T Nation

Horsemen Training Program


I posted this in the War Room, thinking I would get a response from some of the military guys, but nothing.

I came across this program a couple weeks ago, it was cobbled together by a couple Team guys (SEALs), from crossfit, gym jones, mountain athlete, API (Ramsdell not Verstegen), and Dan John. Their stated goals were: DL 2x BW, Bench and Front Squat 1.5x BW, Standing Press 1x BW, and still run 3 miles easily in under 20:00. Basically, it is designed with the tactical or general military operator in mind.

So anyway, has anyone ever seen this? I just started it this week, and have had some serious DOMS the last couple days. Just curious if anyone had seen it, or used it, and if so, how you liked it. After all, military/LEOs are not Olympic lifters, powerlifters, bodybuilders, marathoners, etc, so why train like one? At the same time, we need to be able to operate at a pretty high level in each discipline.

PS- There is a website calling itself the Four Horsemen, but it is not the same thing.


Never heard of it but I would be interested in how they're trying to accomplish it?

By the way, good to see you posting dude. Haven't seen you in a while.


Busy with work, but been lurkin'


Do you have a direct link? My Google Fu seems weak today.


No, I only have it on hard copy.

I'm finishing up the first week of their 'Strength' month. The two strength workouts I did this week were one for bench and today for deads, along with some other lifts each day. takes it out of you, believe me.

Each strength workout I did had me work up to a 1RM (obviously not a best ever PR, just one for that day), then do several rounds of supersets using a percentage of that 1RM. Today I deadlifted up to 385 for a good solid single, then used 85% of that to do triples supersetted with 10 ring pushups, for 5 rounds. Then it was 5x thrusters (squat/push press) with 10x pullups for 5 rounds, finishing up with a double eagle with 10x 1 arm bench (on each side) for 4 rounds. Didn't have access to a sled today, so I wore a 20# vest, and carried a 50# DB on one shoulder while walking up a 7deg incline for 40sec. Only did 4 rounds of that instead of 5 because of the off-center loading(wanted an even number on each side).

So far it's a lot of supersetting or two- and three-station circuit type stuff. I am definitely huffing and puffing by the time I get through it (or even partially through), so if nothing else I should be getting one hell of a metcon workout each day. I bod pod'd at 16% BF a couple weeks ago at 201, so I am definitely looking to lower that number. Planning to do this for a month and see how I like it.

I've noticed a lack of conditioning in myself, even when I am able to be consistant in my normal routine. This should fix that little problem, without too much trouble.


Would you be kind enough to post details of the program. I would be interested in the finer points.


I've got a copy. If nothing else the names of the workouts are hilarious- "Counting Dead Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of a War Drum" and "Fuck Start Your Face".

For whatever reason, I didn't think it was developed by SEALs but some 'other' SOF unit that came up with this, soley based on the name; I stand corrected. I pretty much follow the Military Athlete Operator sessions exclusively, so I can't give you much feedback but I like to incorporate some of these in there occasionally as well. THe Secret Service Snatch Test was no joke.

Are you only planning to do it for one month based solely on your BF and strength goals, or going through the entire four month plan? Very interested to hear your gains at the end of 30 days. Good luck!


DirtyM - did the SSST, but cheated a little. Had to put the bell down a few times, and stopped 1:50 early, at 120. Planning to do it again, maybe at the end of the first 30. As far as how long I'm going to do it, I'm using this first month to kind of check it out. If I am happy with it, then I will continue, if not, something else. Already thinking to continue, after just one week. Even on the days where there is no definite 'finisher', you still feel like you got some good work done instead of coasting through.

I don't know if you have the first page of the 'pamphlet'(or whatever you want to call it), but it specifically mentions them as being 'Team guys', which is another term for SEALs (SEAL Teams). And yeah, I love some of the workout names. Monday was Tongue Lashing (except Bench isntead of standing press, due to shoulder issue), and Friday was CHin Up Soldier On.

copper - As far as details of the program, I don't know what to say. For an idea of the workouts, check out the sources listed above. There's not much more I can really say, without you being able to look at the program yourself.


DirtyM - Have you done Operator Ugly yet? I found that on Military Athlete, and plan to try it out at some part, just trying to figure out how to add in a swim (being an NSW guy and all).

Where did you get your copy from?


I tried to post in the War Room but I got the access denied message.


Just to clarify, due to a recent exchange, the originators of this program could be Army, even though I got it from some co-workers who got it from a frog. That would definitely explain the total lack of swimming in the program...


Re: Operator Ugly- first time I did it was abysmal. For way too many years I focused only on upper body, and ran/rucked for lower body ("Squats make you slower and hurt your knees." Retard...). Did it again a little over a month ago and for my size I still suck at front squats- I did much better. Still far too imbalanced as I can almost do 10 more reps on bench than squats.

I got my copy from a friend who works up at Fort Belvoir.


The copy that I have doesnt show any type of organized schedule. How do you structure these workouts into a training program? All I managed to get were the names of the exercises but no structure for the Strength Month or any of the other months.


You have to create your own program.

If you have the entire document, it's 41 pages total. It is broken down into a four month cycle; Month 1- Strength, Month 2-Power Endurance, Month 3- Job Specific, Month 4- Maintenance. Each month gives a 28 day layout of either a strength, PE, or Job Specific workout. YOU have to select precisely which workout to do from the menu provided later in the document.

So for instance we may both be on Month #1 (Strength) Day 11 (Warm Up/Power Endurance), but doing different workouts based on the menu provided. You chose 'Get Ups Til YOu Throw Up', and I chose to do 'Drunken Lullaby' for example.

The program is brutal. I did not do a four month cycle, about a year ago (or so) only completed Month 1.



I found the program here at this link. Im interested in trying it. Could you guys let me know if its the same one you guys are doing.


how many names are there for circut training??


Ok. Thanks. Looks like I need to find the rest of the document. I only have the part with the names of the exercises.


This was in fact "created" by SEALs...I was there as part of it. It wasnt actually made up or created. It was merely compiled from various other programs, namely Gym Jones. Going to a Gym Jones seminar will get you this handy dandy booklet with most of this stuff in it....including the periodization (the stages).

Mountain/Military Athlete and API are also in there along with some Crossfit. All of these workouts already existed prior to this compilation, however, names were given by those putting them all together.




Interesting that SEALs would name one of their workouts "Ode to the Regiment". And considering the name is 'Horsemen' Training Program- led me to believe it was another organization. But- my own false leap of logic I suppose.