Stew’s Favorites: The Navy PST

Navy PST
Retired U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joe Fuller, SEAL, San Diego mentor for future sailors participating in the Physical Standards Test (PST) at Admiral Prout Field, Naval Base San Diego, June 24, 2014, discusses how important the 1.5-mile run of the PST is to hopeful special warfare operators. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eric Coffer/U.S. Navy photo)

Over the years, we have created workout plans for various fitness tests, but one thing holds true: Practice taking the test you have to pass on a regular basis. And if you want to crush it, do it twice. That is right. Do a Double PFT. One of our favorite Navy SEAL/EOD/Diver PST prep workouts is the Double PST arranged in the following manner:

The Navy PST (Special Ops/Special Warfare)

  • 500-yard swim
  • 10-minute break/transition to PT
  • Push-ups two minutes
  • Two-minute rest
  • Sit-ups two minutes
  • Two-minute rest
  • Pull-ups max reps
  • 10-minute break, transition to run
  • 1.5-mile timed run

Stretch/hydrate five minutes

Repeat the PST in reverse order:

  • 1.5-mile run
  • Pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups
  • 500-yard swim

The toughest part of this PST for most people is the transition from PT to running; see the related article on PFT Transition. Another way to repeat in reverse order is to do the PT section first, then run 1.5 miles and finish with the swim.

When you have to train for a fitness test, it helps to practice the test more than anything else. When you practice the test, you can relieve much of the testing anxiety by simply saying this is just another “Thursday Workout.” You learn to make a strategy that works best for you. How to hydrate? What to eat prior to the test? What to eat the night before? How to warm up/transition from one exercise to another? All these questions can be answered by simply making the test another workout day. Then if you really want to make it easy, do it twice.

This Double PST is quickly becoming an all-​​time favorite and something we practice every other week for a few months of the summer.

Final tip: You may want to take a day off before doing this Double PST. It is a tough workout.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

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