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Pre-Training Before the Academy

Stew Smith, CSCS

Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding a young man joining the military and then advancing onto challenging follow on training. But my answers apply to anyone seeking to join the military or a law enforcement academy as well. Here are his questions:

I am going to ship next month to the Navy then go to SEAL training after Boot. Here are my questions:

1. I have been using your programs for over a year. Will my body be ready if I continue the plan or should I be easing off before I leave?

I would consider slowing down a few days to a week prior to attending your training as the long days, extra PT, catching a cold from other recruits will challenge you in the long term even though you will actually get “out of shape” to a degree from where you are now. There is no real way to prepare for this other than having a solid foundation of consistent physical activity for at least a year. Truthfully, if you are prepared for SEAL training prior to going into Bootcamp, you can consider Bootcamp as a “taper”. Life will be easier for you if you go prepared of course.

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2. If I ease off how much time should I take? One week? Two?

“Ease off” should not be do nothing. You can ease up a bit on your workout intensity and duration, but still you should keep moving and not relax after you reach your fitness goals. Too many times recruits strive for the minimum standards and after reaching the bare minimums, they relax and do nothing for a few weeks or a month only to fail the fitness standards upon arrival. If you like added stress in an already stressful environment, try failing the fitness test when you first get to training.

3. If I should take it easy with lighter workouts, what should I use for maintenance PT for the last week prior to my indoc training?

Focus on the initial PFT that you must take at some time of your training. If you are nursing any injuries (tendonitis, shin splints, etc) you should try to do some easy warm-ups, stretching, and substitute impact aerobics like running for swimming, rowing, biking and other non-impact aerobics. Also keep up with the workouts of your pre-training PT program but decrease the repetitions by 25-50 percent. Most of the workouts I create have a testing week where you taper prior to testing. That is a good model to go by if wish to follow that or you can read the PFT Taper Article found at the training pages.

Keep the emails coming at I answer all of them though it make take 5-7 days for me to get back to you due to volume for the week.

  • Army_max50


    over 2 years ago


    Just like the advive thaet you for from the trainer, i have been to basic training for the Army, and you will do pt every day and you run everywhere that you go for the most part, however dont be that guy that cant pass the pt at basic traing, i did not pass my 1st one but i can tell you that it was not fun for me at all, so just keep doing what you are doing and you will be fine, i wish you the best of luck and i hope that you get to the seals that would be a great achavement in life.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    No...your body will not be ready for what is going to be thrown at you...period. I just hope that you had long ago decided that the only way you would EVER leave BUDS is by being carried out of training. You can train for the PT, but it's all abut mind set...and remember, BUDS is only the BASIC part of the training it takes to become a SEAL. (Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL training. The SEAL oath states " My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies." It's all about mindset. Mindset is what wins the battle and the war.

  • L_29b988e4840c1eae963c96852266a013_max50


    almost 7 years ago


    being ex Army Ranger I know that the training and schooling i had to go through to get there was very hard physically. I have never done SEAL training but i would assume that is equally as hard as Ranger Indoctrine Program ( RIP is the abbreviation. It is what you voulenteer for in order to be in the 75th Ranger Regiment ) While i was going through it i was wishing i would have been in better shape. I can say from personal experiance i would go into military training as physically fit as possable. I would even workout until the day i left because inprocessing takes a few days until you actually get to your training unit.

  • Revan_max50


    almost 7 years ago


    Good advice.

  • Afspa_life_member-back_max50


    almost 7 years ago


    Fair advice

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 7 years ago


    I am getting ready to take the FAT exam for CO I passed it last year but I didn't get through the back ground check in time so I have to take it again. I have really slacked off on working out and it was hard for me to pass last time do you have a good work out that you would use for preparing.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 7 years ago


    thanks the advice is very helpful!

  • Xd40_3in_blk_heinie_max50w_max50


    about 7 years ago



  • Nightpatrol_max50


    about 7 years ago


    Good Advice.

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