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Create an Effective Firefighter Workout Schedule

Do you workout on shift?  Should you workout on shift and what is the best workout to perform?  How do you schedule your workouts around your shifts or calls?

This is a major concern for the fire rescue athlete.  On one hand we know we should be working out to stay and get fit for duty. Yet , if we burn out in the gym we won't be able to perform when it really matters. I recently post workout options and get a lot of emails to post more. But, before I do, I think its really important to keep the big "fitness" picture in mind and see how all these workouts should be organized.

Part of the big picture is to figure out  "what is the best form of exercise to perform on duty?"   If you want a done-f0r-you program that incorporates the best firefighter workouts organized in a 12-week calendar, keep reading...

Here is my take on the question.  We all know that when the bell (or pager) goes off the fire rescue athlete MUST be ready to perform.  With that in mind, it doesn't make a lot of sense to perform a grueling workout while on duty.  With that in mind, firefighters must plan their workouts and recovery.  These two factors are critical to making fitness progress and staying fit for duty.  I personally,  prefer some lighter cardio interval training,  some core and/or rehab exercises, foam rolling, and stretching on duty and more intense workouts on off days.

 To insure that your are optimally planning your fitness, I suggest that you take some time each week to plan your workout.   Here is a great example of a "planned"  week of workouts for the fire rescue athlete.

Sunday
Firehouse Shift- Cardio Interval Crew Workout and foam rolling (click here to check out a great crew interval workout).

Monday
Full-body Strength or Metabolic Workout.  Currently I am following the FRF Challenge Workout (Strong and Lean) and would do one of the strength workouts from the program.  This type of workout challenges all muscle groups including the core.   You could also do a more metabolic workout (like the FRF Challenge- Fat Loss) has short intervals and more power movements, or use a TRX for you workout (GET FRF Workout).

Tuesday
Firehouse Shift- Steady state cardio on the bike or a jog on the treadmill.  Also incorporate some foam rolling and light stretching between calls (click here for foam rolling basics).

Wednesday
Full-body Strength or Metabolic Workout.  I would perform another workout from my program.  The workouts include all the needed components that help improve performance: active warm-up, core, functional strength and power, intervals and recovery.

Thursday
Firehouse Shift- Recovery day, maybe some yoga with foam rolling and/or stretching.

Friday
Crew workout with fireground based movements .  I set-up 6 stations and repeat it 4x.  These stations are fireground related movements of stairs, drags, pulls, sledges, carries and some core.  You can get creative and create your own stations for you and your crew.

Saturday
Full-body Strength or Metabolic Workout - Same as above.  This type of workout challenges all muscle groups including the core. Metabolic workout has short intervals and more power movements, strength workouts utilize longer rest intervals and heavier resistances.

Obviously everyone's schedule is a little different, I included the following Sunday to set up the next week where you may not have as many shifts.  The main idea is to plan your workouts to help you continue to work towards your fitness goal and to "be ready" on-shift.

Are you ready to accomplish your fitness goals this year?  Take the FRF "Fit for Duty" Challenge.  You will get a workout program, the new FRF workout app, eating guidelines, coaching and a chance to win cash and prizes.  Click here to join the FRF Challenge.

Please leave some comments and as always email me with questions. 
Stay Safe and Healthy,
Aaron  Zamzow

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