Stew Smith Programs

army2021

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Jan 4, 2015
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I have been on a lifting plan however decided it'd be best preparation to switch from that to one of Stew Smith's programs as they're widely promoted. Just ordered the Army Ranger/SF Prep program and will provide updates as to how well it is preparing me once I have gone through portions of the program. For now though, was wondering if anyone has used this or any other Stew Smith Programs and how well the results were for prepping for the Academy, Army in general, etc?
 

BSCAR

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May 17, 2015
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Bought the CFA one. It was an utter waste of money. If you're looking for a fitness program there are a few good free apps that actually do help to max out PT scores. Throw in 30 minutes a day of running (minimum, in my humble opinion) and you'll be fine.
 

army2021

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Bought the CFA one. It was an utter waste of money. If you're looking for a fitness program there are a few good free apps that actually do help to max out PT scores. Throw in 30 minutes a day of running (minimum, in my humble opinion) and you'll be fine.
Thanks for your input. I went with this rather than the CFA one as it'll be more of an intense training regime, so hopefully it'll be a different experience.
 

JLur

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Jun 9, 2016
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I found the Stew Smith plans to be inadequate for most training. A more intense plan is definitely needed. It seems that the Stew Smith programs already assume that you are in very good shape and they train you to do particular exercises. A healthy mixture of running, sprinting, plyometrics, crossfit, and weight lifting is usually best. I run track(I'm a sprinter) in high school so I get much of that in my daily training but I do add extra once a week or so. I have done mock APFTs and gotten 300 points as well as getting all above average on my CFA last year.
 

et81

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Mar 1, 2016
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No offense bro but knowing multiple Rangers and SF team members they will tell you that the simpler the physical training is the better. It's not complicated Run, do push ups, pull ups, dips, rope climbs, sprint and ruck. Do the thinks you will actually be doing. Don't get caught up in the complicated plans and systems work your *** off on the simple basic things. Don't use a complicated equation for a simple problem.
 

army2021

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No offense bro but knowing multiple Rangers and SF team members they will tell you that the simpler the physical training is the better. It's not complicated Run, do push ups, pull ups, dips, rope climbs, sprint and ruck. Do the thinks you will actually be doing. Don't get caught up in the complicated plans and systems work your *** off on the simple basic things. Don't use a complicated equation for a simple problem.
To my understanding, the program is those things but simply put into a program to set you up for success in such courses. Not necessarily a complicated thing or equation. Just made to build gradual progression on an advanced level. Thank you for your input.
 

BSCAR

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Bought the CFA one. It was an utter waste of money. If you're looking for a fitness program there are a few good free apps that actually do help to max out PT scores. Throw in 30 minutes a day of running (minimum, in my humble opinion) and you'll be fine.
Thanks for your input. I went with this rather than the CFA one as it'll be more of an intense training regime, so hopefully it'll be a different experience.
It wasn't even so much the intensity, it was the fact that much of it designed for a very specific body type and in a manner that often times was counterintuitive.

The workouts are very clearly tailored to people who are already exceptionally strong, but lack muscular and aerobic endurance. There were things like superset pyramid (up and back down)workouts with push ups, pull ups, and sit ups, going from 5 to 35, 1 to7, and 5 to 35 respectively (no breaks), then add more core and a shoulder workout. But then it would say "run 1 mile" or "exercise bike 20 minutes".

If I could do 245 push ups 49 pull ups, and 245 sit ups pretty much consecutively it would have obviated my need for the book. Then to be presented with a laughable amount of cardio was just perplexing.

He would also hit the same muscle group twice, sometimes three days in a row and do other things that just didn't make sense.

Plus, the fact that the program required access to exercise equipment, a pool, and a track with marked distances kind of militated my ability to do execute the prescribed exercises--particularly in the middle of winter with chest deep snow and temperatures getting to be -30 below with wind chill at times.

Take my review with a grain of salt; I'm a wrestler and a cross country runner. We would put in 45-50+ miles a week at our peek in XC and have 3 hour practices a day with near exclusive live wrestling. My issue wasn't endurance, it was strength.

I found myself having to alter the workout so much due to lack of good weather and equipment as well as lack of raw strength that I eventually just scrapped it altogether and made my own workout program.

TL;DR if you're looking to build strength or max out already decent APFT/CFA scores look elsewhere. If you already have the strength component down and just need help putting it all together then this will function adequately, though you'd be better off with something else.
 

army2021

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Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
299
Bought the CFA one. It was an utter waste of money. If you're looking for a fitness program there are a few good free apps that actually do help to max out PT scores. Throw in 30 minutes a day of running (minimum, in my humble opinion) and you'll be fine.
Thanks for your input. I went with this rather than the CFA one as it'll be more of an intense training regime, so hopefully it'll be a different experience.
It wasn't even so much the intensity, it was the fact that much of it designed for a very specific body type and in a manner that often times was counterintuitive.

The workouts are very clearly tailored to people who are already exceptionally strong, but lack muscular and aerobic endurance. There were things like superset pyramid (up and back down)workouts with push ups, pull ups, and sit ups, going from 5 to 35, 1 to7, and 5 to 35 respectively (no breaks), then add more core and a shoulder workout. But then it would say "run 1 mile" or "exercise bike 20 minutes".

If I could do 245 push ups 49 pull ups, and 245 sit ups pretty much consecutively it would have obviated my need for the book. Then to be presented with a laughable amount of cardio was just perplexing.

He would also hit the same muscle group twice, sometimes three days in a row and do other things that just didn't make sense.

Plus, the fact that the program required access to exercise equipment, a pool, and a track with marked distances kind of militated my ability to do execute the prescribed exercises--particularly in the middle of winter with chest deep snow and temperatures getting to be -30 below with wind chill at times.

Take my review with a grain of salt; I'm a wrestler and a cross country runner. We would put in 45-50+ miles a week at our peek in XC and have 3 hour practices a day with near exclusive live wrestling. My issue wasn't endurance, it was strength.

I found myself having to alter the workout so much due to lack of good weather and equipment as well as lack of raw strength that I eventually just scrapped it altogether and made my own workout program.

TL;DR if you're looking to build strength or max out already decent APFT/CFA scores look elsewhere. If you already have the strength component down and just need help putting it all together then this will function adequately, though you'd be better off with something else.
Thanks for all that information. Very interesting and got a lot out of that. I'm a wrestler too so I feel you on what you're saying. Thanks again for the reply!
 

BSCAR

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No offense bro but knowing multiple Rangers and SF team members they will tell you that the simpler the physical training is the better. It's not complicated Run, do push ups, pull ups, dips, rope climbs, sprint and ruck. Do the thinks you will actually be doing. Don't get caught up in the complicated plans and systems work your *** off on the simple basic things. Don't use a complicated equation for a simple problem.
Not to mention that you needn't necessarily be an athletic super man to be a Ranger, nor will being one make you a shoe in as a Ranger. It's a lot of times mental toughness, the ability to endure protracted periods of privation, and technical proficiency with respect to military affairs (night land nav, etc).
 

BSCAR

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My son got some great tips to help with his CFA score, fine tuning stuff. Worth the money.
Like I said, take it with a grain of salt; It's just one anonymous internet kid's experience with it. There was some good fine tuning stuff; I particularly liked what he had to say about pacing your reps. But as for his actual workout as detailed within the book, it just didn't do it for me.
 

JLur

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Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
79
No offense bro but knowing multiple Rangers and SF team members they will tell you that the simpler the physical training is the better. It's not complicated Run, do push ups, pull ups, dips, rope climbs, sprint and ruck. Do the thinks you will actually be doing. Don't get caught up in the complicated plans and systems work your *** off on the simple basic things. Don't use a complicated equation for a simple problem.

None taken, I actually think that the Stew Smith plans are too complicated. I totally agree with what you are saying.
 

AZWPDad04

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Mar 16, 2017
Messages
57
My son used the CFA one in prep for the CFA prior to NASS and SLE, they seemed to benefit him. Now using the CBT one and he seems to like it. At the end of the day, putting in the work and prepping is what is important. Choose a plan and then put in the work. Best of luck!
 

USMA 1994

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Mar 23, 2016
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You need endurance and upper body strength. You do not have to make this a science project. The best way to get better at PT is by doing them. Try and find some hills as they will kick your butt. The workouts at Beast will not be that difficult if you are a decent athlete.

The upper body strength will be need later when you have to take the IOCT. There is a reason there are large trash cans at the end of the course.
 

NavyHoops

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This isn't complicated. His books are meant for exactly what they are titled for. Beast or Plebe Summer is not Ranger Indoc that has a cut phase or BUDS that had graded physical tests to make a cut. You are right that many of these advanced and elite schools are a lot of mental, but the early phases has some crushing physical standards that have to met and that is what those books are targeting. The CFA is a specific event. You will have a PRT or APFT or whatever at each SA that is graded that is more than the CFA. It's one measurement of fitness. I advise every appointee to run and run some more, be able move your body weight easily and focus on core strength.
 

civic29

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Aug 15, 2014
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I thought that program you got worked quite well but that was just for me. It did take a lot of time every day though. You can't go wrong with it if you follow it pretty closely
 
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