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Thread: Crossfit and the Fire Service

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    Default Crossfit and the Fire Service

    To start off, I know there is a few posts about crossfit on these message boards. I am a crossfitter myself, I belong to a local box gym in my home town. I am only 5'10 and 180 I feel a lot stronger but I lack stamina I feel. I love this program for many reasons that I will not get into here. I was wondering for you people that do crossfit, do you belong to a Box Gym, or do you just go off the main site or another crossfit site on the net? I got out of crossfit for about an year to go through Paramedic school. Soon after that I went and did my first CPAT test and I failed, I ran out of time on the final station. Do you feel that crossfit prepares someone for the CPAT? The box I belong to was started by 5 or so local paid firefighters and they live by Crossfit and have even incorporated it into the PT phase of the Fire Departments Recruit Classes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armyfire245 View Post
    To start off, I know there is a few posts about crossfit on these message boards. I am a crossfitter myself, I belong to a local box gym in my home town. I am only 5'10 and 180 I feel a lot stronger but I lack stamina I feel. I love this program for many reasons that I will not get into here. I was wondering for you people that do crossfit, do you belong to a Box Gym, or do you just go off the main site or another crossfit site on the net? I got out of crossfit for about an year to go through Paramedic school. Soon after that I went and did my first CPAT test and I failed, I ran out of time on the final station. Do you feel that crossfit prepares someone for the CPAT? The box I belong to was started by 5 or so local paid firefighters and they live by Crossfit and have even incorporated it into the PT phase of the Fire Departments Recruit Classes.
    To me I do all of the above, but my theory in training is being sport specific! I rely on all different type of training styles to keep my body guessing. Crossfit is a great way to prepare for the CPAT bc they both are more or less anaerobic exercises, so my thought is making up your or WODS that involve exercises that strengthen the areas that you are weak in! Just my 2c

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    Im actually shocked that an avid crossfitter didnt make it through the CPAT. CF style workouts transfer over well to the CPAT, in my opinion. You said that you ran out of time, was that because you were going at an easy pace? Or were you busting your hump and still came up short?

    Which parts of the CPAT did you struggle with the most? I can offer some advice once i know what was giving you a hard time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidazoWHAM! View Post
    Im actually shocked that an avid crossfitter didnt make it through the CPAT. CF style workouts transfer over well to the CPAT, in my opinion. You said that you ran out of time, was that because you were going at an easy pace? Or were you busting your hump and still came up short?

    Which parts of the CPAT did you struggle with the most? I can offer some advice once i know what was giving you a hard time.
    Only advice needed, push yourself harder in your workouts and it will show during your CPAT!!

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    It was my first attempt at the CPAT and it was my only attempt at the CPAT so far since I joined the fire service. I wasn't sure what to expect, everyone said that the Stair Stepper was going to be the hardest part of the test and for me it wasn't. I let myself go Crossfit and Working out wise while I was going through Paramedic school (year long). For me I ran out of time as soon as I got to the final station (Breach and Pull). It seemed like the forcible entry simulator with the 10lb sledgehammer and the dummy drag was the hardest parts for me. I just want to be prepared for the next time I take it because the time I failed it I feel like killed my chances with a department that has hired nearly 80 people since this past summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armyfire245 View Post
    It was my first attempt at the CPAT and it was my only attempt at the CPAT so far since I joined the fire service. I wasn't sure what to expect, everyone said that the Stair Stepper was going to be the hardest part of the test and for me it wasn't. I let myself go Crossfit and Working out wise while I was going through Paramedic school (year long). For me I ran out of time as soon as I got to the final station (Breach and Pull). It seemed like the forcible entry simulator with the 10lb sledgehammer and the dummy drag was the hardest parts for me. I just want to be prepared for the next time I take it because the time I failed it I feel like killed my chances with a department that has hired nearly 80 people since this past summer.
    Does the department offer CPAT practice sessions? Contact them to find out, they are a GREAT help. Everybody i know who has ever participated in one has shaved minutes off their time.

    The forcible entry station is all about accuracy. If you hit the target square in the middle every time you will get through it much quicker. Strength doesnt hurt their either. A lot of the strength used is coming from your core, so work on that. You can simulate this station using a large tire at waist height and sledge hammer/blunt side of an axe. Or at the gym practice lateral throws with a medicine ball against a wall.

    The dummy drag is all about not losing your momentum. Once you stop its going to be hard to get going again. Just keep pushing. There is a lot of lower back/core involved there too. Focus on deadlifts and legs at the gym. Make sure you take a WIDE turn when going around the barrel. If the dummy comes into contact with the barrel it makes it much more difficult to move.
    FireMuscleMan21 likes this.

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    Yeah they do offer CPAT practice and orientation sessions but unfortunately I will be on Military leave during the times they offer these. So it will be a once only chance like the last time I took it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armyfire245 View Post
    Yeah they do offer CPAT practice and orientation sessions but unfortunately I will be on Military leave during the times they offer these. So it will be a once only chance like the last time I took it.
    Not a huge deal. Try putting together a mock CPAT with some stuff laying around when you are on leave. You should be able to somewhat recreate most of the stations.

    Make sure you train for the CPAT wearing some kind of weighted vest, or backpack with weights/rocks in it...preferably a vest for safety purposes. That something that people underestimate the difficulty of.

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    For aerobic stuff every time I test for the CPAT I lead up to it with interval training on a hill or stairs if you have access to them. That's basically what the CPAT is because of the mandatory walking between stations.

    I start out with a 3:20 run or walking lunges with weight then move to 15 seconds of brisk walk, then 30 secs of high intensity to simulate each of the 7 remaining stations (sometimes 45 sec intervals to simulate the last two since the dummy drag is my hardest). This prep has never failed me in the past.

    Good luck
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    I can totally relate to the damage that medic class does to your fitness... I'm still trying to shed all of the 10 lbs I put on in 6 months of nothing but sitting in class or reading books & studying. As far as the CPAT goes, if the treadmill with the weight vest isn't what killed you then your strength is still there. Start working on your cardio, both aerobic & anaerobic, thresholds.

    MidazoWHAM gave some great advice. I'd just add that if you're crossfitting again, focus on the circuit WODs, such as Angie, Annie, Cindy, Chelsea, etc. Go for WODS that have you going for max reps in a set amount of time. You'll be able to watch your progress more closely as you repeat the WODs, & if you think about it, the CPAT is just a WOD that you run through one time. In fact here's a WOD that someone came up with in honor of the CPAT. =)

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