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Home > Topics > Health and Wellness
July 13, 2010
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First in Fitness
by Bryan Fass

High intensity training to condition your whole body

Boost your heart rate, jump start your metabolism and increase your muscular endurance with this easy workout

By Bryan Fass

Society has programmed us to believe that to be fit you need washboard abs and sculpted legs. Last time I checked, running a call and dealing with challenging situations does not require a sculpted body. A fit and conditioned body on the other hand is much more appropriate for a career in public safety.

With bathing suit weather in full swing in most parts of the country, I thought it appropriate to include a workout to get the pounds off in a hurry.

High Intensity Training (HIT) is a style of exercise that will boost your heart rate, metabolism, muscle endurance and anaerobic capacity. Anaerobic capacity is your body's ability to work at high intensities for short periods of time.

Think of it this way, when an altercation occurs it generally lasts for less than a minute. During that minute your body must be able to function at 100 percent capacity with total control of physical actions and breathing. The more anaerobically fit you are, the quicker the recovery and more rapidly you are ready for another physically taxing event while being able to deal with the task at hand. Seldom will you run a marathon in uniform — public safety calls for service are series of short physical activities usually lasting less than five minutes. Aerobic conditioning will help but HIT is where the money is.

High Intensity Training is designed for the experienced fitness enthusiast, which means in the gym consistently three or more times per week. Warm up with some jogging and functional stretching. It would not be a bad idea to get on the foam roller and do some self myofascial release, (relaxing contracted muscles) prior to this workout. For the novice exercisers out there, simply cut down the sets to two or three and take two minutes rest between. As always, if you are in pain or dealing with an injury, this is not the type of work out for you.

Intensity is the key to HIT so try to adhere to the rest periods if possible. Alternate phases each week with two to three HIT sessions per week, in between I advise resistance training two times per week to keep your metabolism revved up.

Phase 1:

1. 10 Minute Jog

2. Stretch

3. Run 1 lap (1/4 mile)

4. 25 Squats with hands behind your head
4b) 20 push ups
4c) 30 second plank

  • Repeat 3 & 4 a total of 4 cycles. Rest exactly 45 seconds after the run before you begin the 4s.

Phase 2:

1. 10 Minute Jog / warm up or a Frisbee makes a great dynamic warm up with your training partner in place of the run

2. Stretch

3. On a soccer or football field, Fast run from the goal to the half field line
3b) 20 push ups
3c) Immediately run to the opposite goal line
3d) 15 dumbbell or band side raises

4. Jog back to the far goal line

  • Rest exactly 90 seconds and Repeat 3 & 4 a total of 4 times.

5. Perimeter of the field jog 2 times

6. Stretch

About the author

Bryan Fass is an expert on public safety injury prevention, patient and equipment handling ergonomics, fitness and wellness and a noted speaker and consultant. Bryan has authored four books including the Fit Responder. He works nationally with departments, corporations, state and local governments to design and run targeted injury prevention and wellness programs for public entities and private organizations. He is frequently contacted for expert opinion and content contribution for all aspects of public safety. Bryan holds a bachelor's degree in sports medicine, was a paramedic for more than eight years, and is certified as an Athletic Trainer & Strength Coach. He is the president and founder of the Fit Responder. Contact Bryan at bryan.fass@ems1.com.
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