Marine Workout Routine, Army Special Forces Workout Routine, and Navy SEAL Training Program

Do you want to build a lean body with functional strength?  Then look no further than a Marine workout routine, Army Special Forces workout routine, or Navy SEAL training program.  Think about it, these people maintain some of the best, most functional bodies in the world…not because they want to look good on the beach, but because their survival may depend on it.  As you’ll see, each of these workouts is somewhat distinct but there are general themes throughout.

First off, let me make it clear that I’ve never been in the military.  So if you’re looking for information about how to make it through boot camp or pass fitness tests, I’d recommend checking out Stew Smith’s training manuals.  Stew is a former Navy SEAL and consultant for the military’s website and you can read some of his recommendations and tips here.

Marine Workout Routine

Marines are required to take the USMC physical fitness test every six months.  The initial strength test includes pull ups, sit ups, and a 1.5 mile run.  A final physical fitness test includes a higher required number of pull ups and sit ups and a 3 mile run.  While these exercises by themselves may not sound challenging to experienced exercises, they provide a basic approach to building a functional body.

Of course, the real “fun” part about a Marine workout routine is the physical training experienced during basic training.  Training is done daily and includes stretching, the “daily dozen,” required runs, and long distance marches.  The “daily dozen” includes 3 sets of 15 reps for each of the following exercises: side-startle hops, bends & thrusts, rowing exercise, side benders, leg lifts, toe touches, mountain climbing, trunk twisters, push-ups, bend and reach, body twists, and squat benders.  I’ve also seen a revised version of the daily dozen known as the daily 16.  It’s a program that includes warm-ups, conditioning, and cool-down exercises.  You can download it here.  Highly challenging way to make it through the day in my opinion.

Other physical challenges include obstacle courses, circuit courses, or conditioning marches.  Finally, Marines are trained in martial arts and need to know how to swim.  This all accumulates with The Crucible, a 54-hour challenge that includes 48 miles of marching and mental and physical challenges, all while wearing 45lbs in addition to gear.

Army Special Forces Workout Routine

Army Special Forces training consists of running, swimming, cycling, and plyometrics combined with bodyweight exercises such as pushups, pull ups, and core training.  Because Army Rangers and Green Berets are an elite group, Stew Smith recommends trying to excel in the Army physical fitness test by completing a 2 mile run in 12-14 minutes, 100 sit ups in 2 minutes and 100 pushups in 2 minutes.

Stew Smith’s recommend workout routine includes running, swimming, and rucking.  Running should be done 4-5 times per week for 5-7 miles at a steady pace or 3-5 miles at a more intense pace.  Swimming should be done 2-3 times per week for 1,000-2,000 meters at a time.  Rucking (marching with a 50lb backpack) should be done twice per week.  In addition, every other day should include 7-10 sets of 10 pull ups, 10-15 sets of 20 pushups, and 5-10 sets of 40-50 sit ups.  Other recommend workouts I’ve seen include stationary biking as well.

Navy SEAL Training Program

The Navy SEAL workout routine is similar to the special forces workout routine.  Known as BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition School), Navy SEAL training includes a hefty dose of running, pushups, sit ups, pull ups, and swimming.  Training begins with 3 days per week that include 2 mile runs, 4 sets of 15 pushups, 4 sets of 20 sit ups, and 3 sets of 3 pull ups.  Swimming for 15 minutes is done 4-5 days per week.  By the end of 15 weeks of training, 4-6 miles of running is done 5 days per week, 3 days of strength training is done that includes 20 sets of 20 pushups, 20 sets of 25 sit ups, 5 sets of 12 pull ups, 20 sets of 15 dips, and 4-5 days of swimming for 75 minutes.  That certainly doesn’t leave much time to sit around and relax!

Training at Home

As you can see from the workouts above, the elite members of our military train using only their bodyweight for the most part.  The great thing about bodyweight training is that you can do it anywhere, even at home.  However, the challenge with the routines is that I personally don’t have the time to put in a full day of training.  I prefer my 20-30 minute intense routines.  So how can you simulate a Marine workout, Army Special Forces workout, or Navy SEAL workout?

TACFIT Commando was designed by Scott Sonnon who has experience training Israeli counter terrorism, SEALs, and various other military/law enforcement personnel.  The system helps you build functional strength so don’t expect to build big, bulky muscles.  What you can expect is high intensity bodyweight training that will help you get really lean.  Take a read through TACFIT’s free challenge if you’d like to see a sample routine.

Bodyweight Training

Summing it all up, I personally believe that the rigorous Marine workout routine, Army Special Forces workout routine, and Navy SEAL training program help build lean, functional bodies.  The flaw is that they require so much exercise on a daily basis that they’re not necessarily practical for the average person.  Instead, try to perform bodyweight training such as TACFIT, CrossFit, or even your own custom built routine.