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  • Firefighter Fitness

    Hey everyone,

    So I just got my EMT and am looking to move forward to become a medic and try and join the fire dept. You have to take the fitness for firefighters classes, but I'm hoping to get in shape before starting the class. Any particular workouts I should try? I'm a rock climber and I also hike and lift a bit, but that's about it lately. If it matters, I'm female, about 5'7 and 130 pounds (not 100% sure, something like that). Thanks!
    "The mountains are calling and I must go."
    --John Muir


    "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
    --Tommy Caldwell


    ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
    --Hyperlithic

  • #2
    I suggest seeing if you can get ahold of the course synopsis or curriculum so you can see what their priorities are.

    Comment


    • #3
      All the fitness classes say are:

      FSC130: Fitness for Firefighters
      Skills and abilities required for entry level position in the fire service including physical ability and stamina. Opportunity to take the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) at the end of the course.

      and

      FSC134: Fitness and Conditioning for Firefighters

      Overview of all aspects of fitness for current and prospective firefighters. Includes physical and mental aspects of performance for optimal achievement on fire department agility tests and fire fighting tasks; individual conditioning strategies, nutritional guidelines, protective clothing concepts, and basic exercise principles. Pre-employment, evaluation, and lifelong fitness and conditioning.
      "The mountains are calling and I must go."
      --John Muir


      "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
      --Tommy Caldwell


      ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
      --Hyperlithic

      Comment


      • #4
        Was just hoping that maybe there were some firefighters on here who would have a primal view of how to go about it.
        "The mountains are calling and I must go."
        --John Muir


        "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
        --Tommy Caldwell


        ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
        --Hyperlithic

        Comment


        • #5
          I can almost guarantee you'll have to carry something heavy, drag something heavy, and run up stairs wearing something heavy.

          I would do a couple of days of powerlifting with heavy weights per week, at least a day of heavy sandbag training, and sprints. I'd also do a lot of low-level "cardio" like walking or some jogging.

          Sent via A-10 Warthog

          Comment


          • #6
            I asked my lil' bro about what he did at the Fire Academy (West Metro - Denver) and he said it was all bodyweight/calisthenics type of stuff. Yes, you have to carry hoses and people, eventually, but just to get in shape for what they will put you through you don't actually have to do those things (if you don't want).

            Fitness 666 has a good grasp on what to do and how to do it. Plus it's free. I would suggest looking at that and seeing what you think.
            People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

            Comment


            • #7
              Interesting, I wouldn't have expected as much bodyweight stuff. Another thread is talking about intense power yoga versus weightlifting, would that maybe be more beneficial then? I was just thinking of intense lifting workouts, didn't think of the bodyweight stuff so much.
              "The mountains are calling and I must go."
              --John Muir


              "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
              --Tommy Caldwell


              ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
              --Hyperlithic

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey Clymb, congrats on getting your EMT. I work in fire service (not as a firefighter, but in Admin), and my husband is an instructor at a fire academy. it seems where females have the hardest time is lifting ladders. Hose packs are no picnic either. Definitely get into the power lifting. Make yourself as strong as possible! Firefighting is extremely physical and competitive. As a female in a male oriented field, you'll have to prove yourself even more than the guys do. You sound like you're on the right track, just up your weight lifting. Also start wearing a heavy pack when you hike. Train HARD, you can do it, and you'll be in the best shape of your life

                Comment


                • #9
                  One more thing, my hubby told me that when they have to fail a female, its usually because she couldnt throw the ladder. They are super heavy. So keep that in mind, there is a lot more bodyweight stuff than you would think. Power yoga wouldnt hurt, but you need to build up your upper body. Your rock climbing is good for that too. This field is so competitive, you have to be the absolute best to get hired by an agency. you go girl, im rooting for ya!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks, Cave Bird! Good info to know
                    "The mountains are calling and I must go."
                    --John Muir


                    "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
                    --Tommy Caldwell


                    ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
                    --Hyperlithic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've been through those classes. The biggest problems that women face is strength. You definitely should get as strong as you can.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Can't vouch the the content, but a quick google search for "firefighter fitness":

                        http://www.firefighterfitnessonline.com/
                        http://community.firerescue1.com/forum/
                        http://tacfitfirefighter.com/

                        And from http://www.fireprep.com/firefighter_..._frequen.html#

                        CPAT

                        Here are some valuable tips for CPAT from Tom Dominguez and Reed Norwood:

                        The secret to passing the CPAT is to be in shape with a high cardiovascular fitness level and to know the techniques. The average time is between nine minutes and ten minutes, twenty seconds. Try to think of the CPAT (or any agility) as a marathon where you are trying to complete the event instead of going for the record time. You can burn out if you are going for time no matter how well in shape you are.

                        Most people who fail the CPAT fail the first event (Stair Climb/Stair Stepper), or run out of time during the last event (Ceiling Breach). People who run out of time at the breach and pull lost a few seconds at all the prior event stations because they PAUSED to THINK of how to do the event or PAUSED or SLOWED down to catch their breath.

                        #1 Stair Climb: No matter how hard you train for the stair stepper, your legs are going to be like rubber after you get off the machine and start pulling hose. The recovery time for rubber legs depends on your fitness. Even still, rubber legs or not, you have to get moving and keep moving, and stay moving! If you stop at anytime during the events, the clock is ticking and you are losing time.

                        The tendency is that as you start wearing down on the stair stepper machine, your pace and stride will change and that will affect your balance. As you lose your balance, you start to wobble and the momentum of the weight on your body increases the swaying. As the distance of the sway increases, you will make a natural grab for the handrails. Grab the rail (more than twice?) to many times and you are disqualified. Instead of "grabbing the rail", use the back of your hand and push your self back. Adjusting your stance and concentrating will help you avoid the "wobble". Just like wearing a SCBA, you also have to concentrate on your breathing.

                        #2 Hose Drag: As soon as you step off the stair machine, turn and face the line that takes you to the hose pull. As soon as the proctor takes the two sandbags off your shoulders, get moving! Pick up the nozzle and shoulder the hose and GO! This is not the time to worry about those rubber legs or try to catch your breath. MOVE! Go as fast as you can. Step into the box, turn around, get down on one knee (being careful not to come down too hard and injuring your knee) and PULL the hose, hand-over-hand as fast as you can. That drum will give you some resistance when you turn the corner but if you're going at a good clip it won't be too difficult. You can breathe while hand pulling the hose.

                        #3 Equipment Carry: When you get to the saw carry, just do it! Face the cabinet and remove each saw one at a time. Now, turn around and pick up both saws. This will ensure that you have both saws touching the ground before you begin moving down the line.

                        #4 Ladder Raise and Extension: When you arrive at the ladder raise, get down, grab the rung and raise the ladder. You have to push the ladder up, rung-by-rung as fast as you can. Move over to the fly extension and just do it.

                        #5 Forcible Entry: Breathe, as you follow the line and pick up the sledgehammer. Start swinging as soon as you can in short choppy strokes. Departments may set the forced entry device at a level that fits their needs. When the alarm sounds, let go of the sledgehammer and move to the tunnel crawl.

                        #6 Search: Get in and get out! You may not move like a greased pig at the fair but you do need to move. One candidate wrote: Here is where I lost about 15-20 seconds. The event itself is pretty fun if you are not claustrophobic. Be aware of the obstacles inside. I could not figure one out, and I got disoriented and lost precious time figuring it out. Crawl fast as there are no abrupt edges that you'll run into. All the walls are tapered so as long as you keep your head down you can fly through. Doing the practice "run-throughs" will take away all doubt of what and where the obstructions are in tunnel crawl. Always remember to stay right, and come back to your right after an obstacle. The event is shaped in a horseshoe, so there are two right turns. This can be a good time to catch your breath as well in preparation for the dummy drag.

                        #7 Rescue: At the dummy pull, size up where the handles are before you get there. Grab them and get going. You may feel the burn in your legs but don't stop. It saps your strength to have to get the dummy moving again each time you stop. When you reach the barrel, do not make the turn until the dummy's knees are even with farthest side of the barrel. If you try to pull the dummy around the barrel any sooner, it takes more energy and it will take more time. Get over the line and let go of the dummy and get to the ceiling Breach and Pull.

                        #8 Ceiling Breach and Pull: This is the event where folks run out of time and fail the CPAT. Grab the pike pole and step in. Start pushing and pulling with all you got! If there's a D-handle on the pike pole put a hand under it for increased leverage. Get a rhythm/fast pace going. An object at rest requires energy to get it moving. An object that is moving requires less energy to keep it moving. If those ceiling hatches are not making lots of loud noise, you are not working very hard. You can buy yourself some time here that you may need to finish the CPAT in time.

                        Follow the instructions of the proctor! The proctor will either tell you where the line is or point to the line you are to follow. People have been failed for not following the right line to the next event. If you were to pause five seconds at the start and stop of every event, or to stop and breathe or think about each event, you can lose about a minute and a half of precious time. Once this time is gone, you cannot get it back.

                        You can over train by carrying extra weight in your backpack while you train for the stair stepper. Seventy-five pounds on your back places a tremendous amount of stress on your ankles, knees, hips and back. Practice the event as you are actually going to do it. Work out at the same pace and distance as the actual stair event. The stair stepper event (as are most of the CPAT events) is based on cardiovascular fitness and endurance. It is expected that you will be anaerobic and that is what the CPAT is attempting to do. While strength is required, you don't need to be an Olympic weight lifter.

                        CPAT
                        Here are two link resources to gain information on the CPAT:
                        http://www.phoenix.gov/FIRE/recruit.html
                        http://firepat.mtsac.edu
                        If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                        Originally posted by tfarny
                        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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