8 Weeks to SEALFIT: A Navy SEAL's Guide to Unconventional Training for Physical and Mental Toughness-Revised Edition

8 Weeks to SEALFIT: A Navy SEAL's Guide to Unconventional Training for Physical and Mental Toughness-Revised Edition

by Mark Divine


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8 Weeks to SEALFIT plunges you into more than a workout program. Mark Divine’s stories and assignments will develop your mental, emotional, intuitive and spiritual warrior as well as your physical warrior.

What You Will Learn

• Develop the character traits of a Navy SEAL

• Forge an unbeatable mind

• Adopt a level-headed approach to nutrition

• Gain exceptional overall strength and stamina

• Improve work capacity and durability

• Get the best functional workout available with the least amount of equipment

A Sneak Peek into 8 Weeks to SEALFIT

It begins with your arrival as a Navy SEAL BUD/S cadet. There’s no time to dilly dally. You either do the first workout and commit to this training, or don’t bother. Next day, you move on to another challenge completely different than what you’d expect. It’s not the stuff for doubters, quitters, or complainers.

These 8 weeks will be hard. Mark will push your physical body to its limits and test your inner resolve. You’ll be tempted to give up. But if you embrace the suck of the challenge, you’ll begin to win. The stories and adventures Mark takes you on — escaping battlefield danger, calming yourself when there’s no way out, learning to trust your gut — will tap into more power than you knew you had.

You’ll begin to glimpse, and reach, your full potential. You’ll develop the character that makes a Navy SEAL: discipline, drive, determination, self-mastery, honor, integrity, courage, and leadership. You’ll thrive in a teamwork setting. You’ll learn to laugh and not take your circumstances so seriously. You’ll even know how to functionally train without equipment.

This is the ground-breaking training that increases SEALFIT athletes’ overall endurance, work capacity, and toughness. Be someone special. Let’s get started…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250040541
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 432,403
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

MARK DIVINE is a former Navy SEAL and has trained thousands of aspiring Navy SEALs. He owns and runs the SEALFIT Training Center in San Diego, California where he trains thousands of professional athletes, military professionals, SWAT, First Responders, SOF candidates and everyday people looking to build strength and character. He is the author of the New York Times Bestseller 8 Weeks to SEALFIT.

Read an Excerpt



You just set foot onto the Navy SEAL's Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training compound. The sun's beating down. The ocean booms in the distance. You are standing in your workout shorts, white T-shirt, and combat boots, and nervous energy tingles under your skin. Taking a few deep breaths, you prepare to demonstrate that you have what it takes to be a SEAL.

The instructor eyes you like a piece of fresh meat and says, "Your first exercise is pushups. Perform as many perfect, Navy SEAL–style push-ups as you can in two minutes. I will demonstrate."

He assumes the plank position, then lowers himself like a board until his chest touches the ground, then rises back up to full arm extension. The instructor then demonstrates the what-not-to-dos — no chicken dip, hip drops, or resting on your knees. You pair up with a swim buddy and hear, "Three, two, one, go!"

You complete your set, then rest 10 minutes. Next up is maximum repetitions of sit-ups in 2 minutes. Hands touching shoulders, elbows touch knees in the up position. Easy day, so far! Until you hit 50.

After sit-ups, another 10-minute break, then come the pull-ups. Do as many as you can before you gas out. You must get your chin over the bar in a strict dead-hang pull-up. No kipping — manipulating your hips to gain upward momentum.

Another 10-minute rest separates the pull-ups from the pool, where you complete a 500-meter swim using the combat sidestroke. Finally, a 1.5-mile run caps off the test. Hooyah! The first workout of BUD/S is in the bag. You realize, however, that this is just the beginning; there's a long road ahead. But you're up for the challenge, because you've trained in SEALFIT to prepare.

Welcome to 8 Weeks to SEALFIT!

You've chosen to show your instructor (me) that you have the stuff to be SEALFIT. Now suit up and get the baseline screening test done! That's right. You're doing what you just read. If you can't or won't do this, don't bother with the rest of the book. Put it down and walk away. I don't work with people who aren't ready to commit. When you're ready to continue, complete:

1. as many perfect, Navy SEAL–style pushups as you can in 2 minutes

2. 10-minute rest

3. as many sit-ups as you can in 2 minutes

4. 10-minute rest

5. as many pull-ups as you can before you gas out

6. 10-minute rest

7. a 500-meter swim (or substitute a 2,000-meter row if you don't have access to a pool)

8. 10-minute rest

9. a 1.5-mile run

10. Record your repetitions and times in a journal!

Check online at www.sealfit.com/screeningtest to compare your results to the SEAL standards. Get it done. Then come back and read the end of this chapter. Good luck!

SEALFIT Training

SEALFIT TRAINING INVOLVES MORE THAN push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, running, and swimming. However, you'll use these key functional movements and a few others every day. If you hope to be SEALFIT, you have to be able to do the basics. No excuses. No quitting.

Navy SEALs do nothing unless it's critical. Everything they do in the gym or on the grinder (the large open space in the SEAL compound where the bodies, minds, and spirits of the candidates are ground down and then rebuilt) supports actual SEAL missions later on. You don't see SEALs working dumbbell curls, leg extensions, or any funky machines. All that they need is a body and a few simple tools: pull-up bar, rope, dip bar, set of free weights, kettlebell, sandbag, jump rope, and a few other odds and ends. They keep it simple. So do I. The screening test described on the previous page works because all the movements are functionally oriented toward key SEAL physical needs — pushing, pulling, running, swimming, and a strong core.

The baseline will smoke you if you put 100 percent into each evolution. It tests your capacity to do a lot of work in a short period of time — what I call work capacity. It reveals the efficiency of your muscles, or stamina. And it proves your endurance. Going full-out challenges your mental fortitude. You've tasted only a few of the domains that SEALFIT will develop to an entirely new level. As you progress, you'll be astounded at what I ask you to do, and what you find that you can do.

As in the actual Navy SEAL program, I aim to shock your system. I need to break you down so I can build you back up the SEALFIT way. In the meantime I need you to set aside any beliefs about what should and shouldn't be done, or what you can and can't do. I don't care whether you're a strongman or a skinny weakling; I've trained all types. If you commit to SEALFIT, we will transform you into a lifetime functional athlete. The secret is embracing the suck, every training session, day in and day out. As you habituate discipline and courage, SEALFIT will stop being hard. The suck will be fun. You won't want to live without it.

An "Average" 40-Year-Old Business Owner

Bobby spends most of his time riding a desk. After training in CrossFit for a year, he enrolled in my Unbeatable Mind Academy (UMA). UMA is an online mental toughness program that introduces SEALFIT training in a progressive manner, after some foundational mental skills are developed. Bobby jumped right into the SEALFIT Advanced Operator Training workouts after resolving to get serious.

Every workout crushed him. He would cuss at SEALFIT and me as he struggled with the 2-hour sessions — which made his former workouts seem like a warm-up. Most days he had to scale the loads and substitute for things he couldn't do. But Bobby embraced the suck. After 3 months a dramatic shift occurred.

The phone rang ...

"Coach Divine," I said as I picked up the call.

"Coach ... Bobby Yates here.... I called to tell you about a breakthrough!" He was clearly excited.

"For the last three weeks I have finally been able to complete the Advanced Operator Training workouts as prescribed. I didn't care if it took me three hours."

"Sounds like a great milestone, Bobby."

"But something amazing happened. My strength and performance suddenly improved dramatically. I've got this new sense of confidence I've never had. I went from dragging myself to workouts to now really looking forward to them." He was practically beaming into the phone.

"I got this swagger as I go about my day. I'm a machine at work and have tons of energy to spend with the family."

He finished with: "My friends think I'm crazy, but I feel stronger — physically and mentally — than I have in years.... I feel like I'm twenty again!"

Bobby had tapped into a secret of SEALFIT training. When we establish a new norm for the human experience, we step up to meet the challenge. Our bodies, minds, and spirits adapt. Bobby's new normal is very uncommon in the world today. That makes Bobby uncommon. He's no longer an average guy. He's someone special.

More Than a Workout Program

After 8 weeks of the SEALFIT training program, you will begin to:

* Work at near peak output for extended periods of time, with unknown rest periods.

* Prepare for the known and the unknown.

* Find a way to work out, whether or not you have access to a gym or the so-called proper training tools.

* Compete not only to win, but also to survive and accomplish a mission that has life, death, or strategic consequences well beyond your own pay grade.

* Be strong without being concerned about shows or competitions of strength.

* Possess stamina to move heavy objects around.

* Utilize exceptional endurance for completing long distances.

* Demonstrate an intense capacity for working in explosive, short bursts such as a firefight or other crises.

* Retain durability and powerful core strength, without as many injuries. You'll be knowledgeable about sustaining the body at high levels of readiness over a long haul.

* Profess mental toughness, understanding that training is required for that toughness.

See, SEALFIT is far more than a workout program. It's a way of life. It will change the way you see yourself. You'll become more confident and capable, demonstrating a mental fortitude that will allow you to dominate any challenge. You'll soon tell me what I heard the other day from Bobby Yates —"Coach Divine, I've changed."

It's your turn. Be someone special. Now get some rest. Tomorrow's gonna kick your ass.



Now that you've completed the baseline test, you probably think you're ready to start training. Not so fast. We need to prepare your mind to be an ally, rather than an enemy.

Welcome to Hell!

"Welcome to Hell!" says Instructor Zinke with a sideways smile. "Assume you're checking into Hotel Hell Week ... or did you come to quit like the rest?"

Hell Week? Oh, yeah, you think to yourself. I'm here for Hell Week, all right, and scared shitless. "Yes, sir, I am here for Hell Week, and no, sir, you would have to kill me to get me to quit."

You instantly regret those words. Zinke stares right through you and says: "No problem, if that's what it's gonna take!"

Seventy teammates, out of 180 who started 7 weeks ago, remain. They shove gear in duffel bags, stencil T-shirts, and prepare themselves for the coming challenge.

Holy cow, I'm finally doing this. I'm about to jump into the abyss. Am I ready? you ask yourself.

After a few awkward jokes, your teammates retire to their racks for a final snooze before the games begin. Five days and nights of brutal, around-the-clock training. You sit on your rack to review your worn copy of 8 Weeks to SEALFIT. Recalling that kokoro means "merging of heart and mind in action," you're going to need all the kokoro spirit you can muster. Coach Divine's words pierce your thoughts:

"Find a quiet place to prepare your mind."

An hour before it all begins you head to the beach ...

The Mental Game

It's unusually quiet, the calm before the storm. You look beyond the waves and soften your eyes, slipping into the meditative state you learned at SEALFIT. After about 5 minutes of sitting and watching the waves roll in, you have reached a state in which your mind is still water running deep. You review the physical and mental milestones met in preparation for this moment. Hours upon hours of physical training from Basic, to Intermediate, to Advanced Operator Workouts. You're ready for this. You review what you know about Hell Week as if watching a movie in your mind. You see yourself strong, injury free, alert and ready to lead, ready to follow, never quitting. That's who you are! Next you review your strategy and tactics for winning:

* WHAT'S MY ULTIMATE GOAL? Not just to survive, but to thrive.

* WHY DID I COME HERE? To meet myself for the first time, and earn the honor of wearing the Trident.

* HOW DO I EXPECT TO ACHIEVE THIS? One ordinary moment at a time, using extraordinary effort.

* WHAT RESOURCES DO I HAVE TO DRAW UPON? My strong mind, my strong body, my indomitable spirit, and my teammates.

There's still time left. Good, I need it to "dirt dive" the event.

You picture yourself getting the crap beat out of you with your teammates on the grinder, smiling. Images of another Hell Week you saw on YouTube play in your mind for a reference point. Experiences at SEALFIT Kokoro Camp, where you instilled the warrior mind-set, flash before you. You're standing proud at the end of every evolution, helping your mates. You've gone 48 hours with no sleep, but your mind's still alert. Your body freezes in the ocean, but deep breathing controls your mental and physical responses. Gazing in the mirror 5 days later, you smile, bright-eyed. "Class, you are secured!" rings out as you embrace your surviving teammates in gratitude. A sense of euphoria and peace washes over you as you reach your visualized goals.

Time grows short. You "charge up" for what's to come, plugging into the electricity inside and all around you. Tap into it, you tell yourself. You'll channel it for use during the week by maintaining the proper mental state, as if tuning to a radio frequency. You start with box breathing and soon evoke images of peak moments from the past. Strong emotions of battles fought and victories won arise. A positive internal dialogue awakens. An energetic high washes over you. You drop anchor in these positive seas, reciting William Ernest Henley's line from his poem "Invictus" — "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

The Warrior Mind

You may be one of the few to experience what I described above, but chances are you aren't and won't, for good reason. It doesn't matter. Replace the words "Hell Week" in the text above with whatever challenge you face. Developing a warrior mind-set remains the same. You think differently from the common man or woman. On the outside they may look like you, but on the inside you're very different. The mental preparation for the warrior mind-set allows you to dominate any challenge you accept in life.

* Stay focused and relaxed, adaptable to the changing situation.

* Know that you are going to succeed — there will be no wondering.

* Tap into energy that lies deep inside you, allowing you to be capable of at least 20 times what you think you are.

* Control fear and turn stress into success.

* Keep goals very short, and be prepared for whatever comes your way.

* Find humor in the challenge through a positive attitude that keeps you and your team motivated.

* Be decisive and confident, a true leader.


The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it. — CONFUCIUS Before each training session, you will perform what I call a pretraining standard operating procedure (SOP). This is the same procedure you will use for a big challenge; it would just take a little more time. Find someplace quiet where you won't be distracted. Review the workout description in detail. Understand the protocol and all the exercises before ever beginning. Is your training space set up properly? What's your strategy — are you going to go straight through or break up the workout? Going for a new best in the strength or work capacity segments? Have your towel, journal, pencil, and water bottle ready? What about fuel — what will you eat as you run dry? What's your specific goal for this session? Check in with all this and remind yourself why you're committed to SEALFIT training.

Now see yourself performing the workout as written, with any modifications you may need. See mission success in your mind's eye. Rehearse the whole thing with perfect form. Finally, activate deep breathing and charge your body with positive energy and emotions, as if you had just hit a new personal best or had a major breakthrough. Begin a positive internal dialogue, which you will maintain throughout the training session. Okay. Feel more ready now? Sally forth and dominate, warrior. Once you've completed the workout, read the rest of this chapter.

WARM-UP: Watch range of motion (ROM), drills, burpee, and air squat video (www.sealfit.com/videos) at SEALFIT's Web site and practice 25 squats.

WORK CAPACITY: 5 rounds for quality:

* 20× air squats

* 20× burpees

* 200m (meter) run

COOL DOWN: 1-mile jog and long stretch.

COACHING NOTES: You've done your baseline (Training Day 1). These next 5 training days will prepare you for the On-Ramp and Advanced Operator Workouts. They'll cover some basic ground and get your mind and body in the game. Don't skip them. Even if you've done them before, improving your technique will yield enormous results in your training. You don't have to do them sequentially — you can take a rest day or two, depending on your starting fitness level.

Perform the air squat with feet apart at shoulder width, heels firmly planted into the ground. Extend your arms directly in front of you and pretend someone is pulling on your wrists. Now push your bottom slightly backward and sit down without bending your back. Keep your lumbar arch engaged and tight, keep your heels firmly planted, get your hips below the knee line. Wiggle your toes to ensure your weight is on your heels. Stand up in an explosive movement and push your hips slightly into hyperextension. Full depth, open hips at the top, engaged lumbar arch, and firmly planted heels are the keys.

Start your burpees from the standing position. Drop your body vigorously to the ground by kicking your feet backward, land in the push-up position, and lower yourself with expedited speed until your chest is touching the ground. Explode from the ground to the standing position and conduct a 6-inch jump as well as clapping hands overhead 1 time.

This Is SOP

What you've just performed is the standard operating procedure (SOP) for mental preparation in SEALFIT training. SEAL teams use the same warrior mind-set techniques when preparing for dangerous real-world missions. True warriors through the ages have discovered this secret: You must win the first battle — in your mind — to win every other battle in life. Remember: SEALFIT is more than training the body. You must embrace the whole person and see yourself as a body-mind-spirit. You'll train these simultaneously, leading to optimal performance and greater success in all your endeavors.


Excerpted from "8 Weeks To Sealfit"
by .
Copyright © 2014 Mark Divine.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Foreword Joe Stumpf ix

SOF Candidates: Read This… xiii

1 Embrace the Suck 1

2 Forging a Warrior Mind-set 7

3 Staying in the Fight 14

4 Training Isn't "Working Out" 19

5 The Five Mountains 28

6 SEAL Fuel 37

7 On-Ramp Training 44

8 Advanced Operator Training 115

9 Needed: SEALFIT Leaders 193

10 The Next Step 201

11 You're Not Common 203

Appendix 1 Unbeatable Mind Power Resources 210

Appendix 2 Bask Training Program 216

Appendix 3 Shopping List 243

Appendix 4 Substitution, Scaling, and Standards 248

Appendix 5 Definitions, Acronyms, and Abbreviations 253

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