Obviously I do not carry an assault rifle when I go to the pool and I'm pretty sure if I attempted to swim with one, it would not go very well. That said, I did manage to take a significant step forward in the pool this week as I continue my training and work my way toward the entry levels of the PT regiment used by the Navy Seals during the six month long training course referred to as BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/ Seals). This week I learned the Combat Side Stroke and what a difference it has made! While I definitely haven't perfected the technique, it has already made a huge difference in my ability to go the distance and duration in the water. This is a critical swimming stroke used by the military to allow soldiers to cover great distances with minimal physical exertion. If you exert too much effort, your muscles build up lactic acid, which kills endurance and will prove fatal in open water. I think every person who swims or boats should learn this side stroke. It could save your life.
Also, in totally unrelated news to Seals training, EVERYONE should learn the drown proofing technique. This technique teaches just about anyone how to survive in open water for extreme lengths of time without any floatation assistance. It is a simple technique you can practice in a swimming pool. Check it out at http://www.drownproofing.com/
For those who haven't read my recent posts, I've set a personal training goal of being able to complete the PT portion of the training required by the Navy Seals. Admittedly this is not equivalent or even close to being the same as becoming a Seal, but it should make me more physically adept than I've ever been or than most will ever be. Typically it takes a solid year of training to be ready to pass just the PFT (personal fitness test) for entry and you have to demonstrate this again on the very first day. A person must be able to complete and ideally exceed these standards:
500 yard swim - 9:00 minutes or less
Pushups - 100 in 2:00 minutes
Situps - 100 in 2:00 minutes
Pullups - 20+
1.5 mile run - 9:00 in boots and pants
Now I haven't put a time limit on reaching this standard because I'm not actually joining the Navy. I'm doing this for my health, as crazy as that may sound to you. My goal, at least for now, is to be at this level in a year from the time I started and I believe I am well on my way. At the onset, I was terribly out of shape but I am getting close to being able to complete the requirements of the first two weeks of PT training already. My one nemesis had been the pool, but I am convinced practice makes perfect. The Seal PT program is designed not only to develop a persons physical strength but also to build incredible cardiovascular endurance, which means becoming mentally and physically tough. What makes the training attractive to me is the fact that it is comprised (mainly) of exercises that do not actually require access to fancy machines, weights, or gear (although I do in fact have access to these things and employ them to help break up the monotony of the training a bit). Bottom line - I can train anywhere at any time which is key.
Here is a link for more information: Top 10 Things to Know for BUD/S