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    Default SCBA kicks my ***

    I am in very good physical shape and workout every day. However when I pack up for a house or building fire I get winded very fast. I also feel my heart pounding hard. It can be as simple as walking up stairs and breaking two windows and I feel like my hearts going to jump out of my chest. I heard that their is such a thing as sub conscious claustrophobia where your body doesnt think its getting enough air when breathing through an scba. Any of you guys encounter this?

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    I can't really say this eloquently but you can't be in very good shape yet tiring so quick. You may be strong but your cardio sounds like ****. How are you during sprint work.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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    I dont really do sprint work. I do crossfit circuits and distance running.

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    I should mention I started training with a 40 pound weight vest to simulate an SCBA and turnout coat and have no problem making it through my workouts. Its only when Im breathing SCBA air.

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    Do tabata sprints and gauge recovery.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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    How much time have you spent in a pack? The psychological effect of having to limit your air intake and control your breathing may be part of your difficulty. I haven't heard the term subconscious claustrophobia but it sounds like the same thing. I experienced something similar my first few times working with a pack. It went away after that though.

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    Well I wore it a lot in the fire academy but my house only sees about one or two working jobs a month that require us to fully pack up for. I did notice it was easier in the academy which could mean I got used to it and then un used to it after getting out. I think another cause could be that I focus on conserving air to much. I can make a 30 minute bottle actually last 30 minutes without any problems. Do you think I am not breathing enough? Thanks for the advice so far guys.

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    Your sub conscious claustrophobia where your body doesn't think its getting enough air when breathing through an scba, sounds like what is called Mask Induced Panic. I would say your cardio level has gone down, because to loose the Mask Induced Panic you increase your cardio level.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
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    Yeah I need to focus more on my cardio. I think that was my problem after all. I started doing sprints instead of distance and I definitely feel it a lot more then I expected. What do you recommend for a cardio regimen?

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    Your sprints are a form of tabata. I like the bike but any cardio machine will work. Tabata is basically 20 sec. of high intensity followed by 10 sec. of low intensity. Bike or elliptical routine I do is 30 mins. long. Starting with 5 min. of warm-up, then 20 sets of 40 sec. standing on the bike or high revs on the elliptical, then 20 sec. seated or low revs. The 40/20 makes it easier to track what you should be doing because your higher intensity always starts at the beginning of a minute. This is then followed be 5:20 cool-down. It may take a little trial and error to find the amount of resistance you want on the bike or what revs to use on the elliptical. 50-60 revs or 100-120 spm and 70-80 revs or 140-160 spm is a good place to start on the elliptical. I list spm (steps per min.) because an elliptical can measure either revs or spm. If you are looking for something to motivate you to train you might want to look at the Firefighters Combat Challenge as something to train for. Info can be found @ www.firefighter-challenge.com. The Challenge is my carrot to train.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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    Awesome. Thanks Stephen.

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