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Browse Fitness by Stew Smith CSCS Articles

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    Preparing for the Most Common Physical Fitness Training in the U.S.

    After doing research and writing about physical fitness tests for public service agencies for the past ten years, I recognized a common appearance of the 1.5 mile run, pushups, and sit-ups test as a near universal basis for testing fitness levels. The groups who use the Common PFT are the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and more than 50% of federal, ...
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    Rescue Swimmer Fitness Standards

    If you have been motivated by the heroics played live on your television set or movie screens to think about becoming a Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer - be prepared because when you arrive at Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer School in Elizabeth City N.C., you will be expected to excel in one of the most stressful environments in military training. According to ...
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    Taking Care of Your Shoulders

    Taking Care of Your Shoulders
    A Navy Chief emailed me about his recent shoulder injury. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and freak accidents can occur at the strangest of times. He writes: "I am an avid lifter. I lift all the time and have done bodybuilding competitions, so you would think I would be pretty strong. At only thirty years old, I was closing ...
    Rated: +1
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    Run Faster

    I received several e-mails last week about running faster. A few requested workouts for their 1.5 mile, 2 mile or three mile PFT runs and several were runners who compete 5K and 10K races on the weekends. Since all these distances use relatively the same training philosophy - short distance , faster pace - I decided to answer them all ...
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    Breathing During Exercise and Daily Activity

    This week, I received an email from an Army Soldier who was having a difficult time running a few months ago. His breathing patterns were so erratic that he was basically hyperventilating while running his two mile PFT run. Once he started breathing properly as well as exhaling FULLY, he was able to perform better in the run – not only ...
    Rated: +1
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    Learn How the Mind and Body Works with the Five Psychological Phases of Fitness

    Learn How the Mind and Body Works with the Five Psychological Phases of Fitness
    Whether you are a military, special operations officer, an athlete, or just a regular person seeking to lose weight, all groups experience similar personal obstacles. Those who succeed in their training programs learn to conquer self-doubt. That is the key to fitness! Every day, excited people join fitness clubs determined to attend classes or workout for an hour a day, five ...
    Rated: +1
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    Finding Time to Workout

    Finding Time to Workout
    I have received a few emails asking about a good workout you can do in your hotel room while on travel or in your living room when too busy to go to the weight room. This email is from a civilian high school student who aspires to become a member of the Armed Services. "I was trying to figure out how ...
    Rated: +1
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    Cardio Alternatives

    Cardio Alternatives
    This week, I had a question that comes from a frustrated exerciser who likes to swim and either cannot make the pool times or the pool is closed at the times he can reserve time in his schedule. Cross-training with other cardio options is always healthy. Runners get injured three times as much as people who cross-train with swimming, biking and ...
    Rated: +1
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    Achieving Goals of Fitness and Health

    Nearly on a daily basis, people young and old confide in me with their fitness goals. Too many of these goals are extremely broad and lack focus and many are too narrow in scope and require more elements to succeed. For example, broad goals are “getting healthy again” or “losing weight”. These can require some to stop over-eating, smoking, drinking soda ...
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    Situp and Curlup Tips

    Situp and Curlup Tips
    This week’s article deals with a portion of the physical fitness test found in every branch of service. This is one element of the test that many people either barely pass or just fail. The sit-up or curl-up is also the easiest exercise to score maximum points for, but you must practice this exercise several times a week to reach that ...
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    Interval Training – What is it and how do you do it?

    Last week, I received an email asking if interval training was a good way to improve speed in your military PFT run. The answer is absolutely. “But what exactly is interval training and how do I determine what speed I should train?” the question continued. There are some general formulas that can help you determine where you should be, but I ...
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    Cardio Exercise and Resistance Exercise: Which to do first?

    If you are like a majority of the people who exercise regularly, often the question of what do you do first - Cardio workouts (Running, swimming, biking, cardio machines at the gym) or Resistance training workouts (lift weights or PT) is discussed. This article will further discuss that question on several different levels. What combination is best for the following common ...

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