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Beach PT Ideas

If you like going to the beach during the summer, you may already have a routine you like to do.  Many like to just walk the beach which is a great form of exercise.  However, this article is for a few young people preparing to join the military special forces like Navy SEALs or SWCC, Air Force PJs, Marine RECON, as well as Search and Rescue Swimmers as well.

Here is the question from a future military man:  Stew, I love the articles you pump out each week, I look around your archive and did not see anything about beach PT.  I am getting ready to go to boot camp then to BUDS and will have access to a beach for the next six weeks.  Any ideas for me?

I have some great beach PT ideas for you - do you have a pullup bar on the beach? If not make one because this is one of those workouts that you can do once a week and see huge results.

The 8 Count Pushup / Pullup Pyramid Workout This one can be done at the beach if you have a pullup bar or run down to a local play ground or park and find some monkey bars.  Here is how the Pullup / 8 count body builder pyramid workout works:

Do ONE 8 count bodybuilder pushup -  run 30m to a pullup bar - do 1 pullup.  Run back to 8 count area and do TWO 8 counts - run back to pullup bar - do 2 pullups.  Continue up the pyramid to 20 if you really want to challenge yourself.  Another option is go to 10 and repeat in reverse order - that one should not be too tough for a future frogman.  - FOR ADDED PLEASURE DO THIS ONE WET AND SANDY...BY GETTING IN SURF EVERY 5 SETS OR SO.

After you get pumped up on pull-ups and pushups, it is time to hit some cardio.  Try one of the all-time beach favorites, the Run,Swim, Run, Swim, Run, Swim, Run

Run Swim - Run Workouts - Run 1/2 mile down beach stop and swim passed the breakers - usually 100-150m - turn around come back to shore. Run another 1/2 mile down the beach - do same swim - turn around run back 1/2 mile - swim - run back to starting position end.  You can do this one either bare foot or with SCUBA booties.  For a more hardcore workout, do it with boots, cammie pants, and carry your fins.  Get the kind of fins that you can slide over boots like Rocket Fins and hit it!  This one is lots of fun and you are bound to get some attention if the beach is crowded.

Standard Workouts on the Beach - Of course hit some 4 mile runs.  At BUDS you will do a 4 mile timed run every week on the beach.  Go 2 miles one way and 2 miles back to your starting position.  Run closer to the water as the sand is more packed there.  BUT make some of your runs a little tougher and in the soft sand as well.  Do some dune runs as well. 

PT You know what to do here.  Pushups, situps, flutterkicks, leg levers, scissors, pull-ups, dips should also be done either one the beach or at a local pullup bar area.  Ask around. Usually the beach patrol / life guards will have a clue where the local PT areas are located.  You may be able to workout with the beach patrol as many form teams and compete in life guard competitions during the summer.

2 MILE OCEAN SWIM Swim with a buddy and let life guard know what you are doing. Swim parallel to shore for up to a mile and swim back to starting position.  This is how you will do it at BUDS.  Usually you are about 10yd from the breakers and have to look up every 5-6 strokes to make sure you are going straight.  Do this by either gauging distance from shore or if beach curves and you can focus on buoy, trees, building etc...YES swim this one with fins.

Going surfing this summer?  Thinking about starting? Practice with the Indo Board!  It is an amazing balance tool for any athletic activity including biking, surfing, skating, etc...


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. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the
Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

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