In today’s battlefield, the operator is faced with the task of maintaining a level of fitness that requires strength, endurance, and flexibility. Operators must be able to scale walls, carry a 250lb casualty, and run in full kit up the mountains of Afghanistan and be able to recover fast enough to engage enemy personnel and complete strenuous missions. Because of this, operators must take on a new training plan to reach a new level of fitness not before seen in athletes, military, or law enforcement personnel of the past. The traditional training plan of the military focuses on calisthenics, and long-distance runs mixed with poor nutrition and sleep deprivation.

Special Operations Fitness

Increase Strength and Endurance

While service members of the past managed to maintain a higher level of fitness, today’s military is fatter, slower, and weaker than ever before. However many individuals within the Special Operations, SWAT and combat arms community have taken on new fitness programs such as Crossfit, P90X, Insanity, and Gym Jones. Many new programs are specifically tailored to fit the needs of the operator and designed to increase strength, endurance, and fast-twitch muscles. While these programs exist, it’s tough to know which programs to follow and which programs to ditch.

Special Ops Fitness Resources

Through several years of service in the Special Operations community, RE Factor Tactical has come across several excellent resources for operational fitness.

Here are a few of our findings:

Crossfit Unbroken

Crossfit Unbroken is located in Denver, CO and owned by Crossfit Athlete Matt Hathcock. Matt is dedicated to providing law enforcement and military operators with excellent operational training. To contact Matt about more information on Tactical Performance classes email him at [email protected] or visit their website at


Tactical Athletic Performance

Run by a Special Forces 18D, TAP provides great articles to operators about tactical fitness, shooting techniques, equipment suggestions, and general information on how to be a better operator. For more details visit their website at

Stew Smith

Stew Smith is a long-time friend of RE Factor Tactical and has a wide background in military fitness. Stew is an ex-Navy SEAL, a graduate of Annapolis, an avid writer, and a philanthropist. Stew currently writes articles for, runs a non-profit called Heroes of Tomorrow, and is the author of several SEAL, Special Forces, and Selection preparation books. For more information check out his website at