When Chris Melchin, a firefighter from Quincy, MA, asked the Men’s Fitness team to help him create a new workout routine that would help him perform better on the job, we were happy to oblige. Battling fires is grueling, physical work—and for Melchin, being strong and conditioned can literally be a matter of life and death.
So we got in touch with frequent Men’s Fitness advisor CJ Murphy, for some strength-building suggestions. “Firefighters need total-body strength and the conditioning to function at a high level in a smoky room,” says Murphy.
Murphy’s suggestion? “Start training legs—that’s a no-brainer.” Train your whole body four days a week, including leg exercises in each routine, and open two of your workouts with either the squat or deadlift. Go heavy on your first exercise of the day (three to five reps), which will help build strength. Then do supersets for opposing muscle groups (like chest and back) to work more muscle in each workout.
Finish each day with some kind of circuit using bodyweight exercises you can quickly move through, which will burn loads of calories.