After her service as a second lieutenant in the 52nd Engineer Battalion in Iraq, Sarah Apgar returned to civilian life in the States. She entered Tuck Business School at Dartmouth College to earn her MBA, and after earning her degree went to work for Warby Parker. As Director of New Stores and Facilities, Apgar built her team from the ground up and oversaw the development and turnover for the company’s first 50 retail locations in 23 US States and Canada.
Adjusting to civilian life after military service can often be difficult. While Apgar fortunately did not suffer some of the overwhelming difficulties that sometimes accompany that transition, she did greatly miss the sense of camaraderie and shared purpose she had while in the military. Apgar also admits she missed the “trash talk and the grind!”
She found that camaraderie again when she joined the volunteer fire department in Huntington, New York. Firefighters, she says, share the same commitment to service and pride in their work as soldiers do. And keeping physically fit and maintaining the stamina required of a firefighter is the same challenge faced by soldiers or elite athletes.
In order to address the specific physical needs of firefighters, Apgar began to experiment with various exercise routines. She developed a free weight specifically for her routine made from lengths of old firehose filled with sand. Her routine became popular with her fellow firefighters and eventually led to creation of the FitFighter routine and the specialized free weight made from firehose filled with recycled steel.
Formally introduced to the mainstream fitness market in 2019, initially the FitFighter routine was adopted by numerous firefighting organizations around the country, including FDNY Fire Training Academy and San Diego Fire Rescue Academy. Its potential for use in gyms and by sports teams or individual athletes, however, was quickly obvious. The pandemic and closing or limited availability of gyms or group fitness programs led to FitFighter being marketed as an iOS app-based digital training platform sooner than originally planned.
FitFighter has been featured on ABC News, USA Sports Radio, and Armed Forces Network. Kimberly Wilson of Essence suggested FitFighter as an ideal Father’s Day gift that would help take dad’s workout routine to the “next level.” (May 30, 2020 article on).
FitFighter donates a portion of their sales to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation, founded initially to support wounded soldiers, fallen firefighters and their families, now also including frontline health care workers.