An email from a Fire Fighter instructor looking for advice on creating a fitness maintenance plan and fitness building program for his major city fire fighters prompted an answer that was diverse in its ability yet cost effective. He writes,
“I think your recent publications of Fire Fighter Workout and Public Safety Diver training cross over very well. The problem on our job is the level of fitness varies dramatically from 22 year old probationary fire fighters just out of the military to 60+ year old guys that don’t exercise and are in terrible condition. Any recommendations?”
Thanks for your feedback on the Fire Fighter and Safety Diver programs. I agree. The workouts are not helpful for a 60+ year old that does not exercise yet still wears a Fire Fighter uniform. Perhaps the 45 Day Beginner plan could be helpful in that situation for the folks who need to lose weight and get more fit.
The advice listed in this article will not only apply to the Fire Fighter fitness component, but to everyone looking for the next generation to their fitness journey. An option for the Fire Department is the TRX Suspension Training System. Suspension Training maybe an answer to your department’s budget, but it may also answer the need of your fire fighters with functional strength and maintenance requirement. I have been using the TRX as well as took the Suspension Trainer Course recently and honestly felt my abs so much the next day it hurt to laugh.
I compared a typical multi-station weight machine that allows for more than twenty different exercises with the TRX and this is what I found:
The diversity of this training system and programming is unique in its development but simple to perform, though you will be challenged as every movement requires balance and core strength. If you do not have either, the TRX will develop stability and take care of all the neglected muscle groups your regular program misses. The TRX program can be done as a supplemental plan for athletes or it can be a stand alone program for people at every level of fitness. I have personally counted over 75 different exercises you can do with the TRX and I am learning new ones daily.
After researching the TRX when the National Strength and Conditioning Association endorsed the device and its programs, it was clear to see why professional athletes like LaDainian Tomlinson of the Chargers, and Mixed Martial Arts Champions like Bas Rutten, military special ops teams, military boot camp, SWAT teams, and other law enforcement agencies are using the Suspension Training TRX.
Statistics from military test sites on the device show increases in job performance (ie ruck marches, PT tests) and significant decreases in injury prevention compared to those not using the TRX in training. Swim teams are reporting seconds off of their team times in all races. But most importantly, the intensity of the TRX is totally scalable and by a simple positioning of the feet or hands it can be an exercise for a pro-athlete or an inactive senior citizen.
The TRX was invented by a former Navy SEAL to help his teammates exercise when deployed. His idea has now turned into a multi-million dollar business and created a revolutionary fitness device that is the future of functional training for everyone, including military special ops, law enforcement, fire fighters, athletic performance training, and general health and fitness as well. See the TRX Banner for more information.