My 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 one of the hardest SpecOps courses in the world.
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 BUD/S?”.
Yes… read on.
Navy SEAL training (or Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) as it is known) 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.
Video: BUDS class 234 part 1
Check out How a Navy SEAL trains for BUDS and Real Life Hard #@$&
Question: What is a good book to give you an idea of what to expect at BUDS?
We like the book Breaking BUD/S: How Regular Guys Can Become Navy SEALs.
This will give you an inside look at BUDS and give you a better look at what is going on.
You will still have to train hard so don’t let up.
One thing that I found out quick was that the pool evolutions were hard and you could not be afraid to get a lot of water in your mouth, nose and lungs.
TIP (OBVIOUS) #3:
Nutritional Tip: Eat well and frequently. Supplement with vitamins. If going to BUDS only over the counter vitamins will be allowed.
I would like to get a pair and start training now.
At BUDS you are issued the Bates 922 boots which are a good all around boot that are lightweight and drain well.
The Bates boots are good for ruck march training or just wearing to the shooting range.
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 protein supplement is a big help.
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.
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.
Get a sandbag 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. Carry the bag on your shoulder for a few miles on a dirt trail or on the beach. This will help to 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 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: 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.
Question: If you graduate BUDS do you automatically become a SEAL? No, you have to go to SQT training for another 6 months and keep your nose clean or you will get dropped. After SQT you will get your Trident only if you have passed all qualifications and no fights or DUI.
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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