The CPAT, or Candidate Physical Abilities Test, consists of eight timed and sequenced events that all need to be diligently prepared for.  This week's CPAT tip builds grip strength-endurance, as well as leg strength-endurance (as do many events), and teaches how to best prepare for the Equipment Carry (event #3).

Event Description  
  • Remove two saws one at a time from tool cabinet to ground
  • Carry saws 75 feet and back
  • Put saws on ground, return to cabinet one at a time
  • End of event walk 85 feet to next event
  • FAILURE: dropping saws, running (1 warning)
Tip of the Week
Go to your local Home Depot or hardware store and pick up a pair of heavy duty work gloves. Use kettlebells or dumbbells and perform a very simple exercise known as the Farmer's Walk while wearing your newly purchased gloves. Training grip strength-endurance, while gloved represents a unique challenge, one that needs to be practiced as specifically as possible.

The weight of the saws in the CPAT are over 40 pounds each. Train accordingly.

The Farmer's Walk
While wearing grip challenging work gloves, pick up a pair of kettlebells (or dumbbells) and allow the bells to hang at your sides (arms straight) and simply walk (no running allowed). To mimic test conditions, work up to 150 feet with over 40 pounds in each gloved hand. It's okay to overload slightly to condition yourself for test day, but don't exceed test conditions by more than about 25 percent (limit to 50 lb bells and 200 feet). A weighted vest can also be added to intensify.

If you're an FDNY candidate, and plan to take the upcoming written and physical exam, we offer special CPAT Prep Workshop and Training Packages. Our next workshop will be held Saturday, August 27 at 1 PM. A small investment now will have a big pay off on test day. Click through to for more information.