Introducing the new IFPA Certification: IFPA Certified Military Fitness Specialist. For over 15 years, the members of our “Warrior Class” have relied on the IFPA to provide them with the knowledge, skills and abilities in fitness, nutrition and sports conditioning to prepare themselves for the emergencies that arise due to the hazards of their jobs. The hazards they face require great physical, mental and emotional courage as well as the physical prowess of a well-conditioned athlete. Our Warrior Class: Military, Police, Firefighters and EMT professionals are driven to protect and serve. They choose a life of Duty! Honor! Country! And rush into danger while many civilians run away! Unfortunately, unlike the other athletes that know their competitive schedule well in advance, sometimes a year or more in advance, our Warriors have no such luxury. They must be able to react in an instant to a threat and react with great physical process to save their lives and the lives of those they have sworn to protect. The Warrior must be continuously vigilant and constantly “In-Shape” to be prepared to fight-a-battle, take down a perpetrator, or rescue the child form a burning building. They must maintain all ten IFPA Components of Fitness or risk losing…and not losing a game or match, but their very lives and the lives they are honor bound to save!
While the roles of Military, Law Enforcement and Firefighter are very different the physical demands of their “Chosen Calling” are remarkably similar. Job Analysis Surveys (JAS) of the physical demands of their profession show great similarity:
Strength: the need to carry heavy equipment or adult bodies over a distance that may include various obstacles.
Speed: the need to move quickly into or out-of hazardous situations, reaction time to sudden danger, moving quickly to assist or dodging bullets or falling-burning-debris.
Power: the ability to overcome an opponent or rapidly move material or fallen comrade or victim out of danger.
Anaerobic Endurance: the ability to put forth high levels of force, strength, power for the duration of the fight or emergency.
Aerobic Endurance: a critical mainstay of overall health, major mechanism for increased anaerobic recovery and the Component of Fitness that can keep you in the fight/emergency for the duration.
Agility: is required for most aspects of handling an emergency: clearing obstacles in an emergency, moving efficaciously into position to overcome an opponent or hazard, hand-to-hand combat, safe and effective equipment utilization in extreme conditions, etc.
Balance: maintain physical control of your body, your equipment/weapons in difficult situations and unstable terrain, overcoming an opponent or hazard.
Coordination: controlling fine and gross motor abilities in emergency situations and precarious circumstances, returning fire on the move, effective aiming of weapons or equipment while moving, moving fast, but effectively with equipment or adult bodies.
Flexibility: being able to move rapidly through an adequate range-of-motion in emergency situations without sustaining injury.
Body Composition: critical component required to maintain health and fitness. Ideal body weight and adequate lean body tissue are essential to be prepared for the physical challenges of the Warrior! Each 10 pounds overweight dramatically reduces health, increase the risk of several diseases and drastically reduces performance during emergency situations. Ideal body composition leads to ideal performance in all aspects of physical activity.
The Program design and conditioning program will incorporate all Ten “IFPA Components of Fitness” with specific focus on: Strength, Speed, Power, Anaerobic Endurance, Aerobic Endurance, Agility and Flexibility since the other three components will be conditioned through these seven.
Equally important in planning for the Warrior’s Needs Analysis is the well known fact that our Warriors will also require: new strategies for starting and maintain the appropriate fitness conditioning program, stress management and weight management tools, behavior-change strategies for tobacco cessation and substance abuse prevention.
IFPA Certified Personal Trainers can benefit in numerous ways by gaining the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to deal with the very special class of clients. You may have already gained the thrill of helping and training an athlete to win a Championship, but that thrill pales in comparison to helping your Warrior Clients save themselves and others form the many perils that surround us. The life you save may be a friend, loved on, or maybe your own!
Dr. Jim Bell, CEO IFPA