Author: Julia Simon
Pictures: Hanno Meier

Fit for service

Training tips from firefighter athletes

During firefighter missions that require self-contained breathing apparatuses, your own health can become your life insurance. But the firefighter athletes May, Meghann and Pascal don’t just need strength and stamina on the job – they also need it during their competitions. In HEROES WORLD, they reveal their best exercises and tips for all firefighters.

Interval training

You notice how your muscles burn during intervals. It’s similar to that ache at the end of a competition, says Pascal, a professional firefighter who’s been competing in firefighting competitions for over ten years. He’s a fan of uphill interval runs. And here’s an insider tip for a variation that really increases the difficultly: backwards uphill running.  

Roll-up jumps & walking lunges  

The exercises from May, a Norwegian professional firefighter, are equally tough. To perform a roll-up jump, lay down on your back on your gym mat. Activate your stomach muscles to roll upwards from this position and then – jump! Now get back down, roll backwards and start all over again. Walking lunges challenge both your fitness and your balance. To start lunge-walking, take a forward step on one side, then get down into the lunge position. Push back up while simultaneously moving the other leg forward into the lunge. Hit the wall? Just turn around and lunge-walk back!  

Backpack as weights      

Meghann, a professional firefighter from Berlin, swears by the classic squat. “The deeper you go, the more intense the training.” For added difficulty, she fills a backpack with books or other objects – it’s that simple to create your own weights at home. During the squat, carry the weighted rucksack on your back and clasp your hands in front of you or raise them over your head. The backpack can be used as a weight in many different exercises. Looking for more? Place a step stool or hand towel under your feet, pull your legs into the push-up position, and back again.  

Meghann’s motivational quote for working out: “The most important thing is to not give up! Even when your body is aching, keep going until you’ve reached your goal. You have to train your inner fighting spirit and overcome your inner couch potato.”  

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