They operate at the bleeding edge of Australia’s military operations and they’re some of the most hardened warriors on Earth. No surprise, then, that the Australian Special Forces don’t open the door to anyone.
For starters, making it into Australia’s Special Forces – which includes the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS), two Commando Regiments and five other specialist units – means getting past the Special Forces Screen Test.
The entire test takes about 6-9 hours and includes a fitness assessment and an interview.
According to Kevin Toonen (above), the strength and conditioning coach for the Australian Special Forces, here’s the base (and we mean base) physical markers you’d need to display…
Push-ups: perfect form and continuous rhythm for 60 reps
Chin-ups: overhand grip; technique as above for 10 reps
Vertical Leap: 60cm
Flexibility: drop into a squat and grab your toes; now straighten your legs
Beep Test: level 12
Pack March: 5km carrying a 40kg pack
Swim Test: 2mins treading water before swimming 400m in full combat gear.
Reckon you can nail those markers? A Selection Advisory Committee will then give you a face-to-face grilling to decide whether you have the emotional fortitude to serve in a Special Forces unit.
Pass the interview with flying colours? Now you’re off to a Selection and Training Course (otherwise known as “living hell”) where you’ll spend 2-3 weeks exploring your physical and mental limits, often while battling extreme fatigue, hunger and sleep deprivation.
Get SAS Strong
Achieve military-grade strength with this workout designed by Kevin Toonen (above)
Work up to a heavy 2RM. (This should take you between 6-8 sets.) Rest as needed between sets
Front Squat/Box Jump Superset
For the squat, 5 sets of 8 reps at 70 per cent 1RM. Do 4 box jumps straight after each squatting set. Be explosive with your jumps. Rest 2mins between sets
4 sets to failure. Rest 90-120 seconds between sets
Back Extension/Single-leg Calf Raise Superset
3 sets of 15 reps for both moves