Protein and Resistance Training

Importance of a Training Regimen for Firefighters

Daniel Guzman, BS, CSCS

Firefighters have a very physically demanding job. Not to take away from all the logistical and emotional strength that goes along with it as well; however, simply being able to perform a variety of movements in a specific time is important.

Let’s take a step back. When I was in college at Westmont in Santa Barbara, there was a huge fire that ran through the school (The Tea Fire). I remember firefighters were being called from all around California to help put out the fire. These men and women must have worked continuous hours, possibly days, without a break. I am so thankful for everything they do and did that weekend to help our school and community in our time of trouble.

The Physical

Imagine the strength and endurance an individual would need to do this. The jacket, trousers, air equipment, supplemental equipment can weigh up to 70+ pounds. On top of wearing all that extra weight, these people have to physically work as long as it takes to get the job done. Whether this is putting out a fire, showing up to medical calls or being on a hotshot crew. It only makes sense that firefighters would need a well thought out training regimen in order to keep their movement and performance at a high level to be able to do their job.

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published a study in their March 2013 issue regarding physical fitness in Firefighters. This article said “The lack of an appropriate regular exercise program for these professionals may contribute to high on-duty injury rates and deaths caused by heart disease,” (1).

Fundamentals of Active Duty

The article goes on to talk about the physical, mental, and emotional demands an individual will encounter while on duty. So what type of exercise program does a firefighter need? Look at the basic demands of active duty:

Low intensity physical activity for long periods of time accompanied by random bursts of high intensity activity.

What Should They Do?

I propose the following. Train for strength, train for endurance, condition healthy movement, prevent injury. First, firefighters need to have a foundation of strength just to wear the uniform (literally)! We are asking them to save our possessions, workplace, animals and personal lives. Second, they need to perform various movements for an undetermined amount of time. They don’t know if they will be working for 5 minutes or 5 hours, so I high level of endurance is required. Thirdly, teach healthy movement. This is a career that people will plan to stay in their entire lives. Even if that leads to a desk job later down the road, you still want to allow that person to be able to enjoy their movement. The program should never be designed to sacrifice good movement for better conditioning only to let their bodies fall a part later on. As coaches we always want to teach proper positioning and correct movement, end of story. Finally, if a firefighter is injured, then they cannot do their job. So take the correct approach to injury prevention in your program. A big part of this can be the recovery outside the training program.

Be thankful for these men and women who work in our communities. If you’re a firefighter seeking a good program, look for these things.

Need guidance on your own journey to better health, fitness, or performance? Contact Daniel directly or head to to set up a free session today!

Originally published on Daniel’s blog Daniel Guzman Strength and Conditioning

Lifting with the Editor: Deadlift PR

skip to 1:45 for the final set

The Lift: Nothing increases posterior chain strength, recruits maximal motor units, and packs on slabs of lean muscle like the deadlift.  That said, it is an oft-butchered exercise that can lead to big problems in the lumbar spine when form suffers or is poorly coached.  You want to pull the bar into your legs as you keep a proud chest and put tension into the bar.  Drive the heels into the floor as your glutes pull the weight up to your waist.

The Good: I have been deadlifting 3 times/week using low percentages of my previous 1RM so this was my first attempt at anything over 80% of my previous max.  The form felt great on each set and when I hit 315 it felt relatively easy.  After bumping it up to 335, it was hard, but I thought I could get 10 or 15 pounds more.  After thinking it over, I decided to save that for another day and be happy with my new record.  No sense in over-extending yourself for a few pounds more.

The Bad: I felt the slightest bit of movement in my low back on the last rep, which is fine since I was going for a max, except that it’s not something you want to do more than a few times in a year.  And even then it’s best to back off early.  That is what kept me from going for another heavier PR.

Neutral Thoracic Spine with Hip Hinge for Golf Swing Performance

This is the second of a 3-part video series on golf posture by PGA pro Don Parsons, from the Studio at Twin Lakes. Don is an experienced and knowledgable golf pro with decades of competitive and teaching experience.  When he is not analyzing golf swings, he trains with Prevail Coach Guzman to build a better physical foundation for his own swing.  

Check out the video below!  If you missed Part I, find it here.

To set up a an appointment with Don, visit his website to set up an appointment today!

Coach Pete’s Feeding Schedule

Peter Blumert, MS, CSCS, USAW
“Well, what do you eat?”

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have heard that question. For those of you that don’t know me well, I am a big fan of the motto, “Practice what you preach.” If I recommend something to a client based off a certain rationale, and then I do something completely opposite of my own advice even though the same standards apply to myself, then why should they listen to me? I am not perfect and I don’t expect others to be perfect.

Coach Eck recently posted most of his workouts over a 4-week period so I figured I could at least track and post one day of everything that I ate and drank. To give you a little background, my nutrition changes daily based off of number of different reasons (training volume and intensity, work schedule, sleep schedule, what’s in the fridge, my location, my budget, what my talented wife made for dinner, etc).
On the day that is posted below, I woke up at 6am, was at the gym from 630am till 330pm, trained at 830am and then again at 145pm, and I went to bed at 930pm. I saw a few clients before and in between my training sessions. The afternoon/evening consisted mainly of office work and preparation for the following day.
I took pictures of everything that I ate and drank during the entire day (minus water consumption).
I don’t track how many calories I consume. I try and listen intuitively to my body about when I need to eat and when I have eaten enough.
My biggest surprise when I looked over my log at the end of the day was not what I ate but how much water I drank.

I hope you enjoy seeing a glimpse of my nutrition on a typical double training session day for me.
6am: 20oz water with 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar and ½ freshly squeezed lemon

630am: 1 can of sardines, 2 big handfuls of mixed nuts, 2 cups of coffee with 3 tbsp coconut oil

9/10am: Peri/Post workout shake – 40 grams of whey protein, 45 grams of fast digesting carbohydrates (something similar to Gatorade), 30 grams of slowly released carbohydrates (UCAN super starch)

1130am: 2 cups Greek yogurt, ½ turkey burger, 6 oz of raspberries, 4 tbsp coconut oil

215/315pm: Peri/Post workout shake – 40 grams of whey protein, 75 grams of fast digesting carbohydrates (something similar to Gatorade)

4pm: Quinoa (with dried cherries, sautéed onions and sliced almonds, and fresh squeezed lemon juice), green beans (with bacon, onions, grass-fed butter), ½ turkey burger, 1 chicken thigh

6pm: 7 eggs with small handful of shredded cheddar cheese cooked in coconut oil, 3 tangerines, 1 apple

8pm: Broccoli with melted grass-fed butter, 1 avocado, 1 chicken thigh, mashed sweet potato with grass-fed butter

830pm: ½ cup McConnells ice cream

Total water consumption throughout the day: 180 ounces


by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

This is not a platform or forum I use for a topic such as this often. In fact, as I reflect just now, I don’t know if in the 6 ½ years that I’ve had this blog I have ever shared such thoughts here. Today I will… 
There are but a few days a year when the Truth is seen clearly by my heart, my mind and my spirit. Only a few. Most often I live my days fighting for one or two (or even all three) to see what I long for them to see. It is not easy for me…though, I feel it should be in light of what the Truth is. So I fight for it and I battle for it often, realizing that I will continue to do so for the rest of my days on this Earth. 
Today I see clearly. It is a gift. A gift that feeds me to the depths of my being. And because today this gift of Truth reaches to my innermost, I have spent the morning in tears from nearly the moment I awoke and as of yet they continue while I put these words down. It is difficult for me to speak. 
These words are near to me…in this sequence.
I am a broken man. So painfully other than what I want to be. So utterly in conflict with myself and paradoxically against my being, it is truly a mystery to me how I make it through my days. I am confused at my own destructiveness for I desire something different. Yet it is who I am. 
Suffering abounds. It confuses and perplexes and bewilders me. I mentioned someone in a recent article I wrote a month or so ago. Cancer. Stage 4. I do not know her well but I have watched her life from afar. Off and on she has battled cancer for about 30 years. Again she battles…perhaps for her 4th or 5th time. 
Grace and Mercy. Love and Healing. 
Today is the celebration of a man who lived on this Earth over 2,000 years ago. Today is the celebration and the reminder of why he existed…why he was here…why he came to walk among us for but a short and history-changing time. As I awoke this morning I asked for renewal. Renewal of my heart and of my mind…that I might see clearly and as someone seeing if for the first time what this day means. What it is about. What it meant on this celebrated weekend over 2,000 years ago when a man “made all things new.” And what it meant he had to do in order to accomplish this thing his father asked of him. Today I’ve been granted that renewal and that vision. I know it is but a glimpse of the greater reality and it will only last for a short time…so I write now. 
Unearned and undeserved, this man was broken. 
Willingly and faithfully this man walked through unjust and unfathomable suffering. There has never been another who deserved less suffering than was given him. 
And, it is through this act of grace and mercy the True Love was revealed. A man laid down his life for his friends…no greater love has ever been known. 
It is in this love—and only this love—that all of the Brokenness and the Suffering find healing and where peace is found. It is the paradox of this world, this life…that through our joyous brokenness and suffering and depth of despair, we may truly find life. And it is to these things I cling, for all of my life hangs on them. For it is in them, and only them, I am reminded of the need I have for something I cannot and dare not attempt attain in and of myself. It is a gift…a gift of grace, from man that knew me before I was born and knows me into eternity. 
Pride used to rob me of the joy my brokenness. It does so no longer. It causes me to rejoice and give great thanks for a gift of love that brings me to my knees in awe and an inability to understand it. 
Suffering robs many in this world of happiness and joy. The unfair and unjust ways of this world scream for the score to be settled and balance restored. Suffering does not cause this within the woman I earlier mentioned. It draws her to a place of peace and a foreknowledge of a time and place unending that will be perfectly free of suffering and full of justice…and it causes her to long for that time. 

Prevail Conditioning