Mid-Atlantic Rescue Systems, Inc.

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Challenge Yourself!

The Season is changing and your fitness regime should be too! Here’s a way to not only make some changes; but a way to assess your current fitness level, establish new goals and keep your fitness program moving in the right direction. You can do it in the gym, or even better move it to the truck floor and/or outside when possible. If you are ready to challenge yourself, here’s one way to do it.

My favorite type of challenge is a functional (job related) challenge, but you may want to choose a gym activity (distance on the treadmill/bike within a designated time frame, reps/weight lifted per minute etc.). You can select any task (test), but I think the functional ones are more practical, more beneficial and actually more fun! (Yes, I said Fun!) A good place to start is by selecting 3 (three) or 4(four) functional tasks, i.e. dummy drag, ladder climb, equipment carry, etc. Sound familiar? If you’ve ever done the “Combat Challenge” or “CPAT” Test, those tasks are not new to you. If this is the first you are hearing of them, research them online. You can use them as is, modify them or completely create your own. Some of the tasks require very little equipment, while others are a little more involved. Keep in mind your capabilities and be sure to select tasks appropriate for you. Remember: never sacrifice safety for speed.

Perform each task, following all safety protocols and time yourself. Record your time for each task. Additionally, perform each task in whichever sequence you like and record your overall time for completing all of the tasks in succession.

Continue your existing exercise program, and add the tasks 2-3 X per week. It’s your choice whether or not you time the tasks each time you do them. Some people absolutely will have to know how they are progressing and yet others may want to wait until the end of the 4-6 week training period to see the progress. At the end of 4-6 weeks, retest yourself and compare your times to your initial outing.

Challenging yourself will take your fitness regime to a new level. If you are more the competitive type, see if you can get other members on board. Some of you may want to not only challenge yourself; but to challenge each other as well. You can keep it individualized, form teams or even challenge a neighboring department.

Remember to have your physician’s approval before beginning any exercise program.

Good – Luck…Stay Safe… and Challenge Yourself!

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LORI HODGKINSONSenior Correspondent

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