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Indoctrination Fitness

Stew Smith, CSCS

This week, I received similar emails from young men less than 22 years of age and both were seeking fitness preparation information for military and law enforcement occupations. The problem with many young and older Americans is that the current fitness / health conditions they maintain are not good enough to ensure success at a military boot camp or law enforcement training academy. Their emails specifically address their very common issues:

I bought your book “Navy Seal Fitness” but the workouts are too hard for me to complete and I was wondering what should I do? I got the Perfect Pushup system which is helping me a bit and I’m seriously thinking of just joining the Navy and working my way to become a SEAL. I can do it, but my physical fitness level is not the right level to do your workouts. I know I’m one of the thousands who want to be a SEAL but I’m a determined person. Any advice?

The other email was similar but applied a young man applying to for a police officer position.

I am a beginner and I have never run trying to get to a specific time. This is my second week training and my goal is to reach 1.5 miles in 14:30. On the track, I power walk one lap then run the next lap I figured if I did it this way I would not injure myself. After about six times out running every other lap I am down to 15:28 for 1.5 miles. What is the quickest way that I can get down to a 14:30.

For both, striving for and not reaching minimum physical standards should not be an option. Both law enforcement and military occupations created a physical standard for a reason – your life or your buddy’s life may depend on your physical ability / fitness level. Thinking of joining such a profession when not meeting the physical standard places you at such a disadvantage from day one. You can eliminate one stressor of military and police indoctrination training by just showing up in above average physical condition. Otherwise, you will be forced to spend extra hours training or in such physical pain and soreness, that it will take the focus away from learning to shoot to other job specific skills.

For the future sailor, you need to either try an easier version of the Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness book like maybe Navy SEAL Workout – Phase 1 ebook. You can also do the workout you have as best you can by doing pushups on your knees when you fail or try assisted pull-ups or pull-downs. Try crunches instead of sit-ups once you fail too. Swimming and running should be done often so you can run for miles and swim for hours if you had to. You need to be in superior shape prior to attending boot camp and pass the SEAL PST with advanced fitness standards. If you reach the minimum standards for the SEAL PST you only have a 6% chance of graduating. But, if you want to take your chance, go ahead. The Navy needs people on ships too.

For the future police officer, you are going about your beginning running program the right way. By not doing too much, too fast, too often, you will save yourself from certain injury, however, you have to have a plan that will build you up so your goal will be faster than a 14:30 1.5 mile run. Usually, a good minimum standard for the 1.5 mile run is closer to 10:30 (or a 7:00 / mile pace). In fact, the women at the US Naval Academy have to run under 12:30 for the 1.5 mile run or they fail the test. Consider a 14:30 a passing grade but it is a “D” average – or below average. See the free running plan for starters as well as other running articles in the fitness article archive.

Set your goals a little higher when attempting to serve your country. The military and law enforcement is not just a pay check. They are honorable professions that may require the “average” person to have to fight for his/her life one day. You can do it with proper training and skills and having a sound fitness foundation enables you to be a better protector of our country.

Email me at if you have any questions about fitness and training. To assist with a few articles I am planning in the near future, I am looking for information and statistics of the number of applications received / jobs granted from any federal, state, local law enforcement profession. Thanks for your help and for the honor to write for you.

Want to improve your workouts? Visit Stew Smith’s PoliceLink Fitness Store for customized, downloadable ebooks written specifically for law enforcers.

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