Check Out Dave Castro in These Navy SEAL Workout Videos from 2008

The United States Navy has a pretty fantastic YouTube page featuring everything from instructional videos on Navy Life Skills to candid interviews with personnel in a variety of key roles. But one Navy mini-series that caught our eye comes from videos posted back in 2008.

The three-video set is titled “Navy SEAL Work Series,” and parts 1 and 2 feature none other than current CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro. In the videos, a noticeably younger Castro runs fellow Navy SEALS Instructor Lt. Dana DeCoster through a variety of functional movements, ranging from overhead squats to glute ham back extensions.

The day’s workout? A 20 minute AMRAP, not unlike what you might be used to in a local CrossFit® gym.

5 Overhead Squats
10 Glute/Ham Situps
10 Glute Ham Back Extensions

“As many sets as you can do in 20 minutes”

According to an interview with Julie Foucher, Castro — who served as a SEAL from 1998 to 2010 — first heard of CrossFit in 2005 and became training at the original CrossFit HQ in Santa Cruz around 2006. In 2007, his family ranch in Aromas, California, hosted the first-ever CrossFit Games.

In addition to his very visible role leading the Games, Castro is also the C0-Director of Training for CrossFit, and these Navy videos give some insight into Castro as a coach and fitness instructor.

In part 3, Castro leads Lt. DeCoster through a strength-based session involving the back squat, shoulder press, and deadlift — which many know as the three lifts comprising the CrossFit Total, though the video doesn’t reference them as such. In this video, the workout is based around 3 sets of 5 repititions for each lift.

While the Navy posts some epic content to YouTube — seriously, it’s worth spending some time on their page to see the diversity of roles and operations Navy personnel undertake — Castro’s appearance may come as a pleasant surprise to fans of functional fitness. It also serves as a reminder that while the CrossFit Games may still seem new, Castro has been studying and teaching functional movement for quite some time.

Featured image: America’s Navy on YouTube

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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