Originally posted March 31, 2010 here Fight for Air Stair Climb Training
This past Saturday I participated in the American Lung Assoiciation’s Fight for Air Stair Climb. This stair climb was for a great cause and gave me a good venue to test the effect my training had on my job performance.
The event was a hike up 52 stories (1,197 stairs). Around 20 of us performed the climb with full firefighting gear weighing approximately 70 lbs., while breathing air from an SCBA bottle.
In the month or so prior to the event I was pretty tempted to throw on a 60 lb weight vest and SCBA mask and start hard charging the stairs. Attending the RKC II though, led me to want to try a different approach.
All of the instructors at the RKC II did an incredible job of dissecting each of the exercises and explaining the purpose and benefits of the individual components of the exercises. Through this, I began to see how weaknesses in my abs and obliques, and limitations in my thoracic mobility were limiting my overall strength. This, coupled with an unexpected success with the pistol at the cert, made me want to test out a different type of training for this challenge.
The goal of the training this time was to see if I could go “lighter” with the workouts, not beat myself up, and still get good results with the stair climb.
My work schedule is 3 24 hour shifts with 24 hours off in between each shift and 4 days off after a tour of 3 shifts.
My Training Routine
GTG the following exercises roughly every hour from start of shift at 0800 to around dinner time at 1800
1 pullup focusing on the hollow position
2 pistols each leg w/ a 12 kg bell
3 BUPs each arm with a 16 kg bell
At some point in the shift a routine of various body weight exercises and joint mobility usually lasting about 20-30 min
Getting off shift in the morning
Viking Warrior Conditioning alternating between the 36:36 snatch protocol with a 12 kg bell, 20 reps and the 15:15 Viking push press with a 16 kg bell, 8 reps.
I borrowed from Enter the Kettlebell and rolled 2-5 dice to determine how many minutes each set would be.
During the 4 day
GTG hollow position hold on back with 8 kg bell overhead for 30 sec
Other activities included swimming focusing more on technique than as a cardio, rock climbing, and rugby practice on average 1-2 times per week each.
Viking Warrior Conditioning has done wonders for my stamina and recovery rate. My main goal going into this was to have the stamina for my air bottle to last all the way to the top. I finished the stair climb in 20 min 44 sec with 100 psi left over in my air bottle. After about 1-2 min I felt recovered enough where I could have started working and fighting fire if I had to. This time I just chose to grab all my gear and convince the event staff to let me head back down the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
Afterwards, the only soreness has been in my calves. I had expected my back and shoulders to be sore and stiff from this, but instead that my core, shoulders and legs all felt great