Plans and Sessions

CPAT Training

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

This program follows a general format. Sessions should be done in order even if you have to miss a workout because it is designed build each week.
Bullet points of program:

  • designed to improve performance on the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)
  • the gateway physical fitness test for firefighters
  • No requirement to perform the actual CPAT, but is an assessment designed to replicate the fitness demands required for the CPAT.

Week 1 and 3 schedule (assessment weeks):

Monday: Assessment
Tuesday: Assessment Work/Strength
Wednesday: Assessment Work/Work Capacity
Thursday: Assessment Work/Strength
Friday: Assessment Work/Endurance

Weeks 2 and 4 schedule:

Monday: Assessment Work/Strength
Tuesday: Assessment Work/Work Capacity
Wednesday: Assessment Work/Strength
Thursday: Assessment Work/Work Capacity
Friday: Endurance

ASSESSMENT EXERCISES

This program uses some unorthodox movements derived specifically from the CPAT. All of them will be executed with a 50# weight vest. These movements are described in video exercise tab:
50-foot Shuttles – Set two markers 50 feet apart and run line to line as many times as you can in a minute. Use your foot to pivot; don’t bend down and touch the line. Each time your foot touches the line is one rep. Don’t count partial reps. If you don’t make it to the line as time expires, the rep doesn’t count. CPAT Event: Hose Drag
Step-ups – You’ll wear both your 50# vest and 25# pack for this assessment – 75# total. Set up an 8” step (two rubber 45# plates work or 2 of those Reebok step platforms – anything that can be an 8” step). Do as many step-ups as possible in 3 min. following an “up-up-down-down” pattern with your feet. Each time both feet are on top of the box counts as one rep. Don’t hop at the top. Come to full knee and hip extension. CPAT Event: 3 min. Step-up Test
Kneeling Dumbbell Rope Pulls with 40 ft. Rope – In two minutes, pull a 60# dumbbell towards you while kneeling on one knee. As soon as you pull the Dumbbell to you, grab the rope, stand up, and run to the opposite end, drop to your opposite knee as before, and begin pulling. Repeat for the entire 2 min. 40 ft = 1 rep. CPAT Event: Hose Drag/Ladder Extension

Farmer’s Carry w/ 60# Dumbbell in each hand – Grab a 60# dumbbell in each hand (use dumbbells, not kettlebells), start your stopwatch and begin walking. You can’t run, only walk, and you can’t stop walking. Hold onto the Dumbbells for as long as you can. Don’t go past 3 min. If you make it 3 min., just stop and record 3 min. CPAT Event: Equipment Carry

Seated Dumbbell Press w/ 25# – Start with the Dumbbells resting on top of your collar bones. Start your timer. Press the weight overhead until your elbows are locked out. Keep your biceps close to your ears at the top of the movement. Return the Dumbbells back to your collar bones. That’s one rep. If you don’t come to full elbow extension at the top or touch your collar bones at the bottom, the rep doesn’t count. One rep is when your elbows come to full extension with the weight overhead. You can rest and resume if needed. Just work the entire minute. CPAT Event: Ladder Raise

Seated Russian Twist w/ 25# Dumbbell – Begin with your feet 2” off the deck and the Dumbbell on your stomach. Start your timer. Rotate your shoulders so that the Dumbbell touches the ground on either side of you. Count each touch as one rep. Your feet must stay off the ground for the duration of the exercise. You can rest and resume if needed. Just work the entire time. CPAT Event: Forcible Entry

 

Partial Squat to Thrust w/ 60# Dumbbell – Set up a bench press bench in front of you, with the 60# Dumbbell resting on it vertically. Start your timer. Grab the Dumbbell and, from a partial squat, thrust your hips and arms to lift the Dumbbell up to the level of your face. Squat back down until the Dumbbell touches the bench and repeat. One rep is when the Dumbbell is at the level of your face. If the weight doesn’t touch the bench or make it up to the level of your face, the rep doesn’t count. You can rest and resume if needed. Just work the entire minute. CPAT Event: Ceiling Breach and Pull

2-Arm Pull Downs – There are two ways to do this. First, you can use a LatPulldown machine. If you do, put the pin at 80# and attach the rope handle to the cable. Second, use your rope and throw it over a pull-up bar and tie it to a 40# Dumbbell (40# with no pulley is roughly 80# pulled over a bar). Start your timer and grab the rope in front of your face. Pull down until your hands are at the level of your hip, then repeat. Pulling the rope to your hands is one rep. If you don’t go from face to hips with your hand on the rope, the rep doesn’t count. You can rest and resume if needed. Just work the entire minute. CPAT Event: Ceiling Breach and Pull

EXERCISE PROGRESSIONS

During this train-up every number of repetitions you perform is based on the number of repetitions or times you completed during your latest assessment (SESSION 1 and 11).
Example:
Athlete performs 35x Military Press, 50x Russian Twists, 30x Partial Squats to Thrust, and 40x 2-Arm Pull Downs during SESSION 1.
SESSION 3 from the plan calls for:
5 Rounds w/ 50# weight vest
30% max reps Seated Military Press w/ 25# Dumbbells
30% max reps Russian Twists w/ 25# Dumbbell
30% max reps Partial Squats to Thrust w/ 60# Dumbbell
30% max reps 2-Arm Pull Down w/ 80# using rope attachment
So, calculate your reps using the percentages above. Multiply .3 times your recorded number. For this athlete: Seated Military Press: .3 x 35 = 10.5x (round to 11x)
Russian Twists: .3 x 50 = 15x
Partial Squats to Thrust: .3 x 30 = 9x
2-Arm Pull Down: .3 x 40 = 12x
Now you can see how the percentages relate to reps, substitute the calculated reps for the percentages: 5 Rounds w/ 50# weight vest

11x Seated Military Press w/ 25# Dumbbells
15x Russian Twists w/ 25# Dumbbell
9x Partial Squats to Thrust w/ 60# Dumbbell
12x 2-Arm Pull Down w/ 80# using rope attachment
Note: You don’t have to sprint through the circuit – it’s not a work cap. You simply want to work briskly, limiting your rest as much as possible. However, you can break sets if you need to; try to limit rests/breaks to 5 breaths before performing at least one more rep.

 

You’ll train 5-ft. shuttles and Step-ups using “density intervals,” that you’ll calculate the reps for in the same way as above, but you’ll execute them differently. Here’s what they look like:
Example:
Athlete performs 17x 50 ft. Shuttles during SESSION 1.

SESSION 2, for example, calls for:

5 Rounds, every 75 sec. 30% max reps 50ft. Shuttles

Which means: Calculate your reps from your most recent assessment in the same way as on the previous page (.3 x 17 = 5.1, so round to 5x). Then, set a repeating timer for 75 sec (1:15 sec). Start the timer and sprint through 5x reps as quickly as possible. When you complete all the reps, rest until the timer counts down to zero then start the next round, again sprinting through 5x reps. Since you have 75 sec. to complete the required work, the faster you get it done the rest you’ll earn.

The step-up circuit works the exact same way. Here’s an example:

Example:
Athlete performs 84x Step-ups during SESSION 1.

SESSION 2, for example, calls for:

5 Rounds, every 75 sec. 30% max reps Step-ups

Which means: Calculate your reps from your most recent assessment in the same way as on the previous page

(.3 x 84 = 28x). Then, set a repeating timer for 75 sec (1:15 sec). Start the timer and sprint through 28x reps as quickly as possible. When you complete all the reps, rest until the timer counts down to zero then start the next round, again sprinting through 28x reps. Since you have 75 sec. to complete the required work, the faster you get it done the rest you’ll earn.

INFORMATION:

A commercial gym will have all the weights you need to complete the program.
You’ll also need these four things:
– 50# weight vest
– A backpack that you can load with 25# (don’t get too fancy with the vest or pack) – A stopwatch with a repeating countdown timer
– 40 ft. Rope
What if I can’t make the prescribed reps for the exercises, or the prescribed interval times for the runs?

Do your best, and break sets if you need. Be sure to do the total number of rounds, even if you can’t make the reps unbroken. Don’t quit.

2 NUMBERS?

  • The 15# / 25# is female loading/ male loading.
  • 2/4x Pull-ups (females / males)

Why do I have to work through so much of the training sessions after already being fatigued?
Part of any physical fitness test is assessing your ability to do the most amount of work you can in the face of fatigue. The structure and volume of this training program reflects that reality and is designed to inoculate you from a significant performance decrease due to fatigue. This is to your benefit.

What’s the proper uniform for training?

Train like you’ll be required to on the CPAT – long pants, shoes, T-shirt, gloves. You’ll also be required to wear a helmet on the CPAT. If you have one, wear it for the CPAT work at the beginning of sessions, then take it off for the rest of the session.

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