Navy SEAL Jocko Willink on Exercise and Training

Navy SEAL Training

If you are familiar with this site, you’ve probably heard me stress the fact that almost anything works if you are willing to work. Therefore, the difficulty is not in determining what works, but rather in repeatedly executing that work. In other words, it’s easier to know the way than to walk it. Fortunately, I’m not alone in spreading this message. In the video that follows, you’ll hear retired Navy SEAL officer Jocko Willink share similar thoughts.

Wisdom From Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams, starting as an enlisted SEAL and rising through the ranks to become a SEAL officer. Throughout his decorated career, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and numerous other personal and unit awards. Jocko’s own combat experience, coupled with the time he’s spent instructing the next generation of SEAL leaders, make him someone who is worthy of your time and attention. To put it bluntly, Jocko Willink knows what he is talking about.

In the video that follows, he shares some thoughts regarding exercise and training.

Hard Work and Consistency

My favorite part of the short video comes at the end when Jocko states the following:

“It’s about hard work. It’s about consistency. It’s about getting up in the morning and getting it done.”

What he shares in those last few seconds is worth more than anything you’ll find in the most sophisticated training program or book. At the end of the day, you aren’t rewarded for what you know. It’s what you do that ultimately matters.

There are plenty of people in this world who share similar knowledge regarding exercise, yet display entirely different abilities. As an old saying suggests, after all is said and done, a lot more is said than done. It’s easier to talk the talk than to walk it repeatedly.

Final Thoughts

In summary, knowing what to do is the easy part. Never before has there been so much information available regarding exercise and training. Therefore, it is not a lack of knowledge that holds people back. It’s the consistent decision to act on that knowledge that separates the doers from the talkers.

You don’t need to be a Navy SEAL to benefit from Jocko’s wisdom. Anyone can wake up and find a way to get it done. Just remember that action starts with the conscious decision to act. You can read motivational quotes until the sun goes down, but until you get off your ass and commit to working, nothing is going to change.

How bad do you want it?

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“Talk doesn’t cook rice.” – Chinese Proverb

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  1. Straightforward succinct advice wins the day. It comes down to the basic nuts and bolts approach to life, not just exercise… Listen to those who’ve gone before, those who have done the work and know what’s what, and apply what you hear.

    “Just do it!” as one famous sports shoe company once said.

    And like the tortoise in the well known story, keep plodding on and you’ll get there in the end – consistency is key.

  2. Thanks Ross. Ive read some of his stuff in Extreme Ownership and have enjoyed his interviews on media.

    Great stuff. BTW he is also a black belt in brazilian jiujitsu.

  3. as ross stated in the last part of the entry,, never before has there been so much information , options,gyms ,community ,centers,y’s ,boot camps etc. …. available to all…how amazing that most people do not do anything physical and those who do are not availing themselves of all the great info on ‘real training methods’ as opposed to poser, beach , health club style stuff!

  4. I do agree with this wholeheartedly.

    However, I think it’s also worth noting that a good training plan can make the difference between pyrrhic improvements and massive gains. I think Jocko has this vision of simplicity because he has discarded all wacky modern stuff that doesn’t work. Then, with a bit of periodization and lots of hard work and consistency, virtually everything works great.

    However, most people stick to training nonsense, such as long low intensity running sessions and isolation exercises using complex machines. In this case, it’s a lot of effort for little gains.

  5. always good to read i try every day to workout iam 70 but feel fit apart for my knees i still play cricket i wish this was around when i was young

  6. What Jocko speaks is the truth, but we need to remember, the reason all of these protocols keep coming, and changing, and transforming is, that for most people, it’s not about consistency, it’s simply about motivation. Most people who, in fact, aren’t that into exercise, need these ‘new’ paradigms to keep it going. We can talk all about what it takes to succeed, but for a large segment of the population, getting into the gym or getting sufficiently interested in a program and doing it semi-regularly, is pretty damn impressive in itself. I’d go further and say that there are probably a significant number of people who say they’re totally consistent and absolutely dedicated to this kind of lifestyle–and yes, it is a lifestyle if not a subculture by now–who really aren’t that into it.

    1. It’s not just about motivation. Many people bounce from program to program because of confusion. They’ve been fooled to believe that they “need” a particular program, exercise, tool, etc.

      As a whole, the industry isn’t a big fan of simplification as it kills multiple revenue streams. There’s certainly more $ to be made in complexity.

      1. That’s right Ross, same for all these ‘special’ work out tools promising you gain without effort, all bs, there simply is no gain without pain. Jocko is absolutely right; start with the basics, build consistency, and if you wish do variations from than onwards. I’m -ex- special forces, am I still benefitting from what I learned back than? Hell yeah!!

  7. Oh, and by the way. I may some provocative stuff on occasion, but Ross’s site has always been my fave. It’s the real deal.

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