1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Need to get back in shape

    I'm looking for some help in getting back into shape. I left the academy two years ago and was in great shape cardio wise. I've always been lacking on the strength side. I've gained about 25 lbs. since i got into the field. I ran for 2.5 miles 5 days a week for about 8 mos, but I hate running, I'd rather ride a bike. Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions for a 5/6 day 1 hour cardio/strength routine. I want to lose the weight while getting back in shape. Dietary suggestion are welcomed too. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    portland, OR

    Default Plenty of info here

    Take the time and look through previous forum entries and you will find good info on this topic

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Wheaton IL


    You need to do cardio no less then 3 days a week. Do a nice 5 minute warmup no less then 20 minutes with your heart rate up to your 70 to 80% range then 5 minute cool down.
    As for weights their are a ton of routines out there. If your working out 6 days a week stick with one body part a day. One day do arms, then chest one day, then shoulders, back, legs etc. Abs can be done every day without a problem.

    Diet, start to read labels, stay away from foods with a ton of sugar in them. Try to eat foods that are less touched by man. Stay away from the breads and noodles. While you need carbs, anything you don't use gets stored away as fat. Attempt to consume 1 gram of protien per pound of body weight. If you can keep your intake to 50% protien 30% carbs (good carbs), and 20% fat. You will start to loose weight. That with cardio 3 to 4 days a week and weight training will give you some results.

    Diet and exercise took me down from 265 to between 190 and 200 in less then a year. You can do it, their are a ton of resources out there. If you can get a personal trainer to get you started.

    Good Luck

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Higby916's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    It's very simple, in theory, but finding the motivation to do it can be tough at times. Simply, if you would rather bike than run, bike! But put effort into it, set a program, work up a good sweat and increase that heart rate.
    Strength - look into power lifting techniques and hire aod coach (not a personal trainer at the gym, unless they have a pl background... I met a trainer last week who didn't know how to execute a proper deadlift...sad). Doing many exercises for many reps and boring yourself is not necessary, unless you are going for proper cuts (more for competing). Squats, deadlifts, overhead press, thrusters, back extensions, pullups, pushups, situps. It need not be elaborate, but your workouts need to be full compliment, as to avoid muscle imbalances (hence the coach).

    As for food.... my grandfather said it right. His best diet plan ever, The pushaway. When you are full, or near full (because it takes time to digest), push away! Eating in the firehall can be tough at times, but at home on your own, Whole foods are your best bet. Stay away from packages and proocesed foods. Procossing is the same as partially digesting. Gross. The longer it takes your body to digest food (Such as whole grain oats instead of instant oats), the longer you will feel full.

    It's not always easy, but it's worth it. Think of it any way you need to... you will be healthier and safer for your family. Your risk of heart disease decreases as you lose weight, which also keeps your crew safer. You will feel better about your abilities. Whatever works...
    Vita brevis; terra larga.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Running sounds good for cardio, and can build some strength in the lower body. You might want to include some squats, lunges, deadlifts for the legs too though, since you have to carry around heavy equipment and even people. I hear good things about sandbag training.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Pleasanton, CA


    Here's a simple way to get into cardiovascular shape... if you have a weight vest and a step mill. The days you lift, use major muscle groups!

    Cross Training using step mill, weights and a cardio machine of choice!

    No matter how hard you train for the stair climb, your legs will feel like rubber when you're through. The time it takes to recover from this depends on your fitness level and your V02 Max. VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can process in order to feed your muscles to do work. In tests like the CPAT, if your VO2 Max is not high enough, you simply fail. Your legs may give out, or worse, you may become injured.
    To avoid these pitfalls, you must train properly!
    Gradually pushing up your limits over time can allow your body to compensate a little bit each time. This allows your heart and lungs to get stronger each time, thus preparing you for more, harder work the next time.
    This is an event that is really easy to train for. You simply need a road-map of how much weight to use when, and a plan of how to safely increase resistance and duration. You really do need a weight vest for this. They are sold at weightvest.com.
    Remember that training on the step mill is only part of the training process necessary for training for the CPat. Your legs need to be trained with medium to heavy weights. This step mill training plan is only a very small part of the bigger picture. If all you do for your legs is thstep mill, you will probably fail the CPat. You won't be ready for your job, or an academy either.
    Warning! Many people train with a back pack full of sand, or by carrying a weight plate. Don't do this! It changes the biomechanics, and puts your spine at risk! It causes small amounts of injury each time you do it. This adds up, and will cause you problems in the future. As you age, you are much more likely to hurt your back. These sorts of injury are often career changing, if not career ending! Use a weight vest!

    Another Warning! See your physician before beginning any exercise program! If at any time, you feel dizzy, sick, or sore for more than 48 hours in one particular area, stop doing the offending exercise! Ask your doctor’s opinion! Remember that no everyone’s body is intended for these uses!
    Watch your Achilles tendons!

    Make sure when you step up onto that next step each time, that your feet hit the step in this order: heel-ball-toe, then push-off. Do not do this training on the balls of your feet, or with your heels hanging of the stairs as you step. This will lead to injury of your Achilles tendon(s).

    Here’s a plan for you to use. It will take you 11 (plus) weeks to get through it. Train a day on the step mill, and lift weights with your upper/lower body on other indicated days. One thing I would avoid, though, is weight training for your traps specifically during this time. So: don’t do shrugs or upright rows. The weight vest is tough enough on them.The specifics of what to do on those weight training days is too much to cover here. I will say this: focus on major muscle groups work: Pull sup, pushups, squats, weight walking lunges, etc. Don't both with bicep/tricep or calf work.
    This workout is longer than you will be required to do for the step mill on test day. This will make test day easier, plus make you more than ready for the additional demands of test day! For more information on what is expected on test day, read here: http://www.fireagility.com/index.php
    Make sure you warm up 5 minutes easy on the stationary bike, and stretch after wards- especially your calves!

    Weight Vest Pounds Time: minutes Steps/minute
    Day 1 10 2 60
    Day 2 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 3 15 2.5 60
    Day 4 lower body
    Day 5 15 3 60
    Day 6 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 7 15 3.5 60
    Day 8 lower body
    Day 9 20 3.5 60
    Day 10 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 11 Rest Entire Day
    Day 12 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 13 20 4 60
    Day 14 lower body
    Day 15 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 16 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 17 25 4 60
    Day 18 lower body
    Day 19 Rest Entire Day
    Day 20 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 21 30 4 60
    Day 22 lower body
    Day 23 35 4 60
    Day 24 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 25 35 4.5 60
    Day 26 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 27 Rest Entire Day
    Day 28 35 4.5 60
    Day 29 lower body
    Day 30 35 5 60
    Day 31 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 32 40 5 60
    Day 33 lower body
    Day 34 20 min. other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 35 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 36 45 5 60
    Day 37 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 38 Rest Entire Day
    Day 39 45 5.5 60
    Self evaluation: How do I feel? Neck? Knees? Back?
    Day 40 lower body
    Day 41 45 6 60
    Day 42 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 43 20 min. other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 44 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 45 50 5.5 60
    Day 46 lower body
    Day 47 20 min. other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 48 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 49 50 6 60
    Day 50 lower body
    Day 51 55 5.5 60
    Day 52 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 53 Rest Entire Day
    Day 54 lower body
    Self Evaluation: How do I feel? Back? Neck? Knees?
    Day 55 55 6 60
    Day 56 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 57 20 min. other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 58 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 59 60 5.5 60
    Day 60 lower body
    Day 61 60 6 60
    Day 62 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 63 Rest Entire Day
    Day 64 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 65 65 5.5 60
    Day 66 lower body
    Day 67 Rest Entire Day
    Day 68 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Self Evaluation: How do I feel? Back? Neck? Knees?
    Day 69 65 6 60
    Day 70 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 71 20 min. other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 72 Upper Body Upper Body Upper Body
    Day 73 70 5.5 60
    Day 74 Rest Entire Day
    Day 75 70 6 60
    Day 76 20 min . other Form of cardio Run, swim, bike
    Day 77 Rest Entire Day
    Day 78 75 5.5 60
    Day 79 Rest Entire Day
    Day 80 75 6 60

    From here forward, you should be able to be step mill ready if you do the last workout twice a week! (This is important for your job) Plus, you should be a great cardio vascular condition, and strength condtion as well.

    Best of Luck!

    Dr. Jen
    Last edited by Drjmilus; 12-31-2007 at 11:18 AM.

  7. #7
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    NorcalMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Red voter in a Blue State


    Take a look at CrossFit. www.crossfit.com
    These workouts are favorite among our special operations forces.

    I have been doing these type of workout for a couple months now. Although there is running involved it is not as much as other workout programs. These workout are trying to build functional fitness. Most of the exercises are body weight only. There are some olympic lifts (cleans, deadlifts). Many of the exercises will mimic what firefighters do every day.
    Fire Captain

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