T Nation

FDNY test

The answer key for the most recent open competitive New York City Firefighters test were just posted. Assuming no questions are thrown out by protest, I got 81 out of 85 correct. Its safe to say that i’ll be invited to take the physical agility test this summer, but I need help in training. I don’t need to lose any bodyfat(I don’t think I could lose much more anyway) but I need to know what I need to do specifically to train for the physical agility test. Cardio is imperative, leg and back stregth are essential, but what should I be doing specifically? I know three forum users: Don, Burk and Magnus are firefighters. If you guys or anybody else has any advice, I’d appreciate it. My tentative plans so far are to do loads of Bill Kazmeier cardio: pushing a car; running steps with a weighted vest on; maybe sled dragging; running hills with people on my back, you know real fun stuff. I also plan to incorporate the olympic lifts as soon as I get the flexibility. Training like an athlete, not a bodybuilder. Maybe doing the stack that David Tua did when he knocked that guy out in like 15 seconds. Any training or nutritional advice whatsoever would be appreciated. Thanks.

Forgot to mention a few things. I’m 21 years old, 6’0", about 180lbs. Max bench 265, Max deadlift at least 400(never tried more), Not sure about max squat. It can’t be less than the bench, but isn’t as much as the deadlift. As far as bodyfat %, the fast fat 2 digital calipers are crazy, they say anywhere between 1% and 5%, but they also aren’t accurate under 10% or so. I’m definitely under 10%, so losing fat isn’t an option and bulking up would only hinder my speed and agility I figure. Thanks again in advance.

Sam, I have a friend who is currently looking to train for the FDNY as well. If you like I could perhaps link you two up for the benefits of w/o partnership. Sound decent?

MBE: “Fire in tha hole. Since 1744.”


I am currently a Paramedic in Calgary, I just did my physical for the fire department here.My training included the things you did,my cardio was wearing a 75lb vest and hitting the stairmaster, the trick was to go at a steady slow pace,(approx.60 steps a minute)and work up the time spent doing this. Also to help with the rescue drag, drag some weight backwards and uphill, we also had to do an equipment carry and all I did was walk up and down my street with 50lb dumbells, as for supplements I was on multi-vit,and A&E, Creatine and Protein, then 1 week before I stopped the Creatine and lost the water retention, On the days prior to your test Carb up and drink 1 litre of water the morning of your test. Good Luck!!!Worked great for me I am just waiting to do my polygraph and start class in late January…

Well, this may be heresy, but check this link out. Maybe you’ll find the exercises useful. www.menshealth.com/ fitness2/firemanfit.shtml

I was about to call you a blasphemer, but the article actually is helpful. Thanks.

Do you know what the test consists of?
My department uses the Firefighters Combat Challenge for its entrance test. If you can find out,I can give you a specific program to use, one I used to compete at the World Challenge. If they use a basic task oriented test, running stairs, sled drags, sprint work, and basic power and olympic lifts should work, with some extra work on overhead lifts.

Good luck, its the best job you could ever have!

How important are the shoulders? don, you mention extra work on the overhead lifts, so i assume its as important as leg and back strength.

Sam,shoulders, i my opinion, are just as important for the test as back and legs. There re many tests out there, but they are basicly the same,they either mimic the movements you would do on a fire scene, or actually do the tasks. For example, pulling a ground ladder off a truck(anywhere from 4-6 feet off the ground, placingthe ladder against a building, then replacing the ladder on the truck.
Hose carries are usually done carying the hose on your shoulders, placing an exhaustfan from the ground into a window, simulating pulling a ceiling down using a pike pole.

I have found that after back injuries, shoulder injuries(rotator cuff) are the most common injuries firefighters get.

I use mainly high pulls, upright rows and military presses for my shoulders, along with the olympic lifts, you should do fine for your upper body strength.

I hope this helps.