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THE 50-50 Workout (Crush the Swim Test in Less than a Month)

Stew smith

This is the workout that I have been having folks do 5-6 times a week and go from 10+ minutes on the 500yd or 500m swim test to the 8 minute zone (some even sub-8 min) IN ONE MONTH...


It helps to get the stroke down first obviously and then this workout will help you get in shape to maintain your set  goal pace for the full 500yds / 500m.  Learn how to do the CSS - Pull, Breathe, Kick, Glide (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi PULL)

My set goal for all swim workouts is a yard or meter per second.  That means 500ys = 500 seconds = 8:20.  1000yds = 1000 seconds = 16:40.  Now this is an above average speed and anything under 9 minutes / 18 minutes is acceptable and still a few minutes below the minimum standards.  The minimum standards is NOT a goal for any future spec ops candidate...

I also have one for the Air Force Special Warfare candidates as their challenging events in the water are similar but require a few subtle changes. But you can still do this one for the 500m focused training you need to master as well. 

Enjoy as I have seen so many people who do this for a month drop from the 10 minute zone or higher to the sub 9 / even sub 8 min zone. Just add this to your normal training day though you may want to replace your swim workout if you have not see much improvement.

Do not forget.  I review CSS swims on video so send them and I will critique them for you so you have the CSS technique down and at least ONE lap of 50yds in 50 seconds. 

Check Them Out on Instagram and TikTok and Do Not Forget Youtube

Instragram (@stewsmith50) - Fun workout posts / CSS videos, cool pics

TikTok (@stewsmith50) - ONLY Spec Ops Swim Videos (swim, drownproofing, life saving, underwater, and more will be posted here). 

But Long Before the platforms above I was posting on Youtube.  Still do - Tune in to the Two for Tuesday LIVE Q and A where I critique swim videos and take LIVE questions. 

Who Is The Tactical Fitness Coach / Author Stew Smith?

 I'm the former Navy SEAL that military recruits and special ops 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

Check out the Complete List of Training Programs (Spec Ops, Military, Police, Fire)

For You Special Candidates (Get in Shape LONG Before You Join) 

High Intermediate Military / Advanced Spec Ops
Building Programming:

Which Program is Right For Me?
It Depends...Special Ops Candidates

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. 

Other EBOOKS (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. We also have training programs to help you with training as you age in these professions (Tactical Fitness 40+ series).


Lifting Cycle Programs For Those Who Need a Strength Focus

You may have seen my Winter Lift Cycle that I discuss in the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization article as well as have our actual lift programs we have done over the years in the following books.


It is not all just calisthenics and cardio at Stew Smith Fitness

Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, Navy SEAL Weight Training Workout, Weight Vest Workout,  Stew Smith's Fall Winter Cycle, Warrior Workout #2Maximum Fitness

These programs as well as my online coaching programs have Winter Lift Cycles in them as part of our Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System. But, do not get these lift cycles confused with ACTUAL strength / power lifting programs, these are strength / power programs that also have a focus on cardio fitness maintenance BECAUSE you need to be good at all the elements of fitness and develop into an all-round Tactical Athlete.  

Most Recent Spring / Summer & Fall Winter Programs:
(click to read more)
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

Questions?  Just email me at

At - List of Products and Services

  1. FREE 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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