in your lifetime.

Yes; there are a few training camps and coaches out there that assist with preparation for BUD/S. Due to their own individual situations, some candidates elect to train on their own. Either way, there are some good (and bad) ways to prepare for Navy SEAL training. In this blog post I am going to discuss some training and nutrition guidelines that will assist in your preparation for the long journey.

BUDS class 234 part 1

Check out How a Navy SEAL trains for BUDS and Real Life Hard #@$&

10 Tips for BUD/S Navy SEAL Training

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip #1:
Build Consistency now. One of the best traits you can build is to have consistency and discipline. Yes; we can run hard and swim but we have to be able to do that week after week in BUD/S. We have to be consistent and persistent. A great method to easily build consistency is to read 5 to 10 minutes every day. Pick a great book that is inspiring or good knowledge and read every day. Not occasionally or every other day. Every day. No matter how tired you are you can always read 5 minutes before bed. Get in a good habit and read and grow your mind – This will pay off at BUD/S.

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip #2:
Special Forces training is all about running! Yes the Teams come from – and operate in – a maritime environment, but BUD/S is not really about swimming. I say this for several reasons. First, the swim times for selection and timed events are not that challenging (very few people fail out of BUDs for poor swimming.) Second, you will run a minimum of 25 miles a week including running to and from PT and the chow hall, timed runs, conditioning runs, and trips to and from the surf zone. 3) It is almost impossible to get injured from swimming. This is not the case with running – as stress fractures and knee injuries are some of the most common injuries. Nutrition Tip: This means you need carbs and electrolytes to maintain performance and prevent cramping and other issues. Monitor intake before, during, and after training.

BUDS Class 234 part 2

Check out New Balance Tactical Abyss II Utility Boot @ Amazon.com

Article – 5 tips to Break in Your Boots

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip (OBVIOUS) #3:
BUD/S is incredibly stressful. Ask anyone who has successfully completed the program, BUD/S in 80% mental. The physical and mental stress of ‘Hell Week’ alone is tremendous. Constant stress, exposure to the cold, and constant physical exertion can all suppress or compromise your immune system. Nutritional Tip: Take care of your body thru proper nutrition. Though the military tries to make food more nutritious – and tries to provide more nutritious options – it is still not the quality you may be used to.
Nutritional Tip: Eat well and frequently. Supplement with vitamins and minerals if need be.

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip #4:
Be the “Gray Man”: In order to continue to thrive at BUD/S you need to stay under and off the radar. Do not call attention to yourself. Do not be loud and flambouyant (although most Team Guys are once out of the BUD/S training compound). Always keep your head down and keep the inner smile on your face. When asked to do 100 pushups or “hit the surf” you respond with a HOOYAH! and do your task. Never shake your head or look pissed off after receiving an order. This will only bring down tons of pain to your body and mind. Trust these words.

Hear What a Navy SEAL has to Say about Defeat and Rising Up Success

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip #5:
Injuries do not get better with time. Injuries will happen at BUD/S – it is inevitable – I had my share. Everyone does. The trick is not to get a debilitating injury. So how do you do this? There are two ways. The best is prevention. Be physically prepared for BUD/S. Increase strength, stamina, and flexibility. Work on technique and form for running, swimming, and calisthenics. The second method is treatment. Though nobody likes a ‘sick call commando’ there are times where you need to get help. Skin infections, chronic, unbearable injuries, etc. need treatment. See the doctor if you know you need medical help. Nutritional tip: Chronic inflammation (either from diet, injury, food intolerance, allergies, disease) not only contributes to injuries, it reduces your ability to heal. Eat a clean diet and make sure to get all of the vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients you need for training. Supplementation with quality products is a great way to augment your nutritional program and fill the gaps.

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip #6:
A question we get is “Do you want to be bulking up for BUDS training? No, You do not need to get huge muscles or bulk up for BUDS. You want to have lean muscle. Most of the exercises performed in BUDs are bodyweight exercises. Sure you will lift boats, logs, and classmates – but individual PT is bodyweight based. So, if you are carrying around 20 useless pounds of mass– it will effect performance and potentially add to your risk of injury. There has never been a Navy SEAL who thought they should have lifted more weights before going to BUD/S. Sorry – not a one. Nutrition Tip: you want to grow lean mass and lose fat. That means quality protein, aminos, glutamine, etc, to assist recovery. After all, in BUDs – “the only easy day was yesterday.” You absolutely need to recover quickly to perform the next training day. Eating lean meats for protein is best and adding a supplement protein is a big help.

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip #7:
Build Durability. You can do all the 20 minute CrossFit workouts and Tabata workouts that you want – but when the bottom line is that you need to be able to go long range and endurance all day — not just a 30 minute workout and done.

You build durability by building up and doing really long trail and beach runs (or edge of a lake, stream or pond if you don’t have the ocean). I failed out the first time through BUD/S – so when I trained again for the second time – I went on really long bike rides and runs. Some days I would bike all day for 100 to 150 miles. Yes; that took a lot of time to train – but BUD/S was my only priority and this time I knew exactly what I needed to do and did it.

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip #8:
Train functional strength and do less barbell work. No Team Guy who has ever been through BUD/S will ever say “I wish I lifted more weights getting ready for BUD/S”. I know this is hard to read and many athletes “gulp” when they read this. But it is Truth.

Yes; I know, it’s hardcore and sexy to lift weights and bulk up and strut down the beach. But the reality is that a long range endurance athlete (Special Forces Operator or trainee) needs to be able to go long and hard for an extended period of time (24 hours to 3 days or more).

Learn from my mistakes – How not to train for BUD/S

Check out Darn Tough Merino Wool Micro Crew Socks worn in BUDS

I know as I trained with barbells on my first time through BUD/S. My second time through I did not touch a barbell but I wore out a yoga mat doing Grinder PT and wore out pairs of running shoes and my shoulders were tan from running many miles on the beach and from Ruck marching on the beach and in the mountains.

Yeah; your bench press may be 300 and deadlift is 400 lbs but that is worthless if you can’t run, swim, paddle a boat and Ruck march all night and into the next day. Most guys with extra muscle just can’t do that. Train less with the barbell and more with the sand bags and Ruck (military backpack) march, long runs, long Grinder PT (calisthenics) workouts and swims and you will put your time to work properly.

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip #9:
Spend time in the field ruck marching and building up your durability and conditioning. I remember that the Ruck marches in the mountain training for BUD/S were hard. I wish I had spent more time with the Ruck and getting my body (shoulders and traps, legs and feet) ready for the load. I had never really used the backpack/ruck and I paid for it dearly. Now; many years later – I ruck march at least once every 2 weeks and keep my conditioning at a higher level.

BUD/S Navy SEAL Training Tip #10:
Get your boots dialed in. You will be issued boots at BUD/S – recently they used the Bates 922 but I heard they were shifting to another brand. But nothing is stopping you from now finding out what size boot you wear and how to trick out your boots. Wear double socks to reduce blisters. A thin pair of liner socks and a thicker pair of over socks works good. Many athletes like to use an anti-chafe balm (1.5Ounce)on their feet and crotch and shoulders to reduce skin wear.

Breaking in boots for running at BUDS

Check out the Bates 922 Boots worn at Navy SEALs BUD/S

The biggest thing is to break in your boots slowly and to make sure your feet will not blister too bad as you begin to ruck march, workout and do beach runs in them. Occasionally pour water in your boots to workout as that is how you will work out at BUD/S (many times). It is good to have drain holes in your boots to drain excess water.

Here are a few questions that our athletes have asked recently.

Question: “How do you avoid injury during BUDS?”. Probably the best way is to have a good base of endurance before you go in. Make sure you train long endurance. Build up your hip flexors with bike riding and flutter kicks. Eat well and drink lots of water. Foam roll your muscles and do 5 minute mobility workouts before you start.

Question: “What is the best way to train for BUDS?”. There is no single best way but in general you want to shoot for longer endurance workouts. Be able to run long distance in sand and have done a 10 mile sand run before you get to BUDS. Have a 20 mile ruck march in hilly terrain completed before you go. Of course you need to swim and do a lot of bodyweight exercises also. If I were training now I would be doing lots of variations on the Murph workout.

Question: Do I need to stop all weight training and only use body weight training when getting ready for BUDS? I would emphasize bodyweight workouts and do weight training with a sand bag, sled and ruck sack.

more BUDS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Question: What happens if you fail out of BUD/S? You are sent to the fleet (regular Navy on a ship).

Question: Do we have to do BUDS log PT? You have to do all evolutions unless you want to drop out.

Question: How much do the logs weigh in Navy SEAL training? You will be lifting about 30 lbs per athlete over head. That doesn’t sound like much but 2 hours later in the burning sun your body will be smoked liked cooked bacon.

Question: How can I prepare for BUDS log PT? Get a sand bag with 20 to 30 lbs and press it over head. Then do sit-ups with the bag on your chest. Then do walking lunges and squats and go back to presses overhead. This will get you ready.

Question: What is the #1 tip you have for getting through Navy SEAL training? Believe in yourself and have a strong Why. Everything else is a minor speed bump.

Question: I will never be a Navy SEAL but how do I build lean muscle to look like a Special Forces guy?  Perform bodyweight workouts and eat clean fuel (chicken and fish) and lower your carb intake.  Run swim and bike.  You can build lean muscle with a little bit of work. You can also drink milk and use a protein supplement.

Question: “What is BUDS Grinder PT?”. That is the workout that we did every morning on the grinder (asphalt parking area). PT stands for physical training. So we did bodyweight workouts mixed with yoga then did pull ups and dips and went on a run on the beach.

Question: What do I need to do bodyweight workouts? You need no gear at all. You may want to get a cheap Yoga mat but other than that no real gear needed.

Question: Is the term “feeling froggy” a Navy SEAL term? Yes; you will hear that one around BUDS and the Teams. It also popped up in the movie Lone Survivor.

Question: “Coach, what are a few things to know before BUDS? Know that it is harder than you think it will be and it is not the physical muscle that will get you through – you will have to rely on your mind to not quit.

Question: What is the initial Navy SEAL swim workout that you had to do in BUDS? I think you mean the wetsuit appreciation swim where we get in the bay and swim without a wetsuit. It was cold.

Question: What is a method for cramp prevention in Navy SEAL training? Hydrate well before events, during and after.

Question: If I fail out of buds can you try again? Probably not. You will be sent to the fleet Navy and will have to serve out the rest of your commitment.

Question: How much ruck marching is there in BUD/S? We did a long ruck march up a boulder choked canyon in BUDS. It was not fun. We rucked at San Clemente island. It was a lot of work.

Question: What are the exercises used in bud/s grinder pt? Check out www.sealgrinderpt.com/wod for daily BUDS grinder PT workouts.

Question: What is allowed during BUDS? No drugs or steroids. If you get caught DUI you will be kicked out.

Question: What are some tips from navy seals on how to get tough? I would start out ruck marching a few miles a week and slowly build up. Go through the woods on trails and get wet. This is a good start.

Question: What is a good ruck backpack to use to train for BUDS? Either get a used Alice pack or try something like the Kelty Map 3500
or the Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack.

Question: Do you know guys who went through Navy SEAL BUDS with kids? I don’t know of anyone in our Class but am sure that someone has done it. I would think that would be hard to have a family and go through BUDS but anything is possible.

Question: What is a test right now to see if your fit enough to be a Navy SEAL? Take the BUDS PST.

Question: I was just wondering what age would you consider to go ahead and try out for buds and how would u know if your ready? When your 17 you can try out
You know your ready when you have competitive mock Pst scores.

Question: What kids of swimming do you do at BUDS? We swim the combat swimmer side stroke. Most of the swims are 2 miles or more in the bay or in the ocean. You always swim with a buddy. You are given a wetsuit after your first “wetsuit appreciation swim”.

Question: What is the worst BUDS beat down that you encountered? We had a beat down on the beach… it was called “circus”.. pretty bad. Also Log PT in Hell Week was tough.

Question: How much running do you do every day during buds? Back in the old days you ran at least 4 to 6 miles a day just to get the to chow hall. Add in another 4 mile run a few times a week and you could be running 8 to 10 miles a day.

Question: What is Navy SEAL BUDS like after Hell Week? It is still very hard. The only easy day was yesterday.

Question: are you meant to fail the mental tests they give you in the Navy SEALs training? No, but it is meant to be very hard to weed out the weak candidates.

Question: Do you end up making it through BUDS with the same swim buddy? Yes; unless for some reason your buddy quits.

Question: What is a Grinder PT? What were the Grinder PT’s like in BUDS? Check out this video-

Question: What are weights to carry while ruck marching? I would start out with a 10 to 20 lb sand bag and work your way up. You can also use bricks or a large water bladder. The good thing about sand and water is that you can pour some out if needed on a really long hike.

Question: What is some running advice for BUDS? Get a new pair of shoes, don’t overtrain and make sure you rest and recover.

Question: How do you piss during BUDS? In Hell Week you have time to go to the bathroom but sometimes you may just piss in your pants or while your hitting the surf.

Question: do older guys do better in bud/s? When you say older do you mean 22 or 28 as many guys are coming into the Navy at 18 and 19 years old.

Question: Coach, what will get me through BUDS? Your why and your mental strength.

So get out there and start working out hard and remember these 10 Tips for BUD/S Navy SEAL Training to help you with your missions and goals.

Question: How do the Navy SEALs maintain consistency? They build on discipline one day at a time.

Question: What should your running mileage before BUDS be? Start out slow with 10 miles a week and build your way up. Make sure you have good running shoes and train in sand or on a nearby trail. You don’t run on asphalt much at BUDS so take that into account. Build your way up slowly to 20 and 30 miles a week. Take a rest from running every fourth week and do other things like ruck marching or rowing. If you trying for 40 to 50 miles a week that may be too much but listen to your body. Being a good runner at BUDS will help you.

Question: Coach, do skinny guys make it through bud/s? Sure; you will see all makes and models of guys make it through BUDS – the underlying factor is how bad do they want it.

Question: Can I use CrossFit for BUDS prep? Yes; just add in longer runs, swimming, ruck hikes and obstacle course work.

Question: im giving up being signed for navy bud/s. Ok; so you are already a quitter before you get to BUDS?

Question: What are products that have changed the way Navy SEALs are training? Simple stuff like better socks and boots have made a big difference. The SEAL team guys get all the great gear so there is constantly gear in the works to improve training.

Question: do navy seals emphasize strength, mass, speed, power or lean muscle? The Instructors at BUDS emphasize not being last and never quitting. They don’t give a #$%@ how ripped or chiseled you are – they want you to be nails tough and not quit.

Question: Coach, how many miles should i be able to run and swim before i go to buds? Run 10 miles on soft sand beach. Swim 2 miles in the ocean.

Question: In BUDS, how do you paddle past the surf zone? You have to work together as a team, paddle hard and time the waves.

Question: During buds training are you allowed to see your family? Yes.

Question: What are some stuff Navy SEALs say? “Teams and #@$%

Question: Navy SEALs are out in the sun all day – how do they take care of their skin? SEALs use Sunscreen, wear a floppy hat and sunglasses for skin care.

Question: What is the longest distance ran at buds? the longest distance we ran at BUDS was a 10 mile run in soft sand.

Question: How many miles should i be able to run before buds? At least have a 10 mile sand run under your belt and a half marathon road race.

Question: What is the best anti chafing product for buds? Back in the old days we used vaseline which is ok but attracts sand. The best anti chafe product for BUDS training is Bodyglide Anti-Chafe Balm
Question: what are the chances of making it through buds straight out of bootcamp? You have an 80/20 chance of making it through BUDS. 80% or more of all candidates fail. Only 20% or less make it through to graduate BUDS.

Question: is buds as bad as everyone says? Bro, BUD/S is like getting kicked in the nuts for 6 months straight. Books and videos don’t come close to showing how hard it is. It is Epic and 80% plus Fail.

Question: What is the top navy seal prep training school? We believe that SEALFIT in Encinitas is the best Navy SEAL prep training school in the world.

Question: What are workouts to prepare for special forces for beginners? Check out the workouts above and start to get ready for Spec Ops training.

Question: After buds how hard is it to get on a seal team? Every once in a while you will have some numb nuts do something stupid after BUDS and get sent back to the Fleet Navy and not make it to the SEAL Teams.

Question: What types of workouts do i need to train for buds? I would be doing workouts like Murph and Benoit wod once a week. Add in a Special Forces swim workout and ruck once a week along with a long trail or beach run.

Question: what does b.u.d.s stand for in the navy? BUDS stands for Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training.

Question: will biking help prepare you for navy seal training? I would focus on running, rucking and bodyweight exercises first – but I used long distance endurance bike riding to prepare for BUDS the second time.

Question: Does the navy seal program break your fingers? No.

Question: What types of conditioning runs did you do in BUDS? We went on long runs on the beach. We would go on the hard pack sand for most of the run but often go up and through the soft pack and sometimes into the sand dunes (sand berms) up and over.

Brad McLeod is one of the top Special Forces and mental conditioning coaches in the world. If you are interested in coaching and learning more tips subscribe to the SGPT newsletter at www.sealgrinderpt.com

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Do You Need Strength In BUDS?
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5 Things to Never Say at BUDS
Check out the BUD/S Warning Order
Check out this article on Delta Force workout
Check out this article Top 10 Special Forces Gear and Equipment
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Check out this article Special Forces boot review
Check out this article Special Forces workout
Check out this article – Army Ranger workout
5 Tips to Break in Boots

10 Tips for BUD/S Navy SEAL Training


  1. says

    #4 is a must for all boot camps (well, really, all of these are in their own way.) I knew too many people whose lives were even more miserable because they complained, they pouted, they questioned “why”, blah blah blah. And then there were the ones who were a little too “gray” and tried to scoot by with doing the barest of bare minimum, if not less. I think those guys were reamed more by the rest of us in the flight than the actual instructor.

  2. Jonathan Davis says

    Thanks for the help brad my question too brad was I’m almost 22 and I was wondering how do I know I’m ready to go into buds and what age is too late

  3. Seamus says

    Hi brad I want to be a navy seal someday but I lack the physical strength. I’ve been trying to focus on weight gaining workouts to form some sort of a base. can u give me some tips? And a lot of people focus on the physical part of BUDs. Are there also academic parts and if you dont know that subject will they teach you before hand?

    • says

      pick up a ruck sack and start to hike.
      pick up a sand bag and press overhead.
      drink milk and eat an extra portion of protein in your meal.
      study basic math and algebra.
      good luck.

  4. Shawn says

    Hey, how many bud/s classes run a year ? How hard is it to get into a class after graduation from seal prep school in Illinois ?

    • says

      From Atlanta SEAL motivator:
      Hello Brad,
      They are currently running 5 BUD/S Classes a year, they have run 6 BUD/S Classes a year in the past. The school in Great Lakes isn’t called SEAL Prep, its called BUD/S Prep and that runs about 8 weeks, after 8 weeks of Basic Training (Boot Camp). Next, about 95% of the candidates that go to BUD/S Prep end up graduating and going onto BUD/S in Coronado, CA.
      Hope all is well,

  5. Joshua says

    Really loved the tips on training, but I am curious, I’m turning twenty five soon, and hopefully through basic not too long after. My question is, is that too late of an age to go for it? Assuming that I pass the competitive mock pst scores of course.

      • Joshua says

        So. Update on progress. I went to the office, got set up for and took my asvab. Was five points shy from qualifying and when I asked my recruiters when would it be possible to retake it, they kept trying to talk me out of it. By the end of that conversation they were getting angry that I wanted to, and called me “stubborn” for thinking I would make it for mock pst. They told me my goal was unattainable.

        • says

          Your goal is always obtainable. I am an average guy and everyone told me I would not make it in the SEAL program. I eventually made it and proved it to myself.

          Hit me up Joshua and I will send you a free audio and help you work forward 1% daily towards your goals.

          • Joshua says

            I sent you my information in an e-mail. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

  6. Joshua says

    Realistically, what should I be aiming for on my runs, pushups, pull ups, ect? Not by what the charts say, but your personal recommendation for pst scores.

    • says

      Swim 500 yard breast or side stroke 12:30 9:00
      Push-ups 50 90
      Curl-ups 50 85
      Pull-ups 10 18
      Run 1.5 miles 10:30 09:30

  7. Brady W says

    I am 14 years old, and I’m looking at going towards a career in the Navy, and specifically I want to be a SEAL. I wanted to know what you think is the best way that I can begin to train and prepare.

  8. Mike says

    Thank you for the tips. As mentioned on an above post, I’m 25 years old and currently LE (SWAT). I know I’m getting close to the age cut off but how long would you say for a person in decent shape would take to be BUD/S ready assuming you dedicated 110% getting ready?

  9. joey says

    Hi Brad ! you mentioned above that a good way to prep for buds is to do a lot of variations of the Murph workout. Can you please give some of the things you would manipulate such as adding new movements in or changing up the distance/reps of the things that are already in the workout . Also how many time a week should i repeat the workout. Thanks joey

  10. Brant Williams says

    Hey brad was curious if you know of any SEAL mentors that could help me get a SEAL challenge contract or know anywhere I can find one at a recruiting station that I could just talk to. I live in California but I’ll go anywhere in the US to talk to them even the smaller cities to maybe have a better chance of getting a contract. But thanks again for all the updates you give on training and what not as well seriously you are the man and a great motivator!

    • says

      Good question Brant.
      Type into google search “SEAL motivator California” or whatever state and you will find a local motivator/recruiter to help you.
      Good luck

  11. Ian says

    When it comes to getting high numbers for the sit ups portion of the NSW pst, would you recommend training them with your feet locked by a buddy, weight, etc., or training them with your feet free?

    • says

      Good question Ian –
      train with your feet locked by buddy as that is what will be in the test.
      put your feet under a bench or dumbbells if you can.
      put a sandbag on your feet also works.

  12. Conner says

    Hi Brad, i’ve played water polo for about the past 8 years of my life. From everything that i’ve read online, it seems that I have a little advantage due to the workouts and exposure to water. What do you think about that? I’m planning on joining the Navy in about 2 years and will apply to become a NS. One last thing is everyone talks about the physical requirements, but what mental stage should I be in when entering BUD/s? If I go in telling myself that everything is easy and that eating an elephant takes one bite at a time?

  13. Matt says

    I have been practicing sit ups on pavement to prepare for grinder PT and it is giving me pretty nasty pains in my tailbone. Doing 80-100 on pavement usually brings it out. This is considering that I usually do 500+ in a training session on grass or a mat and I have no issues. I’ve studied proper technique with a SEAL before, so I don’t think form is the issue. Someone mentioned to me that I have to build calluses in that area to get used to it but I’m not entirely sure. Do you have any advice for this? I can take pain, I’m just worried about a real injury.

    • says

      Work your core as much as you can. The Instructors gave us a small foam pad for sit ups. But don’t rely on that and just build core and be ready for anything.

  14. Tom says

    Hello Operator McLeod, how was PT in BUD/S? How many sets and reps of push-ups and other exercises did you do on the grinder? Also, you didn’t do the sets straight right, the exercises were all mixed

  15. Sam says

    Brad, if you had to give one bit of advice to a smaller guy when it comes to making it through SEAL training, what would it be? Also, is there anything that you would suggest doing to increase the chances of obtaining a SEAL contract? Thanks.

    • says

      Being smaller can be an advantage in BUDS especially on the obstacle course. I would not worry about your size – just bring a big heart. Have great PST scores and a high ASVAB and get ready to go to BUDS.

  16. Brenden says

    I’m 28 and have recently been thinking about joining the NAVY and trying for BUD/S. I read a lot of guys saying they’ve been training for a couple years or close to it, in preparation for BUD/S. I’m pretty athletic and have relatively good endurance, despite not working out regularly, and have always been quick to get in good shape, I don’t know if it’s genetic or what. My question is, is it really necessary to train for a year or a year and a half before trying for a spot in BUD/S? Obviously the more you train and prepare the greater chance of success you have in completing the course. But is that something that you feel should be the standard length of time for someone to dedicate to preparing to go to BUD/S?

    Also, with regards to training routines, would it be beneficial to start running in boots to prepare for the type of running you’ll be doing in BUD/S? What else would you recommend for preparing properly for BUD/S, in addition to running, sit-ups, push-ups, dips, squats, etc.?


    • says

      You may be ready now – take the PST and see. If not then train till you ace the PST. You also want to have a 10 mile beach run completed and a 20 mile ruck. Do the daily workouts we post in the website.

  17. Dylan Pryor says

    Hey Brad, ive wanted to be a Navy SEAL since I was 7 and im 15 now. But I took the ishihara colorblind plate test online and couldn’t pass it. Ive tried looking into different careers but always come back to Navy SEAL. I know it sounds funny but I cant play like military games or listen to motivational music or watch military movies without getting extremely depressed. EVERYTHING reminds me of Navy SEALs bro and it sucks cause I can pass all the acedemic and physical requirements besides the colorblind one. I dont know what to do cause there is nothing else I want to do but become a Navy SEAL.

      • Dylan Pryor says

        No I am not but my friends dad was a SEAL recruiter and was in the navy for 26 years and I talk to him every once and a while. What is the audio about?

          • Dylan Pryor says

            Yes I would like the audio and thank you very much. And I had my mom schedule an eye doctor appointment to see how mild my color deficiency is and ill let you know how it turns out. Like I said this is all I have ever wanted to do. And thx for listening and for the help cause most other frogman ive tried to contact dont. So again thank you

  18. Matt Jacobs says

    I want to be a team guy for most of the reasons that are beaten to death. I want to be a world-class warrior, I want to fight my countries enemies, I want train and I want to learn useful skills but I have a very odd motivation to make it through as well.

    a SEAL makes 50k a year which is many times more than a standard sailor. My girlfriend (best way to discribe her) is in a very toxic enviroment and i gotta get her out of there and so i gotta keep moving forward for her no matter what because if i complete BUD/S i can get her out of there and move her out to cali with me. I am NOT doing this to impress her nor any other woman for that matter. I am doing this to help her. again she is in a very toxic place and I need to get her out of there. And my attitude is that if I have to go through hell week to make sure she is taken care of – SO BE IT!

  19. Dakota B says

    I received a DUI around March 2013 and am looking at trying to get a seal contact around November/December 2014. What do you think my chances of getting a waiver are?

  20. Branden Stetler says

    Hey my name is branden Stetler. I have my contract, I ship out July 28 to go to basic. My normal pst scores are about a 7:40 swim, 70 push ups, 90 sit ups, 13 pull ups and a 9:30 run. Any suggestions/tips to get more prepared? Thank you!
    Sincerely, branden Stetler

  21. Luke Northcott says

    Hello SGPT readers, I replied to Coach Brad’s email asking about our personal stories and journeys, and he asked for me to post mine up here. My name is Luke and I can’t see my future as anything other than a Navy Special Warfare member. I’ve always known that I’ve had the desire to serve in one way or another, but it wasn’t until about five years ago when I started looking into specifically what I may want to do as a career, and I landed on the Navy. I want to be the best in the world at what I do, and a SEAL is best in the world at what I want to do, so choosing to pursue that path was by far the easiest decision that I have ever made. I enlisted a few months ago, and am currently in the DEP, shipping out in September. I had my Special Warfare candidate application completely filled out and I was definitely eligible in every way, except for one. Everything on the paper was filled out and approved, with the exception of the medical examiner’s signature. When the examiner was looking over my file, he congratulated me on my success in getting great numbers in all aspects of my physical, saying how I was very eligible for Spec Ops. He was about to sign the paper, but then looked at the file one more time and noticed that I have slight color blindness, so he promptly recycled my application, saying that he simply couldn’t put me in that position. I am currently enlisted with a Corpsman contract with aspirations of entering the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) in order to have the more offensive role I desire with the medical training that I want, and with the hopes of working my way up to running with the SEALs. My recruiter and I are furiously fighting to get a waiver for my vision so I can enter the Special Warfare program, which is currently being reviewed by a second party past the initial waiver screening personnel. If that fails, I have been told that I may be able to get surgery through the Navy to fix my slight color deficiency. I’m going to fight to get into that program until my age is the only thing stopping me from my goal. I have always been an athlete in some sport growing up, and I want to apply my success from those team sports to Special Warfare. I want to run with people who I know have my back, and they know I have theirs. I played baseball for nine years growing up, and always enjoyed it, but never fell in love with it. Once in high school, I didn’t play any organized sport for the first two years, only running and occasionally swimming along with strength PT on my own. It wasn’t until my Junior year that I tried playing Water Polo. To put it quite simply, I sank. I was in what I thought was good shape, and there I was, dragging my team down and struggling to breathe after a few 200 meter swim sprints. I wanted nothing more than to change that. I started my Junior year as the backup goalie for Junior Varsity, just to give you an idea of my strength and skill level. I busted my ass all year and all the next summer to catch up for the years I missed. I lost ten pounds of fat that I didn’t even know I had the first week of playing Water Polo, and gained back twenty pounds of muscle over the following season. I was humbled, and I wanted more. By the next season, I was the starting goalie for my school’s varsity team. We did much better than usual for our school, making it all the way to CCS finals, which is unusual for my school. At the end of the season, I was stunned to be awarded as the Second Team ALL- League Varsity goalie of the year, meaning that all of the coaches from the thirty or so Water Polo teams in the league got together and voted that I was the second best Varsity goalie in the league. Water Polo has taught me discipline, team building, leadership, and a hell of a lot of work. I have been itching for more since the season ended. I loved being a part of a bigger team and working my ass off to help bring my team success, even if that meant getting pelted by a water polo ball five times a day, and plenty of bloody noses. I got so used to it that I ignored the pain, and half the time didn’t realize that I was spewing blood from my face until someone told me. I always wanted to keep playing, and was pissed whenever my coach told me that I had to stop for half an hour to clean myself up because he wasn’t supposed to have me bleed in his pool. All in all, I want to find direction in my coaching again from a more experienced coach and athlete to help me achieve my goals. I PT all the time on my own, but I still want more.
    Future Sailor Northcott

    • Dylan Pryor says

      Thankyou for the story cause I recently found out I had a color deficency also and imhave wanted to be a SEAL since I was 7 and im 15 now. Nice to know that there couldmpossibly be a correction surgery. I hope it all works out.just remeber the only easy day was yesterday.

      • Luke Northcott says

        That’s not the only option as well. The Navy states that they do not grant waivers for vision, but they sometimes do. I currently have my application for the waiver in the process of screening. It passed the initial screening and has been passed on to get a secondary opinion, so I have my fingers crossed

  22. Eduardo says

    Hi Brad I hope I’m not asking for to much but I need some advice and was wondering if you could help me. I’ve always wanted to be a navy seal, I currently train with my friend Monday through Friday. We do push ups, pull ups, flutter kicks, we run, swim,etc. I try to train as hard as I can but I have a problem, I have pain amplification syndrome and patellofemoral pain syndrome I’ve had it for about 3 years now and it can be very painful running and doing air squats and stuff. I can usually tough it out for about the two or so hours we work out. But I know in bud/s we’re going to be working out a lot more. I’m 17 I graduate next year and I really want to join the navy and become a seal but I’m afraid my knee and elbow pain will cause me to fail. I was wondering if you could give me advice and guidelines or something to help me achieve my goals because I really want to be a navy seal and I’m willing to do whatever it takes, but sometimes I lose motivation or get discouraged because my knees hurt and I start running to slow or I can’t keep up with my friend when we pt. If you could please give me advice or help on what to do or something, it would mean the world to me. I have seen a doctor she told me that I shouldn’t be running on asphalt that I should run on an elliptical, stretch a lot, gets lots of sleep, and not work out to much. I run on asphalt and dirt roads. I pt for about an hour. She’s says it’s ok to run on asphalt but it’s going to hurt me she doesn’t recommend it. I go to a foot specialist to get my running shoes and I usually wear insoles in my regular shoes. I started taking fish oil and a multivitamin, and I’ve been taking glucosamine chondroitin msm to keep my joints healthy. Is there anything else you recommend for me to do or other things I could take to help keep me healthy and strong and things you don’t recommend? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, it means so much to me that there’s people like you out there helping out people like me.

    • says

      We don’t recommend may supplements other than protein and fish oil. Can you swim? I would spend more time in pool? Can you ruck? I would slowly build up miles on the beach, dirt road and rivers edge.
      Stay in touch and email me in a month and let me know how that works.

  23. DJO says

    Hey Coach,

    School is coming to a close and my athletic season just ended. For a while now, I have wanted to join the navy and become a SEAL, but although joining the SEALs is my primary focus, I just want to get into Special Forces shape. I am doing simple things such as running, body weight exercises, and eventually I will get into the pool. What would you recommend I do during the summer so that everyday I will come closer to getting in BUDS shape and increase my chances of succession, but also carry this workout mentality until I join in a couple of years?

    Thanks for the help

  24. Tyler says

    Hey really liked your article. Me and my twin brother both are striving to become SEALs. Do you know if it is possible for us to go to BUD/s together?

  25. Frank says

    I was wondering if you know of any Team guys who were really overweight before joining the Navy, lost the weight, and then passed BUD/S? It seems to me that SEALS are typically very athletic guys, but I was just curious.

    • says

      I dont many guys physical condition before BUDS but most of them were in very good shape before passing the PST and better shape right before BUDS. Being overweight was probably not in the equation.

  26. Sam says

    Brad, I have heard many people say that you should train like you fight. With that being said, while doing workouts should I be wearing my combat boots and pants that are worn at BUDs and Kokoro camp?

  27. Andrew says

    Dear Brad,
    Thanks for all the great information and for doing a FAQ. It’s really helpful. To be honest I really want to be a navy seal. I’ve already talked with the recruiter and gotten one of my parents’ signatures (17). The problems I’m having are
    1. I might be color blind
    2. My family is desperate for me to change course.
    I haven’t gotten it certified yet but I am pretty sure I’m colorblind. What can I do if I am??? I’ve tried looking everywhere. In every navy seal book I’ve read the authors say that they trained with other color blind navy seals in buds and that you just have to be determined but how do i do it?? Being a navy seal is a dream. I know it might not realistic with a 60-80% drop out rate but this is what I want to do with my life! I don’t want to be deterred from being a navy seal because of something that I can’t change. Please help me hahaha I’m starting to get desperate. Thank you for your time.

    • says

      Are you talking to a SEAL motivator/recruiter now? They will give you the best updated info.
      good luck.

      Hit me up with an email and I will send you a free audio.

    • says

      Im going through the same thing you are, parents and the color blind thing…… The master chief of nsw said if you do not pass the ishihara plate test then you can take the FALANT lantern test which only mild red-green colordeficent people can pass….. Just remeber you can do all things through christ.

  28. Dario says

    Hey brad Im a athlete thats going to be a senior this upcoming year and want to join the Navy in hope of becoming a Seal team member. I was wondering if you could possibly lay out a workout for me. Any tips on how you mentally prepared for it would also be appreciated. I am also a bit unsure of the requirements to qualify for the program so any information you can provide me with would be great.

    • says

      Dario – there are many good tips in the article above.

      Also check out all of our mental tips on the website.

      Hit me up with an email and I will send you a free audio.

  29. pax ballesteros says

    Hey brad i was just wondering if you can send me an audio to help me get through BUDS. right now im running 12mins in 2 miles. I just learned CSS 2 weeks ago. Any knowledge will be much appreciated. How many workouts you do in a day and do you meditate too?

    • says

      Good to hear from you Pax – sending you an audio now.

      When I was training for the Navy SEALs I would run or bike to the gym – workout for an hour and then ride back home. On another day I would swim or ruck. I mixed up my workouts alot. I have several other articles on how I trained – just hit me up and I will send them.

  30. Dave says

    Dear Brad,
    Just located your website. It’s great. I have a question about working around injuries at BUD/S, specifically what I refer to as butt rash from doing sit-ups on a hard surface. For example although I have very good core strength and good form, even a relatively small amount of traditional sit-ups on a hard surface causes the skin to rub raw at the top of my butt and tailbone. Are guys at BUD/S allowed to come up with “MacGyver” solutions, like stuffing a small towel down the back of their pants for sit-ups during Grinder PT to minimize this? Or do guys with this relatively common problem just have to suck it up and have bloody underwear for all of their time at BUD/S?

    Thanks in advance,

  31. Bayani Gaboon says

    Yo Brad,

    I’m a Junior in high school, 16 years old, and get a lot of ladies.

    Do you believe I will have enough time to train for BUDs bestowed the conditions of my pt score right now being:

    -I have swam my whole life since i was a sperm, on swim teams
    -about 80 sit ups in 2min
    -60 push ups 2min
    -15 pull ups
    -and I can run a 3.2mile cross-country courses In 16:30-17:30, on a bad day.
    I know a have a lot more work to do, but i don’t know if im good enough. I just need to hear for a from someone that has done that.

    I want to be in prime condition before i even consider facing anyone.

    Thanks and Semper Fidelis man.

  32. Sam Waters says

    Brad, when you were preparing for buds was there a specific type of diet that you used? I’ve had a hard time sticking with the paleo diet and was unsure of what else would be good. Thanks.

  33. Colt says

    Hey Brad,
    Quick question. How long do you recommend a person who desires to become a seal to train before going to BUD/S or even a recruiter? Like 6 months, years? How long did you train for BUD/S before you went to BUD/S or Basic?
    I am not in Military shape yet, I am a college football player and I want to be smaller before I go to a recruiter. I am great at Calastetics, but not a long endurance athlete at the moment. I am 5’8 200 lbs and muscular, also what weight do you think I should go down to as well before BUD/S?

    Thanks man,

    • says

      It all depends on what your mock PST score is now. If your score sucks then you have a long way to go. If your score rocks then you need to talk to a SEAL motivator/recruiter now.

  34. Sam Waters says

    Brad, how were you able to manage preparing for BUDs while you were in college? Were there many late nights and early mornings due to academics and also workouts?

  35. Elliot Spears says

    Could you give me a quick rundown of what a typical day looks like in first phase? What should I be expecting that many don’t expect or are aware of?

  36. Jared Iannella says

    Hey Mr. McLeod!! So my dream is to become a Navy SEAL. So last year I graduated 8th grade and 2 months ago graduated 9th grade. During the middle of 9th grade I realized my weight was skyrocketing (197lbs) and I had to get it under control. I had lost 49lbs in about 4 months to pursuit my dream( Keep in mind im 15, 148lbs and about 6 feet tall) You had said in your video “How to train for Navy SEAL BUD/S( Learn from my mistakes)” that you failed a math test and went to the fleet. Here is my question. Did you do running for BUD/S on a treadmill while you where on that ship, and if so was it like soft sand? Thanks and your workouts are killer!!!

  37. David says

    I want to ask you about weight and healthy diet plans just to stay in shape or gain some weight to turn into muscle while staying healthy. Do you recommend anything pertaining to that subject/question?

    Also this is more of a personal question but how much did you weigh when you first entered BUD/S and did your weight increase, decrease, or stay the same the second time?

    I also purchased a weighted vest to use it for my push-ups, pull-ups, dips, and some runs. Do you recommend me doing anything else with it or anything I shouldn’t be doing with it?

    Also thank you for the workouts you post on the website and how much you help people the people who are interested in going into the SEALs community and want to prepare themselves more before they enter BUD/S!

  38. Matt says

    This might be a dumb question for most people but do u get to drink coffee in BUD/S? And if so how often? Coffee is my staple drink besides water! Thanks

  39. Aaron Cowan says

    Hello SEAL Grinder PT Team,
    My name is Aaron Cowan, I recently graduated high school and now am starting my first day of college classes. I will only be in school for a couple months as I am working to be a Personal Care Assistant but I dream of one day serving my country with the elites of the military world, which in my mind is the Navy SEALs. So I have two questions: 1) How do I start training over the next year to prepare for a Navy life and hopefully (and eventually) the Navy SEALs? 2) What is the best military watch I can buy at a reasonable price?
    I appreciate you taking the time to answer this.
    Thank you.

  40. Jared says

    This may also sound dumb but while you were in the fleet did you do your running on a treadmill? I own a gym membership and was curious if I could do my running on a treadmill. Im 15 so when I become a senior I would enlist into the navy.

    • says

      I ran stairs on the ship and did walking lunges.
      Running on a tread mill is a waste of time if your training to be a SEAL.
      You need to be running outside on trails and through creeks and around lakes – a beach if you can.
      Hit me with an email and I will send you a free audio.

  41. Haaris Bjotvedt says

    Hi my name is Haaris Bjotvedt. I live in Phoenix Arizona and I am 16. I have wanted to be a navy seal since freshman year in high school after I watched the Bud/s training videos. I am now currently a sophmore and have been training my self over the two years. I really wanted to talk to a former Navy Seal about my goal so I could have a better chance at succeeding at Bud/s.

  42. Todd Hatfield says

    Hey Brad,

    You probably get this question a lot but I was wondering, does size matter in BUD/S? I am not a big guy. Only 5’5″ and about 140, on a good day. For the physical screening test I have all competitive scores so fitness is not an issue. I mostly do body weight exercises including your Grinder Strength pull up program. Should I be doing more weight training to get bigger or does size really not matter in BUD/S? I am a little concerned that if I start weight lifting it would hurt my scores.


    • says

      Todd: if you are weak then you should do some weight lifting. If you are already strong then I would do bodyweight workouts only. Most SEALs are about 5 ft 8 to 5 ft 10 inches. BUDS favors smaller leaner guys. Best of luck.

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