So you want to join the Navy?

Hi folks, first of all - to all the brave souls who have joined and want to join the Navy I must thank you for your service.

My name is Elliott and I am a strength and conditioning coach based in south Essex, I've been working with a young man named Michael who will be setting out tomorrow for his 4 day training course - all things going to plan he will be deploying in May.

Michael came to me initially as he wanted to learn how to olympic lift, a noble endeavour. However, after a few discussions it became clear that his real priorities were making sure he was Navy fit.

Let me clarify that last statement, being Navy fit is a whole different ball game to being gym fit. It goes above and beyond being able to bench press your body weight and looking 'shredded'. Being able to move, run, jump, duck etc at pace - holding a 14lb rifle or a piece of ship/submarine is its own type of 'fit'.

So after some discussion I asked Michael if I should share some of the things we have done to prepare him and he said it would be a good idea. So here goes!

My top 3 tips for being Navy Fit:

1. Specificity

When we looked at the 4 day course he was attending there was a big emphasis on the 2.4km run and the push up/sit up test. However, during the last 6 weeks Michael has only run once a week and completed press ups twice a week. His workouts, however are not body building or 1 rep maxing as again this is completely non-specific.

Try to get 3 sessions in during the week that are specific enough that you can do what you need to do but also go beyond what is required of you on the day and make you stronger, faster and have increased work rate.

2. Nutrition

Obviously on the course and in the Navy you are encouraged to stay under 100kg (under 102kg on the course?) and this is for various reasons. However, what you eat during your training for joining the Navy should be foods that FUEL you for your sessions. Remember you aren't going to the gym to hit up 3x12 on the bench. You're going in, going hard, using lots of energy and then recovering. This requires quality fuel sources.

Plan your meals, ensure they are high in protein, have a good variety of carbs and fats as well as lots of nutrient dense food.

3. Strength

Being able to run 2.4km and do lots of push ups is essential in the Navy, that is for sure. However, developing functional strength I feel is key to being successful in the services. Being able to move heavy weights across multiple planes (different directions) with precision and speed could be the difference between living and dying out in a war zone.

Try to complete strength circuits once a week!

So what does our training look like? Micheal has been working under me using the 4C40 program.

- Complex
- Core
- Calisthenics
- Cardio

Each session we attack the above 4 elements to make sure he has functional strength, a solid foundation, is able to control his own body weight and run like the clappers.

The results?

Michael has shaved an entire minute off of his mile time. He is able to move and run with 75kg in his hands and can complete 30 strict press ups.

here are some links to some instagram videos:


Any questions are warmly welcomed!