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Notes from Naval Special Warfare Physical Therapist Lecture

*Asked him about trends in "who survives BUD/S?"  West coast and east coast were by far the highest. South and midwest did worst.  Swimming, water polo. and wrestling had the highest success.  This is consistent with the recruiting messages.

*Also talked about how they literally could not fill spots there for a while.  BUD/S can handle classes up to 200 but they had years where they had only 60 per class.  But once they got a pipeline of better athletes, they still had problems breaking people.

*The infamous "6 miles a day of running for chow" ...He used to get asked by command "how can we cut down on stress fractures" and he always said "build a new chow hall."   He got some serious push back from above for that, but it finally came through.  Said the chow hall runs served no physical training purpose; just one of those tradition things.  Every event is supposed to have a point there, but the chow hall runs did not.    

*Some of these legendary run mileage numbers (former candidates making claims of running 100+ miles per week....)?  The official mileage for a week tops at 54. Obviously some discretion by staff to raise and lower that, but triple digit weeks are a bit far fetched...

*When they brought psychologist on board, they could predict with 90 accuracy who would get through Hell Week based on psych and fitness scores.

*Stress fractures biggest problem in BUD/S; shoulders worst problem in Teams.

*Biggest force multiplier in NSW Human Performance Optimization?  Dieticians in his opinion.  Left to their own choice, dietary habits are typically awful (energy drinks, gas station food).  Recalls being on training missions in Mississippi and Louisiana and he'd be on the only one on the boat who would pee because they didn't know how to hydrate and they were all pumped full of dehydrating supplements

*His Group actually had a weight issue...Optimal BF was found to be around 11-15pct but they were in the 15-19 range on average due to how they ate in the Bayou

*Common theme of many things?  These guys are mostly in their early/mid 20s and are invincible.

*Guys are typically obsessed with getting huge.  Noted more bodybuilding influence than crossfit though CF is big too.  Related many of injuries to heavy load of benching + swimming.  

*Impetus for greater investment into performance optimization infrastructure (more PTs, strength coaches, psych, dieticians, etc) came from O5/6 level, E8/9 level who didn't want the next generation of operators to be crippled like they are.    

*NSW support jobs are the best jobs in the Navy but horrible for promotion. Do your 18-24 months and move on to a ship command if you want to be competitive (at least for officers).  Says he got lucky to make O5 despite spending much of his career as a medical provider in NSW.  Midway through his time, he ended up as a Group medical director because the Group MD (MDs often get billeted for that slot ) was right out of school and they didn't want a newbie in that job.  So he was able to stay in the community and "check the command box" for his career progression