CrossFit Workout Ideal for Firefighter Fitness
According to a 1997 study (University of Washington Office of News and Information) 100 million Americans make New Year's resolutions each year. Many New Year resolutions in the Western world involve maintaining peak vitality, physical fitness, or appearance (Wikipedia.com). Unfortunately, more than 50 percent of Americans do not maintain a commitment to their resolutions and quit after just sixmonths.
Fortunately for the citizens of Marietta, the city's firefighters realize that they have more than just a personal interest in keeping fit for duty. Recently, the Marietta Fire Department invited two trainers from CrossFit Atlanta to introduce a core strength and conditioning program to Marietta's firefighters. Known as CrossFit, this workout is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.
Danny Rackley, deputy chief of operations for the Marietta Fire Department, has been doing the CrossFit workout for six months. He believes it to be the ultimate firefighter workout. Many of the basic exercises and workout of the day (WODs) mimic the exhaustive work that firefighters perform. The workout pushes the firefighter to a level of exhaustion that he or she often sees during fire fighting operations. It allows an individual to experience success in going beyond that level to carry out whatever task it takes to save people's lives.
The CrossFit Atlanta Trainers, Dan MacDougald and Frank Faulk III, began with a brief discussion of the basic principles of CrossFit. Introduction of some of the tools specific to CrossFit followed. Most of the 25 personnel who participated are in excellent shape. Many had been college or even Olympic athletes, yet they still learned exercises that can take them to the next level.
Finally, the WOD consisted of exercises performed for one minute each: 24" box jumps, slam balls, 20-lb wall balls, 35-lb kettle bells, and 55 push press. After five minutes, participants rested one minute and then began again for a total two rounds.
CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program, but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of ten recognized fitness domains: Cardio-respiratory Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy (CrossFit Foundations, 2002).
Shortly after beginning this seemingly innocuous workout, many realized that their personal fitness programs had been relatively one-dimensional. After completing the three-hour training session, more than one participant said, "I only thought I was in shape!"
FF Josh Renninger performs an L-Sit on the rings.
FF Jim Heck performs a clean
Station Commander Brinson Williams does a push press.
Marietta Firefighters work together to learn Olympic lifts.
Lt. Tim Milligan performs a push press.
FFE Meg Richardson works on her dead lift form.
CrossFit Trainer Frank Faulk III assists Lt. Cynthia Nalley.
FF Patrick Stewart learns the proper form for a clean.
FFE Tim Cameron warms up for the WOD.
FF Blane Whealy discovers the challenge of performing exercises on a set of rings.
FF Blane Whealy demonstrates the Slam Ball.
Trainer Frank Faulk III looks on as S/C Brinson Williams does dips on the rings.
Atlanta CrossFit Trainer Frank Faulk III works with Marietta Firefighters on dead lift form.
FF James Purvis and S/C Brinson Williams do 24" box jumps as part of the WOD.