Take Action Today! Join other first responders in the 50-day Resilient Challenge.

Are you tired of feeling mentally and emotionally drained from the pressures of your demanding role as a firefighter, EMT, medic, dispatcher, or support personnel? It's time to take control of your well-being and equip yourself with the tools needed to thrive in high-stress situations. Our resilience program is specifically designed for first responders like you who face unique challenges every day. Imagine feeling physically empowered and mentally strong, able to navigate difficult moments with confidence and strength.


Welcome to the Resilient 50

A 50-day journey designed for first responders where we aim to foster and enhance resilience - the very cornerstone of strength and endurance in the face of adversity.  We do this by challenging and empowering you to establish the essential habitsthat will make you a more fit, happy, and effective firefighter, EMT, medic, chief, officer, dispatcher, parent, partner, friend, and person.   

The physical, emotional, and psychological demands we face as first responders are often gargantuan. As firefighters, EMTs, medics, police officers, and rescue personnel, and other emergency service specialists, we are frequently needed to operate in unpredictable, high-stress, and high-demand scenarios. Over the years, the importance of resilience in helping to weather these challenges has become increasingly clear.


first responder 50 day resilient challenge


This is not a fitness or weight loss challenge, it is a far more personal and transformative journey - the specific purpose being to equip you with the mental and emotional resilience needed to handle high-stakes situations and the daily stressors of such an essential job.


The premise of this 50-day challenge is simple.

  1. Choose seven habits that target the key aspects of building resilience- fitness, nutrition, recovery, and mental health.
  2. Choose a day to start.
  3. Follow through all 50 days, and complete each habit every day.
  4. Challenge others in your crew, family, department, and/or group to join you!  Make it fun and put some "juice" behind the challenge.
  5. Email your story/ entry (after completing the 50 days) and get your "Resilient 50" Challenge Coin (and entered in the prize pool).

As you read, I know you are wondering... what are these resilient habits?


The Foundation of Resilience.

The cornerstone of building resilience lies in the profound connection between the mind and the body. Exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep form an indispensable trinity in this journey to resilience. Regular physical activity not only strengthens the body but also enhances mental fortitude by reducing anxiety levels, depression, and improving mood. Healthy eating fuels our bodies with essential nutrients vital for maintaining optimal physical health but also regulates our mental agility by stabilizing mood and improving brain function. Both these elements are coupled with ample sleep, an irreplaceable element in recovery, rejuvenation, and increasing the capacity to handle stress effectively.


When combined, these three elements foster a robust body and a resilient mind, thereby equipping individuals with the necessary physical vigor and mental strong suit to effectively endure, recover from, and grow stronger through life’s inevitable adversities.


The Habits.

Forming healthy habits is the bedrock of resilience, acting as the building blocks that support our journey toward optimal health. Without these habits, such as consistent exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest, our resilience can be fleeting, experiencing only temporary changes rather than long-term transformations.


It's crucial to keep in mind that building resilience and achieving lasting progress doesn't come from occasional bursts of effort, but rather from the continuous dedication to healthy habits. This challenge is all about prioritizing habits that contribute to your overall health, fitness, and happiness, rather than focusing on short-term goals like weight loss or a lean physique or simply being kinder.


The Rules

--Select 7 of the 10 habits listed below

--Complete each of your selected 7 habits each day for 50-day.  If you miss one, you start over at day 1.


Choose habits based on your personal goals and lifestyle (select 7).


30 MINUTES OF EXERCISE - You can follow any workout program you like.  Exercise does not have to be high-intensity every day, it could be recovery, yoga, stretching, etc.


8500 STEPS - Get a fitness or step tracker and make sure you get at least 8500 steps each day.  You cannot "bank" steps from day to day.  Movement is good for many things, focus on finding ways to move more through your day.


80 OUNCES OF WATER - Water is the essence of every vital physiological process.   Staying hydrated can help with physical and mental performance, make sure you are getting enough each day.


NO CHEAT DAYS/ NO ALCOHOLIf sugars and alcohol are your kryptonite then why allow you to use them?  Do therapists allow alcoholics or addicts a cheat day?  The idea behind this challenge is to have you make some sacrifices and understand how certain elements like sugar and alcohol negatively affect your health and mind.  Commit to staying clean with your diet and alcohol consumption.


FOLLOW A DIET/ HEALTHY EATING PLAN - Stick to a meal plan that aligns with your fitness goals. This can vary based on individual needs and preferences, but consistency is key.


10 MINUTES OF READING (NON-FICTION) - Read 10 pages of a self-improvement or educational non-fiction book daily. This fosters personal growth and learning.


ONE MINUTE OF DEEP BREATHING - Take at least one minute of your day to practice some focused breathing.  Why? Deep breathing is a practice that enables more air to flow into your body and can help calm your nerves, reducing stress and anxiety. It can also help you improve your attention span and improve cognitive function.


ONE MINUTE OF GRATITUDE- Take a minute to think about something you are grateful for each day and write it down.  I believe this is one of the best ways to change your attitude and remember/ honor those first responders and military who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.  This one minute can change your day.  Get in the habit of practicing gratitude.


POWER DOWN 30 MINUTES BEFORE BED - Turn off all electronics (including TV) before sleeping.  This habit helps to improve the quality of sleep and gets your brain and body ready for recovery.


TIME RESTRICT EATING (Intermittent Fasting)- Try to feed during the day and fast at night.  You can choose any timeframe for feeding/ fasting you want.  Time-restricted feeding can build resilience by regulating the body's internal clock, leading to improved metabolic health, enhanced physical and mental performance, and better stress adaptation.


+1 YOUR CHOICE HABIT DEVELOPMENT- This one is up to you!  Maybe you want to learn a new language, stop drinking soda, restrict caffeine, monitor your sleep, write in a journal, read to the kids, train your dog, take a cold shower, or walk outside.  Choose a habit that will help reduce stress and improve your mental or physical health.  Remember this needs to be a habit that you can do every day.


The rules are designed to promote self-discipline, focus, endurance, and growth. It’s not just about physical transformation but also about building mental toughness and personal development. Participants should always consult with a fitness professional and health provider to ensure that the program is appropriate for their individual situation.


How to Enter the Resilient 50

There is NO cost to enter this challenge.

Your entry includes:

  • Access to a 50-day workout program from Fire Rescue Fitness
  • Access to the FRF App that includes the workout program and resources
  • Eating guidelines from Fire Rescue Fitness
  • FRF Healthy Recipes for the Firehouse (pdf)
  • Additional Resources from our Supporters (First Responder Center for Excellence, Science to the Stations, Firefighter Cancer Support Network)
  • Special offers on Resilient 50 Swag and Resources

AND, upon completion, you will get a Resilient 50 Challenge Coin and entered to win additional prizes.

Resilient 50 Form

Sign up for the 50 day FRF Resilient 50 challenge.

Why are you joining the "Resilient 50" Challenge?
Knowing your why will help you stay motivated and complete the 50-day challenge.

Entry and access to the workouts and resources are FREE!


At NO POINT will you be asked to enter your credit card information. I started Fire Rescue Fitness with a mission to help transform, educate, and inspire 100,000 Firefighters, EMTs, and Medics to improve their health and fitness and I feel this is one of the best ways to accomplish that mission.


The Birth of this Unique Challenge and How To Take Complete Control of Your Health in ONLY 50 Days...


There's nothing worse than rolling through the day-to-day grind as a first responder.  You wake up, go to calls, and if you are a volunteer then you go to your other job and drift through your career, losing energy and gaining weight with each year...


Next thing you know you are not sleeping well, arguing more frequently with those close to you, and are struggling to find the motivation to do the things you know you should be doing (workouts, eating healthily, etc.)


Shifts, calls, and months all seem to run together and you start to lie to yourself about your health and fitness level.  And, you now find it hard to get good sleep and energy.


You start reaching for energy drinks (or pre-workouts), and numerous cups of coffee, and feel rundown all the time.


After a  while, you start to mentally beat yourself up because you know your health is deteriorating and you can't seem to get out of  "the funk."  You also might find your conversations around work to be more negative and downtrodden.


You try new diets, new fitness routines, and old fitness routines,  Which only leads to more mental struggle because you don't see the results like you used to.    And each failed attempt drains a little more hope from your tank.


I know exactly how you feel ... because I've been there myself.


I spent years struggling to find (and create) the perfect program.   I tried new diets and exercise programs but never really made the progress I was hoping to get.


And, yes, I got frustrated!   At one point I was 20 pounds overweight and crushing ice cream, tequila, and energy drinks (not all at the same time).


This was especially frustrating because I was supposed to be the firefighter fitness guy, I was supposed to have all the answers.


What I did realize is that I was not alone.  I started to research the health issues facing our profession and dug into the physiology and psychology of my demise.


The epiphany!


This low point for me occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave me time to reflect and research.  It also motivated me to create a 28-day Catalyst Program to help other members of the fire service who were struggling to find exercise in the absence of a gym. 


I created the program and followed the program.  I did the program twice, and to my revelation it did wonders.


After 7 weeks, I had lost the extra weight, regained my confidence and energy, and felt like I was in control of my health.


Why?  What was the difference this time?


It was all in the focus.


Instead of worrying about how much I worked out and how much I was losing, I just focused on building healthy habits that got away from me.I started to drink more water.


I exercised every day.
I focused on eating lower sugar, more fiber, and lean proteins every meal.
I also integrated some breathing and mobility training.
And, I tried to get more sleep.


I realized that most people lack focus and the discipline to make lasting changes. THIS IS KEY!  When you focus on building lasting habits, you will make lasting changes!

Don't get it confused ... I am not special — I am just like you.


If you don't know who I am, my name is Aaron Zamzow, I am a firefighter, fitness trainer, and coach.


I also host a couple of podcasts and have been very fortunate to interview some of the most influential leaders in the fire service.   It is those conversations, paired with my experiences as a health coach that have motivated me to create this program.


I spent the last 20 years figuring out how to master my shortcomings in fitness, nutrition, and mental health, and now sleep to be thriving at age 50.


I know that it is not easy...


I know it can be done...


And I know it takes consistent action (habits) to make a lasting change.


It also takes some grit, support, and reason.


And,  it takes a plan and a system that supports and cultivates health habits, which is the essence of this Challenge.


"I believe that the Resilient 50 can permanently improve your health and your career as a first responder.  Again, this is not a fitness competition it is a program designed to help you establish the habits that will improve every aspect of your life."  -ZAM


This type of Challenge program has helped me and hundreds of other first responders.  Here are some of the results you will see and feel through the 50 days:


+Increased Emotional Control: Ability to regulate negative emotions and function effectively under pressure.


+Stress Management: More effective tools to cope with stress, reducing burnout risk.


+Enhanced Physical Stamina: Ability to endure physically intensive tasks for longer periods.


+Improved Mental Health: Reduction in symptoms associated with anxiety or depression.


+Higher Self-esteem: Improved perception of self-worth and capabilities.


+Improved Problem-Solving Skills: Enhanced ability to face challenges and find pragmatic solutions.


+Greater Adaptability: Better prepared for change, enhancing flexibility to new situations.


+Robust Immune System: Regular physical activity can boost your body's defense against disease.


+Enhanced Productivity: Increased concentration and efficiency at work or personal tasks.


++Improved Relationships: Better ability to handle conflicts, leading to healthier personal and professional relationships.


The Resilient Challenge will also make you a better leader, parent, and a more confident responder.




"But ZAM... why would you not charge for this, especially if it is so valuable for first responders?"  Because I know first-hand how establishing these habits can change your life and career.  Because I know that by completing the Resilient 50, you will be happier, healthier, and a better first responder.


...and because I am on a mission (see above).  I also believe that a Challenge like this can change the health and fitness culture of the fire service, and that is worth more than money to me.



Entry Gets You a Free Workout Program and Resources

There is no "catch."  FRF is offering the 50-day Responder Strong Workout Program for free to anyone who enters the Resilient 50.  FRF is dedicated to helping responders all over the world improve their performance, reduce injuries, and prolong their careers. 
Over the past fifteen years, FRF has helped over 12,000 firefighters, EMTs, and medics and has formed an "FRF Nation" dedicated to the mission (click here to read the success stories).   


The FRF Responder Strong program can easily be modified for any level of fitness and requires minimal equipment.   The program includes everything you need to improve your performance, lose body fat, and increase your muscle and strength.


Complete Comprehensive Workout Calendar

50-day training calendar with a daily workout plan that explains what you need to do each day (strength, core, cardio, flexibility, recovery, power, intervals).


Versatile and Efficient Workout Options

There are different resistance training and cardiovascular workout options to choose from based on your available equipment. There are workouts for the gym, firehouse, and home. And, the program teaches you how to create your own!


Functional Fireground Movements

This unique workout program includes exercises that improve your performance on and off the fire/ rescue scene. Learn how to effectively integrate climbing, crawling, pushing, pulling and other fireground motions into your workouts. 


Easy to follow exercise and workout tutorials

Each exercise and workout has a tutorial sheet that easily explains how to do each workout, exercise and rep. There are links to video tutorials and additional resources if you have questions. This is a truly “excuse-proof” workout program.


Access to the NEW FRF App and platform

FRF has created a new app that allows members to download all the resources via PDF and/ or track workouts and assessments via the app.  You will also be able to post to our discussion boards, message a coach, see what other athletes are doing, and track your progress.  And YES, this is also FREE and included.

Entry to the Resilient 50 also includes these nutrition resources...

logo for fire rescue fitness the best workout and fitness resources for firefighters, emts, medics, and first responders

FRF Workout Gym Companion and Log Sheets

Print these out and take the workouts and log sheets with you anywhere. Each workout has exercise overview sheets, exercise pictures, coaching points, and log sheets that you can fill out to keep track of your progress.
  • Log sheets to track your progress
  • Printable workout sheets with exercises pics
  • Guidelines to get the most out of each workout
  • Tutorial on how to create your own crew and cardio workouts
5 Steps

5 Steps to Eating Healthy in (and out) of the Firehouse

Eating in the firehouse or any house can be a challenge.  This guide simplifies nutrition and gives easy to follow and applicable steps to help you "clean up" your diet and lean up.
This manual includes:
  • Five easy to follow guidelines to get you lean and “fit for duty.”
  • Nutrition Hacks that will help you prepare and plan healthy meals
  • Healthy Snack Options to insure you stay on track
  • The 90-10 Eating Plan - Teaches you how to plan your "cheat meals" and stay on-track with your nutrition.
  • Example meal plan

FRF Healthy Snack Options

Use these snack options to help you plan and succeed with the challenge.  I listed my 10 favorite options followed by another list of top snacks other fire rescue athletes have used to help them succeed with their FRF (fire rescue fitness) program.

  • Easy to prepare snacks 
  • Top 10 list of snack options for your shift or at home.

Start Today!  Get Access to the FRF APP, Workouts, Nutrition Resources, Log Sheets, and Workout PDFs Sheets... And, Get Access to the FRF Crew (Coaching Group)

Real Results!

The FRF Workouts and Principles that you find in the GET FRF (At-home) Program have helped thousands of firefighters, EMTs and medics lose weight, gain muscle and strength and improve performance. 

"I know these programs and workouts will get you leaner, stronger and more fit for duty and life...  I personally use them to stay fit well into my 40's!  I promise this program will help you improve your performance, lose fat and gain strength and muscle."
-Aaron Zamzow (owner and firefighter)
az befoe after
Lisa char testimonial pics
“FRF programs are set-up in an easy to follow system.  The workouts are challenging and fun!  I really loved the variety in the exercises and the tutorials gave me confidence to successfully complete my program."
-Lisa Charbonneau

"FRF helped improve every aspect of my fitness, especially my core!  I can plank just over 2 minutes now and before 30 seconds was a challenge. I loved the variety of the exercises and the fact that they pertain to fireground movements. The program was easy to follow.  The best part of the Challenge is having friends and family notice that I’ve lost weight.  This has increased my confidence! The physical demands of my job don’t leave as drained as they used to. Thank you Aaron and FRF for Challenging me and making me a better fire rescue athlete..."

-Jesse Lauruhn

FRF Testimonial Jesse Lauruhn 2019 challenge 1

**Results vary depending on your dedication to your workouts and nutrition.**

josh fulk updated pics
“FRF has helped me transform my body and mind into an athlete.   I have lost over 100 pounds following the FRF programs and am not done yet.  These workouts will help you improve every level of your life.  Join the FRF crew, you will not regret it."
-Josh Fulk (now a FRF coach)

"I went from being slow, tired, and unmotivated to now loving to go hiking, biking and hunting again.  My FRF workout program helped me change my eating habits and the way I look at the things. The workouts have also prepared me for my fire department fitness testing, I cannot wait to hopefully be accepted to the Airport Police/Fire department (My dream career).  The coaching and support group really helped me succeed, especially on the days I give in and say it’s easier to stop.  THANK YOU FRF!"

-Jenn Sheffrey

jenn sheffrey updated

Entry to the Resilient 50 includes (for FREE)...

28-day Workout and Training Calendar

Stretching and recovery workouts that will get you moving better on (and off) the fireground

Workout options for the home or firehouse that don't require equipment

Interval cardio workouts and core exercises that will prolong your career.

Exercise Guideline Sheets with video demonstrations

Lean eating guidelines

Email Coaching and Motivation

Access to Private Facebook Coaching Group

NEW!  Access to the FRF Training App. Track workouts and progress.

Time to Create Your FRF Story!

Click the link below to gain access to the FRF 28-day CATALYST Workout Program and Resources.

Sign Up Today!