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The Combat Swimmer Stroke - One Stop Shop For Training, Information, Videos, Critiques

Stew smith

The Combat Swimmer Stroke - One-Stop Shop For Training, Information, Videos, Critiques (Updated)

New Tik Tok Channel with nothing but CSS Critiques!

The reason why learning to do the combat swimmer stroke or the swim portion of the Navy PST as efficient as possible is so you can actually perform well on the remaining events of the PST (pushups, situps, pullups, 1.5 mile run).  This requires good technique, water conditioning (getting into swimming shape), and practice. Then you have to start to progress further with a pair of fins on once you have mastered the CSS of the PST with competitive scores. 

Check out the Most recently created CSS training articles / Videos:

CSS Help: Fix Your Arm Pulls and Recovery

CSS Help: Fix Your Kick

CSS Help: Fix Your Glide

CSS Help: Fix Your CSS Sequence of the Stroke - Pull - Breathe - Kick - Glide

CSS Debate: To Pullout or Not Pullout (Breaststroke Pullout Issues)

Coaching the CSS: Common Coaching Cues to Help You Learn / Teach CSS

Why We Use the Combat Side Stroke (CSS)

SEAL Wanna-Be Who Cannot Swim - Is It Possible? 

Three Things That Slow Your Swim Time

Making the 500yd swim a warmup to ALL swim workouts is the first start to not only preparing the body for the test, but the mind as well. Being able to say a 500yd swim is "just a warmup" is a game changer with you becoming mentally stronger with this PST competition. 

Two Most Important Articles to Read / Videos to Watch on the CSS

The CSS Breakdown and Treading Technique Training (adding Mobility)

Three Things That SLOW Your Swim Pace

Ace the Swim and the Rest of the PST will be Easier - Strategy

The Best Swim Workout to Get In Shape for the 500yd Swim Test (PST)

Try the 50/50 and crush the PST in weeks

The Air Force Special Warfare 50-50 Version

Check out these Combat Swimmer Stroke Related Articles and Videos

 One of my favorite CSS Videos throughout the years: (youtube)

Common Errors when Learning the Combat Swimmer Stroke BUT the TWO Most Important to fix: 

Teaching and Coaching Others to Teach the CSS (Common Issues)

Two Common Errors that Will Ruin Your PST Scores

The Other Common Errors: 

Part 1: From Kick Off to Finish – Errors in ALL Phases of the CSS

Part 2: CSS Errors with Video Corrections

Fix Your Kick with the CSS KickBoard Drill

A Break Through Workout for Non-Swimming Athletes Going Spec Ops (50-50)

Air Force and Navy Special Warfare Testing

Swimming with fins – A Variety Of Workouts To Help Prepare for Longer Swims

Swimming and Treading Skills - Practice / Watch Videos

 DUDE - You Are Not is Swimming Shape - Learn the 50/50 Workout!

Typical Errors with the CSS

Now LIVE QA with CSS Critiques on YouTube Monday and Tuesday 930AM East Coast Time Each WEEK!!!! Follow the YouTube Channel StewSmith182 for notifications when going LIVE. 

Don't Forget, Long before my Instagram CSS videos, I was posting on YouTube and critiquing all types of common CSS issues and filming some of the faster CSS swim times I have ever seen.

Tactical Fitness Report Podcast - Check These for CSS and More. 

Crushing the PST (Swim, PT, Run)

PST:  Putting it ALL Together:  Learn HOW to take this test or you will never even make it TO the Training. 

The PST CLINIC – Step by Step Breakdown of the Navy BUDS / SWCC / EOD / Diver / Air Rescue PST

Getting Faster Runs and Swims (PST related)

Classic Week of PST Training (FREE)

Do You Want a Better PST Score?

Learn How to PST Transition - Especially if the run is the worse event after doing the preceding PST events. 

The Week of the PST Test – How to Arrange Your Training

The 500yd Swim of the PST is just the first event of the 5 part PST.  Learn HOW to take the test efficiently so you can crush all events. See related articles on Crushing the PST:

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
 (Assessment Tool)

Your Weaknesses Will Be Exposed IF YOU Ignore Them - During the Recruiting Process and certainly through Prep and BUD/S itself. 

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.


If you want help, that’s what I do…. Check out these resources that have helped spec ops candidates succeed where others have failed for the last 20+ years!

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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