Firefighter Fitness Tip: Stop Exercising, Start Training!

by | September 5, 2018

Monday you’re working your chest, triceps and abs. Tuesday you focus on back and biceps. You take Wednesday off before hitting the treadmill Thursday for a 5K run before some lifts that focus on your shoulders.

Or maybe you’re not a gym rat. You like the open road, logging dozens of miles each week jogging and cycling. You know cardio ability is so important to firefighting, and running works all the muscles anyway—no need for machines.

If either of these approaches sound like you, or if you fall somewhere in between (or behind), this fitness tip is for you.

Exercise in any form is generally a good thing. But firefighters have unique fitness needs. If you’re exercising just for the sake of exercising, you might be selling yourself short.

Aaron Zamzow, a firefighter with Madison (WI) Fire Department and founder of Fire Rescue Fitness, has another workout approach for you to consider:

Want to learn more? Check out these resources:
5 Elements of a Firefighter Workout Program
Are We Fit to Fight Fires? Real-World Guidance for Firefighters and Leaders

AARON ZAMZOW is a firefighter/training officer for Madison Fire Department with 20 years of experience as a fitness trainer. 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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