Navy Seal Strength Workout

Scott Helvenston
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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I would recommend this video to any one who is interested in a boot camp style total body strength workout. This is an advanced to intermediate workout. I use this work out for sit-up and push-up improvement for physical fitness tests that I take for the Army Reserve. The lower body portion improves my leg strength for the two-mile run portion of the test.

Scott uses exercises from the Navy Seals. He cues the exercises by calling the cadence (military style) of the exercise. The intermediate and beginner exercisers are faintly counting the repetitions. This is distracting. Either they should not count the repetitions out loud or they should sound off loudly with the repetition count. Other distracting cueing problems are that Scott will say phrases that he expects the other exercisers to respond with an answer. They should rehearse before Scott also appears to be upset at Dana for not keeping his legs up between L-sit crunch sets. Again, this should have been resolved during rehearsal. The order of exercise is generally warm-up (3 minutes), lower body (19 minutes), abs (19 minutes) and upper body (22 minutes) for 58 minutes total. The setting is a beach with the ocean in the background. The sound off a 35mm camera shooting still shots can be heard in the background. The promotional shots should have been done during rehearsals.

Each person will perform the exercises at different level of difficulty. Scott does the advanced version, Dana does the intermediate, and Trish does the beginner version. Scott and Dana wear black Lycra shorts with a blue tank top. Trish wears a black exercise bra with black Lycra shorts. The attire is appropriate and non-distracting.

Compared to Navy Seal Total Body Workout, this is an equally hard workout made more interesting with the variety in sets, stretches, new exercises, and set order. The video cannot be done in standalone segments for different body parts because different body parts are worked on alternate sets. I alternate this video with Navy Seal Total Body for variety.

The video starts with a three-minute warm-up using dynamic stretches.

Jumping Jacks
Lunges (1 set each leg)
Calf Raises
Alternating lunges
Calf raises (toes-in)
Power Lunges (beginners - alternate lunges)
Calf raises (toes out)
Cherry pickers (dynamic stretching)
Quad stretch
Rope climbs (ab crunch)
Cross reach
Superset: inboard / outboard (circular leg lifts)
Cobra stretch
Dive-bomber push-ups (beginners - wide push-ups on knees)
Hi-Jack, Hi-Jill, (dynamic chest stretch)
Tricep diamond pushup
Up, back, and overs (dynamic chest stretch)
Push-ups (beginners on knees)
Press, press, flings (dynamic chest stretch)
One leg leaning rest (isometric lower back exercise)
Cat and camel stretch
Stomach flutter kicks (superman)
Cycler's stretch (modified hurdler's stretch)
Dirty dogs (fire hydrants)
Donkey kicks (rear kicks)
One leg leaning rest squat
Giant set: Standard squat / calf raise
Squat thrust (burpees)
Standard squats / calf raise (drop set from first set)
Squat thrust (burpees) (drop set from first set) (beginners do squats)
One leg cross L-sit crunches
Alternating leg lift
L-sit cross crunches
L-sit crunch
Reach stretch
Oblique crunch
Oblique leg lift (beginner modification)
Reverse crunches
Flutter kicks
Good morning darlings (leg spreader)
Cobra stretch
Superset: Dive-bomber push-ups (beginners wide push-ups on knees), tricep pushups (beginner's on knees), push-ups (beginner's on knees)
Neck rotations
Neck up and downs
Pyramid set: push-ups (on knees), push-ups), push-ups (on-knees)
Press, press, fling (dynamic chest stretch)
Pyramid set: tricep push-ups (on knees), tricep push-ups, tricep push-ups (on-knees)
Hi-Jack, Hi-Jill, (dynamic chest stretch) 10 reps
Drop set: push-ups, push-ups (on knees)
Up, back, and overs, (dynamic chest stretch) 10 reps
Drop set: tricep push-ups, tricep push-ups (on knees)
Neck Rotations, 10 reps to left, 10 reps to right
Neck up and downs, 10 reps
Super Set: Dive Bomber push-ups; (beginners wide push-ups on knees), Tricep push-ups (beginners on knees), push-ups (beginners on knees.
Pull-ups; (beginners bent over row)
Rear delt stretch
Close grip pull-ups (beginners do reverse barbell curls)
Trunk stretch
Chin-ups (beginners do bicep barbell curl)

Duane Smith


Info about the instructor: Scott is obviously very physically fit which always gives you something to strive for when doing a workout. Although he's clearly intelligent and is knowledgeable about the exercises he's doing, his instructor skills are only middle-of-the-road. Several times in the video he doesn't count properly - either during an exercise or on the number of reps, and a his explanations or descriptions of an exercise are sometimes too brief or non-existent, like he's done the workout too many times. It's a little tough to keep track of the reps for advanced, intermediate and beginner when he says what they're going to be and then does something different. However, these are truly minor problems and not a hindrance at all to doing the video. Keep in mind that he mostly counts out loud the number of reps for advanced, so you have to know when to stop if you're doing a lower level of reps. The intermediate and beginner people are counting their reps, but they aren't miked, so you only hear the Scott's form and style are both excellent, as is his personality. If you are looking for a no-nonsense workout, this one is great. The moves are fairly simple with slight variations and number of reps is increased for intensity. Though simple, even the beginner level exercises will be tough for someone who is in relatively good shape, especially the upper body exercises. He does different types of sets (pyramid, drop sets) which vary intensity and number or reps and explains why this is done. Minor stretching between reps or groups of muscles are also incoporated.

Information about the workout: Other reviews on this site list the exact workouts in detail, so I will just talk generally about the workout. I recommend you do a stretching warm-up and cool-down before and after the video. There is essentially no cool-down and the warm-up section is minor. He does point out you should do this on your own. What results, thankfully, is a full hour of military-style calisthenics, including work for your abs, legs, back and arms/upper body. After each muscle group is warmed up and you do some generic warm-up exercises like jumping jacks, you move into the concentrated work on each muscle group. The moves are quite simple and it's mostly by varying the number of repetitions that the level of difficulty is advanced.

One specific problem I noticed is during the ab section, there is a short exercise to work the lower abs which looks basically like one is swinging your legs from bent-at-the-knees and on the ground, to your chest, and back down.

This video is terrific if you are not the best with complex choreography, don't have any equipment, and want a good strength training workout. You use your body's own resistance for all the exercises except for a very small section at the end where they use a chin-up bar. Those exercises are also demonstrated with hand weights, but that section is small and is the only equipment used. I have had the video for a month and am in very good shape but the arms section STILL kicks my butt pretty good, and I am just now moving towards incorporating the intermediate arm stuff with the beginner, while I am doing advanced on leg and abs.

In general, despite it's minor problems I think it's a terrific strengthening video with a lot of room to advance; the tape won't become "stale" for a long time.