The work day lasts 21 hours.

Expect push-ups on command, 70-minute runs and men in your face yelling encouragement - and sometimes just yelling.For punishment, recline on the blacktop in temperatures pushing 100 degrees, grab your sides and groan.

You've just been shot.

Up at 5:30 a.m., in bed by 2 a.m. In between, endure all kinds of grueling physical and mental challenges, crossing mud-filled rivers, charging up steep hills and practicing vehicle assaults.

No, it's not the military, it's Hell Week, designed to push police SWAT team members to their limits and hone their tactical skills.

"It's like a religious experience," said West Valley police officer Loran Brumley. "It strips you of everything you have. You find out what is important and what isn't."

With 110 hours of training jammed into six days, sleep becomes a critical commodity, with desperate catnaps stolen at lunchtime as exhausted officers try to adjust to the grinding schedule. "I'm laying here on the concrete thinking this is comfortable, this feels pretty good," Brumley said.

Hell Week, sponsored by the Ogden Police Department and organized and supervised by Lt. Randy Watt, is in its eighth year.

It started out as a course for members of the Ogden Metro SWAT team and has gained such a reputation it has expanded to include officers from a variety of agencies within Utah, as well as officers from Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho. This year, 53 students participated from departments including South Salt Lake, Green River, Wyo., and the Utah Highway Patrol, as well as two federal agencies.

The Army even sent some of its Special Forces members for a refresher course.

Officers said there's no better school that forces police to think on their feet while stressed out and tired, pushing them to the brink to test the skills they'll need in a SWAT call out.

On the range one day last week, Watt was not pleased as several officers burst into a "shooting shack" with orders to shoot the targets with red dots and ignore the others.

The exercise was designed to teach SWAT members to look for hands that pose a threat and then go for a head shot.

"This is unacceptable," Watt said. "If you don't shoot them and get them, they'll shoot you. It's that simple."

Men who failed to hit their target or didn't respond quickly enough were banished outside to lie on the blacktop and groan, having been "gutshot." That was after they did 10 push-ups. And that was under the hot glare of the sun in the middle of the afternoon.

One officer summed up many of the participants' feelings by the fifth day: "It's hot, it's miserable, it's insane. I hate this place."

The punishment was more humiliating for those officers who had the misfortune to sleep in and arrive to "school" a few minutes late.

Two men did the push-up routines and were forced to skip up the hill - in front of the entire class - while holding hands and singing about how great they felt because they had taken a nap. Earlier that same day, an Ogden officer had to kneel, bow repeatedly and offer a prayer to the "Great SWAT God."

Even as officers conceded the punishments were often humiliating, they realized Watt's reasoning for incorporating the tactics into the school.

"You've been up so long your head is swimming," said West Valley police officer Bryan Shields. "It's difficult to think. But this is all part of the discipline and making sure you do it right, and do it right under pressure."

Russ Schmitt, from Green River, Wyo., nodded in agreement. "If you screw up out there on the job, it can cost someone their life."

Throughout the first five long days, officers practiced a variety of skills, including downed citizen/officer rescues, target shooting and how to properly "clear" a room of bad guys. Instructors, men who have survived and graduated from Hell Week, were on hand to correct techniques, offer advice and exact discipline.

The lessons were long and tough. On the last day, officers divided into four teams and had to complete an obstacle course carrying a "wounded" comrade the majority of the way. It didn't matter if they had to cross a river, sludge through a muddy pond or trudge up a hill. They had to carry their man.

Watt said the obstacle course not only reinforces skills officers learned all week, but more importantly drives home the importance of teamwork.

"They learn what they can accomplish if they work as a team. And they take that teamwork concept back to their agency. They learn that the tough jobs have to be done by the team, not by the individual."

For most, at the time, the goal was simply to survive Hell Week and its grueling schedule.

"You're hot, you're tired, you're burned out and you're constipated because they don't give you time to do anything," one officer said.

"The sleep deprivation is the worst part," added West Valley police officer Larry Schmidt.

Later, after the school was over and the men were celebrating at a barbecue, Mark Trimble's philosophy was simple.

"You hate it while you are here, but when you get back to your department, tactically, you are so far ahead. It's a great school."