On-shift Firefighter Interval Workout
I get a lot of emails asking for good workout options for the firehouse when on-shift. Working out on-shift is a major concern, you want to make sure you keep your body in good “fit for duty” condition but also want to make sure you have enough “left in the tank” to respond and perform in an actual response. Over the last couple of years I have toyed with various workouts on shift; high intensity, heavy lifting, stretching only, and even some yoga. I have found that interval workouts are not only the most effective but a great way to incorporate fireground movements (steps, crawls, sledges, drags, lifts, carries, and some core).
Here is an example of a on-shift workout that I did with my crew.
Perform 2 circuits. Set an interval timer for 35 seconds of movement with 5 seconds between to transition (click the red link below to be taken to a video overview of the exercise).
Foam roll for 3 to 5 minutes (click here for a good post about foam rolling for firefighters).
After completing the 2 active warm-up circuits perform the below exercises in a circuit 4 times.
I like to set the interval timer for 35 seconds of work with 25 seconds of rest. If you are just beginning intervals you may want to set the timer for 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest.
- Aerodyne (if you don’t have an aerodyne you can use row machine or battling hoselines)
- Jumping jacks or Weighted Jump Rope
- Stair Crawling (bear crawl up the stairs then run back down)
- Sledges on a tire (overhead and side sledges) or medicine ball slams
- Core Exercise (plank, bird-dog)
- Mountain Climbers (or burpees)
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“I happened to be on Facebook one day and Fire Rescue Fitness popped up in my newsfeed, I followed the link and found a wall full of different workouts. I followed the page and began trying anything new that was posted. I then saw “The Ultimate Fire Rescue Athlete” program and after doing some reading about it I was hooked.
I started the challenge on January 1, 2016 at 118 lbs. I am now 121 lbs. The numbers don’t really speak volumes compared to my success in my appearance and my abilities. My biceps gained one inch of muscle, which I really notice when I raise my arms to put my hair into a pony tail. My abdomen muscles are more defined now, than ever before. When I first started I was able to run 5 km in 38 minutes and now I can run it in 32 minutes.
I really enjoyed the combination exercises; these are nothing like I have ever done before. I notice my endurance in just walking up large sets of stairs is no problem (even when carrying heavy things). I don’t notice the extra weight of my gear and carrying a pack on my back to be a big deal anymore. I also can work harder and longer before losing my breath and feeling fatigued. This workout changed my life, I look forward to doing it again with alternative movements, I won’t be caught exercising anymore because I now know that training is what I would rather be doing always changing, always improving. “
Thanks Aaron and FRF! –Lisa Charbonneau
Take a look at the results Doug Franklin achieved using the FRF Ultimate Fire Rescue Athlete Workout..
“Last summer, at the age of 43, while training for my fourth marathon I experience pain in my knee that sidelined me. After visiting the with my doctor I was told that I no longer had a meniscus in my right knee and that arthritis was so severe that I needed to stop running. This was tough for me to handle. First, the pain was an issue. Second how was I going to stay fit for duty? Running, at the level that I was running burnt a lot of calories. Not running at all caused me to put on weight as well. I saw my weight climb to almost 200 lbs in just a few months.
I came across the Ultimate Fire Athlete Workout and thought I would give it a try. I began the program on January 11th at 198 lbs. I had a 34 in waist. I just finished the 12 week program and I am now 170 lbs and have a 30 in. waist! 28 lbs weight loss and 4 inches!
I am in as good a shape as I ever was while running marathons and have added muscle in my arms, chest and abs that running never gave me. I have gained the strength and core balance that I need to do my job as a firefighter as well restored my cardiovascular fitness level.
I would also add that my knee is feeling wonderful. I did most of my cardio days on a bike or elliptical, I am able to do the sprint challenges and all of the overhauls no problem. The workout worked well for and with my knee pain issues. It also worked great with my schedule. I could get in and out and was also able to work it in while on shift.”
Thanks Aaron for an Awesome Program! –Doug Franklin
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