Delta Force Training

Physical Training Exercise Programs for the Delta Force
dale comstock delta forceby Dale Comstock

Having completed one of the toughest selection courses in the world – the Delta Force Assessment and Selection Course – and having been a Delta Force Operator for almost 10 years, I have a pretty good idea what kind of mental and physical condition a man has to have to be a member of the most elite counter-terrorist and Direct Action unit in the U.S. Military.

Delta Operators are selected because of their mental acuity, above average IQ scores, flexibility, adaptability, and fitness.

They are not necessarily shaped like body builders nor do they look marathon runners.

They tend to be a good mix of both.

Their focus is on functional fitness or as some would say tactical fitness.

Looking for a tactical fitness program? Check out SGPT’s 365 Day Training System.

Their mission requires them to have a lot of endurance, stamina, and lower and upper body strength to carry heavy loads on their backs for extended distances, to ascend and descend under combat loads, to swim for extended distances and meet any other physical challenge with a more than reasonable chance for success.

Question: What is a good book about Delta Force?

We like the book Delta Force: A Memoir by the Founder of the U.S. Military’s Most Secretive Special-Operations Unit.

This book will give you a good inside look at Delta Force and their training.

It talks about daring missions and what these guys go through to knock off bad guys.

The “Unit” as it is often referred to has/had world-class athletes in its ranks. In fact, almost every Operator is a world-class athlete by virtue of the job that he does. I was a professional boxer, kick boxer, MMA fighter (1996) while in service and I can honestly say that my military athleticism was far more rigorous and demanding than my training to be a pro fighter. That is not to say that training to fight on a pro or national level is not tough; in fact, it was extremely demanding. The difference was that my military (Delta) fitness was more asymmetrical whereas fitness training for fighting was more linear and one-dimensional.

Video: Delta Force Selection Course Tryouts

So what are some of the training exercises that Delta Force Operator would engage in to develop his fitness?

Because weights and gym equipment were usually not available on deployments, nor were they solely needed for our physical fitness programs, Operators would often focus on functional fitness centered on plyometric exercises, pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, rucksack marches/ruck-runs, obstacle courses, distance and interval running, and of course weight training when available and Isometric exercise such as pushing or pulling exercises where the length of the recruited muscles do not change and remain on under tension for extended periods until muscle fatigue sets in.

Use the gear that you have on hand and create functional fitness workouts.

The Army three event Physical Fitness test that is comprised of push-ups, sit-ups, and a two-mile run was one of three physical fitness tests that was relied on to gauge Operator readiness. The older five-event fitness test was used during the initial selection process, and a ten-event test was more commonly used to assess an Operator’s overall condition. The three-event Army PT test assessed one’s ability to perform as many push-ups in two minutes for his/ her age group. The values were based on age and gender. The younger males were held to a higher standard than let’s say older males and women.

Question: What about the Delta Force in Afghanistan – where can I read more about their operations?

Check out the book Kill Bin Laden: A Delta Force Commander’s Account of the Hunt for the World’s Most Wanted Man.

I just read this book and it is amazing story about their hunt and nearly bagging one of the worlds real bad guys.

I like how it tells the story behind the scenes and gets inside the mind of these operators.

Delta Force operator training video

While on the set of NBC’s Stars Earn Stripes I was challenged to a push-up contest. My challengers wanted to see how many push-ups that I could do in one minute….

At the age of 48 I knocked out 115 clean push-ups in one minute. Who says that you can’t get stronger and faster as you get older!

The obsolete five-event PT test recorded repetitions for push-ups and sit-ups in one-minute, a two-mile run, the inverted crawl, and run-dodge and jump event over a specified distance and course of travel. The inverted crawl was an exercise that required the Operator to walk feet first, hands in trail and belly up like a crab over the course of approximately 15 meters to and fro. The Run Dodge and Jump consisted of a figure eight pattern around 4 sawhorse shaped obstacles, waste high, with a four foot trench that had to be jumped between the 2nd and 3rd obstacles. The latter had to be completed in two full laps.

The Unit Upper Body Round Robin (UBRR) was originated with Delta and now has become popular in Special Forces with some modifications. The test consisted of ten events. The events included; Push-ups, sit-ups, bar dips, pull-ups, bench press (body weight less 35 pounds) all done in one minute each for max reps with a minimum standard of six bench presses. There was a 20-foot rope climb with a 25lb-weighted vest, shuttle-run (for time), two-mile run or five-mile rucksack march, and 100m swim in boots and fatigues.

army delta force requirement


1 minute of pushups
1 minute of sit-ups
Max pull ups
Bench press body weight plus 35 lbs
Rope climb 20 feet with #25 weight vest
Shuttle run 4×25 meter
Run 2 miles or 5 mile ruck march #45
rest between intervals is 1 minute

In conclusion, the body is the vessel that carries the mind. Both must work in harmony to support each other. Lack of knowledge, motivation, or intent, will without a doubt leave the soma, the body, operating at less than optimal. Of course the converse it true as well: a weak body will eventually weaken the mind, one’s drive, and ability to perform.–>

Questions from SGPT Athletes

Question: How hard is it to join the Army Delta Force?

Answer: The Unit is considered to be one of the most elite fighting forces in the world. You have to be a squared away soldier with years of experience to be able to try out for Delta. You have a much better chance of making it through Harvard Medical School. Actually less than a chance.

About the Author:
dale comstock delta force training
Dr. Dale Comstock a retired Master Sergeant from the U.S. Army having served 10 years in 1st SFOD-D (The Delta Force) as an Assaulter, Breacher, Team Leader, and Troop Sergeant, and acting Troop Commander, 3rd Special Forces Group (Green Berets), and the 82nd Airborne Division 325th Infantry. He worked 9.5 years as a paramilitary operative for USG and concurrently worked as a contract security specialist, COO, Vice President, and President for various security companies applying his skills and knowledge on myriad of security challenges around the world for various clients. Additionally, he also has worked in the Hollywood industry as an Actor, Stuntman, and Reality TV personality (see more on Facebook)

Dale has a has a Master of Arts Degree in Business and Organizational Security Management and a Post Graduate Degree in Alternative Medicines and Therapies. Since his retirement he has started several security companies specializing in nuclear, petrochemical, personal, and K-9 security. If the day isn’t long enough, he was formerly a professor for Henley-Putnam University in San Jose, California where he taught Psychology of Violence, Technical Surveillance, Area Study Analysis, and Special Weapons. He has studied the Martial Arts for 36 years with 6th degree Black Belts in American Karate, Extension Fighting, and a 1st degree Black Belt in Ju-Jitsu. Some of his achievements include: Professional Boxer; Tough Man Championships; Vale Tudo Championships; and PKC Kick-boxing Championships. He is also an avid Body Builder along with his wife and son.

Dale authored two publications: “The 3rd SFG (A) “Combatives Manual” (1998) and “American Badass” a motivational/autobiography that was be published on the 4th of July 2013.

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