The Army Diver program has a long history of excellence and a number of challenging programs, ranging from Army rescue/helmet divers to Army Special Forces diver training. It also features a Phase 1 portion that weeds out most applicants before they travel to Panama City, Florida for Dive School or Key West, Florida for Combat Dive School. .
Here is a question from an Army engineer preparing for acceptance standards into the program and through Phases 1 and 2:
Hey Stew, I’m getting ready for army diving school, coming from Fort Leonard Wood. Do you have any recommendations for Engineer Diver trials? I’m working on the fitness test, but I know pool skills also take work. No suggestions? county
Earl, this is a great opportunity to become a military diver. However, a lot of school attrition happens long before you ever put a scuba tank on your back. Here are my step-by-step tips to prepare for this type of multi-step challenge:
1. Crush physical screening test
This class has the same physical fitness test as the Navy SEAL/Diver program: 500 meter swim, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and a 1.5-mile timed run. Follow a PST training plan and learn how to pass the test. Your workouts should resemble the PST, and activities other than upper body calisthenics, running, and swimming should complement these test events. Additional exercises such as squats, lunges, and intensive bike workouts can prepare the legs and lungs for the test without the impact of running, if you need a day or two off each week.
See the Navy PST training and complete with your PST preparation, as well as the drowning/marching drills needed for Phase 1.
2. Daily training at the pool
Swimming every day of the week is recommended, but swim at least five days a week to go from “OK” in the water to proficient. Warm up each swim workout with 10 minutes of water on the spot. Then practice swim workouts that will help you crush the 500 meter swim (test like the 50-50 workout). To cool off after swim training, add drowning protection drills and complete with jumps, floats, underwater swimming (which you should never do alone) and weighted strides (with 5 to 10 pounds in hand). Swimming and walking with fins also require some mobility and durability in the ankle, which can be achieved by doing only flipper swimming, so consider swimming with fins on leg days.
3. Add mobility
Many people have difficulty swimming and walking, largely due to lack of mobility in the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. For a more streamlined body position, you need good shoulder mobility so that both hands can go over your head and you can squeeze your ears together with your biceps.
It will help you look and feel like a torpedo and add speed. The step also requires hip, knee, and ankle mobility, especially if you’re trying to use the eggbeater kick or scissor kick. So mix mobility and stretching around the pool if you find it difficult for your joints to get into a good walking or gliding position.
4. Land training too
Although the most difficult events occur in the pool and on the pool deck (swimming PT), you can practice many events on land, such as endless floating kicks with water-filled masks. You can also practice running, upper body training and even log training.
The goal of Phase 1 training is to ensure you can handle the rigors and discomfort of being underwater in dark, murky non-pool environments. There’s a level of confidence in the water that will be tested along the way, and you’ll be glad you completed the challenges of Phase 1 and 2 of diver training – in any branch of service. Many will often say that the most difficult physical part of training is in phase one, but the most difficult tactical and professional part of training will be in phase two. Both are equally challenging and well worth the preparation effort. Good luck and go for it.
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 email@example.com.
Want to learn more about military life?
Whether you’re considering joining the military, looking for basic fitness and training tips, or keeping up with military life and benefits, Military.com has you covered. Subscribe to Military.com to receive military news, updates and resources straight to your inbox.
Show full article