Tips From the World’s Most Badass Military Unit

By Joe Vennare


Photograph by AF Archive/Alamy

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you’re a pussy. I’m sorry for that. It doesn’t make it any less true, though. In fact, you really need to hear this. You’re soft. You know—a wuss, the grown-up version of the kid who gets pushed around on the playground simply because he can’t defend himself. You’re that kid. Except now you’re no longer on the playground, you’re in the office. You don’t run from bullies, you run from your boss, your wife, and your kids. You slouch when you stand. Gasp for breath when you go up the stairs. And you wear a size 44 blazer off the rack, when you should be wearing a tailored 42 regular.

It’s a sad state of affairs. A man without his manhood. No confidence. No strength. No fortitude.


Snap out of it!

Pull yourself together, man! While you’re sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, your entire life is passing you by. You should be having exponentially more sex, epic adventures, and getting paid a whole hell of a lot more to do whatever it is you do. But you’re not. And it’s time to change that.

At this point, an obvious question presents itself. Mainly, “How the hell do I do that?” First, you start by working at it. And there’s no better model to align your efforts with than that of the most badass men in all the land—the United States Navy SEALs.

Talk about the epitome of manhood. These guys can kill you with their bare hands. That’s not to say that you want to be a ruthless, one-man wrecking crew. But hey, it doesn’t hurt. More important, and more specific to your circumstance, the SEALs values far exceed what they’re known for on the battlefield.

Being a SEAL is a way of life. It’s a state of mind. One that embodies discipline, self-mastery, honor, integrity, and an elite level of fitness that is the physical representation of the aforementioned characteristics.


Becoming SEAL Fit

Way back during World War II, the military experienced a lack of physical fitness among recruits. (See, it’s not just you.) In an effort to right the ship and return to elite standards, military leadership created a new plan for physical fitness among servicemen. That plan focused on “total military fitness,” including strength, endurance, stamina, leadership, initiative, and “the will to win.”

Now that’s the stuff we’re talking about. And even if you’re not planning to invade another country, there’s no shortage of reasons why you should pursue fitness the SEAL way. Here’s how to do it:



Reach down between your legs. Feel that? That’s the fleshy sac where your balls used to be. You’re a man, remember? It’s time you started acting like it. It’s time to get strong, so you can survive and reproduce. According to a War Department Field Manual from 1946, soldiers (read: real men) should strive for strength that enables them to “make assaults and to run and crawl for long distances, to jump into and out of foxholes, craters, and trenches, and over obstacles; to lift and carry heavy objects….”

Try this: While you may not be fighting for your life, you are fighting for your manhood. Load a backpack with rocks and gravel or strap on a weighted vest before setting off on a hike. Build superior strength by taking on unknowable challenges along the way, like lifting or carrying large rocks or fallen trees that you encounter.



A SEAL needs to be able to work at maximum capacity, without wavering, for hours on end. This type of endurance requires cardiovascular and muscular conditioning.

Try this: Go for a run, covering three to six miles, based on your level of fitness. But stop every ten minutes to perform 20 repetitions each of push-ups, body-weight squats, and sit-ups. This will whip your muscles and respiratory endurance into shape.



Agility and Coordination

Combined, agility and coordination account for your ability to change directions rapidly and integrate all required body parts into efficient, purposeful movements. Both of which come in handy when ducking for cover or engaging in hand-to-hand combat.

Try this: Acquire an agility ladder or use chalk to block off ten connected squares on the ground. Your job will be to hop through the ladder or squares with both feet in each block. Once you nail that, try single leg hops, lateral hops, and quickly tapping each foot in every block on your way down that ladder.


From the July/August 2015 issue of Penthouse