By Tim Huntley
When I launched My Athletic Life last month, I emailed all of the CrossFit affiliates, letting them know about our site. The very first response I received back was from Mark Divine and it said, “Let me know if I can support you in any way going forward.”
At the time I didn’t know Mark, but as I would quickly learn, Mark is a former Navy SEAL, and not only a Navy SEAL, he was honor-man of his SEAL training class.
“By Thursday of Hell Week I was actually getting stronger and having fun. Most of my class had quit. What was going on? Once the mind accepted the new circumstances, it adapted and started to work with them. I found myself enjoying the humor of the crazy instructor staff, and I was astounded how my body, despite 100 hours of no sleep and non-stop training, was getting stronger.” – Sept. 2011 CrossFit Journal
Mark has recently retired as a Commander from the Navy Reserves after 20 years as an officer in “the Teams.” He is going to use the time formerly spent defending our country by building his business, U.S. Tactical. Mark is founder and CEO of U.S. Tactical and SEALFIT, which is growing in popularity as a demanding training regimen to develop an “operator ready” level of fitness and mental toughness.
In a recent article in Army Times, Mark shared the following about CrossFit and SEALFIT:
“He [Mark] sees CrossFit as a good base for SEALFIT, which attracts athletes interested in long-distance workouts and improving endurance. Workouts are long and hard, with one recent example consisting of a two-mile run, two-mile swim, another two-mile run or six rounds of 400-meter run, 50-meter bear crawl, 25 burpees and 10 dead-hang pulls. For an added punch, you can try the September monthly challenge of 1,000 double-unders for time.”
SEALFIT goes beyond CrossFit by specifically targeting warriors and integrating principles of “warrior spirit development,” including breath control, meditation and yoga, with strength, stamina, work capacity and endurance in running, swimming, rucking, durability, teamwork and leadership.
What is SEALFIT
Like the CrossFit main site, SEALFIT also publishes daily WODs; however their WODs come with the following warning:
THESE WODS ARE FOR SEASONED OPERATORS, INDUSTRIAL ATHLETES, AND HARD CORE ADVENTURE ATHLETES. IF YOU ASPIRE TO BE ONE OF US, PROCEED WITH CAUTION. THESE WODS CAN LEAD TO OVERTRAINING – LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
According to Mark, “the workouts posted on our BLOG are designed as a physical training regimen for experienced athletes that mirrors the demands and competencies required of elite Special Operations professionals. It is one of several training tools we use at SEALFIT and it is offered to the public as a free resource at this time.
If you are a member of a military or LEO unit these workouts are best done as a team to achieve maximum benefit in leadership development and team spirit and effectiveness. A team that suffers together accomplishes great things together. Special Operators and serious CrossFit athletes who have trained their body and minds to handle tremendous loads will have no problem handling the load of the workouts as posted.
SEALFIT Camps and Programs
In addition to the WODs posted to the SEALFIT site, Mark and his team also host a number of on-location camps and academies where much of the focus is on building mental toughness. Below are some of the programs that are available:
SEALFIT ACADEMY is the world’s leading live-in sports academy for serious special operation candidates and warrior-athletes seeking the ultimate experience to sharpen the blade of their performance. This program is offered as a 3 week “Warrior Leader” Academy or a 1 week “Warrior Athlete” Academy. The Academies are ideal preparation for a major challenge like BUD/s, Special Forces “Q” course, Delta selection, or improving your mental performance at the CrossFit Games, an Ironman, Ultra Run or Adventure Race. The Academy experience will give you the mental toughness, clarity, durability, functional stamina and leadership to prevail against all odds.
SEALFIT KOKORO CAMP is the gold standard for training warriors and athletes to be mentally tough leaders. Mental toughness and an “unbeatable spirit” are honed in the crucible of a 50 hour non-stop training event held in and around the SEALFIT training center.
COMBAT DEFENSE is SEALFIT’s hard hitting hand-to-hand combat training for unarmed combat & individual self-defense. Open to military, LEO and civilians who are physically qualified. The two day seminar is derived from the offensive hand to hand combative tactics taught to Navy SEALs and is a no-nonsense fighting system designed to avoid the threat first, then “END THE THREAT” immediately if engaged in a fight.
5 MOUNTAIN TRAINING is SEALFIT’s philosophy of training and living. This seminar focuses on awareness development using SEALFIT’s Warrior Yoga program.