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Phase One of Tactical Fitness: Getting Accepted INTO Military, Police, or Fire Fighter Training

Stew smith

Phase 1 Of Tactical Fitness:
Getting Accepted INTO a Tactical Profession - Military, Police, or Fire Fighter Training

If you're one of the candidates or recruits for military, police, or firefighter profession who is sincere about wanting to get accepted into a competitive tactical profession, then this list of rules holds the keys you need. Did you know that there are THREE phases of Tactical Fitness?

Phase 1 - Getting Accepted TO the training
Phase 2 - Getting THROUGH Basic, Boot Camp, Academy, or Spec Ops Selection.
Phase 3 - Active Duty Member in the Tactical Professions

Phase One of Tactical Fitness -
Getting TO The Training

Each of these phases are different and many people get lost and not fully prepared for the journey if not enough time is spent in each of the phases as you start training for the tactical professions. 

 This Phase One Of Tactical Fitness Is:

Crush The PT Test The First Time You Take It Officially And Show The Recruiters You Are A Serious Candidate / Recruit. 

Would-be candidates or recruits for military, police, firefighter, or Spec Ops profession get in RECEIVE MODE and listen to this: Consider the first fitness test you take as a job interview.  Prepare yourself to crush it on DAY ONE because it shows your recruiters that you are ready to go which means less preparation work for them. Failing a fitness test repeatedly just means you are under-prepared for the journey and the recruiters do not take you seriously.  

Did you know that this spells the difference between success and failure? You do not want to be the person the recruiter never calls back or never returns your calls or emails. Be a solid candidate and recruit and get treated with more respect from the beginning to the end of your recruitment process.

Rule  # 1 - Don't Ask What The Minimum Standards Are - Exceeding The Standard IS The Standard

  • You will not get very far is your peak is the minimum standard on any fitness test especially one that has competitive entry standards. Strive to be in the top of the recruit class with regard to taking tests - both physical and academic. Set your goals higher on the scale of passing as you will have bad days in the journey and you will want to know that even on a bad day, you can easily pass the physical standards.

Rule  # 2 - Assess Yourself And Build A Strategy To Acing The Fitness Test

  • When it comes to taking the official PT test that could make or break your hopes to entering the next phase of training, having practiced the test and creating a high standard for yourself is key. You should know how to pace yourself to achieve competitive scores and how to push yourself to break perceived limits. Hitting new PRs is a combination of recovery, fueling, hydration, and knowing HOW to take the PT test to perform at your very best.
  • See Assessment Tool for getting TO and THROUGH Training.
  • Do you know what is good enough? 

Rule  # 3 - Start Competing Now - Train To Compete - Not Just Survive

  • This is a classic saying I learned during my Spec Ops preparation journey. When you train to a higher standard, your mindset changes. You no longer just think about surviving an event, you can think about crushing it and being in the top of the recruiting class. Learn this early as it will be most helpful in Phase two of Tactical Fitness - Getting THROUGH the training (selection). Remember, keeping the eye on the prize will keep you moving forward and having the ability to push yourself harder than a majority of your training class will enable you to lead by example and help those behind you. Even though you are competing, you still need to be a good team player.

Rule  # 4 - Once You Ace The PT Test, Start To Add Specific Training Of The Next Step In The Process (Boot Camp, Basic, Academy, Spec Ops Selection)

  • Acing the fitness test and then focusing more on building a foundation of fitness so your body can get THROUGH the actual training (BUD/​S, SF, PJ, Fire, Police Academies) is the specific focus on training you must have. You can combine phases 1 and 2 once you are crushing the PT Test. Depending on your fitness level and athletic history, this process can take 1–2 years if you are at a starting beginner level of tactical fitness or as little as 4–6 months if you are a well rounded athlete.
  • A tactical athlete needs to be good at all the elements of fitness: strength, power, speed, agility, muscle stamina, cardio endurance (run, swim, ruck), flexibility, mobility, and grip. All are important to your training and profession.
  • Regardless, you do not want to go to ANY training program without having reaching near the maximum standards of the fitness requirements. Otherwise, the likelihood of injury, failure, other delays are higher.

 Rule  # 5 - Get On A Program That Exposes Your Weaknesses

  • We all come into this journey with some natural weaknesses and strengths. You can focus on maintaining your strengths and work hard to turn any weakness into a strength as they will be exposed near immediately in the fitness test as well as the next phase of training.

  • Trust me, you do not want to have a weakness even though we all have them and they are more of something you have to suck up and bring your game face to the event every day.  For instance, strength, power, speed, agility were my strength initially.  I was able to maintain those and get good at swimming, running, and rucking and high repetition calisthenics.  I still had to bring my A Game to many events to do well enough to be competitive in the class - running was the biggest problem, but I never failed any - I just was not that competitive in those events but did well is others like PTs, obstacle courses, swims, etc...I was on a program for about 18 months that was basically triathlon training to turn a powerlifting football player into an endurance athlete.

  • Be patient and get good at everything!  See program ideas below:

The next step here is you should check out Book / eBook / Coaching Programs as they hold the answer to get TO the training (as well as THROUGH the training).  You have to work hard to get TO the training (Phase 1 of Tactical Fitness) and you have to work harder to get THROUGH the training (Phase 2 of Tactical Fitness).  You cannot just stop and Phase 1 of Tactical Fitness. 

If you really want to get accepted into a competitive tactical profession, the amazing ARTICLES section for the latest in tactical fitness posts ranging from running, rucking, swimming, lifting, acing fitness tests, and mental toughness. " Military, Police / Fire, and Special Ops Training Series" makes it super easy for you!


Training is What We Do: 

Need Programming for Fitness Tests and Beyond?  We are all about getting you TO and THROUGH your future training program.  See how that works.  

There is More To than a You May Know

(In fact, there are more than 40 books, 1000+ articles, online coaching - and more) 

Who is Stew Smith CSCS? Coach, Trainer, Writer, PodcasterI'm the former Navy SEAL that tactical candidates go to for books, ebooks and online coaching to prepare themselves to get to and through intense tactical assessment and selection programs and qualify for service in their chosen tactical profession.  See More at

Where to Find More Information About Optimal Performance Training Programs

When you start training again, consider the seasonal tactical fitness model.  I call it A WAY to train and obviously not the only way to train. But it offers the opportunity to never neglect your weaknesses, helps with flexibility and mobility, but will also put you at a level of physical abilities where you are happy with your overall ability to do just about anything. We have a system where the seasons dictate our training. When it is nicer outside, we tend to run and do more calisthenics. When it is colder and not so nice, we lift more, run less, and still maintain our outdoor activities with shorter runs and rucks. Check it out: Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System.  

These Seasonal Tactical Fitness BLOCK Periodization programs will walk you through 4 x 4 weeks cycles with 16 weeks of each season in two programs. (32 total weeks)

Increase Strength & Crush the PST / PAST
3 Weeks Strength - 1 Week PT / Cardio Focus 
(16 weeks)

These programs will walk you through 4 cycles with 12 weeks of each season in two programs. 

The Specific Military / Special Ops Physical Fitness Workouts 

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT
Navy SWCC Workout

Army / Air Force Advanced Fitness / Special Ops 

Army PFT Workout (Prep For Rucking, OPAT, ACFT)
Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout
Army Air Assault School Workout
Army Airborne Workout
Air Force Special Warfare IFT / OFT / Selection Prep


Advanced Running Program - Special Ops Supplement Plan
USMC OCS / TBS Workout


The Combat Conditioning Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout  Battlefield Airman Prep Course
The UBRR Upper Body Round Robin Workout / Spec Ops version


The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer / Navy SAR Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Boot Camp Workout


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Workouts

The FBI Academy Workout  |   FBI Workout Vol 2  
The DEA Workout
The FLETC Workout - Ace the PEB
The PFT Bible: Pushups, Sit-ups, 1.5 Mile Run
The Fire Fighter Workout - Ace the CPAT


Online Coaching Options

Online PT CLUB - Weekly Workouts created personally for you.

New Member's Only Content / Services Program!

If you want access to years worth of workouts, many of the top eBOOKs, favorite workouts of the week, free fitness APP, closed Facebook Group, video / picture library of exercises, and more access to LIVE Q/A sessions check out the Stew Smith Fitness Members Section

The dashboard below has the links to all the information, archives, videos, and links to workouts, podcasts, live Q and A lessons. 

Consider this! - A Membership Program and Gain Access to Exclusive Content
(click for Fitness Club Dashboard - members only)

Best of all, if you have questions, email Stew Smith himself (  Join the tactical fitness group discussions, latest articles, videos, podcasts at the Stew Smith Tactical Fitness Training Closed Group on Facebook.


Questions?  Just email -

At - List of Products and Services

  1. FREE Articles
  2. Podcasts and Swimming Videos (Youtube, TikTok, Instagram)
  3. eBooks
  4. Books and eBooks in PRINT
  5. Stew Smith Fitness Club membership site
  6. Online Coaching  

Stew Smith Fitness 



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