The Best Navy SEAL Workouts

The Navy SEAL Workout is described as a bodyweight workout performed on a concrete “grinder” (parking lot). The grinder is surrounded by pull up bars and nearby are 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 bodyweight workouts with 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.

BUD/S is 80% Mental 20% Physical – Get Your Mental Edge Here

Check out part of the text 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 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.

Question: What is a good book I can read to learn more about what goes on at BUDS and how to prepare?

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.

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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 wodt.  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.

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. Machines are a waste of your time.

Exercise Workouts List – Try these

WOD #1
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
10 pushups
15 airsquats
then 1 mile run to finish

Check out the TRX Suspension Trainer Kit Designed by a Navy SEAL

WOD #2
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 your 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 Pull up bars are 2 inch thick — You need to see Grip4orce

Need Help with Pull Ups? Train like a Special Forces Operator HERE

WOD #3
Bradley wod
10 rounds for time
100 meter sprint
10 pullups
100 meter sprint
10 burpees
rest 30 seconds – repeat
post time to comments

Navy SEAL Tips – Races to Prepare you for Navy SEAL Workouts
Spartan Race

WOD #4
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

Question: What is a book that tells the real deal about BUDS and how to make it through?

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.

WOD #5
Benoit – WOD
with 20# weight vest, 3 rounds for time:
1 mile run
25 x Burpees
50 x Push-ups
75 x Squats
post time in comments

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 (not excess muscle).

Question: What does it mean when you hear the term “Navy SEAL PT Workout”? PT means physical training.

WOD #6
for time
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.

WOD #7
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

WOD #8
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.

WOD #9
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 with 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

Question: Where do the SEALs go through initial training? BUDS is located in Coronado, CA.

WOD #10
A tribute to Glen Doherty
For time:
135 pound Clean and jerk, 30 reps
Run 1 mile
15 foot Rope climb, 10 ascents
Run 1 mile
100 Burpees

Question: Do navy seals only do bodyweight exercises? Most of the time they do.

About the Author:
bradBrad 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

Related Articles:
Best Workout to Prepare for Navy SEAL Training
Check out the BUD/S Warning Order
Check out this article – Army Ranger workout
SEAL Team Six workout
Navy SEAL TRX Workout

Navy SEAL Workout


  1. Frank C says

    Next summer my goal is to do the 5.5 nautical mile swim done in BUDs. I’ll have to chunk it at first, (and make sure no lifeguards get upset), but I am going to do it !!

  2. Jay says

    Killer workout, man. Do you have any tips on workout #1 if you can’t do that many pullups or pushups?

    I’m reforming from a workout routine using weight machines so I’m not used to body weight exercises.

  3. Frank C says

    I’ve been doing the Murph. Chunking it, 5-10-15 x 20 and I feel awesome with it. I always keep in mind (what’s left of it :-), form over quantity. This allows me to work at a good pace and I’m always able to complete it.

  4. Jay says

    Hey Brad! Thanks for the tips. I’ve been trying it out (the scaled down version) and it’s doable. Just out of my reach…I had to work my way up from 5 rounds of
    5 pull ups
    10 pushups
    15 airsquats
    But now I’m up to 8 rounds! Thanks again!!

    • says

      Brad’s site is full of good stuff. A lot of people don’t know that pullups and dips are THE two basic push-pull FULL bodyweight exercises.

      So those two movements are weightlifting w/o the need for weights.

      I was over 45 years old before I learned that (age 54 currently).

      Add in a good cardio program (running, swimming, etc.) and you are good to go.

    • says

      Standing twisters you move side to side in a twisting motion with your trunk facing forward.

      Trunk rotations are where you rotate your trunk. 1 position is forward. 2 position is bending to right side. 3 is back. 4 is to left side. And back to 1

      Hope that helps.

  5. Mace Bixby says

    My question is what is the best way to prepare for the PST. I do push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups every night and plan Monday to test my max here at home. What would you recommend I add to my routine? Thank you

  6. Brandon says

    I am training to get a contract to go to bud/s. When doing cross fit workouts such as the cindy, should I be doing strict pull-ups or kip ups?

  7. Gonçalo says

    Hello my question is what is the best way to prepare myself for SEALs, i practice Krav Maga, we do alot of push ups, sit ups, pull ups, but im thinking in quit krav maga and start swimming classes to increase my cardio. What do you think Brad?

    Thank you for your time!

  8. says

    I’m curious to know how you organized your pre bud/s workouts to build consistency from week in to week out? One last thing: what is the best thing to eat after a long endurance style workout like the ones on your site?

    • says

      Good question Shogan – I try to work first on my weaknesses when training for BUDS.
      I was not a good runner so I would have a long run on my first day.
      swim on second day.
      long bike and grinder PT the 3rd day.
      so essentially 3 days on 1 day off. But I also listen to my body and rest as necessary.

  9. Martin Rogers says

    Good morning Brad,

    Thank you for the tips (I may have read this earlier in the year?). Yes; I’m quite familiar with these routines as I’ve been doing similar routines since my time in the military (Navy 86-91′). Thanks for the refresher and I’d be happy to listen to the free audio.

    Be well,
    Marty R

  10. Andre says

    I have a question. I’m a truck driver on the road. I don’t have access to a pull up bar. What other back exercises can I do instead of pull ups? I have access to kettlebells and dumbbells and i have an easy curl bar.

  11. says

    A low row with a TRX is almost like a full pullup — what some people call an Australian pullup. Your feet are on the ground, but you are pulling up most of your body weight. It’s a great substitute if you don’t have a pullup bar. On the other hand, remember that “pullup bars” are available in lots of public places, especially parks and playgrounds. People might look at you funny at first, but you get used to it, for example, if you are using a traditional swing set in a public playground as your pullup bar, they’ve probably never seen anybody do that. So what? When I go to my mother-in-law’s every year for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, I use a playground down the street from her house, and I’ll typically do a full pyramid to 15 (225 pullups, 450 pushups, 675 abs).

    I’ll be 55 years old in November, by the way, and could not do a single pullup until about age 47, when I started trying HARD, failing, trying again, failing, persisting, then reaching a goal and experiencing the joy that comes with that.

    My goal in the year 2009 was to get to 15 pullups from a dead hang. I blew past that in 2010 and reached 20 in 2011. Last test: 25.

    Thanks again, Brad.

  12. Rob Buck says

    Hello Brad,

    I have been training to go to BUD/S everyday both mentally and physically, everything I do is based around quickness and preciseness, I try to be the best overall person, but there is one thing that worries me…at 15 I was arrested for shoplifting, I went through a “diversion program” to avoid a criminal charge…I used the experience to my advantage and truely believe it was a wake up call that made me find myself and lead me to who I am today. Will this incedent prevent me from going to BUD/S and eventually becoming a SEAL?

  13. Adam Call says

    Hey Brad,
    What can I do to prepare myself for log PT? I’m focused on besting my PST score, but I feel unprepared for lifting a log over my head. Thanks

  14. Paul says

    Thank you, I really appreciate you taking your time to help those who really want to reach their goals wether it’d be become a Navy Seal or anything else in life that takes dedication, hard work, and passion

  15. solomon says

    I’m sure that by now its been brought to your attention that you gave credit to Don Mann for the highlighted book The Finishing School, when in fact that’s Dick Crouch’s work… just saying…

  16. Silas says

    Hey brad, I’m 19 years old and in college. Ive wanted to be a SEAL since I was probably 17. I’m going to college for four years and enlisting after I graduate. How should I prepare for BUD/s for the time being? Before and during training, what was your biggest motivation as well?

    • says

      i would do the daily workouts that we post up (free) and read as much as I can. My biggest motivation was that I new I had more inside of me to do better with my life.

  17. says

    What are your thoughts about adding in some handstand pushups for shoulder strength? Also what about hanging leg raises and back bridges? Awesome list of workouts!

  18. says

    Hey Brad,

    I am an AFROTC cadet and I am interested in becoming a CRO. I know at the Air Force Academy they something called Phase 0 that they use to prepare for Phase I and II. We don’t have anything like that at our detachment. I was wondering if you would know what workouts would be good for this sort of training?

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