Training Manual for Candidates

Training Manual for Candidates
1.
Introduction
1.1
This manual aims at providing tips to prepare applicants for taking the
Physical Fitness Test and the Job-related Performance Test (Tests) when applying for
the posts of Station Officer (Operational), Ambulance Officer, Fireman/Firewoman
(Operational/Marine) and Ambulanceman/Ambulancewoman.
The suggestions
provided here are simple and mainly focus on, but not limited to, the following
aspects:
(a) Mode of Training
(b) Warm-up
(c) Muscular Strength and Endurance Training
(i)
Circuit Training
(ii) Resistance Training
(d)
1.2
Simulated Exercise Programme
In fact, the effectiveness of training will depend on the following elements:
(a) Food and Nutrition
(b) Level of Health and Wellness
(c) Body Composition
(d) Inherent Motor Abilities
(e) Individual Differences
1.3
To adequately prepare for the Tests, you are advised to start your training at
least 16 weeks before the day of taking the Tests. Before commencing the training,
you should assess your own physical condition by answering the questions of the
Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire and You (‘PAR-Q & You’ developed by the
British Columbia Ministry of Health and revised by Canadian Society for Exercise
Physiology, 2002) at the Appendix of this manual.
Having answered all questions
with ‘NO’, you are still advised to consult your physician before commencement of
the training programme if you have reached the age of 40 and have been physically
inactive. If you are not healthy and not physically able to withstand the stresses
created by this very strenuous training and test taking, you may be risking your health,
even chancing heart damage. If you are not completely certain of your own physical
fitness and health condition, you must consult your physician. You should show
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your physician the training methods of this guidebook to ensure that you are capable
of dealing with the training. Finally, please be aware that you are taking part in the
suggested training programme contained in this guidebook at your own risk.
This
Department will not be liable to any damage or injury you might sustain as a result of
participating in the training programme.
2.
Mode of Training
2.1
Training effectiveness will mainly depend on the frequency, duration,
intensity and specificity of exercise coupled with the types of training such as
endurance training, interval training, overloading and resistance training, circuit
training etc. In order to achieve the passing standard of the Tests, applicants are
advised to have at least 3 days of training per week with a training session of 45 - 60
minutes. The duration of an exercise session interacts with exercise intensity to
achieve the health, fitness and weight management goals of the participant. When
exercise intensity is above a minimum threshold (set lower for low-fit individuals and
higher for high-fit individuals), the total volume of exercise becomes important in
achieving and maintaining fitness. The American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM)
recommends an exercise intensity of between 55% and 65% to 90% of maximum
heart rate (HR max), which is transformed as (220 – Age) x (55-90%). Specificity is
the final factor in determining the effectiveness of training. Exercises should be
tailor-made to perform the actual tasks required by the Tests.
2.2
You should adjust your workload progressively according to your physical
capabilities and ensure that your body has sufficient time for rest and recovery.
Without sufficient rest, over-training will occur.
Signs of over-training include
increased injury rate, increased resting heart rate, sustained muscle soreness, apathy,
loss of appetite, either insomnia or excessive sleeping, drop in body weight, lack of
adaptation to exercise and loss of strength.
Over-training must be avoided.
If
over-training appears, you should stop training and take a rest until you have fully
recovered. When resuming your training, you should reduce your workload.
2.3
The rate of progression in an exercise condition programme will depend on
many factors, including functional capacity, medical and health status, age,
individual’s activity preferences and goals, and an individual’s tolerance to the current
level of training. For apparently healthy adults, gains in the endurance aspect of the
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exercise have three stages of progression: initial, improvement, and maintenance.
2.4
Aerobic fitness is the basic requirement for an applicant who wishes to join
the Fire Services Department.
For aerobic activities, the intensity of the exercise
should be adjusted to tax the oxygen demands of the working muscles.
Aerobic
activities like running, swimming, hiking and cycling over a duration of 45 minutes or
more can enhance aerobic fitness.
2.5
Anaerobic exercises are also vital for applicants. For anaerobic activities,
the intensity of exercise is higher and at a level whereby the working muscle’s demand
for oxygen exceeds the cardiopulmonary system’s ability to deliver it. This type of
intensive activity can only be short in duration. Sprinting is a good example of
anaerobic activity.
3.
Warm-up
3.1
Warm-up facilitates the transition from rest to exercise, stretches postural
muscles, augments blood flow and increases the metabolic rate from the resting level
to the aerobic requirements for endurance training.
A warm-up may reduce the
susceptibility to musculoskeletal injury by increasing connective tissue extensibility,
improving joint range of motion and function, and enhancing muscular performance.
3.2
Stretching exercise is generally used for warm-up. Michael J. Alter (1996)
mentioned that there were two phases of stretching. The first phase is the easy
stretch. In this phase, you should hold the stretch for 10 seconds in a range of
motion that produces only mild tension. This is followed by the second phase of
developmental stretch. In this stage, you should move slightly further to the point
where you feel a little bit more tension. This should be held for another 10 seconds.
3.3
When stretching, you should adhere to the following rules:
(i)
Stretch slowly
(ii) No bouncing
(iii) No pain
(iv) No competition
(v) Keep normal breathing
(vi) Hold to an end point for 10 to 20 seconds
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3.4
The common stretching exercises in the following sub-paragraphs are
recommended for warm-up before performing circuit training, resistance training and
simulated exercises. More stretching exercises for improving flexibility of low back
will be introduced in order to cope with the sit and reach test of the Physical Fitness
Test. Having completed stretching exercises, you are reminded to begin a proper
warm-up coupled with a few minutes of the same type of activity that you are about to
do at a very light exertion level. For example, if you are preparing to do resistance
training, you should lift a lighter weight for a few repetitions at a very easy exertion
before trying a heavier load. Should you need the details of stretching exercises, you
could refer to any current reference books pertaining to stretching exercises.
3.5
Photo 1
Stretching Exercises
(Arrows show direction of force applied)
3.5.1
Anterior Neck (Photo 1)
(i)
Sit or stand upright and stretch your neck
backward until you feel mild tension.
(ii) Hold the stretch and relax.
(iii) You should feel the stretch in the anterior part of
the neck.
3.5.2
Photo 2
Posterior Neck (Photo 2)
(i)
Sit or stand upright.
(ii) Exhale and pull your head downward and onto
your chest until you feel tension.
(iii) Hold the position and relax.
(iv) You should feel the stretch in the posterior part of
the neck.
3.5.3
Lateral Neck (Photo 3)
(i)
Photo 3
Sit or stand upright.
(ii) Place your left hand on the upper right side of
your head.
(iii) Exhale, and slowly pull your head to your left
shoulder (lateral flexion) until you feel tension.
(iv) Hold the stretch and relax.
(v) Repeat the above movements for alternate side.
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(vi) You should feel the stretch in the lateral side of the neck.
3.5.4
Biceps Brachii (Photo 4)
(i)
Photo 4
Stand upright with shoulder against a wall.
(ii) Place one hand against the wall with your arm
internally rotated at the shoulder, forearm
extended and your hand pronated with your
thumb pointing down.
(iii) Exhale and attempt to roll your biceps so they
face upward until you feel tension.
(iv) Hold the stretch and relax.
(v) Repeat the above movements with the other arm.
(vi) You should feel the stretch in the biceps
brachii.
3.5.5
Triceps Brachii (Photo 5)
(i)
Stand upright with one arm flexed, raised
overhead with elbow next to your ear and your
hand resting on your opposite shoulder blade.
(ii) Grab your elbow with the other hand.
(iii) Exhale and pull your elbow behind your head
until you feel tension.
(iv) Hold the stretch and relax.
(v) Repeat the above movements with the other arm.
(vi) You should feel the stretch in the triceps brachii.
3.5.6
Brachioradialis (Photo 6)
(i)
Kneel on all fours, flex your wrists and
place the tops (dorsa) of your hands
against the floor with fingers pointing
toward your knees.
(ii) Exhale and lean against the floor.
(iii) Hold the stretch and relax.
(iv) You should feel the stretch in the
brachioradialis.
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Photo 6
Photo 5
3.5.7
Pectorals (Photo 7)
(i)
Stand upright facing open doorway.
(ii) Raise elbows to shoulder height at your sides,
Photo 7
bend elbows so that your forearms point straight
up and place palms against the doorframe to
stretch the internal section of the pectorals
muscles on both sides.
(iii) Exhale and lean your entire body forward until
you feel tension.
(iv) Hold the stretch and relax.
(v) You should feel the stretch in the upper chest
(pectorals).
3.5.8
Lateral Shoulder (Photo 8)
(i)
Stand upright with one arm raised to shoulder
Photo 8
height.
(ii) Flex one of your arms across to the other
shoulder.
(iii) Grab your raised elbow with the other hand.
(iv) Exhale and pull your elbow toward your back
until you feel tension.
(v) Hold the stretch and relax.
(vi) Repeat the above movements with the other arm.
(vii) You should feel the stretch in the lateral shoulder.
3.5.9
Shoulder Abductors (Photo 9)
(i)
Stand upright with one arm flexed behind your
Photo 9
back.
(ii) Grab the elbow (or wrist if unable to reach
elbow) from behind with the other hand.
(iii) Exhale and pull the elbow across the midline of
your back until you feel tension.
(iv) Hold the stretch and relax.
(v) Repeat the above movements with the other
arm.
(vi) You should feel the stretch in the posterior part of the shoulder.
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3.5.10
Gastrocnemius and Achilles Tendon (Photo 10)
(i)
Stand upright slightly more than an arm’s length
Photo 10
from a wall.
(ii) Bend one leg forward and keep the opposite leg
straight.
(iii) Lean against the wall maintaining your head,
neck, spine, pelvis, rear leg and ankle are in
straight line.
(iv) Keep the heel of your rear foot down, sole flat
on the floor and foot pointing straight forward.
(v) Exhale, bend your arms, lean toward the wall and shift your weight
forward.
(vi) Exhale and flex your forward knee toward the wall until you feel
tension.
(vii) Hold the stretch and relax.
(viii) You should feel the stretch in the calf and achilles tendon.
(Note: To stretch the soleus, flex the rear at the knee.)
3.5.11
Quadriceps (Photo 11)
(i)
Stand upright with one hand stretching out for
Photo 11
balance.
(ii) Flex one knee and raise your heel to your
buttocks.
(iii) Slightly flex the supporting leg.
(iv) Exhale, reach behind and grab your raised foot
with one hand.
(v) Inhale and pull your heel toward your buttocks
without overcompressing the knee.
(vi) Hold the stretch and relax.
(vii) Repeat the above movements for the other leg.
(viii) You should feel the stretch in the quadriceps.
3.5.12
Hamstrings (Photo 12)
(i)
Sit upright on the floor with both legs straight at an angle of 90°.
(ii) Flex one knee and slide the heel until it touches the inner side of the
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other thigh.
Photo 12
(iii) Lower the outer side of the thigh
and calf of the bent leg onto the
floor.
(iv) Exhale,
while
keeping
the
extended leg straight, bend at the
hip and lower your extended
upper torso from the hips onto the
extended leg until you feel tension.
(v) Hold the stretch and relax.
(vi) Repeat the above movements with the other leg.
(vii) You should feel the stretch in the hamstrings.
3.5.13
Adductors (Photo 13)
(i)
Sit upright on the floor with your legs
Photo 13
flexed and straddled and heels touching
each other.
(ii) Grab your feet or ankles and pull them as
close to your groin as possible.
(iii) Exhale, lean forward from the hips without
bending your back and lower your chest to
the floor until you feel tension.
(iv) Hold the stretch and relax.
(v) You should feel the stretch in the groin (adductors).
(Note: A common error is bending the back.)
3.5.14
Hip Flexors (Photo 14)
(i)
Photo 14
Stand upright with the legs straddled
(spread sideways) about 60cm apart.
(ii) Flex one knee, lower your body and
place the other knee on the floor.
(iii) Roll the back foot so that the top of the
instep rests on the floor.
(iv) Place your hands on your hips (some
people may prefer placing on the forward knee and one hand on the
buttocks) and keep the front knee bent at a 90° angle as much as
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possible.
(v) Exhale and slowly push the front of the hip of the back leg toward the
floor until you feel tension.
(vi) Hold the stretch and relax.
(vii) Repeat the above movements with the other leg.
(viii) You should feel the stretch in the upper thigh.
3.5.15
Buttocks and Hip (Photo 15)
(i)
Sit upright on the floor with the
Photo 15
hands behind your hips for support
and your legs extended.
(ii) Flex your left leg, cross your left foot
over your right leg and slide your
heel toward your buttocks.
(iii) Reach over your left leg with your right arm and place your right
elbow on the outside of your left knee.
(iv) Exhale and look over your left shoulder while turning your trunk and
pushing back on your right knee with your right elbow until you feel
tension.
(v) Hold the stretch and relax.
(vi) Repeat the above movements with the other leg.
(vii) You should feel the stretch in the buttocks and hip
3.5.16
Buttocks, Hips and Trunk (Photo 16)
(i)
Sit upright on the floor with the
Photo 16
outside of your left leg resting on the
floor in front of you with your knee
flexed and your foot pointing to your
right.
(ii) Cross your right leg over your left leg
and place the foot flat on the floor.
(iii) Exhale, round your upper torso and
bend forward until you feel tension.
(iv) Hold the stretch and relax.
(v) Repeat the above movements with the other leg.
(vi) You should feel the stretch in the buttocks, hips and trunk.
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3.5.17
Abdomen and Hip Flexors (Photo 17)
(i)
Lie face down on the floor with your
Photo 17
body extended.
(ii) Place your palms on the floor by the
sides of your hips with your fingers
pointing forward.
(iii) Exhale, press down on the floor, raise
your head and trunk and arch your back while contracting the gluteals
to prevent excessive compression on the lower back.
(iv) Hold the stretch and relax.
(v) You should feel the stretch in the abdomen and upper thighs.
3.5.18
Lower Back (Photo 18)
(i)
Sit upright on a chair with your legs
Photo 18
spreading slightly apart.
(ii) Exhale, extend your upper torso, bend
at the hip and slowly lower your
stomach between your thighs until you
feel tension.
(iii) Hold the stretch and relax.
(iv) You should feel the stretch in your
lower track.
3.5.19
Lateral Trunk (Photo 19)
(i)
Hang from a chin-up bar with your arms
straight and your body slightly flexed in a C
Photo 19
shape.
(ii) Exhale, place your chin on your chest and sink
in your shoulders until you feel tension.
(iii) Hold the stretch and relax.
(iv) You should feel the stretch in the lateral trunk
and upper back.
3.5.20
Upper Back (Photo 20)
(i)
Stand upright, feet together, about 1m from a supporting surface
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approximately of waist height.
Photo 20
(ii) Exhale, keep your arms and legs straight,
flex at the waist, flatten your back and
grab the supporting surface with both
hands.
(iii) Exhale and press down on the supporting
surface to produce an arch in your back
until you feel tension.
(iv) Hold the stretch and relax.
(v) You should feel the stretch in your upper back.
4.
Muscular Strength and Endurance Training
4.1
Muscular strength refers to the maximal force that can be generated by a
specific muscle or a group of muscle whereas muscular endurance is the ability of a
group of muscle to execute repeated contractions over a period of time and
sufficiently to cause muscular fatigue, or to maintain a specific percentage of the
maximum voluntary contraction for a prolonged period of time.
Simple field tests
such as a curl-up test or the maximum number of push-ups may be used to evaluate
the endurance of the abdominal muscle groups or upper body muscles respectively.
4.2
Muscular strength and endurance are the basic fitness components of fire
services personnel who are required to perform the fire-fighting and rescue jobs. The
test items in the Physical Fitness Test are used to test these physical abilities. In this
respect, applicants may consider to use the following circuit training and resistance
training programme at least 3 times a week coupled with endurance running on the
alternate days to enhance their physical fitness level so as to prepare for the Tests.
Applicants are advised to perform the circuit training first to build up their physical
fitness level to meet the requirement. With built-up strength and stamina, applicants
may start the resistance training programme.
4.3
Circuit Training
4.3.1
Although it is easier to improve muscular strength and endurance with
weight equipment, it is also possible to accomplish this with some simple exercises
with the body weight.
These exercises require little equipment and it is very
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convenient for the participants to perform the exercise at anywhere and at any time.
You may choose to start with any exercise (suggested duration for each exercise is 30
seconds).
You may have 30 seconds to 1-minute rest between each exercise. The
training may be started with one circuit. The circuit could be performed according to
the order of presentation. Having adapted to one circuit, you may increase to 2 - 3
circuits.
Circuit training has been proven to be a very effective and efficient way to
improve muscular strength, muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance.
Remember to jot down the finish time and the number of repetitions so as to monitor
your improvement. For safety reason, it is recommended that you should perform
the circuit training with a partner and do not over exert yourself in the first few
sessions.
Progression is the key to safety and effectiveness.
Below are the
examples of circuit training.
4.3.1.1
Photo 21
Press-ups (Photos 21-24)
(i)
Place both hands on ground with
shoulder width apart.
(ii) Keep feet together and back
straight.
(iii) Lower the body until the upper
Photo 22
arms and the lower arms are at an
angle of 90° or less.
(iv) Push yourself up to the starting
position with arms straight.
(v) Inhale while lowering down and
exhale while pushing up.
(vi) Do 10 or more repetitions within
30 seconds depending on your
physical ability.
(vii) If you are not able to perform the Photo 24
normal press-up, you may perform
a modified press-up (Photos 23-24)
by kneeling down and repeating
the above movements.
When
you have adapted to the modified
press-up, you should perform the normal press-up.
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Photo 23
4.3.1.2
Bent-knee Sit-ups
(i)
(Photo 25-28)
Lie on a mat with knee at 90° and
Photo 25
hands fully placed on ears.
(ii) Feet are held to the floor by a
partner and or hooked to a wall bar.
(iii) Curl up smoothly with head leading
(no jerking movement).
Photo 26
(iv) Turn the upper torso with elbows touching
the knees and then return to the starting
position.
(v) Exhale while curling up and inhale while
lowering down.
(vi) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30
seconds depending on your physical
Photo 27
ability.
(vii) If you are unable to perform the
normal curl-up, you may perform a
modified curl-up by placing your
hands across the chest and repeat the
same movements (Photos 27-28).
Photo 28
When you have adapted to the
modified curl-up, you should perform
the normal sit-up.
4.3.1.3
Squat (Photos 29-32)
(i)
Photo 29
Photo 30
Stand upright with legs slightly
apart at shoulder’s width and arms
across the chest.
(ii) Slowly
squat
down
until
the
buttocks touching the heels and
return to normal position.
(iii) Keep your head in a neutral
position with eyes looking forward.
(iv) Inhale while lowering down and exhale while standing up.
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(v) Do 10 or more repetitions
Photo 31
Photo 32
within 30 seconds depending on
your physical ability.
(vi) If you are not able to perform
the full squat, you can do the
half squat by slowly lowering
your buttocks onto the chair just
placed below (Photo 31-32).
(vii) Having taken up this skill, you
should perform the full squat.
4.3.1.4
Chin-ups (Photo 33-36)
(i)
Grip a horizontal bar with pronated grip and
hands at about shoulder’s width apart.
(ii) Hang from the bar with arms fully extended.
(iii) Pull upward until the chin is above the bar.
(iv) Do not kick or swing your legs.
(v) The body cannot move forward and backward
more than 5°.
(vi) Return to the starting position.
Photo 33
(vii) Inhale while lowering down and exhale while
Photo 34
pulling up.
(viii) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30 seconds
depending on your physical ability.
(ix) If you are not able to complete 3 chin-ups,
elevate yourself to the bar with the help of a stool
or a partner and lower down in a slow and
controlled fashion.
(x) If you are too weak to perform the chin-ups, a
modified chin-up with a horizontal
bar at a height slightly more than
your arm’s length is recommended.
Lie flat with chest underneath the
bar, arms straight with both hands
holding the bar and legs straight
touching the ground. Pull up and
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Photo 35
then lower down.
Photo 36
(xi) Having taken up the skill, you
should perform the normal chin-up.
4.3.1.5
Curl-ups (Photos 37-38)
(i)
Lie on a mat with knee at 90° and
Photo 37
hands fully placed on the thighs.
(ii) Eyes look at the ceiling.
(iii) Curl up smoothly until the hands
touching on the knees and return to
the starting position.
(iv) Exhale while curling up and inhale
Photo 38
while lowering down.
(v) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30
seconds
depending
on
your
physical ability.
4.3.1.6
Step-ups (Photos 39-42)
(i)
Use a step or bench of 15cm - 45cm high.
(ii) Stand upright with eyes looking forward.
(iii) Place right foot flat on the bench with the left foot flat on the floor.
(iv) Push down with the right foot on the bench and step up until both legs
are straight on the bench.
(v) Slowly lower your back down with left foot and the right foot back to
the starting position.
Photo 39
Photo 40
Photo 41
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Photo 42
(vi) Exhale while pushing up and inhale while lowering down.
(vii) Repeat entire sequence to start with the left foot.
(viii) Do 3 minutes at a rate of 24 steps per min.
4.3.1.7 Arm-dips (Photos 43-46)
(i)
Support your body with arms straight holding
Photo 43
the parallel bars.
(ii) Keep your body straight with eyes looking
forward.
(iii) Lower down the body with the upper and lower
arms making an angle of 90° or less and then
return to the starting position.
(iv) Do not swing the body forward and backward
more than 5°.
(v) Exhale while lowering down and inhale while
Photo 44
pushing up.
(vi) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30 seconds
depending on your physical ability.
(vii) If you are unable to perform the arm-dip, you
are recommended to do a modified arm-dip
(Photos 45-46) by supporting the body with
hands holding onto a chair at the back and legs
straight touching the ground.
(viii) Flex your elbows and lower your body so that your buttocks are close
to the floor (but not touching).
Return to the starting position,
keeping your body straight.
(ix) Perform the normal arm-dip when you master the modified arm-dip.
Photo 45
Photo 46
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4.3.1.8
Curl-ups with Legs on Bench (Photos 47-48)
(i)
Lie on the mat with legs placing on
Photo 47
a bench of 45cm high.
(ii) Put palms on the ears.
(iii) Curl up smoothly with head leading
(no jerking movement) until the
elbows touch the knees and then
return to the starting position.
(iv) Exhale while curling up and inhale
Photo 48
while lowering down.
(v) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30
seconds
depending
on
your
physical ability.
4.3.1.9
Split-Squats (Photos 49-51)
(i)
Keep back straight and arms down at side with hands on hips and eyes
looking forward, slowly lower right knee straight down onto the floor.
(ii) Inhale while lowering and exhale while pushing back up into upright
position.
(iii) Keep forward leg vertical throughout motion, with knee directly over
ankle. If knee tends to move forward over the toes, adjust back foot
further backward.
(iv) Repeat the above with other leg.
(v) Do 20 or more repetitions within 1 minute depending on your physical
ability.
Photo 49
Photo 50
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Photo 51
4.3.1.10 Burpee (Photos 52-55)
(i)
Stand erect and lower the body
Photo 52
Photo 53
to a squat-rest position.
(ii) Lean forward and place both
hands on the floor in front of
the feet.
(iii) Thrust the legs backward as
far as possible and keep your
body straight with arms fully
extended.
Photo 54
(iv) Return to the squat-rest position and then to
the standing position.
(v) Inhale and exhale evenly throughout the
exercise.
(vi) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30 seconds
Photo 55
depending on your physical abilities.
4.3.1.11 Chest Raise (Photos 56-57)
(i)
Take a front lying position with the
Photo 56
hands behind the back.
(ii) The legs are held by a partner or
hooked by a wall bar.
(iii) Raise the chin as high as possible
from the floor and then lower the
Photo 57
chest to the floor.
(iv) Exhale while raising and inhale while
lowering.
(v) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30
seconds depending on your physical
ability
4.3.1.12 Astride Jump (Photos 58-60)
(i)
Stand astride over a bench of 45cm high.
(ii) Jump onto the bench with both legs and then return to the starting
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position.
(iii) Exhale while jumping up and inhale while descending.
(iv) Do 20 or more repetitions within 30 seconds depending on your
physical ability.
Photo 58
Photo 59
4.3.1.13 Hand Grippers (Photos 61-62)
(i)
Photo 62
Stand erect.
Photo 61
(ii) Place a tennis ball in a palm.
(iii) Slowly squeeze the tennis ball.
(iv) Repeat the above with the other
hand.
(v) Do the repetition as much as possible within
30 seconds depending on your physical
abilities.
4.3.1.14 Double Backward Leg Raise (Photos 63-64)
(i)
Photo 60
Take a front lying position with the
Photo 63
arms placing on the floor and the palms
facing downward.
(ii) Hold the chest down.
(iii) Lift both legs upward with the leg held
straight to clear the thighs from the
Photo 64
floor.
(iv) Exhale while legs raising and inhale
while lowering down.
(v) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30
seconds depending on your physical
ability.
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4.3.1.15 Sitting Tucks (Photos 65-66)
(i)
Photo 65
Take a long lying position with the
arms straight and palms down on the
floor behind the hip.
(ii) Lift the heels 15cm off the floor.
(iii) Flex both legs and bring the knees
toward
the
chest,
keeping
heels
Photo 66
together.
(iv) Straighten the legs and keep the heels
off the floor.
(v) Do 20 or more repetitions within 1
minute depending on your physical
ability.
4.4
Resistance Training
4.4.1
The gold standard of dynamic strength testing is the 1-repetition maximum
(1-RM), this means the heaviest weight you can lift only once in good form. For
muscular strength and endurance, it is recommended to perform 70%-80% of your
1RM. The following resistance programme is designed to improve your total body
strength and endurance. If you are not familiar with lifting, have any joint pain or
feel uncomfortable in performing these exercises, you should seek advice from a
professional trainer.
4.4.2
Unless you are a competent weightlifter, you are
advised to do one complete cycle first.
If you do not have
Photo 67
muscle soreness in 24 – 48 hours after exercise, you may start to
perform two cycles and then gradually progress to three cycles in
the following days.
You are also recommended to do the
exercise stations in the order as presented. If you feel sustained
and excessive muscle soreness, you should reduce the weights
and the number of cycles.
4.4.3
When you start this resistance programme, you
should work out the 1 RM of each type of exercise station and then lift at each
- 20 -
exercise station for 8 – 12 repetitions from 1 to 3 sets depending
on your physical ability. Rest between each exercise should not
Photo 68
exceed 30 seconds unless you are experiencing some discomfort.
This resistance programme is recommended to be performed
three sessions per week for a session of at least 45 minutes.
You should first do the stretching exercises coupled with 15
minutes cycling and/or jogging on the exercise cycle (Photo 67)
and treadmill (Photo 68) respectively.
For overall fitness
improvement,
be
these
exercises
should
performed
in
conjunction with a moderate to high intensity aerobic training programme on the
alternate days. The endurance running like 1-mile run, 1.5-mile run or 3-mile run
should be kept at a speed of 7 min to 9 min per mile.
4.4.4
For safety precautions, you should adhere to the following rules:
(i)
Always lift with a partner.
(ii)
Ask for help from an expert if you are a layman.
(iii) Progress slowly to avoid injury.
(iv) Ensure weight machines are properly adjusted to suit your body size.
(v)
Never be over confident by attempting to lift a heavier weight than
you normally do.
(vi) Use proper lifting technique when lifting weight plates and
dumbbells.
(vii) Never drink alcohol or take medications that may cause drowsiness
prior to lifting weights.
(viii) Breathe in when you lower a weight and breathe out when you lift a
weight.
(ix) Protect your back from dangerous positions.
(x)
Lift weights from a stabilized position either on seats or rollers.
(xi) Fasten body-belts securely if your machine has one.
(xii) Stay away from moving parts and weight plates.
(xiii) Perform exercises through a full range of motion.
4.4.5
Below are examples of resistance training:
4.4.5.1
Bench Press (Photos 69-70)
(i)
Lie on a bench and put your feet on
the end of the bench, and use a
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Photo 69
weight suitable for you.
(ii) Push the bar until your arms are
Photo 70
almost fully extended.
(iii) Lower the bar to the chest.
(iv) Keep your lower back flat.
4.4.5.2
Bent-knee Sit-ups (Photos 71-72)
(i)
Sit on the mat with knees bent at 90°.
(ii) Keep feet flat on the mat and hands at
Photo 71
your sides, slowly curl your torso so
that chin approaches your chest.
(iii) Do not raise torso to more than 45°
off the floor.
(iv) Return slowly and slightly above
your
starting
position,
keeping
Photo 72
tension on abdominal muscles at all
times.
(v) Exhale while curling up and inhale
while lowering torso down.
(vi) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30
seconds depending on your physical ability.
4.4.5.3
Leg Press (Photos 73-74)
(i)
Sit on a seat with knees bent at 90° and use a weight suitable for you.
(ii) Push the pedals forward until your legs fully extend and then return to
the starting position.
Photo 73
4.4.5.4
Photo 74
Shoulder Press (Photos 75-76)
(i)
Sit on a bench with the feet fully stepped on the chair or on the
- 22 -
ground.
(ii) Push bar overhead until arms fully extended and then return to the
starting position.
(iii) Do not arch your back.
4.4.5.5
Photo 75
Photo 76
Chest Raise (Photos 77-78)
(i)
Take a front lying position with the
Photo 77
hands behind the back.
(ii) Legs are held by a partner or hooked by
the wall bar.
(iii) Raise the chin as high as possible from
the floor and then lower the chest to the
floor.
Photo 78
(iv) Exhale while ascending and inhale while
descending.
(v) Do 10 or more repetitions within 30
seconds depending on your physical
ability.
4.4.5.6 Seated Calf Raise (Photos 79-80)
(i)
Sit on a seat with soles fully stepped
on the floor and hands holding
dumbbells of weight suitable for you.
(ii) Lift up the ankles and then return to
the starting position.
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Photo 79
Photo 80
4.4.5.7
Biceps Curl (Photos 81-82)
(i)
Stand upright with legs at
Photo 81
Photo 82
shoulder’s width apart and eyes
looking forward.
(ii) Keep elbows close to your
sides.
(iii) Lift the dumbbells of weight
suitable for you up towards your
shoulders and then return to the
starting position.
4.4.5.8
Leg Raise (Photos 83-84)
(i)
Photo 83
Photo 84
Support the body with elbows
fully placing on the pads and
eyes looking forward.
(ii) Raise both knees to your chest
with bent legs and then return
to the starting position.
4.4.5.9
Leg Extension (Photos 85-86)
(i)
Sit on the seat with the
back of the knees against
Photo 85
Photo 86
the pad and the instep
against the pad of the
pedals, and use a weight
suitable for you.
(ii) Hold the sides of the
bench by hands.
(iii) Fully extend the knees and
then slowly lower the weight to the starting position.
(Note: This exercise should not be performed by participants who have
undergone reconstructive knee surgery.)
4.4.5.10 Tricep Extension (Photos 87-88)
(i)
Stand up with knees slightly bent and use a weight suitable for you.
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(ii) Place hands on the bar with 15cm apart.
(iii) Keep upper arms close at sides.
(iv) Extend the arms until they are almost straight and the bar is at
mid-thigh.
(v) Slowly return the bar to the starting position.
(vi) Upper arms should remain in contact with sides.
(vii) Do not allow elbows to move forward and away from the body.
Photo 88
Photo 87
4.4.5.11 Double Backward Leg Raise (Photos
Photo 89
89-90)
(i)
Take a front lying position with
arms placing on the floor and
the palms facing downward.
(ii) Hold down the chest.
Photo 90
(iii) Lift both legs upward with the
legs holding straight to clear the
thighs from the floor.
4.4.5.12 Leg Curl (Photos 91-92)
(i)
Lie flat on machine bench with top of knees just off the pad and ankle
roller situated on the heels and use a weight suitable for you.
(ii) Flex the knees until ankle roller reaches the buttocks.
(iii) Keep hips down and stomach in contact with pad throughout the
motion.
(iv) Lower the weight slowly to the starting position.
- 25 -
Photo 91
Photo 92
4.4.5.13 Lat Pull Down (Photos 93-94)
(i)
Adjust the position of legs
Photo 93
Photo 94
to allow full range of
motion and use a weight
suitable for you.
(ii) Hold the bar in reverse
grip with the palms facing
forward.
(iii) Pull the bar straight down
to the shoulder and then
slowly return to the
starting position.
4.4.5.14 Dumbbell Side Bend (Photos 95-96)
(i)
Stand upright with feet at
Photo 95
Photo 96
shoulder’s width apart and
eyes looking forward.
(ii) Each
hand
holds
the
dumbbells of weight suitable
for you.
(iii) Bend the body to one side and
then to the other.
4.4.5.15 Half Squat over a Bench (Photos 97-98)
(i)
Sit on a bench about calf’s height with feet about shoulder’s width
apart and toes slightly outward.
(ii) Place the barbell with weights suitable for you on the back of the neck
with support from the shoulders.
(iii) Hold the barbell at the end of the bar by both hands.
- 26 -
(iv) Stand up and then slowly squat down onto the bench and then repeat.
(Note: This exercise should be performed with a partner for safety reason)
Photo 97
Photo 98
4.4.5.16 Wrist Rollers (Photos 99-100)
(i)
Photo 99
Stand erect.
Photo 100
(ii) Grab a bar hinging a weight
suitable for you by a string
with both palms facing the
floor.
(iii) Alternately roll each wrist to
wind up and then lower the
weight.
(iv) Repeat
the
actions
with
palms upward.
4.4.5.17 Hyperextension (Photos 101-102)
(i)
Take a front lying position
Photo 101 Photo 102
with legs hooked on the
pedals and eyes looking at
the floor and arms across
the chest.
(ii) Flex the upper part of the
body and then return to the
starting position.
4.4.5.18 Half Squat (Photos 103-104)
(i)
Stand erect with feet at shoulder’s width apart and turn your feet
slightly outward.
- 27 -
(ii) Place the barbell with weights suitable for you across your shoulder.
(iii) Hold the barbell at the end of the bar by both hands.
(iv) Keep your back straight at Photo 103
all times.
(v) Keep the head straight or
slightly upward without
looking down.
(vi) Descend
slowly
Photo 104
until
reaching the sticking point,
halfway to the bottom.
Push upward and return to
the starting position. The
thighs should be parallel to the floor with the
head looking up.
(Note:
This exercise should be performed with a
partner and the participant should wear a waist belt for
protection.)
4.4.5.19 Underhand Wrist Curl (Photo 105)
(i)
Kneel down and put an arm on a bench Photo 105
with a dumbbell of weight suitable to you
in hand and palm facing upward.
(ii) Curl up the weight and slowly return to the
starting position.
(iii) Repeat the above movements with the
other hand.
4.4.5.20 Reverse Wrist Curl (Photo 106)
(i)
Kneel down and put an arm on a bench with a
dumbbell of weight suitable to you in hand and
palm facing downward.
(ii) Curl up the weight and slowly return to the
starting position.
(iii) Repeat the above movements with the other
hand.
- 28 -
Photo 106
4.4.5.21 Seated Rowing (Photos 107-108)
(i)
Sit upright with legs slightly bent in front.
(ii) Pull bar towards your body at waist level and return to the starting
position.
Photo 107
Photo 108
4.4.5.22 Split-squats with Weight (Photos 109-111)
(i)
Hold dumbbell in each hand of weight suitable for you and stand with
feet together, then step backward with one foot about 65cm away from
the body.
(ii) Keep back straight and arms down at side with eyes looking forward,
slowly bend both legs.
(iii) Lower slowly until your backward knee barely touches the floor.
(iv) Keep forward leg vertical throughout motion with knee directly over
ankle. If knee tends to move forward over the toes, adjust back foot
further backward.
(v) Repeat the above movements with the other leg.
Photo 109
Photo 110
Photo 111
5.
Simulated Exercise Programme
5.1
Apart from performing the preceding stretching exercises, circuit training
and resistance training, applicants should do exercises similar to the Physical Fitness
- 29 -
Test and the Job-related Performance Test for specificity and adaptation. Practice
and training in the specific activity is crucial because much of the improvement in
muscular strength and endurance depends on skill learning and new muscular
adaptation required for the physical tasks. As you get used to the tests, you would
feel more comfortable and confident in taking the tests and be able to avoid some
unnecessary mistakes.
5.2
The simulated exercises are designed to improve your physical abilities to
pass the Physical Fitness Test and the Job-related Performance Test. The simulated
exercises are as follows:
5.2.1
Physical Fitness Test
5.2.1.1
Yo-Yo Endurance Test
The Yo-Yo Endurance Test assesses your aerobic fitness.
The passing
standard of the test has been set at level 7:1. This is the minimum aerobic
fitness required to perform fire-fighting and rescue jobs. The passing level
equates approximately to a running distance of 1000m within a specific
time of about 7 minutes 30 seconds.
With a view to improving the aerobic fitness, you may perform the field
tests such as the 9-min walk run, 12-min walk run, 15-min walk run, 1-mile
run, 1.5-mile run and 3-mile run. Finally, you should practise a shuttle run
with 20m apart in a basketball court and run for 50 times within the
specified time. You can use any part of your body to touch the end lines.
5.2.1.2
Pronated Chin-up
With exercises mentioned in the circuit
training and the weight training such as hand
grip, wrist rollers and wrist curls, you are
reminded to do more back exercises such as
chin-ups, deadlifts, shoulder press and rows to
develop of grip strength and upper body
strength.
Photo 112
For specificity, you can perform
the pronated chin-up in the public playground as indicated in Photo 112.
- 30 -
5.2.1.3
Vertical Jump
With the use of the prior training programmes to build up your muscular
strength and endurance, you are advised to perform the vertical jump. For
safety, you perform the test and land on a mat with a partner standing in
front of you as a supporter .
5.2.1.4
Parallel Bar Dip
Similar exercises such as arm-dips and triceps extension have been included
in the preceding training programmes. Applicants should try to perform
the arm-dips as required in the fitness club or the public playground
installed with the parallel bars.
5.2.1.5
Bent-knee Sit-ups
Many abdominal and back exercises have been indicated in the preceding
circuit training and weight training programmes.
Such exercises are
adequate for you to cope with the Bent-knee Sit-ups of the Tests.
5.2.1.6
Push-ups
Having built up muscular strength and endurance in the preceding training
programme, applicants are advised to do push-up action to the required
standard.
5.2.1.7
Sit-and-Reach
Applicants
are
encouraged
to
do
more
Photo 113
stretching exercise especially on lower backs
and lower limbs highlighted in the warm-up for
improvement of hip and low back flexibility.
Before you try the sit and reach exercise, you
should do adequate warm-up exercises and then
perform a transitional sit and reach exercise by
Photo 114
sitting on a bench with one leg straight and one
bent leg (Photo 113). Flex your upper limb
with hands stretching to touch a distance as far
as possible and then repeat the movement with
the alternate leg (Photo 114). Finally, you should perform the sit and reach
exercise to the required standard.
- 31 -
5.2.1.8
Burpee (Photos 115-118)
Having taken up the skill, you are advised to do smooth burpee action
progressively.
Photo 115
Photo 117
Photo 116
Photo 118
5.2.2
Job-related Performance Test for Fire and
Ambulance Streams
There are four job-related performance tests for each fire and ambulance
streams.
The tests are designed to simulate the physical demands of a firefighter’s
and an ambulanceman’s job which requires muscular strength and endurance,
flexibility, dynamic balance, cardiovascular efficiency, agility and inherent motor
abilities.
The job-related performance tests are:
5.2.2.1
Job-related Test Items for Fire Stream
Photo 119
5.2.2.1.1 Stair Climb
Depending on the rate of travel, the
cardiovascular fitness level and the size of the
individual, the energy systems necessary to
support this activity could be aerobic or
anaerobic. In match with the time required to
perform this task, applicants should do more
practice for improving the anaerobic
energy system.
Stair-climbing
exercises,
particularly practising under a loaded
condition have the most effectiveness
on the preparation for this task. But
- 32 -
Photo 121
any form of aerobic fitness training
such
as
endurance
running
Photo 120
and
stepping mentioned in the preceding
topics
is
beneficial.
Unloaded
stair-climbing, and resistance exercises
that improve lower body strength such
as squats and deadlifts, will also be helpful.
You may practise
stair-climbing with load on a staircase machine as indicated in Photo 119.
Finally, you should wear a rucksack carrying a load with a weight of about
26kg as indicated in Photo 120-121 to practise climbing staircase up to 3/F.
5.2.2.1.2 Ladder Climb
Applicants
are
Photo 122
Photo 123
advised to practise ladder climb
with a rucksack of about 11kg
load
in
a
gymnasium
as
indicated in Photo 122-123 or a
public playground installed with
a
ladder.
However
some
inherent motor abilities such as
attitude to height cannot be
overcome by means of practice,
applicants are not recommended to practise ladder climb to a height of 7.8m
or above without safety measures and supervision.
5.2.2.1.3 Tunnel Crawl (Photos 124-125)
Applicants are advised to practise crawling on hands and knees
(wearing sweat pants and kneepads) for a distance of at least 10m. You
should keep your body low so as not to contact an object 0.9m (diameter of
the tunnel used in the test) above the ground. When you feel comfortable
and able to take up this skill, you should wear a rucksack with a weight of
about 11kg on your back for crawling practice as indicated in Photos
124-125. However some of inherent motor abilities such as attitude to
confined space cannot be overcome by ways of practice, applicants with
fear of working in a confined space should be accompanied by a partner
practising tunnel crawl. Photos 126-127 below show the types of tunnel in
- 33 -
public playground.
Photo 124
Photo 125
Photo 127
Photo 126
5.2.2.1.4 Obstacle Course
Sketch 1
Applicants are advised
to practise the “Modified Bass
Test
for
Dynamic
10
Balance”
according to the diagram at
30’’
Sketch 1. You stand on the right
(76.2cm)
foot on the starting point and then
hop to the first tape mark with the
9
8
7
6
left foot and hold a static position
for 5 seconds.
After this, you
hop to the second tape mark with
the right foot and hold a static
position for 5 seconds.
You
continue
foot
with
alternate
hopping and holding a static
60’’
5
(152.4cm)
3
4
position for 5 seconds until the
course is completed. The sole of
30’’
1
2
your foot must completely cover
30’’
each tape mark so that it cannot
be
seen.
A
successful
Start
performance consists of covering
each tape much smaller in size
than the sole of the foot, without
- 34 -
15’’
15’’
(38.1cm)
Diagram of Modified Bass Test of
Dynamic Balance
touching the floor with your heel or any other part of the body, and holding
a static position on each tape mark for 5 seconds without exposing it.
For a simulated training, the applicant can perform the obstacle course on a
basketball court at a distance of 23m by wearing a rucksack of 11kg in
weight and carrying a load of about 6kg to step over two swimming buoys
placed about 8m from the starting line and pass through a bar at a height of
1.5m and then cross the finishing line (Photo 128-130).
Photo 128
Photo 129
Photo 130
5.2.2.2
Job-related Test Items for Ambulance Stream
5.2.2.2.1 Locate Equipment (Photos 131-132)
Applicants should run Photo 132
upstairs for 2 to 3 steps to fetch
an overhead object and then run
downstairs and for a further
distance of 15–20m to a finishing
line.
- 35 -
Photo 131
5.2.2.2.2 Peg Test (Photos 133-134)
Applicants can practise a modified simple test by standing
upright with one hand holding an overhead bar of about 2m in height and
the other hand fully placing on a table about 30cm in height. Whilst the
hand holding firmly the overhead bar, you pick up a bean with the other
hand and place it into a bottle. You repeat until you finish a total of 10
beans.
Photo 133
Photo 134
5.2.2.2.3 Obstacle Test (Photo 135)
Applicants can follow the principle
Photo 135
and setup of the Obstacle Test of fire stream
with a shorter distance of 10m and stepping
in and out of three swimming buoys for
practice.
5.2.2.2.4 Stair Climb
Applicants can follow the same principle and setup of Stair
Climb of fire stream for practice.
- 36 -
REFERENCES
1.
Don R. Kirkendall, Joseph J. Gruber, Robert E. Johnson (1987).
Measurement and Evaluation for Physical Educators (2nd ed.). Human
Kinetics.
2.
Michael J. Alter (1996). Science of Flexibility (2nd ed.). Human Kinetics.
3.
ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and prescription (6th ed.), 2000.
4.
The Fire Services Joint Labor Management Wellness/ Fitness Initiative
(1999). Candidate Physical Ability Test.
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Appendix
- 38 -
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