Potential 18x Looking for SF Mentor and Training Partner (LA Area)

Lowkeyx

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Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
7
Hi Everyone,

[Intro cut short:
I'm a 24 year old college grad (finance, 3.35GPA) who has always been an athlete (recruited D1, didn't play due to poor timing of injuries).

PRs:
1 mile: 5:55
Pullups (Strict): 22
Pullups Weighted (Strict): 155 x 2
Bench Flat/Incline: 260/235
Barbell Rows: 355 x 3

Stats:
6'6'' 210]

Long story short, I've looked into the 11x Option 40 route and the 18x route extensively. While I love the combat-leading mission of the Rangers, the humanitarian mission of Special Forces resonates with me on a "this could be my next 10-20 years" level. That being said, I'm fully prepared to commit to 18x after proving that I can endure and sustain the training commitment necessary to succeed.

The purpose of this post:
1. I'm looking for a mentor to ask more direct, personal questions to. The purpose of this is to get more tailored feedback on my training goals and timeline as to avoid overtraining. (Twice in my life I have overtrained to the point of stress fractures. I'm trying to avoid that outcome this time.)

2. I'm looking for someone in the LA area to train alongside. Preferably this would be someone who has experience in training for special ops in ways that are intense, yet safe.

Please reply here or PM me if you want to talk. Thanks for reading.

Lowkeyx

(Apologies if this is the wrong place to post this.)
 

MJG

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Jun 2, 2020
Messages
3
Hey man, I'm a potential 18x as well, and I am finishing college this upcoming week. I am in the LA area, however I have no experience with training for special ops and I am at an average fitness level. I am always down to train with people who are at a higher bracket than me, so pm me if you'd like brother!
 

Arf

SWCC
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Sep 16, 2019
Messages
315
Location
United States
SSMP
SOF Mentor
There may be some former SOF guys on here who are willing to help you over the phone or in person, but in my case I am active duty and wish to remain anonymous.

My immediate .02 is I think you should start training for your 3 mile time. Also I would like to see you try and hit 100 perfect pushups in 2 minutes (over 80 at the minimum).

I would also like to see you get really good at high volume burpees, high volume lunges and high volume squats. Get good at holding weight over your head for long periods of time, as well as pressing that weight.

If an SF guys chimes in on this then take his advice over mine, but you can stop working on your bench for awhile and focus on high volume pushups instead.

Running up hill, on the sand, and with a ruck are all very different animals than a flat run. I used to run track, so I was very strong on flat ground runs, but when I ran in soft sand, up hill, or with a ruck on it surprised me that I struggled more than guys I usually passed on runs.
Sand, rucks, and hills will affect you significantly more since you are a big guy. The smaller guys get up hill easier.

Personally I am over 200 pounds so I have seen this.

As far as your weight training, my opinion is that you should start doing sets of 8-12, however I think your time should vastly be focused on doing high volume stuff. I wouldn’t say do ALL body weight, since you will be carrying a bunch of weight on your back, on potentially on your shoulder, or on your chest with an under arm chest carry, or on your head. However, a SOF pipeline is an endurance event.
Keep up the good work!
 
Last edited:

Rabid Badger

Special Forces
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May 20, 2007
Messages
3,115
Location
The 'Ville
While I love the combat-leading mission of the Rangers, the humanitarian mission of Special Forces resonates with me on a "this could be my next 10-20 years" level
While I encourage you to keep up with your physical training, I would also encourage you to expound on what your description of a "Humanitarian mission of Special Forces" looks like to you?
 

Lowkeyx

Unverified
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
7
There may be some former SOF guys on here who are willing to help you over the phone or in person, but in my case I am active duty and wish to remain anonymous.

My immediate .02 is I think you should start training for your 3 mile time. Also I would like to see you try and hit 100 perfect pushups in 2 minutes (over 80 at the minimum).

I would also like to see you get really good at high volume burpees, high volume lunges and high volume squats. Get good at holding weight over your head for long periods of time, as well as pressing that weight.

If an SF guys chimes in on this then take his advice over mine, but you can stop working on your bench for awhile and focus on high volume pushups instead.

Running up hill, on the sand, and with a ruck are all very different animals than a flat run. I used to run track, so I was very strong on flat ground runs, but when I ran in soft sand, up hill, or with a ruck on it surprised me that I struggled more than guys I usually passed on runs.
Sand, rucks, and hills will affect you significantly more since you are a big guy. The smaller guys get up hill easier.

Personally I am over 200 pounds so I have seen this.

As far as your weight training, my opinion is that you should start doing sets of 8-12, however I think your time should vastly be focused on doing high volume stuff. I wouldn’t say do ALL body weight, since you will be carrying a bunch of weight on your back, on potentially on your shoulder, or on your chest with an under arm chest carry, or on your head. However, a SOF pipeline is an endurance event.
Keep up the good work!
Arf,

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to me. I really appreciate the insight. I implemented endurance training occasionally before, but have shifted my focus from heavy weights to moderate weights and drastically upped the number of reps per workout.

Since your reply, I have been focusing on specifically high-rep sets. They way I (roughly) have been breaking down workouts (post-warmup) follows:
(weight amount / # exercises / # sets per exercise / # reps per set / reason):
(heavy / 1-2 exercises / 3-5 sets / 5-8 reps per set / to build muscle and fatigue)
(moderate / 2 exercises / 4-5 sets / 12 - 20 reps per set / to strengthen ancillary muscles and focus on volume)
(light / 1 exercise / 1-2 sets / 30 reps / burnout, additional volume)

I typically aim for 22 working sets per lift (75-90 minutes for me). Due to your advice I started focusing in specifically on high-volume leg workouts and have seen great progress. Hills are getting materially easier. Additionally, I've been integrating high-volume pushup workouts but the progress is slower as I already have a fairly strong chest.

All in all your advice concerning endurance training has been great. Did about a month of high-mile weeks with a ruck and took a few weeks off to focus on flat cardio, but I'm looking to start again with the ruck soon. Mile time right now is sub 6:30. Will be testing 3 mile in the coming week. I'm obviously very far off in my training, but confident in my ability to progress.

(Weight is +6-7lbs since my original post, with all lifts improving and excess fat coming off quickly.)

Things I'll be adding more focus to going forward:
- Extremely high volume bodyweight days 2x per week
- 3 mile time (will update here)
- Stretching

Arf stay safe man. Thanks again.
 
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Lowkeyx

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Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
7
While I encourage you to keep up with your physical training, I would also encourage you to expound on what your description of a "Humanitarian mission of Special Forces" looks like to you?
Rabid Badger,

Thank you for the encouragement and I will definitely continue training.

My description of "humanitarian mission of Special Forces" explained:

I view many units / groups (Rangers, Seals, etc.) very differently than Special Forces due to my understanding that SF prioritize working alongside and training US allies for extended periods of time. In essence, Special Forces are not only a direct-action, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, etc. group, they focus on improving human capital (by training local militias/units) while overseas. This was what I meant by "humanitarian mission." Although it is not strictly a "humanitarian mission" in the textbook sense, I was under the impression that it is far more hands-on with locals than the Rangers (as well as other units / groups).

I apologize if my understanding was incorrect or off-base and welcome any corrections you (or others) may have. Stay safe.
 

Arf

SWCC
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
Messages
315
Location
United States
SSMP
SOF Mentor
Arf,

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to me. I really appreciate the insight. I implemented endurance training occasionally before, but have shifted my focus from heavy weights to moderate weights and drastically upped the number of reps per workout.

Since your reply, I have been focusing on specifically high-rep sets. They way I (roughly) have been breaking down workouts (post-warmup) follows:
(weight amount / # exercises / # sets per exercise / # reps per set / reason):
(heavy / 1-2 exercises / 3-5 sets / 5-8 reps per set / to build muscle and fatigue)
(moderate / 2 exercises / 4-5 sets / 12 - 20 reps per set / to strengthen ancillary muscles and focus on volume)
(light / 1 exercise / 1-2 sets / 30 reps / burnout, additional volume)

I typically aim for 22 working sets per lift (75-90 minutes for me). Due to your advice I started focusing in specifically on high-volume leg workouts and have seen great progress. Hills are getting materially easier. Additionally, I've been integrating high-volume pushup workouts but the progress is slower as I already have a fairly strong chest.

All in all your advice concerning endurance training has been great. Did about a month of high-mile weeks with a ruck and took a few weeks off to focus on flat cardio, but I'm looking to start again with the ruck soon. Mile time right now is sub 6:30. Will be testing 3 mile in the coming week. I'm obviously very far off in my training, but confident in my ability to progress.

(Weight is +6-7lbs since my original post, with all lifts improving and excess fat coming off quickly.)

Things I'll be adding more focus to going forward:
- Extremely high volume bodyweight days 2x per week
- 3 mile time (will update here)
- Stretching

Arf stay safe man. Thanks again.

I’m very impressed. Looking forward to seeing more of your updates.

The more mileage the better, but please don’t push through an injury at this point. If it starts hurting, stop and recover.


Your hand strength is going to be really important. Dead hangs and farmer carries are good.

Also, I would try and get some time in doing some chest carry with a 40-60 pound weight or sandbag. Chest carry meaning carry it underarm on your chest.
 

Rabid Badger

Special Forces
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Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
3,115
Location
The 'Ville
Lowkey - great physical workout regimen, looks like you'll do well. Mentally stamp SFAS on your forehead when the time comes, block out everything for 21 days (or however long they adjust for now) and kick it in the balls.

This -
SOF pipeline is an endurance event
is soooooo relevant. Maintain your focus and patience. You will get bored. There will be down time. The "pipeline" is also a TEAM event. Keep that in the back of your mind - Your focus should be that you are doing this to get to the TEAMS - SFODA's - nothing else matters. (Family matters - life matters- but training is #1 focus daily)

Also study ropes, knot tying, bowline, transport tightening system, rope bridges (Ranger style) This will help you during a certain portion of selection.
 
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