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TRX for Firefighters and EMTs

by Racer X Virtual Trainer

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In today’s blog post, we’re going to take a look at another type of rescue worker (if you missed last Friday’s post on Rescue Swimmers, click here), this time focusing on those brave men and women who run toward the heat instead of from it. Read the profile below to find out how firefighters at the Orange County Fire Authority have integrated the TRX into their training. And to make sure you’re ready when the alarm goes off, we’ve got one helluva workout coming at you from Coach Dos (in video below) that can be used by all emergency rescue personnel, no matter the uniform.
Fire fighters and Motocross have a lot in common. Hot gear from head to toe. Extreme working conditions. And training!

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), located in Irvine, California, has a big job on its hands. Consisting of 62 fire stations, the regional fire service agency serves 22 cities and over 1,380,000 residents in Orange County. Serious responsibility calls for serious training, and that’s why the OCFA has turned to the TRX.

Marty Driscoll (above), the Wellness Program Coordinator at OCFA, was first introduced to the TRX by his predecessor in February 2009. Because of its portable and compact nature, Driscoll saw the massive potential for the TRX and purchased 70 TRXs for use in his fire stations in the summer of 2009.

The reaction to the TRX was a slow burn to start. “Initially, I think our folks were a little reluctant to pick up the straps and give it a go,” says Driscoll. “However, once our firefighters actually gave the TRX a shot, the momentum really shifted. We’ve even had several individuals purchase TRXs for home use.”

The best part of the TRX for Driscoll is the variety it affords.” Some days I’ll do a full workout using only the TRX. Some days it’s part of a circuit, and some days I’ll use it to stretch out. The versatility is outstanding.”

Orange Counties finest like to keep it real with both new and old school rowers.

Strength, power and endurance are critical to firefighters, so workouts are focused on multi-joint, total body exercises that utilize varying loads and replicate the biomechanics of the lifting, carrying, pulling, climbing and cutting that are often performed while on duty. “The TRX is a great tool to help us accomplish our fitness objectives,” says Driscoll. “It allows us to train the movements we perform on the job, it gets the heart rate up and provides a way to lengthen and strengthen the muscles and joints of the body.”

Exercises such as the TRX Squat, TRX Lunge, TRX Chest Press and TRX Push-up are favorites at the OCFA; they increase the strength and strength endurance for firefighters to lift heavy objects, operate charged hoses, carry victims and wear heavy protective gear.

“To me, being fit means being ready. For anything,” says Driscoll. “Mentally and physically. Whether it’s a structure fire at 2am, a vegetation fire in 100 degree weather, wrestling with my nephews, a bike race or surfing, you need to keep your head straight, your body fueled, physically prepared and well rested. And with the TRX, I can do all of that. It’s great.”

And here, as promised, are some awesome TRX exercises for all you firefighters, EMTs, first responders, police officers… anyone whose daily workout routine is designed to prepare you for a job that is often anything but routine.

Perform three sets in circuit fashion with 2 minute rest between circuits

Partner Low Row 10 Reps
Pushup to Pike Combo 10 Reps
Grappler's Pull/Puch Combo 5 Each Side
Complex Back Extension Overhead Squat 5 Each

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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