Weekly Workout: Cardio Assessment Day

Cardio Alternatives

Cardio Assessment Day

Some days you need to see just how well your lungs are working for you. Obviously if you take a run or swim test regularly you’ll be on top of things, but sometimes you can still test in other cardio events just to mark progress. These are great tests of how your endurance training is going and some are great beginning cardio cycle assessments.

Here are some ideas:

Cardio Assessment:

Swim #1: 500yds swim – Time:

Swim #2: 1 mile swim with fins – Time:


Run #1,2,3:  Run 1.5 mile timed run OR 2 mile timed run, OR 3 mile timed run. Time :

More advanced Running tests – Time:

Navy SEAL– 4 mile timed run – Time:

Ranger / SF – 5 mile timed run – Time:


Ruck #1: 3 mile ruck with 40-50 lbs in a backpack.  What is a Ruck?  READ – Practice each of these three pacing methods to get a feel for rucking.

Ruck #2:  4 mile ruck with 40-50lbs.  Time limit: under 1 hour.

Ruck #3:  If you have a foundation of rucking, test the 12 mile ruck time. Under three hours is the goal.

Non-Impact Options Other Than Swimming:

Rowing – 2000m row.  How fast can you do it?  Can you beat your mile run time?  It’s very good if you can.

Stationary Bike Pyramid – How high can you go on resistance levels if you increase resistance by one level each minute until you can no longer maintain 80 RPM? Then repeat in reverse order. Can you take 30-40 minutes?

Elliptical Tabata Intervals – How many times can you do in 20 second sprints and a 10 second easy pace?  Can you go longer than 10 minutes?  20 minutes?

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles on Military.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books: Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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