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Thread: Muscle Groups

  1. #1
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    Default Muscle Groups

    Hello All:

    I am a Fire Explorer looking to get fit.

    Since you guys are the pro's, you know what muscle groups need to be worked on for use in the fire service. Is there some sort of workout routine that I can make at home for building the important muscle groups. I can get into my turnouts and running shoes at home, but I need to know what muscle groups or routines I should practice most (ie: Cardio, Biceps, etc...)

    My Current Routine:

    I already do push-ups, because it's a must, maybe 30 a day. I also play Raquetball frequently.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Captain Mike
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    Default forget about muscle groups

    You need to start thinking of the body as one integrated unit, not separate body parts. That's what body builders do (not athletes), and that's great for pure looks.

    Think strength / endurance of your entire system. The best way to explain this is to check out my last Firehouse.Com aritcle.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=11&id=53924

    Good Luck and Stay Healthy
    Michael Stefano
    Author of The Firefighter's Workout Book
    www.firefightersworkout.com

  3. #3
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    Default Muscle Groups

    I agree with Mr. Stefano. Dividing your training into muscle groups, like biceps, triceps, hamstrings, calves, etc, is the wrong way to think about it. I would focus more on functional training... exercises that imitate what you do on the job.

    Since you are at home, make sure your push ups are with hands wide- this gets your lats and back more. And- get a chin up/pull up bar! You need to work your back as well as your pecs! If you don't you'll have back problems later!

    I have heard of some great ideas like: dragging a sled with 50 or more lbs. on it across a parking lot and back.

    Or: taking turns with a buddy, picking the other (over the shoulder) up and going up a flight of stairs... putting them down and both walking down together. Then the other guy is the carrier, then down... both without weight up and down, and start again.

    Try Taping together hose bundles, each week increasing the size. Take it up 4flights of stairs. Put it down. Go down empty. Run up empty, pick it up and go down. This is great if you have a tower! Start again!
    In the gym, do only major muscle group work. It's nice to divide things up so you can make sure you get rest. But, divding them up does not mean doing small muscle groups EVER. Body builders do that. We are about function here, not vanity.

    Try this in the gym: do a push day with your upper body: pec press, push ups, pec flies, shoulder press in front. If you are in pretty good shape, go to exhaustion/6-7 sets of each exercise. (Don't bother with lateral raises, or triceps, they won't help you).

    Then do a day of cardio.

    Then do an entire day of Pulling: Pull ups, lat pulls, bent over rows, seated cable rows, over the shoulder pulls- see here under event #2:
    Again, if you are in shape, so several sets!

    Take a day off.

    Then do an entire day of big exercises for legs: Decline Leg press, Squats with free bar or Smith machine, walking lunges with weights (go up in weight each set!) Do several sets of each exercise! Finish with the 4 flight tower carries I mentioned above. STRETCH!

    Do easy cardio on a bike and stretch.

    Start over next week. Get creative, but be safe.

    Dr. Jen
    www.fireagility.com
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 04-12-2007 at 03:14 AM. Reason: spelling/typos

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up whole-body workout

    Wanting to get fit takes a lot of character--good for you, man!

    Yet another opinion (the others already posted are great): mix it up to keep from getting bored, which is a major killer of self-improvement projects. See my post in this category a while back (I think the guy's name was adam18) for the same suggestions I would make here.

    Dr. Jen's suggestion to get a pull-up bar is right on target. I can give you some ideas on building your own (easy). I don't care for the bars that you wedge in your doorway.

    Every day: stretching and calisthentics. 30 pushups is good, but if that's all you're doing in a day, you need to ramp it up big time, my friend. You need to be thinking about muscular STAMINA--i.e., building up your muscles' endurance to do hard work for sustained periods. (In the midwest, we call it "hay-baling strength"). Whether I'm doing weights or cardio on a given day, I do 6 sets EVERY day of 1) 40 pushups 2) 10 crunches, 10 russian twists, 10 flutter kicks, 10 skydivers and 3) 30 mountain climbers, with a couple minutes rest between sets.

    Good luck!

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    Default

    Thank you very much guys!

  6. #6
    Captain Mike
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    Default Agree with Dr. Jen, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Drjmilus View Post
    I agree with Mr. Stefano. Dividing your training into muscle groups, like biceps, triceps, hamstrings, calves, etc, is the wrong way to think about it. I would focus more on functional training... exercises that imitate what you do on the job.

    I have heard of some great ideas like: dragging a sled with 50 or more lbs. on it across a parking lot and back.

    Or: taking turns with a buddy, picking the other (over the shoulder) up and going up a flight of stairs... putting them down and both walking down together. Then the other guy is the carrier, then down... both without weight up and down, and start again.

    In the gym, do only major muscle group work. It's nice to divide things up so you can make sure you get rest. But, divding them up does not mean doing small muscle groups EVER. Body builders do that. We are about function here, not vanity.
    Dr. Jen has some great ideas. I use the 50 to 100 pound sled pull and push in the training of my candidates and probies. It lends itself to many options (pushing, pulling, attach hose to it, etc). It's available on powersystems.com
    (do a google search).

    Getting into buddy training where the load or exercise is alternated with another is another great training modality. For example: Perform Dumbbell Push Presses (full body move) for one minute while your partner is making 2 laps with the sled. Switch! Go for five rounds each or whatever you can handle.

    When it comes to functional gym exercises, I want to take it one step further and tell you to focus on FULL BODY moves like Squat Presses, Push Presses, Push Ups, Horizontal Pull Ups, and Dead Lifts and don't isolate Muslce Groups either. Even leg presses are not real, and will only be of little value to you on the fireground.

    Think high reps and strength-endurance (one word).

    Of course, a foundation of cardio where you alternate long slow and short hard workouts is a must.

    As a side note:
    Real kettlebell training, if you can get it, (not what's available throughout most of the country) is another option, as it's totally functional and full body on every move. My recent appointment as Fire / Rescue Advisor to the American Kettlebell Club has given me a chance to train with world champion Kettlebell Lifter and coach, Valery Federenko, and has given me a great opportunity to share this system with thousands.
    Michael Stefano
    Author of The Firefighter's Workout Book
    www.firefightersworkout.com

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    Default Great Stuff!

    Bob3000: I want to hear more about how to build a pull up bar in my garage. I hate the doorway kind too. I am a girl, afterall... and don't think of some things naturally. Sexist maybe... maybe I just don't think that way for other reasons. I dunno, but I want to hear what you have to say!

    Also, Mike Stefano... I agree whole heartedly with all you said here. GREAT ideas. The getting bored comments are sooooooooo true! I love all this imagination. Doing something different each time I go to the gym shocks my body into making constant repair it never even would have thought of. (A simple way of saying it.)

    Keep these ideas flowing guys. Everyone can pull from this!

    Have a great day!!!!

    Dr.Jen
    www.fireagility.com
    www.backsafegolf.com
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 04-14-2007 at 10:19 AM. Reason: forgot a name

  8. #8
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    Wink Integration

    I whole heartedly agree with th above thoughts. I would like to add a few of my own.

    If you do a specific muscle group each day, usually to fatigue, when do you integrate them with the rest of the body? The neuromuscular system has to learn how to use this new "strength". Remember that the concept came from bodybuilding where the idea was to overload and tear muscle for mass.

    Remember that athletic ability includes strength, power, endurance (cardio and muscular), range of motion, agility and balance. A well balanced workout regime should include all of these. I believe that many FF's get big and strong but lack in other areas and leads to alot of orthopaedic problems especially shoulder and back injuries.

    Take a look and try this work out at the end of this article for an example of a workout incorporating all aspects of fitness. You can change this around as you feel needed to hit different muscle groups with the weight, the important thing is to move the whole body in between sets, no rest and increase intensity by > reps or weight

    Remember, have fun.

    Orlando Gomez FF,PT,PFT

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  10. #10
    Captain Mike
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ogomez View Post
    I whole heartedly agree with th above thoughts. I would like to add a few of my own.

    If you do a specific muscle group each day, usually to fatigue, when do you integrate them with the rest of the body? The neuromuscular system has to learn how to use this new "strength". Remember that the concept came from bodybuilding where the idea was to overload and tear muscle for mass.
    The point is to completely break from ALL bodybuilding concepts. Forget about the typical recovery that body building workouts call for. Forget about muscle groups. Train the body as a whole. Think of it as running with weights, where you learn to time and pace yourself, and can workout every day.
    Michael Stefano
    Author of The Firefighter's Workout Book
    www.firefightersworkout.com

  11. #11
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    Cool to get an idea

    to get an idea of what we are talking about you can go to www.adapttraining.com and go to "press" and see the training videos there or go to YouTube and do a search for " training,300" and watch how they trained the actors for the movie "300". It is a fun way of working out.

    What I always tell clients is: watch a child on a play ground. For their size, they are amazing athletes. They have unending endurance, agility and balance that defies gravity, strength to weight ratio. And yet most adults couldn't mimic their activities. Why is this if we are bigger and stronger? The children didn't do sets and reps of weights in a gym to do what they do. I feel that once kids get to JH/HS they are sitting and the level of activity that our bodies need to be efficient is lost. Then adults choose very limited levels and types of activities and our bodies adapt to these new/limited activities. (running) This can and does lead to muscular imbalances and orthopedic injuries both acute and chronic (focusing on "mirror" muscles). Why is it that FF injuries are led by back then shoulder injuries?

    We need to move and train the way our bodies were designed. Be creative, add bearcrawls, frog hops, monkey walks, handstands, situp/squats, divebombers , skipping in between sets of weights. The workout I posted eariler is a good example of this.

    HAve fun and stay focused

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