Best Cardio Training Exercises for Firefighters

Lake Oconee Boomers

Best Cardio Training Exercises for Firefighters

Regardless of age or physique, firefighters must have the endurance to get their job done safely and effectively. To enter firefighting academy, individuals must pass their physical agility test. The test assesses their strength and endurance, determining whether they’re fit for intensive training toward the courageous position. Whether you’re an experienced firefighter looking to stay in shape or a prospective first responder hoping to get in shape, consider our list of best cardio training exercises for firefighters.

Before You Start

Well in advance – Get a physical checkup from your physician. You want to confirm that a rigorous regime of aerobic exercise is safe. If you have preexisting conditions, talk with your doctor about precautions you can take or limits to set on your workout scheme.

Before your workout begins – Warming up is critical to prevent tearing muscles or tendons. Not only does an avoidable injury cause pain and sometimes surgery, but it also hinders your workout progress. Getting your body geared up for a workout protects it and enables more effective exercise.

  • Take anywhere from five to 20 minutes to do some light calisthenics to get your blood pumping and loosen up your muscles.
  • Stretch until you feel slight puling on your muscles, but not to the point of discomfort. A full-body stretch is one of the best ways to avoid straining tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments.


For some people, running is the bane of their aerobic existence. If you have a negative perspective on running, changing your approach to running can alter your opinion of the activity.

Instead of gunning for an arbitrary number of miles, set your running goals under a time frame. Gradually increase your total run time so your conditioning doesn’t remain stagnant.

Equipment – A well-cushioned pair of running shoes can make all the difference. Shoes can make runs more enjoyable and even reduce the risk of injury.

Once you’ve gotten comfortable with a running regime, build your stamina in consideration with the firefighting role. Try exercising while equipped with essential firefighter personal protective equipment, so your body can get accustomed to the extra weight of the uniform.


Bicycling is a laidback recreational activity that you can amp up to get the cardiovascular endurance you desire. Increasing your gear throughout your ride is one way to level up resistance and experience more challenging conditioning. Biking on inclines and over long distances ensures a well-rounded workout that improves stamina and leg strength.

Equipment – You can get a good workout on any speed bike. Adjust your seat to an appropriate position to prevent placing too much pressure on your knees while pedaling. A padded seat cover and bike shorts can help make long rides much more comfortable.

Circuit Training

Boost your heart rate and muscle mass by incorporating circuit training into your exercise routine. Using low weights, you can perform a variety of exercises. The additional weight, though minor, will keep your heart rate up and demand muscular stimulation, making circuit training one of the best cardio training exercises for firefighters.

Equipment – For circuit training, start with light weight – you can use a bar or dumbbells.