Posted on

Workout 3: 5 Minute PT Challenge

This workout is a way to push your limits on calisthenics exercises (with added weight) and will make your standard TWO MINUTE PT time limit seem like a piece of cake.

This workout is simply designed to be several sets of FIVE MINUTES: Five minutes of calisthenics sets (rest is included in 5 minutes) but try not to rest too much. Five minutes of cardio interval options as well as pool swim / drills for 5 minute sets.

Try this all with a weight vest of 20-25 lbs.
Warmup with pyramid pushups / run sets:  
1 pushups / 25m run,
2 pushups/25m run up to 10 (or 5 minutes whichever comes first).
  – Make runs dynamic stretch options too.

5 min PT sets:  
Do as many reps as you can in 5 minutes – rest counts as part of 5 min total time.

5 min cardio of choice – easy pace / light stretch
5 min pullups – max out – rest as needed off the bar.
5 min pushups – but rest with plank position when not doing pushups.
5 min situps – rest as needed in up or down position. (place vest on your chest)
5 min dips – max out – rest as needed off the bars or bench dips.
5 min burpees – just keep moving.
5 min plank pose – no rest. Try to suck this up.
5 min KB swing or press – just keep the KB moving for 5 min
5 min tabata interval – run, bike, elliptical, or row of 20 second sprint / 10 second easy for 5 minutes.

Run or ruck (with or without a vest)
5 min fast pace
5 min moderate pace

(Repeat as many times as you can / have time for)


Posted on

Workout 2: Weight Vest Wednesday

Fresh from a test yesterday, here is a Calisthenics With Weight Vest Workout that eventually drops the vest and gets into lifting heavy to top off a challenging upper body fitness day:

Warmup with 5 min cardio of choice / light dynamic stretch

Lightweight Shoulders – use 5# Dbs – no need to go heavy on this PREHAB workout.

Weight Vest Wednesday: Reverse Pyramid
20,19,18,17,16 – Pushups and plank pose / second with 25m run in between

In detail:
Do 20 pushups and stay in the plank pose for 20 seconds – then get up and run 25 meters.
Non-stop into the next set: do 19 pushups / 19 second plank run 25m. Continue this process down to 16.

If you prefer you can tow a sled to make this more challenging.

Change Exercises but continue down the pyramid:

15,14,13,12,11: Dips, abs of choice, pushups – no run in between

In detail: Do 15 dips followed by 15 abs of choice (flutterkicks, leg levers, hanging knee ups, etc) then back to pushups for 15 reps. Continue down the pyramid to 11 – doing these three exercises for each of the steps of the pyramid.
Change Exercises:

10,9,8,7,6:  Pullups, TRX pushups, TRX rollouts (OR pushups / plank pose 1 min each set)

In detail: Do 10 pullups, followed by 15 TRX pushups and TRX rollouts (or if no TRX or rings do regular pushups and plank pose again.

Drop weight vest:
5,4,3,2,1:  Bench press, heavy rows, pulldowns (Heavy)

In detail: In the weight room, start off with 5 reps of bench press, heavy DB or barbell rows, and heavy pulldowns (or weighted pullups).
Increase the weight and decrease the reps with a 5,4,3,2,1 drop set. Rest as needed.
Cardio Section: 3 mile run or Add weight vest or ruck for a 2 miles

Swim 500m warmup
Repeat 5 times
100m sprint any stroke – rest as needed

Repeat 5 times
100m at goal timed swim pace – rest with 1 minute tread

Posted on

Workout 1: Raptor Weight Vest & Sled

Tyre pull workout

Here is a workout I like to do with the Raptor vest and a sled. I also use old truck tires with sandbags in them as a sled on rubberized tracks or turf fields as they tend to “grab” harder to the rubber on those surfaces.

Tyre pull workout

  1. Run 1 mile warmup without the vest / light stretch / dynamic warmup
  2. Repeat 1 mile again with the vest (fast walk or shuffle run) Work for a mile in the 10 minute zone.
  3. Repeat 10 times
  4. Run fast with tires or sled 50m
  5. Odd Sets – 20 Squats
  6. Even Sets – 20 Pushups

Walk back to the starting line using different methods each time
(bear crawl, backwards step, forward lunges, low crawl – get creative with each way back to the starting line.)

Part of tactical fitness, is also staying engaged mentally. So thinking about what set you are on (odd/even), getting creative with methods of travel each set, even doing a skill in between sets like tying a knot in a piece of rope, or doing a math problem are all ways to keep the brain engaged in the mission. It is easy to go into “zombie mode” and focus on running or pushing through exhausting workouts, it takes an increased focus and attention to detail to maintain proper thought processes while getting tired and winded.

After you are done with the ten sets above, cool down with another mile at an easy pace with or without the Raptor weightvest.

Enjoy – There will be more to follow.

Tyre pull workout

Posted on

Stew Smith on Raptor Weight Vests

From our U.S. correspondent and Military Training guru, Stew Smith:

“I have used several brands of weight vests over the years to add to training, but the Raptor is the most comfortable, durable, and versatile weight vest I have
ever used. Not only can you use it to add weight to your calisthenics, but it is sturdy enough to pull weighted sleds, do bear crawl tug-of-war, rucking, and
so many other unique tactical fitness exercises.”

More about Stew Smith:
Stew Smith is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL Lieutenant, and author of several fitness and self defense books such as Tactical Fitness, The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, Maximum Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, and SWAT Fitness.

Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and as military fitness trainer, Stew has trained thousands of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT and many other law enforcement professions.

Stew has written more than 800 articles and 40 eBooks viewed on and He is a consultant and presenter with the government in the area of troop physical development through his test and evaluation group – Heroes of Tomorrow.

Stew Smith has worked professionally in the military fitness arena since 1999 focusing on a specialty of helping people become members of the military, police, fire fighter or special operations or any other member of a unit that requires a physical fitness test (PFT). Stew Smith speaks nationally at fitness conferences that focus on the Tactical Athlete (military, special ops, SWAT, police, fire fighters).

Posted on

Introducing Stew Smith – Our U.S. Correspondent

Hello, I am Stew Smith and I am very excited to be working with Raptor Weight Vest as a trainer and blogger / video blogger to create new content using the Raptor Weight Vest.

Stew Smith

Here is a little history about me for those of you who are unfamiliar. I am a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL Lieutenant, and author of several fitness books such as Tactical Fitness, The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, Maximum Fitness, The Special Ops Workouts, and SWAT Fitness.

I have also written more than 700 articles and sell over 40 eBooks for and  I also consult and present with the government in the area of troop physical development through my non-profit training program called – Heroes of Tomorrow.

I have worked professionally in the tactical fitness (military, police, fire fighter, rescue, and special ops) arena for nearly 20 years focusing on a specialty of helping people become a member of any unit that requires a rigorous selection phase and physical fitness test.

Of course, many of my readers just want to lose weight and keep it off.  I have trained athletes in College, Olympians, and Professional Sports (Hockey and Baseball.) and certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  I speak often at fitness conferences that focus on the Tactical Athlete.

You may have seen me in this fun TV segment I did for The National Geographic Channels – “Fight Science” and have appeared in several newspaper and magazine features to include Washington Post, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, and Sports Illustrated to name a few.