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How to Prep for Swab Summer

(Swab Summer, Class of 2024) Permanent link   All Posts
Junna Castel

While Swab Summer 2020 was a different Swab Summer unlike any other, I’d like to share my insight into how I prepared for it, what I should have done differently, and what I won’t take back from the summer. I appreciated all the help and advice I got before Swab Summer -- I asked too many questions for my own good—and want to do the same for you too. They aren’t in any order, but I hope this helps!

1. Physical Activity

  • When everyone says prepare physically, they really mean it. Getting stronger in running, arm strength and core strength is so important not only to set you up well for the inevitable daily ice, and IT sessions but also to protect yourself from injury in the middle of Swab Summer. While we didn’t run much this summer due to the masks, but being in cardiovascular shape was crucial because speed walking, or “walking with a purpose” through the P-ways of Chase, and charging up the stairwells (some platoons are on the 2nd floor while some are on the 4th floor) left us so out of breath and red faced when we reached the bulkhead.
  • Personally, arm strength was something I regret not having worked on more. For the cadre, their go-to physical exercise was push-ups, and I came in only able to do 30 push-ups in a row to the PFE Cadence, and while I got stronger throughout the summer, I was a lot slower at the push-ups than my peers. As well, being stronger upper body-wise is a reat help for static holds.
  • Make sure to use every Morning Calisthenics to get stronger, and every time you get dropped to build strength for the next time you push deck. It is up to you, how much you want to improve physically during Swab Summer.
  • Lastly, make sure you have a strong core, and know how to protect your back during Swab Summer. I know a lot of my shipmates complained about their backs hurting either from standing on the bulkhead for too long or doing exercises incorrectly or carrying heavy things. I was able to avoid most of those problems by constantly thinking to tighten my core in anything remotely using my more