1. #1
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    Default Firehouse Fitness

    Hello all.
    I am trying to start a fitness program within our volunteer fire department. We are a smaller department, and lack an excercise facility. I was hoping to incorporate some "in the field" based excercises as a form of working out. I was wondering if anyone has a program like this, how it is setup, and how it is working out in terms of participation?

    Thanks in advance!
    " Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong. "

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    At my department, I run a workout program twice a week. It consists of:

    3 minute stair climb on a stairmaster
    100 lb. tire flip 50 ft. and back
    2 cinder block carry 50 ft. and back
    40 hits on the tire with a sledge hammer
    dummy drag 50 ft. and back

    We time each other and try to get our times under 6 minutes (including the 3 min stair climb in this time). This is done in full gear with an airpack. We then do Battling Ropes (used with a 1.5 inch hose instead). We repaeat this course several times in a 2 hr. timeframe.

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    You would be surprised the type of workouts you can do with items in house... Get some old tires and hook to a rope. Use them to drag over your shoulder, and pull towards you hand over hand. Beat the tire with a sledge hammer. Do hose slaps (unroll hose and shake the end making the wave motion) using larger hose. Hold rolled hose over your head and do squats. Weight is weight... no matter the shape/material.

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    Thanks for the quick replies. These are some things I had in mind, and I will certainly use them for our department. My other question is, how is the turn-out to these workouts? And how do you maintain a good response? Is it solely by making it a competition?
    " Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong. "

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    At the volly dept I'm with, we have around 50 members (25 or so that are extremely dedicated). These workouts that we do are usually at 7am and not many people show up. I usually get around 5-6 that show up to do this. But, it's the same 5-6 that are always there, and the same 5-6 I know will bust their a** in a fire just because I've seen their level of physical fitness and willpower. These workouts are stricktly voluntary and there's no hard feelings if you dont show up but its always good to see who wants to "go the extra mile". I haven't found a way of getting more people to show up other than asking multiple times until they show up for that first time and get hooked because of how fun it is Hope you're able to get a program started with your dept. Best of luck brother and stay safe out there.

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    Yeah, our department is about the same when it comes to turn out and dedicated individuals. I hope I can make it a success, but like in your case, even if only a handful of guys (or gals) show up, those people are much better off.

    Thanks for the reply, and stay safe as well.
    " Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong. "

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    As in the case of my FD... results are the best way to get more members involved. Once those who weren't working out saw members dropping pounds or bulking up, that in itself motivated others. Also, when members would be on the fireground and see those who are physically fit busting tail from the time of deploying hose to rolling it back up and getting the majority of the action, that too motivates (especially if the unfit ones have been breaking too long and are the ones the white lids tell to roll the hose up, and give the ones who worked a break).

    Key to a successful workout program is make it fun. It's a brotherhood and progressing with each other and motivating each other is a strong binding connection. Only make it competitive for those who like to be competitive. Don't be the guy belittling others with what you can do and they can't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtvfr6 View Post
    At my department, I run a workout program twice a week. It consists of:

    3 minute stair climb on a stairmaster
    100 lb. tire flip 50 ft. and back
    2 cinder block carry 50 ft. and back
    40 hits on the tire with a sledge hammer
    dummy drag 50 ft. and back
    Anyone else have an example of their actual workout program, as in the complete run through? I have internet searched basic workouts - but would like more examples, such as above. Also, we have ZERO workout equipment available (such as a stairmaster, although we do have stairs).

    Thanks for all the input!
    " Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong. "

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    Take a hundred or so feet of 2.5" or 3" hose and run with it, like you're stretching a line. Run 50 ft to a cone, turn around, and pull the remaining length to you until the last coupling reaches you. Do this from the standing position and pull hand over hand. Then, take the coupling and run back to where you started, turn around and pull the hose back to you. Do this until you cant run or pull anymore, rest for a minute or two and go again (try to find you limits... then push past them). Try it as a relay also; believe me, it'll be a fun competition!

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    Seems like everyone has a grip on the programs that suit them. Thought I would share this, it's something I stumbled upon during my searches. (It's not mine, and it's also something I did not create).

    http://bookstore.icma.org/freedocs/Workout.pdf
    " Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong. "

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtvfr6 View Post
    Take a hundred or so feet of 2.5" or 3" hose and run with it, like you're stretching a line. Run 50 ft to a cone, turn around, and pull the remaining length to you until the last coupling reaches you. Do this from the standing position and pull hand over hand. Then, take the coupling and run back to where you started, turn around and pull the hose back to you. Do this until you cant run or pull anymore, rest for a minute or two and go again (try to find you limits... then push past them). Try it as a relay also; believe me, it'll be a fun competition!
    I agree with this 100%. We do something similar here with 4". Run with it 50', finishing when the far coupling reaches where you started. Then sprint back to the opposite end and run backwards with it. It's a great leg burner. Get some tires of various sizes to hit, flip, drag, carry, etc. Put a high rise pack on your shoulder and run stairs. You can recreate typical gym-style workouts right in your station with things you have lying around.

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    Great workouts guys. I feel that the job specific high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are best. If you have no equipment at all do burpees, box jumps, body weight squats, pushups, planks, etc. Pick a few of these exercises and do circuits, maybe say-

    25 burpees
    25 squats
    25 box jumps

    No rest in between exercises. Adjust the reps to your fitness level. You can throw in some sprints to if your feeling good. Don't under estimate sprints, they are great for you. I encourage you to check out cross fit.com <----- one word, stupid IPad. It is an excellent site and a great resource with tons of body weight exercises with great video tutorials to guide you. The possibilities are endless with the workouts you can throw together. Stay safe and happy workouts.

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    Mark - The Firefighters Combat Challenge was mentioned by some one. It is a great thing to use as a motivator. The Schenectady FD and Team Latham FD have guys competing in a regional event in Elkton, MD this coming weekend. Give me a shout if you have any questions.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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    I'll be in Elkton as well

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    Benny look for the guy with the European style fire helmet painted with the American, Canadian, and New Zealand flags on it. Stop and say Hi.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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    I recommend you take a look at "The firefighter Workout eBook" by Stew Smith. He's a former Navy SEAL and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He's trained seal candidates, many spec ops candidates, marines, law enforcement, SWAT, FBI, firefighters, and public divers. Even has programs for beginners.

    However, his ebook i mentioned is loaded with tons of bodyweight workouts and several job related workouts using hose, rope and a dufflebag filled with sand. Its only $16.95.

    The book even comes with a nutrional guide for acheiving higher performance levels. He talks about what to and what not to eat, a meal plan, and other nutrional options.

    He has workouts for the CPAT, preparing for the academy and goes in detail on how to perform at your best for the Field Strength Test done at the FDNY Academy.

    I own this book and love it. Best fitness book so far bar none. I encourage you to look into it.
    "Squad 51.. Traffic Collision, 9876 mayberry rd... Time out 5 minutes. Squad 51"

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    I usually get around 5-6 that appear to do this. But, it's the same 5-6 that are always there, and the same 5-6 I know will break them in a flame just because I've seen their stage of health and physical health and fitness and determination.
    Last edited by Omarion; 04-26-2013 at 07:23 AM.

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    For more workout ideas at the fire house go to www.SHiftwod.com

    Developing a Functional Fitness Plan For Firefighters
    by Fausto “Tino” Villarroel

    Fitness is crucial for the safety of the firefighters and for the people dependent on them in a time of crisis.



    It’s 3 a.m. and your shift is almost over. Today has been a busy day and the crew at the station has given you the nickname “Black Cloud” for good reason. Thirteen calls, including three past midnight. You have finally fallen into a deep sleep until you are rudely awoken by the screeching sound of “Engine 9, Engine 5, Engine 4, Ladder 3, Rescue 5, Battalion 9 respond to a residential structure fire!” Your brain instinctively registers the nature of the event, but the only words you make out are “structure fire.”

    The clock is ticking by the second, but your heart rate is increasing twice as fast. You slide down the pole and hurl yourself into the truck. You’re on the rescue today, now enroute to your fourteenth call, with every breath coming quicker than the last one. Your body has now fully transformed itself into battle mode – ever-surging adrenaline mixed with a combination of excitement and fear. Just another day at the office.

    You are first to arrive at the scene and immediately review your checklist for search and rescue. You finally reach the structure, but it takes four minutes of axe swinging and halligan work by your partner before you make your way inside. Minutes into the search, the combination of black smoke and condensation over the lens of your mask begins to rid all visibility. Not to mention the workloads are becoming increasingly challenging. Halfway through the structure, your partner’s mask begins vibrating, but your air is still over 1,000 psi. While fighting the urge to evacuate because you are physically capable to check another three rooms, you finally succumb to standard operating procedures (SOP) and return outside.

    While rehab is checking you and your partner’s vitals, you breathe a sigh of relief as you find out no victims were inside. All of your vital signs are normal, but your partner’s are all elevated. Bewildered, he looks at you and begrudgingly asks “You are five years older than me, and I’ve been doing this 10 years longer than you, how in the heck do you do it?”

    Being in peak physical condition is imperative to perform effectively as a firefighter. It is crucial for their safety and for the people dependent on them in a time of crisis. Realizing the importance for fitness, a group of firefighters created Black Cloud Nation. Their mission is to strengthen the firefighter community both physically and mentally by giving them the tools they need to be successful and above all safe on the job. When we design a training program for firefighters, it is split it up into two parts in order to create positive results: safety and intensity.

    Created: February 5, 2012

    FIREHOUSE MAGAZINE

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    Go to our website www.shiftwod.com and view are shift wods (work out of the day) and video library. We designed workouts using the equipment at the fire house.

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