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PST Testing Week - How Should I Train the Week of the PST?

Stew smith

This Month's Special is:
Free Navy Physical Screening Test (PST) Preparation Training: 
- The Classic Week of PST Training

Get a Free Week Navy Physical Screening Test (PST) Preparation Training that you can do for 3-4 weeks in a row for greater improvement in the PST. This week is the actual 10th week in my Navy SEAL, SWCC, EOD, Diver PST Program Phase 1. 

But check out below for advice on the week of taking the PST for the first time: 
"The Classic Week of PST Test Taking"

Anyone who wants to crush the PST on their first time with the official SEAL Mentor has to practice - not only the PST but all the elements of the PST for quite some time typically.  Usually on the quick end, it take 6-12 weeks to master the events of the PST in back to back events. You might be able to crush them all individually, BUT did you know that doing them all together - one after another is a game changer?  It may take longer when you put them all together in a single event / test. 

Here is What You Do The Week of the PST...

Learn how to be fully recovered for your first PST. But also realize that there is no need to waste a good workout on a PST (eventually).  Once you can crush the PST even on a bad day, you can still have the ability to do a PST or a double PST and then still do your normally scheduled workout.  That is the mindset with your preparation and abilities you should be shooting for as you prepare yourself for the spec ops journey.   Specifically - try this if your PST is on a Friday (or 5 days out. :

Monday - 4 Days out:  Do your normal workout 

Tuesday - 3 Days out: Do your normal workout

Wednesday - 2 Days out:  Do the 50-50 split of Day 3 workout IF testing 5 days out. - Here you cut everything in half or more if you feel the need. I typically like to do 5 minutes of the written workout then take a 5 minute easy stretch or cardio break. Then repeat that process for 30-40 minutes.  In the end you will get about 50% (or less) of the regularly written workout. 

Thursday - 1 Day out:  Mobility / Cardio day.  This is an easy day.  You do an easy cardio - typically non-impact cardio (bike, row, elliptical, swim) for 5 minutes but you can mix it up and add in 5 minutes of running as well. Following whatever cardio you select for 5 minutes, you stop and stretch, foam roll, or massage tool section of the body for 5 minutes. You are done when you have worked through the lower legs and feet, upper legs and hips, torso, and arms.  We typically will do five sets of the 5 min cardio / 5 min stretch / foam roll / massage to finish the workout. 

The following swim for the day is optional but get in the water for an easy water session:

10 minutes of easy swim / stretch
10 minutes of treading (with hands and without hands)
10 minutes of dynamic stretches in chest deep water

NOW you have roughly 24 hours or more until you take the PST.  Use this time to eat well, rest, hydrate, and general relaxing. 

Some people prefer taking a day off on the day before the test. Both ways work, but the Mobility day will not be an issue for your PST if you do it. Often the warmup after a day off will be longer so remember that on game day. 

Friday - The Day of the PST  (Game Day)

No matter what time you are taking the PST, you will want to eat and drink something. Definitely understanding fueling the day of the test in important. What do you eat and drink the days before and the day of the PST? Nothing new!

Eat the same prior to any workout you perform on any given day. I typically will eat some fruit and have some sugar water / Gatorade to sip during the PST.  There is nothing you can eat or drink that will make you better than your training.

Don't Do This:  And, the last thing you want is to be overly caffeinated with Pre-Workout, Coffee, or Energy drinks.  These spike the heart rate and this will interfere with your testing with elevated heart rates - not elevated performance levels in events as a 500yd swim, pushups and situps for 2 minutes, max pullups and 1.5 mile run. These are highly anaerobic events when pushing hard - stay calm with deep breathing!

Be Better Prepared for Your "Dream Job"

You will earn your contract if you are properly prepared to take this entrance exam for what most will refer to as their "dream job". Never show up without having practiced the test as part of your normal workout programming. In fact, it might be smart to GET ON A PROGRAM that specifically prepares you for this single event that will determine if you get INTO the training. 

Once you get the contract - congrats!  You made it TO the training. Now you need to focus on being the top 25% of your class on Day 1 of First Phase in as many events as possible because the bottom 75% typically will not make it.  That means you now have to train to get THROUGH the training. There is a difference between the two phases of tactical fitness. You can do both at the same time AFTER you have reached optimal numbers on the PST. 

After You Pass the PST - Assess Yourself for
Any Other Weaknesses

Not being prepared for your "dream job" is on you. It takes time to get to the level of being able to crush the PST and then the follow on logs, boats, and weekly 4 mile runs, and 2 ocean mile swims with fins. Just because you can crush a PST, does not mean anything for the follow on events at BUDS.

Show up on Day 1 of your job interview (PST Test Day) well prepared and be in the passing group at least. Showing up and failing is the wrong attitude and a horrible first impression to your future employer. YES - take it that seriously IF you really want this. After all, it only takes Four Steps to Get Prepared for Special Ops Selection.

Once again - Get on a Program!  Get the FREE week and get the ball rolling!


Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1 Beginner Weeks 1-10 
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. This is ideal for people who have come from an endurance athlete background.  Athletes like swimmers and runners will also require some strength training as you will be exposed to challenges under logs and boats during the first phase and many miles of rucking 50+ lbs of backpacks and gear in 2nd and 3rd phases of BUDS.  Do not skip lifting in your year of training prep.  However, if you are coming from a powerlifting / football background, supplementing a few lifts into your endurance / muscle stamina focus plan is something you may enjoy especially if training for a year or more during your prep phase. 

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.  

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