The Urban Fire/Rescue Sessions are our year-round, day-to-day base fitness programming for urban firefighters and those who aspire to this level of fitness.
The traditional firefighter fitness approach, especially urban firefighter fitness, is rooted in “soft” wellness efforts and dumbed-down, or non-existent fitness assessments.
Our approach is different. We believe an unfit fireman can get him or herself killed. Worse, an unfit fireman can his or her teammates killed.
Job-specific fitness for fire rescue athletes is not a joke. It should not be an afterthought. It is a professional responsibility as important as equipment maintenance, communications and firefighting tactics.
“Professional Responsibility” = the responsibility of the individual athlete. Don’t expect command support for equipment or training time. It’s on you.
As well, do expect strange looks, jokes, and resentment from fellow firemen who don’t agree fitness is important. For most who believe like we do, not only will you face headwinds from command, but you’ll also deal with opposition from unions and other firemen.
Know that the fire doesn’t care. You can get by being unfit …. until you can’t.
Our programming for Fire Rescue Athletes reflects the dark reality that they can die at work. We believe fitness can save lives.
FITNESS ATTRIBUTES OF THE FIRE/RESCUE ATHLETE
- High Relative Strength and Brute Strength
- High Work Capacity for Short/Intense Events
- Tactical Speed, Explosive Power, and Agility
- Sprinting Speed and Explosiveness
- Grip Strength
- Durability for a long career
PROGRAMMING TESTED AND APPROVED BY OPERATIONAL UNITS
All of our programming has been tested, revised, and improved via our efforts with MTI Research Teams, an endeavor to partner with small individual units. These efforts are critical to ensuring the program’s validity, effectiveness, and efficiency.
WHAT MAKES OUR PROGRAM DIFFERENT?
1) We train for performance outside the gym. Our programming is focused on training which transfers to tactical performance and durability. Gym numbers are meaningless. All that matters is outside performance. This means we are not wedded to one programming theory or approach. Our programming is constantly evolving as we learn more and improve.
2) Strength Focus. The best thing we can do for our athletes is make them stronger. Strength is the foundation of performance and durability. We train full body strength heavy, hard, and often, using classic, proven barbell and strongman exercises. Beyond full body strength, we hammer the core and midsection daily and often dedicate whole training sessions to building our athlete’s core strength. Our strength training is aimed at the athlete’s “Combat Chasis” – legs, hips, and core.
3) We build durability. By developing overall strength, core strength, and hip and shoulder mobility, we aim to make our athletes more durable. Industrial athletes such as soldiers and mountain guides depend on their fitness and bodies for their livelihood. Avoiding injury from trauma or overuse keeps them on the battlefield and on the mountain. Strength + Mobility = Durability.
4) Our training sessions are periodized and programmed. We are uncomfortable with random training. We like to know where we are going.
5) We understand the “burden” of constant fitness, and program accordingly. Professional soldiers can never allow themselves to get out of shape, but constant training can easily lead to staleness and boredom. Our programming cycles through emphasis on different training attributes, strives to introduce new exercises, and builds in both very intense depletion days and easier, recovery “unload” weeks to both challenge and protect the athlete.
6) Constant improvement. Our programming today is much different than 12 months ago and will be different again 12 months from now. The more we coach, the more we learn, and that increased knowledge is continually folded into training programming and training session design. We are constantly making changes to improve. We can always do better.
7) We’re our own “Lab Rats.” We do these training sessions too – ahead of when they are published on the website. We understand that programming and training session design are as much craft as they are science, and there’s no substitute for the coach writing the training sessions to do them also. We try and test it before we publish it.