Powerlifting: A Firefighter's Reason Why

July 06, 2017

Powerlifting: A Firefighter's Reason Why

Last week, I asked our email list why it is they train - whether for powerlfiting or just in general. I got a bunch of responses - ranging from a mother who does pole fitness because she feels she has found her passion, to this story from Matthew Hartsoe. Matthew is a firefighter who uses powerlifting as an emotional outlet, as well as a test of character. Peep it and let me know what you think!


Powerlifting: A Firefighter's Reason Why

The reasons why I powerlift, or lift heavy, is simple for me to answer: I'm a career Firefighter.

Now is the part where I get to explain why I say because I'm a career firefighter. Being a career firefighter in a large city, you get to see all kinds of things - things that stress you out, and things that you wished your eyes would have never seen.

The good things that you try to do to help people always seem to pick you up. But the bad things seem to affect you far more. Take using CPR on 10 people for example. Of the 10, 3 could survive. And those 3 people will brighten up your week. However, it's so hard not to dwell on the other 7. Because of this, it is great to push heavy weights to try to relieve the stress, anger, and everything emotional that you need to let out.

The last, and most important reason for me, is the fear of not being strong enough to pull a fellow firefighter out of a burning building. I say firefighter but it's more like family. You spend a 1/3 of year living with these guys or gals. You know their wives, husbands and children.

The last thing I want to do is look at their family and say I wasn't strong enough to save them or pull them from this building that was on fire. Knowing that you have to be mentally strong enough to lift heavy shit will help you in that situation; a situation that you might be called to try to do something that most people would be scared of. The best example I can give of this would be this:

I would say that the average size guy in the fire service weigh at least 200-250lbs. So if you add the turn out gear to these guys the weight is somewhere between 300-350lbs. So for you to have to pick them up and drag them though whatever building you may be in.

Note that this isn't a straight carry or drag - you're moving around and over random objects. So, when you add your gear to yourself, plus add the weight of the guy your trying to carry or drag, your looking at around 400 plus pounds. This all being in a very hot environment - to the point it's so hot that it feels like you're getting stung by 100s of yellow jackets.

I know 400lbs is not heavy to most powerlifters. However, with the conditions mentioned, along with having to persevere through more than 'one rep', it can weigh on you. These are the main reasons I have gotten into and enjoy powerlifting. 

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