Muscular strength, the ability to produce force during a single contraction, should be developed when preparing for BUD/S and the Physical Screening Test. It is required not only to enhance performance but also to facilitate the overall training process and reduce the risk of injury.

While strength relative to body weight – required for pull-ups or rope climbing – is crucial for performance at BUD/S, pure strength is also desirable. You will benefit from following a strength training program that adheres to the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Don’t concentrate all your time and energy in the weight room. It is not necessary to add mass to benefit from strength training. Proper lifting aids in injury prevention. Take care to lift properly to avoid injuries caused by lifting. You should follow a well-designed and properly supervised program for general strength.

You can occasionally perform a second set to provide additional training stimulus, but in most cases one set is sufficient to produce significant increases in strength. Perform a single set using a weight that cannot be lifted more than 8-12 times giving maximal effort and using proper technique. Generally perform 8-12 exercises per session. Move from one exercise to the next quickly, only resting the amount of time it takes to set up the proper weight at the next station. This promotes overall intensity and some cardiorespiratory adaptations.

Use a split routine of upper body and lower body exercises on alternate days. Below is a list of exercises you might incorporate into your strength program. This list is not definitive, and individuals may create personalized routines based on equipment availability and individual preferences. Alternate a variety of exercises that involve pushing ( extension ) with pulling ( flexion ) and target several major muscle groups.

Avoid exercises that require high levels of skill unless you are under the supervision of a qualified coach.

NOTE: A strength training program should not detract you from pursuing competency in running and swimming.

Upper Body Exercises

Strong Shoulders Will Be Your Foundation

  • Lat pull-downs
  • Shoulder (military) press
  • Biceps curl
  • Bench press
  • Incline press
  • Seated row pull
  • Deltoid lateral raise (raise your arms parallel to the ground, but no higher)
  • Upright row
  • Triceps extension
  • Pull-ups or dips

Lower Body Exercises

The Back Is Core To Everything

  • Lunges
  • Leg curl
  • Back hyperextension
  • Dead lifts
  • Leg press
  • Squats
  • Calf raises