Solid Snake Training: Become INVISIBLE Through Movement

By on December 8, 2023
Sneaking Snake

Solid Snake is a one-man army and expert in stealth and espionage. Cloned from the greatest soldier who ever lived, he must act alone to take out some of the most powerful weapons ever created – before they change the face of war, forever.

In the Metal Gear games, we see how the right skills can allow a single individual to take on seemingly insurmountable odds, through asymmetrical warfare. How stealth and cunning can overcome sheer force. Yet “sheer force” is 99% of what most of us train in the gym.

Train Like Solid Snake

How do we train to move more like Solid Snake? How can we move quietly, carefully, and precisely? 

I did deep research, spoke to ex-military vets, discussed with functional trainers that have worked directly with the special forces, and drew on my own knowledge of functional training to find out. 

Because I’m the Bioneer. And I have issues. 

Functional Training for Stealth

Unfortunately, it should come as no surprise, that most shadowy organisations don’t want to share all their secret techniques for moving un-detected. And while we could turn to “ninja training,’ for inspiration, the truth is that these methods are not always historically verified. The ninja, it turns out, wasn’t exactly as we imagine them. 

See Also: How to Train Reflexes, Focus, and Decision Making

So, to figure out how to train like Solid Snake, we will be drawing on a few sources. Firstly: functional training concepts that allow us to train for any specific skillset. Second: the specific methods I’ve devices myself over years of training a diverse range of clients. Third: some insider advice from my community – turns out some of you are into some really cool shit. And finally: some information gleaned from other functional trainers that have actually worked in these kinds of contexts. 

Training for Stealth

I devised a model that I used for breaking down movements, skills, and practices and figuring out how to train them. I’ve used it to train everyone from elderly women to surfers, to race-car drivers. I called it the ATNSP hierarchy, which stands for Attributes, Traits, Networks, Skills, Practices (although it’s currently undergoing further revision). 

The idea is to look at which skills are necessary for a practice, which movement patterns combine to make those skills, which global traits those movement patterns draw from, and the precise attributes that need to be developed. 

To be stealthy, we must be various things…

Body Control

First: we need to have elite levels of body control and proprioception. If you move intuitively and unconsciously, your body will make noise as you land, scuff, and swing. To prevent this, you must be aware of every part of your body and be able to place it precisely. 

For example, it is generally much quieter to walk and run on the balls of the feet, or to at least place the balls of the feet down first and then gradually transfer weight across the whole foot. Training the calves and the tibias anterior can help with this.

Soft Landing
Liam Ellis showing how to land quietly and softly

Likewise, you should be able to crawl very quietly, so as to make yourself smaller and better make use of cover. This now requires strength and control through the whole body as you transfer weight from your feet to your hands. 

Several groups practice a variety of quiet movement techniques. The military use crawls like the monkey run and leopard crawl. Survivalists use the fox walk. And ninjutsu teaches techniques such as Inu-bashiri (walking like a dog) and kitsune-bashiri (walk of the fox). Seems there is a bit of an infatuation with foxes.

Generally, these movement patterns focus on placing the foot or hand down gradually. First using just the ball of the foot or blade, and then gradually transferring weight. The knees will generally remain bent while walking, to allow for this easier transfer of force. 

Stealth Walk

This body control requires strength and hip and core stability – especially when crawling. You are learning to be aware of your body in space but also to complete absorb impact so as to create minimal sound – which has the added benefit of reducing impact on the joints. 

Thus, training for silent movement becomes an excellent tool for training body control and healthy, injury-free movement. Even if you don’t want to become Solid Snake, this kind of awareness can be fantastic for your general health and performance.

Likewise, general calisthenics training and other methods that develop proprioception, should transfer well to stealthy and deliberate movement. 

Quasi-Isometric Pistol Squat

Quasi isometrics are perfect for developing the kind of control we need and what I call “strength finesse.” Quasi isometrics are exercises performed extremely slowly: for example, you might take a whole minute to perform a push up or pull up. This is fantastic and unique training because it requires you to recruit only the specific amount of motor units that you need to gradually alter your height. There is no explosion of force here: rather a gradual increase in power output achieved as smoothly as possible. 

For a unique and taxing workout, try performing super slow push ups, pull ups, and crawls.

And remember: Solid Snake and his real-world counterparts would be moving with equipment making this even more challenging. Try performing this same workout with a weighted vest once you feel you’re developing the necessary control. 

Leopard Crawl with equipment

Think about how this could now help you to better absorb impact from a fall. Rather than locking your joints in place with the stronger motor-units, you can add eccentric resistance to the movement by recruiting increasingly more of the small motor-units. This way, you gradually increase the resistance to slow the movement.

Mobility also plays a role here: being able to get into the deepest squat, for example, gives you more “room” to gradually slow down the movement.

But for this body control to be as effective as possible, you need to combine it with superior awareness of your environment.

Fieldcraft Principles

It’s not all about moving quietly, though. 

If you’re going to move without detection, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times and how YOU interact with that environment. That means being aware of the ground underfoot and how sound will behave as a result. It also means being aware of other people, their lines of sight, and potential cover you can move to. 

This requires situational awareness, and quick decision making. Thus, cognitive training will also be a requirement. It’s no coincidence that Snake has an IQ of 180. 

Shadow in Stealth

What does this look like in practice? According to fieldcraft principles, you need to consider why things get seen. The precise list can vary but typically includes your shape, silhouette, shadow, texture/shine, spacing, and movement. A good example is keeping the head and limbs below cover in order to keep your silhouette hidden. Consider the psychology of the enemy: it might only be the very top of your head breaching the top of a wall: but that’s an immediate break in an otherwise straight line. It stands out. 

And what is behind you? This can impact how visible your silhouette is: sky is bad, complex scenes are good. 

You also need to consider the position of your shadow. Depending on the position of the sun and other objects, this can be hard to avoid. But, again, this is why it’s so important to have as much information about your surroundings as possible. 

And this is also why slow movement is so important. Movement draws the eye like nothing else, which is why even hand signals are performed extremely slowly. Of course, the aim is to move to dead spaces – areas that aren’t visible to the opponent.

Stealthy Movement

There is much more to fieldcraft than this. For example, you need to consider your equipment and clothes. Do they make noise? Does the texture have “shine” – meaning that it reflects light? 

This is also where camoflage comes in. Came paint is used to first remove the shine from the skin, before using different shades on top to obfuscate the features and make the face less identifiable as human from a distance. What’s interesting here is the psychological aspect – the human brain is trained to identify certain shapes, especially faces, at a glance. By creating noise, you can become harder to detect, even if you aren’t entirely concealed. 

This post is more concerned with the training you can use to enhance stealth – but I found this psychological aspect very interesting and worth mentioning. 

Hiding in a Box

Willpower, Patience, and Focus

As you can see, there is a huge emphasis on moving slowly, being patient, and being aware of your surroundings. This is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one, if not moreso. 

This is another reason that using isometrics can be so powerful. 

An ex-Marine Corps scout sniper and member of the Bioneer Discord told me that they used isometrics to “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” This will serve that role perfectly, too. Sometimes: you’ll be holding awkward positions for long periods of time. 

Stealth Training

“We spent absurd amounts of time in push up position or in a squat with full gear. Different surfaces and conditions added layers of difficulty, such as deep mud, in the surf, on rocks, in sand, while raining, in the cold, etc.
“We also spent time crawling and lying still while remaining focused, which is like ADHD nightmare fuel. By time, I mean whole days. Spending 24+ hours alone, in silence, without moving, while remaining focused takes a lot of discipline. Luckily, stuff like that was less common than the movies make it out.
“I will note that this is not something most people can effectively do alone at first. The brain and body WILL rebel when you get to your perceived limits, and it’s going past those limits that has the biggest effect. Group training is the best way I know of to force yourself past these comfort zones and deep into what we called existential PT… That moment we would start to ask if any of this is worth it, or are we completely insane for singing up for this.”

A Patreon User

It’s important to note, at this point, the incredible hard work and commitment of those professionals. What we’re doing, here, is larping. It’s cool and fun, and has functional carry-over… but we shouldn’t mistake it for the real deal.

That said, he recommends seeking out activities that would normally cause a fight or flight response – whether that be bungee jumping, cliff diving, or something else – and repeatedly exposing yourself. Using philosophy, meta cognition, and whatever other methods you need to cope with it.

He also emphasises the importance of follow up actions: therapy, meditation, journaling, and support activities to actively recover from this inherently traumatic training. Just as the muscles need to recover, so too does the mind. 


All this to help you remain still, in dangerous territory, while keeping your nervous system under control. 

Likewise, I think by using overcoming isometrics – for example to crawl extremely slowly from one side of a room to another while wearing a weighted vest – we can inject just a taste of the psychological benefits and the extreme body control and range of motion we’re looking for.

Sure, it’s not hiding in a bush for 24 hours, but the will-power necessary to perform slow push ups to failure is still rather extreme. Just as we can lift weights and get benefits without being a professional bodybuilder, we can take some concepts from this type of training and apply them in a smaller way. 

Situational Awareness and Focus

Another drill that the same user recommended was counting objects while jogging and categorising them. For example, if you’re running you might count the number of red cars, the number of pushchairs, and the number of lampposts. Not only does this force you to remain aware of your surroundings during taxing physical exercise, it also requires you to store multiple categories of information – a perfect task for training working memory. And, you might have noticed, very similar to my free brain training app BioMind. You can still get that from the site, by the way.

Booming App

“Something we had to do while in our “hiding spot” was memorize the terrain around us using different visual techniques to best judge distances and sizes of features so we could draw a map. Having that awareness while moving into position also helped in this. We would keep a log of everything that happened while in position as well, down to changes in the breeze and what types of animal noises could be heard.”

A Patreon Member

Working memory is actually crucial for situational awareness and observation as it allows us to maintain a cognitive map of everything we’ve seen and everything we know about our situation. This is sometimes referred to as “sports vision” or “athletic vision” and it’s something I’ve discussed at length in other videos – even being fortunate enough to try some cool VR brain training apps usually reserved for pro athletes and special forces. 

The best commercial version of this software I’ve used is called “REAKT Performance Trainer.”

This also calls to mind the training that JC Santana does with his athletes and Seal Team 6. 

“It’s the mind that gets tired… If you want to mimic a situation that is always under stressed, well, prestress them! It’s like engineering, total logic, right? Okay, so how do I stress them? Well, number one, you’ve got to suffocate the shit out of them. A versa-climber is always good. A push of the car is always good – because you know that will do anybody in. So I hit somebody with 30 seconds, I blast them sometimes two pre-fatigues… and then, I stand in front of a fighter for example and I say “when I’m in front of you, with these noodles, don’t let me touch you.”

JC Santana

The trait we are developing here is known as “psychomotor vigilance” and it has many advantages even for those not interested in training like Solid Snake. Psychomotor vigilance can be the difference between letting your mind wander at the wheel after a long day at work, and staying sharply focussed on the road. 

It’s one thing to have a great working memory. It’s another to use that when fatigued and stressed – which has a habit of shutting down our frontal cortex. 

And this is another reason it’s so important to learn to stay calm and collected under pressure. If you want to be able to maintain optimal cognitive performance, you need to keep your heart rate and breathing steady. This, of course, also helps you to remain much quieter than if you’re shaking and panting!

Solid Snake Workout

A great tip is to try practicing what’s known as wide-angle vision, owl-eyes, or splatter-vision (all the same thing). By focussing more on your peripheral vision, you not only increase your ability to see more, but also help to calm yourself down. Panic – activating the sympathetic nervous system – naturally narrows the vision and encourages us to focus on one point, which may cause us to miss important details. Remaining calm, allows us to take in more information. But the good news is that this works both ways such that using your peripheral vision actually makes you more parasympathetic – and vice versa.

Engaging peripheral vision can even help you to hear more – as vision ties directly to our other senses. And we actually react quicker to things we see in our peripheral vision. 

Speed & Agility

As we’ve discussed, a large part of stealth is moving in a slow, controlled and patient manner. But, while this is true, speed is just as important for when you need to quickly move across observed space. 

Likewise, it can be very important when you’ve been spotted. If you play Metal Gear like I do, then you’ll know that most of the game is spent running away and hiding underneath things.

If you’re interested in athletic training, chances are you’re already pretty quick. But can you move quickly and quietly? That’s where things get more challenging. But again, moving quietly has the added benefit of naturally cushioning impact and helping you to cushion your fall.

Roll up

I think that learning to breakfall is something everyone should focus on. But those interested in taking this further should also consider learning the climb up and other key movements that will let you cover open ground quickly.

A while back, Liam taught me how to perform the climb up properly – if you climb walls and let your forearms scuff at the top, you’re wasting time and 

Practice running quietly in addition to performing these movements and you’ll have a powerful toolset in addition to body control, patients, and situational awareness. 

Closing Thoughts

In this post, we’ve discussed just some of the ways that we can train for stealthy movement. Again, it’s important to recognise the difference between the training of the real professionals and what we can do as a fun way to add some body awareness. To truly become Solid Snake, you would need some intensely gruelling training that would take a huge toll on both body and mind.

Metal Gear Solid Workout

BUT, with that said, we can certainly improve our body awareness, our ability to move quietly, and our situational awareness to some degree. 

The following are some exercises that you can add to your current workout, that will help you to achieve just that:

  • Quasi-Isometric Lizard Crawl (Failure)
  • Quasi-Isometric Push Ups (Failure)
  • Quasi-Isometric Squats (Failure)
  • Quasi-Isometric Tactical Pull Ups (Failure)
  • Superset: Jump Rope | Dual N-Back
  • Stealth Landing Practice / Weighted Squat Jumps
  • Stealth Climb Ups Practice
  • ATG Split Squats
  • Calf Raises
  • Tibialis Raises
  • Calisthenics Skills Practice
  • Breakfall Practice
  • Rucking

About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.


  1. Josiah Jacobson says:

    awesome program and training again. im working my way up to the nightwing training right now, and will include some of this training to help with body control and stealth (which is very suiting for nightwing). also, can you update the part 4 of the nightwing training for mobility as well as the split you recommend? that would help tons. again great video!

  2. Andy says:

    Absolutely love this, I’m a cosplayer on Instagram (Tdopro_cosplay) and Big Boss/ Solid Snake have been my primary fitness goals for years. So for my initial workouts I would train like the soldier he is and using the various soundtracks from the Video Games as a way to push me during said workouts. Been a fan of yours for years and love the ideology of Functional training. I’ll always remember your quote, “Its more useful to be able to lift heavy weight multiple times without tiring than just lifting something really heavy just once.”

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