FDNY Fitness Training Day, Free Kettlebell Workshop

Fitness in the fire service is an age old argument that I've been personally listening to for many years. There's no doubt that probie school, at least in the FDNY, produces a fit and capable firefighter. And most probies are in pretty good physical condition with good work capacity, but once out of the academy, things can go downhill fast!

The FDNY has always had tough standards for new members entering the department. Hiring physicals have been notoriously brutal over the years, resulting in a physically capable force at the outset.

Here's the reality. Anyone with more than a couple of years on the job knows what happens to the average firefighter over time. You'll be a big man on this job is common inside joke many easy-gainers hear all too often. We organize 5k runs and think that's enough. Some will choose to lift weights, doing the same old 3 sets of 10 reps... but still not enough.

Probie school is tough, thank God! Performing calisthenics, running, stretching endless hoselines, class after class, it's no wonder conditioning levels peak, but what about the other side of the coin? Here's a fact any firefighter with a couple of years on the job knows, probie school, while absolutely necessary, has a tendency to beat up some people.

I realize there's not a choice, it's the candidate's responsibility to show up fit, and not the FDNY's job to do the prep work. But in the end everybody pays the price. So what's the answer? Kettlebell training can help fill the gaps between "out of shape" and "firefighter", with a safe progression.

This program has been tested by many firefighter candidates that have passed through my doors, as well as scores of other individuals around the country. I can guarantee serious, measurable results with probies, as well as senior firefighters. Yes, it takes cooperation, and some won't want any part of it, but many will participate and realize these awesome benefits.

To explain the scope of my fire-specific program in a single blog would be impossible, but kettlebell training is a major break from traditional weight lifting and running. Sets are high-rep, long and timed, strength AND endurance are worked simultaneously -- no gaps in training. The results of what kettlebell lifters can do speak for themselves.

A wise old kettlebell lifter once said, "...after kettlebells, everything else just gets easy."

A FREE FDNY Kettlebell Training Workshop will be held in July 2008 - exact date and location to be determined. To reserve your spot, or for more information, please send and email directly to Mike Stefano at: michael.stefano@gmail.com

As part of the workshop, Mike plans to donate a set of kettlebells, four bells in all, to the FDNY Divsion of Training.