As I test Firefighters I often hear two excuses.
Excuse No. 1 — I am getting older and therefore shouldn’t be expected to be as fit as the younger firefighters.
Age is not an excuse for being unfit. Everyone can remain fit as they age. Becoming unfit as we age is a result of moving less and often overeating and gaining weight. Epidemiology studies by Steven N. Blair, B.A., M.S., P.E.D., Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, has conducted numerous studies documenting that physical inactivity and low physical fitness are the major health problems of current times.
Excuse No. 2 — Our department doesn’t have any exercise equipment.
Exercise equipment such as treadmills, rowers, bikes and strength machines are not necessary to becoming and remaining fit. All you need is your body weight and equipment found at every department. Below is a 20-minute workout (five stations spending four minutes at each station) using old fire hoses.
This makes a great partner workout. The first partner performs the exercise at that station for 30 seconds. The second partner then performs for 30 seconds while the first partner takes a break. Repeat four times (four minutes at each station). Continue by rotating through all five stations. This is supposed to be a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout therefore when it is your turn to perform do so as rapidly as you can. Also have all stations setup so you can move quickly to each station.
Station 1: Alternating Lifts from Floor to Shoulder
Take an old folded hose lying on the floor. Lift to shoulder and return to floor. Alternate from left to right shoulder. Make sure you use your legs. Squat to pick it up and when returning to the floor. Keep your back straight by keeping your head up.
Station #2: Stationary Lunges with Hose
Holding hose overhead perform stationary lunges alternating legs. Pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don’t keep looking down. Always engage your core. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle.
Station #3: Hose Slams
Wrap an old hose around a stationary pole or column. Hold the ends of the rope at arm’s length in front of your hips with your hands shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and begin alternately raising and lowering each arm explosively.
Station #4: Hose Drag
Attach a weight to the hose such as an old tire. Place hose over shoulder and run or walk fast. Keep core tight as leaning into the forward movement. Second partner will need to follow beside so they can pick up as soon as first partner completes 30 seconds.
Station #5: Fire Hose Rows
Wrap hose around pull up bar or top of fire truck. Hold straps and lean backwards. Pull your torso towards your hands keeping your elbows close to your body. If it is too difficult with correct form, move your feet back a bit.
If you do this with a partner up to 10 people can work out in the 20-minute period (two at each station). To make it competitive keep track of the number of total reps for your team. You can also do this without a partner. Just perform 30 seconds, take 30 second breaks, and repeat four times.
So, what’s your excuse? Get started now becoming more fit. Email me with your creative ideas of how you used items found at your station. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org