WEEKLY WORKOUT: Firefighter Training

We first took the Urbandale Fire Department’s physical agility test in June.  We failed, miserably.  So personal trainer Angie Gallagher developed this program in an effort to help us pass it on the second attempt.

“Seeing the stations, it didn’t seem too bad, actually.  Then I went through and did each of the stations and I thought, this is 100-percent harder than it looks.”

Angie says the program will focus on lifting heavy weights.

“Five pound dumbbells aren’t gonna cut it.”

The first step is determining our one rep max on exercises like the bench press, squats and dead lifts.

“I wanted it to progress systematically so we have a start point and an end point.”

We’ll begin with four sets of ten, at 60-percent of our one rep max.  We’ll add 5-percent each week.

“The dummy pull requires a lot of force and strength, upper and lower body both.”

It also requires explosive power.

“Plyometrics are really great because that’s where you get some power.  So add that in as well.”

And let’s not forget the cardio.  Heart attacks are the number one killer of firefighters.  Angie likes high intensity interval training, or HIIT.

“It takes very little time.  You’re not out there for an hour and it’s great training for the heart.  You want to go hard, then recover, go hard then recover.”

This isn’t easy and like firefighting, it’s not for everyone.

“It’s going to take a special person to train the way you need to train and then maintain that level of fitness and power.”

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