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  1. #1
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    Default Physical Agility Prep

    FIREFIGHTER WORKOUTS

    REMEMBER THAT 60-70% OF THE PHYSICAL AGILITY EVENTS

    REQUIRE EXCELLENT LEG STRENGTH AND GOOD WIND ENDURANCE!

    Physical agility testing events in most departments are very strenuous in nature. You must begin your workouts immediately in order to put yourself in top condition to perform well. This training should be year-round. In preparing firefighter applicants for physical agility examinations for over 50 years, one of the most important aspects is overall good strength, with emphasis on good leg strength and most importantly your wind endurance (lung strength and capacity). Time and time again we see individuals who are 6'4", 250 pounds, can squat 350 pounds 10 times, run 2 miles and think that they are in good physical shape. However, if they have not built up their wind endurance (lung capacity) they may have the strength equivalent of someone who is 100 pounds. Nothing drains your strength more than a lack of wind. Most physical agility test events are of short duration but very demanding. Most of these events are completed in a 5-10 minute timeframe. During that time, it is an all-out effort. We belief that the emphasis of your preparation training should be on developing your wind. Wind sprints are an excellent way of increasing your endurance. Start off by sprinting 30 yards, 3 or 4 times. Then proceed to 40 yards, 50 yards. After a period of training and feeling that your lungs are developing, we suggest that you undertake the following physical agility training.

    Mark off 20 yards, 30 yards, 40 yards, and 50 yards. Use a nearby recreation field in your area or even a parking lot. Start your sprints by sprinting 20 yards and then sprint back to the start. Then immediately sprint 30 yards and back to start. Then sprint 40 yards and back to start. Sprint 50 yards and back to start. As you continue training, you will see that your wind endurance is building. You may be able to complete 5-6 of these wind sprints in a single training session and not feel winded.

    Applicants also need to concentrate on overall strength training – your chest, triceps, biceps, back, legs, sit-ups. We have included descriptions of some physical agility exercises and programs for your review.

    Some additional training tips:

    Many times you are required to wear a vest that is from 30-40 pounds, simulating firefighter equipment and air tank. If possible, get a backpack, fill it with sand or weights, and use it while training. For example, wear it while running stairs.
    Run stairs. If you have a school football field accessible to you, we strongly suggest that you run the stands' stairs. You may also be able to use an office or apartment building stairs. You may also want to run the stairs carrying 20-30 pound dumbbells in each hand or your weighted backpack. It is also good practice to skip every other stair – it will build leg strength and endurance, and on some exams you can skip stairs, which will decrease your overall time and better your score.
    If you train in a gym, you may have access to a Stairmaster machine (revolving stairs – not stepper type). We suggest that you build your endurance by not holding onto the rails and increasing the level of difficulty each time you work out. If you have a training backpack, wear it while on the machine.
    If you train by running distance, the best training for firefighter examinations is to aim for your fastest 2-mile time. If you want to alternate a 3-4 mile run in between, that is fine. Your emphasis while training, however, should not be on a steady pace but on a faster pace in order to build your endurance. Physical agility examinations are short in time, but require endurance.
    Remember - always warm up before exercising and cool down after exercising.
    Do not begin these workouts until you get yourself in good physical condition by jogging 15 to 25 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week for at least 3 to 4 weeks. This will strengthen your heart and lungs so it won't be too much of a demand on your body.


    www.fireprep.com
    www.firemanemtparamedic.com


  2. #2
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    Default two weeks

    is it difficult for a woman to pass the PAT?

  3. #3
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    Default Yes, it is diffcult for women to pass the CPAT...

    unless you are in outstanding condition and bigger that average. You really need to prepare well in advance. DM fire school, above, offers some help. There are several ways to train, but 2 weeks is not a time to start. You need to build up gradually.
    Sometimes when you have some test coming up (for other things) you can wait until the very last moment. The you can cram for a week ro 2 and slide by under the rope. Not so here. I, personally, would do the best I could and use this as a learning experience. I would start training now, and sign up for another test date in 6 months or so. If you have not already been training pretty hard, that's a conservative estimate!
    Best wishes!
    Dr. Jen
    drjmilus@gmail.com

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    Default

    is the stepper a lot different than the evolving stairs? at my gym we have steps that go rotate up and down/around , you can set it between 20 to 120 steps per minute. not sure if thats the one you guys mean?

  5. #5
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    Default

    What's wrong with bypassing the elevator and escalators and walking up to the floor you need at work or to get your driver's license renewed?Stairmaster,indeed.
    There's plenty of opportunity to walk a little more and get into better shape.I even ride my bike the quarter mile from my house to answer calls instead of driving.One result is we're riding down the road,everyone else is all jacked up on adrenaline and I burned mine off just getting to the station,about to fall asleep.

  6. #6
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    Default Step Mill vs. stairmaster

    ffman02:
    Yes, I was speaking of the one with the stairs that turn around and go under it. I call that a step mill. They are revolving stairs. It's kind of like walking up a down escalator. In fact, walking up a down escalator would work really well, but you might annoy someone and get in trouble!
    The stepmill is the best one to train on. It saves your knees, and most closely emulates the one in the CPAT!
    If you can't do that, then stepping up forward and down backward off a 9" step will work. But, you'll have to move a bit faster. And DON't go up and over and off forward and down. Over time, that will shear at your ACL and cause injury.
    Don't forget your weight vest
    Oh, and the brand name stairmaster is the one where you have 2 little pedal things and step up and down and up and down on them in the same place. It works mostly calves, and will not train your gluts or your quads for the CPAT at all!
    Is that complete enough for an answer? Let me know if you need more!
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 11-09-2005 at 07:48 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Stairmaster indeed!

    Doug Hesson:

    I agree with your philosphy about taking the stairs instead of the elevator. But, when one needs to train to get ready for the stairmill in the CPAT, a weight vest must be worn, and the time needs to be way longer that just going up the 4 flights you'd need to to get your drivers license renewed.

    I vote for BOTH!

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    Default

    Drjmilus - Thanks for the response, I wasn't sure of which one was the better one but seems I am using the right one. Well I definetly feel it in my hamstrings more than anything, a little in the calves. I try to do 75 steps per minute for 30 minutes, 60 on the 1st 15 with 25 pound weights, and 75 on the other 15 mins with a 40 lb pound weight, am I doing too much or too little?

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shelcee
    is it difficult for a woman to pass the PAT?
    LOL, not if it's the CPAT many departments currently run. It's a test that was never intended to be used as a challenging entry level test, and few people I know have found it to be difficult. If you find it to be hard, and you have to spend alot of time getting ready to pass it, perhaps the candidate should take a hard look at what types of challenges will be faced during the Academy if they are succesful in being hired.
    Remember, the CPAT tests to the BARE MINIMUM, it is a "gender neutral" test that has been deemed defensible by various human resources departments. It does not test to a "reasonable maximum" level of excertion that "could" be required in the fire service. It only tests what is "reasonable" to be expected on a daily basis. Examples?
    1. taking 1 step per second on a stairmachine is nothing like running up real stairs with real turnouts and a hoseload. Who takes 1 step a second when the bldg is on fire???
    2. pulling uncharged hoseline around a barrel is not challenging-make it a charged hoseline, like most hoselines in a fire bldg. Are we testing the ability to clean up after the fire, or actually fight the fire???
    3. real victims don't have handles on them
    There are many other reasons why the CPAT is not a challenging test, and why it is un-realistic test of what is truly required of today's ff.
    Sure, you may make it through the CPAT with flying colors, but let's not kid ourselves: The CPAT is being used for reasons other than it's being a challenging, realisitic test for firefighters.
    I'll let the other readers try to figure out why.

  10. #10
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    Smile

    ffman,
    The question as to whether you are doing too much or too little has it's answer in 2 places. One: what are you capable of without hurting yourself? Are you any good with a torn achillied tendon or a pulled hamstring? Even if it is temporary. Two: Truly, what you are doing, if I am reading it right, sounds great, but you really need to work up to the 75 pounds. I didn't get that you were there from reading your note. It takes time. Remember that working up to it gradually is the best way to prevent injury. Increase the weight by no more than 5 pounds per week, and 30 seconds per week. Working up to a full 10 minutes might be hard, but it will make the test easy...
    Best of luck. Keep the positive attitude. It will take you a long way- no matter your size!

    "Mitellschmertz" or mittleschmertz, however you like to spell it:
    The truth is, the CPAT test was developed to test for the ability to be trained as a firefighter. So, you are right about that.
    There is no easy way out. Strength, Fitness and Health is a lot of work. These points we also agree on.
    However:
    In my humble opinion, the other statements you have made here (and more egregiously* in other postings) are a bit out of line. I have spent countless hours in gyms since I started strength training with weights 26 years ago. That means I started at 12. I trained with my football player brother and my football player boyfriend. I took classes. I poured over the information. I created new ways to enhance strength without drugs. I was published on this subject by the time I was 23... in a peer reviewed journal. Do you know what that is?
    BUT, that's not normally what most girls do in high school, college, and grad school. They don't make strength training, injury rehab and injury prevention THEIR LIFE. So, they don't know the 42 different ways to strengthen their shoulder girdle. Or, the best way to increase their upper body strength. This society has trained them to do different things. If they are to be gotten up to speed for the job of firefighter, (and they are coming, whether you like it or not) they need to learn more about strength training. Many have to overcome their size and weakness due to a lifetime of step aerobics and jogging. They can make great firefighters, trained properly.
    Further, I cannot count the number of males I have seen in the gym doing dangerous or useless "strength" training. There are guys on this site all the time who have things that I can help them with- yes for free- that you might not have even heard of, much less treated dozens of times. It's okay for them to ask for help. And, it's okay for me to help them for free. They like it and they want it and they benefit from it!
    AND, when they go on MY website, there are pages and pages of FAQ's and tips that are right there for the reading FREE. No one get's their arm twisted to buy anything, and there are no gimmics. Just because you already know everything should not stop people who want to learn from reading posts that might help them be better, stronger, more healthy firefighters.

    Mittleschmertz: in case you are wondering:
    *Egregious means: combative, argumentative, rude, insulting. To attempt to stir trouble or start an arguement.

    God Bless all of you.
    Dr. Jen

    Dr. Jen
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 11-16-2005 at 08:26 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drjmilus

    "Mitellschmertz" or mittleschmertz, however you like to spell it:
    The truth is, the CPAT test was developed to test for the ability to be trained as a firefighter. So, you are right about that.
    There is no easy way out. Strength, Fitness and Health is a lot of work. These points we also agree on.
    and I'm not even a "doctor", wow I got pretty lucky, I guess.
    However:
    In my humble opinion, the other statements you have made here (and more egregiously* in other postings) are a bit out of line. I have spent countless hours in gyms since I started strength training with weights 26 years ago. That means I started at 12. I trained with my football player brother and my football player boyfriend.
    Wow, I dated a volleyball player in college, even played with her in the summer. But I still suck at volleyball. So are you any good at football now?
    I took classes. I poured over the information. I created new ways to enhance strength without drugs.
    There's a new way other than exercising against increased resistance? Did you talk to the sarcomeres personally?
    I was published on this subject by the time I was 23... in a peer reviewed journal. Do you know what that is?
    Yeah, it was exciting when I was published too, but i don't brag about it online. Getting published is easy, having it make a lasting addition to the foundation of knowledge on the subject is something else. Ever read Bodybuilding magazine? I guess that counts as a peer reviewed journal, right?
    BUT, that's not normally what most girls do in high school, college, and grad school. They don't make strength training, injury rehab and injury prevention THEIR LIFE.
    Funny, I thought that's exacly what you do when you want to get a doctrate degree in a subject. When my wife was studying for hers, she was no fun at all.
    This society has trained them to do different things. If they are to be gotten up to speed for the job of firefighter, (and they are coming, whether you like it or not) they need to learn more about strength training.
    Nice try, already have many on my department, but most of them passed a very challenging agility test that makes the CPAT look like recess. They are all very fit and strong. And they're not even "doctors".
    Many have to overcome their size and weakness due to a lifetime of step aerobics and jogging. They can make great firefighters, trained properly.
    Then why should we not have tests like FDNY, where the physical test is scored: the faster the time, the better the score. You believe in fairness and eqaulity, right? There should be no need to lower any standards to facillitate the hiring on any class, if all they need is proper training, right?
    Further, I cannot count the number of males I have seen in the gym doing dangerous or useless "strength" training.
    Ahh, but if a male says this about females, he's sexist? doctor, you should know better!
    There are guys on this site all the time who have things that I can help them with- yes for free- that you might not have even heard of, much less treated dozens of times. It's okay for them to ask for help. And, it's okay for me to help them for free. They like it and they want it and they benefit from it!
    Great, the purpose of these forums! A free exchange of ideas!
    AND, when they go on MY website, there are pages and pages of FAQ's and tips that are right there for the reading FREE. No one get's their arm twisted to buy anything, and there are no gimmics.
    But when you conveniantly add a link in your posts to your website, just like a few others do, you are subverting a forum from a free exchange of ideas to free advertising for your business. Which was the only issue i ever had with your posts, by the way.
    Just because you already know everything should not stop people who want to learn from reading posts that might help them be better, stronger, more healthy firefighters.
    I'm all for it, help everyone you can. I will assist you any way I can. And I don't know about you, but I try to keep learning al the time.
    Mittleschmertz: in case you are wondering:
    *Egregious means: combative, argumentative, rude, insulting. To attempt to stir trouble or start an arguement.
    Now "doctor", that's just plain condescending; is there anything in my posts to indicate that I lack a high school degree? Don't be surprised, but you might not be the only one on these boards with post-graduate school education. But not all of us have to put it in our signatures....

  12. #12
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    Default Mittleschertz: You have a few good points

    in your last post. I am afraid I let you tick me off. Bad on me.
    This is rediculous. And a waste of both of our time.

    Just so you know, the first time it started to make my blood boil was when you called me "doctor". Why would you do this? The state of California, where I practice, recognizes me as a primary care physician, and I have a license. I have been in private practice for 13 years. Just your comment with "doctor" in quotes sounded pretty condescending to me. It just got worse from there. Who are you to question the state's liscensing authority?

    Actually, I have to put my credentials before or after my name (or some way to have people find me) by law so that I protect myself from the anyone saying I am practicing medicine without a license.

    The fact that I said I saw men in the gym doing exercises incorrectly was not a sexist comment at all. A sexist comment would be: all men in the gym do exercises wrong. Mine was a statment of what I had seen. I didn't say I never saw women do that.

    Body building mags are not peer review journals. That's exactly why I asked if you knew what that was. I guess you didn't, or that never would have been written. Maybe look into what that phrase means?

    The point I make about strength training the way I did (with football players/guys) was only to say that, in my exprience, most women don't train like that. It is a well known fact that when you train with someone much bigger and stronger than you, it is often "catching" and the littler person gets much stronger than they would have otherwise. Further, I have heard story after story and question after question, from females (and even males) who do not have that kind of experience in the weight room. That was not a brag.

    FYI: I did play intermural flag football in grad school, on a team full of guys.... one girl to a team. I made a very sizable contribution because not many of the females could catch a pass or keep up with me. I am pretty good, actually, and that is not bragging, it's a fact. I can play just about any sport, and have, and still do. I am sorry the volleyball thing did not come naturally to you.

    As for your comment about just exercising against resistance: Yeah, there's alot more out there. And the truth is, according to the questions I get, there are alot of people who don't know even how to train traditionally with weights, much less plyometrics, or sport or job specific training that is aimed at enhancing the efficacy of each movement in a serious of job related tasks. And they very often are not familiar with injury prevention, like: rotator cuff rehab or trunk stabilization. Tha's why I answer those types of questions, because I DO know that stuff... so says the state of California, and the American Council on Exercise.

    As for the females in your department. I am glad they are there. I guess they have got it all down pat. But many don't. Lots of males don't either. You missed my point. They don't have to be doctors or even have a BS to get their job. (Although there are many other wonderful attributes, and knowledge that they must have.) And I realize that MANY have very extensive educations... many with masters degrees. I never said that wasn't the case.

    If the testing process is truly fair, then everyone should have to do the same thing. I agree with you on that. Smaller people will have to work harder than bigger, and stay doing so or they will get injured. Many will need the help of a trainer. Many will get injured and need help from a musclulo-skeletal specialist like me. Many could prevent those injuries themselves if they just know how... had a little free help once in a while.

    I never insulted anyone's intelligence or education level until you called me "doctor" and insulted me. And, then I only insulted you ONLY.You had truly offended me. What was your purpose? Then I picked on you because you missed spelled your own name! Who wouldn't? I'm human.

    And, finally, if a candidate didn't feel confident in their knowledge of how to train without getting injured... and if they used a personal trainer, IF the trainer knew what I teach people in that workbook and DVD... it would take that trainer at least 10 sessions to teach them what I teach them in the video and workbook. That training would cost them $60 an hour. That's $600. Since my product is just about $50... well, maybe, just maybe, it's cheeper. It did cost me money to get my education (as everyone) and it costs me money to film and produce the product. I do it because I love to help people. If you have a problem with me helping them and need to take pot shots at me to make your point, go for it. Guess what? People still want my help.

    The truth is, none of this needed to be said. Arguing on the internet is stupid, and we have both done it. If we had met in person, we may have agreed to disagree, but the communication would have been alot more clear.

    What a waste of time.
    I am sorry that it happened.

    Dr. Jen
    drjmilus@gmail.com
    www.fireagility.com
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 11-18-2005 at 10:10 AM.

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