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Firefighter Strength Training Workouts

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Firefighter strength and fitness information

Firefighters take physical fitness and strength very seriously which is something that is motivated by the fact that other fellow firefighters and civilians as well as themselves depend on. It could mean the difference between life and death to be able to drag a fire hose, break down a door or carry a civilian to safety.

The CPAT or Candidate Physical Ability Test, is the universal standard for firefighter physical fitness testing. The CPAT measures a firefighters ability to perform common duties associated with firefighting, such as; breaking through doors, breaching ceilings, climbing stairs, dragging fire hose, and carrying victims to safety.

All of these vital abilities have specific training exercises that correspond directly to performing these activities. The most important element of physical fitness for a firefighter is leg strength. Firefighters have to have brutally strong legs in order to pull, lift, and drag various objects and people.

The first element in any leg training regimen is the stair climb. To perform the stair climb, find a staircase at least ten steps tall, load your backpack with fifty pounds of weight, and climb up and down the staircase as fast as you can for three minutes.

Another great exercise that builds both leg and upper body strength is the hose drag. Fire hose weighs approximately one pound per foot of hose...empty. So a fifty foot hose weighs at least fifty pounds. To simulate dragging a fire hose, load your duffel bag with fifty pounds of weight and tie fifty feet of rope to it.

Now sling the rope over one shoulder and run as fast as you can 75 feet, then turn around and pull the bag towards you in a hand over hand motion fifty feet as fast as possible. Always remember to never lock your knees out when pulling or pushing or lifting something or someone.

While firefighters legs are his most important element, he must also be able to lift, carry, and maneuver objects and people with his upper body. The average human weighs approximately 165 pounds, and firefighters must be able to lift them up from the ground and carry them through any obstacle to safety, which requires immense lower back and arm strength.

The dummy drag/carry is used to simulate this maneuver. To perform the dummy drag/carry fill your duffel bag with 165 pounds of weight and sling it over your shoulder. Run/walk as fast as you can 75 feet, dismount the bag from your shoulder, grab the handle, and drag it another fifty feet in one continuous motion.

These are just a few of the different types of exercises that a firefighter would need to become totally confident in doing in order to get CPAT certified. It is exercises like these that have been field proven to build immense strength in every part of your body, as well as teach the different parts of your body to work together smoothly and powerfully.


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