MTI Wildland Fire Fitness Assessment

By Rob Shaul

We’ve worked with committed Wildland Firefighters for several years and previously developed the MTI Wildland Fire 3/600/3 Endurance Assessment.

The assessment described below is a comprehensive assessment across several fitness attributes. We consider Wildland Firefighters “Tactical Athletes” with the same fitness demands as military infantry and land-based special forces:

  • High Relative Strength (strength per bodyweight)
  • High Multi-Modal Work Capacity with a sprint emphasis
  • Endurance (uphill hiking under load, rucking)
  • Chassis Integrity (functional core strength and strength endurance)
  • Tactical Agility

While the mission-direct fitness demands of Wildland Firefighting include work capacity, rucking, high relative strength, rucking and hiking under load, few Truck Crews, Hotshot crews and Smokejumper teams train to reflect this. Similar to line unit military, in our experience most wildland firefighter unit training revolves around push ups, sit ups and unloaded running. This test is a step away from that tradition and step toward assessing the true fitness demands of fighting wildfighters

A couple of notes on this assessment

  • Equipment is minimal by design. There is no standardized fitness equipment at Wildland Firefighter bases.
  • Same loading for men and women. Both sexes use the same weight – for fit women, it is more than manageable.
  • Grip/”tactical chassis” focus. This assessment will really test your grip and tactical chassis strength. Tactical Chassis = legs, lungs and core.
  • No Joke. This assessment is difficult. So is fighting wildfires.
  • This assessment also tests stamina. By design, this assessment lasts 90+ minutes, and is designed to test not only the individual fitness demands, but also the overall  physical and mental stamina of the athletes, and hopefully reflects a long multi-hour shift on the fireline.

 Required Equipment

  • 60# Sandbag
  • 16-18” Bench or box for step ups
  • Marker Cones and 25m of open, flat ground for the Work Capacity Assessment
  • 48” Ledge
  • Stopwatch
  • Backpack or Ruck with 45 Pounds of loading.

Uniform

  • Shorts, T-Shirt, Sneakers

Questions?  Email me: coach@mtntactical.com



ASSESMENT

Warm-Up:
3 Rounds
10x Air Squats
10x Push ups
5x Walking Lunges
Run 50m
Instep Stretch

Training:

(1) Max Reps Strict Pull Ups

Protocol: Dead hang, to chin fully above the bar. No kipping. No time limit, but you cannot change your grip, or touch your feet. You can “rest” at the full hang position, but cannot touch your feet. No time limit – athlete goes until failure.

Record total reps.

→ What this event assesses: Upper body pulling strength.

 

Rest 3 Minutes before next event

 

(2) Max Reps Hand Release Push Ups in 60 Seconds

Protocol: Athlete begins lying prone on the ground, hands near his/her armpits, and up off the ground. On “Go” athlete completes as many Hand Release Push Ups as possible in 90 seconds. When the athlete pushes up, his/her torso/butt must rise up in line with his/her chest. The chest cannot rise first, followed by the butt/legs. Athlete must come to full elbow extension at the top of the push up, and his/her hands must come off the ground at the bottom. Athlete may stop and rest in the down position (lying on the ground) as needed.

Record total reps.

→ What this event assesses: Upper body pushing strength.

 

Rest 3 Minutes before next event

 

(4) 30/30 Sandbag Keg Lift for Reps @ 60# bag, 48” Ledge

Protocol: Sandbag must move from ground at athlete’s side, across his/her body, to a 48-inch Ledge. Start with the SB on the left side, at 30 seconds, switch so sandbag is on the ground on the athlete’s right side. Max Reps in 60 Seconds. Entire bag has to be on the ledge for the rep to count. The clock does not stop for the switch. 

Record total reps.

→ What this event assesses: Chassis Integrity, functional core strength, Grip Strength, Work Capacity.

 

Rest 5 Minutes before next event

 

(5) Modified MTI Tactical Athlete Work Capacity Assessment 

Protocol: Modify this event so the athletes wear a 25 pound backpack, instead of a weight vest or individual body armor. Total, this is an 11 minute event. Each completed 25m length counts as one rep.

Record total reps.

→ What this event assesses: Sprint-based work capacity, recovery, level change, tactical agility, mental fitness.

 

Rest 10 Minutes before next event

 

(6) 1/300/1 Ruck Run, Step Up, Run

Protocol:  On “go” athlete runs one mile wearing a 25# back pack, returning to the start. He/she then completes 300x step ups to a 16-18 inch bench or box. Once the step ups are completed, the athlete runs one mile, unloaded.

Record the total finish time.

→ What this event assesses: Mission-direct endurance (ruck running, step ups, running), stamina, mental fitness.

Scoring

– 50 Points Total (see chart below)

General Score    Total Points
Poor                     0-20
Good                    21-35
Excellent              36-50

Points

Pull Up Reps

Hand Release Push Up Reps

Sandbag Keg Lift Reps

Work Capacity Assessment Reps

1/300/1 Finish Time

1

0-3

23-25

10-11

46

45:00 +

2

4-5

26-28

12-13

47

43:00-44:59

3

6-7

29-31

14-15

48

41:00-42:59

4

8-9

32-34

16-17

49

39:00-40:59

5

10-11

35-37

18-19

50

37:00-38:59

6

12-13

38-40

20-21

51

35:00-36:59

7

14-15

41-43

22-23

52

33:00-34:59

8

16-17

44-46

24-25

53

31:00-32:59

9

18-19

47-49

26-27

54

29:00-30:59

10

20+

50+

28+

55+

<27:00-28:59