Alexandria Fire Department introduces Cross Fit

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For Immediate Release: November 7, 2008
For Further Information, Contact: Captain Luis Santano, 703.838.4339

Alexandria Fire Department introduces Cross Fit

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, the Alexandria Fire Department will be hosting a Field Day to demonstrate Cross Fit, the strength and conditioning program recently adopted by the department. Firefighters, paramedics and other department employees will demonstrate the new work-out routines they are using to meet the challenging physical demands of their jobs. While physical fitness and training have long been a part of their daily routines, this year, Alexandria's first responders are introducing Cross Fit, a program being utilized by the U.S. military as well as police and fire departments across the country. The departments Cross Fit program is funded through a grant  from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and will be the first such program offered in the region.

"Cross Fit’s emphasis on positive, team-oriented, and functional fitness is an outstanding complement to our Department's focus on employee health, safety, and wellness," said Chief Adam Thiel.

In order to safely and effectively introduce Cross Fit, several fire department employees recently became certified Cross Fit trainers. They spend several hours each morning working with their colleagues on exercises that emphasize the movements they will later utilize at work, when lifting stretchers into ambulances or climbing ladders into burning buildings. For members of the fire department, improving strength and fitness not only improves their own health, but also the well-being of Alexandria's citizens and visitors whom they serve.

Cross Fit emphasizes constantly varied workouts that incorporate the entire body and utilize functional movements--the same kinds of lifting and bending that might be required on the job. Cross Fit can be adapted to fit anyone, so the most experienced and strongest participants can exercise right alongside people who have never been to a gym before. Even so, the strongest and most fit firefighters have found themselves pushed to their limits during recent workouts. A typical Cross Fit session might include throwing medicine balls, using a rowing machine, doing pull-ups, and lifting kettle bells. Cross Fit emphasizes workouts that involve several muscle groups at once, so a five-minute routine can have the same impact as 30 minutes of traditional weightlifting.

The media are invited to attend and or participate in the Cross Fit Field Day on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008. Certified Cross Fit instructors will be leading beginner and advanced workouts from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Food and drink will be provided. The Cross Fit Field Day will be held at the Alexandria Fire Department Professional Development Center located at 1108 Jefferson St. Please notify Fire Department Public Information Officer Captain Luis Santano at 703.838.4339 if you plan to attend.