7/01/2016 Daily Training


Today’s work hardening session was another interval based training session.  I’ve really been enjoying these lately.

In teams of two, wearing full gear, complete:

60 floor stair climb (broken into 5 floors each partner)

5 x hose advance triangles each direction

4 x OTS (over the shoulder) drags 25M

3  x 10 M crawl + 10 M dummy drag butt scoot (explained below)

Notes: While partner A completes a rep partner B rests.


DDBS explanation: The idea behind this movement is practicing pulling a firefighter or victim backwards when you can’t walk, maybe due to low visibility or heat and smoke.

  1. Begin by sitting on the floor with dummy between your legs.
  2. Scoot back on your hips and then pull the dummy to you, similar to an upright row.
  3. Repeat the pattern until you reach your target.

Alternatively, and I actually like this a little better, keep your pulling arm straight as you use your other arm and opposite leg to pull the dummy backwards in small steps. This becomes a whole body movement instead of an upright row and seems to allow for faster movement and less fatigue.



Completion time: 22:30 before running out of air.  about 23:00 completing last rep.

Air used: 4230 (pulled my regulator with 40psi left)

Average heart rate:154

Max heart rate: 172 (92% max)






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6/28/2016 So it’s been awhile…


…But I’m still around!

Of course I’ve probably lost most of you guys because consistency is what builds readers…. not sparsely punctuated posts about food.  After doing the programming on SOR daily for over a year I had become a little burnt out.  But I think it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

The vacation is over!

The “New Business”… and a conditioning session.

First off, I wanted to let you know about the State of Readiness Facebook group.  It’s a group dedicated to firefighter fitness but EVERYONE is welcome to join, post, interact, and be a part of the discussion.   All fitness topics and people interested in those topics are welcome.
The group is closed – meaning that you have to be approved to enter.  This helps keep out the internet riffraff … if you know what I mean.  If you’re interested in joining just make a request.  As long as your not a spambot YOU’RE IN!  If you know someone who will find value in the SOR community please feel free to invite them.  Let’s grow this thing!

Second, I’m going to do some more writing on the blog. I have some ideas and thoughts I’d love to throw out there.  Here’s what you’ll see:

  • book reviews
  • Workout sessions I’m testing
  • Firehouse friendly recipes
  • Pictures of my dog …. You knew I’d still be posting these!
  • New and interesting studies
  • Fitness news

Is there something else you’d like to see?


Check out this podcast!

A little while ago I had a discussion with Brad Kearns, on the Primal Blueprint Podcast, about firefighter fitness, sleep disruption, stress and firefighter health.  Take a listen and tell me what you think.  How do you mitigate the stress of the job?

Primal Blueprint 119 – Chris Adams



And finally… today’s workout:

I tested this a couple days and really liked it.  It’s hot right now (115 on the day of testing) and I wanted to do some work in my turnouts, practicing work specific movement patterns, but not burn myself out in case we got something big later in the day that I needed to be ready for.  I was looking for an 85% effort and, for me, this fit the bill perfectly.

We did this workout as a crew.  Operating in teams of two.  The work/rest ends up being about 1:1 .  If you’re hitting this alone then  just follow that format.  Rest as long as you work.

I didn’t pay close attention to metrics.  I can tell you that I worked through most of a bottle (~4300psi start and 700psi finish).  I’m guessing my heart rate was in the 130-160 range.  The total work time of the session was somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes.

I felt worked at the end of the session but not burnt out.  Although fatigue did build as the workout progressed, the 1:1 rest was enough to recover for each effort.  While we didn’t get “the big one” later in the shift I felt recovered and ready to go.

In teams of two, or work/rest of 1:1, complete:

50 floor stair climb (5 floor repeats)

8 x 50foot hand over hand tire pull with 1/34 inch hose

6 x 25 M dummy drag 185lbs  

Give it a shot and then share your experience!







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Chipotle Chicken Bowls and a MAP tester


One of my goals is to bring you guys easy, inexpensive, and relatively healthy meal ideas that you can implement at the firehouse.  I like cheap and easy mostly because I’m lazy.  I get tired of cooking and I’m much more likely to cook good stuff if it’s simple and easy to make.

Today’s recipe turned out to be both easy AND inexpensive which was really nice.  I used a recipe I found online to create a dressing similar to that of Chipotle’s (restaurant chain) honey chipotle vinaigrette.   I added a couple tweaks which I’ll outline below.  The whole meal came out to $23.00 to feed a crew of six guys.

Also, scroll down to the bottom for a maximal aerobic power tester idea.

Chipotle Chicken Bowl


  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans black beans (drained)
  • 4 cups white jasmine rice
  • zucchini (usually one per person) (chopped into bitesize pieces)
  • 2 red bell peppers (cut into bitesize pieces)
  • 1 large onion (cut into bitesize pieces)
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder


  • 4 roma tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 bunch green onions (diced)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (diced)
  • 1 wheel of queso fresco (grated)



  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (I’m not a fan of vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (from can)
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (this really added to the flavor of the dressing)






  1. Coat chicken liberally with Sriracha sauce then coat liberally on all sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
    1. note:  you can also brine the chicken ahead time to keep it juicier while cooking.
  2. Have the new guy throw the chicken on the grill.
  3. Start the rice with the cooking method of your choice.  This is where having a rice cooker comes in really handy.
  4. add some water to the black beans and warm on the stovetop… low/ medium heat for 10 minutes.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, sauté the zucchini, onion, and red bell pepper together.  Make sure to brown it!
  6. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.  You can add a couple extra peppers if you want a little more kick.
  7. When chicken is done, and after it’s rested (you should always let your meat rest), dice into bitesize pieces.
  8. Stack it all together, rice on the bottom, beans, veggies, chicken, garnishes, and dressing


last time I tried this recipe I double the dressing.  We had a good amount left over, after the bowls, so I used it to marinade some sirloin steaks for about 24 hours.  It did not disappoint!


Once Upon a Chef – Copycat Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette 

Allrecipes.com – Simple Chicken Brine Recipe 


M.A.P. Tester

I gave this one a shot a couple days ago.

For time:

  • 750 M row
  • 15 burpee pull ups
  • 500 M row
  • 10 burpee pull ups
  • 250 row
  • 5 burpee pull ups

my results

  • completion time: 8:51
  • Max HR: 176
  • Average HR: 171
  • Heart rate recovery: 49 (171-122) after two minutes
  • limiting factor: breathing/ general endurance


This one definitely falls under the “simple and sinister” category.


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Tuesday 02-16-2015: Learning to Cook Food


Hey all!

I’ve always considered cooking to be an indispensable survival skill for individuals working in the fire service.  Being able to whip up a flavorful meal can make or break your reputation as a new firefighter.  C’mon,  you KNOW that there are guys who are known for a certain dish that they make.  And if you undercook chicken even once?  Forget about living THAT down.

Today I want to share a link to an excellent new cooking blog.  Jeff B. writes a blog simply titled Learning to Cook Food.  Jeff is your average joe learning to cook and sharing his journey as he does so.

In his bio Jeff writes:

“Hello! I’m Jeff aka Muz aka J-Breezy.  I created this site to document my journey as I…

A.) Learn to cook
B.) Create & curate helpful resources for other beginners like me”

Jeff recently wrote a post entitled The Perfect Cooking Class for Beginners: 103 Food Bloggers Reveal the Lessons They’d Teach.  The post has a plethora of simple ideas that don’t take a lot of time or energy to learn and, when applied, can instantly up your cooking game. It’s a “I wish I had known that when I started” sort of list.

If you want to read some simple tips from the experts check it out!

Hint:I’m honored to say that I might appear once or twice in the blog post.  :)!

Do you have a firehouse meal you’re known for? If so, I’d love to learn about it and share it on my blog.  Comment below or write to me at stateofreadiness@icloud.com and share your recipe with the firefighter community!



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Monday 2-8-2016 New Tactical Barbell subreddit


I wanted to share with you guys the new Tactical Barbell Subreddit.  There’s a bunch of great conversations going on related to Tactical Barbell methods, and training in general for police, military, firefighters, and first responders.

I’ve had the honor of being asked to join as a moderator so you’ll see me on there regularly.

Please stop by and join the discussions!  We’d love to have you!



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Friday 01-29-2016 Threshold Training idea

Lately I’ve been playing around a little bit with threshold training.  I’d like to jump deeper into the subject of threshold training in a later post (I started it in a 3am bout of inspiration and energy and just have to finish it.  Hopefully NOT at 3am again) but for today I wanted to outline what I did so that you guys can give it a shot.

Simply put, threshold training is training at an intensity close to your lactate threshold.  Without getting too science-y your lactate threshold is the point at which lactate (a bi-product of glycolytic metabolism) starts to accumulate in the muscles faster than you can clear it.  Interestingly, the lactate threshold is well-correlated with your ventilatory threshold; experienced as that point during intense activity where your breathing becomes “deep and rhythmic”.  Lactate threshold is experienced as maybe an 8-9 out of 10 on the rating of perceived exertion scale.

The goal of TT is to improve lactate buffering and pain tolerance by continually exposing yourself to your threshold zone.  Over time this can raise your lactate threshold closer to your maximum heart rate.  The best endurance athletes have an amazingly high lactate threshold and can sustain that heart rate for very long periods.

Using a modified Cooper’s test, basically 6 minutes all out in a mono structural modality, I determined that my lactate threshold is roughly around 168 BPM.  Joel Jamison was pretty confident in stating that the average heart rate during the test correlates pretty well with a scientifically test lactate threshold.

Another interesting factoid is that this appears to be about 89% of my maximum heart rate.  Yes, that’s actually possible.  One good reason why testing and experience is better than using estimations such as the common “220-age” for maximum heart rate or using generic  “percentages of heart rate zones”. 


The Workout

My goal then, for the workout was to get my heart rate up into this range for the duration of the intervals.  Here’s what the workout consisted of:

3 rounds total:

3 sets of

5 burpees 

10 wallballs

15 KB swings (24kg..going for light to moderate weight)

then immediately row 750 M.  

Rest 5 minutes.


Round 1: 6:03, AHR-159, row 500M pace 135

Round 2: 6:10, AHR -165, row 500M pace 138

Round 3: 6:08, AHR – 168, row 500M pace 138

RPE for all 3 rounds  7-9


First I wanted to mention that while I was going for a certain heart rate zone I wasn’t using my heart rate to guide me.  I pretty much started my monitor and then just did the workout by feel.  Then looked at the HR results after each interval.

What should you feel?

This type of workout should feel very hard.  When doing it as an interval you should be operating at about 90% effort.  You should be going as fast as possible keeping in mind the timeframe (6 minutes in this case) and the rest (5 minutes) and the fact that there’s three work intervals.  You want each performance to be matched or faster than your initial performance.  In my case I slowed by just a few seconds.  An acceptable range to maintain.

As far as the HR range, I was just about on target.  The goal is to keep your heart rate in a  5 beats plus or minus window surrounding your lactate threshold.  In my case 163-173.

Subjectively each round got harder and harder.  After round three I was definitely done.  This was a tough workout.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been doing these maybe once a week or so.  They’re very potent and I would give at least a few days rest between each one.

I want to hear from you

Have you played around with threshold training?

Is there something I’m missing or not getting right?

Want to know more about threshold training in relation to firefighter physical training?

Want to know more about the guidelines for creating TT workouts?

Let me know in the comments. Let’s start a discussion!




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Monday 01-11-2015 An end to training for now

Hey all!  I’ve decided to take a break from posting a daily workout. I’m currently part of  a team working to bring you affordable small group training specifically geared for firefighters.  I’ve hinted at this project over the last few months. And while I haven’t mentioned it in a little while I assure you it’s still in progress.

I will still be writing about firefighter related health, fitness, training, and nutrition.  If you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written please continue to visit the blog.  I’ll also be continuing to post experiments and workout inspirations.  So, if you’re looking for ideas please stop by.

I greatly appreciate everyone who has participated in the workouts through out the past year!  You’re comments and success stories are what make the hours of effort I put into this blog worth it.  Thanks for being there!  Please continue to post comments and interact!



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