Top 10 Military Workout Books

In the pursuit of peak physical performance and unyielding mental fortitude, the world of military workouts serves as an unparalleled source of inspiration. These workouts, designed to forge elite soldiers and warriors, encapsulate the essence of discipline, resilience, and functional strength. As we embark on a journey through the literary arsenal of fitness, our exploration centers on the top 10 military workout books that have withstood the rigors of time, becoming beacons for those seeking to elevate their fitness regimens to new heights.

From the battle-tested routines of elite special forces to the structured discipline of military training manuals, these books not only reveal the secrets behind military fitness but also encapsulate the ethos of a warrior – a fusion of physical prowess, mental acuity, and unwavering determination.

Join us as we unveil the pages that hold the keys to unlocking the extraordinary, where every chapter is a call to action, and each workout is a step closer to the embodiment of military-grade strength and resilience. Welcome to the frontline of fitness literature, where the top 10 military workout books await to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

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#10 “The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness” by Stewart Smith

Stewart Smith’s “The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness” stands as an authoritative and comprehensive manual, offering invaluable insights into the rigorous training regimens that shape the elite Navy SEALs. Drawing on his extensive experience as a former Navy SEAL and renowned fitness expert, Smith delivers a holistic guide that not only outlines the physical exercises crucial for Navy SEAL preparation but also delves into the mental toughness required to endure the demanding training. The book’s structured approach covers various aspects of fitness, including cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, flexibility, and endurance, providing a well-rounded foundation for those aspiring to reach the pinnacle of physical excellence embodied by the SEALs.

What sets Smith’s guide apart is its accessibility. It caters not only to those with military aspirations but also to fitness enthusiasts seeking a challenging and well-structured workout regimen. The book’s emphasis on adaptability allows readers to tailor the program to their fitness levels, making it suitable for a broad audience. Whether you’re gearing up for military service or simply aiming to enhance your overall fitness, “The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness” is a thorough and motivating resource that transcends its military origins, inspiring individuals to push their physical and mental boundaries.

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“You Are Your Own Gym” by Mark Lauren

In Mark Lauren’s “You Are Your Own Gym,” readers are ushered into a world of practical fitness that transcends the need for complex gym equipment. A former Special Operations instructor for the U.S. military, Lauren distills his wealth of experience into a bodyweight-centric fitness guide, reinforcing the notion that the most potent gym you’ll ever need is the one you carry with you — your own body. This book dismantles the misconception that effective workouts demand expensive machines, emphasizing instead the efficiency and efficacy of bodyweight exercises. Lauren’s approach is not merely about building muscle; it’s a holistic journey toward functional strength, flexibility, and endurance, grounded in the belief that anyone, anywhere, can transform their physique with commitment and determination.

What sets “You Are Your Own Gym” apart is its adaptability to various fitness levels. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, Lauren provides progressive routines that challenge and engage without the need for specialized equipment. The book goes beyond just offering exercises; it educates readers on the principles of effective training, empowering them to create personalized routines tailored to their specific goals. In Lauren’s world, every individual has the potential to be their own gym, sculpting a resilient and capable body without the constraints of conventional fitness establishments.

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“Ranger Handbook” by U.S. Army

The “Ranger Handbook,” a venerable guide published by the U.S. Army, stands as a comprehensive manual embodying the principles and tactics of the elite Army Rangers. Serving as a foundational text for those aspiring to join the Ranger ranks, this handbook provides a wealth of knowledge on military skills, tactics, and techniques. From small unit tactics and combat techniques to navigation, survival, and first aid, the handbook covers a diverse array of subjects essential for soldiers operating in high-stakes and dynamic environments. As an official publication of the U.S. Army, the Ranger Handbook serves as a beacon for excellence, reflecting the rigorous training and operational expertise of one of the world’s premier special operations forces.

What distinguishes the “Ranger Handbook” is its emphasis on adaptability and versatility. The manual recognizes the dynamic nature of modern warfare and equips soldiers with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in a wide range of scenarios. Whether it’s executing a successful ambush, conducting reconnaissance, or providing medical aid on the battlefield, the Ranger Handbook is a testament to the Army Rangers’ commitment to excellence and the pursuit of peak military proficiency. As a resource trusted by military professionals and enthusiasts alike, this handbook not only guides soldiers through the intricacies of their training but also serves as a symbol of the elite standards upheld by the U.S. Army Rangers.

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“Special Ops Fitness Training” by Mark De Lisle

Mark De Lisle’s “Special Ops Fitness Training” transcends the conventional fitness guide, offering readers a glimpse into the demanding physical conditioning routines of special operations forces. Drawing upon his experience as a former Navy SEAL, De Lisle provides a comprehensive roadmap to achieving elite-level fitness. The book’s workouts are strategically designed to build strength, endurance, and mental toughness – the trifecta essential for those navigating the challenging landscapes of special operations. With a focus on bodyweight exercises, running, swimming, and functional movements, “Special Ops Fitness Training” tailors its approach to emulate the physical demands faced by elite military units, making it a valuable resource for both aspiring military personnel and fitness enthusiasts seeking a challenging and purpose-driven regimen.

What sets De Lisle’s guide apart is its holistic approach to fitness, recognizing that true operational readiness extends beyond physical prowess. The book delves into the mental aspects of training, offering insights into the psychological resilience required for success in high-stakes environments. Whether you’re aiming to meet the rigorous standards of special forces selection or simply seeking an elite-level workout regimen, “Special Ops Fitness Training” is a no-nonsense guide that encapsulates the spirit of military fitness, pushing individuals to surpass their limits and attain a level of conditioning that extends far beyond the ordinary.

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“Army Physical Fitness Training FM 21-20” by U.S. Army

The “Army Physical Fitness Training FM 21-20,” issued by the U.S. Army, stands as the official manual guiding soldiers through the rigorous physical training required for military service. This comprehensive guide lays out the foundational principles of fitness training, focusing on the development of strength, endurance, and overall physical readiness. The manual outlines a systematic and progressive approach to physical fitness, covering exercises that target various muscle groups, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility. With its emphasis on discipline and a commitment to a standardized training regimen, the “Army Physical Fitness Training” manual serves as an essential resource for soldiers seeking to meet and exceed the Army’s high standards for physical preparedness.

What distinguishes this manual is its adaptability to individuals at different fitness levels. The progressive nature of the training program accommodates both beginners and seasoned soldiers, fostering a culture of continuous improvement. The manual not only provides a structured approach to physical fitness but also instills the values of discipline and perseverance—attributes that are crucial not only on the training field but also in the varied challenges faced by military personnel in their operational roles. As a cornerstone of military fitness doctrine, the “Army Physical Fitness Training FM 21-20” reinforces the U.S. Army’s commitment to producing physically resilient and operationally ready soldiers.

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“Tactical Barbell” by K. Black

“Tactical Barbell” by K. Black is a distinctive fitness manual that caters specifically to the needs of tactical athletes, including military and law enforcement personnel. The book goes beyond the traditional approach to strength training, offering a comprehensive and systematic program that integrates strength, conditioning, and performance optimization. K. Black, drawing from his experience as a tactical athlete and strength coach, provides a blueprint for individuals who require not just raw strength but also the agility and endurance necessary for real-world operational scenarios. “Tactical Barbell” introduces a periodization system that allows users to cycle between strength and conditioning phases, ensuring a well-rounded and adaptable level of fitness essential for those in physically demanding professions.

What sets “Tactical Barbell” apart is its pragmatic approach to training. The program is designed to accommodate the unpredictable nature of tactical professions, where physical demands can vary widely. The book’s emphasis on flexibility and scalability makes it accessible to individuals with diverse fitness levels and schedules. As a result, “Tactical Barbell” has become a trusted resource not only for military and law enforcement personnel but also for anyone seeking a disciplined and effective approach to comprehensive physical fitness. It stands as a testament to the author’s commitment to preparing individuals for the challenges they may face in the line of duty, where peak physical conditioning is not just an asset but a necessity.

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“The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228” by Dick Couch

In “The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228,” Dick Couch provides a gripping and intimate portrayal of the grueling training and transformation undergone by a group of individuals striving to earn the coveted title of U.S. Navy SEALs. Couch, a former Navy SEAL himself, takes readers deep into the heart of BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training, offering a firsthand account of the physical and mental challenges faced by the candidates. The book captures the essence of SEAL training, revealing the intense selection process, the relentless physical conditioning, and the indomitable spirit required to endure one of the world’s most demanding military programs.

Couch’s narrative not only provides a glimpse into the rigorous training regimen but also delves into the camaraderie and teamwork essential for success in the elite SEAL community. As readers follow Class 228 through the unforgiving crucible of BUD/S, they gain a profound understanding of the sacrifices, determination, and resilience demanded by the path to becoming a Navy SEAL. “The Warrior Elite” stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication of these warriors and offers an inspiring narrative that goes beyond the physical challenges, exploring the character and ethos that define the SEAL community.

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The US military has a variety of workouts and fitness programs designed to build strength, endurance, and overall fitness. Here is an example of a typical US military workout:

Warm-up: The workout typically starts with a warm-up, which can include exercises such as jumping jacks, lunges, squats, and push-ups.

Cardiovascular exercise: This can include running, cycling, rowing, or other forms of cardio exercise. The length and intensity of the exercise will vary based on fitness level and goals.

Strength training: The workout may include bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and squats, as well as weightlifting exercises such as bench press, deadlifts, and squats. The focus is on building muscular endurance and strength.

Core training: Core exercises such as planks, sit-ups, and leg lifts are included to build strength in the abs, obliques, and lower back.

Cool-down: The workout typically ends with a cool-down period that includes stretching exercises to improve flexibility and prevent injury.

Staying physically fit is extremely important for members of the US military for a number of reasons:

  1. Mission readiness: Military operations often require strength, endurance, and the ability to perform physically demanding tasks for extended periods of time. Being physically fit helps ensure that military personnel are ready and able to perform their duties effectively.
  2. Injury prevention: Physical fitness can help prevent injuries by improving strength, flexibility, and balance. This is especially important in combat situations where a single injury can significantly impact mission readiness and overall effectiveness.
  3. Mental health: Physical fitness has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. Exercise can help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall well-being. This is especially important for military personnel who may experience high levels of stress and trauma during their service.
  4. Long-term health: Maintaining physical fitness during military service can help prevent long-term health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. These conditions can impact overall quality of life and reduce life expectancy.
  5. Professional development: Staying physically fit is also important for career advancement in the military. Promotions and career opportunities often require meeting physical fitness standards, so maintaining physical fitness is essential for career growth.

In summary, staying physically fit is crucial for members of the US military for mission readiness, injury prevention, mental health, long-term health, and career advancement. The military places a high emphasis on fitness and requires all service members to meet certain physical fitness standards to ensure that they are ready and able to perform their duties effectively.


The US military places a high emphasis on fitness and requires all service members to meet certain physical fitness standards. Military fitness programs are designed to build strength, endurance, and overall fitness to prepare service members for the physical demands of their duties.

If you know of additional recommended books to add to our list of the Military Workout Books – please add in comments below.

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