High Intensity Functional Training (HIFT) Improves Fitness in Recruit Firefighters

Annmarie Chizewski, Allyson Box, Richard M. Kesler, Steven J. Petruzzello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Firefighting is a strenuous profession requiring adequate levels of fitness for effective job performance. Providing firefighters with a safe and effective fitness program is essential for optimal performance. The purpose of this project was to examine changes in various parameters of physical fitness and firefighter ability following a 7-week high intensity functional training (HIFT) program. Methods: Participants were male firefighter recruits (N = 89; age = 27.1 ± 4.2 years, height = 1.78 ± 0.1 m, BMI = 28.1 ± 4.2) enrolled in a Basic Operations Firefighter Academy. Fitness and firefighting ability (via the Academy Firefighter Challenge) were assessed at Weeks 1 and 7 of the Academy. Results: Significant improvements in both fitness and firefighter ability were seen following the HIFT program. Specifically, fitness (BMI, cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance) improved significantly [Hotelling’s T 2 = 8.98, F(5, 84) = 150.92, p < 0.001, η 2 p = 0.90]. Firefighter ability also improved significantly [Hotelling’s T 2 = 3.95, F(7, 88) = 46.26, p < 0.001, η 2 p = 0.80]. Conclusions: Following a 7-week Basic Operations Firefighter Academy that included daily HIFT, significant increases in fitness and firefighting ability were observed. These findings suggest that HIFT appears to be an effective means of improving fitness and firefighting ability in recruit firefighters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13400
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • firefighter
  • functional training
  • fitness
  • high-intensity training
  • High-intensity training
  • Functional training
  • Firefighter
  • Fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'High Intensity Functional Training (HIFT) Improves Fitness in Recruit Firefighters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this