This topic is near and dear to mine and your hearts and careers–Workouts for Firefighters and Fire Rescue Athletes. Over the last couple of months I’ve been researching, talking, tweaking and writing about some of the more popular workouts seen in firehouses across the world.
You can read about them here and here or listen to a great radio interview about this topic HERE.
I’ve received a ton of feedback about those articles both good and bad (please keep it coming) and used all of this information to create one of the BEST Workouts for Firefighters. The Ultimate Fire Rescue Workout is one of the most effective and efficient workouts for firefighters. Why? Because it contains these five vital components that are essential for the Fire Rescue Athlete. Does your program include these components?
1. The program must be planned using sound periodization and science. The program must be planned using sound periodization and science. Training should follow a developmental approach or progression. This means there should be a hierarchy of training. First it is essential for the fire rescue athlete to develop a training base that should increase the body’s functional capacity. Once this is accomplished, the intensity of the exercise is increased to emphasize strength and muscular development. In more general terms, we can also say we develop stability, then strength, and finally power. Regardless of what the training program looks like, it cannot violate this developmental approach. This is one variable that CrossFit does not do, people are getting injured from performing too many presses or pulls or jumps without having a sound base.
2. The Fire Rescue workout program MUST place a large amount of focus on Core Strength and Balance. Low back pain is the number one reason firefighters retire early. In order for a program to be effective, it must utilize exercises that focus on the developing the glutes, shoulder girdle, hamstrings, hips and abs.
3. The program needs to focus on cardiovascular conditioning and recovery. When you think of cardiovascular conditioning most people think of running or biking, which in most cases emphasizes aerobic conditioning. Fire Rescue athletes need to have a good level of aerobic fitness but cannot overlook the value of challenging the anaerobic systems. If you’ve ever humped a “charged” hose line up some stairs or dragged a victim or axed a roof open you realized the importance of anaerobic fitness. An effective Fire Rescue fitness program will set a good cardiovascular base then challenge the cardiovascular system with intervals. Intervals are one of the best way to simulate the high level of fitness required on the fire ground.
4. The program must (at some point) contain full-body functional strength exercises. Functional strength exercises increase balance around the joints and helps prevent injuries by stimulating stabilizing muscles. Functional strength movements like the push-up, goblet squat, lunge, pull-up strengthen all joints of the body in numerous planes.
5. THIS IS ESSENTIAL! Programs must include an Active warm-up and flexibility training.
The warm-ups prepare the body for movement, boosts heart rate, blood flow to the muscles, and core temperature. These movements also improve the function of your nervous system. Think of this component as taking a few minutes to warm-up a car that has been sitting outside in cold temperatures all night. The main goal of this the active warm-up and flexibility component is to improve the long-term mobility and flexibility of your muscles. The more flexible the muscle and joint around the muscle; the better the fire rescue athlete recovers and the less chance of injury.
This is not an all encompassing list but it will definitely give you enough information to help decide if a program has what it takes to be effective for the fire rescue athlete. I truly do believe that the Ultimate Fire Rescue Athlete Workout is the most effective and efficient workout for firefighters….dont take my word for it, take other. If you’re looking for the best program for firefighters…try the Ultimate Fire Rescue Athlete.