Navy Dive Prep = Navy Diver / EOD Preconditioning and Assessment Course
(U.S. Navy photo/Scott A. Thornloom)
People may still call it Dive Prep, but you better come prepared with your water confidence A-GAME because it is really a SELECTION PROGRAM! To become a Navy Diver or Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist, after boot camp you will attend what used to be called "Dive Prep" in Great Lakes. Over the years, it has evolved into more of a pre-selection course prior to actually attending Navy Dive School in Panama City. The attrition rate is high as it weeds out those who are not prepared or fully dedicated to the deep dive Navy life. If you see the official Navy website, you will see the training pipeline refers to this 4 week training (22 days plus weekends off) as PAC (Preconditioning and Assessment Course).
Dive Selection is NO JOKE!
Get Good in the Water and Land
Swimming, treading, drownproofing, pre-SCUBA skills like mask clearing / ditch and don of swim gear, and and pool side PT will be a major part of the training. However, you will be running, rucking, and doing PSTs including the Navy Human Performance Test (see below). All of this is to test basic water competency BEFORE you even get to put on SCUBA gear.
Getting used to swimming thousands of yards a week is a good start to your preparation. In fact, I would recommend getting in 1500-2000m a day with such workouts as the following:
RULE - Never Swim Alone (have lifeguard or buddy swimmer)
On Upper Body PT / Lift Days:
500m warmup and 10 min tread (no hands)
Repeat 10 times (50/50s)
Swim 50m free - fast (try some swims with no mask and snorkel only)
Swim 50m CSS or Breast stroke (to catch breath - but still good pace)
- minimum rest or "rest with treading"
Mix in a few over - unders mixed with deck PT of pushups, and a variety of ab exercises (flutterkicks, leg levers, scissors, plank pose). Over-under is a 25m surface swim followed by a 25m underwater swim. One of my favorite workouts is one from the Air Force PJ training:
5 x 25m underwater / 25m surface swim on 1:30 intervals. If you do this right, you should be able to get nearly 30 seconds of rest each set.
On Leg Days (swim and tread with fins / weight)
Warmup with 500m swim or 10 minute tread (both or which one you need to work the most)
Swim 1000-1500m with fins using the CSS but mix in some freestyle, underwater dolphin kicks, and then PT with flutterkicks with fins and masks filled with water on the pool deck.
Try 5 minutes of weighted treading water with fins of 10 lbs and build up to some 25lbs treads for as long as you can.
You should also be running and rucking as you will see 4-5 mile runs and rucks at selection as well.
Crush the PST - You will still have to take a PST at some point so make sure that you arrive at selection (from boot camp or from the Fleet) in good enough shape to crush it (even without much activity in boot to help maintain fitness). You will have pool and grinder style PTs along with runs and rucks as well.
Before you depart selection, expect something relatively new in the world of tactical fitness - an actual tactical fitness test. The Human Performance Test used by Navy Spec War and Spec Ops (SEAL, SWCC, EOD, Diver) is a legit test and very similar to my own Tactical Fitness Dirty Dozen Fitness Test.
Comparison to HPT, Tactical Fitness and
Tactical Strength Book Tests
|Human Performance Test||Tactical Fitness Dirty Dozen||Tactical Strength Test|
|800m swim||500m swim plus 25m buddy tow||500m swim any stroke|
|3 mile run||3 mile run||Kb swing / snatch 5 min test (30%BW)|
|Standing long jump||400m sprint||1-2xBW Squat|
|Pro-agility Test (5-10-5)||Illinois Agility Test||Pro-agility (5-10-5)|
|BW Bench Press - Max Reps||BW Bench Press - Max Rep||Max 1RM bench|
|1RM Dead Lift||1.5 BW Dead lift - Max Rep||1.5-2xBW Dead Lift|
|Pullups (25lbs vest) - Max Reps||Pullups (25 lbs vest - max||Pullups (25lbs vest)|
|300yd shuttle run (12 x 25yd)||300yd shuttle run (6 x 50yd)||300yd shuttle run 12 x 25yd|
|Plank pose 1-5 minutes||Strong Man Hang from Bar for time|
|100m fireman carry of equal body weight|
|4 mile ruck (50lbs)||4 mile ruck (50lbs)|
Don't Forget the Academics!
You will be tested academically as well. You will learn about dive physics and dive medicine. Both will require an understanding of the human body and science and math (algebra).
What Programs Are Right For YOU?
It depends on your scores compared to other successful students. See the Assessment Tool to Make it To and Through Selection and se where you stack up with all the elements of fitness - not just a PST score.
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. Phase 1 is what I call a beginner guide, but it is still challenging. It is geared toward those who are scoring minimally or failing their Navy PST test - 500yd swim, pushups, situps, pullups, 1.5 mile run. It is easier than The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness and a good prep course before attempting it.
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. This is ideal for people who have come from an endurance athlete background.
The Human Performance Test Prep
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.
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.