The fireman carry and its weight training counterparts.

Below is a diagram of how one would perform the fireman carry. This tends to be the most popular and well-known way to carry a unconscious victim but it is really the least likely used on the fire ground. Ironically the fireman carry is more likely used such as in the military. The main reason why it’s not widely used in the fire service is because thick black smoke and super heated gases tend to force firefighters down to the floor where they have to feel their way along and avoid tripping or falling . When a victim is found they are carried out in a low position by two or more firefighters. Firefighters should always operate on the fire ground in a minimum of two members.

Sometimes things go wrong or get really hairy. A firefighter may get separated from his/her partner and then encounter a victim. If the conditions are bad enough the firefighter may have no other choice but to drag the victim out to safety. But if the conditions are good enough to stand then the firefighter will use this type of carry. If the victim is a child or a smaller person than the firefighter the carry may be performed without a hitch. But what if the victim is a rather large person? Don’t forget , the firefighter is also wearing at least an additional 60 lbs in the form of his personal protective equipment. If the victim is 250 lb and unconscious then the firefighter is really contending with 310 lb. of weight. Also the victim may have been found after the firefighter first had to throw a ladder to the second floor window, go up the ladder and break the window and remove the frame, then go on air and enter the fire building and conduct a systematic search. By the time the victim is found the firefighter may already be feeling exhausted and running low on precious air. Now he/she has to pick this victim up and carry them out to safety.

Take a look at this diagram and lets see what movements are involved.

From A to B the movement is a very awkward and messy dead lift/squat. Because the firefighters air tank may get in the way they may have to loosen the shoulder straps and waist strap to allow the tank to drop a little (the victim will wind up right where the top of the air cylinder is located). If the firefighter does not use proper lifting form there could be a significant occurrence of injury to the back or knees. Unfortunately this isn’t taking place in a gym while wearing a pair of shorts and a t shirt and the weight being lifted is a unconscious person which is totally different from lifting an olympic bar. So do you think the firefighter will use perfect form? Most likely not.

That is why I continue to stress the need for a consistent exercise program if you want to make it through your career as a firefighter. And I don’t want to hear it that training dead lifts and squats in the gym is bad for your back or knees! Learn the exercises and practice good form and use a weight that is appropriate. If you put dead lifts and squats into your training you will be able to handle the type of lifting that I described above. So you say ” But I do leg presses and I’m putting up 350 lbs. regularly so I am plenty strong and fit to perform this carry.” Wrong! The leg press sucks  for training you to do a compound movement and if you think that you can squat 350 because you can leg press 350 you are wrong again. Dead lifts and squats are the only way to go. Now lets move on.

From movement B to C you are basically bear hugging the shit outta the person and just trying to get their arm in place. Maybe some sand bag training can get you in tip-top for this portion of the move. It’s important to realized that the person is totally limp and heavy as hell at this point. As you are trying to hold them up and retrieve their arm they will immediately start to slide back down as gravity does what it does best. The clothing the victim is wearing is most likely going to allow this to happen faster as the victim slides out of their own shirt. So move B to C must be performed quickly or you risk losing all the ground you gained from your first lift.

From C to D you are basically just getting under the victim but don’t forget you have on a heavy helmet that can cause you to lean forward a little more than you want and you want to make sure your face piece doesn’t get knocked off either.

And finally movement D to E is more or less a good morning. The good morning is another exercise that people claim is bad for your back. Yeah it is bad for your back if you use too much weight! Learn how to do the exercise properly and use the right weight. If you are still squeamish about doing Good Mornings then do Hypers or Reverse Hypers and allow your dead lifts to develop your lower back strength. But remember there is nothing like training specifically for the task at hand because if you don’t train like you’re on the fire ground then how will you do the fireman carry with a 250 lb. person on your back?

                                          GOOD MORNING EXERCISE

Great for your back but will make your eyes disappear.



The daily smackdown

Every once in a while, we all need to be slapped around a little bit. You know, when we are kidding ourselves into believing something that we really want to believe, but it just ain’t true. That’s when we need a good friend to grab us by the shoulder, pull us aside, look us in the eye and say “Hey buddy, here’s the deal” and lay it out for us. Well today I am going to be that good friend, Jillian Michaels style.

If you want to lose weight, and for just about everyone reading this blog, this means you, and if that weight is substantial, and substantial is anything more than five pounds, then listen up because I am talking to you.
Don’t believe any thing you see on Regis and Kelly or whatever else you watch that tells you by making a few minor changes, switching from Coke to Diet Coke, using Splenda instead of sugar in your coffee, etc., you will lose weight and achieve the body of your dreams. It’s not.
Have you ever read about how to save money? They give you tips like stop going to Starbucks and make your own coffee, don’t buy a newspaper but read it online instead, etc. Is anyone getting rich like this? No, I don’t think so. The one or two good articles you read written by a real financial advisor who lives in the real world will tell you this: Don’t give up your little things, like Starbucks and the newspaper. Instead focus on the big things, like making changes to your auto insurance policy, starting up your 401K and maximizing it, drive a less expensive car and stop eating out at expensive restaurants and cook at home. Those big changes make a difference, but going to instant coffee ain’t gonna cut it.
Well weight loss and fitness is the same thing. Don’t kid yourself that switching to Splenda or Equal is going to do anything to your waistline. In fact, in my opinion it is more likely to give you some kind of trouble down the road, like most sugar substitutes, and you’d be better off with a little sugar. At least sugar is natural. Anyway, I digress. The point is you need to take “massive action” to lose weight. You are trying to save your life here. You are trying to lose 20, 30 even 50 pounds. That is not happening with small changes. “Start taking the stairs instead of using the elevator.” Not gonna do it. Is it a good idea? Yes, of course. But it’s not going to make a dent in your weight loss, that’s for sure.
What is massive action? Make the decision to do something dramatic. Commit to a plan of action. Join a gym (and pay for the year up front). Hire a trainer (and not just once a week), sign up for aerobics or spinning classes and go EVERYDAY. Call a nutritionist  and learn how to eat because I know that you “Don’t really eat that bad”, but guess what? You do! You do eat bad. You may not eat fast food for every meal, but if you need to lose 20 or more pounds, you are eating very, very wrong and you need to learn what to do and start doing it pronto. Every day, week or month you wait to do something dramatic, you will gain another 2, 5 or 10 pounds and have that much more trouble getting started.
Don’t say “I’m going to try to workout this week.” Too weak and not committed. Say “I am going to exercise everyday this week.” Be definite and even more specific. “I am going to go straight to the gym from work every day this week. I am going to do 30 minutes of cardio everyday, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I am going to do weights.” That is more like it. And better than that would be that you are going to see your trainer M, W and F or you better know exactly what you are going to do on those days or you will just putz around like most people at the gym and you will feel good that you went, but you will know deep down inside that you probably didn’t do what it is going to take for you to lose the weight. If this is the case, you will only last about 3 weeks and then you will bail, deciding that “This doesn’t work” and you will give up.
It doesn’t work if you don’t do it right. Just showing up won’t do it. Just hitting a tennis ball back and forth won’t make you a good tennis player. If anything, it might make you worse as you learn bad habits that a coach will someday have to correct. Same thing with exercise. Learn now to do it right, what exercises are best, how hard you have to push yourself, etc.
I think you get the point. New Year’s resolutioners are here and just looking for another one to join the crew of the failed, well-intentioned and misinformed. Be one of the few who really does want to make a change, recognize that your habits have gotten you in this predicament, identify that you need to make changes, take massive action and get going towards being the you that you want to be. Because you can do it. You just need to want it.

Super secret weight loss plan.

Breaking News:

Do you want to know the secret to losing weight?

If your answer is yes, and you would like the “secret” cardio exercise that in only one hour per week you can virtually guarantee your weight loss success, you have come to the right place. Do you want to know what that secret cardio exercise is? I’m sure you do. You can do it with bad knees, you can do it with a bad back, you can do it if you hate running and you can do it if you hate all forms of cardio. It is shopping! That’s right! It’s food shopping and a little preparation. If you take one hour per week, and dedicate it to buying the healthy foods and snacks you need, and preparing your food for the week, you will virtually guarantee your success.
The biggest challenge that most people face in trying to stick to their healthy eating plan is being “stuck” without good food choices or healthy snacks. Too many of us leave it up to chance. Are we at a restaurant that serves what we need? Can we find a healthy snack somewhere near the office? Can we find a healthy meal at a drive-thru? At Starbucks? No, we usually can’t. So the solution is to be prepared.
Cut some veggies and put them in plastic bags for the week. Do the same with some nuts, some pieces of cheese, some fruit, some slices of cooked chicken breast or turkey. Hard boil some eggs, make some tuna sandwiches in a pita. You get the idea. Spend the time to do this every week and it will pay dividends far greater than any hour of cardio could ever do!

Homemade Energy Bars



A friend of mine gave me this receipe the other day and I picked up the ingriedients from the store . As soon as I got home I made up a batch of these delicious Paleo bars. Perfect for long rides or runs or for the weight room.

These will add 10 lbs to your dead lift no problem.

Ingredients for Energy Bar
1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder, (optional: regular cocoa powder)
1.5 cups pitted dates
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted almonds
1/2 cup unsalted walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries, optional: goji berries, dried cherries
1-2 tablespoon coconut oil

Instructions for Energy Bars/Balls
Put your pitted dates in the food processor and puree until they’re smooth.
Add coconut oil, cocoa powder, cinnamon, flax seed, and vanilla. Pulse a few times until they’re combined.
Add almonds and walnuts and pulse again. Depending on how fine you want the texture of the nuts, be careful not to pulse too many times.
Stir in dried cranberries.
Transfer the date mixture to a pan lined with wax paper. Press the mixture down with a large wooden spoon until they’re about half an inch thick. Cover with Saran wrap and chill in refrigerator until they’re hard. Cut into squares

Now boarding the Hype Train.

I am always amazed at what they come up with next to separate us from our money. If people just realized that they can get a much better workout using body weight exercises and keep their money in their pockets. What can this thing do that push ups,dips,pull ups,Inverted rows,lunges and squats can’t do?

These kind of gimmicky exercise tools are sold by hyping up the need for some sort of specialized workout that “science” has proven that we need.

The hype train just keeps rolling down the tracks!


Why Deadlift

What Is The Deadlift?


Simply put the deadlift is a weight training exercise where you lift a weight (barbell, trapbar, dumbell, stone, keg, sandbag, etc) off the ground starting in a bent-over position and ending in an upright position. It is one of the three basic powerlifting lifts, and is arguably the greatest muscle building and strength producing exercise you can do. It is personall y my favorite lift.


Muscle Worked

The Deadlift is considered a compound movement, meaning it involves movement at several joints thus working several muscle groups. The deadlift could be said to work the entire body (ever look at someone deadlifting, are there any muscles not flexing?), but it does give more stimulus to certain groups of muscles. The primary muscles worked in this lift are the hamstrings,glutealsquadricepstrapezius, and the psoas. All the other major muscles in your body are used in stabilization.

Benefits Of Deadlifting

  1. Efficiency, Maximum Muscle, Minimum Movement
  2. Arguably the greatest strength builder out there.
  3. Great exercise for injury prevention, strong backs and hamstrings provide protection against many injuries.
  4. Bragging rights. So few people actually deadlift anymore that you will quickly become stronger than most people you know.
  5. Builds confidence. It feels amazing to know you can lift a heavy weight of the  floor. Strange but true.
  6. Requires very little space.(Good if you workout in a small room or cluttered basement)
  7. Doesn’t require any fancy equipment.
  8. Strenght built from deadlifting translates to many other exercises.
  9. Greater Energy. I know this would seem to be a unlikely benefit from a strength movement, but a stronger body is a more energetic body.
  10. A great cardiovascular workout! What? It’s true. Doing deadlifts in a high repetition fashion is an amazing cardiovascular exercise. Don’t believe me? Try doing 3 set of 20 repetitions with a moderately heavy weight(moderately heavy for you). If you’re not huffing and puffing like you just ran 10 sprints I’ll eat my words.

Tips On Technique

When bending down to grasp the bar you should keep the following points in mind:

  • Look straight ahead or slighty up.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Squat down till your legs are slightly above parallel.
  • Will vary, but torso should be roughly 45 degrees to your thighs.
  • Feet shoulder width apart.
  • Arms slightly outside your knees.
  • Bar should be around 2″ (give or take according to your biomechanics) in front of your shins.

Sometimes ya just gotta do it rough.

After Hurricane Sandy blew through we had a couple huge trees come down in our back yard. After they were all cut up into big logs they sat in a pile for a while. The other day when it was good and cold out I threw on some heavy sweats and headed out to move the logs. For smaller logs I deadlifted them and then heaved them to my shoulder and carried them (strongman style). For the bigger ones I bear hugged them and then deadlifted them into a wheel barrow and then jogged it over to the log pile.

My neighbor came out who is a really cool guy and asked if I needed a hand. I thanked him for the offer and politely declined. He kinda looked at my weirdly so I felt inclined to tell him that I was working out. He started to laugh and said that moving that whole pile of wood was gonna wipe me out. I said ” I hope so”. He just didn’t get it and shook his head and went back inside.

It’s all about perception. He saw what I was doing as back breaking work that was nothing more than a nuisance and a chore. Being the great guy that he is, he felt sorry for me and offered to lend a hand. He certainly is not lazy and he knows how to work. He just didn’t get it that I saw this work as an opportunity to get in a good functional workout that would make me stronger and toughen me up a little.

I had no idea how long it was going to take. No idea of the actual weight I was lifting. The logs were awkward and the ground frozen hard with all sorts of undulations to make your footing shaky. I was cold at first but then I became overheated and felt sweat building up. I was pretty much uncomfortable to whole time. It ended up taking me about an hour and a half to get done and I felt like I got in a good workout. I loved it.

Some guys would hire someone to do that “shitty work” and then stay inside in the warmth. They wouldn’t want to take away from their precious workout or worse, their televisions. But I don’t see it that way. Working out is work , work is working out.  Sure I could deadlift way more weight when using an olympic bar and the weight is evenly proportioned but”sometimes ya just gotta do it rough”  (new life hardcore motto perhaps?). It builds up strength and toughness and it builds character… it keeps you out of trouble!

I know a guy who always hired someone to do things around the house. I’m not talking about finish work with trim or electrical or plumbing because I know that some people are not handy like that. I’m talking about grunt work. He paid someone to gut out his bathroom and put in a new one. I understand that he may have issues with putting in the new bathroom but he couldn’t gut it out?? There is no real thinking involved with it. You just start smashing shit and ripping it out. It’s good for you! Stop being lazy.

I love using my body for what it was intended for….working. At the end of the day I always feel better when my head hits the pillow. It’s all part of staying in an active lifestyle.

“The Obstacle is the path”

The 7 Most Prescribed Drugs In The World And Their Natural Counterparts (Originally from PRN.FM)

We don’t have to live in a medicated world, but we certainly choose to.


The crux of the matter is that we refuse to proactively think about prevention because we re-actively commit to treating the symptoms of underlying health problems. This is the allopathic model.


We want the quick fix so we can continue our poor lifestyle and dietary habits. It doesn’t have to be this way, but it is. We can blame doctors, the medical institutions and healthcare systems all we want, but self-responsibility is our only recourse if we are ever to surface from this mess. There are no excuses–if you’re taking one of these drugs, consult with a Natural Health Practitioner this week about phasing out your medication and phasing in these powerful natural foods and remedies.


In the last 15 years of life, people are experiencing more pain for longer periods than at any point on our historical record. If you think life expectancy has increased to the benefit of mankind, you’re not looking at the numbers.


78% of U.S. prescriptions written in 2010 were for generic drugs (both unbranded and those still sold under a brand name). The most prescribed drugs aren’t always the best selling drugs, there’s a difference.


Prescriptions for pain, cholesterol reduction, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, antacids, antipsychotics, diabetes and antibiotics make up 100% of the most prescribed drugs.


Make a commitment to yourself right now and start incorporating some of these amazing foods into your diet with no consequence of side effects. When you accept this, you will get off prescription medications for good.


Check out the top 7 most prescribed drugs and the best natural remedies to treat and prevent disease.


1. HYDROCODONE (Acetaminophen/Vicodin/Oxycontin)


Use: For Pain 

Currently the single most prescribed drug in the world. More and more doctors are getting huge payouts from pharmaceutical companies to promote these hydrocodone, especially generic drugs. They make up more than 20% of the top prescribed medications.


Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Fox News that doctors are handing out narcotics like candy. Some doctors are giving patients prescriptions for narcotics for even minor injuries.


How it Works: 
It is an orally psychoactive compound that works as a narcotic and analgesic. It is biotransformed by the liver into several metabolites. It is highly dependent on metabolism by the Cytochrome P450 pathway.


Respiratory depression; bradycardia; coma; seizures; cardiac arrest; liver damage; and death. Inherited genes such as the Cytochrome P450affects metabolic pathways–some cannot process it at all, whereas a smaller percentage can get even more strength from it than usual.


Natural Foods: 
Ginger, turmeric, berries, cayenne pepper, celery/celery seeds, cherries, dark green veggies, walnuts.
See: Natural Healing Remedies: 10 Foods That Fight Inflammation And Pain


2. STATINS (Generic versions of Lipitor/Zocor/Crestor)


Use: Reduction of LDL Cholesterol


Approximately 15% of the top prescribed medications are generic statins. A study published in January 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine linked statins to 48 percent increased risk for type-2 diabetes.


The are NO scientific studies ever documented which have proved through causation that lowering LDL cholesterol prevents disease. The obsessed culture of lowering cholesterol may actually be causing cancer.


How it Works: 
Statins artificially lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting a critical enzymeHMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver.


Inflammation and pathological breakdown of muscle, acute kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, interference with sex hormones and death.


Natural Foods:
Nuts, spinach, apples, turmeric, cranberries, tomatoes, green tea, fatty fish, beans, alfalfa herb, capsicum fruit, garlic, psyllium, fenugreek seeds, butcher’s broom, licorice root, hawthorn berry.
– New Data Shows Lycopene Reduces Heart Disease Up To 26 Percent
– Two Apples a Day More Effective At Reducing Heart Disease Than Statin Medications 
– Top 5 Foods and Herbs To Control Cholesterol
– World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease


Read more..


Read more:
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Originally posted on PRN.FM

Three fit food basics to go by and Aspartame,is it worth the chance?

It is said that if you really want to eat healthy you should stay away from anything that is put into packages or cans or containers. Usually these foods are processed beyond what some feel is healthy. I believe this is true and I always try to go with the least most processed foods I can find. If you do choose to buy something that is sitting on the shelf just read the label and make sure it has just a few ingredients in it and that you know exactly what they are. What I mean by this is that some things can go into your body as one form but become something else as it passes through your liver and gets metabolized in your system. You need to know this. If you find an ingredient on the label and you are not 100% sure what it is. Look it up. Find out how the human body handles this ingredient and ultimately what effects it will have on you.

An example of one of these changeling ingredients is Aspartame. This is found in diet sodas and other zero calorie products. You can find it in sport energy drinks which I personally find disturbing because the consumer thinks they are doing the right thing but in truth they are better off just drinking something with sugar in it.

These energy drinks claim “zero calories,” that means they’re using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.

Artificial sweeteners are  cooked up in labs. Aspartame does not exist anywhere in nature. It is a synthetic composite of three naturally occurring compounds. Laboratories synthesize it out of aspartic acid (40%), phenylalanine (50%), and methanol (10%).

Aspartic acid is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter. Too much aspartic acid over stimulates your nerve cells to death. Methanol is highly toxic. It breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in your body. Once your body absorbs this poison, it doesn’t leave easily.If you read a label on your drink that said contains formaldehyde would you drink it? But that is exactly what you are doing when you consume Methanol.

L-Aspartic Acid

L-Aspartic Acid (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This stick figure of an alien is what will come after you after you drink a diet soda. 

It would be unfair to not mention that Methanol is naturally occurring in things like fruit. It is actually produce from the pectin in the fruit. But their are studies that suggest that the methanol is accompanied by ethanol and this prevents the methanol from breaking down to formaldehyde. Also the amount of methanol in fruit and other foods is very slight and negligible. On the website they try to convince you that the amount of methanol in the sweetener is just as negligible but its not and that the problem.

This is where it gets tough to make an informed decision because there is plenty of information on both sides of the coin. But lets just stick to the basics and you won’t ever have to get caught up in the debate and drive yourself crazy.

Fit Food Basics

1. If it’s in a package or can or other container choose wisely. Look out for too many ingredients. Know what the ingredients are before you consume them.

2. If it’s man-made think twice then think again before eating or drinking it. If you have to watch your sugar consumption don’t take a chance with artificial sweeteners it’s not worth it. Drink water or just use a little honey, agave or stevia.

3. If you missed it I’ll write it again….DRINK WATER.

Some info was obtained from

Pistol squats……Hardcore as hell.

Take a look at this fine athletes form! How awesome is this?

From Jes’ Crossfit Blog

You can see more of Jes’ stuff on her blog

If you can do these with such great form I would say that you are in very good shape. I can’t do this yet but I am inspired to start doing them.

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It is not “written in blood” (God,I hate that saying because it’s too overly dramatic) that you have to use weight when doing these. Body weight is fine in the beginning. Utilize a rope tied off to something and hold onto it to help you keep balance.