Diver Fitness

I posted on the diver sticky but havnt had a response for quite a while so ill try posting here and see.
I have my PEDA at the end on November and have been training for it for about 2 or 3 months. It would be hard for me to post a description of my weeks training because im bad at sticking to strict fitness regimes. I train 6 times a week. Doing a lot of running with some cycling and swimming also. I also go to the gym a couple of times a week to do free weights and work on sit ups, pull ups etc. i feel like im reaching a good level of fitness. Running 1.5 miles on a reasonably flat course in 9.20.
My main question is, what areas of training should i concentrating on. Is there an area that is a must for diver fitness? im just looking for a bit on guidance for the last 6 weeks before my PEDA if i should alter my training to get the most out of it for this couple of days or just to carry on with running, cycling, swimming, weights etc.

Hello mate.
You dont have to be to fit for your PEDA.
Concentrate on your CV and make sure you can do pull ups and dips.
I did nothing but run for my course,its CV that you will need

PS I m no 02 thief i always use a rebreather.


War Hero
If you follow the fitness programme written by the Diving Branch & given by your AFCO very closely, you should pass. If you don't, you may not & you cannot say you didn't know beforehand. You need to adhere to a strict regime essentially - start and keep a fitness diary & stick to it.

If you fail selection, you essentially deprive yourself of £1084 per month potential earnings until the next available PEDA in May 09.



The next step on your career path to becoming a Royal Navy Diver is to attend the Pre Entry Diving acquaint (PEDA) held at the Defence Diving School, Horsea Island, Portsmouth. The course is run over 2 days and will ask a lot of you, but if you are mentally determined, physically prepared and made of the right material you will be successful. Equally important, the course allows you to have a look at the role of the RN Diver, find out more about the career opportunities available to you and see what the 20 weeks of Diver training will be like.

To be successful on PEDA you must prepare yourself, both physically and mentally, for what will be a hard and challenging day. They do not expect ‘supermen’ to turn up for PEDA but they will be looking for whether you have the qualities to make a Diver; determination, a good level of physical fitness, stamina, mental ability and the ability to rise to a challenge.


Mental Preparation. It is important that you prepare yourself mentally for the challenge ahead. You will be away from home for 2 days living in a 10 man room, with up to 10 other candidates on the course. Depending on your background this may seem daunting. But do not worry, others will be feeling the same way. On arrival you will meet other candidates and have time to sort yourself out ready for the next day. You may be nervous about the physical aspects of the course so talk with your roommates to see how they are coping. The key is to remain in a positive frame of mind, you have done extremely well to get this far, all that remains is to give a good account of yourself.

The day will be tough. However fit you are you will be pushed to your physical limits and will be working outside of your ‘comfort zone’. Prepare yourself mentally for the challenge – you can do this! You must maintain your motivation over the whole acquaint. Do not judge yourself; leave that to the Diving team. If you feel that you are not performing to your full potential, dig deeper, remember all that they are looking for is potential and not the finished product. However you will be expected to give 100% at all times.

Physical Preparation. The PEDA may be one of the toughest days of your life. Do not underestimate the requirements of the course; if you have not prepared yourself you will find the going very tough. Your training in preparation must be specific to enable you to gain a pass grade at PEDA.


Warm Up/Cool down Stretching. Always warm up correctly before and after exercise. This is an essential part of any workout. Start with the smaller muscles when stretching for a warm up and work up to the larger muscle groups. For a cooling down stretch, start with the larger muscles and work down to the smaller muscle groups, as they have a greater blood flow to assist in the stretching process.

Cardiovascular Fitness. To increase CV fitness, the following is recommended for at least 3-6 weeks prior to the course. Run 3 to 4 times per week, maintaining a steady pace of 7-7.5 min mile pace throughout over the following distances:
1 x 3 mile run - 1 x 4 mile run - 1 x 5/6 mile run
Swimming 20 lengths a week will also improve CV fitness and overall body strength.

Strength Work/General Circuit Training. For overall body strength, body weight exercises are recommended. The following programme details exercises, which should be conducted in numerical order for a period of 20 secs. Three circuits are to be conducted with a 2-min rest in between each complete circuit. This strengthening programme should be done on non-running days.









Pull ups to maximum x 2 (Reverse and forward grip)
Parallel dips to maximum x 2

Food and Fluids.

Always ensure that the body is kept well hydrated during any physical exercise, and that a balanced diet is maintained. During intense training period high levels of carbohydrate intake is required ie. pasta, rice, fruit and vegetables.


With the correct resting periods incorporated into the training programme, the body has time to rebuild and re-vitalise worked muscle groups and should therefore not be ignored.

It is imperative your training routine is spread over each week with consecutive training days that will help build stamina. After hard sessions allow rest days, these are important in allowing the body to re-adjust. Ideally your training must be conducted in a variety of weather conditions in order to build up your willpower and stamina. Variety is important so include swimming, gym work and possibly circuits to give variety in your training. Whatever training regime you decide to use look at what is required on PEDA and gear your training accordingly. Remember,

“by failing to prepare you are preparing to failâ€
Abraham Lincoln

If you have an Injury. If you have an injury or illness then attending PEDA will probably make it worse; and your chances of passing PEDA will be greatly reduced. So if you are injured then tell your AFCO, and your PEDA date can be re-scheduled. This is just common sense – it will not in any way reflect on how you are viewed.


You will be issued with a letter giving your dates and outlining the course; attached will be a kit list and travel instructions with a warrant for your travel. Check the train times prior to departure with the national rail phone number. If you would prefer to travel by car you may claim the mileage for one return journey at 25p per mile. Travel in smart civilian clothing (trousers and shirt) - there is no requirement for a jacket.

On arrival at Horsea Island, usually by 1700, you will be met and taken to the PEDA accommodation. You can settle in that evening while meeting all the other course members. These may be the people that you will eventually go through training with! You will also be fed, remember though - eat sensibly and drink lots of water. After a good night’s rest it is an early start.


There are four main physical assessments on the PEDA, spread throughout the day and conducted by Diving Staff and an RN PTI. These include:

1. The Royal Naval Fitness Test and Upper Body Assessment

2. Water jumps from a 3m and 6m board, which also encompass a swim and short run.

3. Organised aerobic workout (Approx 1 hour duration)

4. Lock Gate swim encompassing a 1k Squad run followed by a 1K swim in diving suit with fins.


During the day you will receive lectures on various aspects of the Royal Navy Diver and the equipment currently in service, as well as career opportunities and you will have the chance to talk candidly with some of the people currently undergoing training. Please ask as many questions as you like, it is important that you understand the commitment you will be taking on.


You will be briefed at the start of the day that you can withdraw yourself from the course at any time, and there will be times that you feel like quitting – don’t. Whatever activity you are doing will soon finish and you will recover and feel better for achieving success. It is only by continuing with the course for the full day that you can make an honest judgement if it is for you. Very few candidates actually fail the course, the majority withdraw saying they feel physically unprepared, so remember – train hard, race easy.

Candidates who ‘withdraw at own request’ before the course ends may be given the opportunity to return to PEDA for a second attempt, based on their performance up to the point of withdrawal. The team will advise you on how better to prepare yourself and give a set time before you can return for your next shot.

All candidates who remain at PEDA for the full course should remember that it does not necessarily matter how well you do, as long as it is your very best effort. You will then be given one of two possible results depending on PEDA grade:

Achieved a grade of SATISFACTORY or above – you have the potential to complete diving course and should contact your AFCO for a joining date.

Achieved a grade of JUST SATISFACTORY or BELOW SATISFACTORY. This means that it is judged that you are not yet ready to commence diving course and need to improve on your physical fitness in order to retake the PEDA to achieve a "SATISFACTORY" grade or above

Your Career Advisors will make all the necessary arrangements on your return home so please get in touch with them at the earliest opportunity.


The PEDA is a tough assessment, which you would expect before joining an elite Branch like the Royal Navy Diver. Thorough physical and mental preparation will give you the best chance of success. Your ability to pass or fail lies squarely with you; if you prepare sensibly and thoroughly and heed the advice given to you, there should be no reason why you should not be successful. The PEDA team is positive in outlook, will encourage you to perform to the best of your ability and they want you to pass. You simply need to do your very best and give 100% throughout your time at Horsea. If you’ve prepared properly then you should thoroughly enjoy the PEDA.

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