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Fire Fighter Workout: Part I

Darryl Johnson, the health and fitness coordinator for the Chicago Fire Department, developed a "functional" fitness regimen for the fire fighters that consists of 45-minute workouts of seven circuits, each concentrating on a muscle group. Each circuit has up to five exercises meant to be done consecutively, without a break, for up to a minute. Oh and this workout is really tough, don't say I didn't warn you. Here are highlights:


  • Butt kicks: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend right leg back at the knee. Return to original position. Alternate legs. 30-60 seconds.
  • Alternating power kicks: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lift right leg forward at the hip 90 degrees while stretching left arm toward right foot, then back down. Alternate legs. 30-60 seconds.
  • Knee to chest: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Raise right leg at the knee. Grab the knee and bring it close to your chest then lower. Alternate legs. 30-60 seconds.
  • Lunge with a lateral twist: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with right leg, bending at the knee while raising and stretching left arm over your head. Alternate legs. 30-60 seconds.
  • Waist rotations: Lie on back with arms stretched out and legs raised and bent at knee. Swivel your legs to the right from the hips and then return to center. Alternate sides. 30-60 seconds
  • Push-up knee tucks: Lie on your stomach with hands at shoulder level. Use your hands to push your body off the floor. Bend right knee up toward the chest. Straighten out right leg. Lower body back onto the floor. Alternate legs. 30-60 seconds.
  • Rest for 60-90 seconds.

And that is just the warm up. To see the chest circuit workout


CHEST: (Note: Repeat the chest and legs — which I will be posting soon — circuits consecutively, resting 30 seconds in between.)

  • Push-up: Lie on your stomach with hands at shoulder level. Push your body off the floor. Lower body back onto the floor. 30 seconds.
  • Deltoid fly: Stand on a resistance band, holding handles at your sides. Keeping your arms straight, bring them up over your head. 30 seconds.
  • Chest touch push ups: From the raised push-up position, touch your left shoulder with your right hand. Return to starting position. Alternate hands. 30 seconds.
  • Alternating power press: Stand on the resistance band, holding handles with arms bent at the elbow so hands are at shoulder level and facing forward. Raise right hand over your head. As you bring the right hand down, raise the left hand. Alternate hands. 30 seconds.
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