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N.H. man helps train nation's most elite fighters - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

N.H. man helps train nation's most elite fighters

Lebanon, New Hampshire - May 10, 2011

"The Rangers and the SEALs-- both of those organizations draw their population from elite athletes," Ben Dearman said.

Dearman now owns KDR Fitness in Lebanon, N.H. But in 2005, he helped train Army Special Forces at Fort Benning in Georgia and U.S. Navy SEALs in Norfolk, Va. Dearman says that aside from being in excellent physical shape, both groups of warriors are as mentally tough as it gets.

"It's all mental," he said.

Dearman says they're considered the military's best of the best-- elite forces that are able to overcome mental barriers others cannot. He points to the takedown of Osama bin Laden. Navy SEALs got into bin Laden's Pakistan compound undetected and killed the world's most wanted terrorist. Dearman knows well the rigorous training involved in such a mission.

"It's just about breaking them down and finding that breaking point and seeing how far can this person push themselves," Dearman said. "Can they push themselves past everybody else?"

Dearman says the soldiers who carried out the mission to kill bin Laden were pushed to that breaking point long before they got their orders from the president.

"The SEALs and the Rangers, they don't have that switch," Dearman said.

Dearman says SEALs are always on, always ready-- mentally and physically. When he trained them stress tests were a big part. He would instruct the SEALs to run on a treadmill as the speed and incline gradually increased.

"We would actually have to stand in back of the treadmill because they would push themselves so hard that they would actually, they would just fly off the back of the treadmill. We would have to catch them. Whereas the average person says stop-- you didn't hear that. The SEALs would never say stop. They would never say I give up," Dearman said.

Dearman says other training routines included 15-mile runs with 60-120 pounds of gear on their backs. But as a fitness instructor with black belts in the martial arts, Dearman downplays the physical shape of the soldiers he helped train. He says if anyone trains long enough, they can get in excellent shape. But he says it's the combination of physical and mental toughness that sets SEALs apart for the rest.

"I had to have a top secret clearance just to work with those guys. And I was a part of a lot of different things and see a lot of things. And the technology and the training, people just don't understand-- it's on a whole other level," Dearman said.

But after the killing of bin Laden by the U.S.'s most elite fighters, it's a level that now has the entire world's attention.

Adam Sullivan - WCAX News

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