Navy SEAL BUD/S Physical Screening Test (PST) Reqs

June 10th, 2016

500 Yard Swim
minimum standard: 12:30
competitive standard: 8 Minutes
(combat swimmer stroke, side stroke or breast stroke)

Rest 10 mins

Pushups – 2 minute limit
minimum standard: 50
competitive standard: 80-100

Rest 2 mins

Sit-ups – 2 minute limit
minimum standard: 50
competitive standard: 80-100

Rest 2 mins

Pull-ups – strict from dead hang; no time limit; can’t touch ground or let go of the bar
minimum standard: 8
competitive standard: 15-20

1.5 Mile Timed Run (with boots and long pants)
minimum standard: 10:30
competitive standard: 9-10 mins

Goal Setting – Ten Week Challenge

March 13th, 2016

Notes from the goal setting seminar by Ed Tseng at Crossfit Mercer, March 13, 2016 –

Everyone is here for the goal setting seminar. If you’re here for the procrastination seminar, Ed doesn’t do them anymore. (Would have been funnier if he had said, he’s putting that off for now).

From hanging out with the most successful people in the world, such as world champions on the Yankees, olympic gold medalists, to billionaires, he’s learned a different twist on goal setting.

Ed has a different twist on goal setting. Many people are anxious about crushing goals – but take minimal notes. He’ll tell us when to write things down (oops) but during the talk just try to be present.

Like in sports, you can’t think and hit at the same time. I think Ed said this was Mickey Mantle: “A full mind is an empty bat”. But when I looked it up, it was said by Branch Rickey. Use this for anything in life. The more you try to write down everything, the less you are in the moment and the less you will benefit. Listen as if you are listening to music, for something new. Listen for something different.

To Ed, the purpose of goal setting is to get more excited and fired up about life. Most people are so excited about their goals, they are like race horses with blinders on. They see nothing but the goal. Good news: you’ll reach your goal. But you may lose sight of everything else.

Mats Wilander from Sweden spent his whole life pursuing a goal to be a tennis champion. He got there, but after the excitement wore off, he told reporters he looked more forward to mowing his lawn than playing tennis. So do you want to spend all your time working towards a goal, thinking you’ll be happy then, or would you rather enjoy the process?

People are so focused on the goal, they think it’s weakness if they change or drop the goals. But if we keep our mind open, we might create better goals, more beneficial goals. Family life, job, even health might suffer by blindly following goals.

Make your goals measurable and specific. But instead of saying you’ll be happy when you achieve my goal, enjoy the process.

The goal should guide you, not govern you.

Goals will give you a direction to head toward. But people won’t know exactly what path that is. Most successful people will tell you they don’t know exactly what path helped them achieve success.

Happiness leads to success more often the success leads to happiness. If you think you’ll be happy when you lose a lot of weight, you might be wrong.

John Lennon story: his mother told him the secret to life is happiness. In school, his assignment was to write down what he wanted to be when he was older. John Lennon wrote “Happy”. The teacher gave the assignment back to John and said “I don’t think you understood the assignment.” John replied, “I don’t think you understand life.”

If you ask anyone about why they set goals, it boils down to happiness. But we can have that happiness now, throughout the process, not just for a short time after we achieve the goal. And then whether we reach our goals or not, we are still going to have happiness.

Happiness from achieving goals will be short-lived. If we achieve them, we’ll need to set new goals to aim for happiness again.

Miss New Jersey explained to Ed that even though she is so successful, she doubts herself every day. If she, or world champions doubt themselves, we are going to have doubt as well. But if we know these doubts are just thoughts, we can work through them. Ed compared thoughts of doubt to dreams. When we wake up, we know it was just a dream and don’t worry about what happened in the dream. Thoughts of doubt are the same.

If thoughts during our dreams shouldn’t affect us, why should our thoughts while we are in the middle of a workout, or during the day, or when we are deciding whether or not to eat a dessert?

Concern yourself less with the doubt and chatter that pops up, and you’ll be more in the moment.

The biggest obstacles in reaching goals are people themselves: the “six inches” between the ears.

We took a minute to think about a specific measurable goal for the next 10 weeks of the challenge, and wrote it down on a worksheet.

The first thing about goals you should know is that there is a superstar athlete, great father, caring mother, successful son, inside of all of us. Did you ever notice the white arrow in the Fedex sign? It’s pointing in the right direction. You may not have noticed it, but it’s been there all along. Same goes with your successful self – it’s already there. There is also a spoon hidden in “Fed”.

We can be successful. We already know what to do.  But when we’re in a low state of mind, we tend to negotiate with ourselves. If you acted on every thought you ever had, you might never get out of bed.

Winners do what losers don’t feel like doing. It’s your behavior that gets results, not your good intentions.

Take action knowing what you know.

Alongside our specific, measurable goal, we wrote down an accountability partner. It must be someone we will check in with daily or weekly. Schedule the time we will report our progress, to be accountable.

The idea or consequence of failing to achieve the goal has to be more painful than the pleasure you’ll get now by doing something that undermines your goal (this was my idea I was telling Augie before the talk, and Ed gave me credit for it. But it’s not mine either — it’s the pain-pleasure principal made popular by Tony Robbins). Tell your accountability partner your plans for the week, and if you don’t make it, you have to do 500 pushups, or take them out to dinner or write them out a $5,000 check… Something painful. It has to be more painful than doing what’s needed to achieve the goal.

Don’t be stressed about your goals. Achieve your goals one at a time, but don’t think about the other 99 things you have to do that day. That will clutter your mind and increase stress. Be present, in the moment. Live in the now. That’s when we do our best. In and out of the gym.

Doubts are self-created. We hold ourselves back. We have all the potential in the world. Ed’s baby daughter didn’t give up on walking because she doubted she could do it. She kept trying and eventually got it.

Thoughts feel real. But they are not. When you wake up from a bad dream, you’re heart races, your body is tight and you are sweating, but you’re just laying in bed. That’s how powerful thoughts are. But doubt your doubts.

Just because you have a doubt doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because you have a lack of confidence or a doubt doesn’t mean it’s real. Thoughts/doubts can be powerful but they are just thoughts.

We thought about what has held us back from achieving your goals, and what might be obstacles for the next 10 weeks.

Example: time to prepare meals for the week. We can’t make more time, but maybe we can re-arrange our schedules. Don’t negotiate with yourself about getting things done. Just do them. You may need to schedule the process of writing out your schedule.

Dolph’s side note on preparing meals: you can’t out-train bad nutrition

Ed also said someone once said: Nothing tastes as good as fit feels.

You want to be able to respond rather than react. If you have to go out to an unexpected business dinner, or head out with friends to an unplanned meal at a restaurant, think about your goals before you order from the menu. Or if you know you’re going out somewhere to a function and will be tempted, each a healthy meal at home beforehand, then just order a healthy salad at the function.

Ed’s area of expertise is the mental side. Losing weight, getting fit, making money — it’s all mental.

One last story: There were twin brothers. One was always positive and the other negative. One day, doctors put the negative boy in a room full of wonderful treats and toys, and they put the positive boy in the dark, dingy basement with a pile of manure in the center.

An hour later, they checked on both of them. The negative boy was not happy, even with all the toys and treats. “I might fall off the rocking horse, or the cake may upset my stomach.”

The positive boy was happy as can be, running in circles. They asked him what was going on. He said, “With all this manure around here, there must be a pony somewhere!

As we go through the next 10 weeks, our feelings will go up and down. But every situation can be seen in a infinite number of ways. A bad cheat meal might make us think we are off track and that we can then continue to eat poorly, or conversely we can think, “I’m more motivated to eat cleaner tomorrow.”

Four Everyday Mobility Exercises

March 3rd, 2016

This article is from Men’s Health. I don’t know if Navy SEALs really do these four exercises daily, but they look pretty reasonable. I already do couch stretch regularly. Going to incorporate the other three, as I increase my daily pull-up regimen.

Modified Pigeon Stretch

On all fours, place right knee on a pad and shift right heel so it is under your left hip. Bring your left knee forward toward your right calve; pin your leg in place, then shift forward and backward, side to side. Lean forward to your forearms trying to get your chest to the floor. 2.5 mins each leg.

Lat Hang

Elevate your feet on a bench in front of you while hanging from a pull-up bar. Try your best to get your legs parallel to the floor, and keep your torso perpendicular to your legs. Take deep, long breaths, then exhale fully, as if you are filling a balloon. 5 rounds of five breaths each.

One tip to try: Use a balloon. The video below doesn’t show it, but blowing into a balloon forces you to breathe deeper and relax into the stretch, says Kechijian. It should feel like your lower and upper back are “expanding” with air when you inhale every rep.

Belly Lift Walk

This is similar to the inchworm push-up, without the push-up. From a push-up position, with your hands elevated on some plates or a short box and palms flat, walk your feet forward toward your hands without bending the knees. Round your upper back and push your heels into the floor as you step forward. Take 5 deep breaths. 5 rounds.

Couch Stretch

Find some empty space on a wall. While facing away from the wall on all fours, back up to the wall lifting your left foot up behind you so that your shin and knee eventually push up against and touch the wall. Step forward with the other foot. Squeeze your glutes and lift your torso, trying to touch your shoulders to the wall behind you. Contract your hamstring for 2 seconds, trying to pull your heel to your butt. 30 contractions per leg.


March 3rd, 2016

Do something every day that makes you uncomfortable.

-Living with a SEAL

Man’s Search for Meaning

March 15th, 2015

Some quotes from Viktor E. Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”

..suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the ‘size’ of human suffering is absolutely relative.

Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him–mentally and spiritually… Dostoevski said once, “There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.”

…often it is just such an exceptionally difficult external situation which gives man the opportunity to grow spiritually beyond himself.

He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how

Funny Karate Winter Training Story

January 9th, 2015

Yesterday I was reminded of a funny situation I found myself in a few years ago. But first, here is a little background to help put the story in perspective. We have an annual tradition where I do my karate training. Every first full week in January, our JKA school in Trenton/Hamilton meets each morning at 5am for some invigorating training. This year marks the 45th annual training of the school.

I’ve been participating in this week of “Karate Winter Special Training” since I was about 11 years old. I have missed a few years here and there, but I’m currently on a perfect attendance streak of 12 years. I look forward to the training each year, along with its “interesting” rituals. The special classes consist of kihon, kata and kumite (basics, forms and sparring), but there are other traditions we maintain. One of those traditions is an outdoor run, barefoot and shirtless, regardless of the weather. So if it’s snowing or if there is hail coming down, or if the ground is covered in ice, we still run outside barefoot sans gi top. It might sound crazy to some, but it’s simply a custom we do to build spirit and character, and maybe a few blisters on our toes. I must admit, we also do it because we are told to.

These classes are only an hour long so the run is not that far, otherwise it would consume too much of the hour. After all, it’s a karate class, not a running class. We typically run about one mile. If the temperature is closer to zero, we might only do a half-mile. But on some days, Sensei Kisaka keeps us inside for other special activities.

A few years ago during one of our winter trainings I suspected we wouldn’t run during class, for reasons I won’t get into here. However, I wanted to keep the barefoot running tradition (I enjoy running). So each day I arrived extra early and went out to do my barefoot, shirtless run alone. If we ended up running during class too, I just conceded the point that I would run twice. On Thursday that week, it was about 4:30am, snow was falling, and there was already a nice coating on the ground, a couple of inches of cushion — you know the kind where the road actually feels soft to run on and you can hear the snow crunch when your foot lands?

I was running in the street headed south on Olden Ave. Of course there are almost no cars on the road at that time of day. Sometimes just a few vehicles pass by, delivery trucks or sanitation vehicles starting their run, or even a salting truck or snow plow.

There happened to be a Hamilton Police Officer sitting in his cruiser parked alongside the road. It was easy to spot from a distance because the parking lights were on, and I could see the car was running by the stream of fumes escaping from the tailpipe. As I approached, the Officer opened his window and called me over.

When I jogged up to his door, I remember noticing the warm air coming out the window. It was cold and windy. He very bluntly asked: “Are you all right sir?” I didn’t hesitate to respond, blurting out “Yes” in my hardened, macho, cold state of mind.

Then the image of what I was doing suddenly flashed through my mind from the Officer’s perspective. He must have though I’d lost my mind, running barefoot and bare-chested in the snow in what looked like my “pajamas” (white gi-bottom pants). Maybe he suspected I had escaped from a mental institution.

He didn’t look convinced with my one word answer so I repeated, betraying a slight smile, and explained, “Yes, really, I am okay… Doing special karate winter training at the school down the street. We do it every year.”

With a slight smirk on his face he responded “Okay. Carry on,” and rolled the window back up in his warm cruiser.

Frank Medrano Motivation

February 20th, 2014

I should probably watch this video every day to motivate myself.

7 Minute Abs Workout

January 9th, 2014

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with no more than a 5 second transition in between.

Exercise 1: Right Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 2: V Ups (30 secs)
Exercise 3: Left Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 4: Slow In & Outs (30 secs)
Exercise 5: Right Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 6: Right Reverse Hip Dips (30 secs)
Exercise 7: Left Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 8: Left Reverse Hip Dips (30 secs)
Exercise 9: Right Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 10: Static V Pulses (30 secs)
Exercise 11: Left Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 12: Normal Crunches (30 secs)
Exercise 13: Right Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 14: Stretch Push Ups (30 secs)

Descriptions of Each Exercise:

Half Planks:
You will notice that every other exercise is the half plank. Its a phenomenal ab exercise the strengthens the entire midsection including your obliques. To get into the proper position start off in the normalplank but then lift one arm off of the ground. You will be balancing on one arm. IMPORTANT: Try to keep your hips parallel with the ground. Your body will want to rotate upward but in order to keep the exercise challenging keep it down.

V Ups:
This is a classic ab exercise made popular by Jack Lalanne. Here’s a video that will show you the proper form. V Up Video

Slow In & Outs:
Start off by sitting on the ground. Slowly bring your legs out while simultaneously leaning backward and bringing your arms out. Once you have reached as far as you can without tumbling over, bring your body to starting position keeping your legs off of the ground.

Reverse Hip Dips:
Here’s an exercise that I made up. It’s called Reverse Hip Dips. In order to get in position, start off in the normal push up posture. Lift one hand off of the ground (right hand for example) and put it under the left arm pit. Slowly lower your right hip toward the ground by twisting left and sinking your hip down. Do so until your right hip touches the ground. The more you arc upward while your hip is down the harder it will be. Come back to starting position and repeat on the other side.

Static V Pulses:
Here’s a great ab exercise that will add variety to your workout routine. To see a full video and description, click here.

Normal Crunches:
Most everyone knows the normal crunch so I should have to explain it here. HOWEVER many people do it wrong so I will give a few pointers. Tip 1: Don’t crank on your neck. You should use your hands for support only. If you are getting tired and find that you are pulling your head upward on the movement, adjust your hands so they are crossed over your chest. Tip 2: While you are doing the movement CURL your abs upward and don’t come down all the way until your shoulders touch the ground. This relieves the pressure and is NOT what you want. The movement is small. To see a video of the proper technique for crunches, click here.

Stretch Push Ups:
I included this exercise last because it targets the whole body but also focuses on the abdominals really well. To learn how to do a Stretch Push Up, click here.

How Often Should I Do The Workout?

If you are just starting out, many of the exercises will be very challenging. It’s ok to do just 5-10 secs of each exercise if you are a beginner. This will start to develop strength in your midsection and prepare you for longer workouts. I recommend that you do this workout 3X per week.

If you have been active for longer and can do at least 100 sit ups in a row, try to get through the whole workout without stopping. You will want to do the workout twice through and 3X per week.

If you already have abs of steel and want a unique workout that is challenging here’s what I recommend. Increase the time that you do each exercise but stick with the 5 second rest. Try for 45sec to 1 minute of each exercise. This will increase the total workout time to about 14-15 minutes but you’ll certainly be blasted. You can do the workout 3-4X per week.


Navy Seal 3-Day Abs Workout

January 9th, 2014








100 Household Tips

December 4th, 2013