A couple weeks ago I published a blog post about "defining Firefighter Fit." I appreciate the numerous responses and comments about this question (see that blog post here) and today want to follow up and add some more information and questions about this topic. One of the consensus opinions expressed when asked to define "firefighter fit" was that a firefighter needs to be physically ready for any situation whether it’s advancing a heavy hose line, lifting a patient onto the cot, forcing a door or dragging someone out of the building. My reply to that statement is "how can we test for these situations?" The CPAT? The CPAT was designed to do just that and from my experience it is a great test, challenging and applicable to the actions required on the fire ground. For those that don't know about the CPAT (read more here), it is a timed pass/fail standardized test that consists of eight separate events:
· Stair Climb
· Hose Drag
· Equipment Carry
· Ladder Raise & Extension
· Forcible Entry
· Ceiling Breach & Pull
During the CPAT, you must progress along a predetermined path from one event to the next in a continuous manner. Participants wear a 50-pound (22.68-kg) vest to simulate the weight of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and firefighter protective clothing. An additional 25 pounds (11.34 kg), using two 12.5-pound (5.67-kg) weights that simulate a high-rise pack (hose bundle), is added to your shoulders for the stair climb event. You have 10 minutes and 20seconds to complete all eight tasks.
As I mentioned above I find that it is a very challenging and applicable skill test for firefighters. The problem with the test is that it requires special equipment and lots of room. So, what are tests that can be administered in a regular gym or firehouse that are good assessors of firefighter fitness?
My research on this topic has found (please let me know your thoughts below) that there are 5 specific tests that can help indicate a firefighters level of fitness. Let it be known that these test do not test the skill level of the firefighter (raising ladders, search and rescue, forcible entry) but are a good correlation. I do intend to post about some good skill related courses soon, so stay tuned. These tests are the plank, push-up, mile run, overhead squat, and body composition. (As mentioned before please comment on whether you agree or not). Each one of these tests assess a valuable fitness component to firefighting (fire rescue athlete); the plank tests core strength, the push up- muscular endurance, overhead squat- functional fitness, the mile run- cardiovascular fitness, and body composition- overall health. Try each test and let me know your results. Are you Firefighter Fit? Or are there better ways to test firefighter fitness?
To read more about these test and to find out how You measure up CLICK HERE.
Check out www.FireRescueFitness.com for exercise and workout ideas created for the Fire Rescue Athlete.
PS- If your looking for a great firefighter workout program and some nutritional guidance please join my FireRescue Fitness Email list and get my 28-day Quickstart Workout Program and the SOP's to Eating Lean in the Firehouse. Click here to get them FREE.
Please leave comments or send me an email with your thoughts about "Are YOU Firefighter Fit."