1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Training for academy

    Going to academy in a few months; My training regimen has conisisted mainly of Crossfit (4-6 days/week) with a few days of hill runs (200' elevation climb) mixed in.

    I know CF is great, and the hill runs are excellent. But I'm wondering if I should also mix in some additional cardio/running every day of the week. Any thoughts? My biggest concern in doing this would be burning out, and getting diminishing returns (because CF is so great for endurance already).

    Thanks -


  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area


    PHC: So you got your medical results?

    You're smart to be in the best shape you can be in before your first day at the academy.

    Just because you passed the physical agility doesnít mean you are ready for the fire academy. Whether you agree or not, the physical agility has been watered down to be politically correct. Departments know this. So, the training division is going to put you through the wringer to make sure you can do the job before you go on line.

    Showing up at the academy is not the time to start getting ready. You need to be in shape and hit the ground running. I often get calls from candidates asking what do I do now? They have been let go from the academy. Itís tough enough getting a job. Keeping it can be a challenge. If you are let go by one department, it is going to be difficult if not impossible to get another department to take a chance on you.

    ďThe worst mistake is to have the best ladder at the wrong wall.Ē

    Itís not just the physical part. You have to pass every segment of the academy including the final test to demonstrate you can function in the field. Itís not uncommon to have a group of candidates let go in the final two weeks of the academy because they canít master ladder throws, repel or operate the equipment. More than one candidate has been let go because they couldnít start the chain saw, operate the jaws or struggled on the drill ground in the final test.

    Nothing will **** of the training staff more than you telling them a better way to do something. How you did it in your FF1 academy, reserve or other department. The only task you need to focus on is how they do it in this department. Training divisions are their own kingdoms. This is not a democracy! You have no time or opinion.

    It is devastating to be let go, especially if you have already been through a college fire academy. You have been dropped as your classmates are getting dressed up in their class A uniforms (about the only time they will ever wear it, except for funerals) heading for their badge ceremony.

    It starts with instructors from the academy taking you aside and pointing out the problems you are having. If you donít improve, they will meet you again with other members of the training staff and document the meeting. The writing is on the wall if things donít improve. Candidates that get to this point start to panic. This can affect their other skills. Things they already know and have mastered become difficult. Instead of dropping back and taking a different mindset, they start to panic and withdraw. Too many candidates in this situation would rather go below and fall on their sword before they will ask for help. This is the time to ask for help, extra training, and check in with those who have gone before them. I usually get the call after they have taken the option to resign instead of being fired. My first question is why didnít you call me earlier? Well, I didnít think it was that bad.

    Here are some of the incidents where candidates were let go:

    A candidate shows up at an academy overweight even though he knows they will run 3 miles a day, he canít. Result. They run him into the ground the first week.

    Another candidate is given an order to get a Philips screwdriver from the toolbox. After several minutes at the toolbox, he admits he doesnít know what a Philips screwdriver is. Hard to believe. Oh, I forgot, they have dropped the mechanical aptitude from the written and added in psych questions. Result: Lack of mechanical ability cost this candidate a badge.

    Even though this candidate had been through two academies, he starts having trouble with ladder throws. He has done this successfully 100ís of times. But, now he starts doing a mind screw on himself. It gets worse. He is counseled. Then again. Result: Booted from the academy. The good news is we worked with this candidate, regrouped, he got in better shape, worked out a reasonable explanation, accepting the blame, why it happened and would never happen again. He was picked up by another agency and is wearing a badge.

    Another recruit knew he had to lose weight for the academy. He did not reach his goal. His weight caught up with him trying to hump hose up the tower with a SCBA. Result: Got his marching orders because he didnít have the wind to complete this tough academy. Good news again. Regrouped, lost the weight and convinced a department with an easier academy he would be an asset.

    Trying to come back and rejoin this candidateís academy too early after a drill tower accident only made the injury worse. When the recruit could not keep up and refused to accept the opportunity to go through the next academy was let go. Another one of those, why didnít you call me first beauties. Even a lawsuit did not regain a chance at a badge.

    A candidate did call me when he was having problems repelling off the tower. He would get upside down just before the net. A little mind drill exercise corrected the problem.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire ďCaptain BobĒ Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    I'm not trying to be rude but that didn't even address the question he/she asked.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Do you know anyone who just went through the same academy? They would be able to give you a heads up on the pt you'll be facing.

    That said, add some LSD/Tempo runs to your current regimen. Most academies have long runs built into the program.

    I agree that crossfit is great for muscular endurance however, specificity of training is an exercise physiology principle that in a nut shell states, if you're going to do some running in the academy...then you need to do some running. If regular running is part of your crossfit training then great.

    Best of luck in the academy.

    Last edited by westchester47; 06-14-2008 at 08:52 AM.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by powerhourcoug View Post
    Going to academy in a few months; My training regimen has conisisted mainly of Crossfit (4-6 days/week) with a few days of hill runs (200' elevation climb) mixed in.

    I know CF is great, and the hill runs are excellent. But I'm wondering if I should also mix in some additional cardio/running every day of the week. Any thoughts? My biggest concern in doing this would be burning out, and getting diminishing returns (because CF is so great for endurance already).

    Thanks -

    Good move with the crossfit regimen. Keep vigilant for signs of overuse injuries, such as aches, tendonitis, decreased motivation, and such. I personally rotate the fran, linda, bear complex, grace, and cindy wod's frequently. The most comon comlaint from my recruit class, during the first week, was shin splints, vomiting, and general repetitive motion injuries from steady state running. If you can manage to run three miles under 24-25 minutes, you'll be way ahead of the game. Exercises that heavily involve the core, such as overhead squats, turkish get-ups, front squats, flutter kicks, and knees-to-elbows should bulletproof your body pretty well. I feel that unilateral movements, such as suitcase deadlifts, renegade rows, walking lunges, step ups, and side/reverse lunges should help with injury prevention. Bonus points for properly executing pistols. Two anerobic metcon sessions, two lactate threshold metcon sessions, and one steady state session should be plenty to enhance your conditioning. If you need to lose bodyfat, try walking for one hour daily, or at least several times per week, preferably after a meal. A large salad with spinach(to keep you on the alkaline side), with balsamic vinegar, prior to your main course, should also assist with weight control. You have some time before the academy, so don't try to do too much. Good luck!

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Pleasanton, CA

    Default Cross fit and training

    I love cross fit stuff. It's fun, it pushes me, it increases my anaerobic htreashold, and it never allows me to get board... and all kinds of other reasons.

    It's really hard stuff. I don't do it more than 2-3 times a week. (Yes, I am older than you, but still very scrappy) I worry when someone does it 4-6 days a week. 3-4 days? Yes. Definately. It can be so tough if you really push yourself, though. I worry about over training, and you should be wary too.

    Have you thought of doing cross fit 3-4 days, then adding other stuff? For example:

    Week one: 3-4 days cross fit, 2 days of cardio: 1 day: weight vest/step work (10-20 minutes) and swimming laps 30 minutes, 1 day: running distance 5-6 miles

    Week 2: 3-4 days cross fit, 2 days cardio: 1 day run and bike interval for 45 minutes and 1 day medium intensity run alternated with sprinting. 200 yards/50 yards...

    Go back to week 1... then week 2... and so on...

    I would just hate to see you get injured when you are sooooo close. Your choices are good. Just don't get hurt! rest is important!

    I wrote a great article on shin splints, and it's on another web site of mine, unrelated, but since we all have shins, it still applies:

    Dr. Jen
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 06-13-2008 at 09:17 PM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default training for academy


    Where did you get hired and which academy will you be going through?


  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Update

    A little up date on my progress...

    I've been Crossfitting since late April. Started Zone diet (as reccomended for CrossFitters) as well.

    Down approximately 20lbs of "not lean" mass, not sure how much muscle mass I'm up. Pants are loose around the waist. Feeling really good. Currently 5'10 / 190. Wasn't "fat" before, and was able to pass CPAT/PATs in competitive time, but I wasn't in the "elite" category either.

    Have been CF'ing about 4x/week, and have also been running 3x/week. Bought a Concept 2 rower over the weekend.

    My objectives for 2008/2009: 1) Get hired (done) 2) Complete academy in upper echelon 3) Complete probation 4) Obtain "elite" fitness via CF/Cardio. That is it, end of story. Nothing else matters (well, football does).

    Academy is in five weeks. I'll be ready...lean and mean...

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