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Thread: Firefighter Training - advice page

  1. #1
    neidermeyer's Avatar
    neidermeyer Guest

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    Primal Fuel


    Hi Guys,


    I'm 34 yrs old, been mostly primal(holidays were killer) for about 6 months now since getting laid off from the IT world. I lost about 25lbs and am much stronger and more fit than I've been in a long time. After being unemployed and primal for a few months I decided I needed a change. The idea of sitting in a cubicle for the rest of my life made me sick so I decided to register for the Fire Academy classes and pursue a job as a firefighter.

    As you may guess, I'm a bit older and still not in as good of shape as many of the other students but that has only fueled my determination. I'm trying to find a good workout that will help me in the academy and my career. I live in Colorado and right now the weather is very up and down. I will run to the gym and back if the weather is over 40 and the sun is out but when I have to drive to the gym, i dread the treadmill. I can stomach the 10 minute warmup on the stairmaster but would much rather run stairs outside. I have a stationary bike at home which I use for my low and slow type workouts since I can read or watch a video on it. I typically do one day a week at the actual gym doing a BBS Big 5 workout which I love and have been increasing my weights each week. It also leaves the rest of the week to do job specific exercises and work on my areas of weakness. I use P90X videos for the core synergistics, yoga, stretching and abs and also have been on the hundredpushups.com workout (I can do about 60 now). The things I think I need to work on the most are my grip/forearm strength, sprinting (suicide sprints during training are killing me) and core strength. I would like to be able to condense my workouts as much as possible as my schedule can vary from week to week depending on how much side work I'm able to pull in, my parental responsibilities, and of course attending 17 hrs of classes + studying each week.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I really need to find a good solid workout thats going to maximize my overall strength and help me to better compete with the youts. Thanks in advance!


    -Jack


  2. #2
    Timothy's Avatar
    Timothy is offline Senior Member
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    Jack, I feel the same. I'm near your age (33) and also in IT, but wondering what life would be like in emergency services now that I'm much more fit.


    I have one training recommendation: buy a sledgehammer and start swinging it every way you can imagine. This was the single best thing that ever happened to my upper body strength. It tones all sorts of muscles that you may never have toned before.


    Smashing a door with a hammer is actually part of the firefighter test. And most importantly, it's extremely fun!


  3. #3
    mrd232's Avatar
    mrd232 is offline Junior Member
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    Find a length of 5" hose, pull around, roll up, carry around


    Outdoor sprints (to increase aerobic capacity), Heavy rope workouts, sledgehammers, stair-climbing, box jumps, and push-ups/pull-ups/burpees are all very effective. Possibly try to add a weighted vest or pack to simulate SCBA weight.


    I'm a volly, but we get the occasional workout at drill doing obstacle courses at the training building.


  4. #4
    AlanBradin's Avatar
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    Grip/forearm strength: I remember when I was a kid, people always commented on my Popeye looking forearms. I never did anything specific in the gym, but the only thing I could think of that would really wear out my hands and forearms was rope climbing. I went to a summer camp that had a huge rope lashed up in a tree for a tire swing, but I used to climb up and down it for half an hour every day. Maybe give that a shot?


  5. #5
    bma1208's Avatar
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    Jack, I am a firefighter in the UK and also a fire service fitness instructor. My recomendation would be to have a look at rosstraining.com and purchase Infinate Intensity. Read the book cover to cover and do the 50 day sample program. Following the 50 day program you should be able to create your own program based on your goals and exercises that you enjoy.


    The 50 day program is a perfect starting point for the kind of fitness needed for a firefighter and the 4 days on 1 off training plan is a great template. You can then use the programming methods explained in the book to create your own plan.


    Ross is very genuine and his knowledge of fitness and programing second to none. I have all of his books and his DVD and would recommend them all.


  6. #6
    Roland's Avatar
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    I second the Ross Enamait and Infinite Intensity book. Ross has great stuff in there.


    One thing I learned from Ross, which seems like common sense now -- Keep your training as close to what you do in competition (or firefighting) as possible. After a basic fitness level has been established, there's no need to keep running and jogging so much.


    Get stronger, overall, but focus on the aspects that will actually help, like dragging heavy weights, the sledgehammer, climbing stairs, hills, etc. with extra weight. Farmers walks and carries, sandbag work, etc. will go farther to getting you to your fitness goals than spending so much time on the cardio portion of your workouts. IMO.


  7. #7
    Underwaterer's Avatar
    Underwaterer is offline Junior Member
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    Hi, I am a paid firefighter too! Since I have been doing P90, Yoga, and cycling I have noticed a huge difference in my performance. You will need to do some high intensity training on a bike, elliptical or do some SPRINTING intervals (where you get totally winded) in order to help with your air consumption so you can easily recover your breath after a big hose pull or some extreme ceiling pulling.

    Swinging a sledgehammer would be an awesome way to work with weight. Also try getting a 10lb weight bar and raising it up and down repeatedly as if you were raising a pike pole. Do that until your arms and shoulders feel like they are on fire. Work with your body weight!


  8. #8
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    and anyone who says a firefighter doesn't need cardio training obviously doesn't know much about firefighting.


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