Monday, August 25, 2008

Ambulance Ass

I have a reader who asks about physical fitness in EMS. She is inquiring about what type of work-out we do and how to be able to pass some PT tests.

I think she said she needed to be able to lift 85 pounds 48 inches. I can only assume that would roughly be the weight of the cot while loading it into an ambulance.

Ok, to start at the beginning. If you work in EMS and you don't follow some sort of diet and/or exercise routine you will gain weight. Simple as that. No one escapes it forever. We affectionately call this "Ambulance Ass".

I'm about 5'10" tall and I weigh in at a chubby 216lbs. I was at 240 when I knew I had to do something before my penis disappeared. I gave up Pepsi. Yep, 24 pounds shed in 4 months just by giving up the Pepsi. I also started drinking my coffee black. No cream, no sugar. I mean, COME ON, what do you drink coffee for? It sure ain't the taste.

The biggest problem I saw with my rapid weight gain was the fact that I was eating all the wrong foods at all the wrong times. This is still pretty hard to control given the nature of our work but if you make simple corrections like NEVER EVER eating after 7pm and watching your portion size you can at least hold back the progression while you work out a way to lose some of the extra baggage.

We have one guy at our station that has went completely nuts and lost over 60 pounds in 6 months. He has given up almost everything that tastes good. I think I lack the courage of that convection though. I mean...No Cheese? No Way! Whey protein shakes...water all day and a sensible dinner? I guess I'm just not a sensible guy.

As far as our reader's question goes. "Just Do It" if you are having trouble lifting 85lbs 48 inches...Just do it. Go to one of your volunteer departments and load the cot with a person on it over and over. Do it as many times as you can, remembering to put the stress on your legs and not your back. We have had PLENTY of smaller people build themselves up this way. It would also not hurt to go out to your local Walmart and buy some 2-6lb dumb bells. It doesn't seem like much weight but if you work out with them every day you will see an improvement in your arms and chest.

Everyone who wants to do this job can, it's just a matter of how much effort you want to put into reaching your goal. You'll get there.

As for me. Well I have lost 14 pounds and I'm losing more. I told you earlier how I cut out pop and sugar in my coffee...Well I also started dating a girl quite a bit younger than me. Keeping up with her is aerobic in it's self. I find more time to run around with my children and I try to stay active in the garage and away from the computer. If you sit and do nothing all day, don't be surprised when you develop ambulance ass.

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