T Nation

Fire Training


#1

So, I'm relatively new to strength training. My goal is to be a career Firefighter. This requires a certain type of fitness. I need to be strong, fast, and explosive, and have a measure of endurance. I did stronglifts for about 3-4 months, and had a 225 deadlift, 165 squat, and 75 OHP.

I switched to the "complete power look program" that I found on T Nation. I really like it, however I was wondering what to do for conditioning? I had looked at crossfit, but the random workouts and high rep oly lifts are not really for me. I need to figure out some way to get my conditioning in without sacrificing strength.

Thanks for helping a new guy with no idea what he is doing.


#2

If you’ve got access to a sled, do heavy pushes and pulls a couple of times a week.


#3

I used to be a full-time firefighter for a municipal department.

The best thing (in my opinion) would be circuit training, strength templates with adequate conditioning or, I hate to say it, Crossfit style training. Nothing can really prep you for working in turnout gear, in an SCBA, in a hot ass house fire other than doing it. However, having a trained cardiovascular system makes the job much easier. Being bigger isn’t always better, because you go through air bottles quicker than a lighter guy, so just being fit and strong for your bodyweight is great.

I would recommend any type of strength work with solid conditioning thrown in as a staple. So prowler/sled pushes, sprinting, hill sprints with a weight vest, etcetera.


#4

Can you find out what is on the test for the department you want to join?


#5

[quote]Jester196 wrote:
I did stronglifts for about 3-4 months, and had a 225 deadlift, 165 squat, and 75 OHP. [/quote]
This might come out sounding rough, and it’s really not meant as a knock on you, but do you weigh like 130 pounds of something? I’m just trying to figure how these strength levels are, in context.

Your best bet is obviously going to be to listen to guys who’ve been through what you want to do, like Evolv. That said, you might want to check this article on conditioning:

And this article on some things to pluck from CrossFit training, if you don’t want to flat-out be doing daily WODs:


#6

[quote]Evolv wrote:

The best thing (in my opinion) would be circuit training, strength templates with adequate conditioning or, I hate to say it, Crossfit style training.

So would you suggest the bodyweight style metcons?

Thanks.


#7

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Jester196 wrote:
I did stronglifts for about 3-4 months, and had a 225 deadlift, 165 squat, and 75 OHP. [/quote]
This might come out sounding rough, and it’s really not meant as a knock on you, but do you weigh like 130 pounds of something? I’m just trying to figure how these strength levels are, in context.

No problem, I know they aren’t much. I weigh anywhere from 155-160 depending on the day. I have been training for about 6 months.

Your best bet is obviously going to be to listen to guys who’ve been through what you want to do, like Evolv. That said, you might want to check this article on conditioning:

And this article on some things to pluck from CrossFit training, if you don’t want to flat-out be doing daily WODs:


[/quote]

Thanks for the links, I’ll definitely read them.


#8

Check out the work of Matt Wenning. He’s a world record holding power lifter, who trains firemen. I can’t post a good link.

He says your firemen often hurt their lower backs, knees and shoulders, when carrying heavy equipment or people. So he recommends training your glutes/hams/hips, to keep these muscles strong. And to train proper movement patterns (the hinge) to keep you from hurting yourself picking stuff up or carrying stuff around.

Also, work the upper back, rear delts and traps to support the heavy loads of equipment.

Drag the sled, because it’s like dragging a person.

Also, Hannah Johnson-Hill is a powerlifting firewoman who keeps a long running log at Elite Fitness Systems. There may be some good info in there.


#9

[quote]Jester196 wrote:
So would you suggest the bodyweight style metcons?

Thanks.[/quote]

Yeah that would work just fine. Also, the suggestions made above are great too. It really doesn’t matter to be honest when it comes down to doing the job, as long as you are in some type of good physical conditioning. Great fireman come in all shapes, sizes, and strength levels. Strength is certainly always going to help in life of course. If you are able to just perform work for a long period of time, then you will be fine.

A good fireman can come in to work, go fight a house fire, then run medical calls and wrecks for the next 20 hours on a couple meals and very little sleep-- and have a good attitude about it. When it comes to lifting heavy shit you have your crew mates there to help you. No one is going to pick up a 300 pound person by themselves or run into a fire with no one behind them, it isn’t like the movies.

If you like to lift weights, then lift weights. If not, do what you like to do to stay in good shape for the job itself.

As far as prepping for an agility test to get into a rookie class, the best thing to do is find out what the test involves and make your own exact version of the test and train it a few days per week so you can pass it with no problems.


#10

Thanks everyone for all the responses. I’ll definitely be looking up the sources mentioned.