Firefighters report that studying for promotion can lead to poor sleep habits, neglecting exercise, and unhealthy dietary choices. These individuals gain weight and see their fitness levels significantly decrease during this time. Many firefighters have difficulty losing the excess weight and regaining their pre-exam fitness level. These changes are often permanent and affect physical performance for the rest of their career.
The ATCEMS academy physical training program is challenging regardless of fitness level. You will be participating in PT every weekday morning for the duration of the academy. Workouts will include weight training circuits, track workouts to build speed and endurance, rowing workouts, and drill field workouts designed to simulate tasks you will encounter on the job (carrying heavy sandbags, long stair climbs, pulling/pushing very heavy objects, etc).
Lack of time plays a large role in the struggle to maintain a regular exercise routine. The unpredictable schedule of first responders can make fitting in a workout even more challenging. Continuous exercise for as little as five minutes, can be beneficial to retain (and even improve) muscular strength and cardiovascular health. Dr.