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Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

Fire Rose

First Post
Hi, I’m a 21 year old woman and I’m training for BUD/S (US Navy SEAL training). How should a woman prepare for BUD/S? How are women treated in BUD/S? Do you have any advice for preparation?

I’m a beginner, where would you recommend I start?

According to what some BUD/S dropouts told me, one female SEAL candidate broke her legs in Basic Orientation (BO) which is the first three weeks of BUD/S, another female SEAL candidate broke her legs in BUD/S Prep and a third female SEAL candidate got rolled back in BO for stress fractures. None of them made it.

In November 2021, a woman made it to first phase of BUD/S for the first time in history but she quit on day one after the first hour.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Plenty of ressources are available, but among them:

You can also check out the work that Stew Smith does. He is a former SEAL and does weekly Q&A on YT, and also has a great website full of resources.

There is also a wonderful book called "Building the Elite", written by C. Weller, former SWCC

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Birddog

Level 1 Valued Member
Hi, I’m a 21 year old woman and I’m training for BUD/S (US Navy SEAL training). How should a woman prepare for BUD/S? How are women treated in BUD/S? Do you have any advice for preparation?

I’m a beginner, where would you recommend I start?

According to what some BUD/S dropouts told me, one female SEAL candidate broke her legs in Basic Orientation (BO) which is the first three weeks of BUD/S, another female SEAL candidate broke her legs in BUD/S Prep and a third female SEAL candidate got rolled back in BO for stress fractures. None of them made it.

In November 2021, a woman made it to first phase of BUD/S for the first time in history but she quit on day one after the first hour.
Im just a civilian but I'd recommend Tactical Barbell books. Books 2 and 3 are all you need and are on amazon kindle for pretty cheap. It is designed for tactical professionals. It also goes through a Base Building phase to get your body prepared for things like BUD/S.
 

renegadenate

Level 5 Valued Member
Women should prepare the same way as a man. You need a mix of qualities including strength, speed, power, strength endurance, mental toughness, etc.

Physically, where do you stand right now in regards to run times and distances, pushups, pull-ups, and overall strength levels?

As noted above, there are plenty of resources available and they all offer similar but different methods to prepare.

No matter which route you go with, you'll need to make sure you've already built up a base level of strength and endurance with the aforementioned exercises that every candidate must go through during BUDS.
 

renegadenate

Level 5 Valued Member
There is also a wonderful book called "Building the Elite", written by C. Weller, former SWCC

I just picked up this book. It's comprehensive and intensive. A ton of good information for sure! I like it. But for a beginner, it may be too much.
 

Bunn

Level 6 Valued Member
@Fire Rose There is no "training for a woman" there is only training to successfully complete BUD/S, you are a candidate just like all the others. As most have mentioned, a solid cardio and strength base is required, muscular endurance is beyond helpful and in concert with all of the others, you need your body to be conditioned and prepared for the constant stress it will be put under. Day one is not the time to figure out if your joints are ready for BUD/S, this is why most candidates drop in the first couple of weeks (for physical reasons). Oh, and make sure you can swim, and I mean SWIM.

Lastly, and no less important, you must be mentally prepared. BUD/S is a mental game as much as it is physical. You cannot "half a#@" any of your prep or your mental attitude.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Hi, I’m a 21 year old woman and I’m training for BUD/S (US Navy SEAL training). How should a woman prepare for BUD/S? How are women treated in BUD/S? Do you have any advice for preparation?

I’m a beginner, where would you recommend I start?

According to what some BUD/S dropouts told me, one female SEAL candidate broke her legs in Basic Orientation (BO) which is the first three weeks of BUD/S, another female SEAL candidate broke her legs in BUD/S Prep and a third female SEAL candidate got rolled back in BO for stress fractures. None of them made it.

In November 2021, a woman made it to first phase of BUD/S for the first time in history but she quit on day one after the first hour.
Welcome and good luck!

Contact Jeff Nichols at Performance First US. In addition to being a phenomenally smart trainer, he's also a former SEAL, and has had a lot of experience working with and training women who are aspiring to high-physical demand occupations.

In the mean time, read Al Ciampa's article on Air Force PT Prep and start working on that. A lot of lower body injuries occur because they have not been prepared adequately.
 

T T

Level 4 Valued Member
Hi, I’m a 21 year old woman and I’m training for BUD/S (US Navy SEAL training). How should a woman prepare for BUD/S? How are women treated in BUD/S? Do you have any advice for preparation?

I’m a beginner, where would you recommend I start?

According to what some BUD/S dropouts told me, one female SEAL candidate broke her legs in Basic Orientation (BO) which is the first three weeks of BUD/S, another female SEAL candidate broke her legs in BUD/S Prep and a third female SEAL candidate got rolled back in BO for stress fractures. None of them made it.

In November 2021, a woman made it to first phase of BUD/S for the first time in history but she quit on day one after the first hour.
The Building The Elite book is a great resource. It is pretty much A-Z for all things preparation--it is very dense--meaning it has TONS of things in it. However, you don't have to read all of it to benefit from it. (I have read it twice--the first and second edition). They mention a couple of times in the book that most competitive athletes could make it through BUDS but don't. Why? Because of the psychological aspects of the training. Physically they are capable, but they mentally break down.

Get the book. Go through and read all the gray callout vignettes. Have a look at the recommended BUDS performance standards. Then read the sections on mindset, coping strategies, and dealing with the "unknown."

There can be a multitude of reasons for the previous injuries. Don't focus on them. Worry about your movement quality, compensation strategies, and building a huge gas tank.

Good luck!
 

Kenny Croxdale

Level 7 Valued Member
you must be mentally prepared. BUD/S is a mental game as much as it is physical.

most competitive athletes could make it through BUDS but don't. Why? Because of the psychological aspects of the training. Physically they are capable, but they mentally break down.

Bunn and TT

As thdy both point out one of the main factors is Metal Toughness.

As Yogi Berra said, ,,,

"Baseball is 90 per cent mental. The other half is physical."'

There are some more physically fit indiviudal that won't survive because they are not metally tough.

UNM Female Strength And Conditioning Football Coach

In talking to her, years ago, she told me she'd take the Football Player to the Sand Dunes have run them sprint up and down those hills.

I didn't quite understand what the purpose was.

As per her, she wanted to find out which ones were mentally tough enough to fight through the pain and keep going in the 4th Quarter of a game.

Seal Camp

That is a large part of what the Seal Camp is about.

You need to find out who is be mentally tough enough and be there for you until the end.
 

Abishai

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi, I’m a 21 year old woman and I’m training for BUD/S (US Navy SEAL training). How should a woman prepare for BUD/S? How are women treated in BUD/S? Do you have any advice for preparation?

I’m a beginner, where would you recommend I start?

According to what some BUD/S dropouts told me, one female SEAL candidate broke her legs in Basic Orientation (BO) which is the first three weeks of BUD/S, another female SEAL candidate broke her legs in BUD/S Prep and a third female SEAL candidate got rolled back in BO for stress fractures. None of them made it.

In November 2021, a woman made it to first phase of BUD/S for the first time in history but she quit on day one after the first hour.
Not to be sexist but its news to me that the Seals let woman go to BUD/S....
Did anyone make it through?
(again Im not trying to imply anything....I support anyone who has the ability to make it )
 

Andi-in-BKK

Level 5 Valued Member
When is your ship date? Have you made it through the US Navy basic training?

If you have some time that will change the answer you get.

The primary goal would be to build your body so it doesn’t become a problem. That means strength and endurance. And build mental toughness through repeated testing.

I would focus on training in the triathlon sphere with the goal to complete several races before your ship date. This will test your swimming, running, and general endurance plus mental toughness. Work up to the long ones. If you can run a marathon after a long swim and long bike ride you probably are well on your way to handling the physical side of endurance requirements.

I would start now and begin hiking/rucking with graduating increasing weights and distances. This will increase bone density in your legs and feet. I’ve got personal experience here, I suffered a bunch of stress fractures after US Marine basic and combat training that took me out of training. Had I spent more time developing the capacity to handle extreme loads and distances, this would not have been a factor in my own training.

Lastly I would get very good at body weight exercises, as in, well above the max score on any posted PFTs. Use barbell and kettlebells as much as you like to reach a high strength standard.

I think you just have to overbuild your chassis through training and recovery and perform lots of mental toughness exercises over the next few years. Think of it as a large, lengthy, extreme sports event where you have to constantly impress and train accordingly.
 

Placidus

Level 4 Valued Member
I have nothing to add to the physical prep side of the equation. On the mental side I have a physical regimen that may help. BUD/S takes place in cold water. An ancestor who served in the old 'brown shoe' Army told me once that there is no theory to get you through being cold and wet. So, get used to being cold and wet by taking cold showers from now until your report date. It never gets pleasant, but you can learn to tolerate it. Good luck.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Hi, I’m a 21 year old woman and I’m training for BUD/S (US Navy SEAL training). How should a woman prepare for BUD/S? How are women treated in BUD/S? Do you have any advice for preparation?

I’m a beginner, where would you recommend I start?

According to what some BUD/S dropouts told me, one female SEAL candidate broke her legs in Basic Orientation (BO) which is the first three weeks of BUD/S, another female SEAL candidate broke her legs in BUD/S Prep and a third female SEAL candidate got rolled back in BO for stress fractures. None of them made it.

In November 2021, a woman made it to first phase of BUD/S for the first time in history but she quit on day one after the first hour.
I have a little more time now to make a reply with links and a couple more thoughts, but check out a podcast called Tactical Fitness Report. It is hosted by Stew Smith and Jeff Nichols is a frequent guest. Here are some episodes to check out:

Training Women for Tactical Roles

Create a Timeline That Works for You

Attrition Rates and How Not to Fail

Common Injuries

They have a very long track record in preparing candidates (including women) for high demand tactical roles and I highly recommend checking them out. They don't do things the same way, but they both do things in ways that work. They have a lot of high quality free information in their podcast, and both have programs-for-purchase. I used Stew's stuff a lot back in the early 2000s (but not for anything as high speed as BUD/S) and it works.

There are a lot of options out there that people will suggest for training for things like this, and there is not necessarily ONE way that works - there are a lot of ways that work. Jeff and Stew don't do the same thing, but they both recognize that the other understands what they're doing.

I think the most important things to remember when training for something like this:

1. Success leaves clues. Find someone to who hasn't just "done" it (been a SEAL) but has also successfully trained people (a lot of people!) to do it too.

2. Pick ONE method to follow - and do it! Don't get distracted and start thinking "well Stew says to do this, and Jeff says to do that, and Tactical Barbell said this over here, and I read this book with Lon Kilgore and a Green Beret that we should do it this other way" and try to mash things together.

3. Pick a time frame that works for you - and be generous! A big factor in success is physical preparation, and a big factor in that is having enough time to develop it comfortably. The physical part ends up being a small part of the whole thing, but it's the entry fee you have to pay in order to get to the rest.

4. Go slow and don't get hurt.
 

Ege

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi;

I am no expert but I know Major Misty Posey, has an amazing pull up program. You can find more about her programs in youtube or online as well. She might have some advice for women specifically as well.


Good luck to you.

Best;

Ege
 

Justin_M

Level 5 Valued Member
I would also suggest Jeff Nichols and Performance First. Train and sleep and eat a lot. Otherwise Novocaine Training 6-7 days per week with both supplements A+B will work. Be sure to utilize finning and rucking as LISS days.

The mind is a hard thing to "train". I personally believe people either have the necessary mindset or they don't. You need to believe in the mission of special warfare and not just testing yourself. I think a big ego is an asset but still only goes so far. Do you want to truly be cold and wet and tired in order to take some pictures or do you want to call yourself a SEAL?
 

shmiggins

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

On the mind training, check out the work by Dr Joe Dispenza. He is an expert in rewiring the brain to think certain ways, it will pay off to use his techniques In times of turmoil.
 

TimothyGander

Level 5 Valued Member
One more thing you might want to get in order is your diet. It's telling that these three women you mention all failed due to fractured and broken bones. Women apparently tend to be calcium deficient more often than men and continuous exertion makes bones of deficient individuals brittle and fragile. So I would advise you to maximize dietary calcium and Vitamin D. Sources of calcium include dairy (duh), sardines and other small fish with soft bones, eggs (particularly the shells - just eat them, they dissolve in your stomach).

Another thing you may want to look into is fixing your metabolism and adapting to relying on your body fat for energy. I've never been in a special forces, but during my time as a conscript the servicemen who didn't need to eat every half hour and didn't rely on candy and snacks for energy performed much better. I assume being able to survive with no/little/low quality food would greatly help in your training. A healthy metabolism also has implications for your ability to recover from stress and injuries. I would advise you stop eating anything with vegetable oil in it and reduce your snacking (if you do any), eventually accustoming yourself to intermittent and even longer fasts. I recommend Catherine Shanahan's work for further detail, I may also write more on the topic if you're interested.
 
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