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Thread: CPAT Advice

  1. #1
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    Default CPAT Advice

    Looking for some advice from people who have taken the CPAT. Short-cuts, training tips ect. I'm in great shape but have never taken the test, what will kill me first, endurance or strength?


  2. #2
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    Make sure your ready endurance wise. Everything is about not running out of gas and technique. Strength alone wont help you pass the CPAT.

  3. #3
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    Default CPAT Training

    Do any practice sessions available to you.
    If you still have time, do some cardio-interval training.
    Always warm up first:
    Super set alternating only major muscle groups. Work for periods of time where your heart rate very high, alternating with periods with it in your fat burning zone. Extend this type of thing to 20 minutes. Do this type of training on alternating days about 3 days per week. This will prepare your heart.
    These major muscle group exercises should be with heavy weights... 10-12 reps... almost to failure. Then jump right to the other. Always keep your head above your heart. Example: start with 4 super sets, and work up to 8 of: for example: smith machine squats and lat pulls. No rest.
    Pick another 2 exercises and do the same thing. Like: Jump rope and pec dec. Or, weighted walking lunges and bent over rows.
    Dr. Jen
    drjmilus@gmail.com
    www.fireagility.com
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 11-16-2005 at 09:41 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I know, how bout ya use one of the services that are subtly advertised on these forums every day? Just look for any post regarding fitness or entrance tests, the same people always reply with helpful links to their for-sale products.
    Or, you can get the same info for free at a library, a university, or online. Won't cost a dime! Think about it- there are no tricks or gimics, there are no "sure-fire" solutions when it comes to physical tests.

    It's just like weight loss, or hair loss in my case. Train hard, eat right.
    Run, do strength excercises.

    There ya go, that will be $29.95 please
    The choice is yours, good luck

  5. #5
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    Default Actually, there's tons of free advice...

    on the web sites that you speak of: People really appreciate the free help that is offered. From shin splints to self care for low back and knee problems. My brain is full of all kinds of tidbits that may help people. Hmmm... maybe someone learned something that helped them? Who knows?

    I guess I never knew how to spell "mitlleschmertz". I always thought it was Mittleschmertz... meaning PAIN in the middle. Hmmm who would have guessed?

    Let's keep it positive here, guys (and gals). Positive thinking really IS instrumental.
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 11-16-2005 at 07:32 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default

    LOL yeah, I had to respell it when I lost my password. It's also the name of my ER softball team.
    And I believe it involves pain during a certain time of a woman's life, "Doctor".
    You did have that class in school, right?
    I was just noting that there is no need to spend money on learning how to get in shape for a test that most healthy firefighters could pass in their street clothes.

    I positively hope your business does well!

  7. #7
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    Default Actually, that's not all you were commenting on...

    judging from your other posts. Read them back to yourself, and you might see what I mean.
    I took many classes in many years of school. That's why I know how to spell it, and know what it means.
    My business does quite well at it's purpose- and that is to help as many people as I can.
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 11-16-2005 at 10:32 PM.

  8. #8
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    Yes, doctor, my posts in this forum do have a common theme- the CPAT is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a challenging entry level test for firefighters.

    But I do congratulate you on making money by helping people to get workout tips that are freely available, and using the Firehouse Forums as free adverstising.
    Your business skills are outstanding!

  9. #9
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    Default I have alot to share...

    so because being on here helps alot of people, I do it.
    My business is much more extensive than this. And my patients are all very appreciative for the time and effort I spend with them. It is a way of life, with purpose, just like many firefighters.
    Actually, most of my postings just have my name on them. (which I guess many people don't) Some have my e-mail address, and some have my web address. If people have questions, they can write to me. BUT, often they have no idea of the things they might read about and learn until they read my site.
    Keep reading, my friend.

    Dr. Jen
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 11-16-2005 at 10:35 PM.

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    In my opinion the CPAT has nothing to do with strength. I failed it the first time and passed it a short time after that. The first time I ran out of time on the dummy drag. I tried to go through it all as fast as possible and ran myself out. This is what I did after the first failure to pass the second time.

    I use a stair machine just like the one for the test at a dept about 45 miles away (My dept doesn't have the eq)

    I would go through the stair event with the vest.
    Drag a 50' section of 1.75" with a 50' donut roll tied to the end of it, Then pull the donut roll to me.
    Carried 2 45 lb dumbells.
    held a 45 lb barbell vertically at chest level just a few inches off the ground and pressed it up. Think I got up to like 20 times.

    I didn't focus on the search/maze, ladder, or Sledge. Mainly because it was not easy to simulate for me.

    I did this over and over and often. As I said I failed the first time and finished with 1:32 left the second attempt.

    I don't know if any of this will help you at all but I wish you luck. Also a few things that helped me.

    Don't rush yourself but do everything with a purpose. I don't know if that makes any sense but the first time I was just trying to get done with the test as fast as possible. The second time I was just going through checking things off my to-do list. On the stair machine you can count steps to measure the time. 1 step a second. I counted in groups of 30. I didn't run on the hose pull the second time and that saved me a little wind.(in my opinion you are not going to gain time for the energy you spend). On the push pull I used my legs to push and then bent at the waist to pull.

    Good luck and I hope you do well.

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    Glad you did better the 2nd time 2menandatruck!
    Since the CPAT is typically run as a pass/fail event, with no points given for finishing faster, take all the time available!
    Try to watch the video or read the manual about it, and figure out how long you can spend per station. Then during your training sessions, train at the same pace for the same amount of time (ie do 30 single arm bent rows over 1:00 to simulate the sled drive). This will help build "muscle memory", a trendy way of saying that your body will learn to perform a certain amount of work for a certain amount of time.
    There is plenty of free literature discussing these concepts.

    As for why the CPAT is set up as pass/fail instead of a scored system that rewards fatser times, well, that's a political decision, I'll let others figure out why...

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    Default

    I was looking for insight about the test that I might not have expected. Such as the stairstepper taking out your legs!!! Nice to see you can't get away from "it" even outside the station.

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    Default Hey, Lynn...

    What do you mean? That we are arguing like a couple of little kids, and have been of little to no help to you at all? Is that what you mean by "it?" I am sorry, I resemble that remark! LOL... let's get back on purpose here:

    I am not quite sure what you are looking for, but I'll try to act like an adult here: (and I make no comment about anyone else)
    You are right, the stepper will take your legs out. There's no way around the fact that you need to train with a weight vest on the stepper. It's a lot of weight, even if you are not as small as I. The spine takes a beating if you try to do the 75 lbs. right away, so gradually increase both time and weight... up to 3 minutes.
    RIGHT After your stepper work, take of your vest and quickly move on. I find that this works to strengthen your legs so they don't give out: Do super sets: decline leg press. Lower slowly, (to 90* bend at knees and hips) explode out, but don't hyper extend. 12 reps. Start with your body weight. Increase by a plate each side each set... (okay, a 45 each time might be tough, but at least add a 25 each set.) Then jump rope for a minute: 120-160 rpms. NO rest for the weary here. Do a set of the leg press agian. Now jump. Do this for just like 3 super sets at first. Work up to 10 minutes total: including the 3 with the weight vest. Move quickly, and I mean very quickly from set to set.
    I have been known to go really high on the leg press here, and go up in increments of a 45 lb plate on each side each set up to 600 lbs. Of course, my reps drop to 4 or 6 by the end, and I can't jump very well in the end... much less walk. But that kind of lower body power will drive you through the test for sure.
    Do not to this workout more than twice a week! Be careful with it! Watch your knees, your low back, and your SI joints!
    Is that what you wanted?
    This will produce the anaerobic capacity in your legs to keep you going through the test.
    Hope this helped your more than the other!

    Dr. Jen

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    Good advice about working legs, but may I suggest some more strategies?
    Try to find an expercise that makes large parts of the body work, while getting your joints and ligaments/tendons used to dealing with heavy weight.
    As has been stated, start out gradually and build up. Be careful.

    Movements like dead lifts and sqauts are great at building up the ability to move heavy objects (ie most things on the fireground )
    Movements that focus on one muscle group are great for body builders, but we want strength, not prettiness (is that a word?)
    -Find something big and awkward(ideally close to your body weight or more), like a tire or a sandbag. Carry it for 100 feet, put it down, pick it up, carry it back, repeat until too tired to do it again. You should be very wobbly and breathing hard after just a few trips- if not, find something heavier. My training partner has thrown up while doing this one, it can be a a very tuff workout!
    -Pick up a weight plate (no handles on it !) from the ground (biggest one you can). Raise it from the floor to overhead in one motion. Repeat until tired. Use good form.
    -Go to a gym with a hanging heavybag-very trendy right now with kickboxing aerobics, etc. Try pushing it around like it's a big bully for 5 minutes- pick it up with your arms wrapped around it.
    -Carry a big weight plate up and down the stairs- a weight vest is a great start, but typically we will be carrying something while wearing an SCBA. Try something awkward, without good handles, something that won't let you hold the handrails, this makes it all legs!
    Excercises like this are great for building up grip strength, leg strength, and overall "body strength", things that are what we need in the "real world". It's alot harder to move a floppy unconscious person out of the bathtub than it is to lift the same amount of weight on a barbell.
    "Train like you fight"... Your pts don't have handles, so train without handles when possible.
    Get used to loading up the body with as much weight as it can carry, it helps all those little stabilizer muscles we hear about.
    As a firefighter, you want to get your body in the kind of shape that you can do the "worst case" tasks, things that may happen once every 10 years. Don't train for the minimum requirement, train for the maximum.

    Alot of these types of excercises are very difficult, and put awkward stresses on the body, as opposed to standing in front of a mirror with perfect form, isolating one little muscle. But these excercises are exactly what we do everyday, and what cause alot of the injuries for us (ie back problems).
    Good Luck!

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    Default Big Exercises...

    Yep, those all sound great... what Mittleschmertz listed.
    I agree also that they work you very "practically". I would also try to take the time to do alot of core work to support these big exercises!
    Have a great Turkey day, and good luck training!

    Dr. Jen
    www.fireagility.com

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