What’s Stopping You from Getting into Great Shape?

firefighter workout | firefighter fitness

 

Now is the Time to Evaluate Your Firefighter Fitness

December is winding down and the New Year is rapidly approaching. This is a time when many of us look back at our fitness goals and achievements for the year. Today we are going to take a look at a few common roadblocks that prevent people from achieving their goals and we will provide some simple suggestions for getting into great shape next year. If you are one of those evaluating your current fitness level, you might be asking yourself:

 

“Did I achieve the fitness goals that I set for myself last year?”

“Did I perform at the level that I wanted to?”

“Have I developed the physique that I have always dreamed of?”

 

If the answer to these questions is no, what’s stopping you from getting into great shape? There are a lot of common roadblocks that seem to cause problems for people. We have heard some of our fellow firefighters say the following:

 

“I don’t have enough time.”

“I can’t afford a gym membership.”

“I don’t have the right equipment.”

“I don’t have enough space to workout.”

“I am not in shape to begin with.”

 

The list goes on. The key is to address each roadblock that prevents you from achieving your fitness goals. Set yourself up to be successful. Here are a few suggestions addressing the issues listed above:

  • Time: It shouldn’t take 90 minutes to get a great workout. A longer workout does not necessarily lead to better fitness. Try organizing your exercises into a circuit. This is a more efficient way to train and the constant movement will provide a better workout. Incorporate varied intensity training into your schedule. Go hard for 20 minutes during one session and do some easy movement and active recovery during the next.
  • Finances: You don’t have to spend money to be fit. Bodyweight exercise is a fun and effective way to train and it won’t cost you a penny.
  • Equipment: If you are interested in using exercise equipment, go for simple tools such as kettlebells, clubbells, sandbags, med balls, etc. These tools are inexpensive and can be used at home, at the fire station, or on the road.
  • Space: A great workout does not require a lot of space. Bodyweight exercises and exercises incorporating the simple tools listed above can be performed in a very small area. Designate a small space at home or at work that you can use as a workout area.
  • Out of Shape: A lot of people have a hard time just getting going. It may feel like too big an obstacle to get back into shape. Sometimes taking that first step can be the hardest part. Select simple exercises that are not beyond your capabilities. Train with a partner or group of friends that will support you. Be consistent with your training and nutrition and you will be amazed at how quickly you progress.

These may seem like simple solutions, but getting into great shape does not have to be complicated. Check out this simple workout that we had fun with in the TACFIT Fire Fighter Dungeon:

 

Make the decision to get into great shape next year and go for it! What’s stopping you?

 

 

Resister now as a member on our website to get free access to great workouts!

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CLICK HERE FOR FIRST ALARM

The Squat Challenge

Do you know squat?

The body-weight squat is about as functional as it gets and should be included in your firefighter workout program. We squat naturally everyday with everything we do; to sit, stand, use the toilet, pick up the paper, etc., but how many people truly know how to perform this “king of exercises” correctly?

Perfecting and practicing the squat is critical for firefighters as we are often picking up heavy equipment as well as patients off the floor. The environment in which we work is usually less than ideal. If you couple this with poor squatting technique, injuries are sure to follow.

Firefighter Workout | The SquatFirefighter Workout | The SquatFirefighter Workout | The Squat

The Challenge

This isn’t a challenge for you to perform 500 continuous squats or maybe 10,000 this month, I just want you to take the next couple of weeks and have a really close look at your squat technique. Are you able to perform a full squat without pain? Without rounding your back? Without your knees caving?

Use some of the coaching cues below to help discover problems areas so your squat mechanics can be improved, leading to greater mobility and injury prevention.

 

 

  • Begin in a natural stance with feet about shoulder width apart. Your toes can point a little outside if this is more comfortable.
  • Stand tall and extend your arms forward and pack your shoulders down.
  • Eyes forward, fire your glutes and activate your core.
  • Begin by driving your hips BACK, not DOWN.
  • Descend until hips drop just below parallel; back should remain neutral, not rounded, knees should be tracking in-line and behind your toes, not buckling in or out.
  • Keep your chest up and do not pitch your torso forward.
  • Drive back up through the legs and drive your hips forward and hands back. Again, watch the knee buckle during the ascent.

 

If you struggle with any of the cues above, don’t fret, we can fix it!

Continue to practice the squat but limit your range of motion until you can comfortably perform good technique. We encourage you to use a chair or door to limit the range and to develop the strength and mobility to continue deeper.

 

Firefighter Workout | The SquatFirefighter Workout | The SquatFirefighter Workout | The Squat

 

 

Three common areas that may be limiting your squat are the hips, knees, or ankles. Following our joint mobility exercises will improve your range of motion. Couple this with specific yoga poses and you will be on your way to a pain free, full depth squat.

We have joint mobility and yoga programs available in our Free Members’ Area to help you get started. If you haven’t registered yet, it’s free to join HERE!  We not only provide joint mobility and yoga, but Tacfit India is sure to put your squat to the test!

We squat and we squat a lot. In our program, First Alarm, we have considered the full spectrum of squatting technique and have designed the program to address every level. We provide comprehensive joint mobility and yoga specifically to enhance the squat. We also provide many levels of the exercise to meet your current level, from chair squats to full jump squats. If you are interested in learning more just click below!

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR FIRST ALARM

firefighter training | firefighter squat

Sandbag Training for Firefighters

Firefighter Training | Sandbag LungeFirefighter training | Firefighter Sandbag

 

 

Many fire stations are not equipped with state of the art exercise facilities. It is important that we become proficient with simple exercise tools to help us stay on track with our firefighter fitness when we are on shift, at home, or on the road.

The Sandbag is a tremendous exercise tool for many reasons:

  • It is inexpensive You may choose to make your own or to purchase a commercially made sandbag.
  • It is an “awkward object” The uneven weight distribution creates challenges unique to this tool.
  • It is scalable Weight may be added or removed depending on goals and baseline fitness level.
  • It requires little space The sandbag requires little space to store and use.
  • It is versatile There are many exercises that may be performed with this one simple tool.
  • It is specific to firefighting Lifting and training with a sandbag is similar to lifting hose bundles and a variety of other objects that firefighters are called upon to lift and carry.

 

Check out this great article written by Mark De Grasse, Editor of My Mad Methods Magazine: How to Buy a Sandbag: Read Before You Start Training!

 

Train hard and stay safe!

 

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR FIRST ALARM

firefighter training | sandbag training

 

The World’s Most Portable Gym

Firefighter Training | Pistol Squat

 

What is the World’s Most Portable Gym?

 

How do you get a quality workout when you don’t always have time to get to the gym?

What if you can’t afford a monthly gym membership or the cost of outfitting your own home gym?

What if you are traveling and faced with inadequate hotel gyms?

What if the logistics of packing and transporting your own equipment is simply not worth the effort?

 

You Are The World’s Most Portable Gym

 

Body-weight exercise is:

  • Time and space efficient
  • Free
  • No special equipment required
  • You always have 24/7 access no matter where you are
  • Infinitely flexible and scalable to meet your needs

 

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite body-weight exercises and provide links to a few different programs that I have used with great success over the years.

 

Body-weight Jump Squat:

Create Explosive Power, Excellent Conditioning Exercise, Muscle and Strength Builder
Firefighter Training| Trinity SquatFirefighter Training | Squat Jump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body-weight Pike Press

Build Strength in the Overhead Press, Great Core Activator, Easily Scalable by Elevating Your Feet on a Bench, Chair, or Tailgate of the Fire Engine!
Firefighter Workout | Pike PushupFirefighter Training | Pike Press
 

 

There are infinite ways to use body-weight for physical training. When selecting a body-weight exercise program, make sure the exercises are comprehensive and scalable to provide the greatest training effect.

I traveled quite extensively this summer and I relied heavily on body-weight routines. Applying creative solutions to the “hotel gym” workout was not always sufficient and I found myself relying on the three programs I’ve listed below. I have personally used these programs and highly recommend them for training on the road, at home, or at the fire station:

Please click on any of the links below to learn more about the individual programs.

 

TACFIT FireFighter First Alarm

The moderate strength day found in this program is dedicated to body-weight and uses a “time under tension” protocol. The time challenge as well as the exercise difficulty increases as you progress through the program.

Firefighter Training | Firefighter Workout

 

TACFIT Commando

A body-weight program designed by Coach Scott Sonnon. This program utilizes a “20/10×8” protocol and the exercise difficulty increases as you progress.

 

Firefighter Training | Firefighter Exercise

 

FlowFit

Another program designed by Coach Scott Sonnon and is one of the cornerstones of circular strength training.

Firefighter Training|Firefighter Workout

Firefighter Workout | Firefighter Fitness