Interview with Navy SEAL, Stew Smith, about Pull-up Training

Learn a Navy SEAL’s go-to Methods for Quickly and Efficiently Improving Pull-up Performance for a Physical Fitness Test

Stew Smith Pull-ups
Veteran Navy SEAL Lieutenant, Stew Smith.

Whether you’re in the military, law enforcement, the firefighting community, or another physically-demanding vocation – or you want to be – this interview is chock-full of tips and strategies to help you improve your pull-up performance in preparation for a Physical Fitness Test (PFT).

Maybe you’re just hoping to pass your PT test or perhaps you want to compete with the best of the best in the Navy SEALs. Regardless, if you want to improve your pulling strength and gain the ability to do more pull-ups with ease, you’ll learn some advanced yet simple training strategies from this interview with veteran Navy SEAL, Stew Smith.

Funny story. Stew actually wrote the first fitness program I ever followed. It was his book, Maximum Fitness: The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Cross Training. I used that program back when I was in high school as my primary workout system for about three years, while I was a cadet in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. This was the first time I had ever stuck with a comprehensive training program over the long term, and I got superb results from it.

I actually went and dug up my old training journal notes (yes, I STILL have them), and here’s how my PT numbers improved after just the first 13 weeks on Stew’s program, which was a calisthenics-focused phase (note: I didn’t have exact figures for my starting points):

-Pull-ups – started at 6-7 sloppy reps, after 3 months…31 reps!
-Pushups – started at 25ish reps, after 3 months…110 reps in 2 minutes!
-Sit-ups – started at 30-40ish reps, after 3 months…120 in 2 minutes!
-Ab Crunches – started at 40-50ish reps, after 3 months…220 in 2 minutes!

Needless to say, a few months on one of Stew’s programs was enough to get me ready to ace my Sea Cadet PFTs!

Side note: and funny enough, I actually wrote a review of his book on it’s page. As of today, it’s still the 2nd most helpful review. Fortunately, my writing has improved since then!

Anyway, I wanted to get Stew on here because I know a lot of you are either in a service-based vocation or are planning to be. In fact, I’ve had many young people over the years contact me with questions about getting ready for boot camp or other military-related fitness needs. Pull-up training has been a very frequent concern. So, I thought I’d get Stew on here to address pull-up training for soldiers, operators, secret agents, ninjas, etc.

Some of the topics we cover include…

  • How to prepare for and ace a military, law enforcement, or firefighter physical fitness test
  • Stew’s two-week program for rapidly increasing your pull-up numbers as fast as humanly possible (great short-term strategy for those who need to increase their pull-ups like…yesterday!)
  • Stew’s top 3 pull-up training workouts and the exact program he uses to help you build your strength and repetition numbers
  • A clever strategy for inducing major overload on the muscles and reaping bigger gains (works for both beginners and advanced trainees)
  • How Stew is able to maintain a high level of fitness at 45 years old (the keys to long-term training success)
  • And much more!

So, if you have a physically-demanding job or you’re in a position where you need to prepare for a Physical Fitness Test, and you’d like to bring up your pull-up numbers so that you can ace the exam with ease, check out this interview with veteran Navy SEAL, Stew Smith.

Update: This interview is now only available as part of The Pull-up Solution package here: The Pull-up Solution.

Interview with Stew Smith about pull-up training

*Mp3 audio file, approximate length is 53 minutes

Wrap Up

I want to offer a big thanks to Stew for taking the time out of his schedule for this interview. I had a great time chatting with you, and I’d love to do it again sometime.

Now, if YOU would like to learn more about Stew and his work, you can visit his website at Also, be sure to check out some of his best-sellers on

The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness by Stew Smith                    Maximum Fitness by Stew Smith

And keep your eyes peeled for his upcoming books, too!

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Health-First Fitness Coach

P.S. Here are a couple of links that were referenced in the interview: Stew’s Pull-up Push program: Stew’s Top 3 Pull-up Workouts:

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