USCG Rescue Swimmer Training Plan


• 7 weeks, 5 days per week
• Focus on the 7 events of the test
• Also trains Endurance, Mental Perseverance, and Stamina
• This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.




The following is a 7-week program designed specifically to help applicants prepare for the USCG Aviation Survival Technician (AST) screening test and USCG Rescue Swimmer Training program.  This plan focuses on the seven events of the AST Screening Test and on building the physical endurance, mental perseverance and stamina needed for Rescue Swimmer Training:

Applicants should begin this program 7 weeks prior to taking the AST Screening Test or beginning Rescue Swimmer Training.  The program includes a 1-week taper which will allow the athlete to recover and prepare for their test or selection.

***************** CAUTION ****************

This plan can be very intense at times and may not be suitable for unfit athletes.  Be safe and smart about your training as you work through the program and don’t be afraid to cut down sessions, or if necessary take an extra rest day if needed.



This program follows a general format and gets progressively harder each week.  The plan is designed so that applicants train 5 days per week (Monday-Thursday and Saturday).  If you are unable to follow this format, that is fine.  Simply do the workouts on the available days of the week without skipping workouts. 


This training program is 7 weeks long.  Week 1, Week 4 and Week 7 are used to assess and reassess performance on the AST Screener and a 400m buddy tow.  Week 7 is also used as an unload week to allow the athlete to recover and prepare for their AST Screening Test or the beginning of Rescue Swimmer Training. 

  • Mondays: Pool-based Training (Swim and Underwater) or AST Assessment
  • Tuesdays: Run and Calisthenic Training (Long, Slow, Distance)
  • Wednesdays: Pool-based Training (Buddy Tow and Underwater)
  • Thursdays: Run and Calisthenic Training (Intervals)
  • Fridays: Rest – No Training
  • Saturdays: Pool- and Land-based Stamina Training (Swimming, Running and Calisthenics)
  • Sundays: Rest – No Training

 Training sessions will take 60-100 minutes.

Required Equipment

In order to complete this program, you’ll need the following equipment:

  1. 25yd or 25m Swimming Pool

  2. Timepiece or stopwatch

  3. PT shirt, shorts and shoes for Land-based Training

  4. Swim Attire

  5. Swim Fin booties (we recommend stiff fins like Aqua Lung Rocket Fins)

  6. Swim Mask and Snorkel

  7. Foam Roller

  8. Course or track of known distances (200m, 400m, 800m and 1.5 miles) with access to Pull-Up/Chin-Up station

Sample Training


Obj: Calisthenics / Buddy Tow Assessment


4 Rounds, on Pool Deck

  •    10x Push-Ups

  •    10x Sit-Ups

  •    Instep Stretch

  •    10x Shoulder Wall Slides


(1) 5 Rounds, one per 60 sec

     30% Max Push-Ups, then immediately….

     1 Round Max Push-Ups

***Rest 5:00***

***Get Ready to Swim**


2 Rounds (200m each), in Water

Freestyle Swim Progression

(25m each Drill) + 25m Swim


(1) 400m buddy tow swim

Record Time



Obj: Calisthenics / Run (LSD)


2 Rounds

  • Run 400m @ 50-60%

  • 10m Spiderman Stretch

  • 2x 10m High Knees

  • 2x 10m Heel to Butt Kick

  • Instep Stretch


(1) 5 Rounds, one per 90 sec

  •     40% Max Pull-Ups, then immediately….

  •      1 Round Max Pulls

(2) 7 Rounds

  •     20 seconds Max Sit-Ups

  •     10 seconds Rest

(3) Run 5.0 miles at “Moderate” Run Calculator Pace based on 1.5 mile assessment

(4) 3 Rounds

  •     Foam Roll - Legs/Low Back

  •      Instep + Pigeon Stretch

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We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


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- Rob Shaul, Founder


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By Rob Shaul

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We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

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