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  • mpolletta
    replied
    workouts

    There are actually scientific studies that have been done to show correlation between the importance of lifting weights and firefighter performance. I have an article that correlates a firefighter's strength in bench presses, squats, (the big compound lifts) to a drastic increase in job performance. Capt. Mike Steffano from FDNY who runs his own gym and personal training service has also recently written of the importance of doing the "big lifts" like squats, overhead presses, benching, pull ups, etc. You can check out his archives section on firehouse to see it. No more bicep curls, tricep extensions, leg extensions, those get worked when you do compound movements like the above. Doing clean & presses too is a great overall exercise. Varying your weights and reps is always a good idea every few weeks to change up the stimulus on your muscles. Stict form is a MUST! Our work isn't muscle specific, any job we perform (vent, pulling ceiling, pulling hose, etc) works your entire body all at once, so that's why doing the big lifts is a good idea. If you check out www.strengthcats.com they also have scientific articles to back this up.

    You shouldn't run for cardio, you don't run at fires and it's very damaging to your knees and back. Trust me, I have a herniated disc and arthritis to prove it. Get a 45 lbs weight vest, put an airpack on and get on a treadmill that goes up at an incline. Walk on the teadmill doing that and it'll rival any run! Doing intervals on a spin bike or an elliptical is a great cardio workout too.

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  • alex104
    replied
    I agree with what "ericn222", and others, have said. I strongly (no pun intended) advise against power lifting! I love lifting weights, power lifting - but my flexibility is shot! Moderate weights, plenty of reps and LOTS of stretching!

    Its like i am starting all over - although big muscles look cool they are heavy to carry around!

    go big on cardio, push ups, sit ups, pull ups and stretches! - work the core!

    Alex

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  • ericn222
    replied
    Best Workout

    The best workout I have found for firefighting involves a mix-up of cardio activity coupled with flexibility and strength training, though not so much with weights.

    In firefighting, you have to have good cardio fitness. We all know that. Mixing activities throughout the week will help you avoid those "post-fire" pains. We've all had them - the day after where you find pains in muscles you didn't know you had. By combining cardio activities (running, stairmaster, bike, elliptical, etc.), you will work all the muscles in your limbs, which will not only provide you with superior cardio endurance, but also make it so that ALL the muscles are prepared for work at all times. I usually do running or jogging 3 days out of the week and then another cardio activity two other days.

    Next is flexibility. Flexibility is HUGE to preventing injury in our job field. Firefighting requires you to go from sitting on your *** one minute to full blown effort the next. Doing this on muscles and joints that are not flexible can result in lots of injuries, ranging from as simple as a muscle cramp to as debilitating as torn tendons in the knees, hips, or shoulders. It really takes very little flexibility training to see significant results. Just spend 5-10 minutes after each workout stretching. If you do it after your workout, when your muscles are more pliable, you will get a better stretch. Plus, stretching before hard workouts can result in a higher risk for injury, as making your joints loose prior to doing something high-risk may contribute to them moving in an improper direction, causing injury.

    Finally comes strength training. We need to have a chat about the two types of muscle fibers - slow-twitch and fast-twitch. Slow twitch fibers store loads of energy and are made for endurance, allowing you to do moderate amounts of effort for a long period of time. Fast twitch are used to lift heavy weights for few reps and quickly grow to make you as big as a house.

    That being said, we all know that the guy that is big as a tree looks pretty intimidating, but I don't want him in the fire. He may be able to punch a hole through the wall, but he is only going to be worth about 10 pulls with a sheetrock hook before he is tired. Big muscles are great for lifting heavy weight, but are useless for endurance. Firefighting is endurance, not brute strength. I don't care if you can throw the victim over your shoulder if you only get 3 steps before you're beat. When strength training, go for light to moderate weight/high-rep exercises and make sure that you include exercises that involve your body moving your body weight, like pull-ups, push-ups, and dips. God forbid anything happen to you in a fire, but if you fall through a floor and catch the edge of the hole, you'll be really glad that you did pull-ups in your workouts. That all being said, don't be afraid to have some days that you lift high weight/low reps to build muscle size. There is nothing wrong with making your muscles bigger, just make sure that they are useful as well as big. I usually spend 3-4 days a week doing strength training, with 2-3 being moderate weight/high rep and the other day being high weight/low rep to build strength. That's all the high-weight work I need to increase muscle strength and size.

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  • Mihlrad
    replied
    excercises that invole pulling motions like lat pulldowns, bicep,tricep, your best bet tho is just to train on everything keep your body balanced and ready for any situation.

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  • XRaysJL
    replied
    workout

    The best kind of workout you can do is flexibility and cardiovascular. Those are the best for a career in firefighting.

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  • justenjones
    started a topic workout

    workout

    So, I was just wondering what sort of stuff you guys do to keep in shape. I like to run, lift weights, and box. However, I was curious what would be good to be prepared for the fire fighter lifestyle.

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