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  • New FF, trying to build endurance

    Hey guys/gals, this is my first post on the board, I am a 30 yr old in "decent" shape, im about 6'3 205lbs. I just graduated volunteer recruit class and really want to boost my endurance. I eat good and stay away from allot of fat and try to stay away from excess calories. I travel on the road for a living so turkey subways have pretty much been all that I eat during the week. I'm just looking for a better way to eat and excersises that you guys do to boost endurance/strength. I am a recent gym member and have the chance to work out 2-3 days a week in the gym and 2-3 nights in hotel rooms. Thanks in advance for any help!!

  • #2
    Check out a book called the Abs Diet. It's written by the editors at Men's Health Magazine. It’s not for everyone, but it sounds like it would work really well for you. They focus on strength and endurance training as well as proper eating habits. It's about $10 on Amazon. They also have eating guides for fast food, grocery stores, and restaurant guides all called "Eat This Not That" Really worked for me.

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    • #3
      I like circuit training. For example:

      Hotel room: warm up by jogging outside 10 minutes (or on cardio machine there.
      Then do a circuit: no rest in between... at all!
      Jump rope 2 min (yes, I bet it fits in your luggage!)
      40 push-ups (or 50, I just do 25, cuz I'm a chick)
      100 bicycle abs. (Lift trunk of floor in rotation, not just your head)
      30 walking lunges (I carry 15-25 lbs in each hand, you decide)
      20 Lat pulls on the machine they have there. go to failure 2nd set and after.
      5 min on stationary bike at (or whatever machine they have there. or run the stairs for 5 min)

      start at the top and repeat, repeat, repeat. It's simple, low tech and easy. Start out with 30 minutes. Work up to however many times you can get through in an hour. You will be exhausted.

      If there is no gym there, take a pull up bar that you can hook into any doorway. (find on internet, and I bet you can fit that in your luggage too) Substitute pull ups for the lat pulls. If no weights for the lunges? increase your reps to 50 or even 100! It's killer!

      At home, make a circuit of 4-5 exercises, and do it for an hour... go heavy, 15-20 reps. Do it until you are exhausted. Then run or do a cardio machine for 30 more minutes after to are completely spent.

      Stretch after every workout.
      By the way, these are not firefighter specific. Functional and task specific training is really good, and there are many ideas on this site for that. If you want any others, I have more ideas too...
      Last edited by Drjmilus; 11-04-2010, 05:19 PM.
      Dr. Jen
      www.fireagility.com

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      • #4
        Dude.. don't buy into that crap above. Dont buy a joke book from Men's Health and don't spend 2 hours doing sit-ups and lunges.

        Read up online and get a solid foundation on nutrition (i.e. Probably shouldnt eat a 100 carb subway footlong sub before driving ; that bread has simple carbohydrates that are going to just digest and be stored as excess fat before you have the chance to burn it). Work on shedding weight with a good diet. Excess weight in this job is useless, we already add 30-50lb extra with our PPE no need to be overweight and then add your gear.

        Start hitting the gym hard. Do basic movements ( ie bench, squats, deadlifts ) and work your supporting ligaments and muscles. You'll do fine.. Just stay consistant. There is no magic routine or workout thats going to help.. Just hardwork and a good diet.

        When on the road at a hotel, try pushing your car or truck down a long lane or parking lot... thats going to require alot more effort and endurance (both muscular and cardio) than doing 100 lunges.

        Any more questions bro.. Just PM me.. Best of luck.

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        • #5
          Hey are you married? You have "endurance at home"?

          Keep up what ever you are doing and join the YMCA, great place to burn energy and help you body.

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          • #6
            I feel the best way to build endurance is not pumping iron for an hour a day or jogging for 30 minutes, its staying active for long periods of time, making your body work but without most of the time breaking a sweat. You have to get your body used to long periods of work time not a solid hour then take a break because on most rural depts there is not many breaks.

            The traveling doesnt help, its to much down time at one time. Maybe a new job where your on your feet all day and forced to move, bend and lift. Otherwise some believe that the mental part of firefighting can wear you out just as fast as not being in shape, you could do mind puzzles while driving. I know it sounds tacky but a fresh mind is just as important at a fire as having fresh legs.

            Just keep in mind your looking for endurance not buffness so pacing yourself is everything. Remember its not a race its a marathon! Good Luck and welcome to the only group of people that I see tip a hat at each other no matter where or who they are because no matter who or where we are, we are all fire fighters ready and willing at a paged notice to do what it takes to save lives and property.

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            • #7
              BW21: seriously? to disregard J Milus is showing your narrow mindedness, she is way qualified. Traditional lifting has merit but research and newer techniques are showing better results focusing on physical efficiency rather than pushing big weights and going for size.

              Feel free to add your experience/opinion but don't put down others just because you have a different view.

              O gomez
              FF/ PT/Peer fitness instructor

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              • #8
                I knew a fire instructor that would sometimes go to a gym that a lot of firefighters went to. He would put on full turnout gear including SCBA (but not put on the mask; he just wanted its weight), then get on the treadmill. He said that the other guys there would look at him like he was crazy...until they were tired and done and getting off, and he was still going strong. And going and going, like the Energizer bunny. And he was ~40 years old, too, much older than the guys who thought he was crazy...at first.

                At least, that's just what this fire instructor said.

                I'd sure hate to smell the inside of his turnout gear if that's true.
                -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

                The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

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                • #9
                  gb1k,

                  Can you give some details on what "decent shape" means to you?
                  What kind of PT did the volunteer recruit class do? What did you struggle with?
                  Are you a runner? What kind of exercises are you doing now?

                  Dr. Jen is right. Circuit training is great. You can also google search "body weight exercises" to find several combinations. These work great in a hotel room so you're never gymless. Also check out crossfit. Their home page today features an image from a FF Combat challenge. You can scale the weights and reps as you need; don't overdo it thinking you have to match what is prescribed. All those guys had to build up to the full scale workout. Also check out Stew Smith.

                  Are you driving to these hotels or flying? If driving, you should bring a weight vest with you for pushups, air squats, lunges, door pullups.
                  How many flights of stairs are at these hotels? Running stairs is a killer.

                  One exercise that really works you out is the burpee; people dread them but they are worth doing.

                  You need to have a good foundation to build on for increasing your muscular strength and endurance. Like others have said here, you need to push yourself to keep going.
                  Remember though, you are pushing yourself at "your" pace. The fireground will push you at its pace.

                  Good luck and stay safe,
                  johnb

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ogomez View Post
                    BW21: seriously? to disregard J Milus is showing your narrow mindedness, she is way qualified. Traditional lifting has merit but research and newer techniques are showing better results focusing on physical efficiency rather than pushing big weights and going for size.

                    Feel free to add your experience/opinion but don't put down others just because you have a different view.

                    O gomez
                    FF/ PT/Peer fitness instructor
                    I'm just expressing my experience as a 10 year strongman competitor. Most people don't realize the cardiovascular endurance needed to push a 6,000 pound object over a few hundred yards.

                    Give it a shot bro, takes a lot more than these "new age functional" workouts like crossfit. Ever wonder why every movement crossfit does is typically an olympic one? It's becuase they are tride and true and they work. This has nothing to do with getting size or being big.

                    You're right, doing 50 lunges and some situps is going to stress his body into a small amount of growth and change.. But how long do you think it will be before he adapts to that?

                    The progressive overload system has been around for years now, it works 100% of the time, every time. The only problem is people who are afriad to push to the limit becuase most people don't so they dont get results.

                    have you ever squatted 400 or 500 pounds? It's like running a mini marathon.

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                    • #11
                      BW21,

                      A friend of mine does the Strongman contests...he's a beast in his early 50's.
                      You're right. The progressive overload does work. Though I think sometimes people excel at certain things like heavy weightlifting but can't run more than 1-2 miles.

                      We all have different fitness goals. For the purpose of this thread, gb1k needs to be more specific about those goals.

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                      • #12
                        Fantasy Land

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                        Last edited by shmarleybarlow; 11-05-2010, 03:38 PM.

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                        • #13
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                          Last edited by BW21; 11-06-2010, 07:46 PM.

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                            Last edited by shmarleybarlow; 11-06-2010, 02:11 PM.

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                              Last edited by BW21; 11-06-2010, 07:46 PM.

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