This is a major concern for the fire rescue athlete,. On one hand we know we should be working out to stay and get fit for duty. Yet , if we burn out in the gym we won't be able to perform when it really matters. I recently posted an interval workout on my blog (Click Here to Read it) that received a lot of hits and emails. Most of the emails dealt with this question so please let me know your thoughts?
Stay Safe and Healthy,
There is all sorts of discussion with regards to the type of Physical Fitness training being done in the halls now a days. Varying degrees of physical activity that guys/gals do in the halls to maintain a level of fitness, everything from yoga & pilates, to P90x, crossfit, to strongman training and bodybuilding. The end result of any training at the fire hall is that when the tones go you are expected to perform your duties as a firefighter. If you are training to the point of exhaustion and you can't perform your duties as a firefighter....then perhaps you need to dial it down while on duty and go hard while you are off duty. And yes because of our competitive nature we have a habit of keeping up or trying to surpass our co-workers which doesn't really help us. Everyone's level of fitness and exhaustion is different.
We all have one thing in common though while we are at work...we rely on each other to get the work done and go home at the end of the day. Work hard/play hard.
-Was gonna jump on this one but Shauna covered everything... well stated Shauna. Exercise at work is fine but remember to go easier than usual while on duty, you still have a job to do; save the crazy high intensity for off duty.
Thanks Mike, appreciate the kudoos. With all that being said there is a time to know when not to do certain exercises, and go with if I knew then what I know now train of thought.... Hence if I knew then that an 850 pound tractor tire was going to shift on me and tear my achilles, I would have never done it in the first place. But that competitive nature in me lead me to try and I have paid for it with being off since Feb 18 and hopefully back to full duty in September/October. I have learned my lesson not to play with the big boys anymore... and keep my lifting to a mere 600+instead(yes you may laugh but I could leg press that amount before my injury) Slowly making my way back....very slowly.
Tractor tires are out of my training. Guys asked if I wanted a couple of car tires to flip instead, said I wouldn't hurt myself then.
Shauna said it well, although I think many times that the competiveness helps with the workouts since it makes us push ourselves a little harder. I am with an all volunteer FD and a few of us have been meeting in the mornings to do the Insanity Workout. It is a lot of cardio with strength training but does not require any weights or other equipment which works well for us. I think the most important thing for us a firefighters is to:1) workout in ways that will help us with "the job" since it does require use and sometimes abuse of muscles that are not normally the focus of standard workouts 2) we should always try to improve on our cardio since that is the #1 killer of firefighters and it will help improve our working time and help us conserve air which will also help us if we are ever the one that has to call a mayday and wait for help.
If you haven't done it, I suggest the Insanity workout it is tough. And some of the excercises like the "mountain climber" and "V push ups" work those muscles that are often used in pulling ceilings.
Great discussion, thanks for the input. I have to agree with Shauna that ultimately we must be ready to perform our job. Whatever workout you do on shift should prepare you to do your job not take away from it. I've received some great emails on this topic (please keep the discussions going) and think that stretching, foam rolling, cardio intervals, and/or steady state are good on duty options. Personally I like to perform "prehab' exercises to avoid back and shoulder injury. I also believe that workouts should be planned around your shift schedule, save the heavy lifting and metabolic resistance training for off duty days and rehab, foam rolling, stretching, cardio for on duty days.....thoughts?
-Exercising at work is ok but remember you still have a job to do. Generally, from a work out perspective, I count my Duty Days, as recovery and do not exercise at work at all. I do all my exercising, and I do train very hard, Off Duty.