Warrior Workouts: Ultimate Fitness Tips from a Navy SEAL

From the Show: Talk Fitness Today
Summary: Warrior Workouts is an awesome collection of workouts designed by a Navy SEAL for maximum fitness.
Air Date: 2/7/18
Duration: 20:23
Host: Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Stewart Smith
Stew-SmithStewart Smith is a former Navy SEAL and Fitness Contributor. 

Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and as military fitness trainer, Stew has trained thousands of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT and many other law enforcement professions.
  • Book Title: Warrior Workouts
  • Guest Facebook Account:
  • Guest Twitter Account: @StewSmith
Warrior Workouts: Ultimate Fitness Tips from a Navy SEAL
The absolute best in result-driven fitness regimens, drawn from the same essential training and workout plans used for police officers, military, and firefighters to keep them fit and in optimum physical condition.

Warrior Workouts is an awesome collection of workouts designed by a Navy SEAL for maximum fitness. Developed and tested by best-selling fitness author and expert Stewart Smith, these workouts will challenge you like no other exercise program available.

Whether you are an everyday athlete or aspire to greatness, Warrior Workouts will leave no man -- or woman -- standing.

Warrior Workouts features challenging workouts, including:

  • Spartan Run/PT: A brutal run to push your limits.
  • Spec Ops Leg Day: Leg day will never be the same.
  • Devil’s Mile: Take on the devil with this crazy workout.
  • Blue Falcon Workout: Go head-to-head with a friend and see who wins.
  • The Upper Body Round Robin: Your favorite workouts—remixed.
  • Hellacious 100s: 10 workouts, 1000 reps, ZERO breaks.
  • Sandbaby 500 with Kettlebell and TRX: Put your whole body to the test with this unforgettably tough workout.
Listen as Stewart joins host Lisa Davis to explain more about Warrior Workouts and why they work so well for body transformation.

Warrior Workouts with Stew Smith

This episode of Talk Fitness is in partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe, where knowledgeable health enthusiasts are standing by to help you thrive every day.

Lisa Davis (Host): So glad you are listening to Talk Fitness Today and have I got the book for you Warrior Workouts Volume 1; over 100 of the most challenging workouts ever created, includes strength, cardio, endurance. It is by Stewart Smith CSCS USN (SEAL). Stewart, welcome to the show. Thrilled to have you.

Stewart Smith (Guest): Heh, thank you very much for having me on.

Lisa: Well it is great to have you on. You know, I have to say, I am so impressed and I’m looking at these workouts going holy cow, these are really intense and are really made for people who want to get in really amazing shape. So, I would love for you to tell us a little bit about yourself. First of all, thank you for your service and tell us about when you knew that you wanted to be a Navy Seal?

Stewart: Wow, well I guess that goes way back. We are talking a few decades now. But no, when I was a kid, I always knew I wanted to be a soldier and serve. I just didn’t know how and then I remember one day my granddad who was Army, both granddads were Army, and he wanted me to go to West Point. And so, I learned a little bit about the whole options with service academies. I wound up going to the Naval academy and I guess my options opened up a little bit differently than my grandfather would have preferred, but I got to learn about Navy pilots and Marine Corps and all that and all those were very intriguing to me, but then I met a Navy Seal and I was like okay, what is this all about. And I started that process. I started that journey and it was a long journey because I was a power lifting football player type athlete and it took a long time to transition into being a good Seal student. So, anyway, that’s where it all started, back in the Naval academy.

Lisa: You know in the book, in the introduction, what I like is you talk about how your workouts can get stale and monotonous and you talk about if you do the same workout week after week, it does get stale and that you need to make changes and, so you mentioned classics like the BT pyramids and that you arrange them in new and different ways. Talk to us a little bit about that and why it’s so important to mix things up a bit.

Stewart: Oh absolutely. Well, I would say probably say one of the staple workouts that I have probably done in the last thirty years would be a pyramid workout because if you think about it, it’s perfect. It’s a perfect workout. It ramps up progressively so it’s a warm up and it peaks so it’s a max out and then it – on the backside of the pyramid it is a nice easy cool down. So, it’s the perfect workout, if you ask me. And especially if you are doing more callisthenic based workouts for military fitness tests and that’s really what I write about. I write about people who are getting ready to serve in the military, law enforcement, firefighter and often in the special ops side of things.

So, this is one of those classic workouts that can get rather monotonous. And if you don’t get creative with it, it can get really boring and you quit seeing improvement. So, you can add things every odd and even set. You could mix in some running in between every fifth set, things like that and then you can change the exercises too. You don’t always have to be pull up, pushups, sit ups. You can throw in squats and even throw in some weighted exercises in there as well.

Lisa: I think that is so important. You know you have 100 stand alone workouts in the book. That’s incredible.

Stewart: Well thanks. Normally I write work outs that are progressive in nature, pyritized training programs where every week you have something to do every day with a rest day thrown in there. But I got the idea of – because it seems like a lot of people like doing my workouts, but they also like throwing in some of the classics that they have done over the past or something that really resonates with them. And I think that’s great. I think you should go to the weight room because you like doing something, not just because someone has this written down and you go do it. So, this is kind of an ala carte version of a workout book, so you can kind of pick and choose what you need to do that day and kind of build your own program.

Lisa: Now this book is for people who are, I would say already in pretty darned good shape. Is there room for modifications for people or to me like just the title Warrior Workouts and you mentioned it is for police officers, military, firefighters. These are men and women who are already in really good shape, but they want to take it the next level.

Stewart: Yes, this is definitely not for beginners. I would definitely have a different program for a beginner and it would be relatively progressive in nature, so you could build up to this type of level. Now this one here, is a rather advanced workout, not impossible to do, in fact, I kind of got on to my publisher and editor a little bit and I said come on, these really aren’t the hardest workouts ever created; that is marketing. But I understand that for what they are trying to do. I have made harder workouts than these, but and I have done harder workouts than these. But they are a lot of fun and absolutely, they are easy ways to make changes and I recommend people, when you buy a fitness book; don’t just do the book, because it may be too much for you. It may be too easy for you. So, you might want to add things in there too. So, yeah, absolutely, whether it is decreasing the repetitions or decreasing the amount of sets or decreasing the weight or decreasing the mileage of running; all of those are great ways to kind of tailor this to your fitness level.

Lisa: Well I like too that you have how to use the Warrior Workouts and you say some workouts are quick while others require at least an hour to complete and then you talk about here’s the five to six days of training and you break it down. Do upper body workouts Monday, Wednesday, Friday; add some legs on the days in between, progress to cardio workouts logically to several days per week. Because sometimes you just need a plan. And it is so nice to know like leg day, arm day, back day, this day, that day.

Stewart: Yeah you know what, unfortunately there is this misconception out there and I have been writing about fitness for over twenty years now and I always get that question asked, can I do calisthenics every day and I say no. I mean you got to treat calisthenics the same way you would treat weight lifting. You don’t do bench presses every day, you don’t do squats every day. So, you need that extra day of recovery for that muscle group. So, typically we do an upper body, lower body split, and some days might be a full body day. You know have a full body workout in there but the following day it is just going to be a cardio day. So, you are actually resting those resistance exercises that you just did the day before.

Lisa: Well, it’s funny, because I recently got back into yoga after not doing it for like 14 years, and I have been doing Pilates for about seven years, so I’m pretty advanced and it’s hard, I mean I am sore and then I – so I was doing yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Pilates on Monday and Wednesday, but they were really hard, it was too much, like my shoulder was killing me, my legs and I thought I can’t do this. Like you think you could but when you are doing a lot of body weight exercises in both, it kind of builds up so now what I have been doing is one week I will do yoga Tuesday and Thursday, the next week I will do Pilates Monday and Wednesday and then I will do my cardio in between and it just works out better for me because again, I think of those as more like callisthenic type things or body weight exercises. Would you agree, or do you see what I’m saying?

Stewart: Oh absolutely, absolutely. In fact, I just did a Pilates workout the other day and it crushed me. There were exercises that I have never done before and that’s the way you have got to look at these things. If you see an exercise that you have to go lookup to see how to do it; it is probably going to make you sore if you have never done that exercise before. That is completely typical with anybody. And I consider myself pretty advanced, but lifting my feet six inches off the ground and doing a half sit-up at the same time, holding myself up there in a V for a minute, that was excruciating.

Lisa: Yeah, especially because I hadn’t done yoga for so long and the class is a little too advanced for me, but I just love the teacher; so, what I really need to do is I need to get more of a beginner, intermediate yoga and then stick with my Pilates, but then trade it off. And I also want to get back to lifting weights which is something I had been doing but then I was too sore from all the yoga and the Pilates. So, you have to make sure you are mixing it up well. And it also depends on what you want, right, people reading your book want to get super fit; I want to be like nicely toned. I would love to get to be able to do your workouts at some point. I think that would be super exciting, but you have to work with where you are and not get injured.

Stewart: Yeah, absolutely and there are a lot of ways to get injured when you pick up a new program and the thing is, is you just have to be smart about it and I tell people all the time, no matter what you are trying to do, whether it’s a new fitness program or let’s say for you, for instance, you love yoga and Pilates, but now you are trying to get into weight lifting. Treat yourself like a beginner in weight lifting, right, just because you are physically, you are probably not a beginner, with cardiovascular and strength and flexibility and mobility; but maybe in the weight lifting exercises, that you are not used to; you got to treat yourself like a beginner and give yourself a good three to four weeks of treating yourself like a beginner, then you wont hate yourself after the first or second workout where you are just so sore you can’t even sit down or stand up.

Lisa: Yes and how does that work in terms of if you think you are at the Warrior level, you try it out and then if feels like it’s too much, that’s when you have to pull back, right? Or if you are doing it and it feels like it’s not enough, you can add on. It’s like you have to listen to your body basically.

Stewart: Oh absolutely. And the problem is, is that calisthenics are relatively easy, and you can get hundreds of repetitions before you really start to feel sore. Because that soreness will set in 24 hours later, especially on legs. I mean there are workouts in this book where you will do a couple hundred repetitions of squats and it’s not that hard to do the day you are doing it. But you will regret it if you are not used to doing 100 to 200 repetitions of squats in a workout the first time you do it. So, once again, it’s a progression. Maybe do 50 your first time or 75 your first time and progress each week to where you are not so sore you have to miss the next workout, because that does no good.

Lisa: Exactly. Well in the book, you have the workouts, you have them divided up which is really helpful. So, if we are looking at upper body, you have got upper body calisthenics and cardio, running, rucking or swimming. What is rucking for people who aren’t familiar?

Stewart: Well rucking is basically just walking with a backpack. So, it’s once again, it’s most firefighters, law enforcement guys, police officers, military guys are always carrying their gear with them. Sometimes that gear can get up to 30-50, 60 or more pounds so, once again, as with anything, it’s the progression and you want to be able to build up into that. One of the things that we use as a tool, to help people prepare for that load bearing exercise; is weight vests and we start off with 10-pound weight vests and build it up to 15 and 20 each week and gradually you can progress to be able to do those kinds of movements with weight.

Lisa: Oh, that’s cool. I really like that. Well walk us through some of these the workouts. Let’s look at the upper body. There is the special USNA summer seminar workout. You have got stretching. You have got jumping jacks, you have got pushups, sit-ups, flutter kicks, squats, more pushups, a 1-mile easy run. I like that. For me that would be a walk.

Stewart: Yeah, that one you know I have been blessed to workout with 800 high school going into their senior year at the naval academy through a program called the summer seminar. I’m just a guest PT’r and so every summer I see about 1200 kids, sometimes even more depending if they do three cycles of it and I will see probably 2400 kids that are preparing for the military of some sort. So, I consider myself their first introduction to military physical fitness. So, I take it very seriously. And I don’t want to hurt them, so where they don’t ever want to come back or consider doing this job, but at the same time; I don’t want to make it too easy to where they get overconfident in their abilities and, so I make it a good intermediate level style workout program for you and there is not much you can do when you have 800 kids on a football field and you standing on this podium. There’s jumping jacks, there’s pushups, there’s squats, there are a little bit of short runs that we do on the field and there is a lot of abdominal exercises you can do but other than that, that is what you are fairly limited to. And I guess the fun part with it is to create different, for lack of a better term, choreographies of those exercises to make them different, make them fun and make them challenging enough for the average high school kid who is considering military service.

Lisa: Wow 800 kids at once?

Stewart: Yes, it is so fun. I got some great pictures of that and it is just

Lisa: Oh I would love to see that. I mean that must be some field.

Stewart: Oh yeah, in fact it’s on my website, if you go to my website, the very top picture I me working out with 800 high school kids.

Lisa: When I’m looking through this book, these are – it seems like most of these are all body weight. I mean there are some, I’m looking at, there are some kettle bell swings and some other things. You have got like burpees and well there’s a box jump which involves some equipment, but there are a lot of things you can do without equipment which is really cool.

Stewart: Oh yeah, I would say at least half of these exercises can be done on a playground with the monkey bars, right you just use the pull ups for the monkey bars. But the other ones might require some exercise equipment. Now, remember this is Warrior Workout Volume 1 and I do have a Volume 2 and a Volume 3 coming and the volume 2 is going to be a fun one. I’m going to arrange it into a pyritization program to where this is what we do in the spring. This is what we do in the summer. This is what we do in the winter. There will be weights involved with that. But then the third one I think is going to be my greatest hits. Like 100 workouts of my favorite workouts all together and I have 10 published books through the years and I’m just going to pull probably 10 workouts from each one of those books and make a greatest hits album.

Lisa: Oh, that’s fantastic. Alright, I’m looking at number 78 Warrior Workouts Volume 1 full body calisthenics, resistance and cardio, hellacious 100s. Oh my goodness. Talk to us about that.

Stewart: Yeah, it’s 100 repetitions of several different exercises. I don’t have the book in front of me right now but I know that one has probably pushups, and pullups and overhead press, things like that and the way you work through this workout is you do each one in a circuit and it is very light weight or no weight or at all and you just accumulate all these repetitions for each exercise and so you’re not going to get 100 in one set, you might get 20 in the first set and you move to the next exercise, you move to the next exercise and then you go through it again and when you start accumulating 100 repetitions of this one exercise; you don’t have to do it anymore. And you just keep rolling until you are done. Sometimes we will even throw in a run every cycle so you kind of get a break believe it or not from all the repetitions. You can what we call “rest with running” for these exercises so once again, if you are in the advanced level of fitness where you think resting is actually running; then yeah, this book is in that level.

Lisa: Another one that caught my eye, number 82, death by pushups. Is that supposed to be funny because it made me laugh plus upper body PT cardio.

Stewart: Yeah, it’s pretty funny.

Lisa: I like death by chocolate better.

Stewart: Yeah, death by pushups is basically, you are in a – and you will like this one as being a yoga person is you are in a 10-20-minute plank pose, but every minute, you do a set of pushups. And you can do this in many different ways. You can do it like a pyramid so every minute you increase by one repetition, so you start off with the first minute you do one pushup, the next minute you do two pushups, next minute you do three pushups, all the same time you just have to stay in that up pushup plank position the entire time. So, it can get pretty tough. I guess the better name for this one would be death by plank pose, because you are in a plank pose and that’s probably the hardest thing. The fifty pushups that you get in ten minutes aren’t that hard, it’s the 10-minute plank pose that’s the killer.

Lisa: Oh my, I can’t even I mean I hold the plan for like a minute in yoga, like you will do that a few times and Pilates in between stop for yoga. But 10 minutes plank, I mean you must be just shaking and dripping with sweat.

Stewart: I guess you know if it’s your first time trying it, yeah you would do that. But eventually, you get used to it. You know the world record for the Marines – I guess a Marine did a plank pose and the world record was like six hours. Six hours in a plank pose. I mean it was phenomenal. So, the body is incredible.

Lisa: That – it really is isn’t it? Apparently, I need to push mine harder. That is amazing. I am really in awe with you Stew. I love the picture of you on the back of the book you are hanging from a rope probably a huge rope that you climb. Train like a true warrior. Everyone should pick this up for people in their lives that are hard core people who want to get to the peak for firefighters, police officers, military or if you are just in that kind of shape. Warrior Workouts Volume 1; over 100 of the most challenging workouts ever created. Alright, Stewart, tell us all the ways to learn more about you and all your fantastic books.

Stewart: Well thank you. My name is Stew Smith and that’s S-T-E-W, and you can find me online. I write articles for for years and my website is I also have another one and all over social media so you can find my videos on YouTube and Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. So, yeah, come find me. If you have got questions, please ask.

Lisa: Awesome. Well this was so fun talking to you Stew. I’m really impressed. I want to encourage everyone to check out Stew Smith, again Warrior Workouts Volume 1. On the book it is Stewart Smith. And again, thank you for your service. You can check us out Talk Fitness Today on Radio MD, at Your Radio MD, at Twitter @Talk Fitness 2 day, also on Twitter and on Snap Chat as well, also on Instagram, Talk Fitness 2 Day and Facebook Talk Fitness Today. I’m healthmediagal1, check me out. Thanks for listening and stay well.

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