Open Access

Firefighters Cardiorespiratory Fitness Parameters after 24 Weeks of Functional Training with and without Personal Protective Equipment



Firefighters’ (FFs) cardiorespiratory fitness is considered an important capacity for workability. To successfully complete safety standards and rescue protocols, FFs are required to accomplish minimum values of relative VO2max. Physical fitness programs for FFs must take into consideration physiological demands, being essential not only for professional tasks but also as a guarantee of their personal safety. This research aimed to investigate the influence of specific functional training (FT) with and without personal protective equipment (PPE) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) on the FFs’ cardiorespiratory fitness.

Material and methods

Sixty FFs were randomly allocated in three groups (EG1 training with PPE+SCBA; EG2 training with regular fitness equipment and the control group) and enrolled for a 24-week (two sessions/week) FT intervention program. FFs were assessed in anthropometric and 12-minute Cooper test, pre and post-intervention.


Both training groups demonstrated significant improvements from baseline to post intervention EG1 VO2max (39.8 ±−1.min−1 and 41.2 ±−1.min−1, p < 0.001, +3.5%; EG2 VO2max 41.5 ±−1.min−1 and 42.5 ±−1.min−1, p < 0.05, +2.4%).


The proposed FT intervention, considering the provided equipment in all fire departments, and even without running tasks, seems to be adequate for developing FFs’ VO2max. Regular FT with PPE+SCAB must be encouraged to improve adequate VO2max and fitness levels related to firefighting specific tasks.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Public Health, Sports and Recreation, other