Get Navy-strong this season.

I work on the Naval Academy, so I see them out there every day -- the men and women plugging away at push-ups, rope-climbing, and running in their Navy athletic gear. You see them in their uniforms at the mall, fit and strapping. The Midshipmen are in the best shape of their life. Here's some insider information on how they do it:


Seriously, take a look at this regimen. I mean, "active rest"? What even is active rest? (Don't worry, I'll tell you.) If even skimming this workout plan makes you feel dizzy, actively take a break from reading it and I'll break it down for you.

Here's just a taste:

Kick your week off with a tough start by running a timed mile. Does that necessarily mean you have to run it as hard as you possibly can? Not explicitly, but whenever you run anything with a stopwatch going, isn't that implied? After a running a mile at full speed, you're ready to curl up into a ball and take a nap. But these guys then do 10 superman exercises for five seconds each.

What's a superman? You lie on your stomach, then lift your head, arms, and legs as high as you can and hold it. This works your abs, your back, your hamstrings, glutes, triceps, you name it. Five seconds doesn't sound like very long, but with 10 repeats and after you've pounded out a mile, your legs are starting to feel like lead. 

But that's not all. Next, you do some toe raises! Three of 'em for 10 seconds each. Lean against a wall with feet planted about 18 inches in front of you, lift your toes until you're balancing on your heels, and then hold. Your quads will feel that one.

That's the end of day one. In reality, this probably takes no longer than 20 minutes, which isn't really that bad, but this is only day one, and there's no telling what kind of shape you're currently in. By Friday, the schedule has you running a mile and a half, followed up by some sprints -- some of which are run backwards. I repeat, BACKWARDS. And some more supermans.

Saturday and Sunday taper off a little in difficulty. Saturday focuses on sit-ups and push-ups, and Sunday is where we introduce "active rest." So how can you rest and be active? Basically, you do some kind of physical activity you find fun. Going for a hike with your friends is active rest, doing some slow laps at the pool, hopping on a bicycle. When I was in college, active rest typically meant going for a slow 40-minute jog. After a while, your body gets used to all the activity, and running slowly for nearly an hour can feel restful. Those were the days ...

By the end of eight weeks, the regiment has the Mids running four miles and pounding out over 100 push-ups, all with the goal of passing the Physical Readiness Test. In order to pass, a participant has to be able to run 1.5 miles in at least 12:40 for a woman and 10:30 for a man, churn out at least 20 push-ups for a woman and 45 for a man, and both have to be able to do 65 chin-ups. I'm tired just thinking about it. For me personally, I could make the 1.5-mile cut-off. Not so sure about those push-ups though. And for that, my hat's off to the Midshipmen of our country!

What do you think of this regimen? Sound doable? Let us know in the comments!

The Run-Around is a weekly feature, focusing on fitness in and around Annapolis, MD.