Since ending his military career after serving in the U.S. Navy, Austen Alexander has continued to push the limits of his physical performance by taking on an array of fitness challenges inspired by the Coast Guard, the Air Force, and other branches of service. In a new video, he is joined by Coral, an ocean lifeguard from California with 15 years of training under her belt, who volunteers to go through the five-part physical screening test used by the Navy SEALs.
The first event in the test is a 10-lap swim using sidestroke, which Coral achieves in 9:23. “Sidestroke isn’t a stroke that I normally do,” she says. “I’m either doing freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke or sometimes butterfly. It’s a new challenge, definitely.”
For the second part of the test, Coral must perform as many pushups as possible in 2 minutes, with a minimum of 50 reps needed for a passing score. She only manages to complete 47 in the allotted time, failing this round, but she is still proud of her performance. “I’ve never done that many in one sitting, ever,” she says. However, when it comes to the situp event, she redeems herself, churning out 52 reps in 2 minutes.
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In the fourth event, Coral must complete 10 consecutive pullups, and she has unlimited time to do so, although she must not drop from the bar at any point. It is this round that makes her the most nervous. “I just generally don’t do pullups, ever,” she says, and is only able to perform three pullups before releasing the bar—her second failing score of the test.
The fifth and final event, and Coral’s opportunity to get 3 out of 5, is a 1.5-mile run, which she must finish in 10:30 or less. “This is a very fast run,” admits Alexander. “A mile and a half in 10 and a half minutes, that is less than a seven-minute mile pace.”
Coral completes the run in 11:33, unfortunately failing this round too. Luckily for her, as she points out, she already has a job.
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.