By: Michael Beiter
I just met with a veteran fitness fella. Right after I met with a rookie.
The veteran is a fire fighter and we spoke about the most fundamental need for firefighters and police officers being the need to be physically fit for duty. Regardless of job tasks and if they're in an office.
He has been a firefighter for close to two decades. They test their aerobic capacity with job specific tasks related to breathing and oxygen tank use.
He has four years of data from these annual tests. After they test he gets a fitness rating. Years one and two he earned a 'Tier 2' rating.
In year two he hired me and started working with Pillar Coaching Services. His next test he improved to the 'Elite' category.
The following year, after over 12 months of work together, he tested at the 'Pro Elite' category. This is the highest fitness mark he can get.
Now his aim is to maintain that standard for as long as he fights fires. I sure as hell want my life savers to be as fit and able as possible should I ever need to call upon them to save my life. The standards of unions and local departments for both police and fire suggest they don't hold the same value though. And that is sad because I pay good money in taxes to feel secure. I don't need to look too far into it to know a 100 pound over weight fire fighter is going to use up his oxygen tank faster than a healthy weighted colleague and he would be far less capable to carry me out of a burning building.
The rookie I met with after him is earning his stripes quickly. He just finished his 11th month of work. He has lost 43 pounds in that time bringing his monthly average to just under 4 pounds per month. Or one pound of fat loss per week. Which is exactly the rate I told him to expect when we met almost a year ago.
It is interesting that before he hired me he worked with a registered dietitian for quite some time. The cost was greater and benefits less. I don't have near the same amount of schooling or credentialing as a dietitian and yet I "helped him achieve what no one else has been able to."
I'm proud to serve all experience levels with the same program and standards. In this way I like to focus on the things that make us all alike before we start diving into the things that differentiate us from one another.