Video Fitness

Navy SEAL Ultimate Aerobic Workout

Scott Helvenston

This workout is a short (about 25 minutes) workout which combines Navy SEAL calistenics with a circuit format. Scott says he developed this workout because he found that most aerobic workouts had a lower body intensive - but here you also hit upper body and abs.

There are two other exercisers working along with Scott on a beach setting. One is named Tricia, who is the physical therapy representative for the group. She does the "beginner" modifications. The other is Dr. Mike Matlidge, who follows the intermediate level modifications. Both Mike and Tricia are in great shape, too. Scott shows the advanced level.

The workout starts with a stretch that encompasses a lot of different stretches, primarily for the trunk. After the stretch, you begin the circuit workout, which is actually a 15 minute segment that you do twice.

For instance, you start with jumping jacks (with your legs alternating to the side and to the front) and then you move quickly into lat rows using a barbell (or you can modify using dumbbells).

Below is the sequence of exercises in the circuit:

  1. quad box run then another set of lat rows with different hand positioning.
  2. quad box hops then biceps burls w/ a barbell.
  3. jumping jacks (legs to the side and front) and then dive bomber pushups (these are really, really tough - I am going to have to work up to these!!)
  4. quad box runs then tricep pushups (pushups with your hands really close together to hit the tri's)
  5. quad box hops moving onto standard pushups
  6. jumping jacks and then onto ab oblique crunches
  7. quad box runs to a mid-ab exercise which is a half modified sit-up combined with "butterflies" (if you know Firm Vol. 1 you know what I mean by butterflies). This is another exercise I have to work towards - I can only do 2 right now and my abs are in pretty good shape!
  8. quad box hops again and then 4 count leg lifts for the lower abs - another tough one!
  9. jumping jacks and then you move quickly to lower body doing "squat thrusts", which were a different exercise for me (these were tough, too, particularly if you use absolute, perfect form)
  10. quad box runs again and then moving to alternating lunges
  11. quad box hops and then power lunges (also very effective) - you may need a little coordination to "stick" the landing on this one!


Overall, I liked this workout. It is short, but effective. It gets your heartrate up quickly. However, there were minor things that could have been better. The music doesn't really seem to "go" with the workout and after I did the workout a couple of times, it seemed like the music was superimposed in the editing room later. However, I hardly noticed the music because I try to concentrate on good form and just block it out.

Scott counts off on every exercise "a one, two, three" etc. This, for me, I like - as you know exactly where you are in the exercise. But it may drive some people crazy.

The only negative thing about the workout is that there is no cooldown and/or stretch. You have to do it on your own. If this workout had a cooldown or stretch (which I love in a video), I would give it an A. I give it an A- because of that. Also, the music could be better (or even if they just took it out would be ok).

I liked this workout and it is tough enough that I will still be challenged by it in several months (as there are several exercises that I can't get through right now!). I believe in the Firm's philosophy that any video you can do perfectly on the first or second time, is no video that you will keep doing. If you like the Firm, with its easy to follow, basic exercises, you will like this. If you like dance or complex choreography, this may not be your style, but I still think it is a good way to break up the variety. Anybody who can't stand "whoops" or "breathy-sexy" cuing also will like this. Men would also like this video - Scott is "masculine", but isn't dripping with testosterone, either.

But, it is a short workout, so I usually do it in conjunction with something else (right now with Streamline Fitness or Firm Lower Body Sculpting or KV Pure and Simple Stretch). A yoga tape would also go very well after this video - as you are now warm and have gotten your heartrate up for 25 minutes and need to cool down and stretch.

I can't believe I have written so much for such a short workout! But I wanted to be thorough so everyone feels like they know what they are getting!!

Instructor comments: The instructor is Scott Helvenston, a former SEAL, the trainer for Demi Moore in GI Jane and a world champion pentathlete (according to the box) and it really shows. This guy is in great (and I mean GREAT) shape. However, he doesn't seem to be obnoxious or conceited about his great body like some instructors in other videos.

Scott seems like a nice guy - someone you would like to have train you in person. He offers plenty of encouragement throughout the workout and gives good form pointers and heart rate pointers. His form is perfect throughout the entire workout (showing that Navy SEAL discipline), even though you can tell he gets visibly winded from this workout (which made me feel better!). Scott is very straightforward - there are no "woo woo's", "whoops", or "sexy breathy/cuing" here.

Chris Trecroci

I got this video hoping for a short but intense circuit workout. And boy does it ever deliver! Scott Helvenston is a former Navy SEAL and a personal trainer. He works out on a beach with one man and one woman. The aerobic intervals are all either jumping jacks, quad box runs or quad box hops, repeated many times. The strength intervals include several different varieties of pushups,crunches, and pullups (but the woman in the video substitutes weight work for the pullups and I do the same). Scott counts off the reps:"uh-one, two, thu-ree, four". Some people may find this irritating. I found that it helped to keep me going, and with this workout, I need all the help I can! There is music in the background, but they don't bother to keep in time. Scott keeps you focused on the exercises, and only makes a couple of extraneous comments, like "This workout is the wave of the future". If you need constant variety in your workouts, this is decidedly not the video for you, but if you like simple athletic moves that get the job done quickly, then I recommend this tape. I'm going on vacation in a week, and I plan to bring this along, because it is the type of video that can be done anywhere.

Instructor comments: VERY buff. He doesn't really explain the moves, but they are so easy he really doesn't need to. Some may find his counting off annoying, but I'm working too hard to pay attention!

Sasha Castel

This is a very good workout that really gives results. The moves are very basic and simple, but they're very challenging! The only bad thing i have to say about this video is that i found a spelling error at the beginning where it read ULITMATE aerobic workout, instead of ULTIMATE areobic workout. But that doesn't hurt the workout at all. Some people may find it a little repetitive, since you keep on doing the moves over an over, but this it really a very intense workout that delivers results. the instructor is very good too.


This is truly an advanced workout. I wouldn't call it the ultimate aerobic workout, but it's a great circuit workout. I do this video when i want to get cardio and work my whole body in about 20 minutes. I consider myself an advanced exerciser but the pullups and pushups really kill me.I have one complaint about this workout: it gets just a little bit boring. Instead of doing the whole routine twice, i wish scott would have included some other different exercies. But while i do this tape i'm working too hard to complain. I give this tape an A.

Instructor comments: Scott is in great shape. He encourages you throughout the workout and always show great form.

patricia griffin


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