Navy SEAL workouts are superior for burning belly fat and building functional strength. However, the knock against them is that they do not build muscular size. To me, this is NOT a legitimate gripe.
Last week, some friends and I finished our workout at they gym and were discussing what we could do to improve our strength. One of the guys suggested chipping in a couple of bucks each, and buying a Navy SEAL workout dvd to get some ideas for putting together a routine. This seemed like a great idea to me, but our other buddy said, “Those SEAL workouts aren’t good for anything but getting you in shape.”
Say what? Isn’t that what we wanted to do? What he was getting at was that, though, is that we would get stronger, we would burn belly fat, we would get more defined…but we would not get BIG.
Right there is the crux of polarized opinion and the two resolving arguments for using (or not using) Navy SEAL workouts in your personal fitness program.
Exactly what are the Navy SEALs…and what do they do?
The United Sates Navy SEALs are an elite commando fighting unit that engages in covert combat operations. SEAL is an acronym for Sea, Air, Land…the three environments where these small teams gather intelligence, destroy targets, and make rescues, all without being detected. Their missions include small unit patrolling, high speed boat operations, combat swimmer operations, urban warfare, SDV and dry deck operations (using small mini-subs to launch from a main submarine), and even winter warfare operations. They work in small units from two men, up to a platoon of 16, in harsh elements of heat and cold.
How are Navy SEAL workouts focused in their training programs?
These special forces are trained in extreme environments of heat and cold. Their conditioning takes place in jungles, deserts, and urban environments. It is all centered on their mission objectives of Unconventional Warfare, Counter Terrorism, Special Reconnaissance, Foreign Internal Defense, and Direct Action. In a nutshell, Navy SEAL fitness is geared to maximizing mission-related performance. They must be able to transport a substantial amount of equipment, plus two weapons and ammunition, over varied, rugged, and unforgiving terrain. (Loads of 70 lbs – 80 lbs per man are about standard.) Scramble over fences, walls and blown out buildings. Swim long distances with and without fins. Handle heavy equipment underwater and on land, and climb up and down rope cargo nets or caving ladders.
What are the main components of their workouts?
Running, swimming, and body weight exercises are the staple of conditioning for this elite combat unit. Volume sets (such as 10×30 push ups, 10×20 dips, or 10×10 pull ups) are the backbone of maintaining and increasing functional strength. Long distance swimming and running are combined with sprint interval training in both. Exercise is continuous with relatively short breaks of recovery.
How do Navy SEAL workouts fit for you?
The conditioning routines followed by Navy SEALs expend a huge amount of calories. They want to be as lean and strong as possible to complete the arduous tasks of their missions. If your focus in your personal training program is on benching 300 lbs, dead lifting 400 lbs, or gaining 15 pounds in weight over a 6-month period, this workout program would only frustrate you. However, if you are intent on burning belly fat, increasing your muscular endurance, and elevating your functional strength, committing to Navy SEAL workouts will be worthwhile.