Firefighter Workout Routine To Develop Firefighter Fitness
A Firefighter workout routine is different to a typical workout as the required physical attributes of a firefighter are specific to the job in hand.
In particular, firefighters need excellent upper body strength for carrying heavy objects up and down several flights of stairs. Also, balance is essential as the firefighter needs to both move up and down the stairs at a fast pace whilst carrying their equipment.
Typical bodybuilding workouts focus on building big muscles, but this is not suitable for a fireman as the extra muscle mass is likely to slow them down. The body of a fireman needs to me lean and ready for action.
The firefighter workout routine therefore needs to focus on developing the main physical attributes needed for the job in hand: upper body strength, speed, and balance.
So lets look at each of the requirements of a firefighter, and see what sort of exercises can help achieve these.
Each of these requirements are fulfilled in a workout that Firefighters are advised to look into: The Tacfit Commando Workout.
1. Upper Body Body Strength
Push-ups are an excellent exercise for developing upper body strength. Push-ups work the entire upper body including the chest, arms, shoulders and hands. Push-ups will also enhance endurance when done for a high number of reps. Endurance is important since the firefighter needs to stay ready and alert at all times on the job, that could potentially last a very long time.
Weight training can also be used with the basic compound exercises such as the bench press, shoulder press and bicep curls. However, the aim is not to get bulky muscles so doing these exercises for a higher number of reps for all round strength is recommended over low reps of heavy weights, which focuses on building bulky muscle.
Speed is important for a firefighter and speed can be developed from cardio, lifting weights, and bodyweight exercises.
Cardio is a good way to develop both spend and endurance and should be integrated into a fireman workout plan. It is a good idea to focus on the sort of exercises that are similar to the movements that a firefighter may have to perform on the job.
Therefore running on the treadmill with an incline, and stair climbers on high intensity settings are suitable.
Also, cardio that does not require equipment is great for a fireman workout plan. This may involve going for a run outdoors, running up and down stairs, and rope skipping are also suitable for a firefighter fitness plan.
When performing resistance exercises (whether it be weights or bodyweight exercises) it is important to focus on quick, explosive movements. The combination of speed and resistance results in power. Explosive, powerful movements are required as a fireman as equipment often has to be hauled up stairs quickly and efficiently.
In addition to weights and bodyweight exercises, kettlebell workouts can be very suitable to the needs of a fireman. Explosive power is needed by nature to lift a kettlebell and is a great way to develop firefighter fitness.
Firefighters need a strong core to remain balanced whilst on the job.
The core of the body is the abdominal muscles, so concentrating on developing strong abs is an excellent way to improve all round balance.
Yet again, the tried and trusted basic exercises are sufficient. Crunches performed slowly and for sets of 25 reps are the best exercise to develop abdominal strength. You should focus on reaching failure at the 25th rep, so as you improve, slow down each rep even more.
Sit-ups are another good abdominal exercise, but sit-ups focus more on explosive power. Perform sit-ups at a quicker rate and for more reps. The combination of sit-ups and crunches will develop strong abs that will give the body the core it needs.
In summary, a firefighter is like a Navy SEAL and a Mixed Martial Artist – they need to be mean and lean and ready for action.
As a result, a specific firefighter workout suited to the needs of the firefighter is required. Where a bodybuilder workout focuses on bulky muscles, a firefighter workout focuses on lean, well defined muscles that are strong and agile.
It is also a good idea to look into super-setting your workouts. A super-set is where you do one exercises and then go immediately onto the next exercise without any rest. When you have completed one cycle of this, THEN you can rest. You then repeat this cycle again 2 or 3 more times. Work on reducing the recovery time each session as your level of firefighter fitness improves.
Super-setting is used in the bodyweight workout called Tacfit Commando and firefighters are advised to check it out.