Monday, June 18, 2001
Get as fit as a SEAL
Ex-Navy commando, physical trainer prescribes regimen for total fitness
By Llee Sivitz
Do the words Navy SEAL make you think of:
A. Actor Charlie Sheen in the 1990 movie Navy Seals.
B. Rudy, the 73-year-old veteran on TV's first Survivor.
C. Demi Moore breaking the mold in G.I. Jane.
D. You completing 52 weeks of Navy SEAL cross-training.
If you didn't answer "D,' this book may be for you. According to Stew Smith, a former SEAL and U.S. Naval Academy fitness trainer, every type of athlete beginner, advanced, teen, endurance or power-lifters can do it.
Stew Smith's tips for Maximum Fitness: |
Before beginning the program, do his recommended 10- to 15- minute stretch routine twice a day for seven days to prepare your muscles.
The first phase calisthenics requires very little equipment and is a really good place for beginners (who exercise two to three times per week) to start the program.
Do what you can instead of the prescribed 40 push-ups, you may only be able to to do 10, or instead of doing them on your toes you might do them on your knees.
The second phase hardcore cardiovascular can take those who already exercise vigorously to the next level.
The daily workout will generally take about an hour but you can break it up during the day. For instance, do the run in the morning, the swim or bike after work.
In fact, he dedicates his fourth and latest book, Maximum Fitness: The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Cross Training (Hatherleigh Press, $16.95), to a Navy Chaplain who, at age 52, lost 80 pounds in one year and progressed from a huffing one-mile walk to a non-stop 15-mile run using Mr. Smith's workout.
Cross-training, or combining several different types of exercise, is known to increase muscle strength, reduce injury and break the monotony of repetitive exercise. But what is different about Navy SEAL cross-training?
In the SEAL teams, we broke the year down into four quarters and every quarter was kind of different with what we needed to do, Mr. Smith explains. Most of the time we are pretty lean guys, maybe 5 to 10 percent body fat. We do a hard-core cardiovascular workout such as running and swimming and hundreds of repetitions for endurance.
But in the winter time we try to put on 10 to 15 pounds of muscle (to protect us from the cold). So we decrease the cardio and increase the weight training.
Maximum Fitness has four fitness phases of 13 weeks each. It includes weekly workout charts which progress in difficulty.
Plenty of photos illustrate the stretch, calisthenic, weights, swimming, running and biking techniques you need to do the training. In a holistic approach, Mr. Smith also includes a substantial section on good nutrition and how to gain or lose weight safely. And he gives tips on how to keep up with your training during busy weeks.
Will someone be as fit as a SEAL when they complete Maximum Fitness?
Says Mr. Smith: If you are fairly diligent about getting 90 to 95 percent of the prescribed numbers in the workout, you will definitely be in the type of shape Navy SEALs are in.
Readers relate discouraging words
Ten most frequent English errors
More bothersome buzzwords
KIESEWETTER: 'Hayride' went national 50 years ago
Ask A Stupid Question
Moving forward inspires sisters to look back
'One Day' profiles people in unique jobs
Get to It
Marsalis swings in the rain
Get as fit as a SEAL
Soda biggest little thing that puts on weight
Too many cocktails can spoil a lean physique