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Lifeguard Training-Swimmers and Runners Help


I am currently training to take the Lifeguard Ocean test on Long Island early next year. I was hoping that I could get some information from fellow lifeguards or really anybody that has experience with overall conditioning. Right now my conditioning levels are pretty poor and this past week ran 1.5 miles/day in about 12 minutes which left me pretty gassed. I don't really have any specific plan right now but was hoping to get any advice anybody has.

This is the test that I have to pass:

Four Lap Swim (Timed) 100 Yards at Nassau Community College
Applicant must finish swim in 75 seconds or less to continue.
Cross-Chest Carry (Timed) 50 Yards (25 Yard Swim; 25 Yard Cross-Chest Carry) at NCC
Applicant carries manikin in cross-chest position. Must complete the event in 70 seconds or less.
Ocean Swim (Timed) Approximately 350 to 400 Yards at JB West Bathhouse Oceanfront
Applicant must complete the swim on prescribed open water, run-swim-run course to continue. Stopping will result in being disqualified.
Beach Run - (Timed) 1200 Yards at JB West Bathhouse Oceanfront
Applicant must complete the run in six minutes or less to continue. Time may be adjusted to account for unusual tidal or surface conditions.

If anybody has any advice for me it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Ok, I'm not a lifeguard, or training to be one, but I am training for the Army, and I've looked at a lot of different things to get prepared, so I might be able to help. Stew Smith has a lot of stuff on Military.com, and this sounds like what you might want to look at.

To move through water, you have to pull water back with your arms, and have strong legs to propel yourself. Work on a rowing exercise, preferably Pull-Ups because you're moving your bodyweight, and do a lot of Flutterkicks. However, since you are not just moving yourself, you will potentially have to move an injured person, I would invest in some sort of ankle weight. Or use a small cinderblock on each leg, with the front of your foot in one of the holes, and the rest of the block supported by your shin, and do Flutterkicks that way.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR-ixFcc8Rw&feature=related (Try to have a good range of motion, and keep both of your feet off the ground about 6 inches when you're doing this.)

You should focus on Conditioning also, mostly because you will have to spring into action at a moment's notice. Try Interval Trainng, and do a few sets of Burpees on your workout days. For Interval Training, do a Run/Walk/Run thing, and cover some ground with your run. Do Sprints a few times a week.

Good Luck


Where do you want to work? I am from LI and was an ocean guard


looks good ArmyMBM, im going to look more into this


I would love to work at Cupsouge and Smiths point b/c they're closer to me but couldn't really find any information on testing dates for them. Where exactly do you work and did you do anything in particular to help you train for the test?


I didnt take the test. I went through the rookie training program for the town, which covers way more then the test. Just took the basic cert and swim your times. I was a 3 sport athlete in H.S. one of which was the swim team. didnt have to do any extra training. used to run two miles in 12 minutes.

What i recoment you do is run and swim a lot. if your not a very strong swimmer do not even bother trying to be an ocean g


Agree with bwbski, if your swimming isn't up to par I wouldn't try to be an ocean guard. Your run times aren't great (you're at the failure pace right now), and I doubt you're swimming before them or doing them on sand. What would concern me most would be the cross-chest for time. I used to teach lifeguards, and very few of my first-time students could make good time while carrying someone.

If something like that rookie program is near you, I highly recommend it. If not you may want to start at a pool and get the basic skills under you, swim for a masters team this year, and come back next year for the ocean test.


I've worked as a beach lifeguard in here in Ireland for two summers and I'm a lifelong swimmer. The beach qualification exam is almost exactly the same over here. What I would recommend is to focus almost entirely on your swimming until much closer the test date as fitness for running is probably a subset of aquatic fitness.

Try and get two sessions in the pool every week. In the first focus on technique both of your stroke and of your carry and get a decent bit of distance done. If you can get an experienced coach to correct you all the better, this made all the difference to me. In the second session focus on pace and power, do 5x50s and 5x100s at absolute flat out pace. You should breathe as infrequently as is safe for you and take a generous set rest between these sprints say a minute for the 50s and minute ana half for the 100s.

Lastly I would say I haven't ever found out of water exercises to be of any significant benefit to performance in water activities. Swim to get better at swimming and carry to get better at carrying and the run will look after itself. Best of luck.


for swimming an easy workout to get up your 100 time would be

500 easy
10x 50 (2 laps)
10x 100 (4 laps)
10x 200 (8 laps)

5x50 sprints
500 easy cooldown

shoot for intrevals
be honest with yourself, you should only have around 5-10 seconds of time on the wall before you go again. between the sets.
Increase the yardage once a week focusing on pacing yourself and going long distance and half it once as well working on sprints all out.

you should be easily going sub 1:10's or even sub minute (get a swimmer to help with your technic, its about swimming efficiently) like someone said earlier, you'd gain alot more by joining a masters team.