Ten Things to do to Prepare for Special Operations Selection

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Special operations selection is not easy. Months, even years, of preparation are required to hone your mind, body and spirit for selection process.

Let’s take a deep dive into the top 10 things to prepare for special operations selection:

  • Running: Running for at least 30 miles a week is the first step to strengthen your legs. As part of the preparation, add hiking and running up hill too.
  • Muscle strengthening: You need to practice repeated squats and lunges to get that perfect muscle strength. As part of your training, you can also add lunge walks to help you strengthen those muscles.
  • Lower back strength: Weight lifting, farmer walks, fireman drills and dead lifts are some of the first things you need to practice. This will ensure that your lower back starts strengthening. While on the field, you will be running with packs and weapons; hence it is important to have a really strong lower back.
  • Weight Loss: Don’t worry if you have a few extra pounds. There are various ways to reduce that fat, by incorporating healthy eating and exercise. Burn more calories than you consume. A fit and strong body is very important while applying for special operations selection.
  • Swimming: If you are already a swimmer, you know how to survive in water. Try swimming with full clothes as well as boots and time yourself. You will understand how difficult this difference can make.
  • Ruck Marching: This is probably one thing that you really need to practice. Try putting a lot of weight in your ruck and march from one point to another as quickly as possible. This is the basic requirement to qualify for training.
  • Shoulder training: You need to have really strong shoulders to be able to carry anything. Practice doing military push and press to train your shoulder muscles really well.
  • Positive Self-Talk: You are constantly communicating with yourself, whether you know it or not. Feeding negative thoughts (consciously or subconsciously) to yourself during challenges will have a detrimental effect on performance. Practice positive self-talk to break past barriers you may once have though were impossible to overcome. Check out Mark Divine’s Way of the SEAL as a great intro and guide to this.
  • Mixed training: Incorporate a mix of push-ups, presses, running, kettle bells, etc. to strengthen your core. Concentrating only on one type of training may not be useful at the end.
  • Prevent Over-training: Last but not the least, special ops selection is not an easy process. However, training hard and pushing your limits is good. However, do your best to prevent over-training, which can be counter-productive. If you are consistently decreasing in performance on some evolutions, you may not be giving your body enough time to rebuild. Try mixing up your regimen, increasing rest time, and focusing some attention on mental training.