Navy SEALS Fitness Tips: How They Train For War

Better note down these nutrition and fitness tips from the elite fighting force, soldier!

If you’re looking to get in the best shape of your life, CBS's new military drama Seal Team is here to serve as your inspiration. The show profiles elite Navy SEALs as they train, strategize, and implement dangerous missions. These bad*sses are ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“SEALs are wired differently. When they have a mission and they have to go in, they don’t want to fail," star David Boreanaz said at the TV Critics Press Tour. Boreanaz plays Jason Hayes, a high-ranking SEAL who is estranged from his wife and children. "They are perfectionists. What bothers them the most is when something goes haywire.”

So what does it take to get as pumped as a Navy Seal? Men’s Health talked exclusively with former Navy SEAL Mark Semos, who works on the series as a consulting producer. (He's also Boreanaz’s stunt double, and has worked on films like Lone Survivor). He offered these invaluable tips.

Related: 4 Exercises Every Navy Seal (And Every Fit Man) Should Do

1) Diet. It might sound obvious, but Semos said that a change in diet is the quickest way to get in shape. “I like the Paleo diet," he said. "It's simple to follow and the results happen quickly." 

2) Get outside. Semos is a big believer in outdoor workouts. “Get out of the gym at least once a week," he advises. "Go for a trail run or find a pool. Go mountain biking, hockey, or play a game of basketball; anything to get out and exercise in a specifically functional manner.” While working out outdoors doesn't burn any more calories than working out in a gym, it does provide a welcome change of pace.

3) Go barefoot. While running barefoot has been associated with injury, Semos recommends mixing up your workout routine by doing Jiu Jitsu or another sport that doesn't require shoes. "A lot of footwear out there also artificially changes your gait and can result in mobility problems down the road," he says.

4) Fight. “l’m partial to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, but any martial art is better than nothing,” said Semos. “There are boxing gyms and MMA gyms all over the place. Best case scenario, you love it and make it part of your routine. Worst case, you get your ass handed to you and realize exactly where you fall in the physical food chain.”

Related: Fighting With Gloves VS Without: Which Is Safer For Boxing And MMA?

5) Get mobileSemos noted that for a lot of former spec-ops guys, old injuries result in reduced mobility, and that translates into reduced strength. “So as to reduce pain from injury, which increases performance, range of motion and strength, there is nothing I recommend more than a serious and targeted mobility program. It's not fun or sexy, and in general is uncomfortable and at time downright painful, but if you want to extend your athletic life, it's a requirement,” he said. “Put the the time into a solid mobility program and it will pay dividends."

6) Get active. Semos’ favourite 10-minute workout: 10 rounds for time of a 250-metre sprint row (or 400-metre sprint run if you don't have an erg), and 20 alternating dumbbell snatches. 

By Susan Hornik

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