Have you ever been sitting around the firehouse when the training for the day is done, and you realize you haven’t had the time to work out yet? Or does your shift workout all together at a set time during the day? Either way, the camaraderie of a good workout together can go a long way to bring about cohesion as well as fitness.
Fitness, as we already know, is the key to longevity in the fire service. It helps prevent injury and physical workouts can aid in rehabilitation after an injury. It can also increase performance on the fireground.
Lack of fitness isn’t something that just happens as we age. Even young firefighters do not take getting or staying in shape to heart.
So, what can you do to make this happen? Sometimes it takes just one person to make a move to get the flame going. And the tools are right there for your success.
#1 – Your Body Weight
The first tool can be as simple as your own body weight. Pushups, situps, burpees, and lunges are just a few examples of exercises which use body weight.
#2 – Hoses & Tires
What you have lying around can be used to quickly set up that impromptu workout.
Use a piece of 1-3/4 hose in place of rope to exercise. Or, charge the line, and move forward with it over your shoulder.
Have a large tire lying around? Flip it for an all over workout. Jump on it. Hit it with a sledgehammer.
Place your feet on it and put your hands on the ground for pushups with a different twist.
If the tire is on the smaller side, wrap a piece of webbing around it for dragging.
#3 – Make A Fireground Circuit
Make your own circuit, with exercises that mimic what we do on the fireground. You can do it in PT clothes alone, throw on an SCBA, or go all the way with gear and SCBA while on air.
#4 – Mix It Up
You can try a traditional circuit with any exercise you want. Or, you can mix it up, so you can target many parts of the body.
I like to do weight training. I would complete 10 repetitions with the weight, doing several different exercises one after another. Recently, I have been doing a circuit of four exercises, lowering the weight, with 20, 30, and 50 repetitions (depending on the exercise) for three sets just to mix it up a bit.
Whatever you do, just get moving. Give each other support to achieve that optimum fitness to perform the job we do — and to live long after we put down the tools of the fire service.
Photos courtesy of Buffy Schilling.