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Any help Preparing for FDNY physical test...

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  • Any help Preparing for FDNY physical test...

    Hi everyone,

    I'm in the process of preparing for the FDNY physical test. I did well on the written, and want to ace the physical. I've been doing weight and cardio training for years, but increased it and got a custom training program which I've been doing religiously since January (which has been fantastic -- really helped me and corrected a lot of "overtraining" that I was doing)

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew of some private tutoring for the physical test. I've done the Randall's Island familiarization, and will be going again, but thought I'd see if anyone knew of someone who would work one on one.

    Any help would be appreciated

    [email protected]

  • #2
    OK Here we go---

    I was suppose to speak To Con Edison at Randals Island October 2, 2001. You know that didn't happen.

    On the physical:

    Physical Agility, CPAT, Biddle What Ever

    Often, candidates don't realize that it's not just strength in the physical agility. The "Nugget " is technique, momentum and grip. If you are uncertain or having problems in the physical, take advantage of any college or academy programs to learn the techniques to practice pulling hose, throwing a latter, dragging a dummy (not you), etc. Many departments offer practice sessions for their physical test prior to the actual date of testing. Don't pass up this opportunity.

    You don’t want any surprises during the physical agility. You need to have practiced hands on with every segment of the agility. Too many candidates think they are in great shape. One who did not take advantage of the practice session told me, “Hey, that 75 pound hose pack was heavy. Humping that hose bundle up the tower, hosting and other manipulative skills, then back down the tower steps made my lungs burn (they were still burning a week later) and caused the loss of valuable seconds.” The best way to train for this event is to up the cardio by going up and down bleachers with a backpack with weights or a weighted vest from WeightVest.com.

    In those areas of concern, work with a trainer at a gym in those fields of motion that would improve your ability. Often fire training divisions know the exercises that would apply to those areas. When ice skaters were trying to break the record for a triple lux, they found by working on upper body strength was the secret. You can learn more about physical agility training from firefightersworkout.com.

    Check in with your local area department and arrange to go by for a little coaching. What firefighter wouldn't want to puff out their chest showing his or her special techniques that got them their job or help on the fire ground. One of our candidates was losing sleep over the uncertainty of not being able to throw a ladder. These fears were put to rest after visiting a local fire department that showed the needed technique.

    With ladder throws, it's gaining momentum and a continuous movement from beginning to end of the throw, using a pivot point and the weight of the latter to your advantage. Dragging hose or a dummy is starting with a thrust to start up the momentum, taking shorted steps, keeping a low forward center of gravity, using your own weight to keep up the momentum during the pull.

    Walking a ladder is using a pivot point and the weight of the ladder to your advantage. When raising the fly, pull the rope in short hand over hand movements in front of your face not much higher than your head. On each grip of the rope, turn your fist palm down to improve your grip. Keep one foot planted at the spur (bottom one side or the other) keep the other foot back for balance. Slightly tilt the ladder towards the wall for balance as you raise it.

    The dummy from my son's department disappeared from the training center. Two days later a 911 call came in from a pay phone asking for help. When units arrived at the scene, here was the dummy standing up in the phone booth with the phone receiver to his ear. Case closed.

    Many candidates feel if they set some kind of a record it will help in hiring. Not true! It is pass or fail. The secret "Nugget" here is to pace yourself. You don't have to break the record. If you would have no problem in passing the physical, then, why would you want to try and impress the training staff, the other candidates and tout you set a new record? In your haste, you injure yourself or fall down the stairs in the tower . . . and, you don't even pass. Now, you not only didn't pass the PT, you're out of the hiring process. How would you feel McFly?


    Here are two link resources to gain information on the CPAT:



    Then this from Tom Domiquez:

    A good time to pass the CPAT is any time under 10:20. The average time is between nine minutes and ten minutes, twenty seconds.
    The secret to passing the CPAT is to be in shape with a high cardiovascular fitness level and to know the techniques as Captain Bob has mentioned. Try to think of the CPAT (or any agility) as a marathon where you are trying to complete the event instead of going for the record time. You can burn out if you are going for time no matter how well in shape you are.

    Most people who fail the CPAT fail at the first event or run out of time at the Ceiling Breach and Pull which is the last event. People who run out of time at the Breach and Pull lost a few seconds at all the prior event stations because they PAUSED to THINK of how to do the event or PAUSED or SLOWED down to catch their breath.

    No matter how hard you train for the stair stepper, your legs are going to be like rubber after you get off the machine and start pulling hose. The recovery time for "rubber legs" depends on your fitness. Even still, rubber legs or not, you have to get moving and keep moving, and stay moving! If you stop at anytime during the events, the clock is ticking and are losing time.

    As soon as you step off the stair machine, turn and face the line that takes you to the hose pull. As soon as the proctor takes the two sandbags off your shoulders, get moving! Pick up the nozzle and shoulder the hose and GO! This is not the time to worry about those rubber legs or try to catch your breath. MOVE!Go as fast as you can. Step into the box, turn around, get down on one knee and PULL the hose, hand-over-hand as soon as you and as fast as you can. You can breath while hand pulling the hose.

    When you get to the saw carry, just do it! When you arrive at the ladder raise, get down, grab the rung and raise the ladder. You have to push the ladder up, rung-by-rung as fast as you can. Move over to the fly extension and just do it. Breath as you follow the line and pick up the sledge hammer. Start swinging as soon as you can. When the alarm sounds, let go the sledge hammer and move the tunnel crawl. Get in and get out! You may not move like a greased pig at the fair but you do need to move. At the dummy pull, size up where the handles are before you get there. Grab them and get going. You may feel the burn in your legs but don't stop. It saps your strength to have to get the dummy moving again each time you stop.
    Get over the line and let go the dummy and get to the ceiling Breach and Pull.

    Grab the pike pole and step in. Start pushing an pulling with all you got! Get a rhythm/fast pace going. An object at rest requires energy to get it moving. An object that is moving requires less energy to keep it moving.If those ceiling hatches are not making lots of loud noise, you are working too hard. You can buy yourself some time here that you may need to finish the CPAT in time. This is the event where folks run out of time and fail the CPAT.

    If you were to pause five seconds at the start and stop of every event, or to stop and breathe or think about each event, you can loose about a minute and a half of precious time. Once this time is gone, you can not get it back. This goes back to what Captain Bob was speaking about when it comes to the manipulation and techniques of each event.

    You can overtrain by carrying extra weight in your back pack while you train for the stair stepper. Seventy five pounds on your back places a tremendous amount of stress on your ankles, knees, hips and back. Practice the event as you are actually going to do it. Work out at the same pace and distance as the actual stair event. The stair stepper event (as are most of the CPAT events) is based on cardiovascular fitness and endurance. It is expected that you will be anerobic and that is what the CPAT is attempting to do.
    While strength is required, you don't need to be an Olympic weight lifter. Best wishes

    Captain Bob


    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"



    • #3
      Capt Bob

      Thanks for your input. Actually my "custom workout program" was done by Capt. Stefano from the website you mentioned. His routine has been a great asset to my preparation. He has been a great help.

      I was just hoping there would be someone out here who might know of a local (NY metro area) trainer who specializes in prepping people for the NY physical test. I have about two months left till the actual test. Was hoping that some technique training might give me the edge.

      Thanks again for your help.


      [email protected]


      • #4
        FDNY Physical

        We have a FDNY / CPAT Prep center right outside the city on Long Island. I'm Mike Stefano, Firefighter's Workout author, and owner of AKC Fitness LI. The time to prepare is now.
        Go to http://firefightersworkout.com for more information on our training options.
        Mike Stefano


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