Q&A with Stew Smith Concerning SEAL Training

With regards to meeting the physical requirements to gain entry to BUD/S, I have a few questions you may be able
to answer. MY ANSWERS ARE IN CAPS AMONG YOUR QUESTIONS…STEW SMITH
o       Will someone be standing on my feet while doing sit-ups? YES
o       How long do I rest between sets in your Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness Book? TRY NOT TO REST THAT LONG 
BUT REST AS LONG AS YOU HAVE TO SO YOU RECOVER – IF YOU DO NOT FULLY RECOVER AFTER 1 MINUTE REST
THEN START AGAIN WITH THE NEXT SET ANYWAY
o       Right now I rest for 30 seconds between each set – THAT IS FINE
o       What can I do about hitting a plateau with my pull-ups & pushups? PUSH THRU THEM - HAVE YOU SEEN THE ARTICLES? :
THESE METHODS WORK IN THE ABOVE ARTICLES FOR A FEW TIMES A YEAR WHEN YOU HIT A RUT IN PERFORMANCE –
YOUR BODY RESPONDS TO CHANGING STIMULI (WORKOUTS) BEST SO CHANGE THINGS UP A BIT WHEN YOU HIT A PLATEAU.
o       I've only been making small gains for the past 3 weeks, is this even something I should worry about?  NO – 
AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT LOSING PROGRESS…THOUGH YOU WILL LOSE SOME PROGRESS IN THE MIDDLE
WEEKS OF THE 12 WEEK WORKOUT AS I AM PUSHING YOU HARDER DURING WEEKS 5-8 THAN ANY OF THE
OTHER WEEKS SO YOU WILL BE BURNED OUT…
o       Do you think Rugby is good practice fore BUD/S?  YES – I PLAYED RUGBY TOO IN COLLEGE FOR 3 YRS – PLUS IT IS 
FUN – TRY NOT TO GET INJURED.  BUT OTHER GREAT SPORTS ARE WRESTLING, BOXING, CREW, SWIMMING, CROSS
COUNTRY AND EVEN FOOTBALL – THOSE ATHLETES TEND TO DO WELL AT BUDS.
o       Each practice, we'll typically do 5 miles of running/sprinting. The downside is that it wears down my shoulders
 quite a bit. Your thoughts? RUNNING IS GREAT BUT YOU SHOULD WATCH YOUR SHOULDERS – TRY TO PROTECT THEM AND
DO THE LIGHTWEIGHT SHOULDER WORKOUT FOR MORE STABILITY.  OF COURSE SWIMMING AND BEING COMFORTABLE 
IN WATER IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IF YOU WANT TO GO TO BUDS. 
o       Have you heard of the PowerLung? If so, what do you think about it?  HEARD OF IT NEVER USED IT…SOME SAY IT 
HELPED THEM, BUT I HAVE NOT TESTED IT OUT…I AM 39 YRS OLD AND CAN STILL SWIM A 50M UNDERWATER SO I AM
NOT SO SURE YOU NEED IT. 
o       Right now, my biggest obstacle is the 50 yard underwater swim. PRACTICE GLIDING IT OUT AND NOT TRYING TO DO 
TOO MANY STROKES ACROSS THE POOL – I DO IT IN 4 STROKES / KICKS AND ALWAYS WITH A SWIM BUDDY OR LIFE 
GUARD WHO KNOWS YOU ARE ATTEMPTING IT.
§         I can do the flip and swim 25 yards but have not been able to complete the full 50.  KEEP TRYING IT JUST 
TAKES TIME…THE HYPOXIC SWIM WORKOUTS WILL HELP YOU LATER TOO – THEY TEND TO HELP ME WITH INCREASED
SWIM STAMINA.
o       Would you recommend drinking protein shakes or sticking to a diet close to what BUD/S will be like?  PROTEIN 
AFTER WORKOUTS IS FINE – YOU CAN TAKE PROTEIN SHAKES AT BUDS TOO IF YOU WISH…
o       Currently I have a protein shake immediately after my workouts – VERY SMART IDEA - I GET MINE FROM 
o       What would a good weight be for military presses? (practice for log PT) I WOULD DO 20-25 LB DUMBBELLS AS YOU 
WILL BE LIFTING 40-45 LBS OVER YOUR HEAD INDIVIDUALLY AND ABOUT 250-300 AS A TEAM…
o       Things I can do to get ready for BUD/S
o       Showering in colder water? – PERHAPS – MIGHT HELP – SWIMMING IN WATER THAT IS 50-70 DEGREES IS PERFECT AS 
THAT IS AS WARM AND AS COLD AS IT GETS IN CORONADO.  I USED TO BODY SURF ALL THE TIME IN WATER TEMP LIKE
THAT AND IT SEEMED TO HELP.
o       Becoming Scuba Certified? – VERY SMART THING TO DO AS WELL.  IT WILL HELP YOU WITH GETTING USED TO
HAVING A REGULATOR IN YOUR MOUTH AT BUDS.  I HAVE BEEN SCUBA DIVING SINCE 13 YRS OLD…
§         I have a friend at usna who is very, very serious about becoming a SEAL (Naval Tri-athlete, Finished 
Dive School, Trained with an SEAL Team 3 this summer, and completed the "Pre-BUD/S Screener"). His view was that they 
teach you completely different ways of using Scuba gear in civilian life vs. BUD/S and that it may do more harm than good. 
NO – IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE UNDERWATER YOU WILL KNOW BEFORE HAND AND PERHAPS BE ABLE TO
WORK ON IT SOME BEFORE BUDS OR YOU CAN WAIT AND BE KICKED OUT DURING BUDS FOR PANICKING.  SO
WHAT IF THEY HAVE TO RE-TEACH YOU.  YOU WILL LEARN SO MUCH NEW STUFF ANYWAY IT DOES NOT MATTER. 
SAME GOES FOR SHOOTING GUNS TOO – THEY WILL RE-TEACH YOU HOW TO DO THAT AS WELL.
o       Martial Arts?  - NOT A PRACTITIONER OF IT THOUGH I WRESTLED AND DID SOME JUDO / JUI JITSU FOR FUN…
THEY WILL TEACH YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AT BUDS / SEALS TEAMS…
o       Do you have any books that you would recommend I read?   SEAL TEAM ONE – by Dick Couch, 
Combat Swimmer – Gormly AND ALL THE ONES YOU LISTED BELOW
o       There are a HUGE amount of books on Navy SEALs/Spec Ops, however, sorting out the crap from the good stuff is 
pretty tough. Do you have any recommendations on good ones to read?
§         Ones I've already read...
1.      The Warrior Elite, by Dick Couch   - GREAT ONE
2.      The Warrior Soul, by Chuck Pfarrer  - GREAT ONE
3.      Without Remorse, by Tom Clancy   - OK – NOT REAL - ENTERTAINING THOUGH
4.      Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell  - AWESOME – BEST ONE TO DATE FOR ME
5.      Suffer in Silence, by David Reid  - OK – WRITTEN BY A GUY WHO QUIT BUDS – THOUGHT HIS STORY
WAS NOT VERY REAL IN MY OPINION - FICTIONAL I KNOW
6.      The Coveted Black and Gold, by JD Lock  - NOT READ THAT ONE
7.      The Navy SEAL Physical Fitness Guide, by Patricia Deuster  - OK
Most important of all my questions is this...
·          I know I can reach the physical level that I need to be at in order to have a good shot at passing all the 
physical evolutions of BUD/S...however, the more people I talk to that have had Special Ops experience say that 
90% of it is, "all between your ears". I realize that even the strongest and fastest people may not have the 
mental fortitude to be cold and wet the rest of their lives, much less their time in BUD/S. 
How can I test, prepare, research and study for the mental rigors I'll face in BUD/S? 

YOU CANNOT REALLY PREP LIKE THIS OTHER THAN TRAIN REALLY HARD AND UNDERSTAND WHAT
DISCOMFORT / COLD IS.  JUST BY PRACTICING / TRAINING YOU WILL BUILD MENTAL TOUGHNESS. 
MANY PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO “PLAY WITH PAIN” ATHLETES ETC DO VERY
WELL AT BUDS AS IT IS TOUGH AND THERE ARE DAYS THAT YOU WILL “PLAY HURT” OR EVEN SICK.  
·      THIS IS WHAT MAKES BUDS SO GREAT – IT MAKES YOU GO INTO THE UNKNOWN AND CHALLENGE YOURSELF
WITHIN TO SEE IF YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES…
·     GO TO BUDS TO COMPETE NOT JUST MERELY SURVIVE – TRY TO WIN THE RUNS, SWIMS, O COURSES,
PT CONTESTS AND YOU WILL NEVER THINK ABOUT QUITTING I PROMISE.  I DID NOT.  I ONLY FEARED
GETTING INJURED.
MY 2 CENTS
STEW SMITH   

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