Navy SEAL Workout Series (3 of 3): Strength Training

Digging down deep and tapping your raw power is what Navy SEALs are often called on to do. You never know when that raw power will be needed to push a Humvee out of a sand dune, or have you sprinting through a firefight carrying a 30lb machine gun. I’m Navy SEAL Instructor Lieutenant DeCoster. In this segment, we’re going to focus on strength training. We will teach you a series of 3 simple exercises, that when combined, will give you total body strength. While you may not need it on the battlefield, it definitely will come in handy on the ball field. Hi I’m Instructor Castro, and today with Lieutenant DeCoster we’re gonna demonstrate 3 simple lifts that increase your pure strength. The first lift we’re gonna demonstrate will be the squat. The second will be the shoulder press, and then finally we’re gonna demonstrate the dead lift. We do 5 sets of 5. We’ll do a set, and repeat it 5 times, resting in between each set 3 to 5 minutes. You start with a load you can comfortably handle, and between each set you slowly raise the weight. We’ll start off with the squat. He approaches the bar, steps under, and racks it across his back. Steps back, then he’s gonna descend keeping his weight on his heels and his knees track over his feet. Chest up, nice straight back, and then he rises. Good, down. Notice he’s looking out in front of him, he’s not looking up at the ceiling. And rise. The second movement we’re gonna show you today is gonna be the shoulder press. For the shoulder press he’s gonna walk up to the barbell, address it in his front rack position, wrap his thumb around it, keep a good grip on it, and then take a deep breath and drive to overhead. Good. His feet are about hip width apart, we don’t want them wider than shoulder width. And drive. Good. The last movement we’ll show to increase your strength is the dead lift. The dead lift is a great movement to pick stuff off the ground. It’s really important in our job. Take it off the rack. Bring it down. The dead lift starts from the ground, you address the bar, what we’re looking for here is the shoulders over the bar and the arms are straight down. Flat back, and the bar touching his shins. Now he’s gonna stand, pushing his knees back. Once the bar passes his knees he pushes his hips through. Good. And return. Nice position, raise your hips a little, good, and rise. Now we’re gonna start the workout. The first thing we’re gonna do is 5 reps of back squat. Go ahead. Normally, we do 5 sets of 5. We’ll do a set, and repeat it 5 times, resting in between each set 3 to 5 minutes. You start with a load you can comfortably handle and between each set you slowly raise the weight. Good. You wanna maintain good form so you don’t injure yourself. And stay tight through – throughout the whole movement. Weight on the heels, knees tracking over your feet. Press your knees out at the bottom, drive – good. And rest. He would rest 3 to 5 minutes, we throw on more weight, and he’d go again, repeating a total of 5 times. Next for demonstration purposes we’re gonna go to the shoulder press. We’re assuming he’s finished 5 sets of 5 on the back squat, and now we’re moving to the pushing overhead movement. The sets and the reps will remain the same. He starts with a load he can comfortably handle, and progressively moves up each set. Feet hip width apart, good. Drive to overhead, driving through your heels, no re-bending of the knees or hips, lock out overhead. Good. Tight core, and press. Rest. That would be his first set, we’d raise the load, rest for 3 to 5 minutes, and do 4 more sets. Now we’re gonna bring the bar to the deck. Now we’ll move onto the dead lift. Again, the sets and the reps will be the same. 5 sets, 5 reps each set, resting 3 to 5 minutes in between rounds. Start with a load you can safely handle, and in – increase the load each time. Good. Tight back, maintain that lumbar curve. Bar stays close to your body the whole time, driving off your heels. Chest up, good. These are 3 great simple movements that you can do with any barbell and a few simple weights. Do these movements correctly and you’ll build a lot of strength. The ability to tap into your inner strength is what will get you to the next level. Answer the call.

99 thoughts on “Navy SEAL Workout Series (3 of 3): Strength Training

  1. @tazss159 That's a difficult question. What kind of "speed" are you looking for? 40 yards for NFL? 100m? Or the quickness and agility of an NBA point guard?

  2. @tazss159 if you want to increase your sprinting speed you should sprint alot. But also go to a gym and do squats or deadlifts as shown in this vid. Do an explosive movement up and go slow down. This should work fine.

  3. @tazss159 Well that should be similar, but I am not shure about that. You can punch and kick against a sandbag to train you punches and kicks. With the correct technique you should be able to improve your speed with the time. I think it is important that you train with a high frequence ( often ) to see results faster.
    Else you could do benchpress with explosive repititions. The movement of pushing the weight in bench press is a bit like the movement of a punch. Hope this helps you.

  4. @tazss159 Ok never heard of that ^^ but when you find something that works well please share it with me πŸ™‚

  5. He's lifting about 250 lbs + 25-30lbs bar weight, and he's around 200 lbs, so that's pretty good. The only weird thing about his form is that he isn't breathing efficiently.

  6. Shouldn't the description be, "There ARE three simple exercises that, when combined, …" At least the word there was used and not their.

  7. @Brian3o8 I have met many many Seals….. I will pay you 10,000 dollars if you can keep up with their work out. But please please dont take your shirt off every time you get to.. I hate it when Seals do that.. "Oh look my shirt dissapeared with magic!" For the love of…

  8. hello I just want to give you some advice on the time of rest during a strenght exercise 3 min is the proper time no longer or shorter this is the ex time for the ATP levels inside the sarcomere to reach its 100% cap I am a exercise science degree holder. 5 mins is to long I hope this information is benifical for you

  9. @xKODIAKx91 you're feet should be underneath your hips, essentially your feet will be as wide as they would be if you were trying to jump as high as you could. if you're wanting to be a SEAL, look into crossfit. the workout they're doing in this video is something called "crossfit total," kinda.

  10. five minutes is good for strength like 3 to 4 reps then 5 minute break strongmen are the best people to learn form from the have everything down to a tee i was deadlifting 170kg and 4 weeks of training with two lads i no tha are strongmen on a competition level boom 197kg for 1 rep then got 190 for 2reps which i was really pleased with

  11. @TKMSeznam12 That has to be the dumbest comment i've seen yet. Sure the guy wont be a Seal but to base that on the fact he's on the internet and apparently Seals dont have time to use the internet is fucking stupid. An average week (excluding tours, training courses, etc) they would be looking at about a 40 hour week plus leave, etc.

  12. I love how all these people on here are talking shit when this SEAL would drop any of you before you even know what happen.

  13. @CataclysmicWarlord
    I don't care how long you've been a seal, if that is the strength training they do then we have right, nay, a duty, to comment on how our grannies could do it. 5×5 for 3 exercises is not enough. I was doing between 10×10 and 6×3 for 8 exercises twice a day, 4 days a week, and a half marathon, increasing cycle (between 60 and 120 miles) and a two mile swim on the other days respectively. I'm not in the forces, I don't plan in joining. Can you say they're fitter than me?


  14. Im sorry, but 3-5 mins is too much rest time. I personally use a stop watch to have a 2 min count down for the next set.

  15. @EddyMaiden11

    Nobody can say if the SEALS are or aren't fitter than you, but I promise you that any SEAL could beat the fuck out of you without breaking a sweat.

  16. Wouldnt it be funny to suddenly see all these show off guys here. Like instantaneously pop webcam vids on the user interface, only to see fat nerds and skinny COD geeks.

  17. @GroundPhobia they are rubber plates that weigh what it says on the plate, but you are able to drop them without ruining the floor and or the bar. e.g for olympic lifting.

  18. @ramrod20042000

    Weightlifting is only one tiny portion of the overall fitness regimen maintained by SeAL team operators. It's important to incorporate weights along with your "thousands of push-ups, sit-ups, swimming, and running" because you have to strengthen not only skeletal muscle mass but your tendons, ligaments, and joint capsules to protect against injury. This is why long-time wrestlers are so incredibly strong, because they have strong attachment points for ligaments and tendons.

  19. they also gotta remember that this is a video. They prolly arnt using the weight they would acctually use for the workout.

  20. isometrics. by the way look at rosstraining (dot) com, that's a usefull site as well as ross' books. watch his videos here. search for ross enamait. he is a great guy and honestly a monster and an expert in martial arts strenght & conditioning too. you are welcome

  21. lol ok endurance king. If 5 sets of 5 is considered "reps" for endurance, which is what i assume you are implying since we are talking bout seals and not power lifting, then i must be a freak of nature. I assure you i'm not in seal shape and theses guys are not lifting for endurance in this particular workout. this is a basic strength training session.

  22. google 5×5 strength training. then google high reps high endurance. you should research the topic you chose to discuss. maybe next time you won't look so ignorant.

  23. I think y'all are confused about what you're arguing about. You're on the same topic clearly, but one of you is arguing for the definition of rep while the other is for endurance..

  24. um ok.. i training for the navy seals my self and train with them all the time. most of them are not big bulky dudes only breachers or M60 gunners, these frogmen can kill someone with there hand no need for weapons.

  25. they also forget strength isn't key, it's endurance with strength. gymrats can't run 1 mile without losing it. all those big guys, if they had to run, would drop dead.

  26. i agree! the conditioning alone that these guys possess would make hand to hand combat like grappling with a grizzly bear haha

  27. To all the haters:I was a runner, a soccer player, a boxer and I've done all kinds of workouts in my life. I bought a Navy Seal handout on workouts and could not finish the basic part of it until months later. Then there is the intermediate and advanced. Whatever your political ideals or fitness level I DARE you to try to keep up with these guys…

  28. You might lift more because you body build or actual focus on that… I dont care if you bench 800 pounds. These SEALs are killing machines and trained to rip throats out of guys your size with their bare hands

  29. I've watched all three parts and I'm very interested in doing these exercises. However, I'm not sure how I should build my schedule for a seven day week, Monday being Day 1. If you can please help by recommending a schedule, I would really appreciate your support. I can work out six days a week, even seven if need be. Also, how many weeks should I execute this routine?

  30. Lol I love how friendly these video productions are considering how tough the training is. Great video, I do the core video workout as part of my routine now. These videos are great for those of us that just want workout tips.

  31. I just love all the critique going on. Guess what real bad asses don't always look like the comic book characters you're accustomed to. How about enlisting in any branch of the military, let alone try to become a SEAL and then start running your mouth. I really don't know why I bothered saying anything because most of u have no clue.

  32. often times SEALs may not look huge, but thats wat makes them deadly. SEALs are agile and quick but dont get it confused cuz they may not be very big but u can guarantee that every SEAL is built with solid muscle. At a scout pool im training at in norfolk, i have a buddy no bigger than 5'9, 165-175 lbs and is two months away from getting his bird. Dont get me wrong, you definitely have to in shape and fit, but It's mental strength that separates them.

  33. If they are as fit as they claim – they should be in Olympics representing their country. Because average SEAL is at the same level of physical fitness as an Olympic athlete.

  34. How can you possibly be so stupid? The goals of the two are way different. You might as well ask why NFL players don't go to the Olympics. Olympic athletes train a ton on a specific activity. SEALs workout, but they're also shooting, fighting, and constantly learning skills that will make them an asset to their team. Olympic athletes have failed SEAL training. Which proves being a SEAL is more about mental toughness, and ambition, than overall fitness.

  35. Thank you for explaining to me what being a SEAL is all about. Now go back to playing call of duty, dumbass.

  36. Bold assumptions with no evidence whatsoever, and I'm the dumbass? I understand your anger, I did call you stupid, after all… however, I explained to you why you're batshit retarded. Right now, I'm wonder if you're so moronic, that you were unable to acknowledge the truth in my post. If so, you are an indeed an interesting specimen of cognitive dissonance, and as such should be donated to science. That's probably all you'll be good for in societal sense.

  37. There are no secrets. Do explosive lifting, technique work and plyometrics. Stop looking for secrets and just do the work. Lots of work. That's the secret.

  38. Everyone doesn't have the determination, discipline and intelligence it takes to become Bruce lee or a monk.

  39. If you want to bulk up, you should search google for Mega Muscle Method. They will help you get the body you deserve.

  40. how could this be good for a seal its not explosive nor dynamic or real world i am kind of socked at what mass they want to put on combat cant be the same as football.

  41. i would rather see them as endurance monsters exercising only with there equipment. maintaining minimal body girth football players are 6 second monsters. i am disappointed seals should never be in the gym it should all be real world situations did apache indian warriors hit the weights no.

  42. It would be a shame for you not to build muscle when normal people build muscle so easily with "MegaMAX Muscle Maker" (check it out on Google).

  43. if you do not think heavy squats promote explosive power and beneficial for real world scenarios then you obviously are ignorant to exercise physiology.

  44. This coach is ssooooo bad. Letting his client lift weights with a rounded back, knees are not over toes while deadlifting in a non sumo stance. Grip was horrible on shoulder press, all weight is in the wrists. Same with the back squat, standing up straight places all the load onto the bent wrists risking major injury. Also 5x5s are only good for completely unconditioned and athletes with no previous strength training. It’s is a pre-plateau strength conditioning rep and set scheme. A navy seal should be in condition to never need to touch a 5×5 unless picking up a barbell exercise never before performed.

    Navy seals need to be very powerful, mobile and very strong. This would look more like alternating programs of max strength work and speed + power work looking more like 3-4 weeks of 3-5 reps over 6-8 sets with 30 second to 1 minute rets for strength then 3-4 weeks of speed training with a scheme of timed sets, so one minute to bust out as many reps as possible, the count is taken and the amount of reps in the desired time limit for multiple sets is training speed and power.

    I’m not sure how this video can pack together so much non-sense amateur information.

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