Can You Complete a Navy SEALs Workout Routine?

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The Navy SEAL workout is tough and isn't for everyone. Follow the routine and you will get results fast. This workout program has been used by the Navy SEALs to get their new recruits ready to pass their final exam. The workout includes a Category I (a beginner's workout for those who are currently inactive) and a Category II routine (designed for those who are currently active).

Before starting the SEAL workout, you may want to see if you can pass the Army Physical Fitness and Combat Readiness Tests.

Category I Workout Routine

The goal of Category I is to work up to 16 miles per week of running. Then—and only then—you can continue on to the Category II exercise. Category I is a 9-week buildup program.

Running Schedule 

  • Weeks 1 and 2: 2 miles per day, 8:30 pace, Monday, Wednesday and Friday (6 miles total for the week)
  • Week 3: No running as there is a high risk of stress fractures
  • Week 4: 3 miles per day, Monday, Wednesday and Friday (9 miles total for the week)
  • Week 5 and 6: Monday 2 miles, Tuesday 3 miles, Thursday 4 miles, Friday 2 miles (11 miles total for the week)
  • Weeks 7, 8, and 9: Monday 4 miles, Tuesday 4 miles, Thursday 5 miles, Friday 3 miles (16 miles total for the week)

Physical Training Schedule 

Perform the following exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Week 1

Week 2

  • Pushups: 5 sets of 20 reps
  • Situps: 5 sets of 20 reps
  • Pull-ups: 3 sets of 3 reps

Weeks 3 and 4

  • Pushups: 5 sets of 25 reps
  • Situps:  5 sets of 25 reps
  • Pull-ups: 3 sets of 4 reps

Weeks 5 and 6

  • Pushups: 6 sets of 25 reps
  • Situps: 6 sets of 25 reps
  • Pull-ups: 2 sets of 8 reps

Weeks 7 and 8

  • Pushups: 6 sets of 30 reps
  • Situps: 6 sets of 30 reps
  • Pull-ups: 2 sets of 10 reps

Week 9

  • Pushups: 6 sets of 30 reps
  • Situps: 6 sets of 30 reps
  • Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps

For best results, alternate exercises. Do a set of pushups, then a set of situps, followed by a set of pull-ups, immediately with no rest. Then progress again with the next sets of each exercise.

Swimming Schedule 

Sidestroke with no fins four to five days a week.

  • Weeks 1 and 2: Swim continuously for 15 minutes
  • Weeks 3 and 4: Swim continuously for 20 minutes
  • Weeks 5 and 6: Swim continuously for 25 minutes
  • Weeks 7 and 8: Swim continuously for 30 minutes
  • Week 9: Swim continuously for 35 minutes

If you have no access to a pool, ride a bicycle for twice as long as you would swim. If you do have access to a pool, swim every day available. Swim four to five days a week for 200 meters in one session as your initial workup goal. Also, you want to develop your sidestroke on both the left and the right side. Try to swim 50 meters in one minute or less.

Category II Workout Routine (Advanced Level)

The Navy SEAL Category II workout routine is a more intense workout designed for those who have been involved with a routine physical fitness training program or those who have completed the requirements of Category I workout routine. Do not attempt this workout unless you can complete week 9 of Category I workout.

Running Schedule 

Run the stated number of miles Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

  • Weeks 1 and 2: (3/5/4/5/2) miles (19 miles per week)
  • Weeks 3 and 4: (4/5/6/4/3) miles (22 miles per week)
  • Week 5: (5/5/6/4/4) miles (24 miles per week)
  • Week 6: (5/6/6/6/4) miles (27 miles per week)
  • Week 7: (6/6/6/6/6) miles (30 miles per week)

For weeks 8 and 9 and beyond, it is not necessary to increase the distance of the runs; work on the speed of your 6-mile runs and try to get them down to 7:30 per mile or lower. If you wish to increase the distance of your runs, do it gradually—no more than 1 mile per day increase for every week beyond week 9.

Physical Training Schedule

Complete the following sets and reps Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Weeks 1 and 2

  • Pushups: 6 sets of 30 reps
  • Situps: 6 sets of 35 reps
  • Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Dips: 3 sets of 20 reps

Weeks 3 and 4

  • Pushups: 10 sets of 20 reps
  • Situps: 10 sets of 25 reps
  • Pull-ups: 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Dips: 10 sets of 15 reps

Week 5

  • Pushups: 15 sets of 20 reps
  • Situps: 15 sets of 25 reps
  • Pull-ups: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dips: 15 sets of 15 reps

Week 6

  • Pushups: 20 sets of 20 reps
  • Situps: 20 sets of 25 reps
  • Pull-ups: 5 sets of 12 reps
  • Dips: 20 sets of 15 reps

These workouts are designed for long-distance muscle endurance. Muscle fatigue will gradually take a longer time to develop doing high repetition workouts. For best results, alternate exercises each set, in order to rest that muscle group for a short time.

Pyramid Workouts

After you have reached your Category I and II standards, you can do a pyramid workout with any exercise to vary your workout. The object is to slowly build up to a goal, then build back down to the beginning of the workout.

For instance, pull-ups, situps, pushups, and dips can be alternated as in the above workouts, but this time choose a number to be your goal and build up to that number. Each number counts as a set. Work your way up and down the pyramid.

For example, if your goal is 5 reps, the number of reps you would do for each exercise would be:

  • Pull-ups: 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1
  • Pushups: 2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2 (two times the number of pull-ups)
  • Situps: 3,6,9,12,15,12,9,6,3 (three times the number of pull-ups)
  • Dips: Same as pushups

Swimming Workouts

Swim four to five days per week.

  • Weeks 1 and 2: Swim continuously for 35 minutes.
  • Weeks 3 and 4: Swim continuously for 45 minutes with fins.
  • Week 5: Swim continuously for 60 minutes with fins.
  • Week 6: Swim continuously for 75 minutes with fins.

At first, to reduce initial stress on your foot muscles when starting with fins, alternate swimming 1000 meters with fins and 1000 meters without them. Your goal should be to swim 50 meters in 45 seconds or less.

Stretching and Physical Training

Since Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are devoted to PT, it is wise to devote at least 20 minutes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to stretching. You can stretch for 15 minutes before a workout, after warming up, stretch after a workout, or do stretching as its own separate activity.

A good way to do stretching is to start at the top and go to the bottom. Stretch to tightness, not to pain; hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Do not bounce. Stretch every muscle in your body from the neck to the calves, concentrating on your thighs, hamstrings, chest, back, and shoulders.

For more details about the Navy SEAL workouts and other guidelines, visit their website.

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