You made it here. YOU are the one that has the knowledge in your firehouse or on your shift about physical fitness, diet, and how to make them work to benefit yourself as a better firefighter and to support a better lifestyle. You’ve noticed a few others taking interest in what you are doing every time you are getting work done in the gym or in the stalls when you’re flipping the tire. Maybe they have even come to you and asked general questions. So, what do you do?
The answer is simple, but how you go about it is tricky. YOU HELP A BROTHER OUT! He or she obviously has a peaked interest in bettering themselves physically, but their guard may be up due to the fact that you may be an intimidating individual or they may just be nervous to take that big step. How you interact with this next fitness phenom in your department will make or break their future.
- Start Slow. Don’t put them head first into a workout that is one of the most challenging for YOU. If it is challenging for you, it is guaranteed to either hit the off switch on their interest, or hurt them. Maybe a combination of the two, and we don’t want that. The best exercise to start training them on is always shoulders. The movements are simple, instruction is easy, it gives them a gauge of how much weight they can pick up, and they will feel it the day after. If you feel like doing a whole body HIIT type workout, take what you were going to do and just simplify the movements or lower the reps. Remember; THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO MENTOR.
- Be patient. This is always a challenge for us firefighters. We at Thin Line Fitness have seen it difficult at times when it comes to teaching workouts. But one thing we always remember is this simple statement; “You were there once before.” We weren’t born with physical
greatness or with the strength we have today. We were taught, we learned, we trained and we listened to those who knew what they were doing. This is your chance to give back what you have learned.
- Stay motivational. This is what will make or break the relationship not only with you and the other firefighter in the gym, but also the relationship between the gym and the firefighter. If you loose interest and start to think that they may be a “lost cause”, it will be seen by them. You will come off like a jackass, and you will loose the trust of the person who you have been working with. Keep them motivated, a “good job” or “you’ve got this” can go a very long way with those just starting off.
Remember this; whether or not you see yourself as a “fitness expert”, the fact that you DO work out consistently and eat healthy puts you on a level above many others in the fire department. You just as easily could say “screw it” and eat some donuts and pizza instead and not hit the gym five times a week. But you DO hit the gym five days a week. You put blood and
sweat into bettering your body for the challenges it will face in life. And for that, you are looked at as the ambassador for change in your department. You should expect to be approached with questions, to be asked for help, or to even help develop a fitness program. You should welcome all of these with open arms and embrace them.
You should be ready and willing to HELP A BROTHER OUT.
Need tips or want advice? Want a workout plan for your department? Contact Thin Line Fitness today!