The wooden log is an integral part of Navy SEAL training at the BUDS compound in Coronado, California. It is incredibly physical but teaches teamwork during all movements. A team that works together and communicates can achieve more and work more fluidly. A team that does not communicate will suffer tremendously as the log is very hard to lift when a team is not in sync.
Check out these workouts and tips to help you with your log workouts. You can use a smaller log for individual workouts if needed.
Safety is number 1. This is not a tip – Safety is Rule number 1.
SGPT Log Workouts
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Tip #1 – You can buy a log at a local lumber yard or saw mill. Many local places cut logs for telephone poles and are already to go.
Tip #2 – Cut down a pine tree that is 6 to 9 inches in diameter. Skin off the bark. Cut the tree to 9 ft or more length. Put in a covered area to dry and let the water drain – dry out of the log.
SGPT individual log exercises
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Tip 3# – Decide who with be the leader of the Log and call out commands.
Tip #4 – Assemble all athletes by height and place them with tallest in back and shortest in front. Try to keep the athletes relatively close in height.
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Tip #5 – The leader will call out a command like “Prepare to up log” and the log crew will call out in response “Prepare to up log”. The leader will say “Up log” and the crew will say “Up log” hoisting the log up to shoulder height.
Tip #6 – When instructed to move forward – try to all move in cadence with left and right feet moving together.
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Tip #7 – Always put out under the log. If you don’t put out and work hard – someone else will have to carry your load.
Tip #8 – Never move out from under the log suddenly and without getting a command to let go of the log. Your teammates depend on you to stand tall and stay under the log and help protect them.
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Tip #9 – When the proper time comes – the leader will bark out “Prepare to down log” and the team will respond with “Prepare to down log”. The leader will then say “Down log” and the crew will say “down log” and slowly lower the log safely.
Tip #10 – the log doesn’t always have to be super big and thick and weigh a ton. You can carry a long and slightly skinnier log on your shoulders. It will be more awkward and make you use your core. Lift it overhead and you will feel the burn.
Here are some questions from our athletes and readers.
Question: How do you build up your body to withstand log workouts? I used a sand bag and carried it on my shoulder and did workouts with it. I also cut a tree log and carried it on my shoulder for long distance.
Question: “Coach, we have been doing some Navy SEAL workouts with tree logs – is that OK?”. Yes; tree logs are as good as telephone poles. Use whatever you have. A sand bag works good too. We used them at our local CrossFit gym.
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