Ranger Training Specificity

A fundamental concept of physical fitness is specificity. This means that our body presents the best adaptations and improvements in a specific area of physical fitness when we train using that area of physical fitness. For example, the best way to prepare for your 12-mile ruck is to ruck. This concept can be applied to any type of physical training.

This concept sounds obvious. Of course you get better at something by doing it. Despite that, we see all sorts of crazy methods online about how to prepare for events. For the most part, the only situation in which you should not be training using specificity is when you're attempting to balance your physical recovery. This would be relevant in an event like running. You want to get faster and build more endurance but sometimes your body just can't run another day. In this case, a cardio focused event like biking or rowing can provide a suitable alternate. It is not as effective as running in your effort to improve running, but can be essential in your overall planning to ensure your legs are actually recovering.

 While our growing library of training plans introduce a couple of things within our workout program that you might not have done before, the majority is your exercises will be familiar.

As the Blue / Green team prepared our Ranger School Advanced plan, we carefully followed this concept of specificity. We identified the 6 factors most important towards your physical success at Ranger School, and created the Big 6:

1. The Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA)

  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • 5-mile run
  • Chin-ups

2. 12-mile ruck

3. Obstacle course muscular endurance

4. Obstacle course cardio endurance

5. Smoke sessions

6. Long, slow heavy patrol ruck


Many of these are overlapping in their physical requirements.

Specificity is even more important when you're training for something like Ranger School because it's not just one physical event. If you show up only good at running, you're going to be sent home quick. Because there is a wide array of areas you need to physically be prepared for, identifying these 6 categories allows us to actually make great progress within all of them throughout our 2.5 month program. Maybe we could justify having 12 areas of fitness to work on, but we'd have a really hard time making that much progress in such a wide area of focus. For us at Blue / Green, a broadly focused plan is not a plan that best helps you prepare.

This discussion comes up a lot with low - rep / high weight lifting for Ranger School. While it probably has some benefits, it is not important enough to make a big focus of your program. Raw strength will do little to help you get through RAP week and all the way to Victory Pond.


Blue / Green Training offers a very detailed and well thought-out approach to preparing you for Ranger School. We utilizing effective physical training methods, paired with proper nutrition, physical recovery, and mental skills to address the complete picture of course preparing. If you're interested in learning more about how to best prepare yourself for school, Ranger School Advanced is right for you.

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