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Training and selection

The Murph Challenge Workout

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the murph challenge - The Murph Challenge Workout

Special operations operators are well beyond professional athletes. SFO’s are in extreme physical conditions. they are prepared to react instantly, in defense of our county. One SFO stands out to me. Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, Navy Seal. No, I never had the supreme honor of meeting the man, but I have read and followed every piece of information I could find on him. “Lt Murphy” became a Navy Seal in July 2002. After several if not numerous mission combating terrorism, Lt. Micheal P. Murphy was surrounded by Taliban soldiers, along with his three other Navy Seals.

“Murphy was killed on 28 June 2005 after he left his cover position and went to a clearing away from the mountains, exposing himself to a hail of gunfire in order to get a clear signal to contact headquarters for relaying the dire situation and requesting immediate support for his team. He dropped the satellite phone after being shot multiple times but picked the phone back up and finished the call. While being shot, he signed off saying- “Thank You”, then continued fighting from his exposed position until he died from his wounds.” Michael P. Murphy – Wikipedia

Lt. Murphy left behind a legacy of honor and fitness and preparedness that many strive to archive. Lt. Murphy called this workout Body Armour, after his death, the workout was renamed The Murph Challenge.

  • A 1-mile run.
  • Then 100 pull-ups.
  • Then 200 pushups.
  • Then 300 squats.
  • And ANOTHER 1-mile run.

I’m not saying professional athletes couldn’t do it, but Lt Murphy did this for fun.

That being said, I once met an SFO, in Hampton, VA. He was in his late fifties and ran alongside our platoon one morning during pt. , We finished a five-mile run, and he turned to us, and said… that’s it? cmon let’s do it again. The Master Chief was about 6′1 looked like he weighed about 220. It wasn’t until afterward, When I asked him, what was his weight, and almost fell out learning he was 185.

Training and selection

How to train after you retire?

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Fitness App Reveals Names, Locations of Thousands of Western Troops and Spies

Our training for Force Recon in the ‘60’s involved the fitness tests and times listed below. These were not training exercises. These were tests. You were expected to meet these times before deployment.

Author: James Evans (former SSgt, Force Recon, Vietnam, USMC, Ph.D. Univ Prof)

Our First Sgt was 46. He often trained with us, matching us step for step. 20 years later, in my mid-40’s, my test times were nearly the same as they had been in my 20’s. My former First Sgt was now retired and lived nearby. We stayed in touch and often trained together. His test times at age 65 were just shy of the times listed below.

As impressive as this is, he wasn’t unique. A good friend of mine owned and operated a local gym. He was a former Special Forces officer (Green Beret), and a Vietnam Vet. A couple of retired SEALS and a Ranger on TDY with Force Recon trained at his gym along with myself and my former First Sgt.

Occasionally, all of us got together and did some trail running, and soft sand beach running. A really fun part of this is when we’d go to MCRD and run the obstacle courses. One of the SEALS’ Grandson was a distance runner at SDSU. He liked to run with us. He especially liked the obstacle courses.

When we began running together, our ages ranged from the early ’20s to mid-’60s. We continued running together for another 15 years.

Today, in my mid-70’s, I can still do the test runs. However, I can’t equal the times. As for the strength tests, I can do them, just not as many reps.

The following are the performance times for my Force Recon team just before Vietnam deployment. To reiterate, these were tests, not training exercises.

PERFORMANCE TIMES — FORCE RECON — Mid 1960s

  • 10-mile trail run—Boots, Utes, Rifle, Ammo, and 50-pound pack—75 minutes.
  • 10-mile trail run—Boots, shorts, and T-shirt—65 minutes
  • 5-mile run—soft beach sand—Boots, shorts, and T-shirts—40 minutes. NOTE: We ran on the soft sand about 50 yards from the water, not the hard pack sand near the water.
  • 5-mile run—soft beach sand—Boots, Utes, Rifle, Ammo, and 50-pound pack—50 minutes.
  • 50 pull-ups, palms forward, full extension, slow and continuous, no bouncing—90 seconds.
  • 100 bent knee sit-ups, feet secured—3 minutes.
  • 100 push-ups, chest touching floor, no bouncing—3 1/2 minutes.
  • 30-foot rope climb, hands, no feet, from a sitting position—10 seconds.

NOTE

The four strength tests were performed with no rest between them, i.e., you finished one and moved immediately to the next one. Force Recon Operators averaged 5′8″ to 5′10″, 150–175 lbs. SEALS were 5′10″ to 6′2″, 170–210 lbs.

In general, we could outrun and out power-walk the SEALS, but they could swim circles around us. They were better at push-ups. We were better at pull-ups and rope climbing. We were about equal in sit-ups.

PERFORMANCE TIMES TODAY — Age 70+

  • 10-mile trail run, Boots and Shorts—75 minutes.
  • 5 mile run in the soft beach sand—45 minutes.
  • 25 pull-ups, palms forward, full extension, no bouncing—60 seconds.
  • 50 bent knee sit-ups, feet secured—2 minutes.
  • 50 push-ups, chest touching floor, no bouncing—2 minutes.

HOW TO TRAIN AT AGE 70+

  • Power Walk up hills. Come down slowly. DO NOT RUN DOWN! (You can injure your joints running down).
  • Run up hills. Come down slowly. DO NOT RUN DOWN!
  • Power Walk on the soft beach sand.
  • Run on the soft beach sand.
  • Power Climb the stairs in tall buildings. DO NOT WALK OR RUN DOWN! Take the elevator down (it’s too easy to trip coming down the stairs, especially when you get tired).
  • Lift Weights and do Flexibility exercises.
  • If you can afford it, hire a fitness trainer.

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Training and selection

Why can Sailors enlist in SEALs immediately and Soldiers need to wait five years to enlist in Green Berets?

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us navy seals buds - Why can Sailors enlist in SEALs immediately and Soldiers need to wait five years to enlist in Green Berets?

Navy Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) training is approximately 71 weeks from entry into Navy Recruit Training (8 weeks), completion of Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School ( 8 weeks), Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training (24 weeks), Navy Special Warfare Parachute Course (5 weeks), and SEAL Qualification Training (26 weeks), for a grand total of a little over 16 months of training to earn the Special Warfare insignia (SEAL “Trident”). Navy SEALs may eventually receive foreign language and advanced specialty training, however enlisted SEALs all have the Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) Code (equivalent to an Army MOS Code) of 5326, “Combatant Swimmer (SEAL) and the Navy enlisted rating of “Special Warfare Operator” vice a discrete specialization within Navy special operations.

All Army SF troops are ground combat specialist NCOs, senior NCOs, and officers who in addition to foreign language and culture specializations are qualified trainers, instructors, advisors, and leaders in their second language, who specialize in five primary missions: unconventional warfare (the original and most important mission of Special Forces), foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism. Navy SEALs are sailors with extensive dive experience, parachute qualification, and ground combat training, who specialize in conducting small-unit maritime military operations that originate from and return to, a river, ocean, swamp, delta, or coastline.

Before the war on terror started SF soldiers came from the ranks of the 75th Ranger regiment and other infantry units within SOCOM where they had to be sure that the SF recruits were mature and had a long-term commitment to stay in and preferably with combat experience. The SF medics course was 18 months, I don’t know how long the other SF subspecialty courses(commo, heavy weapons, small arms) are but they are no less thorough. Today the army lets men join SF directly after basic training, which IMO is a mistake.

SEAL members do a lot of on the job training and serve a probationary period after they are assigned to a unit, so they can be dismissed at any time after BUDs. In a nutshell, SF is considered teachers first and force multipliers; SEALs are trigger pulling killers first with their first priority the assigned mission.

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