1. #1
    Tam
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    Default Training question

    Ok, CPATs in 3 weeks. I've been training for nearly two months now... alternatind lifting 3 times a week and cardio and stairs 2 times (rest on weekends). I've been doing all the muscle groups at once on the lifting days and my question is whether or not I should start splitting the muscle groups up for different days? So far I've been doing cpat specific exersizes (plus others I jsut add in) for about an hour, 3 sets of 10 on each.

    Oh, and I just recently realized that they strap a 50 pound vest on ya for the whole thing, I had originally thought it was only the 75 for the stairs. I don't have access to anything like this (nor the money to buy one) except for an old backpack I threw 50 lbs into that I've been hiking around with this last couple weeks. Are there any exercises that can help me better prepare for that?

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    Default The back pack with weight! Ugggh!

    The Cpat vest sits completely differently on your torso and spine than that back pack would. I am cringing here! If you are going to use that, put half the weight in it that you need, and carry a plate to your chest for the rest of the weight. Otherwise, I fear you will hurt your back!

    Other than that, search for someone in your area who has a weight vest and borrow it! Please!

    The explanation you gave of the workout you are doing was not enough information for me to know exactly what you are doing. If you are doing task specific training with resistance, as you say, how much? How many exercises? how many reps? How much weight? If you are doing just 3 sets of 10 of each body part, I'd say no, that's not enough. If you mean 3 sets of 10 each exercise and say 3 back exercises, that's probably enough.

    I might suggest breaking it up, and working toward:
    1. Do Back and Biceps one day. 3-5 sets of 3 different back exercises. 3 sets of 2 different Bicep exercises. Abs, Abs, and lateral spinal flexion and low back work.
    2. Do Legs next day. I'd even do leg weights after the step mill training for an extra burn
    3. Do Chest, Shoulders and Tris the 3rd day. 3-5 sets of 3 chest exercises, 3-5 sets of 2 shoulder exercises, and 3 sets of 2 tricep exercises. Plus abs and trunk.
    4. Do legs next day, with weights after step mill.
    5. Do entire upper body the way you were before- on an hour. Do abs, and trunk. I might even suggest doing super sets today: opposing muscle groups, no rest, med weight, high rep, heart rate up. Like: chest-back for 10 min, Shoulders-lats for 10 min, bis-tris for 10 min, then 15 min abs/trunk, and 10 min of stretching.
    Rest for 2 days.
    Stretch every time you workout.
    Change the exercises you do each time. Variety will shock your body, and stimulate growth hormone release.
    Remember, you have 3 weeks. No MAJOR changes will occur between now and then. So: don't risk hurting yourself. Pay attention to how you feel while doing it.

    Oh! I almost forgot! warm up before you work out. But don't stretch before or during your workout, only at the end. Pre-stretching causes more injuries than no stretching at all. It weakens the muscle, decreases workload opportunity, and increases the chances of overloading and causing injury!

    Dr. Jen
    www.fireagility.com
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 04-20-2006 at 01:29 AM.

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    Default

    Don't forget to relax once you get to the test. I've seen plenty of guys who are physically capable of passing and they wind up failing because their head gets in the way! Its a challenging test, but its not impossible. Take your time, get the events done, and keep your mind on what you are doing -- not what station is coming up. You'll do fine.

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    Tam
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    Oh, sorry I want more specific. During my lifting days I pretty much do 2-3 different exercises per muscle, ie: dumb bell curls & preacher curls for biceps. So I generally run all over the gym doing most of the machines and hitting the weights. As for the specific lifts, I was givin a booklet during orientation with a workout program in it designed to help you train for the cpat, things like lat pulls, military press, etc. On all the lifting exercises I do 3 sets of 10 reps, and usually fail somewhere between rep 7 & 10 on the third set. I'm going to give your suggestion a try starting Monday. I had never thought to do the stair machine then do the leg lifts after, makes sense. I also schedualed an appointment at the fire depot to work with a vest, and hopefully I can make a few more prior to my cpat. No more 50 lbs backpack

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    One to keep in mind when you take the test is just keep a good pace. The proctors will not tell you how much time you have left so you may want to push yourself thinking you will run out of time. I keeped pushing myself thinking I was going to run out of time and started to lose steam at the ceiling breech and pull. I do not even want to know what my heart rate was when it was over. When everything was said and done I had 1:45 left. In hindsite I would have not pushed as hard. As long as you do not stop to rest and keep a steady pace you will be fine.

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    With 3 weeks left to go, I would recommend continuing to train your body as a unit by using exercises which closely simulate the events of the CPAT. Also, look at the order of events of the CPAT and perform the corresponding exercises in that same order during your strength routine. The 85 foot walk between events is helpful and you can integrate that into your training routine to help you practice your breathing which will help you catch your breath during the test. I'd also stay off the machines and use more free weight and movement-based exercises IF (at this point) you are familiar with free-weight exercises. Keep time on your strength circuits and make sure each giant set lasts no longer than 10:20. Good luck!
    Yours in health & safety,
    Rich Meyer, Strength Coach
    Author of FAST Responders: The Ultimate Guide to Firefighter Conditioning
    www.functionalfirefitness.com
    *Sign up for FREE training journal

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    Default

    you can take an old life vest and fill it with sand. After I did my C-PAT test I figured I would help some of the other guys in my volunteer dept that are testing with the county.

    We took an old ski vest and cut the stitches at the top of each section. Pulled out most of the foam and then went to the beach and collected sand (you could buy some at a hardware store if you not living on the coast). we then took 1 gallon freezer bags and filled them with sand. Then we filled the vest with them. Not the best, but its still holding up.

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    Default Live vest...

    Are you speaking of the old fashioned orange ones????

    That is a GREAT idea! That puts weight in front, and on your traps. It might be good to use the old back pack with sand in it too. Weigh them all together to add up to the total weight you are training with. Try to keep the weight even front to back.

    The zip lock bags are a great idea too! Maybe keep a total of 12 lbs in the front (2 bags of 6 on each side?) and a bag of 12 on the back pack that you can easily slide out for the remainder of the time past the 3 minutes.

    How creative! And inexpensive!

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    No, its not one of the old orange vests. Its an old type III ski vest. I was only able to get the weight to just over 40lbs. Had it been a larger vest, I could have put more sand in.

    The department I am at liked the idea so much that the purchase of 10 vests for training was approved. Some of us that are starting with the county soon go to a condo with all our gear, the vests, and highrise pack. Its an 8 story building and we hump it all the way to the top several times. I wish I would have trained like this before my c-pat. I know the guys that tested after me and used this for a lot of their training had better times than I did.

    Also if there are any 4+ story buildings in your area. Take your gear (if you have it) and the vest with a 20lb dumbell in each hand, and run up and down the fire escape. That will let you just how ready you are for the stair mill. You might want to check with the building manager before scaring the crap out of office workers though...

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