Life Saving Workouts
Professional athletes are paid to exercise. But for the emergency worker, on the job training typically does not include fitness and conditioning. Most departments leave fitness up to the individual, who has no real background in functional fitness training. Without proper instruction, most resort to tired, old, routines that do little to improve work capacity.
Firefighters, police officers, ems workers, need more. They need a system that builds strength and endurance. They also need to burn fat and control body weight, while building cardiovascular health (leading cause of on duty firefighter death is heart attack). Simply stated, firefighters and emergency service workers need a system that will improve their ability to operate. For a firefighter that might mean stretching 15 lengths of hose up six flights of stairs, or carrying a 200 pound unconscious fire victim down a 35 foot ladder - no excuses.
CPAT / 10 Minute Strength-Endurance Test
In the fire service, the national standard entrance test is known as CPAT (Candidate Physical Abilities Test). This comprehensive physical is actually a series of eight non-stop "events" that mimic fire ops. The entire test must be completed in ten minutes or less in order to pass. In the very first event, the candidates is forced to climb over a 14 flights of stairs with a 75 pound vest in 3 minutes and 20 seconds. That's 200 steps or 100 steps per leg. If you want to find out what work capacity really means, try this test. Warning: be sure to get clearance from you doctor as bench presses and curls won't prepare you much.
If you're interested in taking and passing CPAT: click here
So what will work? The Russian military has been using the kettlebell for decades to help prepare some of the toughest soldiers on earth. Functional strength and endurance training is at the core of traditional kettlebell lifting. When used in combination with other cutting edge, job specific training, the results are profound. But we're not talking about just picking up a kettlebell and doing a one arm row. Traditional kettlebell training features dynamic, ballistic, and explosive movements, and full body exercises. Sets are routinely done for an extended period of time (sometimes up to 20 minutes or more), featuring moves like the Swing, Snatch, Push Press, and Jerk. These movement patterns are representative of the pulling and pushing forces necessary to advance a hose line, force open a door, or overhaul a ceiling. When these explosive, high-rep sets are performed over time, they safely recreate the physical challenges experienced at a typical structural fire, and that's why this program is so effective.
If you're interested in getting started kettlebell lifting, whether for fire, police, or any emergency service, or you're just an average jane or joe who wants to get in top shape, my brand new kettlebell web app will get you started and show you how it's done. Go to my YouTube Channel for some free sample kettlebell workouts to help you get started.