Fitness, Survival, and the FDNY

Fitness, Survival, and the FDNY. These are three things I know a lot about. Crawling down hundreds of hot, smokey tenement hallways was my ultimate crash course.  I learned that profound physical change is possible when your very survival is at stake. But training closely with world champion kettlebell lifter, Valery Fedorenko, has also taught me about survival under the kettlebell. Any serious athlete or active firefighter should clearly understand this basic concept. >> More On Firefighter Fitness
When it feels like you're gonna die, you cannot allow yourself the luxury of pure instinct and simply flee (or put down the kettlebell).  There are times when you must react to your training, and do the exact opposite.
22 Years with FDNY
The FDNY, an organization I spent 22 years a part of, knows how to create a superbly trained probie, or new recruit. The young men and women of the FDNY leave the fire academy fit and ready to fight fires - chomping at the bit for some action. It's about the closest thing to a genuine boot camp out there, without actually being in the military. There is one big problem! The new recruit is also quite banged up after five or six months of training, sometimes nursing potentially career-ending injuries. Shin splints, cartilage tears, back and shoulder strains run rampant. The high drop out rate reflects the many casualties who fall by the wayside, and resign before they ever really get started.

When the FDNY probie is released to the field, there is no real continuing education on physical fitness. He's left to figure it out for himself and do what Americans are famous for, bench presses and curls, and if he's lucky, a bit of running. In my opinion, what has kept the FDNY force so physically superior has been the graded physical test they've used over the years, but they've now adapted the national CPAT pass / fail standard. While it may be seriously challenging to pass CPAT, skimming the most physically capable 10 percent of over 30 thousand candidates was an enormous advantage that no longer exists in New York City. But the legendary Fire Academy is no easier - you've got to be ready!

The Firefighter's Workout Book to Kettlebell Performance Training
In October of 2000 The Firefighter's Workout Book hit the book stores. That book represented a  culmination of years of functional fitness training, while I was still an active firefighter, lieutenant, and captain with the FDNY. After my retirement in '04, I turned full time to fitness, working with firefighters, FDNY candidates and recruits, as well as civilians around the country. Always looking to improve and step up my programming, eventually led me to kettlebells and the development my Kettlebell Performance and CPAT Prep programs.

I was introduced to what I consider, not weight lifting, but a martial art approach to strength and conditioning, where size really doesn't matter. Volumes could be written on Kettlebell Performance Training, but the bottom line is that timed sets mimic fire operations (and CPAT); no rest, no taking a blow in the middle of dragging a high pressure hose line down a hallway, just surviving and going home to talk about it. Kettlebell Performance Training mimics the intensity of fire operations, but minimizes the risks, allowing you to gradually prepare your body for the extreme nature of firefighting.

At AKC Fitness LI, our methods reflect this philosophy at every level. Whether our Kettlebell Performance Training or CPAT Prep course, it's about teaching you to how survive when the going gets tough. Whether surviving your next fire or stressful day at the office, our training will prepare you for what lies ahead. For more information on how to prepare for the upcoming FDNY physical, or any emergency services prep: CLICK HERE

For you non firefighters who just want to stay in top shape, we've got just the program: CLICK HERE