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Give yourself a fitness assessment when the seasons change

If you’ve been following my writing, you’ll notice that my workout recommendations suggest that you switch to a lifting cycle during the fall / winter period where the focus is on gaining strength or mass and maintaining gymnastics. Swedish and cardio.

This transition involves running fewer miles (but faster), swimming or cycling more (non-impact options), and adding weight to Swedish gymnastics movements.

As we make this seasonal change, we like to assess two things:

1. Determine current Swedish gymnastics and cardio cycle scores with timed runs, PT tests, and timed swims.

2. Determine our starting point for lifting weights, vest activities and cardio wearers.

During this final week of our spring / summer gymnastics and cardio cycle, we generally like to peak at the standard PT tests used by military and special ops selection programs. These tests include the Navy Physical Screening Test used by Navy SEAL, Navy Diver, Navy EOD, Navy SWCC, and Navy Search and Rescue Swimmers training candidates.

Take an easy recovery weekend, then on the first day of the training week do the PST twice as follows :

Double PST:

Swimming: 500 meters

Transition: 10 minutes

Pumps: 2 minutes

Rest: 2 minutes

Sit-ups: 2 minutes

Rest: 2 minutes

Pull-ups: max

Transition: 10 minutes

Running: 1.5 miles

Break: 10 minutes

Hydrate, then repeat in reverse order:

Running: 1.5 miles

Pull-ups: max

Sit-ups: 2 minutes

Pumps: 2 minutes

Swimming: 500 meters

This Double PST assesses both running and swimming cardio endurance as well as muscle endurance through Swedish gymnastics. The second round helps the athlete understand the importance of refueling, hydrating and developing a higher working capacity so that they are able to handle the extra reps.

The difference between the first and second PST score will indicate whether the candidate is progressing towards the level of overall endurance, muscular endurance and working capacity needed to pass the official PST during a normal long training day. .

After an easy day of recovery in the middle of the week, the next assessment is a series of lifts, weighted Swedish gymnastics, and a ruck. Here are the basic lifts we use for our assessment at the start of the lift cycle:

Pull-up weight: 20 pounds

Bench press at bodyweight: number of repetitions max.

Deadlift: max weight for 3 reps

Back squats: max weight for 3 reps

Power throw over medicine ball: 20 pounds for maximum distance

Standing width jump: max.

Shuttle race: 300 meters (12 x 25 meters) for the time

Farmer’s Walk Kettlebell: 2 x 44 pounds for time (2 x 25 yards)

Obstacle course: for time

4 mile ruck: for time

Swimming with fins: 1 mile for the time

These strength, power, speed, agility, load and endurance test exercises can be split throughout the day into different sessions or split over two days if you prefer.

The goal is simply to establish a starting point before we begin the lifting cycle so that we can gradually reintroduce these exercises throughout the cycle to build a more complete tactical athlete.

We want to create a person who can perform all of the fitness elements required for a job in any tactical profession: strength, power, speed, agility, muscle endurance, endurance, mobility, flexibility and grip.

It is important to assess yourself regularly. Otherwise, you’re still guessing what your abilities are and not how to progress further or stay stable to maintain what you need for the job.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and Certified Fitness Author as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness e-book store if you are looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to [email protected]

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