If you’re going to play an elite Navy SEAL on TV, you have to train like one. That’s exactly what the cast of History‘s SIX did to prepare for the show’s second season.
The soldiers of SEAL Team Six are “the brain surgeons of the SEAL Team world,” says actor Barry Sloane, who plays Joe “Bear” Graves. “They’re the NBA or NFL All-Stars, the elite level of the SEALs.”
Navy SEAL Training: “Pretty Hardcore”
To make those missions look as realistic as possible, Sloane—along with actors Kyle Schmid, Edwin Hodge, Juan Pablo Raba, and the rest of the primary cast—went through a boot camp run by Navy SEALs. The actors did a little of everything: grueling bodyweight workouts, outdoor endurance training, hikes through rivers and forests, scaling a mountain.
“We did a four-day hike, and ended up hitting the summit of Black Tusk in British Columbia,” Sloane tells Men’s Journal. “For both seasons we went to this boot camp, a Navy SEAL prep school-type thing, and we were put through the wringer. Lots of pushups, pullups, running, squats, all that practical bodyweight stuff, but then they push you past your limit. You do that and then you swim for four hours; then we’d walk with sandbags, it was pretty hardcore.”
Here’s a look at the cast working their way up the mountain:
Picking Up the Plot: SIX Season 2
After an action-packed Season 1, SIX is raising the stakes in Season 2. After the shooting of team leader Rip (Walton Goggins), the team goes on the hunt for the terrorists responsible for the attack. Team leader Graves (Sloane) and the unit join forces with CIA operative Gina Cline (new castmember Olivia Munn) to take down the terrorist network and confront enemies across Eastern Europe.
The actors on the show keep themselves in pretty great shape, but that dedication to fitness caught Sloane off-guard after Season 1.
“When we finished the first season, I went on a bulk cycle,” Sloane says. “I wanted to come back bigger for Season 2. Then I got an email from one of the producers, and they told me that we’d be picking up from the same spot in the finale. So, I had to lean out as quick as possible. [laughs] I was running a lot with weights at altitude, and I cut back down quite quick.”
And if there’s a Season 3? Sloane says he’ll be ready to bulk up again.
SIX will premiere Season 2 on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28 on History. The series airs regularly on Wednesdays at 10PM ET/PT, beginning May 30. The first season of SIX is currently streaming on Hulu.
Here are some more behind-the-scenes looks at how the stars of SIX got Navy SEAL-ready for Season 2: