115 lb female “Fire Fighter”

There was a reddit thread in /r/fitness in which a 115 lb woman somehow qualified to undergo fire fighter training. Here is her original post(archive):

Hey Reddit!

So I accomplished a huge dream and kicked ass at my PAT today for fire school. I’m pretty short at 5’2 and 115lbs. I was the third person to finish out of a group of mostly guys on a 2 mile walk with an SCBA on in under 30 minutes which was brutal. As well as an obstacle course per se right after (climbing 5 story w high pack, raising 2.5 hose up, keiser sled, charged hose drag, dummy drag) that I completed in under four minutes with a 7 min time limit.

I am just wondering what exactly can I do to improve on my endurance and still be able to build strength? Should I run for a certain time and do weights after? Or maybe just do weights one day and run the next? I’d like to put on some muscle but not sure if cardio will make that difficult..

I was doing crossfit for a couple months before training with a fire dept who helped set up a course for me such as dummy drags and tire drags with a hose.

Fire school doesn’t start for another month so I just want to prepare while at home over xmas and can’t go to a crossfit gym or train with the fire dept where I’m at.

Thank you for any advice!!

EDIT: [this was added sometime after I interacted with the thread]

Thank you to those who actually gave sound advice!! There are some great replies on here I’ll definitely be trying out workouts suggested to help prepare myself even more!

I blew by men over twice my size who struggled immensely by not being prepared. It’s about heart and who’s willing to do the work to get themselves to that level.

I of course responded to this insane nonsense.

You are too small to carry someone out of a burning building. Your presence in a job you aren’t suited for risks the lives of people in very dangerous situations. The other fire fighters will not be able to depend on you to carry 100s of pounds with either the strength or endurance necessary, so it also puts their lives in danger.

Get out before someone dies because you aren’t up to the physical demands that are required. It isn’t your fault you aren’t suitable to be a fire fighter, you weren’t built for it. But it will be your fault for knowingly endangering your community and fellow fire fighters because of whatever stupid “girl power” propaganda you have been fed.

Many commenters responded to this common sense to inform me that I was an “asshole” and an “idiot” for pointing out the realities of human nature. For example:

It’s assholes like you that beat down the dreams of women willing to try that piss me off the most. Just because there are physical and mental differences between men and women doesn’t mean we don’t have a part to play. The ones willing to put up with your sort of shit and try are way more motivated than some guy who’s had this whole process made a lot easier by societal expectations.

Industries need to change and that includes professions like firefighting. It may be that she couldn’t ever carry your conceited ego down flights of stairs, but being small and feisty is certainly a trait that is worth a hell of a lot! Especially if she’s brace enough to enter buildings most of us would run from.

Stop letting your ‘facts’ about the differences between men and women blind you to the fact that we are tough, we care more, and we fight the status quo.

The only part you play is slowing down the men doing the actual work and making them work harder than they otherwise would have to. They have to pick up the slack for everything you can’t do because they are basically down a man.  “Small and feisty” translates to tiny, shrill and obnoxious bitch. I am not sure in what circumstances or by whom such traits are valued, but it isn’t in fire fighting. And not in wives for that matter. Lastly, I am advised to stop letting facts get in the way of the righteous fight for social justice because tiny women “care more”. Care more about larping as men than the potential victims of house fires is what I guess she meant. When past elites came up with the idea of negative eugenics, it is people like this they had in mind.

This comment thread generated quite a large amount of controversy as hyper-triggered SJWs fought tooth and nail with semi-motivated realists. I had a couple more comments, and there were a large number of other comments by other users both for and against my hate-fact mean-truth. Probably a 35/65 percent split (sigh, but it is better than it used to be in my experience). Unfortunately, thought-crime is illegal in weimerica and all of these comments were nuked, I was banned from /r/fitness (lol), and the entire comment thread was locked. There is no way for me to directly link to these comments since they have been removed, but if you go to the original thread and follow the instructions at “unedit” you can restore them for your viewing pleasure. You will have to scan for them though.

One enterprising user posted the following video, which demonstrates male vs. female ability in situations mimicking that of a fire fighter on the job using an actual female “fire fighter” alongside amateur males (this was also removed):

I was banned so quickly I didn’t have a chance to cite additional research. I fully intended to once I triggered enough people. In my book, Smart and Sexy: The Evolutionary Origins and Biological Underpinnings of Cognitive Differences Between the Sexes I actually devoted a chapter to physical differences because those too are actively denied in our culture with great negative consequences. And this is despite how much more obvious these differences are compared to the admittedly much more subtle mental differences. Our culture refuses to believe our lying eyes. I also didn’t even get into the financial waste of spending millions of dollars installing female bathrooms into fire stations in a major city such as Los Angeles. There were only 27 Female “fire fighters” in LA at the time this money was spent. Anyway, here are some excerpts from “Smart and Sexy” on female strength, endurance, and proneness to injury (all studies used are listed at the end of this post):

Differences in physical strength, endurance, and athletic proficiency are an order of magnitude more striking [than mental differences]. The average woman has only 52% of the upper body strength and only 66% of the lower body strength of the average man. Similar numbers are found when comparing muscular endurance. Another way to consider this difference is to look at the overlap in strength distributions between genders. When such a comparison is made, it turns out that only the strongest 2.5-5% of the female distribution overlaps with the male mean strength. Mirroring this, only the weakest 2.5-5% of male distribution overlaps with the mean female strength. One study which measured hand grip strength found that 90% of females had less hand grip strength than 95% of male group. The strongest control group female was surpassed by 2/3rds of the male control group. In the same study, female athletes who specially trained for sports they played were also considered. Even these athletically elite females only managed to reach the 25th percentile of untrained males on average. Seemingly though, cognitive dissonance knows no bounds because there are feminists who would deny this reality in the face of unambiguous and overwhelming evidence; not to mention plain common sense.

Percentage of Males and Female with a Given Handgrip Strength or More

 

The graph above compares maximum male and female grip strengths. At any given strength level the percentage of males or females who were able, when exerting maximally, to reach at least that minimum level of force or greater is shown. For example, all volunteers could exert more than 150 Newtons worth of force so 100% of males and females could exert that level of force or more. As the minimum required force increases, progressively fewer people have the strength to exert that force. Dotted lines are used to compare the strongest 5% of females (shaded area) to the male curve. It can be seen from this comparison that just over 90% of males are stronger than 95% of females. In other words, the strength differences between males and females are so large that their distributions barely overlap even at the tales. Neither males nor females in this group engaged in special athletic training.

Comparison of the Hand Grip Strength Distribution between Typical Males, Typical Females, and Elite Females

Above is a graph comparing the distribution of hand grip strength between typical males, typical females, and highly athletic females (i.e., elite females). Each distribution is divided into quartiles and each quartile is bounded by a horizontal black line. The grey area denotes 50% of the overall population (25th percentile to the 75th percentile). As can be seen from the graph, the strongest typical female is weaker than the male mean. Among the athletically trained female population, only the far tale of the distribution overlaps with the male mean. This indicates that even with training few women are able to attain a strength comparable with the untrained male population. This comparison does not include an athletically trained male population, but it can be expected that there would be little to no overlap with the female cohort if such a population was included. The shape of the curves were added as a qualitative representation of the relative population density at a given maximum strength where greater width indicates more of the population has that strength.

Data from Leyk, D., Gorges, W., Ridder, D., Wunderlich, M., Ruther, T., Sievert, A., Essfeld, D. (2007) Hand-grip strength of young men, women and highly trained female athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol (2007) 99:415–421

… [lack of physical aptitude in military recruitment, non-italics are a direct quote from a study listed at the end of this post]

At the time of enlistment, a seventeen-year-old female is expected to do thirteen push-ups, compared to thirty-five for males, while for forty-one-year-olds, the numbers are six and twenty-four, respectively. A seventeen year-old girl is expected to run two miles in nineteen minutes, forty-two seconds or less, which is twelve seconds more than a forty-one year old man gets. A forty-one-year-old woman has to “run” two miles in twenty-four minutes and six seconds, almost five minutes more than a man receives.

More than 50% of female trainees in the marines are unable to do even three pull-ups. Instead they are required to do a “flexed arm hang” for a minimum 15 seconds; a much less stringent requirement. Over all age ranges, women can only do about one third the number of pushups compared to men; 30 vs. 10. Men average 2-4 fewer minutes per mile on long distance running tasks (7 vs. 10 minutes for a 1 mile run and 16 vs. 20 on a 2 mile run). Women can only do 40 sit ups on average compared to the male mean of 60. Female recruits also tend to be less physically fit on average (i.e., they are fatter). One of the most remarkable reductions in standards is the lowered minimum throwing radius expected of women throwing grenades. Women are only expected to be able to throw a grenade 25 meters compared to 35 meters expected of males and many can’t even throw it that far. What happens if a female combat troop muffs her throw and gets everyone around her killed? That incurring this level of increased danger to troops is accepted is incomprehensible, and yet that is how things are actually done today.

…[female proneness to injury in the military]


 Beyond simply having less physical strength, the female body also appears much less suited to strenuous physical exertion. Multiple studies have all found similar results: Women are consistently and significantly more likely to be injured. During basic training, it can be expected that 50% of female recruits will develop some sort of injury compared to 27% of men (i.e., they are 1.8 times more likely to be injured). Women are 2.5 times more likely to develop injuries that lead to significant time loss from training. More than 50% of women are prevented from ever completing their training because of some sort of injury. This pattern has been stable since the 1970s.

Women are several orders of magnitude more likely to incur some specific injuries. For example, 1 in 367 female military personnel can be expected to suffer a pelvic stress fracture compared to only 1 in 40,000 men. This is unsurprising given that the female pelvis has evolved to accommodate childbirth, not heavy load bearing or other stresses. More generally, stress fractures occur about 10 times as often in women than men in the military. Depending on the study, ACL ruptures are between 2.4 and 9.7 more likely in women than in men. Overuse injuries, defined as an injury that results from extended, repetitive use of a specific body part, occur in 68% of women compared to 48% of men. The cumulative result of all of these injuries is that women must go to the doctor and seek medical care at 9.2 times the rate of men.

All these extra injuries constitute a huge additional immediate cost to military operations and can be expected to increase with additional female involvement in the military. However, the extra costs do not end in immediate medical costs. Injuries which cause sufficient damage result in physical disability discharges. Such discharges entitle the person who receives it to financial benefits for the rest of their lives. Consistent with their higher rate of injuries generally, women are 64% more likely to receive a physical disability discharge. And this was without them ever being intentionally exposed to combat situations at the time these studies were done. One year saw female disability discharge be as high as 140 per 10,000 female military personnel. In the same year, male disability discharge was only 80 per 10,000 male military personnel, despite the fact that they are more commonly exposed to dangerous and/or physically demanding tasks. Disability costs take up an absolutely staggering amount of the military budget. In 2001, 21 billion dollars was paid out in compensation to disabled military service personnel when all services are considered. 25% of this disability compensation budget is made as direct cash payments and this was the level of payments before the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars even took place.

As a side note, I also summarized an anecdote recounted in Jared Taylor’s book “Face to Face with Race” [highly recommended] which digressed long enough to talk about a specific female fire fighter:

Strength isn’t the only problem, either. Gender differences in bravery and risk-taking also matter. Jared Taylor, in his book Face to Face with Race, digresses from the general focus of the book to discuss the story of a female fire lieutenant who was hired and then promoted, in complete disregard for any sensible, merit-based physical standards. The hiring and promotion of this woman, like most female fire fighters, was done by the fire department to meet politically inspired quotas. When her crew arrived to a fire, instead of doing the standard procedure of dragging the heavy hose into the house, breaking down the door to the room on fire, and putting it out, she became afraid and reminded the crew that she was in command and ordered them not to enter. They were to try to put it out from the outside. Of course this didn’t work and it wasn’t until a male chief from a different crew showed up, relieved the cowardly woman of command, and ordered the firefighters to do the correct thing that the fire was put out. Later, the female fire fighter had a nervous break down as a result of her now widely known incompetence among the other fire fighters. She was reported to have started hitting herself repeatedly as part of this. She also became enraged at the fire department and sued them for “discrimination.”

Its funny how anyone who spends genuine effort and time trying to learn about the realities of a situation like female fire fighters or military personnel, they automatically become an asshole, an idiot, and a moron. And then they get banned from polite society (and reddit sub-forums).

Bonus, the dutch version of survivor where the give men and women different islands with completely expected results:

Studies used in the sections quoted from the book:

Miller, A. E., MacDougall, J. D., Tarnopolsky, M. A., Sale, D. G. (1993) Gender differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1993;66(3):254-62.

Meyer, L. G., Pokorski, T. L., Ortel, B. E., Saxton, J. L., Collyer, P. D. Muscular Strength and Anthropometric Characteristics of Male and Female Naval Aviation Candidates. Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory.

Leyk, D., Gorges, W., Ridder, D., Wunderlich, M., Ruther, T., Sievert, A., Essfeld, D. (2007) Hand-grip strength of young men, women and highly trained female athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol (2007) 99:415–421

Browne, K. (2007) Co-ed Combat: The New Evidence That Women Shouldn’t Fight the Nation’s Wars. Sentinel. ASIN: B000W94H5I

 (2014) Marines delay female fitness plan after half fail pull-up test. Associated press.

Jones, B., Bovee, M., Knapik, J. (1992) Associations among body composition, physical fitness, and injury in men and women army trainees. National Academies Press. Body Composition and Physical Performance: Applications For the Military Services.

Frum, D. (2013) The Truth About Women in Combat. Daily Beast. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/01/the-truth-about-women-in-combat.html

Jordan, B. (2014) Data Predict Spike in Female Troop Injuries. Military.com. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/01/13/data-predicts-spike-in-female-troop-injuries.html

Springer, B.A., Ross, A. (2011) Musculoskeletal injuries in military women. Borden Institute.

Bell, N.S., Mangione, T. W., Hemenway, D., Amoroso, P. J., Jones, B. H. (2000) High injury rates among female army trainees: a function of gender? Am J Prev Med. 2000 Apr;18(3 Suppl):141-6.

Department of the Army (2011) Prevention and Control of Musculoskeletal Injuries associated with Physical Training. Department of the Army.

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