There is a high demand of fitness in all branches of the military service in the UK. This article looks at Royal Navy Fitness Training and sports that you can enjoy in the Royal Navy.

Pre-Joining Fitness Test

The Navy has designed fitness programmes for people of all abilities on how to meet the required standard.

Before beginning their basic training, new recruits must prove they are capable swimmers and pass a 2.4km running test.

Getting fit for the Royal Navy is all about cardiovascular fitness rather than super strength, so potential recruits are advised to work on muscular strength through exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, and burpees. Getting fit should also include circuit training so that the heart and lungs are put under stress as well as the muscle groups.

However, road running will make up the biggest portion of the fitness programme prior to joining the navy. You should be able to run for 35 minutes at a steady state at about 70 per cent heart rate (conversational pace). The run should include Intervals at a slightly faster speed on flat ground – around 80 per cent of max heart rate – and running hills up to build cardiovascular fitness.

Royal Navy Fitness Training in Initial Naval Training (INT)

Ranging from 16- year-olds to 37-year-olds, Royal Navy recruits come from all over the UK and overseas.

Royal Navy Fitness Training in INT is physically and mentally challenging with a focus on teamwork and individual development.

The Royal Navy Initial training takes place at HMS Raleigh over a 10-week period in classes of about 30 (in normal times). The training is challenging and aimed at teaching the Royal Navy’s core values of Commitment, Courage, Discipline, Respect, Integrity and Loyalty.

Included in the training there will be basic skills such as self-discipline, teamwork and overcoming problems. As well as general skills, the new recruits will be taught how to

  • Fire a SA80 assault rifle
  • Tackle floods and fires at sea
  • First aid course
  • Climb High Ropes
  • Complete the assault and obstacle courses

The training is as practical and active as possible, and uses simulators and a decommissioned warship to give recruits a taste of their future careers and the environments in which they will work and fight. 

The latest technology is used to make classroom learning interesting and interactive.

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Physical Education in Basic Training

Royal Navy Fitness Training in basic training plays a vital role in developing fitness which is then enhanced through operational experience and a programme of sport and adventure.

Staying fit and playing sport are essential to a successful future in the Royal Navy and if you are on shore or at sea, on deployment or on leave, you will always have access to a free gym and sports facilities.

Navy sports teams include:

Archery, basketball, boxing, cycling, fencing, gliding, golf, judo, kayaking, lacrosse, martial arts, mountaineering, parachuting, surfing, triathlon, volleyball, windsurfing, winter sports (from bobsleigh to telemark).

HMS Temeraire

The current HMS Temeraire is located on Burnaby Road in Portsmouth. The establishment is home to the Director of Naval Physical Development (DNPD), and is the institution for Royal Navy Sport, Adventure and Physical Education

HMS Temeraire has first-rate fitness facilities allow Service and permitted civilian personnel to train towards fulfilling their goals.

HMS Temeraire facilities include:

  • Competition grade squash courts
  • A 33-metre swimming pool
  • A cardiovascular suite
  • 2 gymnasiums, (marked for Netball, Basketball, volleyball and badminton)
  • Outdoor tennis court

Free access is available to all Service personnel and their dependants. User passes are available to Ministry of Defence staff and pensionable ex service personnel at a nominal cost.

Physical Training Instructors

Co-located at HMS Temeraire is Royal Navy School of Physical Training, a satellite of the Martime Warfare school, which is responsible for training members of the Royal Navy to become Physical Training Instructors.

Physical Trainers can be employed at Naval Bases, training establishments, Naval Air Stations and onboard Ships. Activities range from delivering a Royal Navy Fitness Test to organising a sporting event in an overseas national stadium.

Physical Trainers will:

  • Promote and deliver fitness, health, and wellbeing
  • Lead and manage sport and sports teams
  • Lead and manage Adventurous Training

To improve the health and wellbeing of Royal Navy personnel.

The 26-week Leading Physical Trainers Qualifying Course covers a wide variety of both academic and practical subjects. Students will learn instructional techniques and the practical aspects of taking PT classes, plus fitness principles, diet and nutrition, circuit and weight training theory, anatomy and physiology, fitness testing and sports administration.

The course also covers basic coaching and officiating across a range of sports, plus experience of adventurous training and challenging activities.