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How to Train For Navy SEALS?


I have long had a fascination with SEALs, maybe just because of their over glamourized image, I don't really know.

In my highschool days I was a moderately successful distance runner. However, in the last 4-5 years, I have been bitten by the bodybuilding bug, and been obsessed with becoming bigger and stronger.

Now, at 230lbs, I'm pretty strong, but I am a crappy runner. I stil sometimes have a fantasy of becoming a Navy SEAL, but I am not 100% sure what it truly takes, nor am I 100% commited to the notion yet... since I don't really know what it requires.

I realize I'd probably never be a "bodybuilder" in the SEALs, but I'd at least like to hang on to as much muscle as possible. Muscle is always cool, right?

So I have 2 questions.... for anyone qualified to answer:

1) What is the max realistic lean weight you can be as a SEAL? 210lbs? 180lbs? and would it be possible to be "strong" anymore?

2) WHAT TRAINING PROGRAM WOULD IT REALLY take.... to FULLY prepare yourself for BUDs training? I mean a training program so fully complete, that you would be in the top 10% of your class physically?

3) Would training like a MMA athlete, possibly with Waterbury's new system be ideal?

4) What else, besides the physical preparation.... should I start doing to strengthen myself mentally?

Thanks guys, any other genuine advice or insight is welcome.


RUN. You must be a good runner. Minimum of 5 miles in 40 minutes.

Swim in cold water. Miserably cold, for a mile.



This is what you have to pass....!

..:: PST Training ::..

SEAL TrainingSEALs are qualified in diving, parachuting, and are experts at combat swimming, navigation, demolitions, weapons, and many other skills. In addition to the maritime environment, SEALs also train in the desert, the jungle, in cold weather, and in urban surroundings.

Your first assignment in Naval Special Warfare begins in Coronado, California at the Naval Special Warfare Command with Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (NSWC BUD/S) training.

NOTE: Physical Preparation Training

Due to liability reasons, we cannot provide a workout program for you. If being a SEAL is your goal, then with the resources available (i.e., books, videos, etc.), you should be able to achieve the highest fitness level possible to prepare you for the rigors of BUD/S training. Your training should prepare you to pass the Physical Screening Test with ease. You can read more about preparing for your PST swim by reading the Sidestroke Swimming guide.

Competitive PST scores

500 yard swim 10:00 min
Push-up 79
Sit- ups 79
Pull-ups 11 (dead hang)
1.5 miles 10:20


""1) What is the max realistic lean weight...""

One of us is confused. There is no such max weight. I could be misreading you here but my homey I grew up with is now in DEVGRU which is higher than the SEALS and became a SEAL after BUDS 99/00. Anyway, he has had great success in the SEALS and he is a humongous 245lbs last time I talked to his Dad.


One thing I noticed that you didn't mention is swimming. Dude, they swim A LOT!!! My buddy told me that they did excercises that required them to swim 8 miles into the Pacific and plant fake-explosives on boats and then swim back 8 miles without surfacing. He said he remained submerged for up to 8 hours during training. As far as training, to get into DEVGRU my friends DAD mentioned something about 30 consecutive pull-ups and I'm sure there are some brutal runs involved.

My friend told me that many of his fellow SEALS were simply tri-athletes.

3) Would training like a MMA athlete, possibly with Waterbury's new system be ideal?

I doubt it. That much running and swimming means that you must run and swim... and do LOTS of pull-up/chins.

My friend DID say that some of his homies at the base in San Diego trained at the 'Lion's Den', though.

""4) What else, besides the physical preparation.... should I start doing to strengthen myself mentally?""

It's mostly mental from the stories I hear. In BUDS the trainers do stuff like submerge you underwater and then basically beat you up and rip off your mask/air gear, then you are supposed to do stuff like re-assemble your air-tank. They don't really hurt you, but most people can't remain calm when they are getting fucked with like that AND they are underwater.

Also, if memory serves my buddy went to BUDS straight away after basic and during hell-week he broke his leg or something and refused to quit. The told him "OK but you still have to perform". So he continued to run and do everything on a broken/injured leg, eventually they made him stop because he was obviously about to hurt himself. They let him rejoin the next group after he healed without penalty, if you quit you have to start from the begining. That is some major willpower, that's what they look for.


You'll figure out the physical stuff and there are many more qualified then I, that can help you.

You had a question about the mental aspect. The one consistent principal that applies to all types of selection training is to stay focused on what you are doing. Don't worry about finishing the course, or the day, or what tomorrow is going to be like. That will only create despair. Just think about the activity you are doing. The run, the swim, the PT. Focus on fisnishing each task, one after the other, at the end your done and that's it and you passed or completed the training.

I never tried anything like BUDS training but I was given that advice at a young age and it's always worked for me in a lot of siutations, military, academic and athletic.


I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but the fact that body composition changes are a primary concern seems to be at odds with the expected mentality of perserverance at the cost of extreme physical and mental suffering. If you are serious, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your end goal, and you already know what the effects of training for preliminary screening will do to your body.


I have a buddy who just came back from some mini buds camp @ coronado.

Same dude is pretty buff, lifts weights regularly outside of his ROTC stuff, but does a triathalon every month or two as well.

He's in fucking PHENOMENAL shape, but he's far from ready for the SEALs he says.

So stop thinking bodybuilder and start thinking Iron Man/Triathlete.


There are many websites devoted to your question, check them out. Also, you know that you'd have to be in the Navy for 2-3 years before you tryout, right? (Unless things have just changed, with the shortages and all)


""Also, you know that you'd have to be in the Navy for 2-3 years before you tryout, right?""

A friend graduated high-school in 1998 and went directly to basic-training and the directly to BUDS and has been with the SEALS ever since. He didn't wait.


I've never known there to be any wait time. Jesse Ventura went right from basic to BUDS, and that was back in the 70's. When I saw the SEAL training video in the Navy recruiter's office circa 1990, it was the same.

Another big aspect of BUDS is sleep-deprivation. During hell week, it is something like 2 hrs a night on average, and very limited throughout the rest of the training. That was enough to keep me away.


With your ideas, trying to become a marine might be more up your alley, but if a SEAL is what you want to do, good for you, work your butt off!


I've decided that my genetics are not superior as far as bodybuilding, nor am I truly interested in getting involved in heavy drug use to experiment.

I have nothing really to live for, so I've decided to join the Navy SEALs and at least do something respectable.

Here is my question:

To prepare for Navy seals, I need to work up to do all of this on a daily basis:
1) Running upto 5-6 miles a day,
2) Swim for 30-60 minutes,
3) Keep lifting weights to continually strengthen and preserve my llean muscle mass as best as possible.

I am also 233lbs, and 6 feet tall. The max allowable weight for Navy SEALs, is 205lbs. So I need to lose about 25lbs, hopefully of just fat.

So... I need to simultaneously build endurance, and cut fat... while keeping as much muscle as humanly possible.

I want to approach this like a cutting bodybuilder.... so I'd like to preserve as much muscle as I can. Hopefully I can at least go into SEAL school as one of the bigger & stronger ones.

Can anyone outline a basic eating schedule for me... to best preserve my muscle mass, while allowing me to lose fat? As far as when to eat in relation to my endurance and weight training... and a general break down of protein to carbs to fats?

This is sort of like a cutting bodybuilders schedule... since I'll be doing cardio 2x a day, on top of weightlifting. My cardio will just be higher intensity probably. I may require more carbs than a typical BB'er since my cardio needs to be fast paced.

ie: do I run on empty stomach, or after breakfast... or what? Do I keep taking dextrose & whey post workout? etc etc.

Also, what fat loss supplments can you recommend.... legal or non-OTC? Or any other OTC supplements that may aid in my unique goals?

I have about 4 months to lose 20lbs or so.

Thanks for any help


There is a book called
"The Navy Seal Physical Fitness Guide"
Edited by Patricia A. Deuster, Ph.D., M.P.H.

ISBN # 1-56852-374-2

You can get it at Barnes & Noble for about $10.00.
Tells you pretty much everything you need to do to prepare for being a SEAL as far as conditioning goes.


Think about what you've said.


It is not all about being strong and extremely physically fit. It takes a certain kinda person to hack it as a Seal or any other kinda special forces. I was in the top 5 percent of my boot camp and soi class in the Marines and I hated being a grunt even though that is all I ever wanted since I was a kid. Be careful what you wish for. Oh some other advice is get your commision first. I know I may take some shit for suggesting this from the current/former enlisted guys but, it is better to give orders than to take them.


I Agree. I severed my time in the Airborne Infantry, as a LRRP and Special Forces. The better shape you are in the less misery you will experience. Be able to run and march with a ruck. Some of the guys that were in the best shape washed out because of the mental side and mind games. What ever you decide to do give a 100%.

Me Solomon Grundy


Sounds like good advice to me, I had a buddy who went through Marine Corps OCS about a year back and said similar things.


You need an mos first. They don't make non-functional seals. Bootcamp, school, Seals. That was how it was explained to me.

I was also told by the recruiters that being in good shape helps, But- if you don't want it like you have never wanted anything else, you are screwed. Your physical condition won't help. You will ring the bell.

Good Luck! I never made it due to a severe injury just before entering bootcamp, but it is always nice to see others give it a shot.


I am currently in the navy and finished boot camp about eight months ago. I went in with the seal contract and trained as a "SCRUF" while I was in. The are needing more SEALS than ever now and I know from experience that you can go directly from boot to buds. Once you finish your "A" school, you get orders to Coronado, Cali and start INDOC. I too have a bodybuilding physique, but lost about 10 pounds of muscle in boot because of the lack of food I was given and all the swimming and running that you do. From what I can see, most guys wanting to be SEALS lose lots of muscle while at BUD/S, but after they finish, if they are fortunate enough, start lifting weights and getting more muscular once they get to their prosepective team. Also, one thing I did not know but just started to find out is SEALS are gone like 300 days of the year. The divorce rate is 90%. It is real hard on a family life, but if you want it bad enough, the reward for becoming a SEAL is BADASS.


For PT, do Crossfit WODs combined with lots of extra distance running, swimming, pushups, situps, and burpees. Practice every possible thing that you could think of (knot tying, holding your breath under water, swimming under water, etc.). If you have access to a playground, use your imagination and turn it into an obstacle course. Strongman-type events are great conditioning tools as well. Learn how to paddle and do it a lot.

You will live in an IBS during First Phase. Get certified in SCUBA. Get used to having water in your nose, choking on water, swimming with fins, and cleaning. Clean your entire house every week from top to bottom until it is spotless (for room inspection). Pay attention to EVERY detail. At the end of all of this, if you don't want it with everything you have, then you won't get through. They don't want assholes that have nothing to live for, so get that idea out of your head right now. Feeling sorry for yourself is the #1 reason for dropping out of BUD/S.

Also, competitive PST Scores are a little higher than previously posted:
Run = 9:00
Swim = 9:00
Pullups = 20
Pushups = 100+
Situps = 100+