The Navy SEALs, U.S.’ special operations force, go through rigorous training to condition their mind and body for various situations. They follow the age-old tradition of samurai warrior in their training regime. The training consists of extreme physical and mental challenges that prepare Navy SEALs to stay focused and be prepared even in the midst of stressful conditions.
Despite the fact that the training is extremely demanding and is not designed for those who just want to “get into shape,” the training is slowly going mainstream and gaining popularity among athletes, lawyers, executives, and exercise buffs.
Mark Divine, a retired Navy SEAL commander, said that training is part of a Navy SEAL’s life, and it is just as important as sleeping and eating. Divine is also a fitness trainer and the author of “8 Weeks to SEALFIT: A Navy Seal’s Guide to Unconventional Training for Physical and Mental Toughness.”
The book consists of a program that allows professionals to gain the discipline and determination of a true Navy SEAL. SEALFIT, the fitness program, is a combination of high-intensity training for different sports and exercises, such as yoga, calisthenics, gymnastics, powerlifting, CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, and martial arts.
According to Divine, CrossFit is integrated into the SEALFIT training. “But our workouts are much longer: two hours if you go through the whole thing,” he said.
Although this extreme type of training is not typical, Divine believes that anyone who works hard when training can enjoy it, too. It can even go as far as become transformational.
Divine has his own training facility just outside San Diego, California. Those who train with him include special operations candidates, extreme athletes, first responders, and even business executives and entrepreneurs. Of all the trainees, about 30 percent are women.
SEALFIT is not only about physical strength. Divine is also trained in martial arts and yoga, and incorporates concentration, visualization, and breathing exercises into his program. His training program was developed to merge the heart and mind in action, just like a warrior spirit.
Endurance cyclist and sales representative Danielle Gordon, 35, said that she was intimidated at first, but now finds that it transformed her mind and body. “My strength has change; my speed has changed. I can pedal harder, cycle harder,” she said.
According sports conditioning expert from the American College of Sports Medicine, Neal Pire, high-intensity training, such as SEALFIT, is a powerful motivator, but is not for those who are not mentally ready to do it religiously.
Indeed, not everybody is mentally and physically ready for this type of training. Those who are trying to fit into a small dress or lowering their blood pressure are not the ones who need the SEALFIT training.