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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Fitness Programming Focused on
Mission-Direct Performance

All that matters to MTI is outside performance. We are driven to continuously improve and evolve. To this end MTI is not beholden to any fitness programming methodology, equipment or exercise. We continuously research, deploy, assess and iterate our programming with an emphasis on Mission-Direct application and performance. Here is the MTI Method:

MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

We deploy the training plan "Lab Rats" at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan.  Post cycle we assess the programming's effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn't.

Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers.

It doesn't stop there. We take what we learn by deploying our mountain and tactical programming with our Lab Rats, go back, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.

Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman - so I can't put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

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.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there - our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we've put in and received to make these plans effective.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.


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