In the latest video on his YouTube channel, bodybuilder and former Navy sailor Austen Alexander takes on an especially grueling fitness test. Having failed his last couple of challenges, the pressure is on to redeem himself, and so he attempts the SWAT physical fitness qualifier (PFQ), which is used to screen potential SWAT candidates, and is also carried out biannually to ensure that team members stay in peak shape.
Phase 1 of the test consists of bodyweight exercises. Alexander has to complete 40 pushups, 15 dead hang pullups, 20 burpees, and 40 air squats, each with a time limit of 1:30. He easily churns out the required number of reps well under time, although he admits he starts to feel some cumulative fatigue. “I know what y’all guys go through at the Battle Bunker now,” he says. “20 burpees, not easy!”
Phase 2 is cardio, comprising an 800 meter run and a 400 meter run wearing a weighted vest and gas mask, both of which have to be done in 9:15 or under. Alexander completes the first run in 3:01, then immediately dons the vest and mask, finishing the entire segment with a time of 6:41. “The run is not fun after those squats and burpees,” he says.
Phase 3 includes a 225-pound sled push and pull, 25 air squats, 25 pushups, and 25 jumping jacks, with a time limit of 3:45. “My legs were roasted, after I got done with that weighted sprint especially, my quads were burning,” he says. “The sled pull destroyed my quads. It didn’t slow me down, it’s just one of those aspects of the pain you have to get over.”
The fourth and final phase of the qualifier is a swimming test. Alexander has to tread water for 10 minutes, then immediately swim 50 meters. Alexander passes the pool event easily, as he’s been doing a lot of swimming training prior to this video for other challenges. This means that he ends the day as an “honorary passee” of the SWAT PFQ.
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