Weightlifting or calisthenics; which is more viable for Military life and SOF?


Mar 9, 2017
North Carolina
Hello, all.

I was trying to get some information on the topic of which is better for you and more viable for Military goals. I myself am more of a weightlifter than someone that trains in calisthenics (though the last time I took a Marine Corps IST, a few weeks ago, I did 19 pullups and 75-80 situps and I can do 50 pushups, can't remember the exact number on the situps but more than 70. Couldn't do the run due to a bad ingrown toenail that I'm getting taken care of later this week). Now I know that in no branch of service do they test you on how much you can deadlift, squat, or bench, they're more concerned with your run, you pullups etc in regards to PFTs. In that case, is it more viable to forego the weightlifting and focus on calisthenics? Or vice versa? If the latter, would anyone have any good weightlifting programs that will help you in boot camp and perhaps prepare you for SF training? I've tried finding some myself via Google, but I can't seem to find a program recommended for Military training so I'm currently just doing my own thing. Lots of compound movements/lifts and I'll switch up the style of weightlifting every couple of weeks from endurance/high rep training to high intensity/medium reps and finally to strength training/low reps.

I suppose I'll throw this in as well, HIIT for running, anyone recommend this? Never liked long distance running myself, or running in general, but for a while I pushed myself through it and got semi-decent. Just looking for something different.

Thanks for any info. If this has been asked before, sincerest apologies. I don't want to be that guy that posts a topic that's been covered so many times, you could fill out multiple forum pages with them just by themselves. I did a search before posting for anything weightlifting related and while there were threads, they didn't seem to be the info I was looking for.
This has been covered multiple times here. Functional fitness is the key, strength, flexibility, endurance and mindset are all part of the formula.
You need the calisthenics to pas the PT Tests, but you need to ruck, patrol, swim, and be able to stay still for hours on end.

Check out the SOF Preparation and Selection section for more in-depth discussions.