Real quick, I was wondering what your take was on using the APFT plan in conjunction with regular PT (running of some kind MWF and strength T,TH).  We had some Soldiers that will have adverse action taken against them if they don’t pass the APFT in 30 days.  They have to do mandatory afternoon PT in addition to regular am PT and I was wondering if this would be advisable with regards to overtraining, etc.  Thanks in advance for your help!

– C.

Too much, especially for guys who can’t pass the APFT in the first place. The plan is no joke. 

Make the afternoon strength focused – heavy and low volume, and leave the upper body alone. – Their chests should be smoked by the pushup intervals in the APFT plan.

You could also do the low back complex in the afternoon – but their abs should be smoked by the sit up intervals.

– Rob


I just bought the Sandbag training plan because I wanted to focus on the basics for a little while. However, I do have access to a full gym. Would you suggest doing the heavy work on "strength" days with barbells instead of just a sandbag + vest? Or maybe just use barbells for the days that have "**don weight vest if ____ is too easy"?

Thank you,
– L

Sure you can mix and match. The Sandbag plan’s ability to build strength is limited somewhat by the bags themselves. The great thing about the barbell is how easy it is to progress. For example, if you’re doing sandbag back squats and the heaviest bag you have is 80#, about the only way you can make them harder is to put on a weightiest – a 25# jump – and even then, it may not be quite enough. 

With a barbell, however, you can just keep adding plates. This flexibility to progress is what makes the barbell the most useful tool in the weight room. What I’d recommend is using the barbell for the slow lifts – squats – and the sandbag for the total body lifts – cleans, Curtis P’s ect. 

– Rob

I am a senior at West Point, and a member of one of the Sandhurst teams here.  Your site was recommended to me by an SF friend as a good training resource for the annual Sandhurst competition: a squad-level, 2 day military-skills competition held at West Point. 
BLUF: do you have a training plan/suggestions that meet the needs of long-distance, load-bearing runners who also need to be strong?
The competition involves mountainous terrain over approx 25 miles in full kit, while testing basic military skills like marksmanship and land nav etc.  The competition also has a bunch of buddy-carries, tire-flipping, humvee pushes, and zodiac-carrying etc.  It’s a timed course so we run as much as possible. 
When we train, we usually have about 2-3 hours a day to get all the skills training and physical conditioning knocked out. 
Typically we will run in the mornings (switching between longer endurance runs and sprints or tempo runs) and lift in the evenings (focusing on big, multi-joint lifts like squats and cleans and presses).  I don’t think we’ve been very efficient with this, and guys have got burnt out a lot.  I feel like we are always sacrificing our cardio for our lifts or vice versa.  
I really like your free operator workouts, but how would you work something like that into a running program? 
– J.

I’ve got a couple things for you. 

First, we have a Running Improvement Program which can be used in conjunction with the Operator Sessions:

Second, just last week I finished a Sanhurst Competition Training Plan which is specifically designed to prepare athletes for the fitness demands of the comp. It includes strength work in the weight room, running, rucking, ruck running, and Mini-Events, and is designed to be completed the 8 weeks directly before the comp. You could also have your team run it now, do some strength in the winter, then run it again right before the comp:

– Rob


I’m a SEAL applicant looking for a new training program and am very interested in your selection based programs. I’ve achieved solid all around scores for the PST so I’m looking for something more "sport specific" to BUD/s. My current scores are:

500 yd swim – 7:40; Push ups – 128; Sit ups – 129; Pull ups – 23; 1.5 mile run – 8:00

I’m debating between a couple of your programs and was wondering if you have any input as to which I should purchase. Here are my main goals:

1) Increase over all strength, particularly the "combat chassis," with out seeing a large gain in weight. This is my weak point – endurance comes easy for me.

2) Increasing my weekly running mileage from ~40 mpw to 60-70 mpw

Obviously your BUD/s program is at the top of the list, but I’m really only looking to swim 2-3/week to maintain form with my conditioning coming from elsewhere.

I’m also considering one of your strength plans and supplementing with a marathon running plan and a basic calisthenics routine to maintain my PST numbers.

Lastly, your DEVGRU plan has caught my attention. Running 6 days/week with 2-a-day’s sounds like it could fit my running needs and given the legacy test I would assume there is a large strength component. How much does rucking play a part in this plan? Could I replace that with some other form of cardio or would you recommend I go ahead and ruck even though it’s not a major player at BUD/s?

Sorry if this question’s a little long winded

Thanks in advance!
– W.

Everything hinges on your boot camp/BUDs date.

The closer to BUD/s, the more sport specific you want your training to be for selection. I’d recommend you complete the BUD/s plan directly before BUD/s – if it’s possible. I understand the Navy runs it’s own BUD/s prep program which you may do instead. 

Between now and then I would urge you to consider training for durability – which for me, means strength. Going into BUD/s with a high relative strength will simply make your harder to injury. You know that in the weeks directly before selection you’ll be hitting the cals/swimming/running, etc., so between now and this direct prep, I believe you should be building and maintaining strength. 

Couple options for you:

1) RAT 6 Strength ( plus supplemental swimming in the afternoons. The Rat 6 Strength plan is simple, hard, solid strength training and you could supplement it in the afternoons with swimming on your own, or our Swimming Improvement Plan:

2) The DEVGRU Plan includes an interesting combination of calisthenics, swimming, strength training, beach runs/rucking, and mini events – because it has many more activities, you won’t gain as much strength doing it as Option 1 – but it would be a good second choice:

– Rob


     My girlfriend and I are trying to plan a trip to climb the Grand Canyon, I haven’t really done any hiking or like events since I was in the Boy Scouts like 10 years ago. A, since you all do a lot of hiking is there a course you would recommend? B, I’ve been doing your Operator Sessions for a few months now but my girlfriend is starting to get back in shape, I already have your Afghan Plan, will that plan suffice or is there another one you would recommend? 

    Couple other things, loved the Hybrid Sessions the last few weeks. I was so motivated I did some days wish there was another 8-10 min event though. The day with the Weighted Pull Ups I did an extra event since I had some time. It was a great grip and shoulder blast. It looked like this:
   10-1 no rest between sets:
      40lb DB Floor Press
      40lb DB Swings
      80lb DB Farmers Carry x 80 feet (the carry was only one carry per set)
   It did take me about 30 mins to do, so I guess it wouldn’t really be a good extra session to add to the hybrid sessions. I probably could have worked a bit faster but I didn’t want to drop the 40lbs on my face. 
     Also, I have all the gear necessary for a LE session, if you need people to test sessions I would love to help. 

     Thanks for your help, I love all the advice and FAQ you put up on your site, it keeps me busy at work. 

– G.

The Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Plan would be a great way to train up for the Canyon. The other I’d recommend is the Peak Bagger Plan from our sister site, Mountain Athlete:

Awesome on the little work cap hit. Simple, hard work!

– Rob


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