I grew up in a first responders’ household, I spent a lot of my childhood in a firehouse. My dad has been a firefighter for my entire life and my mom has volunteered in different community roles that have aided first responders. My Grandpa and Uncle both served in the Canadian Military. I have a cousin who is a full-time firefighter as well as other uncles and cousins that volunteer as firefighters in their rural communities. I, personally, have worked as a Wildland Firefighter in Alberta, Canada and I have been a volunteer firefighter for the county that I lived in at that same time. I always thought my life was normal…
You never know when an emergency is going to happen, and you have to be able to respond at the drop of a hat. My first three calls were all late at night: one major highway incident (13+ cars) and two different house fires. My fourth call was on Christmas eve, which was actually a pretty normal occurrence for my family growing up (my dad almost...
You have to do more than just the workout. You have to take care of yourself. Working out will help move you towards your goals but if you don’t put in any effort outside of the gym you can easily fall short. Sleep and Nutrition are probably more important to your success in the gym than the workout itself. This doesn’t mean that if you sleep well and eat right that you don’t need to work out, BUT that they will add exponentially to the improvements you will obtain from your workouts!
So, what more do you need to do outside of the gym and the workout? The top four things I would suggest need to be prioritized in your life are:
Exercise and physical training should enhance your life not hinder it. Workout intensity, in of itself, is not a bad thing. We need to make sure that we push ourselves appropriately in order to maximize the beneficial effects of our training. Unfortunately, this really only applies to the general population and becomes a little more challenging when dealing with high stress occupations and lifestyles…
Without getting too far into the academic weeds; Intensity causes stress to the body, the body recovers from the stress, and then the body can handle more stress next time around. This is how we get stronger, faster, and more fit. Too much stress, however, starts to have a negative and compounding effect that causes a break down inside the body leading to the body not being able to recover enough to handle more stress. This in ability to recover will result in decreasing performance both in the gym, on the job, and in your personal life.
People working in Emergency...
Some days, it takes so much more motivation to make it into the gym in the first place, let alone give it your all.
The coach has programmed the workout to be heavier than the week before, or faster, or just all around more soul crushing than a similar workout last week.
So you dive into your warm up. Nothing seems exceptionally different. You work on your warm up, your mobility, movement patterning and sequencing and then start loading up the bar for back squats that are on tap for that day.
The workout, or this portion anyway, has been a gradual build over the past several weeks and today calls for 5 sets of 5 reps at 85%.
You load the bar with some weight for the warm up sets. 50% feels heavier than it should.
You load up 60% for a few, and it is feeling heavy.
70% feels like you should be there already.
You load up 80% and need a spot for the 5th rep.
Good God you nearly shit your pants.
“How the F*%$ am I supposed to hit 85% today?”
As humans, we tend to...
There is honestly no better anti depressant, confidence building, relationship creating environment than hitting the gym.
Regardless of whether someone is a Bodybuilder, Powerlifter, Olympic Weightlifter, Crossfitter, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Athlete, Gamer, Kid... most of us will agree that getting under a barbell, pushing our limits and developing a strong, confident, able body is theraputic.
Personally, I am lucky enough to be based out of an amazing facility in Evolve Strength. Having access to top of the line equipment like eleiko bars and plates, rogue rigs and equipment, a 40 yard cleat friendly turf, kettlelbells, dumbbells, sandbags, sleds, ropes, etc. You name it, we can use it at Evolve Strength. Not to say this type of facility is perfect for everyone, but I have found it to be an incredibly welcoming atmosphere for professional, and semi pro athletes, as well as moms, grandmas, people seeking weight loss or strength gains, etc. It is a truly amazing community.
Your job as a First Responder is taxing. Not only does it demand a lot physically, it also demands a lot mentally and emotionally. It requires grit, focus, physical and mental strength, determination, and perseverance. It requires that you are prepared to react to an emergency at any given moment – to leap into action whenever the call comes.
The need to be ready at all times is ever present. Physically ready, mentally ready, emotionally ready. And with such a great need and so much at stake, it is all-important that you have the physical and mental faculties to handle every situation you face. Such a need makes it crucial that you fuel your body with the nutrition that will maximize your abilities and make you more effective on the job.
So, I’ve been asked by many First Responders, What do I eat?
Although health and fitness goals may vary among First Responders, there are a few basic principles that should provide a foundation for better health, improved energy levels,...
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