Are You Ready to Take the CPAT?
Stew Smith, CSCS
Each department across the United States differs in testing exercises and measuring criteria, most NEW fire fighter personnel will be tested in challenging and physically demanding events. Most will use the CPAT – Candidate Physical Assessment Test. For those who properly prepare themselves, the Academy PT can be just another workout – a stress reliever even! For those current fire fighters, being able to simulate the CPAT is a great way to stay in shape to fight a fire. Even if you do this as a supplement to your regular workout plan, the CPAT Maintenance Circuit will keep you in fire fighting shape.
You have to run at the Academy – so run now! And you have to do pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and lift heavy objects while climbing stairs – so practice doing those things as well. Practicing carrying heavy objects while walking, running a 10-20 yds, walking up stairs IS fire fighting training. So if you are not either fighting fires every other day or training to do so, your physical fire fighting skills will diminish with time.
EVEN if you are not going into a Fire Fighting Academy, this type of functional training is beneficial to building endurance and muscle stamina and long lasting strength. Here are the exercises of all the Candidate Physical Assessment Test (CPAT) and helpful tips to increase your overall score on test day:
• Stair Climb – in full gear (pace yourself at 60 steps per minute for 3:00)
• Hose Drag – Run with hose 100ft / pull hose an additional 50 ft
• Equipment Carry – Carry tools (30+lbs) 80ft
• Ladder Raise and Extension – Lift 24ft ladder to vertical position
• Forcible Entry – 10lb sledgehammer to break down door
• Search – in dark tunnel with obstacles – crawl on hands and knees
• Rescue – remove a 165 lbs man person 70 ft total distance
• Ceiling Breach and Pull – using a pike pole pull / push ceiling down
NOTE: this is just a general description of the CPAT. There are points available and deducted along the way for good / badly performed events done within a time limit.