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  1. #1

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    Default My Out of Shape CPAT Experience

    I have seen a lot of posts about training for the CPAT and how much training is enough. So I thought I would share my experience to try and add some more color to the test.

    I decided to try and join my local fire dept. as a part timer / volunteer. I got a letter from the city saying that the CPAT was in about 5 weeks, however there was one in a week, and if you are unsure about passing you should try the first one in case you need a 2nd chance.

    Now I'm 33 years old and I let my gym membership expire about 4 years ago, so I was out of shape, but I am not over weight and I don't smoke.

    I decided to take the first test without any preparation. I only made it a little over 2 minutes on the stair machine. I found I wasn't out of breath, just my legs gave out.

    So I bought a month gym membership and the cheapest backpack I could find at Target and started my training routine the same night.

    I would put two 25 lbs. weights in the backpack and tie one around my neck with a rope, and start on the stair stepper for as long as I could go. Then I would walk on the tread mill (with 50 lbs.) for 8 minutes for as fast as a pace as I could. I started with less that 75 lbs., but after a couple days was up to 75.

    Then I would take a break for a few minutes and do another session for as long as I could on the stepper. At the end of 4 weeks I was up to over 4 minutes on the first session on the stepper.

    I also did some weight training every other day, lots of legs squats and weighted lunges. I also worked my shoulders, arms and back.

    My second test I passed in 9 minutes 17 seconds, and I never had any practice with the other events. However I am comfortable with tools and ladders, etc.

    My final word is to just be in good shape with strong legs and reasonable upper body strength and I think you will do fine.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince4436 View Post

    I would put two 25 lbs. weights in the backpack and tie one around my neck with a rope, and start on the stair stepper for as long as I could go.
    I would advise against tying a rope around your neck.

  3. #3
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    Default

    lol i second that one

  4. #4
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    Default CPAT needs some preparation!

    vince4436, WAY to go! Passing second time ever.
    Last edited by AthenaSuich; 01-25-2012 at 03:39 PM.

  5. #5
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    We try to stress to our candidates and recruits the importance of not training to pass our entrance test. This sets a "goal" (being able to pass the test in X amount of time). While that's great, the problem is once the goal is achieved, people inherently tend to slack off.

    Make your goal being able to pass the test every day for the rest of your career. Find a training regimen that you can follow for the rest of your life, not just for a few months prior to a test.
    Maintain a level of fitness so that you are good to go every day, even when your back is a bit sore, or you have a cold.

    Change your mindset, don't limit yourself to the goal of passing an entrance test.

    Set your goal of being ready to save your partner's life in a fire every shift you work.

  6. #6
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    Default Great Point!

    Quote Originally Posted by flipper123 View Post
    We try to stress to our candidates and recruits the importance of not training to pass our entrance test. This sets a "goal" (being able to pass the test in X amount of time). While that's great, the problem is once the goal is achieved, people inherently tend to slack off.

    Make your goal being able to pass the test every day for the rest of your career. Find a training regimen that you can follow for the rest of your life, not just for a few months prior to a test.
    Maintain a level of fitness so that you are good to go every day, even when your back is a bit sore, or you have a cold.

    Change your mindset, don't limit yourself to the goal of passing an entrance test.

    Set your goal of being ready to save your partner's life in a fire every shift you work.
    Well said.

    Athena Suich
    Last edited by AthenaSuich; 01-25-2012 at 03:43 PM.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
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    Thank you flipper for pointing this out. I was starting to think I was the only one thinking that.

    I can't stress enough that the CPAT is the bare minimum for people to pass for an entrance exam. I've been noticing an increasing number of posts on here and other boards of people who are failing this thing.

    Now I'm sorry, but you have to literally be seriously out of shape and/or trying to fail this thing to do so. This is a generic, non-gender specific physical agility.

    Don't train to just pass this test.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffbam24 View Post
    Thank you flipper for pointing this out. I was starting to think I was the only one thinking that.

    I can't stress enough that the CPAT is the bare minimum for people to pass for an entrance exam. I've been noticing an increasing number of posts on here and other boards of people who are failing this thing.

    Now I'm sorry, but you have to literally be seriously out of shape and/or trying to fail this thing to do so. This is a generic, non-gender specific physical agility.

    Don't train to just pass this test.
    BAM is right, if you barely "squeak by" the CPAT I can guarantee you will NOT pass a full time academy.

    The CPAT is a "politically correct" examination...everybody has to be a winner these days.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefuss View Post
    What ever happened to the good ole firemans challenge? A department I worked for down in Florida "adopted" the cpat over their old firemans challenge style test just before I left. I remember it being the worst 2 1/2 minutes of my life every year. Then this "newest thing" comes along and all of the sudden, its not about time anymore. Just making sure you can do it. WTF? The one time I did it I still busted my ***, ran a 6:12, and was beat, but the intensity seemed dumbed down. Oh, you mean another test made to let slower weaker people pass???? And in the FIRE department to boot????
    LOL, now those were the days. I still remember going to one where some people were literally throwing up after completing it.

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