Firefighters have one of the most physically demanding jobs imaginable. They work under arduous conditions in all weather, performing tasks which require strength, endurance and muscular coordination. Very often physical fitness is a matter of life or death for a firefighter and the victims they are trying to assist. Prospective fire and rescue workers must pass an exhaustive physical fitness examination simply to be considered for the job.
It's no wonder that firefighters are considered to be among the most physically fit individuals in our society. The books and products we recommend below can help you achieve the physical fitness and robust health of a professional fire and rescue worker. They will help you boost your strength, muscular endurance and flexibility, while teaching you how to fuel your body with advice for optimal nutrition.
4 Firefighter Workout Books
The Firefighter's Workout Book: The 30 Minute a Day Train-for-Life Program for Men and Women $11.53 - Author Michael Stefano is a New York City Fire Captain and personal trainer who brings you his secrets to staying fit with his 30 minute per day workout routine. The book details a series of 31 strength training exercises, most require barbells or dumbbells although there are some bodyweight exercises included. The exercises are well explained and illustrated for ease of use, and include variations to suit everyone from beginners to advanced level strength trainers. Stefano also includes a list of 13 stretching exercises and basic nutritional information. He discusses several different exercise routines, full body and split routines, as well as pyramid training, slow motion training and circuit training. The workout plans are topped off with a series of firefighting stories for inspiration.
Amazon customers gave the book excellent reviews, lauding it as a guide to achieving outstanding fitness in only 30 minutes per day. They found the program easy to follow, and were pleased with the results they were able to achieve.
Get Firefighter Fit: The Complete Workout from the Former Director of the New York City Fire Department Physical Training Program (Paperback) $10.85 - Kevin Malley is the former head of the New York City Fire Department Physical Training Program. In this book, Malley shares the physical fitness plan that takes rookie fire fighters and prepares them physically for the arduous task of being a Fire and Rescue worker in New York City. Get Firefighter Fit uses a progressive program which runs through four distinct phases to improve physical strength, endurance and flexibility. The exercises are designed to simulate various firefighting tasks and relating gym exercises to actual duties that firefighters perform every day. The book includes a section of nutritional advice to keep you functioning at your best.
Customers found this book especially helpful for non-firefighters who want to improve their strength and fitness levels.
Fitness for Firefighters: Enduro-Strength Training (Perfect Paperback) $39.95 - Monte Egherman brings you this strength and fitness plan which uses actual firefighting equipment to achieve your fitness goals. It's a program that works very well for fire men and women since the exercises are not simulations of actual working conditions, they are the exact tasks that are required of firefighters during the course of the day. The components of this exercise routine fit together smoothly, and use hoses, sledgehammers, ladders and other job related equipment.
Customers found this book to be an excellent resource for those preparing for an actual career in the Fire Department. It will bring rookies the skills and fitness required to succeed in this demanding profession.
The Firefighter's Fitness Handbook $25.95 - Al Wasser and Andrea Walter bring you this total fitness evaluation and workout program intended for actual firefighters. This book is compatible with NFPA standard 1583 and the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives. The book details the stress levels and health risks of the profession, and then provides a means of self evaluation for fire safety professionals and their fitness regimens. It takes you through the most common firefighter injuries and explains the importance of physical fitness and health to on-the-job performance.
Al Waser is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, while co-author Andrea Walter is a lifetime member and former director of the Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad. She has been involved in fire and emergency services for over 20 years.
DVD Version of the Firefighter Workout
FireFighter Workout - Michael Ross, Debbie Richardson, Brandon Gough, and Jae Sin (DVD - Mar 13, 2006) Buy new: $29.95 - This 55 minute workout video uses only a medicine ball and two cones to give you a challenging and fun workout at home. You can order Drill Cones 9" - Set of 10 $16.63 to go along with this workout. It is designed to simulate the tasks that fire and rescue personnel undertake as part of their daily routine and it will help you get into the best shape of your life. The workout program develops your strength, balance, agility and coordination, with high intensity exercises to challenge even the fittest individuals. Led by Michael Ross, strength and conditioning coach, chiropractor and 10 year firefighting veteran, the simple exercises in this video will take your fitness to a higher level.
Amazon customers gave this video a unanimous 5 star rating and found the workout to be very challenging. Alternating 45 seconds of intense activity with 20 seconds of rest proved deceptively demanding and produced large scale gains in fitness while being enjoyable enough to keep you working out consistently.
If you were to buy on book, I would recommend the first book, The Firefighter's Workout Book and the Xvest X4040 40-Pound Weight Vest (below). It seems to have the most detailed program and it is easy to follow at 30 minutes per day. Also I would find the firefighting stories interesting to read.
Accompanying Gear for Authentic Firefighter Workout
Finally, I would like to recommend the Xvest X4040 40-Pound Weight Vest (Prices from $163.00) - If you want a truly authentic firefighter workout, you should make the extra effort in buying this weight vest. Remember, firefighters carry up to 80 pound of equipment or more. Working out without the weights on your body does not truly prepare you for doing the same movements when burdened by weight. When using a weight vest to increase your fitness, you teach your body to carry additional weight while performing various exercises and fitness activities. You get a very demanding whole-body workout, both in terms of strength and cardiovascular fitness. Imagine how light and quick you will feel after you take off the vest, with your muscles trained to move a much heavier body. While wearing the vest, the degree of difficulty of each and every exercise you do is magnified, challenging even the fittest athletes, and producing rapid fitness gains.
Customers found the vest easy to use with the weight evenly distributed for maximum fitness gains and reduced risk of injury. They found improved quickness and strength in everything from pull-ups, to stair climbing and kickboxing. Rapid, powerful movements are the key to improvement in nearly any sport or physical activity and the Xvest X4040 is a very effective way of reaching that goal.