Green Beret Prepatory Workout

I have been contemplating joining the army and working my way up to the honor of earning the green beret. I was wondering if there were any SF soldiers out there that had any advice or workouts they would recommend.

Everyone will tell you to run. Run, run, run, run. While this is a good idea for overall fitness, it is not the absolute MUST for a Green Beret. Nothing I’m about to tell you can’t be obtained by your local recruiter…

As far as PT Standards, you will need to score at least a 229 in the 17-21 Age group regardless of your current age. Everyone is graded on that scale. This is not really that hard to do, and it’s pretty much the only physical exam you’ll have at selection. Everything after that is evaluation, but there is no set ‘standard’.

Rope climbing is a good addition to an SF workout. It builds upper body and there are many rope climbing events in the SF obstacle course.

But if you want to know what you’ll need to do to be physically ready for SF? Get a ruck sack. A standard issue LARGE ruck. You can find them at surplus stores, or have a military friend pick one up at the PX. Dont get something nice and state-of-the art, like from Eagle or Blackhawk Industries. Only standard issue crap is allowed at selection. And I do mean “crap”.

Fill this rucksack with about 75 pounds (you may want to build your way up to that) and go walking. Walk on all terrain. Road, flat ground, grass, woods, sand… everything. Hills are a plus.
With a 60lb rucksack, you’ll want to be hitting a 15min/mile pace for at least 8 miles. You’ll want to make sure you have some good boots. Watch and care for blisters.
Do that a lot. And run too. ; )
The only physical stuff you’ll be “tested” on is pushups and situps. So do a lot of those. They’re also likely to assess your pull-up ability. You’ll also need to be able to swim 50 meters in uniform and boots. This is simple though. It can be accomplised by any avid dog paddler…

Other than that, being in shape is not what makes people pass/fail at Special Forces Selection. You can’t be a fat slob, dont get me wrong. But being a super PT stud does not make you a Sure Thing. Ranger School Instructors and Ranger Tab Drill Sergeants quit/fail. People quit because it’s such a mind-fuck and it sucks. Also they get hurt - especially their feet! And they fail because they cannot navigate on land. You will need to be able to negotiate a 20km (more like 30 something after you walk around the lakes n stuff) land nav course with just a map, a compass, your heavy ass ruck and your own personality to keep you company. You will be alone. You will be walking around in total darkness at night and in any weather. I mean ANY weather. Ice Storm, Hurricane, Thunder Storms… it doesn’t matter. You will still be expected to perform. They do not cancel events for weather. You might want to avoid going in the winter… or a really hot summer month.

Good Luck.

Oh, and consult a doctor before starting any new workout program. Especially the extreme stuff mentioned above.
There’s more information available at those sites (especially the first, the latter is new) than pretty much everywhere.

Search, read, and lurk first; then post if you need to.

Oops - on SOCNET, scroll down to ARSOF Recruitment & Prep. Also check out the Special Forces section.