1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Firefighter workouts

    I know there's probably a thousand threads on here about this but I wanted to ask some questions. I currently train with mostly bodyweight exercises (pull-ups, push-ups, dips, dive bomber push-ups, lunges, squat jumps, tire flips also) and running for cardio. I also do a lot of sledgehammer work on a tire twice a week. I don't want to hear about crossfit because I don't like it and I don't care what you have to say about it because it's not going to change my mind. I don't want to to be average at 30 things I want to be the best physically fit person for firefighting around. I'm probably going to get back to some strength training weight lifting soon and eventually get a weighted vest. What suggestions do you all have that I can do for cheap that will make me ready for the job other than what I do now?

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Can I ask what specifically you have against crossfit? Not trying to change your mind, I am just curious...

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Panther City, TX
    Posts
    324

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by benjy22 View Post
    I want to be the best physically fit person for firefighting around. I'm probably going to get back to some strength training weight lifting soon and eventually get a weighted vest. What suggestions do you all have that I can do for cheap that will make me ready for the job other than what I do now?
    FF is more cardio and endurance than brute strength. Pull hose..recover..pull ceiling..recover..deadlift fat patient on a cot..recover.

    Weight vest: good idea.
    Find a big tractor tire on craigslist and flip it, with the vest on.

    I don't like doing Crossfit. But bang-for-buck it works for me. So I do it.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NEPA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    I've found doing intense circuit training along with full body workout plans to be effective. I usually follow something like 1 month of circuit training 3 times a week then a full body plan 3 times a week for about 2 months with cardio thrown in and then back to circuit.

    Get the best of both worlds, cardio with each type if done right, endurance with circuit and strength with a normal lifting plan. When you can, try doing each with a 40-50 lb. weight vest. Hell, you'll pack on muscle too with the right diet.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    558

    Default

    I've never followed crossfit closely, but I have cherry picked their WOD's from time to time. I do have them to thank for motivating me to join an olympic weightlifting club back in the day. I always did powerlifting, bodybuilding, occasional distance running, and lots of sprints/hill sprints. When preparing for the CPAT back in 2006/2007, I stumbled onto Mike Mahler's Aggressive Strength website. That introduced me to kettlebells. I use my set of 28kg's and my 40kg regularly. Further web searching using keywords from the site, such as snatch and clean led me to crossfit and rosstraining.com. I found firegroundfitness.com and like it as well.

    Nowadays, I do heavy/explosive barbell lifts every third or fourth day. This includes snatches, cleans, OH squats, the DL, back squat, BB hack squat, stc. I do either kb complexes or bb complexes the next day. Another day may be core work, some exotic lifts like windmills, pistols, TGU's, etc. with some interval treadmill running and weighted stepmill work.

    For example, yesterday I did 64 28kg kettlebell TGU's for time, then 100 8 count bodybuilders with a 43# vest for time, then two rounds of 96's with the vest (24 squats, 24 lunges, 24 squat jumps, 24 walking lunges). The evening workout (I was detailed to a slow station) was pullups and ring dips, plank variations with the vest, 300 kb swings for time, and 15 mins on the stepmill with the vest and a pair of 15's.

    My special project is to get to 15 overhead squats with bodyweight:

    http://danjohn.net/the-overhead-squat-article/

    I'm getting close to bw, so I'm hoping to get it by summer or fall.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for all the suggestions everybody. I'd really like to get some heavy kettlebells as well. When I looked into crossfit I found that they seem to have gotten away from what really made them famous. I just think it's all bull**** marketing as of now. I can piece together my own circuit training with powerlifting and cardio but I don't like crossfit because of a few hardcore crossfit people I know. Could just be my personality and opinion but kipping pull ups point to a program with major flaws. When was the last time you saw a Marine do a kipping pull up in boot camp? I think crossfit will come and go. Thanks again for the great suggestions. I'm definitely going to use them.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by benjy22 View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions everybody. I'd really like to get some heavy kettlebells as well. When I looked into crossfit I found that they seem to have gotten away from what really made them famous. I just think it's all bull**** marketing as of now. I can piece together my own circuit training with powerlifting and cardio but I don't like crossfit because of a few hardcore crossfit people I know. Could just be my personality and opinion but kipping pull ups point to a program with major flaws. When was the last time you saw a Marine do a kipping pull up in boot camp? I think crossfit will come and go. Thanks again for the great suggestions. I'm definitely going to use them.
    I got to the point where I could do multiple muscle-ups, to the point where I did the nasty guys WOD (Jeff, the guy on the left, works on my dept, and owns CrossfitFairfax) in just under 11 minutes, as prescribed. The muscle-ups look cool, but they don't benefit me in any way that improves my job performance. They're a gimmick exercise, like kipping pullups and one arm bb snathces.

    Yes, I agree, crossfit is mostly marketing nowadays. High rep olympic weightlifting moves are a bad idea to begin with, let alone by someone who received minimal instruction from someone who got their trainer cert from the organization in a weekend. If you're not USAW ceritfied at the least, I don't want you showing me how to O-lift. They allow poor form in their high rep WOD's in general as well. I remember reading somewhere in the sea of crossfit literature that 80% correct form is acceptable for a metcon WOD. WTF? A program needs structure. Perhaps you want to apply undualating periodization. For example, you may want to greatly improve one quality, get a modest improvement in another, and maintain the others. When you hit you goals, change up what you want to emplhasize, but don't lose ground on the other things. You need planning to achieve that, not purposefully random WOD's.

    One thing I know for sure, it's easier to take a strong person and get them conditioned than it is to take a well conditioned person and make them strong. If you increase your strength and power, you can use more resistance for your conditioning sessions, and make more dramatic improvements.

    As far as kettlebells, you want them to be cast as one piece, not with the handle welded onto the ball. I know for sure that lifelineusa (the company I buy from) and dragondoor are one piece. I don't know about the others.
    Last edited by edpmedic; 02-19-2011 at 08:38 PM.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NEPA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Thanks for all the suggestions everybody. I'd really like to get some heavy kettlebells as well. When I looked into crossfit I found that they seem to have gotten away from what really made them famous. I just think it's all bull**** marketing as of now. I can piece together my own circuit training with powerlifting and cardio but I don't like crossfit because of a few hardcore crossfit people I know. Could just be my personality and opinion but kipping pull ups point to a program with major flaws. When was the last time you saw a Marine do a kipping pull up in boot camp? I think crossfit will come and go. Thanks again for the great suggestions. I'm definitely going to use them.
    I agree also. From what I've seen it seems like nothing more than people trying to get through each exercise as fast as possible with terrible form

    Watching people do kipping's make my joints hurt.
    Last edited by ddrum; 02-20-2011 at 07:17 PM.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    108

    Default

    Hi Guys-

    It seems to me that specific exercise routines are fairly well covered above (pro and con), so I can only add something i've been experimenting with over the last few months with great results in terms of job specific performance. I've found that short term, high intensity workouts do the most good. Running on the treadmill for two hours isn't going to help you be a better firefighter, and i'm not sold on the whole light weight/high rep stuff. I've thought alot lately about workouts that reflect the duration and intensity of the time in which you drain a bottle of air used in a fire situation. I haven't followed this exactly to say a 30 minute bottle, but my general results have been stellar. I find that my fireground performance and what i've got in the tank have improved immensely.

    Hope this gives food for thought.

    Paul C.
    PaulC
    FF/EMTP
    City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulC. View Post
    Hi Guys-

    It seems to me that specific exercise routines are fairly well covered above (pro and con), so I can only add something i've been experimenting with over the last few months with great results in terms of job specific performance. I've found that short term, high intensity workouts do the most good. Running on the treadmill for two hours isn't going to help you be a better firefighter, and i'm not sold on the whole light weight/high rep stuff. I've thought alot lately about workouts that reflect the duration and intensity of the time in which you drain a bottle of air used in a fire situation. I haven't followed this exactly to say a 30 minute bottle, but my general results have been stellar. I find that my fireground performance and what i've got in the tank have improved immensely.

    Hope this gives food for thought.

    Paul C.
    Excellent point. One of my Lt's who does crossfit on a regular basis cautioned me to pace myself on the fireground. He knows that I was doing quick, brutal, 15-20 min sesions, due to working at a busy station at the time. He said that you'll be able to go at high speed for around 20 mins, then your tank is empty and you'll be sluggish and tired when going back in, doing overhaul, etc. My answer to that was to increase work capacity.

    Once or twice a week, when on the engine (I ride the box half the time) I'll grab my kettlebells or a barbell, and decide on a certain amount of reps that I want to do for the day. I started at 250, and am now over 1,000. I'm doing single and double kb work (with the 28kb's) for sets of swings, snatches, renegade man makers, TGU's, front squats, renegade rows, etc. I take longer rest periods than I normally do. For example, if I want to do 10 sets of 30 on a specific exercise, for hard metcon I'd take 45 second rests. When I'm just going for numbers, I might take a minute or 1:15. You get a lot of volume, it's easy to pick up where you left off or to chip away at in in 15-20 minute blocks throughout the day as calls dictate, and you're not spent if you get a box or something.

    After a while, your body gets used to doing all that volume. You can work 2,3,4 hour incidents and be okay.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default

    One more question on this topic. How heavy of a vest should I try to get? Should I just get the heaviest one like an 80 or 100 lb vest and then work my way up to it?

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NEPA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    One more question on this topic. How heavy of a vest should I try to get? Should I just get the heaviest one like an 80 or 100 lb vest and then work my way up to it?
    I"d really start lighter at a 40-50. 60 is plenty for me when I do cardio. No need to overkill and injure yourself.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    st42stephenAFT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NoVA / NJ
    Posts
    747

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ddrum View Post
    I"d really start lighter at a 40-50. 60 is plenty for me when I do cardio. No need to overkill and injure yourself.
    I believe for the CPAT, the vest is 50 lbs for the entire course, with 25 lbs extra for the stair master portion of the test. So you're looking at 75 lbs total when you're doing the stairs in the CPAT.

    If you're going to be taking CPAT's, you'd probably want to train with 75+ so it won't be a surprise when you go to do it. Training with 60 lbs will definitely help out, but when you get those extra 15 lbs on the test date, it may be a lot harder than you assumed, because you're not conditioned to it. Just my thoughts.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NEPA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    I believe for the CPAT, the vest is 50 lbs for the entire course, with 25 lbs extra for the stair master portion of the test. So you're looking at 75 lbs total when you're doing the stairs in the CPAT.

    If you're going to be taking CPAT's, you'd probably want to train with 75+ so it won't be a surprise when you go to do it. Training with 60 lbs will definitely help out, but when you get those extra 15 lbs on the test date, it may be a lot harder than you assumed, because you're not conditioned to it. Just my thoughts.
    Yes, you are right. I was just throwing my thoughts out there when using a vest on a regular basis, not preparing for any kind of testing.

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    st42stephenAFT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NoVA / NJ
    Posts
    747

    Default

    Whoops, assumed you were working out for a test.

    But definitely. using the vest when working out will help increase your strength, but it'll make the workouts a bit harder for ya.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Using an 80lb vest for calisthenics will just get you injured. Buy the 50# vest, and just hold a pair of 15# dumbbells when you train on the stepmill. That's what I did. I can do burpees, 8 count bodybuilders, squats/lunges, kettlebell exercise and such, and get quite winded using the 50# vest. Just hold some weights when you do the stepmill. Not that you're training for the CPAT, but they only have you do 75# for the mill, then you're only wearing the 50 for the rest of the test.

    It's like working a high rise job. You may have a 2 1'2" bundle on your back, some tools or the officer's bag, but you're only humping that stuff up until you get to the fire floor. Then the weight comes off. You're not weighing yourself down with 80# or whatever for the whole job, just until you make the standpipe.
    Last edited by edpmedic; 02-23-2011 at 12:14 AM.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    108

    Default

    Hi Again Guys-

    I've actually thought about this thread over the last couple of days and want to add something that I think is really important:

    Your fire career is like a marathon. Its long and starts to hurt physically at different points on the course.

    I've found that my 42 year old frame requires ALOT more care and conditioning than my younger frame did. This includes rest and time to recuperate. Many of the programs used today by the most (currently) fit people are designed to build a body sort of like a Ferrari...Super lean, super fast, powerful engine that idles at like 75mph. The problem with this is that like Ferrari's...These bodies become so finely tuned that they don't handle changes very well. They, unintentionally in our case, become easily injured by specificity and frequency in training. These injuries lead to long term problems (say lower back) that shorten or end careers. You've got to mix things up and include LOTS of downtime. I used to do two a days all the time because it made me look and feel so good...Mistake.

    I was an absolute machine when I started pursuing my career as a firefighter...I now suffer due to some of the mistakes and lack of foresight.

    In short, I used to be into the whole...make myself the "Ferrari". Now I think you're better off making a body like a truck. Make one that's just lean enough, just flexible enough, and just hardy enough to go anywhere and do everything you need to do as a firefighter for the LONG HAUL.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul C.
    PaulC
    FF/EMTP
    City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    278

    Default

    You guys seem knowledgeable so I will ask this here while continuing my search:

    With the CPAT, is it timed as one whole exercise or is it completed in stages and the times added up at the end? I guess my real question is, how come you can't run between or during portions?

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default

    That's a great suggestion Paul. All the gimmicks today are focused on that look good, perform now idea. Thanks.

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    BennyT373's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    322

    Default

    I would invest in some good literature... some books by Men's Health or things like that. Don't forget one VERRYYYYY crucial element... DIET! You can work out all you want, but you won't be at your full potential unless your fueling your body properly.

    My suggestion is find workouts that are fun. I enjoy doing supersets and circuit style training. If you want to have a beach body, do workouts that focus on one body part at a time. If you want to be fit and a beast, do fully functional exercises. Youtube some videos, theres A LOT of great stuff out there. Just be careful what you see. 75% of that crap will get you hurt because they don't practice proper form.

    In a workout, do things that work your WHOLE body. Whenever your in the field your not working one muscle group at a time, you're working all of them. "Train as you fight".

    Here's an example of a circuit I do (WARMUPS and STRETCHING IS CRUCIAL!!!!):
    Run a decent job on treadmill with slight incline for 2 minutes, get off go straight to the tire and beat it with a sledge hammer as hard and fast as possible 30 times, then straight to squat and thrusts (clean the weight, do a squat and as you come up press it). 30 second break to get a small drink. Then repeat it all, and try speeding up treadmill each step.

    Never get in a rhythm when you workout. Push as if another's life depended on it.

  21. #21
    Forum Member
    BennyT373's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    322

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FDNYPD View Post
    You guys seem knowledgeable so I will ask this here while continuing my search:

    With the CPAT, is it timed as one whole exercise or is it completed in stages and the times added up at the end? I guess my real question is, how come you can't run between or during portions?
    CPAT is an over all timed event. There are several videos online that are demonstrations of the event. You must complete the WHOLE thing in under 10:20.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3thDKKLq5o

  22. #22
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    278

    Default

    Thanks for the information. I cant see your youtube video at work but I will check it out when I get home. I finally found a video that has step by step instructions and how and when you'll be warned for making mistakes.

    http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/helpwan...pat_start.html

  23. #23
    Forum Member
    BennyT373's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    322

    Default

    No prob. The video I posted the the same video they show before you take your CPAT

  24. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulC. View Post
    Hi Again Guys-

    I've actually thought about this thread over the last couple of days and want to add something that I think is really important:

    Your fire career is like a marathon. Its long and starts to hurt physically at different points on the course.

    I've found that my 42 year old frame requires ALOT more care and conditioning than my younger frame did. This includes rest and time to recuperate. Many of the programs used today by the most (currently) fit people are designed to build a body sort of like a Ferrari...Super lean, super fast, powerful engine that idles at like 75mph. The problem with this is that like Ferrari's...These bodies become so finely tuned that they don't handle changes very well. They, unintentionally in our case, become easily injured by specificity and frequency in training. These injuries lead to long term problems (say lower back) that shorten or end careers. You've got to mix things up and include LOTS of downtime. I used to do two a days all the time because it made me look and feel so good...Mistake.

    I was an absolute machine when I started pursuing my career as a firefighter...I now suffer due to some of the mistakes and lack of foresight.

    In short, I used to be into the whole...make myself the "Ferrari". Now I think you're better off making a body like a truck. Make one that's just lean enough, just flexible enough, and just hardy enough to go anywhere and do everything you need to do as a firefighter for the LONG HAUL.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul C.
    Your post makes me thing of the training sequence in the last Rocky movie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRFiTwQwcNk
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

  25. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    813

    Default

    I find that the P90X workouts work well for me. It's not just the workouts though, it's the full program that works. The program focuses on strength, flexibility, mental relaxation, cardio and muscle confusion.

    It's not a gimmick..... There is also a P90X+ which has more intense cardio workouts.

    It's what has and is working for me and my wife. Our 3 daughters even enjoy the workouts so I reckon for us it's a family thing.

    Don't think I'm taking anything away from crossfit training, it works awesome also.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Am I being selfish?
    By hoosierdaddy in forum Probie House: The Place for Newbies
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 06-27-2007, 05:59 AM
  2. HOUSTON walked away from this contract
    By Firewalker1 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 71
    Last Post: 05-17-2007, 12:34 AM
  3. Firefighter arson' often for the thrill
    By britfan1 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-29-2006, 10:30 AM
  4. Lancaster LODD Local News Articles
    By Dalmatian90 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-05-2003, 08:41 AM
  5. Replies: 384
    Last Post: 05-18-2002, 11:17 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register