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Tips for Success

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Class Tips

Clinic Director’s Tips for Success

The following tips are provided to help you meet the physical demands of Swab Summer with flying colors.

  • Arrive in the best physical shape you can attain. Soon after arriving you’ll re-take the Physical Fitness Exam (PFE) and must score 165 points or more.

    You will need 8 to 12 weeks to get yourself into top shape. We have found that swabs who are not in shape at arrival experience more injuries and illnesses, miss more training, perform poorly, and risk leaving early.

    Download the Academy’s Eight Week Conditioning Program

  • Buy a high quality running shoe fit by a professional and break them in before arriving to prevent blisters.
  • Have an evaluation by a podiatrist to see if you can benefit from orthotic inserts for your shoes. Inserts will help to prevents shin splints, foot pain, sprains and knee pain. This is especially important if you have flat feet, high arches, over-pronate, or under-pronate. Off-the-shelf orthotics are find for most people; otherwise, custom orthotics are a good investment.
  • Run no more than 1.5 to 2 miles per day. You will not have to run more than two miles at a time during when you report to the Academy. Running more puts you at risk for overuse injuries. Instead, for additional aerobic conditioning, do low-impact exercises using a stationary bike, elliptical trainer, ergometer, or swimming. Avoid shin splints by building up your runs slowly.
  • Do as many high-quality push-ups and sit-ups as you can in two minutes at least twice a day. An additional excellent exercise to do every day is pull-ups.
  • Learn how to swim and tread water before you get here. Your goal should be to be able to swim 500 yards freestyle and be able to tread water for ten minutes. You will have swim instruction during your first year, and if unable to swim, you will enter a remedial program.
  • Arrive well within CG weight requirements.Failure to meet these standards may result in immediate disenrollment. For optimum health, attain a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. According to the Center for Disease Control, a BMI of 25 and above is “Overweight,” which puts you at greater risk for back, hip, knee, ankle and foot injury during Swab Summer.

    Review Coast Guard Weight Standards Learn more about BMI