Conditioning Exercises for Firefighters: The Burpee

Ah, the burpee. If you’re a veteran of the gym—or even if you’ve just attended a few exercise classes, only to quit in discouragement—you probably know this exercise. And there’s a good chance you hate it, too!

But there’s a good reason to take another look at the burpee. This exercise works pretty much everything on your body—arms, back, abs, hamstrings and chest—while also giving you a great cardio workout. Sounds a little like firefighting, right?

In this quick video, Aaron Zamzow, a firefighter with Madison (WI) Fire Department and founder of Fire Rescue Fitness, explains why the burpee is one of the essential conditioning exercises for firefighters. Watch to learn how you can start to incorporate burpees into your fitness routine, whether you’re a workout beginner or a gym veteran.


Check out these additional essential exercises for firefighters:
Core Exercises for Firefighters: The Plank
Strength-Training Exercises for Firefighters: The Goblet Squat

Aaron Zamzow

AARON ZAMZOW is a firefighter/training officer for Madison (Wisconsin) Fire Department with 20 years of experience as a fitness trainer and host of the Better Every Shift podcast. He holds a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness as well as a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. He is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, an NASM certified personal trainer and an ACE-certified peer fitness trainer. Zamzow is the founder and owner of and develops programs aimed at getting fire rescue athletes fit for duty. He authored the book "Ladder 2 Workout: A Comprehensive Firefighter Workout Program that will get you 'Fit for Duty' in 28 days." Connect with Zamzow on Twitter at @GetFRFit, on Facebook at Fire Rescue Fitness or at

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