Try this swimming progress training for military swimming and diving training

As you prepare for military swim or dive tests, your skills should see steady progression as both technique and conditioning improve. A lifeguard or combat diver must master technique and conditioning, confidence in surface and subsurface water, kicking, and tactical applications including lifesaving, rescue, explosives, and navigation.

Here’s a natural progression that focuses primarily on conditioning, but also requires intense adherence to technique. These training phases allow a non-swimming athlete to practice swimming techniques while getting into better swimming form.

First phase training

If you’re new to batting and are struggling to swim your way through an 80-foot pool without breathlessness, start with this program.

Warm up with a five-minute swim (non-stop) or kick. You may need to prepare for this “warm up,” but it will soon become easy.

Repeat 10 times.

  • Swimming: 25 meter freestyle
  • Swimming: 25 meter combat sidestroke (CSS), breaststroke or sidestroke

Do this workout three times a week. On leg days, do the same fins workout for a total of 4-5 days per week.

Second phase training

This is a classic called the 50-50 workout. As your swimming skills improve, the 50-50 will be the next challenge.

Warm up with a 500-meter swim or a 10-minute run. The goal is to swim 500 yards or 500 meters without stopping. The next step is to reduce time by improving efficiency and stamina.

Repeat 10 times.

  • Swimming: 50 meter freestyle hard and fast
  • Swimming: 50 meter CSS, breaststroke or sidestroke at target pace

Third phase training

Once you find the 50-50 workout getting easier, try doubling the set distances for the 100-100 workout.

Warm up with a 500-meter swim or a 10-minute run. The goal is to swim 500 yards or 500 meters without stopping. The next step is to reduce time by improving efficiency and stamina.

Repeat 10 times.

  • Swimming: 100 meter freestyle hard and fast
  • Swimming: 100 meters CSS, breaststroke or sidestroke at target pace

As you improve your conditioning, set a target time for each 50 or 100 meter dash. A good standard is to swim close to a yard or meter per second. Therefore, a 50-meter swim has a target of 50 seconds; The 100 meter distance has a 100 second target (1:40).

Fourth phase training

You might want to mix it up a little after swimming 4-5 days a week for the past 1-2 months. This training is the next boost. Work on maintaining your target pace (one yard per second) for the 300 yard or 300 meter distance. That means 300 seconds, which is five minutes.

These five-minute sets are tough and will build your technique and stamina to the levels you need to become an exceptional swimmer, even if you were a non-swimmer before joining the military.

Warm up with a 500-meter swim or a 10-minute run. The goal is to swim 500 yards or 500 meters without stopping. The next step is to reduce time by improving efficiency and stamina.

Repeat five times.

  • Swim: 300 meters (choose any stroke to be tested)
  • Quiet: as needed

You can choose how to rest. Many tread water for 1-2 minutes. Some stretch and hydrate for a minute before moving on to the next set.

This advancement in swim training can be just the preparation you need to achieve required swim fitness test scores, build confidence in the water, and learn new tactical skills.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness writer certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit him Fitness e-book store if you want to start an exercise program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to [email protected]

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