Ask Stew: Sea Cadet Prep for SEAL Training Programming

U.S. Naval Sea Cadets and three U.S. Navy League Cadets watch as Sgt. Clinton Schwarz sights in the pellet rifle and instructs the cadets on the prone position (Photo By: Sgt. Joseph A. Lee).

During the Summer months, many young teens in high school and college get to attend a variety of military summer training programs.  Some are designed as recruiting and career information programs like the Sea Cadet program as well as the Navy ROTC Summer Cruise programs.  Consider some of these training summers are internships for the most part.  Some are more challenging physically than others.  For instance, those members of the ROTC programs in college may attend Officer Candidate School of the U.S. Marine Corps which is very challenging in both leadership and physical fitness. The Sea Cadets and Young Marines also have tough training programs as well.  In fact, here is a question from a young man in Sea Cadets considering becoming a Navy SEAL and getting some more information about the SEAL training programs that are offered to current Sea Cadets.  

Dear Mr. Smith, I am a 16 year old in the sea cadets and my dream is to join the Navy SEALs. I feel my run time, push-ups, sit ups are getting progressively better. My swim qualifications are the worst of the PST events (swim, run, pushups, situps, pullups). I was wondering if there are any tips or exercises you would recommend for me to feel more comfortable in the water overall and get my swim and treading above and beyond. Thank you, Caleb

Caleb - Obviously just "tips and exercises" are not enough. You need a program to follow that answers all the issues - especially to prepare for the PST to get selected into Navy SEA Cadet Summer SEAL program and beyond. But getting in the pool to tread water and swim a variety of strokes is critical to your swimming issues, but training goes much deeper than that.  Many people focus too much on things they are either good at doing or very bad at doing with leaving the opposite to get worse.  If swimming is your issue – swim more, but do not forget everything else.

There are some great PT Pyramid, Super Set, and Max Rep Sets workouts you should consider and start to master each week.  And for swimming, you have to get in the pool and swim to get into swimming shape, practice technique, and watch YouTube videos on the CSS for ideas / skills. Then there is running.  You need to run both goal paced runs and sprints to get faster / last longer at a set pace for good scores on timed runs.  See running timed runs training articles.

More running / swimming / PT articles:

PT test Power / Speed

Combat Swimmer Stroke (CSS)

More CSS – Common Mistakes

Improve Mile Pace (Learn a Goal Pace)

Train for Timed Runs

PT Programming Supplement Calisthenics and Cardio Challenges

Start your information and learning process with the above links.  They will serve you well with figuring out what you should be doing and capable of doing in order to get selected for the program as well as ensure and perform well in the program.  Do not THINK you are in shape enough because you play sports in high school.  You have to get specific and start training for the events that will be part of your daily program during the summer training.

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