TACFIT Firefighter is a low-tech, high effect fitness training program that involves a carefully-selected collection of health-first conditioning methods that are packaged into one comprehensive, plug-and-play system to help you improve your fitness by burning stubborn fat, building functional muscle and improving your conditioning level in a variety of movement skills that were specifically engineered to improve performance in the firefighting profession. I’d say that sums it up, but boy, what a mouthful!
TACFIT Firefighter was created by firefighters, for firefighters, but it is an excellent program for anyone who is interested in a high standard of fitness and peak performance in their job and in their lifestyle. You may never need to rescue someone from a burning building, or wield a 290 psi fire hose like firefighters do every day, but if you want to be leaner, stronger, and more fit for your life, then TACFIT Firefighter may still be a good option for you. Of course, almost anyone could benefit from using this program, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for everyone, which is why I recommend you get your questions answered BEFORE you pull out that credit card and shell out your hard-earned cash.
TACFIT Firefighter was created by two fire captains who both have had a lifelong love of fitness. Both of the co-creators, Christian Carson and Ryan Provencher, are fitness professionals and TACFIT Division Chiefs, the highest level certification awarded in the TACFIT hierarchy (TACFIT is short for tactical fitness and is a fast-growing system under the RMAX International organization, which also puts out the Circular Strength Training system, in which the author is certified). These guys are well-credentialed and certainly qualified to address the fitness needs facing the firefighting profession, but what is the REAL TRUTH behind this system they’ve put together – is it worth it, does it work, and who would be best served by TACFIT Firefighter?
This review is going to answer all of those questions and more. Ultimately, my goal is to help you decide if this product is right for you.
So, what is TACFIT Firefighter and what do you actually get when you buy it?
Well, have a look at this first. This will give you the general gist of what you’re getting…
It’s ok. I get it – that was pretty dang cool. And I hope you caught how the exercises chosen coincide with the actual duties that firefighters need to perform. That’s something we discussed at length during my interview with Christian and Ryan about TACFIT Firefighter. But I’m getting off topic. Suffice to say, that was a pretty sweet trailer, and it’s that kind of production quality and attention to detail that you can expect from the rest of the TACFIT Firefighter Program. Sometimes, it’s better to SEE the quality that you’ll be buying instead of just hearing about it.
So, what in the package that you actually buy?
Well, for starters, it’s a digital (ie downloadable) exercise program that is meant to develop high level fitness for firefighters or other people with physically demanding jobs – first responders, military operators, LEO’s, etc.
So, in terms of what you’ll actually get when you buy the product, the package will include things like: exercise instructional videos and PDF manuals with pictures and written instructions, follow-along workout videos, workout-specific warmup and cooldown videos, basic coaching advice and performance tips to help you maximize the program, scheduling and progress tracking guides (they call them “compliance guides”), a basic diet and nutrition guide, and many other things.
Now, when I say that it’s a digital product, that isn’t telling the whole story. You see, you’ll not only get access to the step-by-step download portal when you purchase TACFIT Firefighter, you’ll also get sent an 8 DVD collection so that you can learn the exercises and follow along with the workouts at the fire station or right in your living room at home. So, you have options regarding whether you watch the videos on your computer, tablet, smart phone, or TV. Obviously, they wanted to make their program available in a variety of formats to reach as many people as possible.
Suffice to say, there is a TON of material, and you’ll just have to read the sales page to cover it all.
What Makes TACFIT Firefighter Unique?
I’m going to get to the Pros and Cons in a minute, but before I say anything else, I want to touch on what makes this product so unique. I think it’s fair to say that this program is about as good as it gets for developing firefighter-specific fitness. In other words, I don’t think you could do any better on a fitness product purchase if you’re actually a firefighter. It was created by firefighters with extreme attention to detail for the skill-specific and conditioning needs that firefighters use on a daily basis. So, if that’s you, then I’d just go ahead and order the program to at least check it out for yourself. There’s a 60-day money back guarantee in case it just isn’t what you’re looking for.
I think that makes this product unique in its own regard, but what really makes this product unique is that it can literally be used by anyone who is looking for greater fitness, more mobility, less injuries, and a higher quality of life – and you know, things like better health and longevity, if you even care about that kind of thing.
And that’s the big question – is TACFIT Firefighter good for someone who is NOT a firefighter and never will be?
In a word – yes. In three words – quite so, actually. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing this program entirely just because you’re not a firefighter. When you strip it down to its very essence, this is simply a comprehensive, health-first fitness program that will deliver on all of the major fitness benefits that so many people seek. The way I see it, if TACFIT Firefighter is good enough to help firefighters get into shape for the extremely high demands of their jobs, then it’s good enough for non-firefighters, too. Even if your firefighting experience has been limited to extinguishing the Thanksgiving turkey in the kitchen, you can still get a lot of benefit out of this program.
So, what kind of benefits are we talking about here?
Well, first things first, this is a well balanced fitness training program that waves high intensity, moderate intensity, low intensity, and no intensity exercise into a complete training schedule. So, all of the common benefits of exercise apply: more energy, higher bone mineral density, lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol, improved cardiorespiratory health and function, a stronger metabolism (Yay for eating more!), etc. But I know that you wouldn’t buy a program for just those things. So, to be a little more specific…
1) Fat Loss – Keep in mind that this is a TACFIT Program. In case you’re not familiar, TACFIT programs are renowned for helping you burn fat – even if that’s not your primary goal. It’s just a natural effect of this kind of training. Unless you’re already extremely lean, it is very likely that you will burn fat without even trying. So, TACFIT Firefighter can be used to help you lose the belly, tighten up your abs, and remove any excess bodyfat because all of the workouts naturally increase the strength of your metabolism and will help you burn bodyfat for hours after you’ve finished exercising (look up the EPOC effect for more info). In fact, this program is so ideal for fat loss, that you’ll probably notice a significant and visible decrease in bodyfat without even adjusting your diet (though you can do so with the bonus nutrition guide). Of course, if you start gorging yourself on food, then that might not necessarily be the case, but you knew that already.
2) Muscle Building – A really good way to describe this product is that it’s a conditioning program. So, TACFIT Firefighter can be used for what I like to call systemic hypertrophy (building functional muscle all throughout the body, instead of just in certain isolated places, which never really happens anyways). I’d be lying if I said this kind of training would help you look like a bodybuilder, but you can build a “hard-body” well-muscled physique, which is what most people are looking for anyways. Speaking of muscle…
3) Total body, strength and conditioning – The exercises contained in TACFIT Firefighter are specifically engineered to improve the fitness and conditioning attributes for a variety of tactically-specific movement skills that are employed in the firefighting profession. Yes, you will get stronger, increase your endurance, power, agility, coordination, etc. It just comes with the territory.
4) Injury-proofing your body – This program was designed with health-first fitness as its goal and is ultimately meant to help you strengthen your entire body – not just your muscles, but also your joints and connective tissues, too. There are a variety of injury prevention techniques included in the curriculum, which you’ll learn more about below. Suffice to say, this program will help you prevent injuries, but it may also relieve some of the aches and pains you face on a daily basis from the cumulative training effect.
5) Specific performance enhancement in a variety of movement skills – Naturally, the strength and conditioning attributes you improve will carry over to better movement skills, which can help you in not just firefighting, but any physically-demanding activity – not to mention the mental strength you’ll develop as you go through the program (yep, even mental training considerations were programmed into the curriculum, too).
So, it goes without saying that TACFIT Firefighter can serve a broad range of purposes and training goals. Now that we’ve talked about how this program can help you, let’s dive into the actual pros and cons of the product itself.
TACFIT Firefighter Pros
Obviously, there’s a lot to love about this program already, but I’m going to highlight some of the specific things that I really like about TACFIT Firefighter.
1) It works – Huh, Imagine that. But in an industry where there are so many scam products that make outrageous claims, this is important to mention. This is certainly not a scam product, and it will provide outstanding fitness benefits to anyone who uses it. TACFIT Firefighter will absolutely help you achieve the fitness goals that you’re after. It’ll help you build muscle and burn fat to reveal that lean hard-body physique that so many of us desire. And any personal trainer or fitness coach who is worth their paper will be able to take one look at the program materials and the design behind the program and agree that it will work because of how it’s been programmed and packaged. It will deliver on its claims and help you develop strength, endurance, and the full gamut of benefits that tactical fitness training offers.
2) Minimal, or no, equipment required (ok, you WILL need a pullup bar or another place to do pullups) – This is a big one, both for firefighters and those who don’t train at the gym in general. TACFIT Firefighter requires very little equipment. So, if your fire station just doesn’t have much to work with, or if your home gym merely consists of some dumbbells and ample floor space, then you can still make the program work for you. Actually, not only does this program require minimal equipment, these guys have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that anyone who wants to take advantage of this program can do so. They’ve included a variety of alternate exercises based on the equipment you have on hand. Don’t have clubbells? No problem! Just try out the variation with a dumbbell, or try out the bodyweight variation instead. Don’t have parallette bars? They’ll teach you how to make your own on the cheap. The bottom line is that they’ve designed this program so that anyone, regardless of their access to equipment, can use it, and that is a huge advantage over many other fitness products and a huge testament for the integrity these guys have.
3) The total time required is minimal – Forget about training for an hour or two every day. In TACFIT Firefighter, you get in, do the work, then get out and back to your life. As far as I can tell, all of the workouts can be completed in less than 45 minutes, and some of them take much less time than that – making them very time efficient and workable for almost anyone regardless of schedule or time availability.
4) It’s challenging, but not extreme – There are so many extreme fitness programs out there, and I’m getting tired of programs that are either way too easy to be of any use or way too hard for most people. A good program should fall somewhere in the middle – it shouldn’t be too easy, but it also shouldn’t be too hard. The last thing you want is to follow an extreme program and get burnt out or injured, and TACFIT Firefighter will help you avoid that. There are high intensity, moderate intensity, low intensity, and no intensity training sessions all built into the curriculum to not only help you maximize your results, but help you balance the work to recovery ratio.
5) Recovery techniques are built-in to the curriculum – This is a trademark in all TACFIT products, and TACFIT Firefighter is no different. Along with the demanding moderate and high intensity workouts, recovery techniques are included in the system, too. So, you’re not just sent off to enjoy a rest day (aka off day) a few times a week, but you actually do some physical training every day (I love it!). On days when you don’t have a challenging strength and conditioning session, you’ll spend some time on active recovery to boost your overall results and speed up your progress.
6) It’s not just user-friendly, but completely Plug + Play – The program is truly brilliant in its execution because it is fully customizable to an individuals goals, needs, skill and conditioning level, yet the methods for doing so are integrated into the program so that the transition is seamless. Once you’ve read the manual and previewed the introductory materials, you can literally get started immediately. And when I say it’s plug and play, this is “take you by the hand, and do exactly as I tell you” plug-and-play. Everything is outlined for you in advance, and all you need to do is apply effort.
Actually, once you purchase the program, you’ll be given immediate access to a members-only website, where there is a specific web page for every single day of the entire program – with written instructions, instructional videos, and follow along videos – everything you could possibly need to train for that day’s workout session. There is absolutely no guesswork involved with the TACFIT Firefighter Program. You just follow the daily instructions and videos and do the work when you’re supposed to. It’s all about taking action.
7) It’s good for both beginners and advanced trainees – The program includes four levels of difficulty: recruit, proby, firefighter, and smoke eater. In case you’re not familiar with firefighter lingo, that’s just a fancy way of saying: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and mastery level. Every single workout implements scalable exercises that can be adjusted based on the skill and conditioning level of the trainee. So, no matter where you’re starting from, you will find a level that challenges you appropriately. Even complete beginners will be able to start right away, and advanced trainees will still find plenty of challenge. As an anecdote, I’ve used several of the TACFIT programs over the last few years, and I found plenty of challenge during the few workouts I tried while reviewing this program. The smoke eater level is unreal!
All that said, this product was created with the beginner in mind, and was also designed to take you from the beginner stage on upwards. As mentioned above, it is a challenging program, but anyone who is healthy enough to exercise can start with the beginner level routine (recruit level). That said, even well-conditioned professionals and seasoned fitness trainees will find value and plenty of challenge in TACFIT Firefighter. So, if you are already in great shape, don’t think for a second that the recruit level would necessarily be too easy for you. The recruit level is plenty hard, and with the intuitive training protocol included, there are strategies for customizing ANY one of the difficulty levels to your needs. In fact, all of Christian and Ryan’s local fire departments are using this program and every single firefighter starts at the recruit level, and that’s probably a good idea unless you’re already an advanced level TACFIT athlete.
8 ) It includes several different training protocols – This is a big one for me personally. I like variety in an exercise program, especially when it comes to training different energy systems. Life is anything but static, and I appreciate when a training program accounts for many of the different energy system needs that are faced by people on a day to day basis. There are 7 different training protocols (that I know of) included in this program. So, not only will you NOT get bored, but you will also enjoy the many benefits that come from a broad training program. You know, like well-rounded fitness.
9) There is a lot of exercise variety – Unless you already own and use all of the TACFIT programs out there, you will find some new exercises in this program – probably some that you’ve never seen before. Heck, you’ll find some new exercises even if you already own all of those products. What I really appreciate is that the exercises weren’t included just because they’re fun, effective, and look cool. These were carefully selected to enhance the skills that firefighters need to perform every day – and that includes a wide variety of tasks to improve. These are all functional, and more importantly, practical conditioning movements, and you will have a lot of fun learning and using them. And if you think wrist curls and the hip abduction machines are exciting, the exercises in TACFIT Firefighter will rock your world.
10) Very high value for your money – You get a lot of material when you purchase the TACFIT Firefighter program. After your purchase, you will get instant access to everything you could possibly need to train for the next 92 days. But here’s the thing. If you followed the entire program from beginning to end (recruit level to smoke eater level), you would have over a year’s worth of material to get through. That’s right, for less than the cost of a couple personal training sessions, you get a complete system to help you transform your body over a year’s time. They could easily charge several hundred dollars for this, but I think they wanted to make this accessible to as many people as possible. So, if you’re shopping around for fitness training programs based on value, this is definitely a great option for that reason alone – probably reason enough to invest in it.
Well, those are 10 reasons why I like the TACFIT Firefighter Program. There’s more I could say, of course, but I think you get the gist of it by now. This is an outstanding stand-alone fitness product that is head and shoulders above most other fitness training programs available online. That said, it’s not a perfect product, and it doesn’t come without some downsides, too.
TACFIT Firefighter Cons
By now, you’ve probably realized that this is a very positive product review overall. However, to be fair, I do want to address some issues that you might want to know about before you buy.
1) Totally original program, but not totally original collection of exercises – Basically, what this means is that there are exercises like pullups and lunges included in the program (and for good reason – they’re all great exercises!). But if you’re looking for a brand new database of exercises to add to your repertoire, then this isn’t necessarily the best product for you. So, if you already own most of the CST and TACFIT programs, then don’t expect to get completely new material. This is actually pretty common with most TACFIT programs, so it’s no big surprise. And I don’t consider this a really big deal honestly, but I thought you should know anyways. All that said, the integration of the various training protocols more than makes up for any redundancy you may experience in the exercise selection in my opinion. Even if you’ve done these exercises for years, just the new way of doing them in this program will ensure that your interest is maintained throughout all the training cycles.
2) You will need a high speed internet connection – Unless you’ve got time to watch molasses crawl in winter, you’re going to want a high speed internet connection to download all of the materials. Wireless may be adequate, but it might not be fast enough depending on your circumstances. If there is one legitimate downside to this product, it’s that there is so much to it. The video database is huge. If my memory serves me – it’s over 16 GIGABYTES of material. So, you may have to wait a short while for each video to load – even with uber-fast internet service.
3) The audio and video quality is excellent, but some of the audio volume is inconsistent – You may actually have to adjust your volume from video to video. I know, it’s terrible, isn’t it? You might as well not buy the program for that reason alone. Sheesh!
You can tell I’m really reaching here for some cons. From what I’ve seen so far, I can’t really say that there’s much I DON’T like about it. If I come across anything else, I’ll be sure to add it to the review in the future, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. It is beyond clear that incredible attention to detail has been paid to every element of this product’s creation, which leads me to my next point…
My Thoughts on Quality, Professionalism, and Value
TACFIT Firefighter is, without question, one of the highest quality products and best values that I’ve seen in years. I’ve reviewed most of the TACFIT programs here on my site, and with each new release, they keep getting better and better. TACFIT Firefighter raises the bar yet again. So, watch out Scott Sonnon – these guys are stepping up the game!
I’ve seen enough low-budget and low quality fitness products over the years, and I’m constantly pitched products to review and endorse. It’s nauseating at times. For every single product review that I publish here, there are at least 10 reviews that I don’t publish because I’m not willing to share something that I don’t truly believe in.
Christian Carson and Ryan Provencher have set the bar very high with their first product release – that’s right – their first. I am extremely impressed with the quality and professionalism imprinted on every aspect of this product. The complete package, from all its major components to the hardly-noticeable details, is top notch. It is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that a ton of thought, time, and effort went into making this project a reality. Plus, the fact that you can get the entire system for less than the cost of a couple personal training sessions is astounding, and I’d even say it’s overly-generous on their part. When they decided to create this program, they committed to do it right the first time – and they have. If we can expect programs of this caliber in the future, then I’m definitely looking forward to the next one.
Is TACFIT Firefighter right for you? John’s Advice to Prospective Buyers
If you are willing to work hard to burn fat, build muscle, and improve your basic conditioning, AND you want a minimalist fitness training program that requires little equipment and can be customized to your individual needs, AND you want to be taken by the hand and shown exactly what to do every single day, then TACFIT Firefighter is absolutely perfect for you. I think that probably encompasses a lot of people, so to be a bit more specific…
It goes without saying that if you’re an active duty, part time, or volunteer firefighter, that this program is a perfect match for your needs. I seriously don’t think you could do any better. But if that’s you, then I’d challenge you to try and find something better than this. Put this program to the test, and if you honestly aren’t satisfied with it, then you can return it for all your money back anyways.
And if you’re not a firefighter, then know that this program is a great match for anyone with a physically-demanding job – especially service-people like military, police, and other first responders. And like I said before, I think that anyone who is interested in a high standard of fitness would be well-served by TACFIT Firefighter, too. If it’s good enough for the men and women who depend on a high level of fitness every single day, then it’s good enough for anyone else, too.
So, if you’re looking for a quality fitness training program that will go above and beyond your expectations, then I highly recommend TACFIT Firefighter. It has my full and enthusiastic endorsement.
Of course, it’s not necessarily right for everybody. So, if for whatever reason, you buy it and try it out for awhile, but are in any way dissatisfied with the program, then you can return it and get all your money back – a sure sign of a business made up of people who believe in their product. So, the worst case scenario is that you buy it, hate it, and then get your money refunded with the 60-day money-back guarantee.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that TACFIT Firefighter is a superb fitness program. Whether or not you are a firefighter, you will find immense value from using this program, and for the sheer amount of stuff that you’re getting, the price is incredible for this huge collection of high quality materials. Of course, that doesn’t mean that TACFIT Firefighter is the right product for everybody, which is why you need to see it for yourself.
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Health-First Fitness Coach