Physical Readiness for Firefighters: 12 Week Training Plan

Firefighting requires a unique set of skills and physical abilities. Build the stamina, strength, endurance, and power you need to perform in physically and mentally demanding situations.

Welcome to the Firefighter Training Program!

Make sure you have read through to the bottom before commencing training.

Who is this program for?

  • Firefighters seeking a higher level of fitness
  • Men and women who want to become firefighters
  • Firefighters interested in competing in firefighter challenges
  • Anybody that wants to train like a firefighter

Welcome to the Firefighter Training Program!

Make sure you have read through to the bottom before commencing training.

Who is this program for?

  • Firefighters seeking a higher level of fitness
  • Men and women who want to become firefighters
  • Firefighters interested in competing in firefighter challenges
  • Anybody that wants to train like a firefighter

Why should I use this program?

If you would like to be a well-rounded firefighter who is not only strong, but who also has good endurance, stamina and power, this program is for you.

What is the training schedule?

Workouts are scheduled every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

It is recommended that you begin the program from the beginning rather than jumping in part way through. This program is safest and most effective if you follow it in its entirety.

What equipment do I need?

Most of these workouts should be suitable for a typical gym. Over time there may be a need for some more specific tools like prowlers, charged hose lines, Rescue Randy, pylons, stairs, a Keiser force machine, sledgehammer, and hose bundles.

Week 1: Day 1 – Monday

A. Split Squats x 10-12 reps, rest 1 min b/t legs x 3

B. Deadlift x 10-12 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. GH Raises x 8-10 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. Side Bridge 35 sec, rest 15 x 2/side

E. 10 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:20 x 4

Notes: Focus on form, speed and technique

Week 1: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench Press x 10-12 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Pull Ups x 10-12 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Dips x 10-12 reps, rest 1 min

C2. Ring Rows x 10-12 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. 30 sec Row @ 80-90%, 30 sec @ 50% x 10 – rest 3 min b/t sets 5&6

Notes: Rows should be strong, but maintainable

Week 1: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Back Squats x 10-12 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Good Mornings x 10-12 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Swiss Ball Leg Curls x 8-10 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. Plank on Elbows x 1 min, rest 15 sec x 3

E. Row 100m @ 100%, rest 1:45 x 4

Notes: Take videos to ensure position on movements.

Week 1: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing Press x 10-12 reps, rest 2 min x 3

B. Bent Over Rows x 10-12 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Seated DB Press x 8-10 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB Row x 8-10/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 8 min AD @ 80-90%, rest 5 min x 2

Notes: AD=airdyne, use eliptical if not available.

Week 1: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

30-40 min Hike @ Z1

Notes: HR 110-130

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 2: Day 1 – Monday

A. Split Squats x 9-11 reps, rest 1 min b/t legs x 3

B. Deadlift x 8-10 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. GH Raises x 9-11 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. Side Bridge 40 sec, rest 20 x 2/side

E. 10 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:20 x 5

Notes: build from last week

Week 2: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench Press x 8-10 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Pull Ups x 8-10 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Dips x 8-10 reps, rest 1 min

C2. Ring Rows x 8-10 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. 30 sec Row @ 80-90%, 30 sec @ 50% x 12 – rest 3 min b/t sets 6&7

Notes: reps down, weight up!

Week 2: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Back Squats x 8-10 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Good Mornings x 9-11 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Swiss Ball Leg Curls x 9-11 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. Plank on Elbows x 1:15 min, rest 15 sec x 3

E. Row 100m @ 100%, rest 1:45 x 5

Notes: Breath at the top of lifts only.

Week 2: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing Press x 8-10 reps, rest 2 min x 3

B. Bent Over Rows x 8-10 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Seated DB Press x 7-9 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB Row x 7-9/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 9 min AD @ 80-90%, rest 5 min x 2

Notes: pace appropriately.

Week 2: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

35-45 min Hike @ Z1

Notes: varied terrain is preferred

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 2: Day 1 – Monday

A. Split Squats x 8-10 reps, rest 1 min b/t legs x 3

B. Deadlift x 6-8 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. GH Raises x 10-12 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. Side Bridge 45 sec, rest 25 sec x 2/side

E. 10 sec AD Sprint @ 100%, rest 1:20 x 6

Notes: control descent on split squats and GH raises

Week 2: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench Press x 6-8 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Pull Ups x 6-8 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Dips x 6-8 reps, rest 1 min

C2. Ring Rows x 6-8 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. 30 sec Row @ 80-90%, 30 sec @ 50% x 14 – rest 3 min b/t sets 7&8

Notes: Use full ROM on all lifts.

Week 2: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Back Squats x 6-8 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Good Mornings x 8-10 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Swiss Ball Leg Curls x 10-12 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. Plank on Elbows x 1:30 min, rest 15 sec x 3

E. Row 100m @ 100%, rest 1:45 x 6

Notes: Lift hips high on ball curls.

Week 2: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing Press x 6-8 reps, rest 2 min x 3

B. Bent Over Rows x 6-8 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Seated DB Press x 6-8 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB Row x 6-8/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 10 min AD @ 80-90%, rest 5 min x 2

Notes: track HR to learn what 80% feels like.

Week 2: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

40-50 min Hike @ Z1

Notes: Z1 = 60%-ish!

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 4 – Testing Week: Day 1 – Monday

A. Split Squats – find an 8 RM, rest as needed b/t legs

B. Deadlift – find a 5 RM, rest as needed

C. GH Raises x 11-13 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. Side Bridge 50 sec/side – 30 rest, 2/side

E. 10 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:20 x 7

Notes: test of split squats and deadlifts, mind form!

Week 4 – Testing Week: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench Press – find a 5 RM, rest as needed

B. Pull Ups – Find a 5RM, rest as needed

C. Dips – Find a 5 RM, rest as needed

D. Ring Rows – Find a 5 RM (angle and weight as needed)

E. 30 sec Row @ 80-90%, 30 sec @ 50% x 16 – rest 3 min b/t sets 8&9

Notes: Get a spotter for bench press.

Week 4 – Testing Week: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Back Squats – Find a 5 RM, rest as needed

B. Good Mornings x 7-9 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Swiss Ball Leg Curls x 11-13 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. Plank on Elbows – AMSAP, 1 attempt

E. Row 100m @ 100%, rest 1:45 x 7

Notes: Keep back straight on all lifts.

Week 4 – Testing Week: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing Press – find a 5 RM, rest as needed

B. Bent Over Rows – find a 5 RM, rest as needed

C1. Seated DB Press x 5-7 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB Row x 5-7/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 10 min AD – 1 attempt max calories

Notes: strong, hard effort for 10 min straight

Week 4 – Testing Week: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

45-55 min Hike @ Z1

Notes: recovery work

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 5: Day 1 – Monday

A. Front Squats x 10-12 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Deadlift x 6-8 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Cable Machine Leg Curls x 8-10 reps, rest 90 sec x 3

D. Side Bridge x 55 sec, rest 35 x 2/side

E. 12 sec AD Sprint @ 100%, rest 1:28 x 5

Notes: new cycle, slight changes.

Week 5: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench Press x 6-8 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Pull Ups x 6-8 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Dips x 6-8 reps, rest 1 min

C2. Ring Rows x 6-8 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. 1 min Row @ 80-90%, 1 min @ 50% x 6 – rest 3 min b/t sets 3&4

Notes: row time has increased, pace accordingly.

Week 5: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Weighted Step ups x 8-10/leg, rest 2 min x 3

B. Good Mornings x 6-8, rest 2 min x3

C. Single Leg Swiss Ball Leg Curls x 6-8, rest 30 sec b/t legs x 3

D. Plank on Elbows x 1:45, rest 15 sec x 2

E. Row 150m @ 100%, rest 2 min x 4

Notes: step up height – 20″ maximum.

Week 5: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing Press x 6-8 reps, rest 2 min x 3

B. Bent Over Rows x 6-8 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Seated DB Press x 5-6 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB Row x 5-6/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 7 min AD @ 80-90%, rest 4 min x 3

Notes: squeeze shoulder blades back during rows.

Week 5: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

50-60 min Hike @ Z1

Notes: add weight if necessary.

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 6: Day 1 – Monday

A. Front squats x 8-10 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Deadlift x 5-7 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Cable machine leg curls x 9-11 reps, rest 90 sec x 3

D. Side bridge x 60 sec, rest 30 x 2/side

E. 12 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:28 x 6

Note: Side bridge duration getting tough, hang on.

Week 6: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench press x 5-7 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Pull ups x 5-7 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Dips x 5-7 reps, rest 1 min

C2. Ring rows x 5-7 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. 1 min row @ 80-90%, 1 min @ 50% x 8 – rest 3 min b/t sets 4&5

Note: Note how long it takes to feel recovered.

Week 6: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Weighted step ups x 9-11/leg, rest 2 min x 3

B. Good mornings x 5-7, rest 2 min x3

C. Single leg ball leg curls x 7-9, rest 30 sec b/t legs x 3

D. Plank on elbows x 2 min, rest 15 sec x 2

E. Row 150m @ 100%, rest 2 min x 5

Note: Should be fresh after a rest day, hit it hard.

Week 6: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing press x 5-7 reps, rest 2 min x 3

B. Bent over rows x 5-7 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Seated DB press x 4-5 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB row x 4-5/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 6 min AD @ 80-90%, rest 4 min x 3

Note: Pressing strength should be coming along.

Week 6: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

55-65 min Hike @ Z1

Note: Make the time for this if necessary.

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 7: Day 1 – Monday

A. Front squats x 6-8 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Deadlift x 4-6 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Cable machine leg curls x 10-12 reps, rest 90 sec x 3

D. Side bridge x 65 sec, rest 25 x 2/side

E. 12 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:28 x 7

Notes: ensure position on all lifts for safety

Week 7: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench press x 4-6 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Pull ups x 4-6 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Dips x 4-6 reps, rest 1 min

C2. Ring Rows x 4-6 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. 1 min row @ 80-90%, 1 min @ 50% x 10 – rest 3 min b/t sets 5&6

Notes: add weight as needed on pull ups

Week 7: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Weighted step ups x 10-12/leg, rest 2 min x 3

B. Good mornings x 4-6, rest 2 min x3

C. Single leg ball leg curls x 8-10, rest 30 sec b/t legs x 3

D. Plank on elbows x 2:15 min, rest 15 sec x 2

E. Row 150m @ 100%, rest 2 min x 6

Notes: weight can be in hands or on back for step ups

Week 7: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing press x 4-6 reps, rest 2 min x 3

B. Bent over rows x 4-6 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Seated DB press x 3-4 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB row x 3-4/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 5 min AD @ 80-90%, rest 4 min x 3

Notes: try to be consistent with output on D.

Week 7: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

60-70 min Hike @ Z1

Note: building aerobic base

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 8 – Testing Week: Day 1 – Monday

A. Front Squats – Find a 5 RM, rest as needed

B. Deadlift – Find a 3 RM, rest as needed

C. Cable machine leg curls x 11-13 reps, rest 90 sec x 3

D. Side bridge x 70 sec, rest 20 x 2/side

E. 12 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:28 x 8

Notes: Go heavy!

Week 8 – Testing Week: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench press – find a 3 RM, rest as needed

B. Pull ups – find a 3 RM, rest as needed

C. Dips – find a 3 RM, rest as needed

D. Ring rows x 4-6 reps, rest 1 min x 3

E. 1 min row @ 80-90%, 1 min @ 50% x 12 – rest 3 min b/t sets 6&7

Notes: make note of weights for each 3 RM

Week 8 – Testing Week: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Weighted step ups – Find 16RM, 8/leg, rest as needed

B. Good mornings x 3-5, rest 2 min x3

C. Single leg ball leg curls x 9-11, rest 30 sec b/t legs x 3

D. Plank on elbows – AMSAP, 1 attempt

E. Row 150m @ 100%, rest 2 min x 7

Notes: one leg only on ball curls

Week 8 – Testing Week: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing press – find a 3 RM, rest as needed

B. Bent over rows – find a 3 RM, rest as needed

C. Seated DB press – Find a 5 RM, rest as needed

D. DB row – find a 5 RM, rest as needed

D. 5 min AD – 1 attempt max cals

Notes: lots of tests, rest as needed

Week 8 – Testing Week: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

65-75 min Hike @ Z1

Note: Make the time for this if necessary.

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 9: Day 1 – Monday

A. Front squats x 4-5 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Deadlift x 3-4 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. GH raises x 8-10, rest 1 min x 3

D. Side bridge x 75 sec, rest 15 x 2/side

E. 15 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:35 x 5

Notes: sprint hard, long rest on AD

Week 9: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench press x 4-5 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Pull ups x 4-5 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Dips x 4-5 reps, rest 1 min

C2. Ring rows x 6-8 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. 90 sec row @ 80-90%, 90 sec @ 50% x 4 – rest 5 min b/t sets 2&3

Notes: keep adding weight as needed

Week 9: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Back squats x 4-5 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Good mornings x 5-6 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Walking lunges x 10 steps rest 1 min x 2

D. Plank on elbows x 2:30, rest 30 sec x 2

E. Row 200m @ 100%, rest 2:20 x 4

Notes: add weight on lunges as needed

Week 9: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing press x 4-5 reps, rest 2 min x 3

B. Bent over rows x 4-5 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Seated DB press x 4-5 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB row x 4-5/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 5 min AD @ 80-90%, rest 2 min x 3

Notes: only 80-90% on AD, but x 3 sets

Week 9: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

75-85 min Hike @ Z1

Note: HR 110-130 still?

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 10: Day 1 – Monday

A. Front squats x 3-4 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Deadlift x 2-3 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. GH raises x 9-11, rest 1 min x 3

D. Side bridge x 80 sec, rest 10 x 2/side

E. 15 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:35 x 6

Notes: add weight on GH raises if necessary

Week 10: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench press x 3-4 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Pull ups x 3-4 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Dips x 3-4 reps, rest 1 min

C2. Ring rows x 8-10 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. 90 sec row @ 80-90%, 90 sec @ 50% x 6 – rest 5 min b/t sets 3&4

Notes: row times are increasing, watch pace

Week 10: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Back Squats x 3-4 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Good Mornings x 6-7 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Walking lunges x 12 steps rest 1 min x 2

D. Plank on elbows x 2:45, rest 30 sec x 2

E. Row 200m @ 100%, rest 2:20 x 5

Notes: reps are up on lunges this week

Week 10: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing press x 3-4 reps, rest 2 min x 3

B. Bent over rows x 3-4 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Seated DB press x 5-6 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB row x 5-6/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 4 min AD @ 80-90%, rest 2 min x 3

Notes: less time on AD = higher speed

Week 10: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

80-90 min Hike @ Z1

Note: this is recovery work.

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 11: Day 1 – Monday

A. Front Squats x 2-3 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Deadlift x 1-2 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. GH raises x 10-12, rest 1 min x 3

D. Side bridge x 85 sec, rest 5 x 2/side

E. 15 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:35 x 7

Notes: save a little for testing next week

Week 11: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench press x 2-3 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Pull ups x 2-3 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Dips x 2-3 reps, rest 1 min

C2. Ring Rows x 10-12 reps, rest 1 min x 3

D. 90 sec row @ 80-90%, 90 sec @ 50% x 8 – rest 5 min b/t sets 4&5

Notes: sets are up again on rows

Week 11: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Back Squats x 2-3 reps, rest 2-3 min x 3

B. Good Mornings x 7-8 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Walking lunges x 14 steps rest 1 min x 2

D. Plank on elbows x 3:00, rest 30 sec x 2

E. Row 200m @ 100%, rest 2:20 x 6

Notes: plank getting long, is it maintanable?

Week 11: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing press x 2-3 reps, rest 2 min x 3

B. Bent over rows x 2-3 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C1. Seated DB press x 6-7 reps, rest 1 min

C2. DB row x 6-7/arm, rest 1 min x 2

D. 3 min AD @ 80-90%, rest 2 min x 3

Notes: Keep core engaged on all lifts

Week 11: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

85-95 min Hike @ Z1

Note: this is recovery work. Recover and be ready for testing.

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you’re in.

Week 12 – Testing Week: Day 1 – Monday

A. Front Squats – find a 1RM, rest as needed

B. Deadlift – Find a 1 RM, rest as needed

C. GH raises x 11-13, rest 1 min x 3

D. Side bridge x 90 sec, rest 0 b/t sides x 1

E. 15 sec AD sprint @ 100%, rest 1:35 x 8

Notes: comment on weights moved

Week 12 – Testing Week: Day 2 – Tuesday

A. Bench press – find a 1 RM, rest as needed

B. Pull ups – find a 1 RM, rest as needed

C. Dips – find a 1 RM, rest as needed

D. Ring Rows – 1 attempt max reps, directly below bar

D. 500 m row – for time, 1 attempt @ 100%

Notes: how far have you come?

Week 12 – Testing Week: Day 3 – Thursday

A. Back Squats – find a 1 RM, rest as needed

B. Good mornings x 8-9 reps, rest 2 min x 3

C. Walking lunges x 16 steps – find max load

D. Plank on elbows – AMSAP, 1 attempt

E. Row 200m @ 100%, rest 2:20 x 7

Notes: how long can you hold it?

Week 12 – Testing Week: Day 4 – Friday

A. Standing press – find a 1 RM, rest as needed

B. Bent over rows – find a 3 RM, rest as needed

C. Seated DB press – find an 8 RM, rest as needed

D. DB row – find a 8 RM, rest as needed

D. 3 min AD – 1 attempt max cals

Notes: list starting and finishing weights for cycle

Week 12 – Testing Week: Day 5 – Saturday or Sunday

90 min Hike @ Z1

Note: long, easy-paced hike