Army Special Forces Selection (SFAS)

  • Creator
  • #75218

    What is the best way to train for special operations selection, specifically Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS)? SFAS is land based and will require the following:

    – Some distance running speed (5 miles in 35 mins)

    – Strength (80 pushups in 2 min, 15+ strict pullups, grip strength to carry heavy weights for long distances )

    – BUT the main challenge that SFAS requires is to ruck with a weighted back pack (50+ #’s) day after day at a high speed for 3 weeks.

    My questions are the following:

    – Can Uphill Athlete/zone 2 methods be applied to training for selection?

    – I’ve heard on one of Scott’s podcasts that even though the majority of selection will be rucking, I can/should train for this event with mostly running. How much weight, how often, and for how long should I ruck for? Should I build a running base first and then add ruck training in closer to my selection date?

    – For the past year I’ve averaged about 45 minutes of running per week. As I build my base what sort of mileage should I start with? I’ve heard on one of Scott’s podcasts 8-10 miles is a good starting point (I believe because it can take the body’s connective tissue a fair amount of time to adapt to the running pounding. Before I attend selection what type of weekly running mileage should I aim for?

    – Is strength training 2x/week enough if I’m focusing on compound lifts (pullups, dips, squads, deadlifts)?

    – Are there any helpful resources out there that I should read that have some information regarding this specific event?

Posted In: Tactical

  • Participant
    Jakob on #75275


    I don’t know the specific requirements of the army SF selection, but in general, I agree with your thoughts!

    For running: i don’t recommend to focus on how far you go. Its much more efficient to stay in your right training zone (=heartrate range). E.g. 2h Run in Zone2 will be the goal and not the 10mile run!

    I think the uphill method for a 16-week training will help you a lot!
    It will be very helpful to get a good aerobic(=running) / strength base for the selection and keep up in all the training (and the missions after that). (transition / base period)

    After that, I would integrate the max. strength training. This will help you, carry very heavy loads and also indirectly improve your endurance.

    The last period is about event-specific training, so get your Ruck and make it heavier week by week. Here i would recommend the terrain, as close as where the army SF will do the selection. This training includes muscular endurance training and all the movements you need in the selection! I would also highly recommend speaking with girls/guys who did the selection e.g. for specific quests during the long marches. You can include this in your training (e.g. carrying a big tree trunk in steep terrain (if they use this kind of stuff) + your ruck/gear).

    In addition, the training will help you get used to the pain / mental stress you will experience during the selection.

    I did similar stuff within the EU, so should be comparable. However, all units have very specific requirements that can also be important (esp. the navy…). However, since the requirements are very similar in the field, my general tips should already help you.

    pedro on #75491


    In order to answer all your questions it is important to know.

    1.When are you going to do the test for the army ?
    Working on zone 2 is essential to work on your aerobic capacity , to create on the base for all the specific training you need to do for the assessment day and for basic training, but you will need time to build up that capacity.
    2. How much time you have available for training and your fitness level ?
    That determines how the periodisation is done, and how and when to tackle the specific training you need to do for assessement and basic training.
    3. In basic training and advanced , in all the army branches , and in every country, all the work is done walking with a backpack( with combat gear “ready for combat ) and running . Walking is normally a forced march ( full gear and walking fast) or run with light gear.
    In my opinion is almost mandatory that if you aren’t a runner , you become one , but work on loaded walkings to adapt to the stress of carrying wheigt and on a running schedule of at least 1 hour per day , 6 day a week .

    In terms of strength , first 6 weeks 3 times per week and then reduce to two times. In basic training and advanced course , they will put a lot of stress , physical and mentally , and so, getting that as fit as possible will help you diminish that.

    to have more information about the tests and requirements , the best is to contact recruitment and ask for as much as information as possible, talk with other people that attended and passed the recruitment process. With more information about timings and specific demands is more easy to plan and answer the questions more precisely .


    Pedro Carvalho

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