I am starting the a hiring process and have been told that in about 2 and a half months I have to take the candidate physical ability test (CPAT). I have already started training on my own. I am running daily and doing various calastenics, but I would really like some advice on what else I can do to prepare. Please keep in mind that at this time I do not have access to a gym. Any ideas would be great though. Thanks!

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I think running and calisthetics are about the best exercises out there. Something I don't currently do but feel to be one of the best routines in existence is called CrossFit. It's big in the military now, and gaining ground in police and firefighting. The website where you can check it out is crossfit.com. They post there workout on the site for free. Many of the workouts involve things you need in a gym, but many have running and calisthetics in various combinations. I have gone through their site (due to not being in a gym now myself) and picked out from their archives over 100 calisthetic only workouts and put them on my computer into a list. You could do that if you wanted, but if you ever gain access to a gym, that would be a great program for you. The site explains alot about the program and can help you get started if you wanted.

Can't say anything about the CPAT, I've never taken it. Just thought I'd throw one option out there for you.
Work on leg strength, mostly for the stairs and dummy drag. Everything else isn't so bad. Remember to set a good pace for your self. Kinda quick but you don't have to haul ass, see if there's anybody around your area that has a mock CPAT you can do to give yourself an idea of what kinda times you're lookin at. We have on in the county that we use to make our guys practice with. Gives em an idea on if they're doin ok or if they need to step it up a bit.
ok this is what i did and yes im a guy but get you a pair of flip flops and drive nails threw the soles right at the heal and wear them around that will work your calvs calfs cave any how you get it but theres the lower body upper body chop wood and or rig u up a pully system that you can pull a ropeor if your lucky enough to be in a larger town with a big foot ball stadium get on the top of it and do your rope pull there as for the kieser sled get you an old truck tire and a 8 lb sledge and hit it and hit it and hit it and hit it and did i mention hit it with the same tire fix you a rope and drag it as far as you want

ok all this is coming from a poor redneck who has done it you will find your way to get by everyone else

ps my record is 2:23
I took the CPAT about a year and a half ago w/o gym access, but what I did was alternate days, one day I would go jog a couple of miles and the next day I would run bleachers, I did this about two months before the test, and past w/o any problems, good luck w/ your test.
Try to get a weighted vest. If you can, get one with individual pockets so that you can add weight or take off some weight. Wear your vest while walking up a tower. We have a 4 story training tower. Start walking up before you try to jog up it. Be careful of shin splints.
First, trying to read your post gave me a headache. Secondly, you must be talking about a different test as in the official CPAT you are on the treadmill itself for 3:20. Thus, its not possible to have a time less than that.
The department giving the test should be giving you some sort of prep sessions, you should attend all of those you can, that will give you some exposure to the step mill and the 75 lbs you will have on while taking the test. As far as training you need to do steps, parking ramps, high rise buildings, or even steps in somebodys home. You will be on a step mill for 3min 20 sec at a rate of 60 steps/min wearing 75lbs, after that you will be wearing 50lbs throughout the rest of the test. If you have a back pack you can fill it with weight while doing steps or even find something to carry while doing steps, also visit the cross fit web site as previously mentioned great exercises. Good Luck!
I just got a military style pack, put a 45 lbs plate in it, then did stairs for half an hour. When that starts to get easier, add a plate. Gradually increase the time. Strength-wise, push ups, free weights, the normal stuff. Most of the isseus I had for the CPAT were cardio related. It'll whip you, but the better your cardio the better off you'll be.
Thank you to everyone who has replied so far. There are definately several very good ideas in there. Especially thank you to those of you that have mentioned crossfit. I knew about it because we use a variation of it to train for the firefighter combat challlenge on my team, but for some reason i couldnt remember what it was called and it was driving me nuts. I would have just called the guy on our team that is in charge of our training program, but he is on vacation right now and i broke my phone so i didnt have the number to any of the other guys on the team. So again thank you to everyone who has replied thus far, but please if you have any other ideas keep them coming!

one more question though. Is it better to train 5 or 6 days a week?
On the number of days per week to traing, it totally depends on what you're doing.

Crossfit, which you seem to be interested in, traings 3 on and 1 off. They do a variety of things.

If you're doing calisthetics, you may alternate push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, dips, et.c and running/sprinting on a 1/2/1/2/1/off/off schedule

If you're doing weightlifting, you may do a heavy workout on a specific body part, and do it once a week, with 5 or 6 workouts to get the whole body, or you may work a larger area, but with less intensity, and do two seperate workouts, each 2 times a week.

As you can see, there are many different workout routines based on what it is that you are doing. The key is this, you need to allow you're body adequate time to recover. After all, the muscle repair that your body needs, regardless of what your program is, depends on 3 elements: tearing the muscle fibers, giving your body the right food to rebuild, and giving your body the right amount of rest to rebuild.

It will depend on what you do, that determines on how much you workout. Try to think of it as not "how often should I do this workout" as much as "have I given these muscle groups enough rest time since my last time working this group"...generally you want 24-72 hours, more time for more intense/heavy workouts, down to 24. Again, that's just a rough guesstimate.
As a Fire Instructor and Lt. on a Career Department in Central Ohio I get asked this question quite often. I have a 40 page phamlet that outlines how to best train for the Cpat Test. If you would like to send me an email address I will email it to you. You can reach me at rmetzff591@yahoo.com. If by chance you no longer need it ----GOOD LUCK !!!!!!
Lt. R Metzger
Well i dont know about your department but ours you have to carry two attack lines up 3 flights of stairs. Then you have to be able to climp our ladder truck in so many minutes. then we make you run two miles . You have to bunker out in so many minutes. You also have to know how to catch a hydrant. You do this all in the same day and one right after the other.

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