T Nation

T-Vixen Testing Fire Department

Here’s the deal. I’m 3 weeks away from getting my EMT certification (fingers crossed!) and am looking at a fire department I would love to get on. The biggest obstacle I see is the physical test.

It’s the standard test and includes wearing a 50 lb weighted vest the entire time. The elements of the test are a 3 minute stair climb w/ 25 additional pounds, 200 foot hose drag, equipment carry (uses power saws), ladder raise, forcible entry, search and rescue pulling a 165 lb dummy for 35 feet, and 4 sets of three pushes and five pulls on a 60 pound ceiling door.

I’d really appreciate diet and training suggestions to help me prepare for this.

My current situation:
I just finished week six of CW’s Lift Fast Get Big program. I’m following the T-Dawg diet and consuming roughly 1500 calories a day. I can do each of the following for 5 straight reps; bench 95, dead lift 175, and squat 185.

[quote]SicTorn wrote:
Here’s the deal. I’m 3 weeks away from getting my EMT certification (fingers crossed!) and am looking at a fire department I would love to get on. The biggest obstacle I see is the physical test.

It’s the standard test and includes wearing a 50 lb weighted vest the entire time. The elements of the test are a 3 minute stair climb w/ 25 additional pounds, 200 foot hose drag, equipment carry (uses power saws), ladder raise, forcible entry, search and rescue pulling a 165 lb dummy for 35 feet, and 4 sets of three pushes and five pulls on a 60 pound ceiling door.

I’d really appreciate diet and training suggestions to help me prepare for this.

My current situation:
I just finished week six of CW’s Lift Fast Get Big program. I’m following the T-Dawg diet and consuming roughly 1500 calories a day. I can do each of the following for 5 straight reps; bench 95, dead lift 175, and squat 185.[/quote]

You might want to up the calories. Isn’t T-Dawg low-carb?

I think the LAST thing you want to do is to be on a low carb diet when you do the test. Just eat clean, but more calories.

Congratulations on your EMT certification! You really are aspiring to one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet.

The best advice I can give is to train as specific as possible. Find a friend to drag around if a dummy is not available, Climb those stairs with weight (lately I’ve been farmer walking the stairs at the station with dumbells and found it to be a really good workout!), and swing a really heavy sledgehammer. Pull ups are great, as well as alternating high pulls with dumbells.

Sounds like youre in pretty good shape to begin with, so with a little test specific training you should knock it out of the park.

Good luck and stay safe!

Also, I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but get used to working on your knees.

I’m not alking about the kind of knee work that’ll get you promoted =)

Almost everything a firefighter does is low and on their knees, be it search and rescue, or interior attack. I hear alot of complaints from academy students who start out and aren’t used to that kinda work.

In the V-Diet Support Thread I addressed a similar issue with a friend who was on a low-carb diet while working as a firefighter. It isn’t a good mix.

I’m willing to change anything up to achieve the results I want. I’m not committed to staying on the diet I’m on now. So more clean carbs… how about a training program? Should I stay on the one I’m on and add more test specific lifts or is there another program I should use?

[quote]SicTorn wrote:
I’m willing to change anything up to achieve the results I want. I’m not committed to staying on the diet I’m on now. So more clean carbs… how about a training program? Should I stay on the one I’m on and add more test specific lifts or is there another program I should use?[/quote]

You might also try getting a friend to ride piggy back and then try carrying her up the stairs.

Hopefully someone else could try posting something a bit more intelligent then me.

What? 1500 calories a day? I’m not a woman, but that seems low to me for any individual who’s actively training. Perhaps it’s appropriate for a woman on a strict cutting diet, but I don’t think that cutting would be good preparation for these weeks leading up to your certification. I would up the calories for sure. Add some carbs back. Fruits and veggies. Make sure to be eating plenty of lean protein and healthy fats.

CW’s program looks good. I looked at it myself. I bet your lifts will take off if you up the calories some and you’ll have energy to boot. I’m sure some of the women will be able to give you some more specific guidelines as to what would be a good calorie intake. Good luck with the certification!

I am also a Firefighter and have been through academies and tests. The best advice is to prepare for the tests. Intensity training is key, this test will probably be non-stop, look on this site for GPP routines and exercises, that is basically what these tests are, many people are not use to this kind of exercise and that limits them. Good Luck!

SicTorn,
Here is a post of mine from a few months back. This is what I was having my wife doing to prepare for the physical agility test for a local fire department. It involved different tasks, which I tried to simulate as closely as possible. I would suggest trying to replicate the tasks you will be required to do in combination with high-intensity cardio and general strength training.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=506891

[quote]FCFighter wrote:
SicTorn,
Here is a post of mine from a few months back. This is what I was having my wife doing to prepare for the physical agility test for a local fire department. [/quote]

Thank you very much for this resource!

Glad I could help. Anytime.

Best of luck, 'Torn.

BTW, I don’t think I mentioned this in the original post. She also had about 3 weeks to prepare and ended up shaving off 17 seconds from her original time. The last week before the test I had her cut out the strength work and just concentrate on the cardio.