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Developing a Firefighter Workout

By: Jordan Ponder

Firefighter fitness is vital to our performance and longevity.  It is the cornerstone to increasing our safety and a critical element to protecting firefighters.  It’s a fact that can’t be overstated. The tragic trend of firefighter obesity, diabetes, hypertension and stroke can be positively impacted by implementing a quality training program.  All too often though, firefighters are operating within a program that doesn’t fit their specific needs. Everyone has different fitness levels, strengths, and weaknesses that need to be addressed. Individual fitness needs can have a number of different ramifications. Some of those include:

  • Increased risk of injury
  • Loss of motivation during workout
  • Long-term disinterest in working out
  • Little to no results for your effort

Progressions and Regressions

When it comes to developing a workout, there are countless ways to accomplish it. However, progressions and regressions need to be in every workout. This is something you will find in every one of 10 movements of the 12 week FREE OFFICIAL BLASTMASK WORKOUT program. Within these 10 movements there are 30+ progressions and regressions to help you find your appropriate level. You can receive the 12-week FREE OFFICIAL BLASTMASK WORKOUT by visiting this link and subscribing to firefighter fitness tips. Once you have responded to the confirmation email, you’ll receive the exclusive link and password to log in! It’s that simple!


The first step to developing a program is to establish a baseline. Everyone’s baseline is different, so you’ll need to this discover your own. Finding your baseline essentially means finding the appropriately challenging movement that causes you to approach ‘failure’ or the ‘decay stage’ just before the end of the sets/time without sacrificing quality movement. By the end of the set/time you shouldn’t be able to do another set or rep; however, you should be able to recover appropriately within the allotted recovery time.


Once you’ve developed a proper baseline you need to have a way to make your workouts more challenging quickly and easily. This means having a progressions ready that can be done a number of different ways. Below are a few examples:

  • Changing foot position
  • Changing load position
  • Increasing time under tension
  • Incorporating multiple planes of motion
  • Increasing explosiveness
  • Adjusting load symmetry

Having progressions available will make it easy to make adjustments quickly and easily within your workout. The list above are some of the many examples found in the 12-week FREE OFFICIAL BLASTMASK WORKOUT program.  With dozens of progressions, you’ll have more enough material to assist you in making any exercise harder.


Regressing isn’t bad—it’s smart. Being aware of what you are doing, and making sure that you have a way to adjust your workouts down is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of responsibility. Examples of exercise regressions include:

  • Adding a base of support
  • Decreasing time under tension
  • Reducing force production
  • Change your body position

By knowing the best way to regress a movement, you’ll be making sure that your routine is fitting your needs without sacrificing form or increasing the chances of injury.

The 12-week FREE OFFICIAL BLASTMASK WORKOUT program contains 30+ progressions and regressions to help make sure that you are appropriately challenged in your workout. To receive this FREE 12 week program, visit

This article was written by guest blog contributor Jordan Ponder. Ponder is a Captain with the Milwaukee (WI) Fire Department assigned to Engine 30. As an NASM and ACE certified trainer, he is the lead peer fitness trainer for the MFD holding multiple functional fitness certifications. Along with being a professional bodybuilder for the WNBF, he is the director of FIREFIGHTER DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE TRAINING which trains health improving safety with workshops, certifications and consultations. You can contact Captain Ponder via email at

Having issues or questions? Email me at for personal, guided assistance.  I’ll even help you find your correct baseline, progression and regression!

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