Getting in shape fast

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by bowlie, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    I have an upcoming fitness assessment for the fire brigade, probably within 4 - 6 weeks. I essentially dropped all cardio about 6 months back, with the sole intention of getting stronger, thinking I would have time to build my fitness back up if and when the fire service started recruiting. Well I applied a month ago and for the last two months I have been going to a local 5k run, doing it in about 26:30, which I thought meant I was still in shape so I wasnt too worried.

    Today I tried some hill sprints and they nearly killed me. Its quite a large hill, maybe 30+ metres, and quite steep but I didn't make it to the top even once, other than the warmup. Turns out I can go at moderate pace for quite a while, but as soon as I up the intensity my lungs just stop working. The problem was that I literally could not draw any breath, so I was doing the whole hill on the single tank of air I drew at the bottom of the hill. I felt awful.

    It feels like when I had asthma as a kid, but that hasn't been an issue for years, since I moved out of home and away from what caused it (my dog, im allergic and didnt realize for 18 years). It suddenly seems to have gotten worse again for no reason. I am hoping that Its because I was ill with a chest cough this last few weeks, but regardless of the reason I need to get my fitness back up and fast.

    I am not sure of specifics with the test, but it will include some sort of cardio test (something similar to the bleep test), a ladder raise, stair sprints and many many many weighted shuttle runs carrying everything from rolled up hoses to 30kg pumps to 200lbs dummies. I think the best way to go about it would be plenty of high intensity activity, similar to the kind of thing on Ross Training, but as today has shown I am completely incapable of any kind of high intensity work.
     
  2. ssdd

    ssdd Purple Belt

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    Try running running steady at a moderate to fast pace for a week or so. Then start adding interval runs, you know where you run easy for 3min, haul ass for 20s, something like that. Then see if you can transition that into straight high intensity work like hill sprints.

    If you have some kind of medical condition talk to a doctor though, don't ask on here. Maybe its allergies?
     
  3. pepo6ka

    pepo6ka Blue Belt

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    Def check what the doc has to say if you think the problem might have to do with a medical condition. If not you can try something like Insanity. It sounds pretty gay but doing two of those workouts a day can help with your fitness level.
     
  4. ssdd

    ssdd Purple Belt

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    True, +1 to training frequently. I always get my best conditioning and cardio gains training it 4-6 days a week.
     
  5. KotovSyndrome

    KotovSyndrome Blue Belt

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    Check with minotauro, I believe he did some firefighting.
     
  6. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    Cheers guys. I think its a combination of allergies (went back to see the family over Christmas), a cough I picked up on an early morning run, and just the fact I have not sprinted in ages. Plus its freezing outside. Im sure (at least im hoping) that it will clear up on its own, so im not asking for medical advice, just training advice,

    I like the idea of starting with moderate to high sprints, interspersed with moderate to low normal jogging. That way I can slowly increase the sprint intensity as I get better at it.

    Kotov, epic profile pic :D
     
  7. KotovSyndrome

    KotovSyndrome Blue Belt

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    At your service.

    If you overread my bit above, ask Minotauro rex for his input, as he has some very detailed reports in his log about fire academy and the events used in training and screening.
     
  8. JRT6

    JRT6 Black Belt

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    Exercise induced asthma is typically an acute reaction to an newly imposed demand.
     
  9. magick

    magick Green Belt

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    Just start doing HIIT in varying form 2-3 times a week. If you were in good shape before, you'll get back to your "normal" levels within a week or two of restarting.

    Conditioning returns quickly and goes away just as quickly. I feel like I'm about to pass out if I return to judo after a couple week hiatus. Then I'm good within 2-3 sessions.
     
  10. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    Was about to post something identical to this. Gaining your conditioning back is a much quicker process than strength. I'd mix in some high intensity items like burpees and sprints, but keep doing your other runs and such.
     
  11. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    This is what I was hoping. My run times have been going up slowly but surely fairly easily, and I seem to have had an ok aerobic base (i.e. could do a 5k after doing no cardio for months and months) so I wasn't too worried, but this was so tough and it really threw my confidence.

    That would probably explain why I found it so hard.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  12. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    This was exactly my plan, until today. I know Tabatas and the like aren't very popular here because so many people misuse them, but if there is ever a time for HIIT it is 6 weeks before a major event :p Sadly today showed that jumping straight in with HIIT will not work for me, but I will still do sprints at a pace I can manage, and slowly increase the intensity.
     
  13. magick

    magick Green Belt

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    No, I disagree.

    Anecdotal evidence tells me that you should be pushing your body to its utmost limits, provided that it's something you've done before.

    Moderating intense conditioning just makes you get to the moderate level, thereby slowing your "recovery", for lack of a better term, down.

    Just be sure to be getting sleep and eating food.

    Imo, you should be doing the same pace but less of it. Add more once you can finish the previous volume without falling over and dying.
     
  14. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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    Within that timeframe, HIIT is appropriate. Just make sure to leave in lots of recovery runs. Don't run yourself into the ground every day.
     
  15. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    Moderate intensity with the goal of progressing to high intensity.
     
  16. ironwolf

    ironwolf Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    I do sprints on a big hill sometimes too. I actually have a few to pick from but the big one is pretty gnarly and I usually dont make it to the top when I do 30 second sprints on it. No big deal, jog back down and do more 30 second sprints.
     
  17. KillsWithBow

    KillsWithBow White Belt

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    Sequential fatigue challenge is the correct answer
     
  18. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Can you figure out the specific for the test? If you can't do that, then look at other fire departments fitness tests in your general area. I know that where I live, emergency services have their fitness testing described in detail online.

    If it's a smaller department, and they don't have that information online, look at larger nearby departments for information - there's a good chance it'll be similar, not just because it's testing for the same job, but smaller departments will "piggyback" on larger departments when it comes to developing fitness testing and use the same protocol.

    Given a limited timeframe you want to be able to be as specific as possible with regards to training for the test.

    *EDIT* For example, the testing done for Edmonton and some nearby fire departments is done while wearing full fire fighting gear, except you wear your own shoes. In which case you would want to be prepared for completing the testing while wearing heavy, warm, clothing. Additionally, the most demanding part of the testing, conditioning wise, is a VO2max test, so you would plan your conditioning specifically to improve VO2max test results.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  19. Keyboard

    Keyboard Yellow Belt

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    Do you know what the test is called? As Tosa pointed out, if you can find specifics for the test, you can train specifically for the events in question. I just finished my Fire academy training in August, and I've been on the trucks for about 5 months now. I can give you some insight to the test we did, which was the CPAT. To be honest if you're even moderately fit, you will pass the test, no problem. From the sounds of it your test sounds like it might be slightly different.

    Here's the layout of the testing we did:

    https://uwaterloo.ca/uw-fitness/fire-fighter-candidate-testing/candidate-physical-ability-test-cpat

    We had a v02 max portion on a treadmill, that was the hardest thing, and that was NOT difficult by any means. If you follow Ross's stuff until the testing, you'll be fine. If you've got any questions about what my testing was like, or what the academy was like, feel free to ask. I'll keep my eyes on this thread to answer anything that I can help with.

    EDIT:

    http://forums.sherdog.com/forums/f13/conditioning-firefighters-2758429/

    Check out this post I had on firefighting conditioning.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  20. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    Sadly the specific test has not been released yet - they are still changing it. But it will likely be very very very similar to this:

    http://www.fireservice.co.uk/recruitment/physical

    I know they keep changing the Vo2 Max test, and I believe that the chester step test has been replaced with the bleep test, but it may change again. I will find out before the test, and update
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015

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