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Old 03-13-2006, 12:31 PM   #1
William I.Weske
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I'm Assistant Fire Chief Weske of the Wichita Falls Texas Fire Department. I've been in contact with Mark Rippetoe (a crossfit trainer) about a training program for our Firefighters. He suggested that I seek some comments from Firefighters that are training with the Crossfit method. Also comments about how to start a program Manditory vs. Optional,What does your Department require etc..
Bill Weske}
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:04 PM   #2
Dan Snyder
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Denver  CO
Posts: 123
Chief, I’m a PFT with my FD and am new to Crossfit (started 10/05) but have [obviously] had excellent results with it. Due to the FD schedule we nearly always develop our own WOD and have to be careful with “Fight Gone Bad” type workouts (we once caught a fire while we were still flat on our backs recovering. Only need to do that ONCE!).

We have a mandatory fitness program in the department and it has been very good for us but isn’t nearly as effective as Crossfit. It is circuit based where an exercise is done for time or reps and often a treadmill at 4.5mph @ 15% is one or two stations within the circuit. There has been/is some resistance because the traditional “Body Building” mentality is hard to change (200 years of tradition unimpeded by progress) but I am finding I’m being contacted more and more by brothers/sisters who work shifts with our crew and want to know what it is we do. No one leaves without an ***-kicking. It’s spreading and I’m really not working at spreading it – our results speak for themselves really.

I’ve also just recently finished rewriting our wellness/fitness SOG and would be happy to send it to you (email or PM me) if you’ll give me some feedback. It is still in the process of being revised so any experience/expertise you could add would be greatly appreciated.




Passed through Wichita Falls returning from New Orleans in early September last year. Great people. Can’t remember the Mexican restaurant we ate at but they closed for us and let us blow steam. It was the best “critical incident debrief” any of us could have had.
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Old 03-14-2006, 07:54 AM   #3
Peter Queen
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Location: Dousman  WI
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Hello William, nice topic for this thread. I am a VFF so I am not sure how much help in the area of information I can give you in starting up a training program. Everyone at our department usually works out on their own in whatever format or place that works for them if at all. Thus our mandatory exercise program is non-existent. We do have a pretty nice gym at our station: weight machines, treadmills, stair steppers, ect. And it does get used but not by everybody. I use it every now and then but mostly I go to the local gym that I and my family are members of. Having said that, I can however tell you what works for me. I do know, as I am sure you know as well, that back problems and heart problems are the highest prevailing occurrences among firefighters. Having suffered for the better part of 10 years myself with a bad back, due to some weak lumbar disks in my lower back, I have since then been able to greatly strengthen my back through the various CF exercises. Primarily, db thrusters have been the key ingredient in giving me back a back that is not only more flexible but a lot stronger than ever. I can now get up every morning without one ounce of pain, stiffness, or weakness. My back use to be so tight in the morning that if I sneezed hard enough it would throw my back out……now that’s really pitiful and pathetic. Now if I get a fire call in the middle of the night I can get up quickly with the same springiness and vigor as I use to when I was a teenager. Med ball thrusters have been a big help as well as db lunges. It helps to keep my core strong and my legs loose, flexible and strong. Box jumps have greatly improved my overall coordination, leg strength, balance, agility, flexibility, vertical leaping and conditioning. When I have to jump up in those fire trucks, I no longer have to struggle to pull myself up into the vehicles. I can jump up with one hand on the side rail and one foot on the runner or doorway and fly in with one smooth unbroken motion. DB thrusters have also helped with any type of overhead lifting as is so often done in our profession. I am also on our departments RIC team and lunges with weights have greatly helped in the area of carrying out victims during search and rescue training. When I am done with my WODs or other CF exercises I am so wiped out I almost feel like puking and passing out. It might sound crazy but I love that feeling because I know I went deep into the CF zone yet again and when I do recover later I am the better for it. Like my quote says..."That Which Does Not Kill You...." At 45 I love that I can still do this type of stuff. Actually, I am in better shape now than I was in my 20’s. I have not gone to my chiropractor in over 5 months and that is saying something, considering I use to go every month.
It was nice to find people, and a whole lot of them, who actually shared my dedication and determination in staying in shape. I have definitely learned a lot more about how to greatly improve my physical health and my nutritional intake thanks to the people of CF.
I hope that this info helps a little bit. Good luck with your program.
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Old 03-16-2006, 07:23 PM   #4
Jeff Tincher
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Manassas  Va
Posts: 9
Hi Chief,
Like Dan, I am also a PFT.I work for Fairfax Co. in Va.I have been doing the CF WOD's for 15 mos. now.What Dan warned about-catching a fire during an intense WOD is very real.I was recovering from a w/o,and got hit out for a fire in a High School.(5 minutes earlier would've been bad).When I train the guys on my shift(on duty),I usually scale the WOD's down for them by either lowering the tonnage,# of rounds,or amount of time.I love competing against myself so I usually go full bore.As the rest of the FF's fitness levels improve-I have begun to turn them loose a little more.They love the sporting aspect of timing or recording their efforts.I pay attention to their form and their level of exertion so they don't tax themselves too much.Off duty they go at it as hard as they can.

I attended a CF cert. seminar last Nov.I highly recommend these seminars.The level of knowledge at a CF seminar is mind boggling-not to mention the CF community rivals our own Brotherhood when it comes to being sincere,welcoming,and genuine.

We do not have a mandatory fitness program like Dan's dept.I have tried to get CF adopted as the Fitness program,but the amount red tape that I have had to go through is crazy.I still haven't given up yet.It is my belief that if the recruits at Basic Training did CF w/o's for their PT-that as they graduated into the Field-they would spread the CF word very quickly.The CF Kool Aid is spreading rapidly through my Department as it is.

Anything I can do to help-please drop me an e-mail.

Dan-I would be very interested in reading your wellness/fitness SOG.

Jeff Tincher
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