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Muscular Endurance

I am preparing myself for the fire academy coming up soon. So far, I have been hitting the weights with med/heavy loads concentrating on these: Pull-ups, shoulder press, dumbell bench press, flys, curls. As for lower body, I have done one mile runs every other day, but moved onto uphill runs instead. I have not done much for building strength using weights for my legs.
I am not sure what to focus on more, cardio as far as aerobic (running 2-4 miles) or resistance for strength (uphill, elliptical set on high)?


I am also preparing myself for the academy and the career of being a firefighter, and my best advice for you is to shoot Dr.Jen a PM. She will help you out with all your questions and help you get started on your way. Good luck and never give up.


Lets' start here:
I see something in your workout that concerns me: shoulder press. Just make sure you don't do them behind your head. It's bad for your shoulders. Same goes for lat pulls- do them only in front.

You need leg strengthening. Resistance training makes everything else easier. Use big exercises: weighted squats and lunges, leg press, etc.

Be sure also to balnce front of body work/training with back of body.

Like: in the upper body, do as many sets of pull ups and you do push ups. The reps won't be the same because pull ups are full body weight and push ups are not.

In the lower body: make sure you really work your hamstrings! Use hamstring curls and stiff legged dead lfts. Try to do as many sets with your hams as you do your quads. Weights, again, will not be the same, as the muscle groups are of different size.

The best thing you can do is change it up as often as possible. I try never to do the same workout twice. Good thing I have such creative energy... but not many people do.

Intervals that alternate muscle groups, and go push-pull are great. Try to do ones that keep your head above your heart because it's safer.

A great leg interval super set would be:
1 min jump rope
8-12 reps leg press (head above heart)
8-12 standing hamstring curls
Repeat, repeat, repeat.... I go until I drop. I keep increasing weight and decreasing reps. I go to failure after the 1st set. This could go on for 30 minutes! OUCH!

Another great interval super set would be:
Run 3 minutes on treadmill (add incline and speed as you go...)
MOve right to: smith machine squats. 25's on each side, down on a count of 10, up on a count of 10
Then move right to: seated hamstring curls 8-12 reps
Repeat, repeat, repeat, until you are shaking.

And for upper body: Use the seated cable row machine.
Start with 20 reps and light weight, work up in weight and down in reps as you go:
Do seated cable row
MOve immediately to push ups with your feet on the bench and your hands on the floor. Be careful on this... it takes your head below your heart... if you get dizzy, STOP and change feet and hand placements and do higher reps.
Without rest, do 20 step ups unto that bench right there... 20 right, and 20 left. NO REST!
Go until you are DONE.

Here's a workout I just wrote for someone who was looking for something basic/simple:

Always stretch at the END of your workout.

Monday: Run 20+ min, then do push ups and pull-ups (super sets... do an easy super set to warm up, then go to exhaustion each set once you are used to it.... rest for a minute and go to exhaustion 2 more times) Finish with abs: 300 crunches.

Tuesday: Do weights/resistance exercises with the legs. Spend 30 minute, work up to an hour. Do abs: like 500 crunches. Stretch afterwards.

Wednesday: Run 5 min, jump off the treadmill and do 10-25 pull-ups and 20-50 push-ups with no rest. Do this 3 part interval over and over until you are exhausted. It could go from 20-60 minutes, depending on how hard you run and your fitness level. Do abs- 300 should be enough crunches. Stretch.

Thursday: Do a light bike/spin and abs- more: like work up to 1000. Stretch.

Friday: Do Wednesday's workout again. Stretch.

Saturday: Do leg resistance exercises again. Stretch.

This should give you some ideas. has some good exercise ideas.

My website has more info, especially on specific training for CPAT and injury prevention.

I wish you luck!!!

Dr. Jen Milus, DC
This message was edited by DrJen on 5-9-06 @ 6:52 PM

Thanks Dr. Jen for the tips and workout! You are right about the shoulder press and pull downs. I can't believe people still do them behind the neck. I will focus more on lower body development for I know it will help when it comes to the fire portion of the academy, not to mention overall balancing of physique. I like to keep a goal in mind when doing my workouts, so as a firefighter I focus more on strength building and muscular endurance.

Thanks again!

No problem, Ron. While you are at it, go to the free newsletter/bonus thing on my site. Sign up for it. Maybe there'll be something there that will help you!
Dr. Jen Milus, DC