Does anyone else train in their full turnouts while in the gym like jogging on the treadmill or doing the stair climber? Just curious on what you all do, so if you've got some ideas throw'em out. I've even started jogging in full turnouts with an scba on, wow what a workout for 30 minutes.
Yes, that would be a workout alright! Likely to cause injury, but I suppose you can call it a workout. Have you not seen the data available on what structural PPE can do to the body? That this PPE is extremely poor at allowing the metabolic heat, produced by the body when working, to escape? Please, do your training in lighter weight clothing. The idea is to stay alive longer, not not bring on heart failure sooner.
If its the fire departments gym then I don't see the problem. However, I wouldn't consider wearing my gear in a commercial gym because of the "funk" that is on it and my boots. Additionally I wouldnt jog in my turnouts or with an scba for fear of injuries. It is the same reason why you don't wear your gear during the CPAT.
I would be more concerned with the harm you are doing to your body than any good you could gain from jogging in full gear. You need to monitor your core temp, you are probably reaching the limits of heat exhaustion, not as bad as heat stroke but doing this on a regular basis puts more stress on your body than is healthy. Also, are you dehydrating yourself while exercising? Do you stop sweating before you stop your workout? What is the increased strain on your ankles, knees, hips and back worth? The regular wear and tear is bad enough but boots and turnout gear are not meant for good range of motion, proper body positioning or good posture.
Hopefully you are doing this in spare gear as the amount of moisture you are putting into your gear will give you some serious steam burns if you wear that wet gear into a structure fire. Right there that should be enough to make you stop! Not to mention that the stress and strain on your body greatly increases your chances of other injuries on the fireground.
There are many safer ways to increase the efficacy of your workout...grab some hand and ankle weights, use a weighted vest if you want to carry even more weight...evenly dispersed over your upper body. If you want to sweat away the "toxins" hit the sauna. Rather than increase the stress on your body alternate exercise, cardio vs weight vs endurance.
One last thought....we were taught to NEVER run in turnout boots. Although the exception to that I guess would be if my life depended on it...then I would only run far enough to get to a safe zone.
As others have answered, although I understand your thinking, that is not only dangerous, but negating the benifits of exrercise. Dangerous to say the least.
However, you could develop some job-specific workouts at the firehouse. Such as the commonly accepted task simulations of a cement-filled truck tire striking with amaul over a surface, etc.
Use the gym for what it is intended. Developing strength and cardio vascular fitness by using the time-tested equipment and routines to build strength and endurance so you can adapt to the stresses of the task-oriented programs.
I've never done a full exercise session in turnouts, but there is one I've done I'm actually fond of. We use what we call the stair box, which is shaped like two stairs on one side, then another on the other side, so basically you step up twice and step down twice, then turn around and do it again. Full turnouts, SCBA, and you're on air. You do the box until your bottle is empty. We did that twice a week, with at least one day in between. You have to make sure you're hydrated to begin. No hangovers allowed. Then, once you're finished, go thru a full rehab, just like at a housefire. Gear off, gatorade, walk slowly to air out and calm down. Tough on your body, but great workout. Now I understand all the medical concerns, but if you don't push your body, how are you going to improve your cardio, endurance, stamina, etc? I've also done something similiar, where I don full wildland ppe and pack, and go for a hike. Find a nice walk with some inclines, and just go. Another one thats better to have a couple days in between, but definitely great for endurance on those hikes in to fires.
Studies all show cardiac issues are what kills us the most. So eat well and exercise. Keep moving, find things to do. That way, when it comes time to beat the hell out of yourself, your body is used to working, and can handle it better. Either that, or stay sedentary, watch lots of tv in between calls, do the least amount of work you can get away with, eat lots of heavy, fattening meals, and expect to die on the job from a heart attack. This stuff is preventable people! We don't need to lose experienced firefighters every year to something that with a little effort and thought on our parts, can be prevented, or at least alleviated to a greater extent than it is now. But its about personal accountability. We need to do it for ourselves. It shouldn't have to fall to the departments we work for to make us do it.
The others here have summed it up, not a good idea to "exercise" in full turnouts, you are hurting yourself more than helping.
As for TRAINING in full turnouts, yes we do depending upon the training we are doing. We also limit the time of the training in full turnouts so that we don't get burned out etc.
Something to think about, whether a volly or career FF and working out in full turnouts, then how could you be ready to respond to a call if you go to exhaustion? What good are you if you are too exhausted to do your job? Exercising in turnouts just isn't a good idea.
The only ones that I have ever heard of "training" in full PPE, are the guys that are preparing for the Firefighter Combat Challenge. They use the lightest NFPA approved gear available and wear regular shoes while training. They do it for conditioning pusposes only.
Ok to clear some things up here, I dont push my self to the edge of passing out, and I dont exercise in by boots, I wear cross country shoes. Plus this is gear thats been washed and I'm on a treadmill at 15 degree incline and I'm only going at a rate of no higher than 4.0 so its like a fast walk. It's only for 30 minutes and I'm not totally drained when I'm done so I can't see why you all say this is so bad for me. I've seen tons of training videos with guys in turnouts just pants and coat, like one said they do it for the combat challenge so why should we not all do it, their the best fit ff's out there.
I think it would be more beneficial to exercise using weighted vests. Accompany this with alot of in service training where PPEs are worn throughout the drill. Get yourself in peak physical condition and then do "fire training" suited up.
You can't see why we say this is so bad for you? And that's after you gave a much more dtailed description of your training? Don't you think those two things go together mate?
However I still, like Jake, say that structural PPE is not the correct clothing to wear for fitness training. All the detailed safety advice given is still correct. For the comment made earlier about wearing wildfire clothing and pack and going for a hike? Totally different situation. Wildfire clothing lets the body temperature escape, structural PPE doesn't. It's bad enough keeping that heat in the body when we have to, we should try to not do it at other times.