The Navy SEAL Workout is often described as a bodyweight workout performed on a concrete “grinder” (parking lot). The grinder is surrounded by pull up bars as well as dip bars. After the workout the SEALs go for a long run on the beach or swim in the ocean. This type of training has created one of the most elite fighting forces in the world.
Typical workouts are composed of calisthenics, stretching and yoga poses and last at least an hour. Then the Frogmen walk over to do pull ups and a few sets of dips. Then they jog to the beach (up and over the dunes) and then a 30 minute to one hour run or swim. SEALs train for long endurance but still must be able to remain strong and move their equipment and bodies long distance for speed.
Check out this excerpt from a recent interview with Brad McLeod, Navy SEAL
“How a Real Navy S.E.A.L works out Daily”
Brad: We did a ton of bodyweight exercises but supplemented with weights when possible. During a typical week on base I would ride my bike to the ST-4 compound. We would have a SEALgrinderPT bodyweight workout for 45 minutes and then go for a 3 mile run. At lunch I would lift weights or we had a tall rope that I would climb.
I would ride my bike home in the afternoon and add extra miles. Other mornings in the week had more grinder PT, an ocean swim, obstacle course and longer run (10 miles) on Friday. We realy mixed it up with variety and worked hard on being able to move our bodies quickly over short and long distances.
When out to sea, I did grinder PT bodyweight workouts on the back fan tail of the ship and ran stairs and around the helicopter launch pad. The pullup bar was the ships railing on the deck above. I made do with what I had in tight spaces. We had a bench press but it was tough to lift heavy weights with a moving ship rolling and rocking in the ocean. I would still give it a go and got in some killer workouts.
We have daily bodyweight workouts posted up daily on our website www.sealgrinderpt.com. These are workouts like I did on the ship so you can do them anywhere. So if you want to train like a Team Guy this will give you something to try out and help your Special Forces Workouts.
We like The Finishing School: Earning the Navy SEAL Trident by Dick Couch. This is a great book to get you started on your journey towards BUDS or if you just want to read more about what it takes to create an elite warrior.
The biggest key to the workouts is to have endurance and durability. There are a lot of athletes out there that are strong – or can do a 10 minute CrossFit WOD. But imagine carrying a rucksack and gear for miles, rappelling down a cliff, swimming 3 miles and then assaulting the enemy during a rainstorm? You have to be built for the long haul. So typical, SEALs workouts are longer and loaded to the gills with endurance.
Work on building your legs and hip flexors. Biking, running and swimming long distance are great activities. Doing box jumps and plyometric work are also great exercises. Stay away from any machine or heavy weights as this is not good at all for our purposes.
When you go to BUD/S (or any Special Forces) training – you will never touch a barbell. If you need a weight use a sand bag or ruck (military backpack) loaded with sand or gear. Flip tires, pull a sled, push a prowler if you must – but go easy on the barbell. Again – don’t touch a machine (Nautilus, etc.) as you are wasting your time. That all comes from a guy who spent 11 months in BUD/S. Again, machines are a waste of your time.
Exercise Workouts List – Try these
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run
wear 20 lb weight vest if you have it.
If training for SEALFIT Kokoro wear 20 lb ruck.
Beginner to advanced athletes can partition wod
20 rounds of..
5 pull ups
then 1 mile run to finish
Run 2 miles
swim 1 mile
Run 2 miles
note time and enter in log book.
Equipment List – Gear That You May Need by Brad McLeod
We get asked all the time about what gear is needed to begin training. To tell you the truth – you don’t need much gear as SEALs make do with what they have. Imagine training on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You will not have access to great gear so sometimes you have to make your own and improvise. I like to use an exercise mat for doing ab and core workouts. Even if your on a ship – you can find a place to run – so a good pair of CrossFit style workout/running shoes is nice to have.
If you’re training for BUD/S or Special Forces then we highly recommend you get a good pair of boots like the Bates 922 boot (these boots are worn at BUD/S). Slowly break in your boots and use them for ruck marches and flutter kicks. If your going to try the workout “Murph” you should work your way up to a 20 lb weight vest. Go ahead and get a good weight vest. You may spend a few extra dollars but cheap weight vest tear apart easily under a load – so you get what you pay for.
If I had BUD/S training to do all over again I would invest in a pair of wood gym rings. The gym rings are versatile and you can do pull ups, ring dips and ring pushups with them. They are portable and you can take them with you in your ruck to the playground or beach for a workout. Another piece of gear I like are using kettlebell as they are portable and really help you build up your core. Any good garage gym should have a set of pull up bars and you can also do toe to bars, and set up your gym rings to hang from them. A note – The BUD/S pullup bars are 2 inches thick, and this is a game changer. Try these out on a standard bar or if you decided to not listen and lift weights – Ballistic Grips.
10 rounds for time
100 meter sprint
100 meter sprint
rest 30 seconds – repeat
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Navy SEAL Tips – Races to Prepare you for Navy SEAL Workouts
Navy SEAL Pull up pyramid
5 minute shoulder mobility wod then…
pull ups 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
then run 3 miles in sand or waters edge along a creek.
Those athletes that continue to work long endurance and get away from muscle building workouts will do the best in the long run at BUD/S training.
We just had an athlete ask us the question: “What is a good pyramid pull up workout that you guys did stationed overseas? Here is a cool workout…
5 minute shoulder mobility then..
20 walking lunges
pull up pyramid 1-2-3-4-3-2-1
25 walking lunges
pull up pyramid 1-2-3-4-3-2-1
each round add 5 lunges.
it is a full body workout and you can count rounds till failure
Check out the book Breaking BUD/S: How Regular Guys Can Become Navy SEALs.
It gives a good look at what happens in BUDS and how you can train to make it through and succeed.
Question: “What happens if you get kicked out of Navy SEAL training?”. You will be sent to the fleet (Navy ship) and serve out the rest of your tour chipping paint and washing dishes and maybe using some skills you learned along the way.
Benoit – WOD
with 20# weight vest, 3 rounds for time:
1 mile run
25 x Burpees
50 x Push-ups
75 x Squats
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Question: Do SEAL workouts build muscle? You will build some muscle but more than likely you will lean out and get more cut or ripped. If you want to build more muscle you will be better off doing a bodybuilding type workout. Most SEALs are not overly muscled up as this gets in the way when you are swimming and carrying a ruck sack on a mission. The ideal SEAL is 5 ft 9 inches and 165 lbs and lean. They can easily touch their hand far behind their neck and shoulder blade (no excess muscle hampering movement).
Question: What does it mean when you hear the term “Navy SEAL PT Workout”? PT means physical training.
GI Jane WOD
100 burpee pullups on 8 ft bar
Run 3 miles for time
Post time in comments below.
Question: What is a Navy S.E.A.Ls favorite workout? That is a no brainer. Either a grinder PT and run or doing the Murph WOD. That is how we roll.
Question: What are BUDS training exercises that I can do on a ship? Check out the workouts above.
Four rounds for time of:
100 foot Walking lunge with 45lb plate held overhead
30 Box jump, 24 inch box
20 Wallball shots, 20 pound ball
10 Handstand push-ups
*if no wall ball then do burpees
Question: Is it good to run with weighted vest to prepare for Buds? I would suggest hiking with the vest and ruck at least once a week. I would only run with a vest while doing the Murph wod.
Question: What is a good Navy SEAL workout plan? Check out the routines here
Tadpole Run – WOD
Run 400 meter
30 walking lunge
Run 400 m
40 box jumps (24 inch)
Run 400 m
50 air squats
Run 400 m
30 walking lunge, 30 box jump, 50 air squats
Run 3 miles
Question: What are some good bodyweight workouts that you did in the Teams? Check out the daily workout that we post as it has our grinder PT workouts we did on the Teams.
Question: What kind of ab workouts do you do in BUDS training? We did a lot of sit-ups, flutter kicks, good mornings, cobra stretch. Tons of core work.
Run to pool.
Warmup 250 meters freestyle
Swim 500 meters sidestroke no fins for time. Note in training log.
500 meters with fins beginner swimmer
1000 meters with fins intermediate swimmer.
1500 meters with fins for advanced swimmer.
cool down 250 meters freestyle.
then…. Perform pool confidence drills. Drop a weight to deep end in pool. With a 1 foot long piece of cord – dive down and tie a square knot around it. Surface. Go back down and untie knot and tie a bowline. Surface. Go back down and untie and swim for distance. Note distance. Never do these drills alone, always have a swim buddy.
Run back to your barracks or base.
Question: Where can I find the US Naval Special Warfare SEALs training & fitness manual pdf? Check here at http://www.military.com/military-fitness/navy-special-operations/navy-seal-fitness:
Question: Where do the SEALs go through initial training? BUDS is located in Coronado, CA.
A tribute to Glen Doherty
135 pound Clean and jerk, 30 reps
Run 1 mile
15 foot Rope climb, 10 ascents
Run 1 mile
Question: Do navy seals only do bodyweight exercises? Most of the time they do.
Question: Hello Coach brad,
My name is Brantley Williams and I was previously a Marine Corps dep but got out. I am currently in college studying to be a firefighter. I am 21 years old I am a physically active person, I have been all my life. I’m planning on once I get my associates degree to enlist into the Navy to become a SEAL. I have several work outs I do but was wondering what work outs you would suggest. I was also wondering if you have any advice with preparing for Bud/s.
Talk to you again soon
Answer: Check out the ones above.
About the Author:
Brad McLeod knows first hand about mental toughness after being kicked out of a top tier Spec Ops training unit. He failed out of BUD/S the first time after failing a math test (made it through Hell Week and Dive Pool Comp). He came back a year later and graduated and served as an operator at ST-4.
Today Brad is one of the most sought after mental conditioning coaches in the world having recently returned from Ireland, Southern California, Pennsylvania and parts unknown in north Florida. SEALgrinderPT audios and Ebooks have been downloaded in 20 different countries around the globe. Contact Brad firstname.lastname@example.org