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Challenge Idea: Circuit Training

This month, challenge your department members to step up their fitness routine and focus on the Top 10 Exercises for Firefighters. With support from Honeywell First Responder Products, the NVFC brought fitness demos of these exercises to FDIC in Indianapolis, IN, to show attendees low-cost, high-yield circuit workouts that are ideal for firefighters. For less than $250, you can implement this 22-minute workout in your department. All you need are resistance bands, PVC pipe of various diameters, carabineers and hooks and bolts, medicine balls, and some items that you can find around your firehouse.  

The Top 10 Exercises in the circuit, outlined here, can be modified as needed to fit individual ability level. Use a stopwatch to time 60 seconds for each station, leaving 20 second breaks in between (or modify to 30 seconds each with 10 second breaks). These exercises focus on cardiopulmonary endurance, flexibility, strength, power, and core stability, simulating job tasks and working conditions for firefighters on the job. View the Top 10 Exercise for Firefighters Handout for more information on each exercise, including photos, tips, and sample workouts.

To start the challenge, give each of your department members a copy of the Top 10 Exercises for Firefighters Handout.

Challenge Rules:

  1. Review the handout provided to make sure that you are doing each exercise correctly to maximize impact and minimize injury.
  2. Follow the two sample workouts twice each week (follow the number of suggested reps appropriate for your current fitness level) for the month of April. Track your workouts on your calendar.
  3. You have completed the challenge if you meet the goal of completing the two sample workouts twice each week for four weeks.

To motive your department members, try sending out weekly emails with motivational messages and quotes, set up group fitness times, and make a contest to see who can improve most during the month. Put up a bulletin board with photos of the exercises as well as times to work out as a group. Find fitness ideas on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site.

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