Can a 39 year old business owner Dad achieve elite forces fitness standards?

Force Fitness owner Rich has challenged himself to meet the entry standards of elite force. Follow along on his 12 month journey of training with Building The Elite.


Military-inspired active lifestyle ethos from Force Fitness

At Force Fitness, our ethos has always been to take inspiration from the best of the best and make it accessible for everyone. We love learning from the toughest fitness challenges around the world – and that includes taking inspiration from the selection and training of elite forces.


Can a civilian train like the elite forces in their spare time? 

Force Fitness owner Rich thrives on taking on big challenges, especially those that cover lots of different fitness angles. Over the next 12 months he’s working with Building The Elite to try and meet the entry standards of the elite forces.

He’s a Dad, a father, a business owner, and fast approaching 40. Can he do it? Follow along with this series of blog posts as we check back in with his training.


Is it hard to train like the elite forces?

Military-inspired training is no joke. This is much more than getting fit. Rich will be training across different parameters, including strength, endurance, power, power endurance, work capacity, and muscular endurance. Safe to say this is one of the toughest challenges Rich has set himself in 20+ years of training and events.


How is Force Fitness business owner training with Build the Elite?

Building The Elite educate and coach people to thrive in challenging environments by working on the mental and physical aspects of human performance. They are known for coaching and developing special operators and have a high success rate in training applicants for a SOF selection course.

Rich has joined the Building The Elite programme and over the next 12 months he’ll be put through his paces as if he was really training to join an elite military force.


What are the standards Rich is aiming to pass?

We need to be clear, Force Fitness owner Rich isn’t actually going to apply to any military selection day. This challenge is purely for his own interest, to see whether a lifelong fitness fan with a really busy lifestyle can actually stick to the training and make the standards. Here are the standards Building The Elite work towards. 


Anything under 2 miles - 6 min miles

3-4 miles - 7 min miles

5 miles - 8 min miles



22kg / 50lb pack under 15 min miles for 12 miles



100 in 1 set


Pull Ups 

15 in 1 set


Sit ups 

70-80 in 1 set



460m under 10 mins


Weight Lifting

Barbell deadlift - 1.75 x bodyweight

Trap bar deadlift – 2 x bodyweight

Back squat - 1.75 x bodyweight

Front squat - 1.75 x bodyweight

Weighted pull ups - 45% bodyweight

Elevated split squats - bodyweight for 10 reps

Kettlebell overhead press - 45% bodyweight

Bench press - 1.25x bodyweight


Power endurance 

500m row - 1:30

2000m row - 7:00



Broad Jump - 9ft

Vertical jump - 30”

100m Row - 1:20 500m average pace


Month 1: endurance, conditioning, and eustress training

Month 1 of Rich’s programme focuses on conditioning, with 3 x 1 hour strength sessions per week for mobility, power, and muscular endurance. Rich has trained all his life, but he’s learning plenty of new stuff already. Like the concept of eustress training or “positive stress”. Eustress training focuses on developing the mental ability to manage your stress response and eventually raise your stress baseline so you can work harder, recover faster, and get more done (whilst feeling in control).

This initial training block also includes 3 x 30-minute work capacity sessions per week for strength endurance. These sessions focus on completing as many reps as possible in an allotted time.

On top of the gym sessions Rich is completing 3 x runs per week (some sprint work, some longer runs) and 2 x rucking days with a 20kg ruckpack. He’s also swimming once a week.


Next blog: month 2 of Rich’s training with Building The Elite 

We’ll check back in with Rich next week to see how his training is going, what he’s learned, and how he’s getting on. In the meantime, check out Building The Elite. And if Rich’s challenge has caught your interest, send us any questions.

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