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Physical Test

Four testing stations of the Fire Department Fitness Ability Test


• 300–Meter Sprint (62.5 seconds)
• Maximum Push-Ups (28 repetitions)
• Sit-Ups (1 minute) (34 repetitions)
• 1.5-Mile Run/Walk (14.00 min)

The test battery process should be sequenced as follows: 

Warm-up (5-10 minutes) may be self-directed or lead by test personnel

• General warm-up – 2-3 minutes of easy jogging, jumping jacks, etc.
• Stretching – 5-7 minutes, include stretches for shoulders, back, upper and lower legs.

Physical Fitness Test Battery (FAT)

• 300-Meter Run (15 minutes rest)
• Sit-Ups (1 minute) (5 minutes rest)
• Maximum Push-Ups (10 minutes rest)
• 1.5 Mile Run/Walk

Cool-down (5 minutes)

• Walking – keep walking to avoid blood pooling in legs.
• Easy stretching.

300 METER RUN

Purpose

This test measures anaerobic capacity used in high intensity incidents and training, and is important for performing short
intense bursts of effort such as rescues and use of force situations. Score in seconds: 56.0 – 71 Mean =62.5

Equipment

• Standard track or marked level course (300 meters = 328 yards or 984 feet)
• Stopwatch (printing stopwatch is preferred)
• Numbered vests or other participant identifiers such as the card system explained in class.

Procedures

• Read the instructions to the participants.
• Allow participants warm up. (see above procedures)
• Instruct participants to cover the distance as fast as possible.
• Have participant line up at the starting line. Give the verbal command “Ready, Set, Go” (adding a visual command is effective) and begin timing as you finish the word “go”.
• The score is the time to the nearest half-second for completion of the run.

MAXIMUM PUSH-UP TEST

Purpose

This test measures the muscular strength/endurance of the upper body muscles in the shoulders, chest, and back of the upper arms (the triceps) used in high intensity fire fighting and
training. This is important for use of force involving upper body strength, such as forcible entry, pulling charged lines, and use of heavy tools. Score in repetitions 21-35 Mean =28.

Procedures

• Read the instructions to the participants.
• Demonstrate the test, pointing out common errors and proper positioning.
• Have the participant get down on the floor into the front leaning rest position and perform one test push-up to properly locate the foam cube at the costal arch and above the zyphoid.
• Have the participant lower the body until their touches and slightly compresses the foam cube and arms are at least parallel to the floor, then push up again. The back must be kept straight, and in each extension up, the elbows should lock. Resting in the up position (only) is allowed.
• The score is the maximum number of push-ups completed with no time limit.

ONE-MINUTE SIT-UP TEST

Purpose

This test measures the muscular endurance of the strength/abdominal muscles, which are used in lifting patients, forcible entry and pulling hose. Furthermore these muscles are important in maintaining good posture and minimizing lower back problems. Score in repetitions: 30-38 Mean =34.

Equipment
• Mat
• Stopwatch – Partner

Procedures
• Read the instructions to the participants.
• Demonstrate the event, pointing out common errors.
• Have the participant lie on his or her back, knees bent, heels flat on the floor. Hands should be held behind the head, with elbows out to the sides. A partner holds down the feet.
• Have the participant perform as many correct sit-ups as possible in one minute. In the up position, the individual must touch the elbows to the knees and then return to the lying position (fingers must touch the examiner’s hand) before starting the next sit-up.
• The score is the number of correct sit-ups.

1.5-MILE RUN WALK TEST

Purpose

This test is a measure of cardio-respiratory endurance or aerobic capacity. This is important for performing tasks involving stamina and endurance, such as heavy manual labor under harsh conditions while wearing heavy protective gear and breathing apparatus, and carrying heavy, awkward equipment. Essential for minimizing the risk of cardiovascular health problems. Score: 13:35
14:31 Mean =14.02.

Equipment

• 440-yard track or marked level course
• Stopwatch (printing stopwatch is preferred)
• Numbered vests or other participant identifiers such as the card system explained in class.
• Video camera is strongly recommended for recordation of performance and to discourage cheating.

Procedures

• Read the instructions to the participants.
• Allow participants to warm up and stretch before the run.
• Instruct participants to cover the distance as fast as possible, but to begin at a pace they think they can easily sustain for 10-15 minutes.
• Instruct participants to hold up fingers (to the video camera) indicating the number of laps completed.
• Instruct participants to line up at the starting line. Give the command “Go” and begin timing. If several participants run at once, have one administrator call out times at the finish while an assistant records the names and respective times.
• Instruct participants to cool down after running the course by walking for an additional five minutes or so. This prevents venous pooling, a condition in which the blood pools in the legs so less is returned to the heart. Walking enhances the return of blood to the heart and aids recovery.
• The score is the time it takes to finish the course to the nearest second.

 


HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE FITNESS ABILITY TEST

IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT THE INDIVIDUAL BE CLEARED BY A MEDICAL DOCTOR TO UNDERTAKE SUCH A PROGRAM. 

The following program is progressive to allow the body time to adapt and build up.

Delayed muscle soreness (24-48 hours post exercise) may occur as a result of any new exercise program. This soreness should only be mild in nature and should dissipate prior to the next scheduled exercise session.


If significant or severe soreness exists, the subject exercised too hard and therefore should not perform any exercise (other than stretching) that stresses the affected area until all soreness has disappeared completely.

Remember, this program is designed to build a person up, not tear him/her down. Subjects should pay close attention to their body for any indication of injury or overuse.


1. Conditioning program for the One-Minute Pushup Test
Determine exercise level by measuring how many pushups the subject can complete in 60 seconds.

*When performing pushups, be sure the subject continues until muscular failure.

* If the total number is 15 or less, begin at level A.
* If the subject’s total is greater than 15, begin at level B. Subject should work toward reaching level C below.

Level A—1 set/3 times a week for 1 week
Level B—2 sets/3 times a week for 2 weeks
Level C—3 sets/3 times a week until testing

2. Conditioning Program for the One-Minute Sit-Up Test Determine exercise level by measuring how many sit-ups the subject can complete in 60 seconds.

* If the total number is 15 or less, begin at level A.
* If the subject’s total is greater than 15, begin at level B.
Subject should work toward reaching level C below.

Level A—1 set/3 times a week for 1 week
Level B—2 sets/3 times a week for 2 weeks
Level C—3 sets/3 times a week until testing

When training for sit-ups, be sure that the subject continues until muscular failure occurs.

3. Conditioning for the Sit and Reach Flexibility Test
The subject should begin with a 3-5 minute warm-up that will cause the body temperature to rise and produce a light sweat (this may be done by jogging in place, bicycling, etc.). This will maximize the results of the following program.

In a sitting position, with knees straight, the subject should slowly walk his/her fingers down the legs as far as possible. The subject should hold that position for 8-10 seconds, relax for 2 seconds, and repeat 30 times daily for week 1.

The subject should perform 60 repetitions (30 a.m./30 p.m.) daily until testing.

4. Conditioning for the 1.5 Mile Run
Generally, it is recommended that the subject reach a training level, which is twice his/her testing level.

The subject should consider the following preparatory stages with a gradual increase in intensity and a decrease in time:

5 times a week-
• Briskly WALK 1 mile increasing to 2 miles over the first couple of weeks
• When the subject can walk 2 miles in 28-30 minutes comfortably,
• Increase the pace to include some walking/jogging until the subject covers 2 miles in 24 minutes or less, then,

4 times a week-

• Jog (without walking) 2 miles in 20 minutes or less, then, 3-4 times a week-
• Gradually increase distance to 3 miles jogging until the subject can complete 3 miles in 28-30 minutes

Subjects should continue to increase speed and decrease time of a 3-mile jog 3 times per week with a 1.5-mile run 1 day per week.

If the subject is able to adapt and advance more quickly than the schedule recommends, he/she should do so. However, be sure that the subject’s exercise program does not cause any undue muscle soreness or strain.