This challenging workout will give you the body of an elite soldier.
I train people whose ability to continue to go all-out when they’re exhausted can literally save their life.
Those people: United States Special Forces soldiers.
I designed this workout to give the average civilian a taste of some of the intense training that I put those military guys through.
The routine nails your entire body with simple, yet brutally effective kettlebell and bodyweight exercises. It also asks that you sustain a high intensity for an extended period of time. That not only blazes through calories, it also builds your work capacity, so you can do more of everything else you want to do.
No, the workout isn’t easy. But in the words of Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
And if you want to go even more in depth with Special Forces style training, you can build the body of an elite Navy SEAL with 8-Weeks To SEALFIT.
Jason Hartman, C.S.C.S, strength and conditioning coach for the U.S. Special Forces
Revving metabolism, incinerating fat, boosting cardiovascular stamina, and packing on lean muscle all over
(Related: Build your body like a Navy SEAL with The Rucking Workout.)
Pullup bar, kettlebell
28 to 32 minutes
As measured by a fit 6’2”, 185 lb man using a Polar M400 heart rate monitor
Do 10 reps of each exercise in Circuit A back-to-back. Repeat, this time doing 9 reps per exercise, then again doing 8 reps. Now do 1 round of Circuit B (60 seconds per move). Do 3 more rounds of Circuit A in countdown fashion, with 7, then 6, then 5 reps per move, followed by another round of Circuit B. Complete 4 more rounds of Circuit A, counting down to 1 rep per move In the final round. End with 1 round of Circuit B. Rest only as needed.
Hang at arm’s length from a pullup bar (a position known as a dead hang) using an overhand grip that’s slightly beyond shoulder width. Pull your chest to the bar, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause, and then slowly lower your body back to a dead hang.
If you can’t perform 10 pull-ups in a row, do inverted rows instead.
Step forward with your right foot and lower your body into a lunge position. Jump up explosively, switching leg positions in midair.
Land with your left leg forward. Alternate legs with each jump.
Assume a pushup position, lifting your hips to form an inverted V. Lower yourself until your nose nearly touches the floor. Pull your body forward, straightening your arms.
Return to the inverted V and repeat.
Spread your feet slightly beyond shoulder width and use one hand to grab the handle of a kettlebell resting on the floor. In a single move, try to throw the weight at the ceiling (without letting go).
Keep the kettlebell close to your body, allowing your forearm to rotate up and back as you bring yourself under the weight.
Lower it to the floor and repeat. Switch hands after 30 seconds.
Spread your feet slightly beyond shoulder width and use one hand to grab the handle of a kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Push your hips back as you swing the weight between your legs and up to chest level.
Continue swinging. Switch hands after 30 seconds.
(For another challenge, find out if you can do 77 reps of this Burpee and Kettlebell Swing Combination in just 3 minutes.)
Hold a kettlebell by the sides of its handle in front of your chest. Brace your abs and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back. (Your elbows should brush the insides of your knees.)
Pause, stand up, and repeat.
Spread your feet slightly beyond shoulder width, push your hips back, and use both hands to grab the handle of a kettlebell resting on the floor.
Stand up, thrusting your hips forward. Pause, lower the weight back to the floor, and repeat.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat down, placing your hands on the floor. Quickly kick your legs back into a pushup position. Reverse the move to return to the starting position.
Want to increase the challenge? Add a pushup to each rep.
(For another drill that will test your ability to push yourself, see if you can survive Death by Burpee.)