T Nation

Firefighter Training


I am looking for any ideas or advice on training for becoming a firefighter. I am hopefully headed to the academy in July and want to be prepared fo it.

Thanks in advance!


You've better get an idea of what is required and compare it to your current condition, then you'll see what you need to improve...Do you have to run 5 miles in a given time, or climb ropes or do 20 pull-ups? Is there any physical test firefighters have to pass? Get the information, lay down a plan, and then ask for help.


weighted stair climbing


I am assuming you have already passed the physical agilty test required by this department? If so you should have a good basic idea of what your training will include.

Many depts now use crossfit for their AM PT training, so your cardio will need to be up. Also work on basic lifts (squat, deads, bench, military press, row, chins) these will help you more than any thing else.

Some of the best advice I can give you is be a "SPONGE"!! Absorb all information you can eyes and ears open at all times. An academy can either be one of the best times of your life or the worst.


Many firefighters (and military/law enforcement) seem drawn to Crossfit-style programs.

But I've always thought their "workouts of the day" were way too high in volume and/or intensity for the average person.

For example, their workout of the day today is:

"Complete 32 intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by ten seconds of rest where the first 8 intervals are pull-ups, the second 8 are push-ups, the third 8 intervals are sit-ups, and finally, the last 8 intervals are squats. There is no rest between exercises."

Just fucking ridiculous.

My general suggestion with the WOD is to chop the time, reps, or sets in half, and proceed as you're able to.


Many are drawn to it from Fire/Police/Military because when there is a limited amount of time it works for getting your daily PT in.

I didn't say it was the best thing to do but many departments are going that way (when one administration does something and says it works the rest follow).

Adjust the weights and reps to what you can do. And by the way it's a Tabata workout, something that has been advocated on this site as well.


If I was training to be a fire fighter. I'd be flipping tires, pulling weighted sleds. Focusing on getting strong as hell. Plus lots of grip work to I'd throw in. Like some one mentioned doing things with a weighted vest(especially on stairs like mentioned earlier). Also add some rope work like that trainer Ross does.

Sledghammer tires and all that to. Man thinking about it training to be a fire man would bad ass.

Hmm something like ws4sb I think with tweaks added in of course.:smiley:


hey man congrats on becoming a firefighter, im 21 years old and also going to the academy this summer

cardio is very important, unfortunately haha nobody likes cardio, other than that just be overall strong and in good shape, squats and deadlifts and bench press are all useful excercses and as someone above mentioned weighted stair climbing is excellent, core strength is also obviously very important basically just be in shape and have good strength and cardio and you will have nothing to worry about


That's my number one beef with the WOD. If the weights/reps need to be adjusted, there's little point in putting out a general template with such a demanding workload.

The Tabata method advocated on this site calls for one cycle for a total of four minutes. That one cycle is effective for fat loss and conditioning.

And by the way, the Tabata method advocated on this site very clearly says that after one cycle, you should be thoroughly trashed and exhausted. Doing four cycles back-to-back-to-back-to-back is overkill, to say the least.


I was merely answering the OP's question since I have seen two different academies recently going through the routines and drills.

If you don't like crossfit not a big deal, but it is what is being done by several departments.

OP if you have any further ? let me know or PM me.