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New Swim Workout for Air Force Special Warfare (The AF 50-50 Workout)

Stew smith

The NEW 50-50 Workout for AFSW Candidates

Over the past year as I can been teaching the 50-50 Swim Workout to people preparing for swim tests, there has been so much success with this FREE swim workout IF you put in the work and do it 4-5 times a week for a month. 

This is the original Navy PST 50-50 Workout:

Warmup with 500yd swim (any stroke)

Repeat 10 times
Swim 50m fast freestyle
Swim 50m goal pace CSS
- minimum rest

Cooldown with tread or drownproofing drills 10 minutes

The Air Force Special Warfare Version (50-50 Workout) 

It is not just swimming workouts! You need to get comfortable..

While working with some Air Force Special Warfare candidates recently, I created this version of the 50-50 workout for them to not only get them in shape for 500m swim tests, but to also help them learn how to recover when doing 25m Underwater / 25m freestyle  (over-unders) on a tight interval for multiple sets:

Warmup with 10 minute tread - Mix in some snorkel treading too.

Repeat 10 times
Swim 25m UW (breathe when needed / NEVER do this ALONE)
Swim 25m free (6-8 strokes per breath)
Recovery Swim 50m free easy (every stroke breathe / minimum kicking)
- rest for remaining time (You go on a 2:30 interval (or faster if this is easy)
- typically this is 30-40 seconds rest for most non-swimming athletes

Cooldown with tread or drownproofing drills 10 minutes

This workout does three things. 

- Builds up your yardage of swimming each day so you are swimming enough to get in shape for 500m swim tests. 

- Helps you master active recovery which is necessary for over-under swim tests / workouts during selection. If you can catch your breath with an easy freestyle swim, you are well on your way to being in the type of shape needed to make it through some of the toughest swim tests in the military. 

- Help you spend time treading water as you will need the practice for future tests that include snorkel buddy breathing and general water comfortabillity. 

Enjoy!  Let me know how you do with it...

Special Ops Level Tactical Fitness Training Ideas

Learn How to do Seasonal Periodization to Build Tactical Athlete Skills

Twelve Questions / Answers About Mental Toughness

Quitting or Not Quitting - The Choice is YOURS  

Getting TO and THROUGH Training (Two Phases of Tactical Fitness)

Which Program is Right For Me - Special Ops Candidates 

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.


More SPECWAR related  EBOOKS and BOOKS


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 / SWCC, EOD, Diver Program Series - 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. 

Phase 2 and 3 of the Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver program is about the same level of intensity as Navy SEAL Fitness and is also a good follow-up plan after Phase 1

Phase 4 ot the Navy SEAL Key to Mental Toughness is by far my toughest workout ever created.  It resembles a day of BUDS, complete with "wet and sandy", runs after eating, high rep punishment push-ups, 4 mile timed runs, 2 mile swims with fins, log PT simulation, and even a HellWeek Simulator with 3 workouts a day.  

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.  

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

The Warrior Workout Series - If you are solid with making your own workouts, but need some ideas.  This three part series has 300 workouts (100 / book) to pick from focusing on all the elements of fitness and training programs. Each book is organized with periodization cycles in mind along with calisthenics only, weights / calisthenics mix, cardio options and more. Warrior Workout 1   -  Warrior Workout 2  -   Warrior Workout 3. 

Personalized Training Programs

There are many more options as well as 
personalized training programs member's only program and the new :


Try Our Stew Smith Fitness Members Only Club - #1 Best Selling Tactical Fitness Programs

Questions?  Just email me at

At - List of Products and Services

  1. Updated Information on Training, Processes, etc in  Articles
  2. Podcasts and Swimming Videos at page  
  3. eBooks
  4. Books and eBooks in PRINT
  5. Stew Smith Fitness Club membership site
  6. Online Coaching  

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