Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Navy Seal?

Me? A navy seal? Not likely, but it’s fun to take a look at the physical requirements necessary to ‘make the cut’ for consideration into this elite group. Women won’t likely be navy seals anytime soon, after all, it appears that the military has just recently included pull ups as a requirement for women. You can read my rant on that HERE.

navy seal

I recently finished reading the book ‘Lone Survivor’ by Marcus Luttrell. It was a compelling read that I couldn’t put down. In the middle of the book, in the heat of the battles, I had to stop reading before bed time because I had crazy scary dreams of being hunted by the Taliban (one more reason I couldn’t be a Navy Seal – scary dreams. I’d say that’s pretty legit)

The author, Marcus, goes into great detail about the preparation to become a SEAL and as the book progresses, it’s clear why they need to undergo such rigorous training. It’s more than physical toughness that these men need to possess, they need to be mentally prepared for pretty much anything.

Okay, I’ll say it, I think that any man that’s a Navy SEAL is a real life hero. There are so few heroes in our world these days, it’s inspiring to read about these real life warriors.

navy seals

I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and I’ll continue on with his next book, ‘Service’.

I highly recommend the read. Since I’m a person that appreciates a physical challenge, it’s amazing to read about the physical challenges that these men face in training and in battle.

I have to share one of the many lessons I learned that has direct application to every thing I do every day. When Marcus was going through the brutal physical training, he listened to one commander, MacQuire, that told the candidates to ‘just do today’, ‘just do these five minutes’ and ‘don’t think too far into the future of the training to come’.

I find this sage advice for any situation. I know I do much better when I handle a problem at hand and not worry too much about all the other potential challenges coming my way. Marcus says he called on this advice daily as he got through each physical challenge. He knew that there would be more of the same grueling physically and mentally demanding challenges ahead, but if he thought too much about those he’d be likely to quit, as most of the candidates did. So whether it’s in my training or in life in general, I have to give a shout out to MacQuire for his wise words.

I looked up some of the standards for BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs):

500 Yard Swim – Between 8-12:30 minutes using the combat swimmer stroke, side stroke or breast stroke

Pushups – Minimum 42 in 2 minutes (100 to be competitive)

Sit-ups – Minimum 52 in 2 minutes (100 to be competitive)

Pull-ups – Minimum 8 pull-ups with no time limit (you cannot touch the ground or let go of the bar) (15 to 20 to be competitive)

1.5 Mile Timed Run – Wearing boots and pants, maximum time allowed 11:30 (9 to 10 minutes to be competitive)

NOTE: To qualify for a contract, a prospective candidate must meet the minimum requirements. It is recommended that the candidate strive for the optimum fitness standards and beyond for better chances at qualifying for BUD/S.

I’m pretty sure I’d have little trouble reaching the competitive levels for each of these tests. I was a competitive swimmer so even though I haven’t been in the pool in years, I know that I could manage 500 yards in that time. The push ups, pull ups and sit ups (even though I don’t train with or recommend doing the traditional ‘sit up’) would be no problem. The run may be a challenge. I don’t have army boots and I hate running, but I think I could manage it (especially if the Taliban were giving chase 🙂

Having said this, I know I’m NOT in the least bit qualified to be a Navy SEAL.

As a kid I couldn’t handle the ‘stress’ of playing ‘Kick the Can’ in the dark. Something about being chased or caught made my knees weak. I’m pretty sure it was just the dark that got me. I was all fine with ‘Hide and Seek’ in the daylight.

So maybe I’m just scared of the dark.

challenge workouts

Ya, that’s it.

I could totally be a Navy SEAL as long as my missions were in the day. I’m pretty sure the Taliban, or who ever the enemy would be, would gladly give me a ‘time out’ in the dark and resume the battle when the sun came up (those enemies are fair like that, just ask Marcus Luttrell).

Here’s a cool workout that I found on the Navy SEAL website:

– 100 pull-ups in as few sets as possible Run 1/4 mile in 90 seconds in between sets of pull-ups
– 200 pushups in as few sets as possible Run 1/4 mile in 90 seconds in between sets of push-ups
– 300 sit-ups in as few sets as possible Run 1/4 mile in 90 seconds in between sets of sit-ups


Your goal is to complete this workout in as little time as possible. (I think I’ll wait till the snow melts before trying this one outside in the park).
Here’s another cool workout that you can use with pretty much any exercise. It’s called the PYRAMID. It’s a staple to SEAL training for PT (physical training).

(See how I’m picking up the lingo? I’m practically a SEAL already 😉

The basic pyramid goes from one to five steps, (but it can go all the way to 15 in the most rigorous of training sessions). You start with one rep of exercise one, two reps of exercise two, three reps of exercise three. For each step of the pyramid, you double the reps until you get to step five. After step five, you start to descend the pyramid. If you were to do pull ups, push ups and sit ups (the basics in SEAL PT), it would look like this:

Go Up the Pyramid:
(or half pyramid workout)

-Set/Step 1: 1 pullups/2 pushups/3 situps
– Set/Step 2: 2 pullups/4 pushups/6 situps
– Set/Step 3: 3 pullups/6 pushups/9 situps (Your first few set are basically a warmup)
– Set/Step 4: 4 pullups/8 pushups/12 situps
– Set/Step 5: 5 pullups/10 pushups/15 situps
– Set/Step 6: 6 pullups/12 pushups/18 situps (Here is where you may fail/max out)

Go Down the Pyramid:
(or reverse order pyramid)

– Set/Step 5: 5 pullups/10 pushups/15 situps
– Set/Step 4: 4 pullups/8 pushups/12 situps
– Set/Step 3: 3 pullups/6 pushups/9 situps (Finish cool down)
– Set/Step 2: 2 pullups/4 pushups/6 situps
– Set/Step 1: 1 pullups/2 pushups/3 situps

You could easily swap out any of these exercises for squats, dips, hanging leg raises, what ever you want. Obviously, you’ll choose the hardest exercise as the first one and the easiest one as exercise three. You can do bodyweight exercises, or loaded exercises.

I love this plan and will get a workout up for you using this method soon.

Do you have what it takes to be a Navy SEAL?

I know I do! As long as the enemy doesn’t want to play ‘Kick the Can’ in the dark, I’m perfectly suited for this elite team. I’m expecting a call at any minute now for a request for me to join up 😉

Oh ya, get my pull up program to help you with the pull up portion of the Navy SEAL test 😉