Cart 0

Turn Weaknesses into Strength with the 50-50 Method (Multiple Options)

Stew smith

Weakness => Strength Using This Method

You may have heard me talk about the 50-50 Training Method when it comes to swimming to crush the Navy SEAL PST CSS 500yd test as well as Air Force Special Warfare Swim Skills and Conditioning and 500m PAST test. Both workouts have ways of focusing on a weakness of swimming conditioning. 

However, if you think about it, my mobility day and system's check training protocols use a similar method but it is in the format of 5 minutes on / 5 minutes off. Mobility Day is a prime example developed to focus on a weakness of flexibility and mobility but also offers a recovery day in the middle of the weak when you are training hard.  You can still work on your cardio as hard as you prefer, but every 5 minutes you have to work on joint, muscle flexibility and overall range of motion. 

People think mobility day is an EASY DAY.  It is relative to calorie output but if your weakness is flexibility and mobility it is a pure challenge and definitely not easy. The 5 minutes of cardio in between 5 minutes of working the weakness or dealing with aches / pains (rolling, massage tool, etc) is a break from the challenges of actually working mobility and flexibility with a purpose. 

If you add this workout to the middle of the week or as your day off / easy day, mobility day will be life changing especially if you are starting to age and feeling the breaks and bumps of previous years again. 

Is Treading a Weakness? 

Try the 5 min swim / 5 min tread workout option:

If treading water (or any drownproofing event) is a weakness, time to put it in the schedule and actually practice it with a regular purpose and consistency.  Try 5 minutes of swimming following by 5 minutes of treading (or other pool skill) for a total of one hour. 

Repeat 5-6 times
Swim 5 minutes (shoot for 300m - any stroke with or without fins*)
Tread for 5 minutes (variety of with fins / weight and no fins / no hands)

 *swim with fins on your leg days

50-50 with Pullups / Pushups / Situps - Plank

Here are a few different workouts you can do to build a combination of strength and muscle stamina needed for high reps on these three PST events:

Bench Press - Pushups Combo:  Do 5 sets x 10 reps of bench press BUT immediately following the bench set, do 10 pushups.  You want to select a weight where you might be able to do 10-12 reps of bench press so you do not want to go too heavy or too light to make this work.  You should be nearly unable to do the 10 pushups immediately following the bench press set. After each set of bench press / pushups, rest with some form of easy cardio (bike, jog, row, etc) for 3 minutes.

Weight Vest Pullup / Pullup Combo:  Do as many reps as you can with a 10-20lbs weight vest of pullups, then drop the weight vest and do as many reps of regular pullups as you can. Play around with different grips to see if you can get a few more reps each set. The goal is to match whatever reps of weighted pullups as you can without weight.

Situp / Plank Combo - Most likely you will have to take either or both of these fitness testing events if you join the military as many service branches have made changes to include plank poses.  However, the special ops side of the military still uses situps in a 2 minute testing format.  Might as well get good at both.  Here is how we do this combo set:  Do 50 situps in 1 minute which is a good pace to master if you want 100 is 2 minutes. Then immediately following the minute of situps, do a minute plank pose.  Spread this throughout the workout period 3-4 times as you improve on the ability of holding the situp pace and the plank strength for a minute easy.  If Army, you can replace the situps with leg tucks, follow it with knee ups (half leg tucks), THEN plank for 1 minute. 

Don't Forget LEG DAY (mixed with running of course):

Run 400m or 800m for time.  But make this time NOT A SPRINT but a goal pace run that you want to practice to be able to maintain for the total distance of your timed run event (1.5, 2, 3, 4, or 5 miles).  For whatever time you run, that is how long you have to do walking lunges, but you also get to rest / walk for the amount of time you ran too - so it looks like this:

Repeat 3-4 times
Run 400m at goal mile pace (beach, hills, or track optional)
- lunges for the time the run took
- stretch / walk for the same amount of time

*Goal - You will want to build up to 5-10 minutes worth of total running and lunging time to complete this workout. 

This is a great lungs and leg workout where you focus on cardio fitness as well as leg muscle stamina. No weight needed for this workout. 

I hope you enjoy the ideas for mixing into your training.  As you can see, whatever program you are doing, you can make a small change and add in something that will help you both maintain your strength and turn a weakness into a strength. 

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) 

Published Book Workouts 
2 for 1 Deal While Books Last

Tactical Strength  
Warrior Workouts Vol 1  |   Vol 2   
The SWAT Workout

IN FACT - If you buy any of the above published books that we have remaining on our shelves, we will add in a FREE book on that list into your package!

 More Options Available

Spec Ops Running / Rucking Plan (Advanced)
Week 1 is 15 miles per week and builds up to 35 miles per week

Or Try Workout Programming Specifically Designed for any Tactical Fitness Goal:

Which Program is Right For Me - Special Ops Candidates 



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

Other titles of published books can be found at like Navy SEAL Fitness, Navy SEAL Weight Training, and others...

These are some of the best selling programs at

And more BOOKS from the BOOK section at :

Tactical Fitness (40+) Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Phase 4


NEW:  Increase Strength and Crush PST / PAST (Winter lift cycle)
NEW:   Calisthenics and Cardio (only) (Spring / Summer Cycle)
NEW:  Stew Smith's Fall / Winter Lift Cycle
NEW:  Stew Smith's Spring / Summer PT / Cardio Cycle


The Military / Special Ops Physical Fitness Workouts


Navy Training Pipeline

Army Training Pipeline


USMC Training Pipeline


Boot Camp, Service Academy, Rescue Swimmer, Plus Running!


The Law Enforcement / Fire Fighting Physical Fitness Workouts


Many of the above titles are in both BOOK and EBOOK versions, notice for first word in the title of the BOOK or EBOOK for which code applies. 

Online Coaching Options

Buy this for yourself or for someone who asks specifically for it - these do not make good surprise gifts..

Save $50 on Online Coaching with PTCLUB50 coupon code

Online PT CLUB - Weekly Workouts created personally for you.

Premium Coaching Program This Program is ONLY for Those Who Are Serious - But Need a Little Extra Motivation

Save $50 on Premium Online Coaching with PTCLUB50 coupon code

Sometimes We Need a Workout Partner

Do you need a program that actually works for you? We can build it personally for you and your personal goals and help you fit it into your day with the equipment you have available.  Let Stew Smith be your training partner and coach.

Many people ask me what is the difference between the Premium Program and the Online PT CLUB Coaching.  The people on either program receive personalized training from me - Stew Smith - to best fit your abilities, goals, time per day, days per week, facilities, and equipment.  We communicate regularly about your progress and your feedback helps me create the next week plan for you.  There is no template workout and see you later.  These programs are created 1 week at a time with YOU and ME in communication to figure out how best to create the next week.  Give me a call to see if it is right for you or not - 410-271-0837!

Questions?  Just email me at

At - List of Products and Services

  1. FREE and Informative 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  

Stew Smith

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published