The 8 Things to Master for Army Special Forces Selection

Les 8 choses à maîtriser pour la sélection des forces spéciales de l'armée - Phil Team

The first step to follow a selection of special forces requires commitment and long-term preparation upstream.

I recently spoke to a Special Forces operator and we discussed the top ten things a candidate applying, aspiring to join an elite unit, needs to know before showing up for testing.

He talked about the many different things you need to focus on during your preparation. Here is the list of the ten most important elements:

Do you want to prepare to join an FS regiment? Click here to discover our latest programs.

1. Have a good running level

Not only will you be running for the slightest of your moves, but you will also be running with a backpack, a weapon, and some rangers. Believe it, it's not in a short recovery stride either, but at a brisk pace.

Shins, tendonitis of the knee and foot problems occur quickly in those who have not made it a habit to run 30 to 40 km per week.

You must prepare your legs and your lungs to hold out over time, despite the intensity of the effort. Run far and fast.

My FS buddy told me: "One day during the selection, I recorded that we were running at a pace of 4:10 min/km".

He continued: "I don't know if that's always the case, but if guys want to be successful, I suggest they train hard and alternate interval sessions and long sessions at a minimum".

2. Leg endurance and muscular resistance


Two things will give you away if you're not prepared: your lungs and your legs. From time to time, follow up with a running session and a leg session.

Run at a timed pace for 2.5 km - rest while performing 20 squats and 20 lunges. Repeat up to 5 or 6 times or increase the pace over time in a logical progression.

Try doing a few 100-200m lunges during your workout to prepare you for running around your house in a lunge, for example.

3. A strong lower back

To carry rucksacks, weapons and carry out exercises to rescue injured people, you need to have a strong back.

Crossfit exercises such as the Farmer Carry, deadlift, sled push/pull will prepare your lower back to lift and endure weights, and walk with them. Be prepared to stand all day, and even not sit at all.

4. Land Navigation/Orientation


A big part of selection testing and FS training is getting from point A to point B in the shortest possible time. Knowing how to read a map and use a compass is therefore a crucial skill. You will have to master this know-how in any situation despite the stress, the climatic conditions, and your state of fatigue.

5. Running

You need to be able to move around when you're short on time or behind others. To prepare, put some weight in your bag and drive a few miles as fast as you can.

Be careful with these exercises. It can damage your back and the joints of your legs: to practice in moderation therefore, abusing it could have an opposite effect on your body.

6. Broad shoulders!

During the selection you will have to bear a lot of weight on your shoulders. In the long run, that causes a lot of guys to quit.

I recommend that you do a lot of military press to prepare yourself. The weight doesn't have to be heavy, you need to be able to string together a lot of reps.

7. Swim


Swimming is an often crippling event for the less comfortable. In addition to being an excellent aerobic activity because without impact, it allows you to strengthen your whole body. Survival swimming with all your gear is tough and quite traumatic if you've never tried it before.

You must be able to swim 50 meters in a pool with rangers and a uniform. If you're a poor swimmer, go to the pool and swim a few laps. It's an eliminatory event for those who are really picky.

Do not hesitate to also practice apnea, and to practice swimming with tied hands. Finally, do not forget to swim elsewhere than in a beautiful swimming pool with clear and clean water...!

8. Attitude

You can be the fastest and the strongest and fly over the courses, BUT if you have an individualistic attitude and not a team spirit, you will not be selected to go further.

Help your classmates when you can and stay in RECEIVER mode when learning a skill from the instructors. Stop wanting to spread your science to put yourself forward.

Do you want to prepare to join an FS regiment? Click here to discover our latest programs.

Take these recommendations seriously. My fellow FS are serious operators who know what they are talking about. I would like to thank them for these recommendations.

For you, future special ops warriors, I wish you good luck and remind you to keep working hard to prepare for the first step of a career in the world of special forces.


  • Soumah Morlaye on

    Bonjour j’ais 20 an je voudrais m’engager dans les force speciale pour faire sortir mon pays dans l’horniere

  • Stanislas on

    Bonjour j’ai 15ans je voudrais m’engager dans les force spéciales françaises mais suite à la découverte de ces entraînement je pense qu’il est préférable de commencer à m’entrainé maintenant est-ce une bonne idée ??

  • Antoine on

    Bonjour.jai 14 ans et j’aimerais me préparer pour devenir millitaire et ce que je peux commencer à faire des exercices ou je dois attendre d’être plus grand ?

  • mellul on

    Merci pour c’est information et merci pour votre aide.

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