Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Great write in from firefighter

Thanks to Chad for sharing this with me........

Just wanted to write in and tell about an experience I had this past weekend in Houston. 

My fire department formed a team for a stair climb event for the American Lung Association. 7 other fire departments were involved. The fire departments climbed after police departments and regular climbers. The fire departments climbed in a category named the high rise challenge due to everyone wearing gear and an airpack. Reading your material I had a thought. I wrote out a training schedule backwards from the event to the time I started training for it (second week of January). 

The first 5 weeks I did non-weighted step mill work to get the legs and lungs used to climbing. The one absolute I held for myself was to not use my arms for assistance during the training, but come the day of the climb to use the railing in the stairwell. I figured if I made the training a little more difficult then it could be of some benefit come the day of the climb. 5 weeks came and went quickly. Week 6 was terrible in which I lost two brothers (firefighters) from my old fire department who were killed in the line of duty and one other who was seriously injured, but he is still with us and kicking ass! 

Week 6 served as a forced week off for the Memorial Service and funerals. Weeks 7 to 11 came with weighted work, I used 50 pounds in a backpack, but with gear and a bottle the weight is closer to 65 pounds. I told myself even with using 50 pounds instead of 65, there is no assistance in the training from my upperbody so the legs and lungs took the brunt of the work. 

Come meet day, I managed 48 floors in under 14 minutes. Being my first climb, I'll have a clearer picture of what to expect next time. I guess I used not training to the max (50lb vs 65lb) and making the training harder (no arms vs using the rails on climb day) to guide me. I feel it paid off pretty well. 

Today, (the climb was yesterday) I squatted and had a +10% I guess, everything felt light and crisp. I related this to your 'Lifer' series of always being strong and in shape. I thought about my two friends I had lost during the climb, there was no thought of stopping because they fought and died without stopping. I pushed on for my family, for my friend who made it, for my team, and for myself. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your training and experiences with us and that your philosophy on training helped me in my training. Good luck on your meet!

-- Chad Jones

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