As you prepare for your military journey, you’ll face challenges ranging from basic physical fitness tests to a wide variety of tactical skill tests, depending on the job you seek. However, there is one particular moment in this journey that may be the most important fitness test you will ever take.

The physical fitness test required to enter a special program or special ops selection course is usually a watershed event that can end your spec ops training dreams before they even begin. How should you approach the last days before the test and the day of this very difficult event?

Here is a list of tips for those of you coming on your “start date”.

This advice could also be for anyone who has physically prepared for acceptance into a military program. Keys to this gate can only be obtained by meeting and exceeding the standards of this community. Your future depends on your performance.

Goals may be different, depending on the situation, but joining the military, staying in the military, advancing in the military, and changing careers within the military may depend on how you perform a fitness test or if you respect the size and weight. standards.

After preparing for this important fitness test and follow-up selection event, focus on your recovery, but don’t sit around and do nothing. You can’t do much to improve your overall strength or conditioning, but you can still practice techniques, work on flexibility and mobility, and keep your lungs open with a moderate level of cardio activity.

How you eat, hydrate, and sleep are by far the most important things you need to focus on this week (and every other week, for that matter), but this is the week to actively pursue recovery.

Do your research on what activities will be tested and expected of you at the event. Also understand changes in location, weather, altitude and time zone. If you have to go somewhere new, watch out for hot, humid summer days or freezing, arid winter nights and everything in between. Be sure to prepare and stay aware of any water and electrolyte loss, as it only takes a few hours to reduce your performance to below normal levels in the event of dehydration and heat loss.

In many of these fitness tests and subsequent screening programs, you will be graded on skills such as walking, swimming, obstacle course, running (hills, sand, trails), rucking and many tactical skills. If you choose to practice any event, focus on the technique and mobility needed to perform effectively. If you were to go somewhere new, stretch and do basic cardio (running or non-impact cardio) below your belt to acclimate to the location.

Cardio, calisthenics and stretching

My advice is to stretch and do some cardio in the form of jogging, swimming, or cycling, mixed in with a few lower reps of the events you’ll soon be tested on. You will find that your joints only need to work for short segments. Do five minutes of easy calisthenics and stretches, followed by five minutes of cardio of your choice. Repeat this sequence for 30 minutes and you are good to go.

You will be nervous, which is natural, but you should strive to get a good night’s sleep every night. Learn about some sleep protocols and rituals that can help you get the restful sleep you need each night before this event and every other night. Sleep is our number one recovery tool, and it’s important to get it right. Some anti-anxiety tips are also good to learn.

The last days before a big event should be calm and focused. There is no workout you can do in the previous three days that will make you stronger, faster, or more physically capable in any timed or max rep event. It’s time to get back on your feet and use these times to relax, mentally prepare, and be well rested and tested.

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 her Fitness e-book store if you are looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to [email protected]

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