Surviving BUD/S Review

navy seal surviving budsDo you have what it takes to make it through Basic Underwater Demolition School (BUD/S)? This program is renowned as the toughest Special Forces military school in the world. The fail rate is 80% – only 20% of honed warriors make it through to stand on the podium to receive their diploma and go on to the US Navy SEAL Teams.

Surviving BUDS Review by Brad McLeod
I graduated from BUD/S class 132. We started with about 140 candidates. We finished with 16. It was grueling to say the least. There were many days – almost every day – that I wanted to quit.  But I did not want to let my family down and I knew that I would regret it forever.  There is a big difference between thinking about quitting – and  standing up and walking towards the bell and actually ringing it.

BUD/S was all about survival for me.  I remember falling asleep while walking with a boat on my head. I remember the searing pain of Log PT and thinking I was going to die or my shoulder would fall off or something worse. I wobbled and bumbled around like a drunken sailor drunk on lactic acid and torn muscle tissue.

Question: What is a good book to let you know more about what to expect going into BUDS?

We like the book Breaking BUD/S: How Regular Guys Can Become Navy SEALs.

This book will give you a better idea of what to expect so you will not be so shocked when you get there. You will of course still have to train really hard to get ready.

Video – SEAL training Part 1 of 4

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There have been a few books about BUD/S and a couple videos on YouTube.  It is still hard to get a “real” picture of what is going on.  The overall fatigue is mind numbing and the overall work load is off the charts.  Few can really explain what it is like to walk this walk.

When I first got to BUD/S, I thought I was on top of the world and was sure that I was committed and dedicated. After getting the crap kicked out of me for 2 weeks – there was not much wind in my sails. I had to dig deep and find my true reasons for being there. This is why Phil has put the subject of Commitment first – if your not committed – all the muscles in the world will not get you through 6 months of living hell.

Question: I want to start training now. What kind of boots do they wear at BUDS?

The guys are issued Bates 922 Boots, these are a great value boot and will last for years if you take care of them.

They also drain well and are light weight.

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The second video is on physical preparation for BUD/S. So many athletes and trainers get this part wrong. Many think that pounding weights and putting on muscle are the ticket and that you can “brawn” your way through it.  The opposite is true.  BUD/S graduates are lean and mean, agile and hostile.  No bodybuilder muscles to show on the beach for this crew.  Yes; they all have six pack abs but not the big burly worthless biceps that many of us think.

Question: What kind of socks do they wear to prevent blisters? I want to train just like they do in BUDS.

The guys wear the VErmont Darn Tough socks. These are very good and tough socks that will last a long time. You can also add some body glide balm to your feet to help prevent blisters.

BUDS Class 234 – Welcome to BUDS

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The third video is on mental preparation. As y’all know from – we believe that mental preparation separates the winners from the losers.

Top athletes like Michael Jordan and Herschel Walker are students of mental preparation and that is what makes them the best.

Mental prep is key to overcome fears and build confidence as you navigate the daily land mines of BUD/S.

Question: How do the trainees keep their crotch from getting chafed?

The guys use compression shorts to keep the sand out of their crotch.

They also add body glide balm on their underarms, nipples and crotch to reduce chafing.

SEAL training part 4 of 4

Only the Strong Survive – Do you have what it takes to be a Navy SEAL – Surviving BUD/S

The fourth and final video is entitled the “Do’s and Dont’s at BUD/S”. This is a key feature as you can be lean and mean and ready to go but make one wrong move and you will have Instructors on top of you like a hobo on a ham sandwich. It is a shark pit at BUD/S and way too easy to make a mistake and be sent to the fleet. I am living proof of that as I made it through BUD/S over half way through my first time and then failed a math test. I was sent to the fleet for a year and had to come back and start at day 1 and go through Hell Week again.

Question: What is Bodyglide and how can I find it?

Check out Bodyglide Anti-chafe Balm here. This stuff is liquid gold to keep your body from chafing when your training hard on long endurance events. Tri-athletes use it and it works like a charm. This stuff has been tested at SEALFIT Kokoro, BUDS and GORUCK with great reviews.

Question: Coach, how do I know if I can make it through BUDS? Have you taken a mock PST? What is your score? Is it competitive? That is the first step to tell you if you can move to the second step.

Question: What is a good navy seal buds training video? We like the buds training videos of Class 234.

Question: I am training for BUDS but only weigh 130 lbs and need to build muscle. What do you recommend? Do a lot of bodyweight exercises like pushups and dips and pull ups and drink milk and eat a clean diet with greens and protein.

Question: What is the math to know for BUDS? You will need to know basic math and algebra for Dive physics and dive tables.

Question: Where can I learn more about joining the Navy SEALs? Check out the website here:


Brad McLeod is married with two kids and an all around average family guy. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and despite training all the wrong ways – made it to Navy SEAL training in Coronado, California.

He flunked out of Navy SEAL BUD/S training after making it over half way through (6 months of grueling training). After a year in the Fleet Navy on the USS Cleveland (LPD-7) he came back to graduate BUDS and serve on SEAL Team Four.

His story is simple–Don’t Ever Quit on your Dream! Put one foot in front of the other and fall forward.

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