This was given to me before I went into the Navy as a pre-boot camp preparatory training program. While I had no desire to ever try out for BUD/S, it was (and still is) one of the best workout programs I have ever done.
SUGGESTED STUDENT PREPARATION
The following workouts are designed for two categories of people:
Category I are those future BUD/S students that have never or have
not recently been on a routine PT program. Category II is designed
for high school and college athletes that have had a routine PT
program. Usually athletes in sports that require a high level of
cardiovascular activity are in Category II. Swimming, running, and
wrestling are good examples of such sports.
WORKOUT FOR CATEGORY I
RUNNING: The majority of the physical activities you will be
required to perform during your six months of training at BUD/S will
involve running. The intense amount of running can lead to overstress
injuries of the lower extremities in trainees who arrive not
physically prepared to handle the activities. Swimming, bicycling,
and lifting weights will prepare you for some of the activities at
BUD/S, but ONLY running can prepare your lower extremities for the
majority of the activities. You should also run in boots to prepare
your legs for the everyday running in boots at BUD/S.
The goal of the category I student is to work up to 16 miles per
week of running. After you have achieved that goal, then and only
then should you continue on to the category II goal of 30 miles per
week. Let me remind you that category I is a nine week buildup
program. Follow the workout as best you can and you will be amazed at
the progress you will make.
RUNNING SCHEDULE I
WEEKS #1, 2: 2 miles/day, 8:30 pace, MWF (6 miles/week)
WEEK #3: No running. High risk of stress fractures.
WEEK #4: 3 miles/day, MWF (9 miles/week)
WEEKS #5, 6: 2/3/4/2 miles, M/T/R/F (11 miles/week)
WEEKS #7, 8: 3/4/5/2 miles, M/T/R/F (16 miles/week)
WEEK #9: same as weeks 7 & 8 (16 miles/week)
Physical Training Schedule I
SETS OF REPETITIONS
WEEK 1: 4 X 15 PUSHUPS
4 X 20 SITUPS
3 X 3 PULLUPS
WEEK 2: 5 X 20 PUSHUPS
5 X 20 SITUPS
3 x 3 PULLUPS
WEEK 3, 4: 5 X 25 PUSHUPS
5 x 25 SITUPS
3 x 4 PULLUPS
WEEK 5, 6: 6 X 25 PUSHUPS
6 X 25 SITUPS
2 X 8 PULLUPS
WEEK 7, 8: 6 X 30 PUSHUPS
6 X 30 SITUPS
2 X 10 PULLUPS
WEEK #9: 6 X 30 PUSHUPS
6 X 30 SITUPS
3 X 10 PULLUPS
* Note: For best results, alternate exercises. Do a set of
pushups, then a set of situps, followed by a set of pullups,
immediately with no rest.
Swimming Schedule I
(sidestroke with no fins 4-5 days per week)
WEEKS #1, 2: Swim continuously for 15 min.
WEEKS #3, 4: Swim continuously for 20 min.
WEEKS #5, 6: Swim continuously for 25 min.
WEEKS #7, 8: Swim continuously for 30 min.
WEEK #9: Swim continuously for 35 min.
* Note: 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. Four to five days a week and 200 meters in one
session is 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.
Workout For Category II
Category II is a more intense workout designed for those who have
been involved with a routine PT schedule or those who have completed
the requirements of category I. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS WORKOUT
SCHEDULE UNLESS YOU CAN COMPLETE THE WEEK #9 LEVEL OF CATEGORY I
Running Schedule II
WEEKS #1, 2: (3/5/4/5/2) miles 19 miles/week
WEEKS #3, 4: (4/5/6/4/3) miles 22 miles/week
WEEK #5: (5/5/6/4/4) miles 24 miles/week
WEEK #6: (5/6/6/6/4) miles 27 miles/week
WEEK #7: (6/6/6/6/6) miles 30 miles/week
*Note: For weeks #8-9 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 one
mile per day increase for every week beyond week #9.
PT Schedule II
WEEKS 1, 2: 6 x 30 PUSHUPS
6 x 35 SITUPS
3 x 10 PULLUPS
3 x 20 DIPS
WEEKS 3, 4: 10 x 20 PUSHUPS
10 x 25 SITUPS
4 x 10 PULLUPS
10 x 15 DIPS
WEEKS 5: 15 x 20 PUSHUPS
15 x 25 SITUPS
4 x 12 PULLUPS
15 x 15 DIPS
WEEKS 6: 20 x 20 PUSHUPS
20 x 25 SITUPS
5 x 12 PULLUPS
20 x 15 DIPS
These workouts are designed for long-distance muscle endurance.
Muscle fatigue will gradually take a longer and 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. The above exercises can get a bit boring after awhile. Here are
some more workouts you can use to break up the monotony.
You can do this with any exercise. The object is to slowly build
up to a goal, then build back down to the beginning of the workout.
For instance, pullups, 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, say your goal is R5″,
# OF REPETITIONS
PUSHUPS: 2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2 (2x #pullups)
SITUPS: 3,6,9,2,15,12,9,6,3 (3x #pullups)
DIPS: same as pushups.
Swimming Workouts II
WEEKS #1, 2: Swim continuously for 35 min.
WEEKS #3, 4: Swim continuously for 45 min. with fins.
WEEK #5: Swim continuously for 60 min. with fins.
WEER #6: Swim continuously for 75 min. with fins.
*Note: 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.
Since Mon/Wed/Fri are devoted to PT, it is wise to devote at least
20 minutes on Tue/Thu/Sat to stretching. You should always stretch
for at least 15 minutes before any workout; however, just stretching
the previously worked muscles will make you more flexible and less
likely to get injured. A good way to start stretching is to start at
the top and go to the bottom. Stretch to tightness, not to pain; hold
for 10-15 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.
Proper nutrition is extremely important now and especially when
you arrive at BUD/S. You must make sure you receive the necessary
nutrients to obtain maximum performance output during exercise and to
promote muscle/tissue growth and repair. The proper diet provides all
the nutrients for the body’s needs and supplies energy for exercise.
It also promotes growth and repair of tissue and regulates the body
processes. The best source of energy for the BUD/S student is
carbohydrates. The best source of complex carbohydrates are potatoes,
pasta, rice; fruits, and vegetables. These types of foods are your
best sources of energy.
Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are the three energy nutrients.
All three can provide energy, but carbohydrate is the preferred
source of energy for physical activity. It takes at least 20 hours
after exhaustive exercis to completely restore muscle energy,
provided 600 grams of carbohydrates are consumed per day. During
successive days of heavy training, like you will experience at BUD/S,
energy stores prior to each training session become progressively
lower. This is a situation in which a high carbohydrate diet can help
maintain your energy.
The majority of carbohydrates should come from complex
carbohydrate foods that include bread, crackers, cereal, beans, peas,
starchy vegetables, and other whole grain or enriched grain products.
Fruits are also loaded with carbohydrates. During training, more than
four servings of these food groups should be consumed daily.
Water is the most important nutrient you can put in your body. You
should be consuming up to four quarts of water daily. It is very easy
to become dehydrated at BUD/S; so it is extremely important to
hydrate yourself. Drink water before you get thirsty!!! Substances
such as alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco increase your body’s need for
water, So, if you are going to drink, do so in moderation! Too much
of these substances will definitely harm your body and hinder your
performance. Supplemental intake of vitamins, as well, has not been
proven to be beneficial. If you are eating a well balanced diet,
there is no need to take vitamins.
TRAINING TABLE CONCEPT
Carbohydrates 50-70% of calories
Protein 10-15% of calories
Fats 20-30% of calories
My trip to Europe ended being halted prematurely. I’m working on being less winded, so I’ll relay the short version: On a train north of Geneva, everything I had with me got jacked. If it weren’t for the incredible generosity of a local Swiss family, I would have been sleeping under a bridge for the weekend (I owe them a very deep debt of gratitude!).
An emergency Western Union transfer, trip to the US Embassy in Bern, and an overpriced flight from Zurich, got me back to the U.S. Since Japan doesn’t grant entry permission on a passport valid for less than 6 months, and an emergency replacement passport is only valid for 4 months, I was forced to cut this trip short and come back to the States.
This experience has taught me several valuable lessons about a number of different topics, so I’ll just list them all out here.
- There are still genuinely good people left in the world. People that will go out of their way to help another human being. I was starting to lose hope, but that hope has been restored by the Chappuis family.
- Even if you think you’re in an incredibly safe place, watch your stuff. Carabiner your bag to the luggage rack if you’re going to use it, and keep your credit cards, phone, and ID physically on you, just in case.
- My dream of working from Internet cafes is probably bunk. With my iPhone 4S stolen, I tried working from the public pay Internet stations which are common in Switzerland. Unfortunately, they are limited to web access only, and the machines were slow and used outdated browsers. I kept wishing I had my own laptop with me.
- I thought I had taken a minimal amount of stuff, but having everything stolen made me realize that I need even LESS. I spent an entire week without a bag, a change of clothes, or anything else. I have a whole new travel packing philosophy as a result.
- Nothing is irreplaceable. The stuff we consider vital is all completely replaceable. Clothing, passports, credits cards, sanity, all are replaceable. Lacking your stuff is merely an inconvenience in the vast majority of situations.
- Meeting new people, having fun, and exploring cultures and languages are what matter most when you travel abroad, and you can still do this regardless of the circumstances.