Data Show O2X Training Dramatically improves Firefighter Fitness and Well-Being

Firefighters undertaking O2X Human Performance Training.

O2X Human Performance training is creating quantifiably dramatic improvements in the health and well-being of Boston firefighters, according to data captured before and after recent training sessions at the Boston Fire Academy.

Among 59 members of the Boston (MA) Fire Department who participated in the first round of O2X training, the average firefighter in just an 8-week period produced a:

  • 9.6 percent improvement in the time it took to run 1.5 miles
  • 32.0 percent improvement in the number of push-ups in 60 seconds
  • 34.8 percent improvement in in number of pull-ups
  • 35.3 percent improvement in number of air squats in 60 seconds
  • A stunning 52.5% improvement in planking time, a key measure of overall fitness and core strength

“Our program is built to create healthier firefighters and other first responders and, therefore, create safer communities,” said O2X Human Performance co-founder Adam La Reau.

Each O2X Human Performance session for firefighters is a four- to five-day program that tackles all aspects of physical and mental fitness and is built around the five pillars of nutrition, sleep, stress management, resilience, and physical conditioning.

O2X custom created these tests for firefighters to serve several purposes: to identify peak performance measures, to show areas for potential injury, to monitor improvement, and to create conditioning programs that will allow firefighters to sustain the highest levels of on-the-the-job performance, and to do it all while remaining injury free. In fact, throughout 24 weeks of training and monitoring, zero injuries have been reported.

“O2X Human Performance training is much deeper than just being able to run faster, feel stronger or do more push-ups,” said La Reau. “It’s about creating sustainable lifestyle changes that will improve the quality of life and well-being of each firefighter, and allow them to serve long, safe and healthy careers.”

The program comes at a time when firefighters in Boston and around the country face severely elevated risks of cancer, heart disease and orthopedic injuries–much of these problems attributable to the physical and mental stresses of the job.

Physical conditioning each day of the program is followed by a series of classes and seminars led by experts from around the country in various fields of human performance.

Among the experts on the O2X team: strength and conditioning coach Matt Cady, a former firefighter turned occupational health specialist; Adrian Fitzgerald, a leading authority in injury prevention; runner and footwear expert Shane O’Hara, who analyzes each firefighter’s run technique and gait for maximum efficiency and performance; acclaimed yoga expert, author and speaker Rebecca Pacheco; Dr. Tracy Heller, a mental performance specialist; Maria Trozzi, professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and national leader in mental health, bereavement and resilience who has worked on site at tragedies such as Columbine, Colo. and Newtown, Conn.; and Dr. Maria Urso, a U.S. Army veteran and marathon runner who leads a full day of study on performance nutrition.

Each participating fire fighter also enjoys an online continuing education program after the direct training program ends.

The fitness results show that the program successfully leads to immediate short-term fitness gains, the critical first step toward long-term health and wellness improvements for each fire fighter.

The average firefighter among the 59 studied in the above data ran 1.5 miles in 12 minutes, 31 seconds and by eight weeks later had shaved an average of 1:12 off that time. One individual firefighter improved his time by nearly 4 entire minutes, from 17:31 at the start of the O2X Human Performance program to 13:32 just eight weeks later.

The most dramatic improvements were found in plank time. The average firefighter at the start of the session could hold the plank position for 1 minute, 58 seconds; eight weeks later that average time was 3:01. Twelve of the 59 firefighters in this round of training more than doubled their plank time, which indicates widespread improvement in overall fitness and core strength.

More than 450 of the City of Boston’s 1,500 firefighters have already participated in the O2X Human Performance program. O2X is also rolling out regional training programs for fire fighters in Massachusetts, Florida and other states.

For more information about O2X and how it can help your fire department, visit the the O2X Web site (www.o2x.com) or follow O2X on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

O2X, 1147 Hancock St., Suite 233, Quincy, Mass., 02169, 781-534-3660, www.o2x.com.

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