Navy Seal PST

My goal is to pass the navy seal PST (Physical Screening Test) as a middle aged man.

For the young, athletic guys here, this should be easy, but for guys in there late 40s, 50s, I think this is a good indicator of fitness.

Navy Seal PST - minimal standards

Push-ups 50 in 2 minutes
Pull-ups 10 in 2 minutes
1.5 mile run. 10:30
500 yard swim 12:30

I am almost 3 months into my training.

Current stats

Push-ups. 30 without resting with my knees on the ground. 36 with rest.
Pull-ups 5. With rest I can do 2 at a time, and 10 in 2 minutes, but I don't think that's what they want.
1.5 mile run. 17:42. I know, I know. Super slow, but I literally ran 3 times in 2 months. I have pain in both knees, so I am taking my time.
Swim. 12:52. I cannot do the combat side stroke well.

My plans is to achieve this in 5 years. You may ask why so long? Actually the longer it takes, the harder it is. Imagine passing the Navy Seal PST in 50 years like as an 90-100 year old man. Total exaggeration, but you get the point. The point is life long fitness, not to achieve some quick goal and brag to strangers on the internet. Also I am sick of these Youtube video with 30 days to 6 packs, 90 days to become an MMA fighter. Screw those quick fixes. All I want is to stay physically and mentally strong and healthy. All joking aside, I like to be able to do 40 push-ups in a row, 8 pull-ups, maybe under 14 minutes run within 1 years. Let's just say under 15 minutes for 1.5 miles. I don't want to push too hard.

Maybe I'll inspire other older guys to try this. I really think it is a good gauge of fitness.


Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you're selling yourself short. Getting to 50 pushups from 30 pushups shouldn't take more than like a month, if you're actually doing them regularly. Even if you only did one extra pushup per month, you'd get there in less than 5 months.

If you're actually doing pushups/pullups at least a few times a week, those numbers aren't hard to hit.

The running could be a little tougher, depending on your health and running experience. A 7:30 mile isn't that fast, but it's a pretty decent pace for most people.

Personally, I like using the Army Ranger test as a rough gauge, which swaps the long swim for a longer run (5 miles in 40 minutes) and a shorter swim (15 meters in gear). It takes a lot more of a commitment to get that run down.
I am trying to convey a bit of a paradox, but also reality.

The goal is not the goal. The goal is the journey. The longer I take to get to the goal means that I am living a longer healthy life.

I am deliberately doing things slow to go against the modern culture of get fit, get rich quick. More of your joy in life come from improving and getting closer, and closer to your goal, rather than achieving it. Recently Michael Phelps had a documentary talking about how many Olympians went into major depression after winning the gold medal.

For me, what would make me feel mentally and physically the best is -

1 - no injuries
2 - being able to exercise everyday
3 - the idea that I am constantly improving (as a middle aged man, everyday you are dealing with the idea your life/health has peaked and is going down hill.

What's the point of getting to 50 push-ups in one month, hit a plateau, maybe hurt my shoulder in the process, not able to exercise further, and feel depressed. And that is also the reality. At my age, it is very easy to get injured from exercise.

I do push ups about 6 days a month. Pull-ups 6 days a month. Light squats and dead lifts. Swimming for fun. Occasional running, paddle boarding, hiking. When the lockdown is over I'll go back to Karate. I might try ocean swimming, mini triathlon I like to keep this up for the rest of my life.


This is a great fitness goal at any age. For those saying that the numbers are too low, they are low if you isolate them from the other events. What makes this test difficult is it is administered consecutively with 2-10 minute intervals between the events. While running 1.5 miles in under 10:30 is feasible, it hits a lot harder after you just did the swim, sit-ups, pushups, and pull ups less than 30 minutes ago. Strive to accomplish all these events in under an hour as part of your goal. 10 minute break after the swim, 2 minutes breaks between the pushup/situps/pullups, followed by another 10 minute break before the run. Good luck and greater effort.
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ed pluribus unum

Those minimum standards are incredibly weak for Navy Seals. I could do way more than that when I was 14 years old.
I can't believe this is actually the standard, is that just the minimum to get accepted?

Regardless, good for you OP to have a goal that you are working towards. However I am sure you could surpass this relatively soon, in which case keep setting incrementally higher goals. Good luck.

Dr Mantis Toboggan

Gold Member
I can't believe this is actually the standard, is that just the minimum to get accepted?

Regardless, good for you OP to have a goal that you are working towards. However I am sure you could surpass this relatively soon, in which case keep setting incrementally higher goals. Good luck.

It's the minimum to enter SEAL training. I believe the run has to be done in pants and boots too but could be wrong on that.

Dr Mantis Toboggan

Gold Member
No, but they get into BUDS with the minimum.

Yep. Anyone who can pass this test and who meets the other qualifications can get a class seat at BUD/S (on the enlisted side, officer is a lot more competitive). You won't get far at BUD/S if you can only meet the minimum but I believe they have to pass this test in order to even sign an enlistment contract with BUD/S option which could easily be 6 months or a year out from actually starting the school, so someone could conceivably meet the bare minimums and then have several more months to work and prepare themselves to actually complete the course.
Those minimum standards are incredibly weak for Navy Seals. I could do way more than that when I was 14 years old.

It's astonishing the amount of training a Seal goes through, even after they graduate from BUD/S.

I have a female friend who spent her career as an army nurse. And she says that she always preferred to date men in the special forces, because they had the combination of physical power and intelligence, that she found highly attractive.

I remember how years ago, there seemed to be popular exercise how-to books that expounded on the work-out routines of the Royal Canadian Air Force. I'm not sure why, considering the size and scope of the U.S. military.
For those who think the standards are too low, again it is minimal standards for BUD. I am sure through experience they figured out with this criteria they cast a wide enough net for recruits, but not so wide that any random guy can walk into the bootcamp.

For example a dedicated 22 year old going to school full time and doing 20 hour/week part time job probably won't have the time to excel in the PST, but as long as he pass the minimum, once he gets into BUD he will excel.

Also Navy Seal is not just about push-ups, pull-ups, and endurance. Someone might not be physically superior but in BUDs they will out shine others in mental toughness, communication skills, leadership skills.

Anyhow, for me it's just a good barometer for fitness.

Did 30 pull-ups/chin-ups on 2 separate days this week. My whole back was so sore after Monday's work out. I need to be careful. My left elbow is starting to hurt.


Other Christian
Gold Member
I had a similar idea for this past year.

I can do a "half-Murph" in 45mins as someone north of 40.
The intent was to do a full "Murph" during the year at some point.

Then the Plandemic threw a wrench into matters...

Oh well. A goal to implement for next year.

Murph :
  • For Time
  • 1 mile Run
  • 100 Pull-Ups
  • 200 Push-Ups
  • 300 Air Squats
  • 1 mile Run
  • All with a Weight Vest (20/14 lb)
“Half Murph”
1 mile Run
50 Pull-Ups
100 Push-Ups
200 Air Squats
1 mile Run
No weight vest.
I do about a quarter of a Murph in a week.

I run 1.5 miles, do a total of 80 push-ups or 160 if I do 2 chest days.
30-60 pull-ups.

Right now I only do 50 squats. Some air squats, some with a small weight.

Good enough for now.

But how does the pandemic throw a wrench into the matter. You can still do push-ups, air-squats, and run.

I use this site to find parks with pull-up bars. Sometimes I stop by the park after work and in 20-25 minutes I would do 30 pull-ups/chin-ups.

This is a good time to get in shape since there's nothing else fun to do.
Current Stats:

Push-up - 32 non-stop. Improved from 30.
Pull-up - Still at 5
1.5 mile run - 17:28. Improved from 17:42
Swimming - have not tested. Been swimming just for fun.
Sit-up - Not interested right now. Not sure how healthy it is for your spine.

At little bit about myself

I've had chronic back pain for years. The last 12 years it had been consistent. I then developed all sorts of joint pain - rotator cuff impingement, frozen shoulder, neck/cervical radicular pain to the point my arm went weak a few times, meniscus tear of the knee, femoral acetabular impingement of both hips.

Every time I go for a light jog, do some bench press my back would flare up. One time my back locked up for 2 weeks. For the past 8-10 years I barely worked out. At the most I do curls with 15-20 lb dumb-bells and walk on the treadmill. I would swim a little but nothing that can improve my fitness.

Last year after a very difficult personal event, I had sometime to reflect on things. I finally read through the book Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno. He explained that most of chronic pain, especially back pain is emotionally rooted, not a mechanical or anatomical problem. It took me a long time to accept that, and started pushing myself ever so slightly with exercise. The pain in different joints definitely did comeback, but I kept pushing just slightly. Slowly I began to convince myself that the pain and the exercise are not correlated.

It wasn't until 3 months ago that I started pushing harder with this Navy Seal PST. Right now I am just very happy to be able to run, do pull-ups, push-up. I haven't done these in years.

For some people, years of stress, set-backs can manifest as pain issues. Opioid addiction among middle aged man is the biggest healthcare crisis in America. You get back pain, you don't exercise, you feel worse. You take narcotics for pain, it makes you feel better. Soon your narcotic requirement goes up while you body and mind continue to deteriorate. The consequence is substance abuse/suicide/job loss. You think I am being dramatic. Often this is how it all started, a little back pain.