T Nation

Training for Smokedivers Log

…also the fat bastard no more log

So it’s 2010. And despite attempts to change, despite a plethora of information and knowledge, I’m still out of shape, still a fat bastard. Setting a goal of a certain weight or size never seems to work. So it’s different this time.

In May of this year, MAy 1 and 2 to be exact, I will be attending a fire fighter training called Smoke Divers. Two day course, basically advances SCBA and survival. It is said to be hellish physically and mentally. I’ve been a volunteer firefighter for 13 years now and have nothing to prove to anyone. But I feel I need to do this to prove something to myself.

Going to be doing mainly conditioning type training. Starting with Bathke’s new article from two weeks ago, 3X a week and other energy systems work on the other days. Lot of work with the sledgehammer, heavy carries, then working in sprints in March when the weather warms up. Diet wise, I’m using Romaniello’s suggestions from this week, higher protien, low carb.

I’ve got 13 weeks to get ready. So here we go.

Starting numbers
5’11, 235 BF%- TOO FUCKING HIGH, I’m guesstimating 30% for a number to figure calories on. Waist - 38

Goals: be able to survive smoke divers, be down to 200 lbs by May 1. Reassess goals after that weekend.

First workout - 1-19-10

Timed circuits
12 minute session
overhead press - 10 reps, 50 lbs total
Front squat - 8 reps 80 lbs total
bent over row - 10 reps 60 lbs total
rest 3 minutes
pushups - 10 reps
Planks - 30 seconds
sledgehammer swings - 15 axe chopping

Sucking air badly after this, sucks to be me.

second workout - 1-20-10
warmup and stretch
sledgehammer swings, all motions, changing each minute - go for a minute, rest one minute. 20 minutes total.

sledgehammer killing my forearms. forgot and left my wedding ring on, worked a good blood blister under that callous.

Going to do timed circuits for 12 minutes again tonight. Also adding in an old idea from Waterbury of 100 reps a day. Doing 100 body weight squats throughout the day, 10 every hour, 20 at lunch. Keep the blood flowing, some active recovery.

third workout - 1-21-10

Timed circuits
12 minute session
A circuit
Waterbury row - 40 lbs, 6 reps
stiff legged deadlift - 70 lb, 10 reps
side raises vertical, tehn bent over, 15 lbs, 5 reps each position
B Circuit
pushup with swiss ball jackknife - 6 reps
body weight squat - 15
over head carry - 45 at 25 seconds

I hate being this damn weak, but feel better than I did after Tuesday. Eating clean all day, needed more protien today, have got to get a foodlog going.

4th workout 1-25-10

missed friday due to working an 18 hr day. Did lots of NEPA stuff on Saturday, shot skeet for about 2 hours, that has to be cardio in some way.

Timed circuits
A circuit
dumbbell push press - 30 each side X 8 reps
trap dead lift w/ dumbbells, - 30 each side x 10 reps
bent over row - 75 lbs X 10 reps
B circuit
pushup w/ swissball jackknife - 5 reps
body weight squat - 15 reps
floor press w/ dumbbells - 30 lbs each, 8 reps

Goal is to start getting up at 5, doing some joint work and cardio work. Loosing the weiught and getting overall condition better is the goal right now.

5th workout 1-26-10

heavy carries
farmers walk with 50 each hand
50 over head
staggered farmers walk, 50 in one hand, 20 in other, switch hands.
1 minute each carry X 2 sets

Cosgrove complex - 50 lbs, from Shugart’s article.

I hate Cosgrove now. I really hate him.

Was going to get up at 5 today, do cardio, instead got up at 4;30, made a med call, got home in time to get ready for work. Try AM workout again tomorrow.

6th workout 1-28-10

Tried to lift on 1-27,came down with some sort of stomach virus, bad cramping, sick, not a good thing. Got extra sleep instead.

Still not feeling great tonight, went ahead though

Timed Circuits
Waterbury rows 40lbs - 8 reps
dynamic front lunge with shoulder press - 5 reps 10’s in each hand
hanging knee lifts - 8 reps
12 minute circuit, pain came back about minute 8, finished, couldn’t do second circuit.

Will try again in the morning.

7th workout - 1-29-10

Had to go to Houston for some business, stayed at the Omni Westside. Descent health center, got a good workout, used some machines for the first time in a long time.

Timed Circuits
A Circuit
Cybex Lat pulldown - 80 lbs - 10 reps
Cybex Leg press - 200 lbs - 10 reps
Waterbury Rows - 50 lbs - 8 reps
B Circuit
Cybex shoulder press - 70 lbs - 8 reps
Cybex chest press - 80 lbs - 8 reps
stiff legged deadlift w/ dumbbells - 50 in each hand, 6 reps

Warmed up and cooled down, 5 minutes on the treadmill.

8th workout - 2-1-10
Rested over the weekend, did a lot of stretching and foam rolling, but used a rolling pin. hurts like hell, but effective.

Warmup - 20 each body weight squats, dynamic lunge, over head squat with a staff, 2 sets each
Cosgrove complex - 60 lbs.

Felt stronger than the last time I did it, even w/ 10 more lbs.

9th workout - 2-3-10

Timed circuits
last week of doing these randomly, need to sit down and write out a plan using them for the rest of February and March. Going to increase weight on major lifts used, 5 to 6 reps to get some strengthening effects as well.

Circuit A
push press - 100 lbs barbell - 5 reps
hammer swings - 15 to a side
bent over row - 100 lbs - 8 reps
Circuit B
stiff legged dead - 120 lbs
swiss ball jackknife and pushup - 8 reps
body weight squats - 15

did 4 rounds each, 12 minute sets. Will go to 15 minutes on Friday. Only lost 2 lbs according to the scale, but all clothes are fitting looser, pants in the waist, feel better overall.

10th workout 2-4-10

10 minutes stretching, mobility work, trying to get as low as possible in a stable third world squat

Body weight only
squats 20 reps x 5 sets, fast as possible 30 seconds betwen each set.
pushups 10 reps x 5 sets, 30 seconds between sets
lying crunches, 10 reps x 5 sets, 30 seconds between sets

10 minutes sledgehammer swings, shovels, overhead pushing

11th workout 10-10-10

yes, i didn’t lift for 6 days. Letting life get in the way of me doing what I want.

Timed circuits
Circuit A - 5x5
going to make my first circuit heavy, 5 rounds, 5 reps for some strength benefit
pullups - assisted - 5 reps
push press - 100 lbs - 5 reps
bent over row - 100 lbs - 5 reps
Circuit b - tried for 5, made 4.33 rounds
dynamic lunge with shoulder press - 5 each side with 15’s
swissball jackknife with pushup - 5
goblet squat - 50 lb - 10 reps

complex tomorrow night with some sledgehammer work


Havn’t lifter for another seven days. I keep putting it off, making excuses. Ths is bullshit and is getting me no where. Diet is going a lot better, gave up all junk for Lent, so far so good.

Did Cosgrove complex tonight with 60 lbs, was dead at the end. Amazing how a small layoff kills you at the beginning. Up at 5 tomorrow, this updated by 9

timed circuits 5 rounds
circuit a
power clean - 60 x 8
military press - 60 x 8
goblet squat - 50 x 10
circuit b
lunges - 10 each leg
pushups - 10
band face pulls - 10

have to teach at a fire school tomorrow, be interesting to see how I do with a full pack on.

long overdue update

The fire school on the 20th. Went well, spent over 3 hours in full bunker gear with an SCBA on my back the entire time, burned up 3 bottles worht of air. Was tired at the end, but no where close to dead. Had it been back in December, I’d a been dead.

Lifted on 2-22-10, timed circuits from 2-10

2-24-10 In houston for the BBQ cookoff. So did the machines in the hotel, all cardio. 3 miles walking intervals, 5 miles on a bike doing intervals. over an hour total time.

Spent the rest of the week on my feet 14 hrs a day bartending and cooking.

3-1-10 Timed circuits 5 rounds
overhead press 50X10
forward lunge with 20 in each hand x 5
bent over row - 50 x 15
planks for 30 sec
flys on floor 20 x 10
stiff legged dead 10 x 70

10 minute warmup, then 5 sets front squats. Max at 110 x 5 for two sets
Timed circuits - 5 rounds
push press 110 x 4
Front squat w/ 20’s x 10
deadlift 110 x 8
renegade rows w/ 20’s x 5
bent over side raises 15’s x 8
power clean from floor 110 x 5

Cosgrove complex, modified a bit.

Started out with 10 reps instead of 6, using 50 lbs on a bar.


not fun, not fun at all.


going to go heavy this week, see what effect it has. Doing Mike Mahlers last program.

Heavy day - 2 warmup sets x 10
dumbbell bench, done on a swiss ball ( cause I ain’t got a bench)
2 warmup sets
50 x5
75 x5
80 x5
goblet squat
50 x5
75 x5
100 x5
dumbell deadlift
50 x5
75 x5
90 x5

calf raises with a 75 lb dumbell 3x12

long time, no update.

lifting has been inconsistent for the past two weeks, was gone on vacation for one week, nowhere to lift, did get some good workouts dragging large fish into the boat. Diet has been going well, down to 220 last Friday, pants are getting loose to that point a belt is a must and shopping for new clothes will have to occur soon.

Have five weeks till Smoke Divers, starting a hard push to make sure my cardio is ready for it.

Up 5:00 am (FINALLY)

warmup for five minutes with pushups, stretch a little.
20 minutes hitting the tire with 8 lbs sledge. 1 minute work, one minute rest. Felt good at the end of it, not too winded. Will continue at one minute intervals all this week, cut 10 sec off next week, and each week after.


worked out three days last week, did Dan Johns new program on Friday, felt damn good so going to doit for teh enxt 4, see what we see

2-3-5 program
push press
bent over row
front squat

set 1 - 60 lbs
set 2 - 80 lbs
set 3 - 100 lbs
set 4 - 110 lbs