FRF Birthday Challenge Workout for First Responders.

Earn Your Cake with this Metabolic (Birthday) Workout for First Responders.

For the last 7 years (including this one) I have completed this special "Birthday" workout (on my to help me measure my fitness and determine where I need improvement.   This particular workout doesn't require a lot of equipment and can be done at home or at the gym or firehouse (even if it's 2 degrees below zero).  

I encourage you to do this workout (or a similar one) every once in a while to help keep you motivated and to gauge your level of fitness.    I call these OBWs or outcome-based workouts because you are working out until you complete the goal (prescribed time or reps).  

I like these challenge or outcome-based workouts because:

 #1 They are fun and scalable,

#2 They are a great way to measure your level of fitness and

#3 They can help First Responders improve performance (if they include an active warm-up and some stretching).

This "Birthday" workout can be scaled to meet your available equipment and level of fitness.  Give it a shot, add or substitute some of the exercises as needed.  You must however begin this workout, like every workout, by performing an active warm-up.

active warm up template


Active warm-up (perform for 30 seconds or 6 reps of each exercise for 2 circuits with no rest between exercises)

  1. Standing Chops
  2. Step Forward toe reaches
  3. Spidermans
  4. Knees side to side
  5. Cross overs
Repeat for a total of 2 circuits then foam roll or use the percussion gun on your tight muscle groups for 3-5 minutes.
Now that you are ready... it's on to the fun!
All you need for this workout is some type of cardio equipment- treadmill,  jump rope, steps (or a step-mill), and a way to do pull-ups or body rows.  You should time the workout from the first movement to the last so you can track your fitness progress from year to year.
Rest when you feel you need to (try to keep it at a minimum).  Go from exercise to exercise at your own pace. Remember if your form starts to fail, take time to rest.  
Poor reps DO NOT count.

Start the timer.....then:

 1.  Run 400 meters on the tread.  If you don't have a treadmill you could create your own cardio component like jump rope 200x or run the stairs.   This year I improvised and rode my stationary bike for half mile each time.  Aim for a high-intensity cardio exercise that takes 1 to 2 minutes.  After you complete this part then move to the next exercise.
2.  Push-ups - 10 reps
3.  Pull-ups (or body rows)- 10 reps
4.  Prisoner (hands on your head) squats- 10 reps
5.  V-ups- 10 reps
6.  Burpees- 10 reps
7.  Lunges- 10 with each leg
8.  Narrow Push-ups - 10 reps
9.  Body Rows (or TRX Rows)- 10 reps
10.  Super Planks (click here for a demonstration) - 10 each side
Repeat for a total of 3- 4 rounds.  

Personally, I perform 4 rounds (one for each decade).  If you are just starting out try 2 or 3.  After you complete the last round, record your time then perform some stretching and foam rolling.  Make sure to rehydrate!

I perform this workout on my birthday to make sure I am maintaining my level of fitness.  This year I had a few challenges with an injury but I was able to overcome it and modify some exercises. 

You should pledge to at least maintain or improve your fitness level from year to year. Give this challenge a try!

Stay safe and Happy Birthday FRF!

-ZAM (Aaron Zamzow)


Did you look at the above workout and think..."no way?" 
FRF was created to help motivate firefighters, EMTs, and medics to get more fit for duty.    We have workout programs, eating guides, recipes, and coaching that can help you!   Get the same program Kevin Glover used to lose over 40 pounds and get Fit for Duty...  Get more details by clicking HERE!

Congrats Kevin!

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Fire Rescue Fitness has workout programs that will help first responders lose weight, gain strength, lose body fat and most importantly improve performance on (and off) the fire/rescue scene.   To discover the best program for you, take the FRF workout quiz (click the link below).

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