The Fourth Step in Creating a Firefighter Workout Program: Full-Body Exercises

by | August 13, 2019

Go to any fire conference and you don’t have to look far before you’ll see a firefighter with bulging biceps and an upper body that looks built for snapping large objects in half. Do you look at these firefighters and feel guilt about your own physical preparedness?

You shouldn’t. While you may desire the “ripped” or “body-builder” look, what’s most important when it comes to firefighter strength training is to incorporate exercises that use the full body—just as you do when you’re on scene. When lifting an object over your head, rarely do you have the luxury of doing so while sitting fully stabilized on a non-moving bench. So why are you lifting like that in the gym?

In this quick video, Aaron Zamzow, a firefighter with Madison (WI) Fire Department and founder of Fire Rescue Fitness, shares the fourth of five essential components to firefighter workouts. Learn more about how to design strength training that prepares you to meet the challenges of fire and rescue calls.


Want more fitness tips? Check out these resources:
The First Step in Creating a Firefighter Workout Program
The Second Step in Creating a Firefighter Workout Program
The Third Step in Creating 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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