T Nation

Firefighting Training

I thought I’d share what I’ve been having my wife doing to get in shape for an upcoming physical agility test for a local fire department. The test is an obstacle course for time that measures cardiovascular fitness along with strength endurance.

We both took a practice session of the test a couple weeks ago. She completed the course in 3:11, and I finished in 2:07. The cut-off time is 3:24. This was a little too close for her, so I decided to design some workouts to help bring her time down.

First I had to take in to account that she has mild asthma and multiple nagging injuries from abusing her body as a high school discus thrower, plus a school bus roll-over that didn’t help things any.

To try to bring up her cardio fitness I’ve been having her do interval sprints on the elliptical 2-3x’s/week as follows:
15s on, 45s off
20s on, 40s off
25s on, 35s off
30s on, 30s off
25s on, 35s off
20s on, 40s off
15s on, 45s off

For strength-endurance combined with some cardio I’ve been having her do 2 circuits of 3 exercises a piece, 2 x’s/week. The first circuit is made of more conventional exercises. The second is more along the lines of strongman training. The following was her last workout on Tuesday:

Circuit 1
A-1)DB Squats 3x8 @ 40lbs. (no rest)
A-2)Push Press 3x10 @ 25/25/35lb. (no rest)
A-3)Cable hammer curl w/ chain handle 3x10 @ 10lbs.+ whatever the olympic plate adapters weigh(rest 120 s)

Circuit 2(all done while wearing a 50lb. pack)
B-1)One-arm farmer’s walk. Walk with a 25lb. DB in one hand to the cone 50ft. away. After reaching the cone, switch hands and come back.(no rest)
B-2)Drag 150lb. sandbag 75ft.(no rest)
B-3)Car push. Push 1998 Ford Escort 100 ft.(rest 120 s.)

This circuit was done 3 x’s and was timed. Yes, the neighbors were very amused.

WARNING-Only have your wife do this if you want her to hate you and start calling you things like “Asshole”, instead of “Honey”. If she’s not used to alot of deadlifts or other pulling exercises her traps and upper-back may be very sore after this. Be prepared to give many back massages.

Reminds me of the time my wife wanted to Squat 200lbs. She was at 135lbs.
Her squat went to 200 lbs after 8 weeks but her hammies were sore most of the time. And yes, “Honey” was not her word of choice during those weeks.