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A Break-Through Workout For Aspiring Special Ops Candidates Seeking to Crush the Swim of the PST

Stew smith

The Best Swimming Workout for Non-Swimmers (PST Related)

Get Your Contract On the FIRST TRY With This Killer Workout

From Spec Ops Candidates

 Stew, I went from 10:20 to 8:10 in 6 weeks with this workout 5 x a week!

Stew, i got my contract! I only needed to fix my swim.  With your videos you post and this workout every day, in 3 weeks, i dropped 1:30 on my swim and ship out soon!

THANY YOU!  500 yd swim improvement: Jan 1 = 10:10, Feb 1 = 8:50 (4 days a week of the 50-50)  Thanks for posting this up here for FREE!  I would have paid for this knowledge!

It works only if YOU do - get to work!

The 50-50 Workout for the PST or PAST Tests

If swimming is the biggest challenge for you when it comes to taking and acing the 500yds swim of the Navy Physical Screening Test (PST), or at least of a few challenges you may have (running, calisthenics events - pullups, pushups, situps), check out this workout and technique training:

But, before you try this workout, you need to first learn the stroke and be able to get your 50yd swim done with minimal effort at the 50-54 sec range.  This means your stroke is capable of swimming between 8:20 and 9 minutes which is respectable.  See links below for information on technique along with videos to help. 

The Most Common Errors when Swimming the CSS (see link, article, videos)

Part Two - The Secret Move to Fix Two Common Errors in Swimming

Most likely you are just not in swimming shape to handle the goal pace for 10 laps in a 25yd pool. No worries - that is what happens to every non-swimming athlete that takes this test.  BUT, if you do this workout below for a month everyday you are in the pool (recommend 5-6 days a week), you will be able to handle the 500 and may even break 8 minutes like many of our candidates do.

The 50-50 Workout:

Warmup with 500yds swim - any stroke - personally I like to mix some freestyle and CSS with this one but the goal is to use the 500yd as a legitimate WARMUP.  One day, this distance will "just be a warmup" to you and will have big time psychological benefits to your anxiety and performance in an official PST.  The goal of this warmup is to do it WITHOUT stopping. 

THEN - Do the 50-50:

Repeat 10 times
Swim freestyle fast / hard for 50m
Swim CSS at goal pace for 50m

(rest here if you need to but not for long - the goal is to progress to where you can "rest" with your goal pace).  That is when you know you are getting in swimming shape.

We do this 5-6 times a week.  You have to swim 1500m a day if you want to get in shape for swim 500m fast.  Once this gets easy, mix in some 1 min "rests" with treading no hands each set, or 1 minute of the Drownproofing test events (simulating hands / feet tied):  bounce off 9ft bottom, float, front / back flips, travel 50-100m, and mask retrieval by picking it up with teeth on the bottom of the pool. 

You can also try 100-100s and double the workout as this workout get easy for you and want to challenge yourself or make the freestyle skip breathing sets of 5-10 strokes per breath.

But eventually, you need to start preparing to get THROUGH the training and that means swimming with fins. Do fins swims on leg days:

You have to start getting good at swimming 1-2 miles with SCUBA fins if you want to progress to a level to actually make it THROUGH BUD/S. So put the time in order to prepare. 

 Do the 50-50 Challenge

Do the 1500m workout for 20 workouts in a month and check progress. We have seen 10:30 to 8 min in less than 4 weeks several times.  Besides - it is FREE!

 More Options Available at

Or Try Workout Programming Specifically Designed for any Tactical Fitness Goal:

Which Program is Right For Me - Special Ops Candidates 



Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1 Beginner Weeks 1-9 
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4 Grinder PT - Four weeks before Hell Week


Navy SEAL Weight Training Book
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness Book

The Pipeline of Training Options: 


It depends:  The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness is a classic and focuses on high rep calisthenics and running and swimming base.  You will build up your running over 12-18 weeks to 20 miles but very fast paced focus on both the 1.5 mile run for the PST and the 4 mile timed run for weekly run test at BUDS. If you are an athlete with a strong power / strength background in lifting and not running or swimming, Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you. IF you need some place to start Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you as well because a calisthenics base / running / swimming progression is a good place to build a foundation.  Though you will likely need to spend some time in the Navy SEAL Weight Training Book OR if Navy SEAL FItness is too challenging, go with Navy SEAL SWCC, EOD, Diver, PST Phase 1 Workout.  Phase 1 is a good starting point if Navy SEAL Fitness program is too tough. 

Navy SEAL Weight Training - This is part two (winter lifting phase) of my SEAL Prep program. If you have done the Navy SEAL Fitness (12 weeks to BUDS) program a few times and need a break, this is the next program that integrates lifting with the Navy SEAL Prep training. 

Special Ops – Most of my programs tend to focus on getting TO and THROUGH a specific tactical training program. So you may see a mix of all the seasons in some of these books, but if you are training long term, you can take advantage of Seasonal Periodization and save yourself some of the over-use, long term pains that tend to follow many of the tactical preparations - especially on the spec ops level of training. 

Start training today with workouts that focus on the specifics of getting to and through tactical profession training from firefighter, police, swat, military to special ops. We have programs to help you get TO and THROUGH training.


Seasonal Tactical Fitness Programs 

Especially These That Are Used For Local Spec Ops Candidates Last Year


Tactical Fitness Series - Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, and Tactical Mobility is an ALL-encompassing program that focuses on lifting, calisthenics, run, ruck, swim, speed, agility, and flexibility / mobility. Many people focusing on USMC (OCS, RECON, MarSOC) Army Ranger / SF, Air Force Special Warfare, SWAT / Federal Law Enforcement, and Navy Special Warfare have done very well focusing on the Tactical Fitness Series and developing themselves into an all-round Tactical Athlete

 OR Do You Want my REAL TIME Seasonal Periodization Training - Delivered Weekly?

Get Weekly Unpublished Workouts Tested and Evaluated by local
Stew Smith Training programs. 

Stew Smith Fitness Membership – You have access to years of workouts for both beginner / intermediate and advanced / special ops levels of fitness. Each week you will receive new and unpublished workouts being tested by Navy SEAL veteran / Stew Smith CSCS and his local group of future tactical professionals in both basic training and advanced spec ops training programming. The latest videos, articles, and other programming will be part of the weekly data feed to members as well. We go through the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization program one week at a time.

Join the Online PT CLUB:
One On One Coaching with Stew Smith

If You Need a More Personalized Approach to Fit Your Needs, Goals, Time per Day, Days per week, Facilities, Abilities, etc...Try Online Coaching

Over weight? Out of Shape? Not meeting personal and professional standards of fitness and health? Try some one - on - one personalized assistance with your training goals and consider Online Coaching by Stew Smith CSCS. No matter what your goals, you and Stew will create a program together that works for you. 

VIDEO TESTIMONIAL:  Jim started with me several years ago needing help with his fitness and health. Over the years, we became friends and even business partners on a few joint ventures - I still send him weekly workouts. Here is a video testimonial that was placed in the middle of his podcast - I was shocked but wanted to share as it is a great story and quite typical of clients on any of the Online Training Programs.

Before You Buy - Give Stew a Call - There is a human behind this purchase! 410-271-0837  and let Stew be your coach! Or Questions?  Just email me at

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