BUD/S and Special Forces Questions and Answers

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Question: My Navy recruiter is giving me the run around — what do I do?

Answer: I am a fitness trainer — not a recruiter. That said, first of all talk to a SEAL motivator. You can find one by using Google and typing in “SEAL motivator, your local area”. Google is your friend.

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Question: How do Navy SEALs train to ignore pain?

During the first day you are in the BUDS compound you hear the saying, “Everything is mind over matter. If you don’t mind — it don’t matter”.

You quickly learn that to get ahead you have to stop thinking about your pathetic body and concentrate on getting the job done.

Question: I am in high school now and my parents want me to go to college before becoming a SEAL. When did you go in the Navy and what would you do?

Answer: I went in the Navy at 19 years old. If I had it to do again I would go in the day after I graduated high school at 18. That is my thinking but I believe that each person will have different circumstances.

Question: What kind of socks are they wearing now at BUD/S?

I want to get the exact same type of socks so I am ready in every way.

Back in the old days we wore the old Navy Dive socks which were pretty good.

Now a days they wear Darn Tough Merino wool socks. These socks are amazing good and if you don’t own a pair you need to get some.

We also added Vaseline to keep down blisters. Today guys are using Bodyglide anti-chafe balm.

Question: How much rucking is in BUDS?

Is that a major part of the training? Where can I get a Ruck like they use in BUDS?

Rucking is not a huge part of BUDS training — but you do need to get ready for it.

You may ruck a dozen miles or so in the mountains of California but it will be through very tough terrain (think boulders, talus and rattlesnakes). Train now with a ruck so that your body will not be surprised when you get to training. Check out the ALICE Pack w/Frame as that is what they ruck with in BUDS — you can get one used for about $50.

Question from AK: What are the top 10 things you would advise a wannabe SEAL (you really want to make it) to work on the most?

#1 Believe in yourself
#2 Have a solid why
#3 Train hard before you to to BUDS prep
#4 Work ethic
#5 Solid base of bodyweight workouts
#6 Good on the obstacle course and climbing rope
#7 Long distance running base with no injuries
#8 Good at swimming and water confidence drills
#9 Take a SCUBA class or be good with fins in pool and open water
#10 Find your weakness and drill down to make them better

Question: What was hardest part of training before BUDS Hell Week? The hardest part are the soft sand runs and the goon squad. Also the beat down grinder PT and getting sprayed down with a hose early in the morning. Also surf torture was pretty tough.

Question: Do you have any suggestions on running shoe selection and preventing shin splints? We like a simple running shoe like the Nike Free. If your shoes are all blown out and worn down then get a fresh pair. Having a good pair of shoes is the first prevention for shin splints. Try not to run too many miles too quick. Take a break after a few weeks of running. Check to the video below for more tips.

Question: Is third phase the easiest phase at BUDS? It is just as hard and you get less sleep on the island as you don’t get to sleep in on the weekends. The saying “The Only Easy Day was Yesterday” is true in training also.

Question: My buddy says that they teach you water boarding at BUDS? Is this true? I think you mean drown proofing – yes; they tie up your hands and feet and make you swim a lap in the pool and bob up and down off the bottom.

Question: I have flat feet – what do you recommend for training?

You need to put some arches in your boots or running shoes to help you out. The Superfeet Green insoles are very good.

I have used these in the past with good success. You can spend $150 for custom ortho’s but that is a lot of money.  These will get you by and help out.

Question: My family and girlfriend do not want me to go in the military.

Answer: It is your choice and you need to be a man about it. If you want to go to be in the Teams, then you need to man up and get it done.

Question: What is the best single workout I can do to prepare for BUDS/? Murph would be #1. Long distance running and medium distance swimming would be next.

Question: Do you do CrossFit in Ranger School? No. You ruck long distance and do bodyweight workouts.

Question: What is the deal with special forces running shorts why are they so short? You’re probably are talking about Ranger panties — yes they are short. We also wore them in the SEAL Teams.

Question: What would you recommend for Special Forces training gear? I would have a ruck and a pair of swim fins and running shoes for starters. You can put a sand bag in your ruck along with your fins and run down to the beach. Then fill up the sand bag and go on a ruck or lift the sand bag. That would be a good start.

Question: In BUDS do you get a BUDS class diploma? Yes; you do. It also states on your DD-214 that you went to buds and what date your graduated. That is how we can figure out if you’re a fake Navy SEAL…if you don’t have a BUD/S graduation date.

Question from R.J. Are the workouts from SealgrinderPT enough to get ready for rangers/buds? What else should I be adding to these workouts? I currently add a couple miles of running and 25% more reps. Answer: Yes; these workouts are designed to get you up and ready for Special Forces and BUDS.

Big keys are to work hard now — but not overtrain. Make sure you rest and take care of your body with yoga and foam rolling. Eat a clean diet.

Question: What is a good pair of boots or shoes that Navy SEALs would use for light hiking and trail running?

A good pair is the Under Armour Chetco II Trail Running Shoes.

These are a good pair to hike and run in and are great value for $84.

Question: how heavy are the logs at buds? For each guy you will probably have about 25 to 30 lbs. Sounds light but your are beat down after a long run and burning PT session before you even start on the logs. You workout for hours with the logs and you feel like your going to die.

Question: What is the best tip for getting through BUDS? Believe in Yourself.

Question: What are the worst workouts you can do for Navy SEAL training? Working out with machines and bodybuilding types of workouts with a barbell are a huge waste of time. You may as well go get on an elliptical.

Question: Do you do many bar dips in BUDS? Yes; you do them every time after PT, then pull ups, then you do bar dips then go to the beach and run.

Question: What happens if I fail out of BUD/S or quit? You will be sent to the regular Navy to be on a ship chipping paint and washing dishes. Have fun.

Question: Is GoRuck good for training for BUDS and Special Forces? Yes; I wish I would have had GoRuck to get ready for BUDS as we think it is very good to train you.

Check out GORUCK and get Ready to Train Hard

Question: What is good advice for someone going to BUDS? Train hard now so that you don’t wash out in the first week.

Question: I heard the pull up bar at BUDS is big? How can I train for this? Yes; the bar diameter is 2 inches. Get ready and train for that now so your hands will not give out early. We like to use Fat Gripz in our home gym to simulate the BUDS pull up bars.

Question: what boots do Navy SEALs wear? The Bates 922 is issued in BUDS and the go to pair of boots but you will see guys wearing all kinds of boots in training and in missions.

Question: Do I need to stop all weight training, and only use body weight training, when training for buds?

Answer: Use weights in moderation and try to do more bodyweight workouts.

Question: Afternoon Sir, I’m going through the Naval Academy program and I’m working towards Special Warfare. I feel like my testing scores aren’t consistent with where I feel I am. Do you have anything that could help out? I guess it is probably a mental thing, just not pushing to the limit. from KH

Answer: Where do you want to be? At the top of your class? Then visualize where you want to be and how it would feel like. Now write down exactly how you will do it on a piece of paper. By doing this every day you can build mental strength to prepare you to move to the next level.

Question: Brad, My name is Timon Marshall. I am currently a student at BYU in Provo, Utah. I am finishing school within the next year and a half and want to join the military. I want to join an elite force, I just don’t want to do anything else. I have researched the SEALs, Rangers, and Special Forces. I was wondering what specifically I could do to train for that. I am on a workout program right now that involves cardio acceleration between each set. So its non-stop for 45 mins. I know that I need to increase body weight exercises and swimming, because I am not the strongest swimmer. Anyway, anything helps. Thank you for your time, and thank you for your service.

Question: What can I do if i don’t have a pool near me?

Answer: Check out this article here.

Question: Hey Coach Brad, I am just finishing up baseball season. I started lifting by myself and trying to do workouts i saw on YouTube. I want to be a Navy SEAL but I don’t know where to start to get ready for BUDS. I try to switch up with pushup and pull-ups but I am confused on some other things like when to add in running and abs.Ben

Answer: Ben, I would follow the daily free workouts that we post on our website. You really don’t need much gear and you can get in shape for BUDS.

Question: Brad—I’ve just graduated from college and have decided that I’m 100% committed to becoming a SEAL. I played collegiate water polo and have been an athlete my entire life. I’m starting my workout regiment this week for the next six months before I enlist and everything. I’ve been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and running 4 miles a day for the past few months now. I know swimming and diving will be my strongest parts of the BUDS program because I have done them all while growing up. I’m training using the Navy Special Warfare Physical Training Guide. However, I was wondering if there’s anything other than what they recommend in there to help better prepare me. Also, in terms of the math. I’ve graduated from college and took a lot of accounting and finance classes, but I still want to study before I go so I know that I can ace it. Any recommendations on material I should study. I really appreciate the help.

Answer: Congratulations Chad! I would first talk to a Navy SEAL recruiter (look them up locally on Google). I would start doing the workouts that your SEAL motivator provides you and coaches you through them on the local grinder and pool. I would read all the tips and interviews on this website. Lots to read.

Question: Hey Brad, How are you? I’ve been enjoying and utilizing the tips you send regularly. Thank you again. My question has to do with my desire to serve as apart of the teams. My challenge is that I will be 36 years of age and exceed the age limit with a waiver if I’m not mistaken. As a prior service Marine I have a working knowledge and appreciation of Naval customs and traditions (too include it’s tremendous care of special operations personnel). What do you think? Should I push the issue and try to pursue this or am I wasting time? Has this been done before? Will I need congressional resources to do this? Are there SEAL motivators and/or recruiters out there that are willing to work with me?
Lost in a pile of desire,

Answer: I am just a fitness trainer — not a recruiter. That said I think you are too old by 6 years. Have you tried to get back in the reserves?

Question: Hey, how is going ? I have a question, I am in like a awkward moment right now. So remember I went back to the originally Navy recruit station to talk back to the recruiter again. I told him I will be back couple months later to check in. But the recruiter I had that is leaving transfer me to another recruiter. He called me, and he said he will call back couple weeks. And I didn’t told him about me talking to another recruiter.So now I am talked to two recruiter , what do I do? Which one should I pick ??

Answer: You should be talking to a Navy SEAL recruiter. Look them up in the phone book or on Google.

Question: I am graduating college next year and just had a few questions about team life. If they are ‘too analytic’ just give me a short answer. I’ll take your word on it without looking into it further.

I understand that BUD/S will be tough regardless, but at what point can you allow yourself enough self-trust to say to yourself….”I’m confident enough to get started, let’s do it.” Or is it a better attitude to be….”Anything that happens I will overcome regardless if I am ready or not.” I have solid reference experiences for being ‘tough’ fitness wise…triathlons/skydive/hiking/mt.climb/weighted vest marathons etc. Crazy shit…just want to make sure that I’m still in the game.

I just feel with so much information being put out about BUD/S that the truth is being masked and I just don’t want to be missing something in my training. (I feel I do enough already and am mentally sound, it just seems like there is a fear factor not being discussed)

My friend DOR on a Wednesday night of Hell Week and told me that everything you are being told/no video will prepare you for BUD/S…you get choke slammed..peer reviewed..have to pump out higher than expected numbers…and there is much more ‘secret’ traditional things that happen as a right of passage. He’s still very emotional about it so he doesn’t say much. I’m fine with all of that I just want to make sure I don’t slack off on something and pay for it later.

Once in the teams how do you go about earning respect/is it with smaller responsibilities at first?

As for the lifestyle, how hard was it/what were the opportunities for meeting girlfriends or seeing family?

How was managing the career and finances at such a young age/is it doable if you are smart and focused?
I really can’t see beyond pursuing this career at this point in my life. I am done with being in college and would appreciate a different perspective. Instead of thinking about the gear and coolness of it all as many do when they were younger I want to get insight and envision the reality of the lifestyle.
Much appreciation for your time as a mentor and service-

Answer: You have to work hard to get respect on a team. You will have plenty of time on the weekend to meet girls and family during BUD/S — it is not a monastery.

Question: Coach Brad, My name is Tyler and I am currently a sophomore in high school. I may be to young to have these kind if dreams but I am a person who dreams big. I’m sure you have never had a question like this one before but I will ask anyway. How do I convince my parents to let me go to BUDS? My mom seems to be totally against it! Should i listen to my parents or pursue my dream?

Answer: There is a certain point in life where you have to become your own man and get out from under your Mother’s apron.

Question: Coach Brad; this might be a dumb question but do you have to be in the navy to be a navy seal, because if i don’t make it as a navy seal i was going to join the marines? Also i am not strong in math, what do you mean there was a test you had to take after hell week and dive phase. Did they teach you the math first or did they expect you to know? thanks -lane

Answer: Are you talking to a SEAL recruiter now? As he could answer all of those questions.

Yes; you must be in the Navy. You need to study and pass the ASVAB. You need to study and be ready for any math they test you on in BUDS.

Tips I recommend. 

Question: Coach Brad:
I am in the draft for an SO contract currently and I was wondering what were your PST scores before you went to BUDS? Thanks for your time. joe D.

Answer: Joe; my PST scores were about average but just enough to get me a spot in BUDS. Back then we did the test in boot camp and did not have pre-buds.

Question: Where can I find out more info about the Navy SEALs.

Answer: Check out the Navy’s website here.

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