December 12, 2018

Impossible Challenge — Freak Frogman Plus Selection Part 1: Baseline


Starting on Nov 4th, 2013, I decided that my next impossible challenge would be to do Brad McLeod’s Freak Frogman Workout program. The Freak Frogman Workout is a 30 day program that is meant to prepare you for BUD/S (Seal Training) or any other special forces type training.

The workouts are a combination of body weight, swimming and running with some cross fit workouts thrown in for good measure. The program is based on what Brad would do today to prepare for BUD/S.

BUD/S & Selection Minimum Requirements

The first day of the program you do what Brad calls the BUD/S Prep Baseline Workout which consists of the following exercises (A rest period of 2 minutes goes between each exercise):

  • Swim 500 Yards: Using the Combat Swimmer Stroke, sidestroke or breast stroke. The cut-off time is 12 minutes 30 seconds.

  • Push-ups: 42 is the minimum in 2 minutes.

  • Sit-ups: 52 is the minimum in 2 minutes

  • Pull-ups: 8 is the minimum with no time limit. No “kipping”.

  • 1.5 Mile Run: Wearing boots and pants. 11 minutes and 30 seconds is the cut-off time (7:40 pace).

Those are some pretty aggressive goals but in line with the minimum requirements for Goruck Selection which are:

  • Push-ups: 55 is the minimum in 2 minutes

  • Sit-ups: 65 is the minimum in 2 minutes

  • 5-Mile run: Cut off time is 40 minutes (8:00 pace)

  • 12-Mile Ruck Run: With 45 pound ruck (excluding food and water). Cut off time is 3 hours and 30 minutes (17:30 pace)

Each minimum has a unique focus that tests various aspects of your overall fitness. Brad’s program (with some minor additions) should be good for both.

The Challenge

The goal for this 30 day challenge is to meet the minimum requirements for the BUD/S Prep Baseline Workout and the Goruck Selection (although not at the same time). The Freak Frogman Workout does not have any rucking so I’ll have to supplement some rucks to prepare for that. Otherwise, the training program should be good enough to improve my times over my present baseline (see below) enough to meet the minimums. I’ll do each baseline a couple of days apart to get the best possible times.

My Baseline

The first setup in this challenge is to baseline my performance. I choose to use the BUD/S Prep Baseline with one modification — the run is 3.1 miles without boots or pants. Here are my baseline numbers (including starting weight)

  • Weight: 184 pounds

  • Swim 500 yards (breast stroke): 10 minutes <= Met

  • Push-ups: 37 <= Fell short by 5 and 18

  • Sit-ups: 42 <= Fell short by 10 and 23

  • Pull-ups: 4 <= Fell short by 4

  • 3.1 Mile run: 24:15 (7:49 pace) <= Fell short and on Pace


Overall, not a bad performance considering I mostly do triathlons. The biggest challenge hands down will be the strength events since those are the ones I have the least amount of experience with.