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Stew Smith: Preparing Physically for a Second Career
Stew Smith: Preparing Physically for a Second Career

 

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About the Author

Stew Smith is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness and self defense books such as The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, and Maximum Fitness. As a military fitness trainer, Stew has trained hundreds of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, Air Force PJ, Ranger Training, and other physical law enforcement professions. His eBooks at Military.com can help you achieve your fitness goals, whether you're a beginner or an expert. For more info on his books, visit the Military.com eBook Fitness Store.

View the Smith Archives

Email Stew Smith at stew@stewsmith.com.
Visit Stew Smith's Official Website: www.stewsmith.com.

My grandfather has had an interesting life. He enlisted into the Army in 1936 and retired a Chief Warrant Officer after two wars and nearly 30 years of active duty service. Afterwards, he took the highly developed skills of his military career and applied them to become Chief of Police of his hometown for nearly 20 years. With two retirements coming in monthly, he has provided nicely for himself and his family throughout the years. Careers in military and public service are fantastic opportunities to serve your country and be well cared for with health and retirement benefits.

My expertise in this career change begins here with preparing physically for different physical fitness tests of a law enforcement position. Some of the exercises are the same as any military physical fitness test, such as the basic calisthenics tests of a timed run, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. Depending upon your law enforcement career decision, a variety of exercises will also be tested to include:

  • Bench press
  • Agility Tests
  • Shuttleruns
  • Timed runs from 1 mile to 5 miles long
  • Weighted pull-ups (SWAT Vest 25lbs)
  • Push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups
  • 500 yard swims
  • Rope climbs
  • Obstacle courses
  • Victim drags


  • Excelling in these tests takes practice as with any other physical event. Many of the tested events above can also be better prepared for by a series of exercises that involve the muscle groups utilized. For instance, the FBI Swat Team has a job related Performance Standards Test (PST) where several tasks are performed and timed. These include a pull-up test with a 25lb SWAT vest and the following events:

    The Assault Dash is not your ordinary 40 yd sprint you may have run in high school. This one requires you to wear body armor weighing 18 lbs (SWAT vest of 11lbs + 1 7lbs plate), carry a Remington 870 shotgun and wear a helmet. Starting in the prone position, the candidate must run 40 yards as quickly as possible. Some of the exercises used to help develop this tested event are:

  • 8 count bodybuilder push-up
  • Bear crawls
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Sprints
  • Variety of abdominal exercises
  • Lower back exercises

  • The Tactical Obstacle Course is a challenging 1/2 mile run with three job related tasks thrown in at the 220yd, 440 yd, and 660 yd marks. These tasks are:

  • 220 yd mark - cone running weave (40 yds long) 9 cones spaced 5 yards apart
  • 440 yd mark - 175lb victim drag (10 yd drag)
  • 660 yd mark cone running weave dropping to the prone position at each cone


  • This event tests speed, endurance, and agility. Done in regular exercise clothing, the candidate will not be weighed down by the SWAT Vest. The exercises to help train for this event are:

  • 2 and 3 mile Track Workouts
  • 8 count bodybuilder push-ups
  • Squats
  • Sprints
  • Agility drills / Box drills
  • Lower back exercises
  • Grip exercises towel pull-ups


  • For full workouts and descriptions of the law enforcement physical standards of many of the federal, state and local divisions, check out the Military.com Fitness eBook Store. If you need assistance with any training feel free to contact Stew Smith at stew@stewsmith.com, he is here to help.

    Stew reminds you to consult your physician before beginning any new exercise or diet program -- especially if you have been inactive for a while or if you have any medical problems.

    2003 Stew Smith. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Military.com.


     



     



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