The work of firefighter is physically demanding. The job requires wearing up to 75 pounds of gear, not including the additional strength needed to carry ladders, fire hoses, and people out of burning buildings.
Obviously you have to be in great shape to become a firefighter, which is why the Fire Department of New York employs the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CDAT) to determine whether someone is up to the task. If you pass, you get to move onto the next stages—and let’s just say that’s easier said than done.
According to the FDNY’s prep guide, there are eight tasks involved in the firefighter fitness test: a 75-pound weighted stair climb, hose drag, equipment carry, ladder raise and extension, forcible entry using a 10-pound sledgehammer, a search portion that involves crawling at least 70 feet, a rescue portion that involves dragging a 165-pound mannequin, and the ceiling breach and pull. All of these must be successfully completed in 10 minutes, 20 seconds, or less.
In order to help candidates pass these events, the FDNY has a training program that focus on improving body strength and endurance. The exercises involved can be done with or without weights and work pretty much every muscle group in your body, including your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, triceps, back, biceps, pectorals, shoulders, forearms, abdominal muscles, and more. That means plenty of squats, abdominal curls, chin-ups, bench presses, and other exercises.
Only one question remains: Knowing what you know now, do you think you could pass the firefighter fitness test? To see exactly what goes down during those 10 minutes and 20 seconds, watch the video below. Then get your own training program started—who doesn’t want to be firefighter strong?
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