T Nation

Firefighter Recruit Academy and Strength Training

Hey guys, so I got my first week of rookie school out of the way with the city fire department.
I would like to hear if anyone here has any experience with this training and maintaining their own strength.

Here is the deal, my schedule for the next four weeks is doing EMT from 0800-1800, Monday-Friday. So we are craming all of the medical certs for EMT in four weeks, having a test every day, and having to maintain 80% or better on all tests in order to pass.

Obviously my focus right now is EMT. So studying, being on time, and passing the academics is my primary goal. However, due to so much book work, we won’t start PT till the end of this four week block…

So, at best I can train 2 days per week outside of the school, like Wed. and Saturday. Just wondering what any of you guys/gals would recommend would be the best way to attack this. 5/3/1 2 days per week? I would like to hear anyones opinion.

I met the PT instructors the other day and they seem very cool and told us they plan on doing a lot of functional stuff like sprints, stadium climbs, tire flipping, wood chopping, all in full gear-- so I’m stoked about that, but I got 4 weeks till the fun begins. Just looking for some good ways to maintain my strength and muscularity till then. As a class, we do push-ups and bodyweight squats before every break-- but that only goes so far.

I’d say if you were intent on doing something, and are already doing 5/3/1 the 2 days a week hitting two main lifts each day would be adviseable. Probably not push the reps too much either on the last sets, just aim to hit the Rx reps and call it a day after doing each main lift. Gotta stay mentally fresh for those tests.

What does/did your training look like coming into this?

I dont have any advice since i havent been through an academy yet, but I wanted to say congrats on the job brotha!

I have been in your same boat, I work for a suburb of Dallas. I understand your need for study time, but I will tell you the same thing I tell our guys when they are sent to paramedic school. Take a break after class from studying, if you enjoy lifting, go do it, at least MWF (Yes, I recomend 531, its what I follow and you can just put in cruise control for a month.) It will give your mind a break and you will be refreshed to hit the books some more. Also EMT basic is not that bad of a class, neither is the academic side of the fire academy. Good luck! And Congratulations!

Thank you all for the replies. That is the big thing right now is staying rested and alert to do well in class. So I’ll just stick with getting in there 2 days per week. I talked to a buddy who is an Army medic and he sort of mentioned the same thing about the EMT stuff.

Texican, I have no prior experience as far as firefighting/EMS is concerned. I graduated with a physics degree and served some time in the Marine Corps before this, worked some jobs here and there-- from sales to construction. The department had 1800 applicants for this class and hired only 14! So I feel VERY blessed and am very excited about this opportunity.

The department really seems great, they exercise a deep family type atmosphere/mentality and that is huge for me. So far very impressed with the instructors, chiefs, captains, even the firefighters and engineers I’ve met.

We’ve got a mix bag of recruits. Some are prior EMTs and firefighters from other areas, another Marine, 4 college athletes (football and basketball), two played semi-pro bball, almost everyone has a bachelor’s degree. Everyone is in good physical shape-- a very competitive class to say the least.

Thanks again for the kind words.

Congrats Evolv, if you don’t mind my asking, where in NC are you doing your training because where I am our firefighter and police academies share a building, I’ll be with the latter class.

[quote]NinjaLEO wrote:
Congrats Evolv, if you don’t mind my asking, where in NC are you doing your training because where I am our firefighter and police academies share a building, I’ll be with the latter class.[/quote]
Sent you a PM pal.