One of the more common questions I get via the FRF Facebook page and from the seminars I give is: How should firefighter, EMTs and medics set-up their workouts? What exactly should be included?”
Today, I want to answer those common questions. Over 10 years ago I created the first of many Fire Rescue Fitness workouts. Through the years the exercises may have changed a little, but, the format in which they are created has not. Thousands of firefighters, EMTs and medics all over the world have seen improved fitness, weight loss and most importantly improved performance from these workouts. One of the biggest reasons so many people find success with FRF (Fire Rescue Fitness) is the efficiency and effectiveness of the workouts and how they are designed. Here is the quick and dirty reason behind the FRF workout anatomy.
All Efficient and effective workouts for fire rescue athletes (firefighters, EMTs and medics) should incorporate these components.
Active warm-ups- DO NOT SKIP THESE. I think the warm-ups are the most important workout component. These movements improve flexibility and balance, warm-up your internal temperature, and prepare you to move more efficiently. You may think these are not important, but trust me you will feel the benefits in just a couple of workouts. These are the most skipped component and should not be. A more mobile body is able to add more strength and better withstand the physical demands of our job.
Core exercises and prehab- As fire rescue athletes we are very susceptible to back, shoulder, and knee injuries. Every FRF workout incorporates some type of core and/or prehab exercises. These exercises work on building balance of muscle groups and strengthening the muscles that protect the back and shoulders. To make sure you do not skip them, FRF workouts place them toward the beginning of the workout. How many times have you said that you will do core exercises after your workout.. and then skip them. Make sure you do your core exercises.
Full-body strength exercises- You never isolate just one muscle group on the fire/ rescue ground.. which is why the FRF workouts place emphasis on training the fullbody. Biceps look good in the calendar but cannot help you hump heavy hoseline up the stairs. Fire Rescue Athletes need to incorporate exercises into their workouts that simulate the fullbody movements we do on the fireground. Movements like squat to press, standing shoulder presses, deadlifts, TRX rows are great examples. So, if you have been doing chest and tricep days maybe its time you switch to some fullbody workouts. I think you will see a huge improvement in your physique and performance.
Interval overhauls– This is a unique component to FRF workouts. This is the section of the workout that you can incorporate you sledging, crawling, carrying, drags and other fireground movements. The movements are set-up in a circuit and can really help improve your cardiovascular recovery and jack up your metabolism.
Recovery/ Stretch routines- This is another commonly skipped component. The last thing most of us want to do after a workout is stick around for another 10 to 15 minutes to stretch out. So, with our FRF workouts we perform a special, 4-minute routines. These 4-minute routines help with blood flow, mobility and recovery and insure you will recover faster. I think if you start incorporating simple stretch routines into your workout you will really start to feel more mobile and agile. Personally, I even do a couple of these routines during the day at the firehouse to keep me limber and moving efficiently. Its only 4-minutes, you can find the time. You can click here for an example…
Again, this is the quick overview of the various components that every firefighter, EMT and medic should have in their workouts. If you frequently are skipping one of these components or are on a program that does not address them, then maybe its time you get a better plan…
Our goal with Fire Rescue Fitness is to provide you with workouts and complete programs that will help you move better, get stronger and ultimately perform better on the job and in life.
I hope you found this information helpful. To take a look at our FRF Workout Programs (which now include the FRF app and eating guide) click here or click the “workouts” tab above.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
I am on a mission to help you get FRF (Fire Rescue Fit)!
Aaron (Zam) Zamzow