Firefighter Fitness- 4 Reasons You are Not Seeing Results

Simple adjustments can go a long way to help your fitness progress.

Its the dead of winter (at least here in the US), football season is over and spring seems so far away.  This is also the excuse season, the time of the year where most people fall off the fitness wagon and start to make excuses.

Its especially easy to make excuses and miss workouts if your not seeing results.  So, today I wanted to give you a little guidance and motivation to help you stay on track and make some fitness progress.

If you’re working out, you should be progressing. If you’re not, there’s something wrong with your program (or lack of a program). Simple. Right?

What’s not so simple is understanding why you’re not progressing.  Progress means so much more than extra weight on the bar, or another repetition, or a smaller waist size.  Good progress means an incremental improvement in the quality of your movement-- how smoothly and freely your workout goes, and most importantly improving your performance on (and off) the fire or rescue scene.

Over the past 25 plus years in the fitness business I've learned that that there are some key reasons your not making progress in your fitness.  Take a look at these 4 common reasons:

#1.  You're exercising instead of training...

When you exercise, you workout for the effect of that day, like relieving stress, burning calories or working your biceps, etc.  Training, however is physical activity performed for the purpose of satisfying a long-term performance goal.  For athletes (like firefighters, EMTs, and medics) training is a necessity or at least should be.  Training involves a long-term approach to fitness where one workout builds on the next, all leading to a long-term goal (better performance, leaner physique, more mobility, etc).  So, now ask yourself this question: What's the purpose of your training?  Every time you hit the gym, you need a plan of attack. A purpose.  You can't just wing it, otherwise you'll never improve.

Studies show that those who track and log their workout get more results.  Every workout, compete against yourself. Even if you only beat yourself by one rep or one pound, you have evidence that you're improving. Who knows, you might surprise yourself by how much you kick your own ass week to week.

Need a plan and a tracking app?  Thousands of firefighters use these workouts and the NEW FRF APP (click here)...

2.  You're Wasting time at the gym or firehouse...

Procrastination suffocates and kills motivation.   Procrastination also impeded fitness progress.  One of the biggest reasons people skip workouts is time, yet, when I look around the gym (or firehouse) I see many athletes wasting time- getting water, talking, messing around with their phone, etc.

Here is a simple trick to stick to your workouts and keep them fast and efficient.  First, have a plan, you should know what your going to do before you hit the gym.  Second,  wear a watch and time your rest periods in between sets.  Set a timer, as soon as the timer goes off, get back to work. You’ll notice that time goes by faster than you think. By limiting the time you’re sitting around between exercises, you’ll get a better workouts and yield better results.

3.   You're Not warming up properly.

Everyday I cringe as I watch people wander into a gym or firehouse workout and immediately lie down on a bench, and start cranking out their workout within seconds.  These are the people that end up hurting themselves and impeding their progress.    A properly performed dynamic warm-up can act as a catalyst for your workouts and your results.  Athletes that dynamically warm-up are less prone to injury and have greater flexibility and range of motion.

What is a dynamic warm-up (click here for a good post about it)?  It's a series of movements designed to increase body temperature, activate the nervous system, increase range of motion, and correct limitations.  In order to gain range of motion at your joints and fire up (no pun intended) the muscles that you're going to use for that day’s workout, you need to do this type of warm-up.   Start warming up properly and you'll notice a greater range of motion, more efficient movement, and an increase in strength... all of which will help you get results.


4.  You're looking for supplements to cure your poor nutritional habits...

Eating properly is half the battle.  You can work out five days a week and burn hundreds of calories, but if you are not fueling and refueling yourself properly, all that hard work is squandered.  The body needs good nutrition to make sure that it is able to support the work being done and to make progress.  So, if your not making progress, then stop looking for supplements to cure your poor eating habits.  A protein shake here and an energy bar there won't do much to help you out if your not getting good, basic nutrition.

Supplements can help "supplement" your nutrition, meaning they can enhance it but you must have the fundamentals covered.     Drinking more water, avoiding added sugars,  and eating a diet rich in protein, vegetables, fruits and good fats is the way to go if you are looking for a boost in workouts and progress.  Change out the pasta for quinoa.  Snack on raw green peas or beans instead of pretzels and chips if you want a crunch.  Choose the salmon instead of the T-bone steak.

Making decisions like these will send you on your way to better results.   After you have a solid nutritional foundation then you may want to add some supplements otherwise your pissing them (literally) down the drain.


Not seeing the workout progress you had hoped for? Take a look in the mirror and at your current approach.  Do you skip workouts, do you constantly tell yourself that "tomorrows the day I get started?"  Ultimately you have to take responsibility for your progress... and/or your lack of it.

The good news is that you don't have to do it alone, I am here to help.  FRF has workouts and eating guides that will help you get and stay on-track!  Scroll down for some great options.


My goal with FRF is to help firefighters, EMTs and medics get more fit for duty.  Let me know if you agree with this list.  Please share it with others and let me know how I can help you.

Stay safe and Get FRF!

Aaron Zamzow


Fire Rescue Fitness is dedicated to getting firefighters, EMTs and medics “fit for duty.”  Each one of the FRF workouts will help you combat these 4 reasons.... I guarantee it.

 Take a look at the results thousands of Fire Rescue Athletes are getting with the FRF Fit for Duty Challenge Workouts


When I started the FRF Challenge I weighted 310.3 lbs with a body fat of 36%. I was able to lose over 60 pounds at the end I weighted 243.2 lbs with a body fat of 24.5%! 


My health was starting to get in the way of my life and the job was starting to get hard for me.  My weight was really starting to slow me down in every aspect of life and the job.


The program truly helped me not only lose weight but I’ve seen a huge change in my day to day life (and not just at work).  I have more energy and I look forward to getting outside and being active.  Around the station I’m the guy now that says let’s go outside and train, do some hands on stuff.


The programs was really easy to follow–everything was laid out for you and if you didn’t know how to do a workout you could go online and check it out (which was really nice for me). I’m still working (every day) to get in even better shape to insure that I am always “fit for duty.” Thanks for this great program!    -Kevin Glover

Click here for more information on this Workout Program!

 Take a look the results Adam Hurford got using the FRF Challenge Workout…

When I started the program, I saw weight loss initially, then noticed my cardio was much improved. People kept saying man you look good. After about a month then the body transformation just started booming. My final numbers were even surprising to me.  I lost a total of 45 pounds from 280 to 235, my body fat % went down from 33.2% to 25.8% and I lost a total of 22.25 inches and 6 pant sizes!  I can even see my abs again, the first time since high school.


The weight loss is great but the biggest change with using FRF was that my cardio and my ability in bottle drills was amazing. I could last on my bottle 2-3X longer. The guys at the station noticed and their confidence in me (and in the crew in general) improved.


I enjoyed the FRF workouts, they were easy to follow yet allowed for diversity.  They also used and followed a progression that allowed me to build a very solid “fitness” base. I used the stretching portion at the station and even got my crew involved.  We all noticed the increase in our flexibility!


My life is better because now, I feel like I can perform at a much higher level–I have more strength and stamina, which I was lacking before.  Thank you Aaron for breaking me free of my eating and working out demons and showing me the proper way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.   –Adam Hurford


Here are the results  other firefighters got with the program…


“Hey Aaron.  Just wanted to say thanks for the easy to follow workout program and eating guidelines. Today is day 28 of the program for me and I am happy to report I had great success. Total weight loss for me in the 28 days was 10.5#, I lost 1 1/2 inches off my waist, 5 inches off my belly.  What a nice feeling it is to have loose fitting pants again. Thanks again and I will let you know the results when the program is finished.  Thanks Again and Take Care.”

-Charlie Bau


“So far, I LOVE IT!  Lost 8 pounds in the first month and my core is stronger than ever. I feel more flexible and move faster.  The interval overhauls are a great idea and an easy way to incorporate “real” fire ground movements.  Looking forward to the next 6 weeks…..”

-R.  Heltsrtun


“Hey Aaron, I just have to send you a message to thank you for the workout program.  As of today I have lost 22 lbs., my body has definitely changed and become more defined and my turnouts are fitting me better.  The Eating Guidelines were a huge help and the cardio intervals kicked my butt in-shape.  I have a lot more energy!  I don’t feel rundown and tired after long calls now.  Thank You!”

-J. Markels


God for your program.  I’ve only been on it for just over a couple of weeks and I’m already seeing results. I’m fitting into pants that I couldn’t get into a couple of weeks ago.  I really notice a difference on calls now, I’m able to climb in my gear and don’t fatigue like I used to.  I’m moving better, stronger and definitely leaner!”

-T Heptins


Create your own testimonial.  Click here to get Started and JOIN the FRF Fit for Duty Challenge.  Program includes workouts, workout app access, recipes, eating guide and coaching.  

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