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Tactical Fitness: Test Prep for Transition from Navy to Police



First I would like to say thank you for all of the help. I have three of your books, most recently the S.W.A.T Workout book, and they all have helped me make tremendous gains in my physical and mental stamina.

I have just recently separated from the Navy and applied to a Police Department in New Jersey. Their physical test is a little bit unique, and I was hoping you would be able to provide some specific tips for this test. It consists of all of the same exercises: push-ups, sit-ups (2 minutes), Pull-Ups, Squat-Thrusts (1 minute), and a 1 mile run.

However, their test is run without any break between the exercises. I am not worried about the individual exercises, I am more worried about not getting to rest in between them, and how to train for that.

Thank you for your help. 

Chris – I think making circuits (non-stop with timed events) 1-2 minute exercises will do the trick. For now, get specific and master these events. Don't just focus on them individually, but follow a circuit format. For example, try this:

Easy 5 minute dynamic warm-up and light stretch.

Repeat 3-4 times

  • 1 min pushups
  • 1 min situps
  • 1 min pullups (resort to pulldowns after failure)
  • 1 min burpees (which is a squat thrust with a pushup)
  • 5 min tabata (20 sec sprint / 10 sec easy) bike or elliptical 


  • 30 sec fast / 30 sec easy on treadmill or track.

If you prefer, you can opt to run 1/2 mile fast as you can, or 1 mile at your goal pace. Try this every other day for a few weeks and see how you perform in your actual test.

I would also do this workout: 

Mon / Wed / Saturday (Rest on Friday!)

Try this routine for two weeks, but, at the end, instead of doing this circuit try the actual test and see how you do.

Tuesday / Thursday (Rest Sunday!)

On the days in between, focus on your goal mile pace for the run.  

For instance:

Repeat 6-8 times

  • Run 1/4 mile at goal mile pace*
  • Rest with easy jog or walk 1 minute

On the second week try this one on Tuesday and Thursday:

Repeat 3-4 times

  • Run 1/2 mile at goal mile pace
  • Rest with easy jog or walk 2 minutes

*Goal mile pace means you run the quarter miles at 1:30 if your goal is a 6 minute mile or 1:45 if the goal is a 7 minute mile.  No faster, no slower.  Muscle memory this pace so you can do it for multiple sets, and soon you will be able to hold it for a full mile. 

This will help you get used to the circuit based testing your department does, and train your body to recover by changing muscle group exercise, not just completely inert resting.


Related Topics

Fitness Stew Smith Workouts Tactical Fitness

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Stew Smith works as a presenter and editorial board member with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He has also written hundreds of articles on's Fitness Center that focus on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

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