I spent the last two years focusing on paramedic school. Unfortunately I am now terribly out of shape. I want to return to fire and am looking for a really good exercise program geared toward firefighting. Does anyone have suggestions or know of a good resource? Thanks.
Like I said BONNIE, Get a napsack, put some weight in it, and start going up, and down the stairs for a while, and I bet that will put you in shape for any agility test. I know many that have done it, and it works. As far as how much weight you put in it, is up to you. The more weight, the harder it gets.
The Captain is absolutely right! The best thing you can do for leg strength and stamina is a stair routine. If there are any high rise buildings in your area, do the stairs there. (make sure and get permission first). Shoot for the tallest building. You might want to purchase a good weight vest as well. (Although a backpack could do the job too, it might put the weight too low, causing an unwanted strain on your back) Start with small weights and work your way up. If you don't have a high rise nearby, then do stairs on a stair machine. And if that's not doable, then just climb the stairs in your own home. But the best by far is the high rise building.
In Denver the fire recruits must complete a strenuous high rise exercise that requires them to climb stairs to the 30th floor, carry as much as 70 pounds of gear on their backs, then fight a simulated fire with 200' of charged 2 1/2, followed by a firefighter rescue on the 44th floor. It's very difficult, and the recruits train every day for it, for an entire 5-month academy. Still, some don't graduate because they fail the exercise.
I shot a documentary on the academy experience that shows this evolution. You can see a glimpse of it on the trailer at: www.rickysribshack.com.
Good Luck, and don't forget about building that upper body strength too.
I belong to a gym and my daily workout is this, I start out on the elliptical rider for thirty minutes the go to the weight room and do 30 reps on each machine, butterfly press, military press, lateral press and the machine that you pull down on I can't remember the name, the weight depends on how froggy I am feeling that day. After I get done with the weight I go back to the elliptical rider for fifteen minuted then cool down on the treadmill for fifteen minutes. Sometime during the week I try to work my legs out on the hip sled and holding weights while I step on a bench. I also go backpacking, canoeing and other things to keep me active, if not I spend all evening posting on FFN.
Plan and simple Alan, you can take your dream to the next step and make it a career reality by changing your mindset. Initial motivation comes from within. Get out of the dispatchers chair and into the gym, period. Physical fitness is a lifestyle change, but a worthwhile one. Find a friend, a mentor that is already were you dream to be, ask for their help and follow his/her lead. You mention "training or the lack of" in your bio, and "complacency kills" in a blog. Tomorrow morning, repeat both those terms to the man in the mirror and get fit. If you choose not to, well, the service still needs competent dispatchers... Good luck and stretch often!
THERE IS A BOOK OUT THERE WRITTEN BY A FDNY F.F.NAMED MICHEAL STEFANO AND THE BOOK IS CALLED THE FIREFIGHTER'S WORKOUT BOOK. THIS BOOK DESCRIBES EATING HABITS, HELPS TO DEVELOPE A WORKOUT PLAN TO MEET YOUR NEEDS. THE PRICE WAS $15.95 MOST BOOK STORES HAVE IT OR CAN GET IT FOR YOU.
ANYTHING ELSE I CAN HELP YOU WITH JUST LET ME KNOW.
Thanks for all the helpful tips. I appreciate your feedback. Initially I thought the backpack idea seemed too simple. But now I see how it can be beneficial. I am excited to be back in the workout mode. It feels so much better to be out running than sitting at a desk studying! So I am going to run stairs and add a little more to my workout. Thanks again for the help!
I loved that trailer! Wow. It was such a motivator. It made me remember how much I love firefighting. I know this journey is not going to be easy but it will be worth it. I don't want to look back on life talking about what I wanted to do but rather what I did do. Thanks.
Your main focus to start with should be cardio. Do things like jumping jacks, run/jog, stairs, etc. Your legs is what is going to carry you everywhere in the fire service. Don't start doing weights untill you can get your cardio in check. By lifting weights all your going to do is build muscle mass which in turn adds weight and if your cardio isn't up to par you won't have any stamina or endurance. Your stamina/edurance will also help out tremendously with your breathing control. We used to have a few muscleheads that would go in a house for 15 mins, suck a bottle dry then take a 40 minute break. You might also try getting with a gym coordinator, tell em your wanting to get in shape for firefighting and I'm sure they would have a routine that you could do, it may cost a few clams though.