Do the Norwegians Have the Toughest Special Ops Fitness Test in the World? – InsideHook

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Icon Oct 3, 2021

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Norwegian climber-turned-vlogger Magnus Midtbø was recently granted unprecedented access to the training of Norway’s highest level of special forces: the Long Range Reconnaissance Squadron.
Nicknamed LRRP, the Scandinavian is similar to the U.S. Navy SEALs: a highly-classified unit that works independently and primarily behind enemy lines. Earlier this year, one team spent 44 consecutive days outside in 22°F
Part of their appeal to Midtbø, aside from the obvious, is that Norway’s LRRP squadron is also famously talented at climbing. It sort of comes with the territory, when your country has peaks 8,000 feet above sea level. Midtbø first got a taste of what it’s like to conduct covert missions at extreme altitude while tagging along on a 35-hour trip to recover a downed pilot. You can watch that adventure here.
Equally insane, though, was his trip to the team’s training center, where just 1% of applicants pass the test to join the Arctic’s most elite task force. Midtbø took the test alongside a veteran soldier named “Evan,” whose face is shown in the video because he’s about to enter retirement.
Here’s a breakdown of the test:
Is it the toughest special forces fitness test in the world? Impossible to say. Each black ops unit around the world has some variation of that treadmill weighted hike, designed to reduce the planet’s fittest men to puddles of sweat and tears. (As Evan was gunning for 30 minutes, and started to falter, soldiers off-screen started screaming “COME ON!” to him in Norwegian. It was as terrifying as it was inspiring.)
Short of anointing a GOAT test, though, let’s just enjoy this rare peek into a world where “functional fitness” takes on an actual life-or-death meaning. And all credit to Midtbø — while he may not have passed, he took the test immediately after finishing his 35-hour mission in the mountains. Vlogging is usually a questionable profession. Not so here.
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