Forge Life-saving Strength With This Functional Workout
Cover Guy, Lee Phillips is stronger, fitter and faster than when he first started saving lives 20 years ago. The firefighter’s passion for fitness was first forged when he picked up some weights in his parents garage when he was 16.
Now the 44-year-old trains not only for aesthetic gains, but to be able to save the lives of others. The first responder favours functional training. Its what helps him have the flexibility, endurance and strength to be able to carry out his duties. His fitness routines are a mix of cardio and weight training and typically last 90 minutes.
Want to forge total-body fitness and lifesaving strength like the first responder? Complete this functional workout from Lee. Do five rounds.
1. Heavy D Ball to Shoulder
Keeping your core strong and chest slightly lifted to avoid rounding your spine, squat down and grab the ball with both hands. Roll the ball into your forearms. As you stand up, lift the ball to your left shoulder(c). Drop the ball back in front of you. That’s one rep. Do four each side.
Why it’s great: “It’s a good compound move. In the fire service we’re lifting a lot of heavy equipment from the floor. This is a good move to replicate that.”
2. Weighted Pullups
Start by adding the appropriate weight to your body. Grab the pullup bar with your palms down, shoulder-width apart. Gripping the plate between your legs, pull yourself up to the bar, going all the way up until your chin passes the bar. Lower yourself until your arms are straight. That’s one rep. Do eight.
Why it’s great: “In the fire service your kit weighs quite a lot and you’re often pulling yourself up and over something when you’re at an incident. This move simulates pulling yourself up over obstacles with all your kit on.”
3. Single Arm Kettlebell Thruster
Hold a kettlebell by its handle with your right hand so the weight is resting on the back of your right shoulder. Your left arm should be stretched out to the side. Squat down, keeping your core tight. Drive through your legs and straighten them, extending your arm as you do to raise the kettlebell above your head. That’s one rep. Do 12 each side.
Why it’s great: “It’s a good compound, conditioning move that engages several muscle groups, including your legs, core, shoulders and arms.”
Start standing. Squat down and put your hands on the floor. Jump your legs back into pushup position and lower your chest to the floor. Reverse the movements, jumping up into the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 16.
Why it’s great: “They’re a great full-body conditioning move that helps build your cardio engine.”