On most days you head to the gym and ‘do the right thing’. You take out your training log, follow the reps and sets, add a little more weight than last week and walk out the door feeling pretty darn good about yourself. Other days, you’re not quite ‘feeling it’ and you spend less time deadlifting and more time chatting up the hot chick putting the finishing touches on her shredded stomach

Then there are some days you just walk into the gym feeling extra pumped and super focused. Sure you could bang out your regularly scheduled training program. But, today, you’re same-old training program just won’t do. You want to tackle something tough. You want a challenge. You want to train so hard that you crawl out of the gym. 

Lucky for you, we’re here to help. Each week we’ll give you a tough, one-off workout that you can try when you are looking for the ultimate training challenge of just feel like you need a break from your regular routine. But be warned, this training program will leave you totally CRUSHED.

Check out the workout on the next page. 

Pull up 16

The Special Forces Workout

To be a member of the military’s Special Forces units, you need strength, smarts, work capacity and guts. And while we can’t compare a single workout to the requirements it takes to be an elite level soldier, you’ll need all those characteristics (except maybe smarts – you can’t be too bright to take on this type of workout!) to get through this program. 

The sprints are meant to be done ‘every minute on the minute’, meaning you’ll start at the top of the minute, sprint 20 yards and rest whatever remains of that minute. At the top of the next minute, repeat that sequence. Continue until you have completed all 10 rounds. These sprints will obviously get your legs (particularly your hamstrings and glutes) fired up, but they’ll also get your heart rate elevated. Rest for 5 minutes after the sprints.

Your heart rate should come down just enough to tackle four rounds of the “B” exercise circuit, which includes deadlifts (again, perfect to get the hamstrings, glutes and upper back worked), barbell thrusters to tax your quads and shoulders, chin-ups for your lats, and burpees to improve work capacity and quite frankly, just to make things extra tough.

This Special Forces workout won’t prepare you to land a helicopter in enemy territory, or shoot a target from 250 yards away, but it should make you feel like a pretty accomplished badass.

A) Sprints
20 yards
Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes

B1) Deadlifts
5 reps

B2) Barbell Thursters
10 reps

B3) Chin Ups
5 reps

B4) Burpees
20 reps

We recommend 225 lbs. for the deadlifts and 135 lbs. for the thrusters, but scale up or down as needed.

Complete all sets of A before moving onto 4 rounds of the B exercises, resting as little as possible between movements and one minute between rounds.  If you still have the ability to complete a sentence, let us know how it went in the comments section below.

Dan Trink_thumb


Dan Trink is a personal trainer, strength coach and nutritional consultant based in New York City. To find out more about Dan visit