T Nation

Training for Lifeguards


Hey all, I wanted to get some input from the group on this since I am having a bit of trouble. I am an ocean lifeguard in souther California and wanted to design a program to help improve the qualities a lifeguard needs, which are:

-strength endurance
-pure strength
-the ability to look good naked

Pretty much what I am having trouble with is trying to find the right balance between the volume of the weight training compared with the volume of the swimming and running (both of which are vital to us). Should I be going for more intensity in the weight room sticking with 3-6 rep range and leave the volume to the "cardio" or try and mix and match? Looking forward to your thoughts guys (and whatever ladies are on this forum).

P.S. Don't suggest Crossfit. I don't really have anything against it, I would just rather have a set program so I can share it with my other co-workers.


get some red shorts and practice running on the beach in slow motion.

all you need to do as a lifeguard.


First and foremost, the ability to look good naked is your own personal pref., saying it is a needxed skill to be a lifeguard is fucking retarded.

Secondly, to Gregron, try swimming an open water five hundred in riptide heavy waters in under ten minutes. Hint, it would probably take you over twenty if you consider yourself a decent swimmer. The physical requirements to be an ocean lifeguard are pretty fucking stringent.

For the program, I would lift three days a week for no more than an hour, focus on shoulder stability and range of motion, anti rotation for the core and compound posterior chain movements like dl's. Keep benching to a min imum, but dont omit it completely, you dont want to create imbalances. I would start with three sets of 6-8 and see how yall respond. As you progress, the sets would grow and reps per set would decline. Superset to keep the pulse high and avoid unec. weight gain.


I've done over a hundred open ocean swims (the longest of which was 3 miles with no fins) so i know what ocean swimming, riptide heavy waters and surf passage are all about but thanks.