UKSF (R) Training Guide


I have heard there is an official UKSF(R) Training Guide but am not sure where to find it. Could anyone PM me the guide or the program contained within? I have contacted the unit directly but they couldn't give me any specific preparation information at this stage of the process.

I own Fighting Fit by Adrian Weale and am just looking for the offical guide.

Fighting fit seems perfectly sensible theres no magic involved SASr is a serious committment reading the quiet soldier will give you an idea of the pressure your going to put yourself under.
The Adrian Weale book should be sufficient
Drop in to your local SF Reserve unit if you have not already done so, they should be able to sort you out.
If you haven't been informed or don't know, then you really aren't far enough up the chain to have to worry about it TBH.
I'm sure he's found out about it in the last 5 years or so.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
If you haven't been informed or don't know, then you really aren't far enough up the chain to have to worry about it TBH.
Wow. Given that you yourself were asking similar questions not 3 months ago, that's the fastest progression I've ever seen! Fast-track you through Selection, did they? I mean, I've seen you on the telly, I could understand why.

@onepiece Information about any of the UK military swim programs is pretty hard to find online. Not sure why, probably because they are not required tests for most arms. Exact tests also seem to keep changing for some reason. The combat swim tests all come from the same pamphlet, however, whether it's Army, RM or SF.

I'd suggest you prepare for the following:
  • Jump off a 10m board, entry feet first
  • Tread water for 10 minutes
  • Swim 600m
  • Swim 15m underwater in one breath (don't push off the side)
Progression. First do it in normal swim gear; then do it with clothes (light trousers and light shirt); then do it with clothes + boots.

For all these tests, don't worry about speed, just do each one as efficiently as you can (which will make you faster). Make sure you get over any instinct to refuse (e.g. jumping off boards, going underwater), which will be more likely to fail you than swimming slowly. If you do have an instinct to refuse - most of us do - practice starting every water entry or test on a mental command of "3, 2, 1, GO", and make sure you react immediately. Look up parachute jump training for the general idea, it's the same.

Never touch the side in any of these tests (except getting out). That's generally a straight fail.

Kit swim. Most of the advanced swim tests also require you to swim 20-30m with kit as well, but you'll need to get permission of any swimming pool to do this. To simulate swimming with kit, since you don't have any:
  • Wear clothes and boots as above
  • Carry a non-waterproofed daysack weighing about 8kg, containing no floatation devices (e.g. water bottles, empty bottles, foam)
  • Jump into the water feet first from the side of a pool
  • Swim the length of the pool (30m max), keeping the daysack out of the water
  • At the end, tread water and lift the daysack above your head twice (simulates handing kit out to partner)
For that test, you'll want to go hard and fast, because eventually your arms tire and you go under. Swim without hands by kicking your feet breaststroke style. Obviously, if you properly go under...drop the bag. This is only training. Don't get keen and try to get a rifle and webbing, it's unnecessary. I've done lots of this stuff in the wild (see canyoning etc below), carrying a medium weight daysack has exactly the same effect, and is arguably harder (because if it gets wet it gets heavier - good motivation to do it right!).

Other exercises of the swim training that are meant to build up to this: these aren't tests but are meant to build proficiency.
  • Tread water holding rifle (weight) fully out of the water. Start at 30s, max 3 minutes. Use a 5kg weight.
  • Up'n'outs. Deep end, in water, at side of pool, hands on pool ledge. In one motion, lift yourself all the way out, flip your grip so your palms are flat on the side, do a vertical "press up" on the side (e.g. think a CrossFit kipping pullup), drop back into the water. Repeat for a set of 10.
  • Dive for a brick. In the deep end. Retrive and hand up to the ledge of pool. This is pretty self explanatory.
  • Remove clothes and kit in water. Jump in deep end with clothes, boots and daysack. Remove all kit, put clothes and boots in daysack. Swim to the other end and hand daysack out of water.
  • Versions of the previous using clothes and daysack as flotation aid (e.g. trapping air in them). It's kind of bollocks and doesn't really work.
If you've ever done any serious canyoning or mid-level diving qualifications (where you have to do rescue stuff), you'll find it all pretty easy. 90% of it is understanding how to breathe, float and swim efficiently in water while weighed down with baggy clothing or kit, which is largely practice. That said, I've seen lots of fit guys struggle with military swimming, so you're doing the right thing by preparing in advance.

Toppers Tip: Wear a decent belt. For anything where you wear boots, a shirt and trousers, wear a tightish belt and tuck everything in, it will create air bubbles that last for a few minutes and help you float.

Even Topper Tip: If you get to the point where you are doing the actual SF swim test for real, try to have an unworn, unwashed set of combats (you'll probably have one as your spare set anyway). The combat clothing straight out of the package has a water-repellant coating that wears off quickly, but if it's the first time you've worn them, will get soaked less quickly, and be much better for retaining air bubbles as per above.
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No I wasn't? I asked how the pulhheems system worked in regards to the eyesight test on selection medical, as in the pulhheems guide their wasn't any guide as to what those standards were. I know exactly what I asked, and it wasn't similar. And what I said is true, I wasn't being dick. The swimming test is after quite a long process of other obstacles with the reserves and if he had passed those obstacles he would be completely clued on what the swim test involved. I was simply stating there's more immediate stuff he'll probably have to overcome and maybe he should focus on the obstacles as and when they arise.

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