Widely known as the epitome of mental and physical toughness, the Sealfit Kokoro Camp is on my to-do list for the next couple of years. If you’re not quite sure what it stands for, the Sealfit Kokoro Camp most closely resembles the hardcore BUD/S training that a US soldier has to complete to become a Navy Seal. The main difference is that the Kokoro Camp is open and available to any civilian who wants to test their physical and mental toughness. Exactly what training for and completing obstacle races is all about.
If you can’t get to the Kokoro Camp, the good news is that the Camp’s frontman, and a superman himself, Mark Divine published a book all about it. His aim was to give folks like you and I a set of workouts, as well as lifestyle tips, to help us build a well-rounded body and mind. Before I dig into his training advice, I want you to do just one test. The test which you can see below is the screening test used to evaluate potential candidates for SEAL training. Having completed it myself, I can say it’s rather challenging:
As someone who already trains unconventionally for obstacle races and who is used to pushing beyond my limits, I passed this test at minimum to average performance. Overall, it gave me good insight on what it takes to become a SEAL, at least from a physical standpoint, and what it would require to better myself.
Once you complete the test, you are presented with a range of topics such as: how to ’embrace the suck’, training etiquette (which basically states that training is never just ‘working out’), the infamous 5 mountains of personal development, learning to box breathe (a true life changer, watch a youtube tutorial with Mark here), SEAL fuel – the proper nutrition, advanced op training, and many more. All of this context is intertwined with a variety of training routines which you can put into practice over 8 weeks. This is where the most interesting part begins.
Training as a SEAL requires an athlete to forget a lot of mental and fitness conventions and limits. Not a surprise since being a SEAL requires you to perform beyond the norm, 40-minute planks nonwithstanding. It also adds a heap of aspectual activities which make absolutely anyone a more rounded, durable in hardships and resilient person: SEAL yoga, crossfit-type explosive power workouts and long-distance runs. However, don’t expect these activities to be as neatly categorised in the book as I’ve done here. Mark combines them and organises them very mindfully, to challenge and test not only your physical performance, but also your mindset. To become a well-rounded high performer, an athlete will have to climb these ‘5 mountains’:
- Physical Control and Development
- Mental Toughness and Development
- Emotional Awareness and Resiliency
- Awareness and Intuition
- Kokoro (Warrior) Spirit
All of it makes for a very valuable, though difficult to master, recipe to success. And it was difficult for Mark as well – in the book he shares his own struggles and personal experiences with teammates who excelled and those who, in extreme conditions, dragged the team down. extremely valuable yet difficult to master recipe. These examples from actual Sealfit training and operations add to the book being extremely inspirational. I can promise you this: once you do the first screening test and start reading and supplementing your day-to-day activities with Mark’s workout routines – you won’t be able to put it down or stop. This is a new take on training and achievements many of us want, but from the standpoint of a SEAL, someone who’s truly achieved it.
Much like the books we’ve previously reviewed under the Grit Camp ‘Brain muscle’ category, this is an essential read for any OCR athlete. it will help you sharpen your mind and your physical performance too.
Another recommended reading from Mark Divine that you might be interested in is the Unbeatable Mind. This book explains how to develop those ‘5 mountains’ principles above.