F3rd Saturday: Parking Lot or Field of Dreams

The PAXDuplo, FNG A. Waldrop "Broccoli"-WB, FNG Jared Davis "Mash", FNG Phil Rabe "Shiner", Blue Balls, Nair, and Gluten-WD also the Mystery Q.
Workout Date04/18/15

The PAX of Powder Keg had been having some discussions over the last couple of months about the potential for increasing our visibility on a Saturday morning workout on a monthly basis! Finally, in one of those moments during a recent COT – it was time to stop talking and set a plan into action. The F3rd Saturday of April would be that plan to attack the opportunity in waiting. Perhaps, the plan to would fail and we should wait. After all, many in Swamp Rabbit would be helping to make The LEAP expansion effort down in the ATL a success. Trusting, however, that F3 is a movement that pleases GOD, the PAX bit the bullet and pressed on for those who would be willing and available to meet in the parking lot between MD360 and WALMART on April 18, 2015 in anticipation that men will come if we are faithful to act on the plan! Here’s what went down:


Had to give the disclaimer! (Hmmm… this is sounding good. YHC didn’t have to do that the last time a Q opportunity came his way)

  • SSH x20, In cadence
  • Imperial Walkers x20, in cadence
  • The Squat x20, in cadence
  • The Merican x15, in cadence

Somewhere between Imperial Walkers and The Squat, Nair rolled into the parking lot to join our band of brothers getting in an inaugural downPAINment in this busy location! Time to mosey… oh where should we go? YHC wasn’t even sure, but with FNGs in tow, it just felt right that we should be sure to take our little parade closer to the entrance of WALMART. As we got closer a few early bird shoppers seemed to be cheering us on for what we were doing. (Hmmm, didn’t see that coming!) We continued as YHC led the PAX right past both entrances of Walmart and then one of those last second left hand turns (yeah, as the Spirit leads) by the garden center toward the back of the store. There! Near the tree and a wide open area of wet concrete… perfect for where we could “Halt” for whatever (?) would come next… the Next Exercise is:

  • The Mountain Climber x25, in cadence
  • The Flutter x 20, in cadence

It’s a dead zone back here in this corner. Not much to see, and not anybody besides us, to notice what we are up to… so, YHC said “Let’s mosey.” and the PAX followed as we headed around the back side of the Walmart back to some nicely spaced light poles in the parking lot near where our warm-up took place. A good spot to partner up for a nice exercise routine known as…

DORA 1 – 2 – 3

Okay, after explaining the three exercises and partnering up (which I must say is easier said than done) we eventually found ourselves in three pairs where we would accomplish our 100 LBC’s, 200 Sumo Squats, and 300 Crab Cakes as 1st partner ran to the third light pole while the 2nd partner started the exercise. Once the 1st partner got back to the first light pole he would pick up the count of his partner and continue the exercise while the 2nd partner picked up the run. Six hundred of anything will work you out pretty good but when half are Crab Cakes, you learn pretty quickly that you might have picked an easier exercise. Oh well, we were better for it since we are alive to talk about it! The next exercise is…

Taylor Jack’s or Webb Dan’s

A Gluten variation (not intentional, just happened that way) of Dan Taylors or Jack Webb’s Dan Taylor’s are typically a 1:4 ratio of lunges and squats for a “I can’t feel my legs, Lt. Dan!”, but YHC was somewhat oxygen deprived from DORA and we ended up with a hybrid of Taylor Jack’s or Webb Dan’s… Lunges 1 for both legs to Air presses 4… I know, I know! It is what it is. We did something though! It followed the step progression through 7:28. I must confess, we didn’t have enough time to take it back down in the opposite direction. My bad! I’lll do it right the next time. Not finished just yet. Two more moseys from YHC. Let’s see where we’re going now… heading around on the other side of the MD360 building looking for a suitable wall for…

  • The People’s Chair x 3 episodes

Each gave us time to hold our chair pose long enough for YHC and Blue Balls to quote some scripture like Ephesians 3:20, John 3:16, and Proverbs 27:17. Time check revealed we had to mosey for an abbreviated 6MOM minus 4. Yes, it’s really 0758… Let’s Mosey back to the Warm-up spot where we started off. When we got there YHC called everybody to get on their six, then he said we would finish heads in, feet out holding our feet up at 18 inches for a ring of fire or ROF where we all took turns running around the ring pushing the feet of the PAX down to the ground as they try to hold the 18 inches. We did this until the last man finished and got back into his 18 inch hold pattern and we all did a countdown from 10 to one! We were done!


Count off revealed 6 plus a 2.0 of Duplo’s waiting in the car. Invited him in for the Name-O-ramA, because 3 FNGs is one better than 2, and 6 PAX is good, but 7 is PERFECT! We ended up naming Duplo’s 2.0 A. Waldrop – Broccoli; Jared Davis – Mash; and Phil Rabe – Shiner. Good work by all the PAX in this inaugural F3rd posting in a parking lot between MD360 and Walmart. Strangely enough, my Garmin painted a trail of this workout that had a total of 2.13 miles. Further than thought. Announcements: Didn’t get mentioned, but this is an addendum upfront about Jackeloup on May 16. Let’s get behind this! We also mentioned The LEAP expansion efforts for The ATL, Asheville, Greenwood and Yes, for Pickens County, SC – all before year end! MEN – all men – need this! We heard several prayer requests as well involving family health needs, job related stresses that we can all relate to as well as prayers for those traveling due to funerals, etc. YHC closed us out in prayer and asked for continued blessings on all men striving to improve their fitness, fellowship and faith because we are so thankful to belong to this movement that glorifies GOD! We remember what it was like before and we are recognizing that this is something to be shared! As always, it is an honor to lead my F3 Brothers and look forward to seeing you next time in the gloom! Aye!

PRE-blast: Powder Keg's Major Wrinkle on F3rd Saturday

Q.I.C.Mystery Q(s)
The PAXYOU who know the suffering last only a little while, but the downPAINment invested over 60 minutes makes us stronger at the men GOD desires us to be!
Workout Date04/18/15

We’ve talked about it for a while now: Plant the PowderKeg Shovel Flag in the parking lot between MD360 & Walmart! 0700  – What a novel idea… If we plant it, they will come! Who are you bringing? If we anticipate something appropriate/intentional for getting the ATTENTION of men so they consider experiencing Fitness, Fellowship & Faith for themselves, then we must make our presence known. Are you in? Come earlier and we’ll really light “The Fuse” for F3 PowderKeg!

Spring 2015: 500 Pax Complete the Super Bowl of F3- The Mud Run

The PAXOver 500 pax from F3 Nation
Workout Date04/11/15

500 pax converged at the Leatherneck Course in Gaston, SC for the 2015 Spring Edition of the Super Bowl of F3 – THE LEGENDARY ULTIMATE CHALLENGE MUD RUN.  There were some impressive perfomances from the pax ranging from 16 teams completing the course in under 1 hour time to some first time participants conquering the course in impressive fashion.  Our time spent with the Heros from Operation Enduring Warrior provided plenty of #3rdF for the Pax, while the #F3BeerBoat provided more than enough #2ndF.  It was only fitting that the day would included a couple rain showers since F3 workouts are held rain or shine.  A Great Day for F3Nation!

Conditions: Low 60s, partly cloudy, some light rain, perfect for a CSAUP event

The Thang:

Operation Enduring Warrior Presentation:

  • Jared, one of the OEW athletes and Mud Run Participants, expressed his appreciation for all F3Nation does to support their cause in help veterans regain their lives after return home from active duty.
  • Then Brian from OEW presented Sway and YHC with a Plaque to F3 to express their appreciation.
  • Followed by Sway and YHC presenting a check for $5000 to OEW on behalf of F3Nation.  #TClaps to the Pax!

BOM – Prayer by Chaser – “One day our bodies will be void of strength and energy… but TODAY is NOT that DAY!” – AYE

Beginning at 8:30, the pax embarked on the 6 mile course featuring 36 obstacles.

Congratulations to Team Southbeach from Charlotte Metro on winning a 3rd straight Busted Paw. The Top 5 F3 Teams are:

  1. F3 Cltmetro Southbeach – 50:38.224
  2. F3 Cltmetro Spawn – 51:44.046
  3. F3 Raleigh Dead End Panda – 54:06.237
  4. F3 Cltsouth Clandestine Sobs – 55:24.514
  5. F3 Cltmetro Tempo – 55:37.557

The F3 only Results can be found HERE!   The Official Mud Run results can be found HERE.

The Pictures can be found HERE 


Special thanks to the following Pax who helped make this event possible:

  • Sway and KenDoll to the opportunity to Q this event. (KenDoll promised not to nominate YHC for any future events… somehow that statement didn’t come across very believeable…)
  • Crash, Robber, and Sway creating a plan for success and their advice and direction along the way.
  • Region MudRun Qs:
    • SamplerJollyRogerBaracusMadameTussaudBOSZimaDuffDiopterFEMAGypsy, TatankaMabMabEarthmoverR2D2NoShowAbrahamCrabLegs, Foxy
  • Friday Night Set up: TuffGuy, Wapner, Sway, Fountainhead, Gypsy, EZ, Uno,
  • Saturday Before, During, and After the Event: Treadmill, R2D2, Chaser, Mayhem, Napalm, Smokey, Copay, Sway, Crash, TuffGuy, RA.
  • Photographers: Ranger, YellowCake, Uno, FDIC and Many others
  • Refreshment Q: Mayhem, MuggyTape, EZ, Uno, LowDot for the use of his boat.  All the Pax from F3Columbia, F3LakeMurray, and F3Lexington you provided Drinks for the BeerBoat
  • The Big Check: Fountainhead and Costanza.

Quaker Q at The Keg

The PAXWelcome to Dan Stanley, FNG - now known as Blue Balls, Slug, Lincoln Logs, Nair, Duplo, T-Bag, Gluten [respect], and The Quaker[respect]
Workout Date04/11/15

Best numbers we’ve seen in a while for our Saturday workout at The Keg. Anticipating next Saturday taking “The Powder Keg Road Show” to The parking lot between MD360 and WALMART for an every F3rd Saturday Adventure! JOIN US!

Side Straddle Hops (20)
Imperial Walkers (20)
Windmill Toe Touchers (20)
Sumo Squats (20)
Long Mozy from parking area around the church and backup to picnic tables.


  • Pull-ups (sets of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) [25 total]
  • Merkins (sets of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3) [75 total]
  • Arm Raises (sets of 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 36, 27, 18, 9) [225 total]

GETTIN TRIPLE SMOKED Part II (as if Part I wasn’t enough)

  • Monkey Humpers (sets of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) [25 total]
  • Leg Lifts from Crab Position (sets of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3) [75 total]
  • Squats (sets of 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 36, 27, 18, 9) [225 total]

After 650 repetitions, the PAX was ready for a… Mozy to parking lot down yonder!

DUAL MEDICINE BALL TREATMENT Form 2 lines – 4 men per line
1st man in each line runs with medicine ball held overhead to other end of parking lot;
Put medicine ball on ground and do 10 curl reps with weight bar;
Pick-up medicine ball and run back to where it all started (with medicine ball held overhead).
hand-off ball to next man who repeats this exercise.
Men waiting in line are continuously doing side straddle hops or are planking.

“HOT POTATO” MEDICINE BALL RUN Form 2 lines – 4 men per line
1st man in each line runs to other end of parking lot while
passing medicine ball back and forth while running.
Turn and run back to where it all started – passing ball back and forth.
Hand-off ball to next man in line and repeat.
Men waiting in line are continuously doing side straddle hops or are planking.
Penalty for dropping the ball was 10 burpees. Of course, greasy fingers Quaker dropped the ball, forcing burpees on the group.


After a wrap-up with 6 minutes of Mary, we heard request for prayers for the Swamp Rabbit /Anderson Mud Run teams including Brown Shorts, Hook & Ladder and Wahoo down at Fort Jackson today; also several mentions of family with health situations – Gluten’s mom, Duplo’s dad, Slug’s mom; Quaker’s office mate, Jim for his parent’s dealing with health issues that require tough choices; also for all concerns involving relational struggles impacting families. Quaker closed us out in prayer. Kotters for Nair and his return to The Keg! Look for updates regarding F3rd Saturday when PowderKeg hits the road for the well-lit parking lot between MD360 and WALMART. See you in the gloom!

Swamp Rabbit Conquers the Leatherneck- USMC Mud Run

Q.I.C.Mab Mab
The PAXEarthmover, Oui Oui, Will Cocharan (FNG), Phil Buchanan (FNG), Seal, Hook & Ladder, Brown Shorts, Wahoo, Rainbow Dash, Training Wheels, Wally, iTunes, Spongebob, Soup, Amoeba, Gristle, Inspector Gadget, Blue Hawaii, No Strings Attached, Mab Mab (YHC)
Workout Date04/11/2015

Today 20 PAX (including 2 FNGs) embarked on a journey to Columbia to conquer the Leatherneck. Here’s a little description of how the day went.

Rise and shine and meet at Jeff Lynch on Roper Mountain Rd. at 4:50 am. (all except for Anderson boys who left from Williamston, and Blue Hawaii & No Strings who came down Friday night). We loaded up and condensed into 4 cars and hit the road. We arrived at 6:30 am at the Chick-fil-A on the west side of Columbia for a little Coffeteria and to meet up w/ Earthmover’s FNGs Phil & Will. The conversation was energetic as the PAX shared their excitement for the battle ahead.

We arrive at The Leatherneck at 7:15 am…(However, Blue Hawaii and NSA arrived at 6:50 am to get mentally prepared and to get the absolute best parking spot!) All the teams got registered and we gathered around the F3 Tent and had some great time practicing the 2nd F. It’s always great to meet up with PAX from other regions. Though we don’t know everyone, something about the fact we are wearing a F3 shirt tells us a lot of about the man wearing it. There is the common denominator that we all share. The language is the same (even w/ a little different dialect per region).We are all 3rd, and we are all there w/ the same mission: To plant, grow and serve small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership.
This mission is really highlighted at the F3 Superbowl, and if you haven’t had the honor of going down for this Mud Run, it is highly encouraged. Just ask any PAX who has attended one.

Around 8 am we all gather around the Shovel Flags and get an encouraging and emotional word from heroes at Operation Enduring Warrior. Then Chaser led us in a goosebump giving Ball of Man. The highlights of this need to be echoed across all AOs-
*we are privileged to live in a country where we can pray publically w/out persecution
*we are privileged to have bodies that work as they do, it’s for a season let’s make most of it
*we should thank God for the men and women who serve our country daily to help secure those freedoms.
*we should thank those men and women for their service and sacrifice
*God has put a call on us as men in F3 and we should continue to respond

The start times range from about 8:30 am – 9 am.
Here were our teams:
The Mud Mafia: Spongebob, Soup, Amoeba, Gristle
The Swamp Donkeys: Inspector Gadget, Blue Hawaii, No String Attached, Mab Mab (YHC)
Brothers from Another Mudda: Earthmover, Oui Oui, Will, Phil
How I Met Your Mudda: Training Wheels, Rainbow Dash, Wally, iTunes
Techno Vikings: Seal, Brown Shorts, Wahoo, Hook & Ladder

At our respective times we each busted out of the games and the fight was on.

All teams not only survived the Leatherneck, but they truely conquered it. Each PAX walked away w/ no serious injury, and we thank God again for His protection over each of us. A safe journey there and back was had as well.

Post race there was a beer boat and the 2nd F lasted for another 1.5 hours. A group of us decided to head over to Rush’s for a little grease reward as well. So bad, yet so good. Fellowship was great!

It was an amazing day and YHC was honored to race alongside such a great group of men, and all the F3 Brothers there. There is a reason they call it the F3 Superbowl.

Until the next time, may God’s blessing be on you. See you in the gloom.

Mab Mab


Q.I.C.Chowder (MECA)
The PAXAll F3 Nation
Workout Date6/6/2015

The MECA region is honored to host the 2015 edition of The Bear, the preeminent NOCO #CSAUP event.

  •  Who can participate? F3 Nation
  •  What is it? A strenuous 10 mile course, with Pain Stations, winding through various MECA AOs
  • Where is it? This event will begin at Highland Creek Elementary (7242 Highland Creek Pkwy Charlotte, NC 28269) and end at the infamous “El Dorado” parking deck on the UNCC Campus.
  • When is it? June 6, 2015.  We will start at 6:00 AM and end at approximately 11:00 AM
  • Why do it? It’s FREE, because you are a man, and it is there.

Additional Information:

  • Hydration packs are recommended. Water stations will be available at various points along the course
  • You will need to bring your own fuel (i.e. Gu, Gels, etc…)
  • Carpooling is recommended.  Transportation (Buses)  will be available from the finish line back to your car.

Want to learn more about The Bear? Read previous years’ Backblasts below



Click here if you would like to be kept up to date with the latest news on The Bear

Questions? Direct questions to Chowder or to f3meca@gmail.com.

Sound off below to HC



  • Highland Creek Elementary School’s address is 7242 Highland Creek Parkway; Charlotte, NC 28269.
  • We will have two vans and a few cars leaving from the UNCC North Deck parking lot at 0530 to take Pax to Highland Creek Elementary School
  • Pax who are providing their own shuttle-service need to park in the lot next to El Dorado (North Deck) at the UNCC and leave by 0530 to go to Highland Creek Elementary School
  • If you plan to use the shuttle, please drop off your passengers at Highland Creek Elementary School, then drive to UNCC to park your car (e.g. we don’t need to shuttle the whole carload, just the driver)

How to rescue your Battle Buddy

The PAXHook & Ladder, Gluten, Quaker, Tea Bag, Reflector, Lincoln Log, Youkillis, Boomhauer, Brown Shorts, Frog Woi, Cabin Fever, Gut Shot, Slug, and YHC
Workout Date04/09/15

The forecast was for showers a and potential ‘rest day’ for those participating in the mother of all mud runs in three days. Neither of those things occurred at the Powderkeg, where 14 men braved a Q from YHC. It was forewarned that the pain was going to be delivered. None heeded that warning and pushed forward with intestinal fortitude. These guys were jacked! But alas, we were looking at an odd number of guys. Only 13 at this point. Someone’s going to have to pull a lot of weight.


SSH x20 IC

IW  x20 IC  (What’s this? The 14th man rolled in on two wheels! Thanks for making things even Gluten)

Mountain Climbers x11 er x20???  IC (#mumblechatter from Hook and Ladder triying his best to throw off Q’s count!)

Monkey humpers x20   IC, feel the burn!



Took PAX on a decent mosey through the course. Reminded them to pay close attention to the colors of the chem-lights at each station. 6 stations in all, a good 250 yards between most of them. At end of course they divided into two man teams by a count-off and were given their new missions. Quaker was the lucky man that got to be my teammate. He claimed I “selected” him by putting myself in the correct line up to draw his number. Perhaps….. I do enjoy punishing him for some weird reason. We had to go off road to find our wounded Battle Buddies (50 lb bags of whole corn) that were piled up at the retention pond. Each team took one Battle Buddy and had to evac him (or her for Boomhauer’s sorry ass private that failed her mission) to the Rally point indicated. A color of the chem-lights at any given Rally point would be called out by YHC, and teams had to get their wounded comrades to the correct colored RP. This was met with a ton of enthusiastic mumblechatter! Go time!

Teams ran to different colored stations at first, then figured out that YHC had the course memorized and waited for my lead. So being the sneaky Q, I lead them astray. Or tried, Hook & Ladder was on to my rouse and called the PAX and led them to a closer AO. So I threw them an audible. At this station, each team had to drag their wounded Battle buddy up the hill to the LZ to be evac’d. Keep your heads down and high crawl! So much for staying off the knees, Brown Shorts! On the second round of this station coming up, we pulled our buddies into a hot LZ. So we drug his/her sorry ass back down the hill and hauled it to the next Rally point. Periodically we would throw in some mountain climbers and mericans while waited for rest of group to arrive.

At next to last station, YHC audible a mission change. We now had to daisy chain our Battle Buddies to the next AO by handing each of them off to the man on our left. Just like sandbags, only heavier. Halfway there, about face and work that right side. All Battle Buddies made it intact. One last dash with our buddies to the SF for some Mary.

10 MOM:

PAX piled up the buddies, like they were done with them. NOT!

40 mericans by one team member while the other does 40 bench presses with Battle Buddy. Then trade off, rinse and repeat. (Brutal!)

It was made mention that this was not Mary at all. YHC explained that this was Seal’s warp and twisted idea of of Mary.

40 air presses by one team member while the other does 40 curls with Battle Buddy. Trade off, rinse and repeat. (arms are smoked)

6 minutes left. Flutterkicks x20 IC , Heels to heaven x20 IC, Geronimos til the clock expired (WOW, that hurt).


Mud Run this weekend. YHC is pumped. Thank you Brown Shorts for stepping up as emergency fill-in.

Need Qs for SOS.

Praises for Gluten’s mom successful pacemaker installation

Prayers for Boomhauer’s sis-in-law

Praises for Brown Short’s bro-in-law and road to recovery

Prayer’s for my student that is seeking answers and a better relationship with his children.

See you at the Mud Run. Over and Out.



Leap Survival Kit

Alright brothers, the time is now to band together and take on these Leaps! This post is to ensure the PAX taking trips over to lead or attend workouts have everything needed to be successful. Taking a free, outdoor workout organization that invigorates men, creates friendships, transformational stories, and whole bunch of other good and spreading this thing as far and wide as we can is a big light in the sea of darkness, so why not figure out how to do it right?

Taking an #F3MissionTrip to a city to attend or lead the workout is a big help for F3 and does not go unnoticed by your brothers. It’s much appreciated. With that said, as we are opening up the Leap model to more and more PAX, we want to make sure there is a standard of leading expansion workouts that is clear to all. At the bottom of this post, I’ve asked some of the most respected expansion Q’s to answer some questions about leading expansion workouts.  If you get anything from them, have it be that the emphasis on the details of delivering a high energy, well-led experience for a bunch of FNG’s can be the very difference between an ok launch and an on-fire region.

Leap Essentials

Sign-up to lead or post for a Leap Saturday bootcamp:

Travel Reimbursements – Leap is funded by The Iron Project and will reimburse you for you travel expenses up to a budget number for each particular city so please record your travel expenses in a spreadsheet with date, amount, and type of expense. Submit to leap@F3nation.com with your name, address, and Leap workout led/attended.

Marketing – Oh yeah, if you can’t make it. Please continue to support Leap by blowing up the social media air waves and EH’ng guys you know in these cities. #StormComing

What to bring?

  • F3 shirt to wear
  • F3 Stickers to pass out
  • Pen and paper to have someone record workout names and e-mail addresses
  • Watch
  • A clown car of your closest F3 brothers (recommended)

How to find about the AO you’re leading at?

  • Reach out to the city Leap Q or the fellas that led the workout the week before for detailed information
  • Roll by the AO on Friday night when you get in town or before your Q in the morning
  • Google Maps is every good Q’s friend

Building blocks of a Leap Workout 

Below is a quick review of things that should happen in one form or another at a launch workout.

Pre-Workout – Create a welcoming environment.

  • Plant the Shovel Flag
  • Show up early
  • Introduce yourself
  • Wear the F3 shirt
  • Quick intro before launching

The Circle of Pain (COP)My count is pure. A strong COP is at the core of what we do and actually has more purpose than you may have even come to believe. In fact, if you do not do anything well the whole workout and deliver a great COP upfront, then you might have done your job.

COP mechanics

  • Always stand in the middle
  • SSH – Look the PAX in the eyes as you call cadence
  • A lower rep count with repeated exercises is better than a higher rep count and low participation
  • Watch the Dredd “How to Count” and “Why to Count” Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT7afkk2toA
  • You will make mistakes, press on.


  • Start/End on time.
  • Stick to basic F3 exercises and routines that your are comfortable calling and explaining.
  • F3 workouts should always be hard enough for the most fit FNG to get a great workout.
  • Lead from the front and do your best to not completely smoke yourself. Never put your hands on your knees.
  • No Man Left Behind. Ever. Plank and wait.

 The Circle of Trust (COT) – Everyone gets a trophy. Go with what format you are most comfortable executing, but please make sure there is a:

  • Numberama
  • Namerama
  • Prayer: It’s ok to pray as you normally would.  I typically do and answer questions later.  It’s also reasonable to explain it upfront.
  • Have someone other than yourself record names and e-mail addresses so you can focus on the PAX.
  • Naming tips: Do not name the fat guy @fatty — more tips like this in the below FAQ section.


  • Attend coffeeteria – Pass out stickers, 2ndF, and of course tweet the count…the world is waiting to hear!
  • Backblast – I could write a backblast about writing a quality backblast, however 2 essentials here are putting some meat in the moleskin (everyone loves to see their name) and deliver it in a timely fashion.

Supporting PAX – Be a great follower, the second dancing idiot. These are the guys who are able to make the trip and are not directly leading the workout. No one person has ever successfully planted F3, it is always a collaboration of multiple men formed together. An expansion workout is no different, if you are able to make the trip as a supporting PAX there is plenty to be said by that alone. Here are some ideas to enhance the overall experience:

  • Mumblechatter the Q in a light-hearted way.
  • Get to know some FNG’s to help with naming.
  • Write down names in COT
  • Watch the six.
  • Identify leaders within the PAX
  • Wear an F3 shirt

Workout Leadership – Be that Somebody

The reality here is each of is fortunate to have found something like F3 Nation and are reaping the benefits we have gotten from it, but there is always a limit to what you get if all you do is take take take. At one point, it’s good to look outside oneself to see what piece of this your best served to give away. That is how I’ve looked at expansion lately when thinking about why I am doing this and why I’m asking other men to do it because the prize on the other end of all the fun and fellowship we get in F3 is the invigoration of male leadership and more transformational stories.

The key word for me in that mission statement is invigorate, it means to give strength, to energize, to breathe life into something.  The great ones in F3 know that definition and are able to put themselves third when it’s their turn to lead.  Drown out thoughts of fear, doubt, selfishness and get the job done! #BeThatSomebody.

Below is a mashup of answers to workout leadership questions from top expansion Q’s around F3, I intentionally stayed away from command presence and workout leadership comments above in hopes that these answers will put you in the right mindset going into your trip.

1) What is the most important aspect of leading an expansion workout?  

FountainHead: Communicating the persona of F3.  New AO’s take on the character of those who lead.  Therefore, it is critical that an expansion Q demonstrate strong leadership, communicate expectations, push the pax to do their best and always, always, place the needs of the guys showing up before his own ego or rigors of his weinkie.  Make it hard but make it fun.

Blue: Be Deliberate. First impressions are paramount and then must be maintained week over week. I’ve taken the view recently that when we launch a new workout or region via expansion, F3 is competing with all the other gyms, crossfitters, clipboarders in the park, etc. that the environ already has in place and that may be attracting men initially off the couch. If we don’t lead a well run workout that is tight from start to finish, we could lose out to our competition and all the other benefits F3 offers to men over time will be unrealized.

Chaser: If you’re looking for one word: ENERGY.  The Q MUST have energy, move fast, talk fast, think fast.  The pax will respond with energy.  The inverse will result in an unattractive workout that does not move the pax.  Pop out of the car with the F on your chest shaking babies and kissing hands and roll.

Stinger: No man left behind.  While we know that NMLB is foundational to F3 (at least for most Qs), we not only want to practice that when leading, but I also think it’s worthwhile to verbally articulate so that aspect of our culture begins to sink in.  Q’ing is not about showing the group how strong/fast/tough you are, it’s about leading, and NMLB is a critical aspect of leading.

SubPrime: When you lead an expansion workout the goal is to figure out a way to inclusively demonstrate what a true F3 workout is. Deliver a workout that touches on everything we see when we stop to think of the ‘typical F3 workout.’ giving the pax a good taste of that magic that drew all of us in.

Uncle: Attention to detail. Doing everything that has to be done to lead this workout in a way that embodies what F3 is about. For me, this is bringing an unapologetic energy to the table from beginning to end while showing each man that he is included in this group just by being willing to put in the work. What’s that look like for you? Do that, have fun, and understand that you are painting a picture of what F3 is for these guys.

2) Tips for a successful COP?  

Fountainhead: Rotate through the muscle groups without getting too high on the reps in any one sequence.  An FNG can do 100 Merkins if you spread them out over the course of five or six sets.  Arms, Chest, Abs, Back, Legs & Cardio can all be worked without overwhelming the muscle group in a single blow… which can instill a sense of failure instead of success.  Keep your eyes open and be ready to switch it up if something isn’t going well.

Chaser: Do not smoke any one muscle group off the drop. Bounce between major muscle groups to warm them up without taking them out. Also, for at least the initial workout the Q needs to have a demonstrator ready to show how we call an exercise, what to expect, how we count and proper form.  Qs in a LEAP atmosphere need to think through how to explain exercises so that they are ready with an explanation when they get the first “what’s that?” and never ignore that question or chastise that question.  You alienate the asker which is absolutely not the atmosphere we want to create.

Blue: Only thing to add is that I’m not a fan of having 2 guys in the middle of a COP. FNGs could be confused on who’s leading. 1 guy in middle, rotating around if possible (like during SSH) to make a connection with every man in the circle.

Stinger: I’d also stress that you want to demonstrate just how much exercise you can accomplish by simply remaining in the same spot for 10-15 minutes.  While I knew what pushups were, I had no real concept of the benefits of body weight exercises when I first started in F3.  Demonstrating that in COP enables these men to begin to think more creatively about exercises once we’re ready to hand them the reigns.

SubPrime: That initial COP is the foundation of the expansion workout. This, for many of the pax, is their true first taste of this F3 thing. This is the moment when the new guys are going to realize they’ve stumbled onto an entirely different animal.

Uncle: Start the first COP with your most comfortable exercises to build some confidence in yourself and establish your presence to the group. All FNG’s enjoy a good COP.

Tabata, AMRAP, and static 11’s are also great options because they enable you to speak up with encouragement, mumblechatter, and also look around at what you’re working with. If your cadence is pure, then you’re good with longer sequences of cadence exercises like a Dirty MacDeuce. Don’t be afraid of some Mary. Finally, press on through your inevitable mistakes.

3) How do I keep a bunch of FNG’s together?  

FountainHead: AMRAP’s.  FNG’s come in all shapes and sizes especially to an AO launch.  Set up exercises that let the strong guys compete with the Q while physical sad clowns succeed in surviving.  Everyone pushes themselves but everyone stays together.

SubPrime: Chaser and I have had success with a basic model of starting with a COP, then proceed to some sort of ladder, then split the pax (if the crowd is large enough) and rotate between two circuits. Finally, close as a group with a COP/Mary segment. All of these stations are done in close proximity so we aren’t having a workout where we cover 2-3 miles and lose a bunch of pax. Everyone is generally in the same area and can see the other pax. An expansion workout is not the time for a ring run. Keep them together and if you incorporate running do it in the form of short sprints or a ladder.

Uncle: Get creative in your workout design, I prefer to keep it moving with a “pearls on a string” mindset. Do not be afraid to push FNG’s past their comfort zone especially later in the workout, an F3 bootcamp should be hard. Then come back to easier stuff to show them you care. If the discrepancy between fitness levels is too great to cover much distance, then you will have to adjust to a more static approach.

4) Weinkie suggestions?  

Fountainhead: Teach with the workout.  Start with exercises that guys know but which F3 might call a different name.  Get them used to something familiar before crushing their souls with a complicated burpee broadjump jacobs ladder.

Chaser: No weinkes.  LEAP Qs need to bounce, need energy, need confidence.  Looking down at a weinke every 30 seconds doesn’t promote any of those.

Blue: No weinkes. Prepare accordingly as Q if you’re going to lead.

Stinger: Yep, strongly opposed to a weinke.  The LEAP workouts should be simple enough to not require a weinke, and we are primarily trying to teach foundational concepts.  As FHead said, nothing complicated.  Just teach the basics.  I’ve become a bigger fan of stacks lately (5 burpees, 5burpees + 10 merkins, 5 burpees + 10 merkins + 15 squats, etc.) and think that would be a good 10-15 minute module for a LEAP session.   FYI, I typically break down my Qs into 3-4 modules.

SubPrime: The Q needs to know the workout. It’s as simple as that. Knowing your workout allows you the ability to explain and teach it. You always know what’s coming next and can thus focus on the pax. You can also make changes on the fly much easier when you already know the workout (and we all know that changes are necessary with a group of new pax).

Uncle: Other than a solid COP, I’m a big fan of a partner work segment in an expansion workout to break the ice and get guys working with each other. Also, love to mix in some bear crawls, and lunge walks. Give them the impression that you are full of ideas and exercises. Other than that, no written weinkie’s. Have a plan, be ready to change that plan.

5) How am I going to name 15 FNG’s?  

Fountainhead: Keep it moving, keep it light-hearted, keep it entertaining.  If you can pick out nicknames before the COT, remember them and use them.  Try to engage the guys from the new AO in the process.  Let them nickname their own whenever possible.  Just make sure to veto any names with racial or politically damaging connotations.

Chaser: With energy.  Draw on the surroundings.  Watch guys during the workout for ideas.  Feed off the creativity of the group.  Stay away from anything that could be insensitive.  We are all inclusive, never exclusive and our nicknames must mirror that.

Blue: Agreed…naming not my wheelhouse but an important part of each workout. Name after first post and make it something they can go home and tell/brag to their wife and kids about.

Uncle: If you got the goods, then go with your gut on a few gimmies and crowd-source to knock out the rest. For most others, hopefully you or your supporting PAX have at least done some homework up until this point by making a few observations before or during the workout. A supporting PAX should be able to knock out a few names during the workout especially at a big launch.

Lastly, when in doubt, an encouraging and inclusive name is a better choice than a cheap joke at someone else’s expense. Exception is if a guy comes across like he would handle something like @CrotchRocket well. Sign him up to lead!

6) What fires you up about leading an expansion workout?

Fountainhead: There are a few minutes after the COT when the new guys are still wide eyed at what they’ve just done, often something physically they hadn’t done in years, and beginning to realize they are capable of surviving a lot more than they previously thought.  That momentary high between getting a nickname and coming back down to their normal, mundane life is worth planting a new AO everywhere.

Chaser: Everything.  I love the nervous little FNGs milling around before the workout.  I love grabbing their hand and introducing myself with the F on my chest.  I love the quizzical look they give me, the crazed, bouncing, energetic dude with an F on his chest who is either nuts or knows something they don’t.  I love seeing them die on the field and then rally through the workout each in his own way.  Then I love seeing that man’s eyes in the COT as he realizes that he’s just joined a new band of brothers and all the possibilities for him that this holds.

Blue: Leading an expansion workout grounds me and also makes me appreciate everything I have received from F3…which then makes me want to give it away. #fullcircle

Stinger: The knowledge/assurance that what we are embarking on is about to change these men’s lives, that we are about to unleash something in them that’s was put on the shelf after high school or perhaps was never even taken off the shelf, that they’re about to experience life in a new and fresh way that will, yes, challenge them physically but also (and more importantly) make them to be such better husbands and dads and brothers.  AND they really have no idea that all that is about to happen!  To them!  It’s like a free gift that they really didn’t even ask for or expect.  For me, F3 is about walking in the fullness of what it really means to be a Man.  Two things that will stifle our transformation into Men are (1) Fear and (2) Desire for Personal Comfort.  And, in my opinion, F3 tackles both of these things head on.  And you begin to walk a little taller and see things with so much better clarity.  That’s what awaits the cities and regions.  Sorry for the soap box.

SubPrime: There’s a certain bit of magic that comes with leading an expansion workout. Heck, just attending an expansion workout gives you that feeling. This is a chance to relive your first workout.

Uncle: Well, there is this one Rambo-like fantasy I have that comes to mind. It’s me rappelling off a helicopter in my F3 muthaship shirt into a jungle full of sadclowns and other worldly darkness. It ends with us being the saving grace that yanks these men out of their fatpants and into the men they are designed to be. Other than that, what the other guys said.

A Love Letter to my Brothers

It’s been quite a year. It was this past May 2014 that I posted for the first time. I haven’t sat down and actually tried to tell you what you mean to me. So here’s an overdue letter to you.
My boss at the time and dear friend Holla (Dan Rundle) had been EH’ing me every day for 8 months. I was too fat and lazy to get up that early. After my condo burned down, I had a bit of an awakening about the brevity of this life and stuff and time.  A couple of months later I was ready for F3. In the gloom that morning, I saw the sun rise for the first time in a while. Snowden helped me along and it felt personal, different than those cold and impersonal YMCA bootcamps.
Highlights of being a part of F3
  • Shedding a bunch of fat
  • Learning what leadership means, and getting to practice it
  • Loving to run for the first time in my life
  • Meeting quiet men of action, heavy on the “do” and light on the “talk”. (And also meeting guys heavy on the “talk” and the “do” both!).
  • Seeing the sun rise every morning – it’s addicting
  • Having the energy to be more present in the moment
  • Racing with a cinder block at The Crucible for the first time immediately after being paired with Nature Boy
  • Trying to keep up with Longbottom on the track at Beastside
  • Running in my first ultra marathon in Kathmandu
  • Seeing Erector fight through cancer, and encourage us the whole time
In traveling to Israel and then Prague over the summer, I saw more clearly that the world has a leadership vacuum. I decided to sell all my stuff and move to Nepal on nothing but savings. I was born there. It’s the kind of place that calls you back. I had to return. I wanted to see young men in Nepal turn develop into leaders too.
That morning is all a blur, but it would change all of us:
While I was preparing to leave, one July morning after Bestside interval training, we heard the crash. The smoke rising over the trees. We, not knowing what it was…sprinting to our cars to go see. On arrival, seeing the car on fire, flames shooting up 20-30 feet and lighting the tree. Shock. Seeing the boy on the ground, burned from head to toe. Explosions. Helping him to the pickup truck bed. Asking him if there was anyone else in the car. He in shock, Looking, seeing no one. Praying with him. Looking up to see the men reaching into the burning car. Pulling something out…
Two teenage boys lost their lives. Another changed forever. It hit me hard. Could I have done more to save them? I went to one of the funerals, sat silently at a distance, and thought about the brevity of this life and stuff and time.
“You learn more at a funeral than at a feast—
After all, that’s where we’ll end up. We might discover
    something from it.” Ecc. 7:2
The calling was reconfirmed.
Getting my bearings in this foreign land, I was starting to lose everything I’d worked for, and decided to launch a little group first week in January. 3 of us showed up. One old white guy and my neighbor and YHC. In Nepal it was harder than I thought it would be. It’s always harder. To say the culture is “different” would the understatement of all time. Middle aged guys don’t really work out. People don’t have showers or good shoes, and most don’t have transportation. The language barrier. Winters are cold. The old white guy never came back. He told me later that he would never be back, that he hated working out on the cold, dirty ground. One week I was the only one who showed up. If you’ve never done that, try it. It will make you thankful for a group. I was starting to wonder if maybe F3 wouldn’t sustain in a place like Nepal.
The guys at Swamp Rabbit were undaunted though, and their cheers were felt on the other side of the world.
Then guys started coming. Slowly, more and more. We needed more days so we started 4 days a week. Now 3 months in, we had 27 last Saturday. It’s been amazing to watch the young guys grow. To see a sense of community develop. Guys come and say things like, “I’ve never seen a group of young men like this who care about others so much.” And the morning walkers have never seen anything like it on the campus where we meet. Giving a thumbs up while we pick up trash.
Oh, and in Nepal I started dating my good friend Leah and we’re getting married in May. I’ll be returning to the States in 2 days to prepare for the wedding.
From working out in the gloom every morning, to picking up trash every Saturday to supporting International Women’s Day, doing a prayer hike, running kid’s clubs every week, and volunteering for the fundraiser concert, it has been an incredible pleasure to serve with my Nepali brothers. We’ve studied English together in the mornings, me learning Nepali, and fellowshipping over Chia.
When we show up, when we root for each other, it’s amazing how it changes our lives. After all, this life and stuff and time is fleeting fast.
I love you guys.

Q&A: Where's the GHOST FLAG Now, 400 REP Warm-O-ramA, and Mixed Messages…

The PAXHook & Ladder, Keystone, Swift, Tiny Dancer-WB, Roscoe P. Coltrane, Wahoo, Whamo, Principal Rooney, Netscape, Skimmer, Aunt Jemime and Gluten-WD
Workout Date04/02/15
  • Still WEST of the SALUDA RIVER!
  • NO. It was 401!

…world is full of them. But, if – as we say, “I am F3rd.” and our actions suggest a more selfish motivation, we may cause someone to stumble. Just saying… we must be diligent. We must be faithful in our daily walk not to cause those following our lead to fall. Aye!

Where’d that come from? God placed it on my heart in this morning’s workout while trying to read my ‘Wienkie’… upside-down (thanks Hook for setting me straight) during YHC’s Warm-O-ramA 400, plus 1. [Had a picture to show you, but no permissions to post it!] Remember, there was that bonus 16th ‘CrabCake’! Most of my F3 Brothers will come to appreciate this one day… as you get closer to qualifying for AARP!

Here’s a CLEAR MESSAGE that encourages from 1 Peter 5:10-11
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.

Powder Keg’s Thursday workout began under an almost calm and balmy condition as we circled up in the gloom. All striving to be better, YHC first must recognize the faithful four other than me who call Powder Keg ‘Home’… Hook & Ladder, Keystone, Swift, and Tiny Dancer who left their comfort zone striving to get better in our fitness, fellowship and our faith! I count it all Joy to call you my brothers! To push, and be pushed (in the right direction), to partner in accountability in our circle of trust! As iron sharpens iron, so too, one man sharpens another.”

Okay… we also have to give props to our F3 Brothers from Anderson who had to leave their comfort zone much earlier and in numbers that required great planning and proving by not just posting in the gloom of the Powder Keg, but exceeding requirements for a successful capture of the GHOST FLAG! YES, I saw your tweet, Brown Shorts! Couldn’t agree more… The GHOST FLAG may have been taken, but it STILL remains “WEST of the Saluda!” Aye! It was an honor to snap my F3 Brother’s picture with your trophy in tow!

Here’s what went down:

Gluten’s Warm-O-ramA 400 (+1)

Seven exercises (with derivatives), some with two sets, three sets and even four sets; some with no fewer than 13 reps, but none no more than 25 reps! We even held the Super Man pose three times for variable counts. By the time we finished, Hook said it was already 6am! But in that period of time, see what was accomplished…

  • Crab Cakes x 31 (including the Bonus 16th during the 2nd set)
  • Peter Parkers x 40
  • The Flutter x 40
  • The Werkin X40 (w/ derivatives-13 Left Staggered Werkins, 14 Standard, & 13 Right Staggered Werkins)
  • Smurf Jacks x 50 (2nd set with pace)
  • The Lunge x 100 (No, it was not 200, must be done in pairs for balance)
  • Little Baby Crunches x 100

The Warm-O-ramA began with the Super Man pose and ended with the Super Man pose. And yes, somewhere in between we experienced another ‘TEN Burpee Salute’ for a Powder Keg Fly-over. Thanks for the reminder Hook!! We get that quite often at the Keg! There was growing mumble chatter during the ‘warm-up’ regarding this turning into a 0.0 type workout. But, not so fast… let’s mosey on ‘The Road Less Traveled’

Over the Hill and through the Woods we Mosey… TOGETHER
…but on pavement all the way! Right on Roe Road, right again back on Powder Keg Main up the hill, and right again on more level pavement before turning right again to halt in the still warm parking lot where we started things off. Guesstimating the distance at .55 miles for those of you thinking it was going to be a 0.0! Guesstimating, Gluten? Yes. I was obviously all thumbs with my Garmin. Felt sure I had turned it on, but I will check on it again later when I can see it in better light with my reading glasses! Enough with Gluten’s Guesstimating. It’s time for Mary!


After a time check from Hook, YHC started us off with…

  • Rosalita’s x25, IC
  • Box Cutters x25, IC
  • Dolly’s x25, IC

Another time check from Hook (really?) People’s Choice… Someone (Hook)called for…

  • Good Morning Abby x 10, OYO
  • Freddy Mercury’s x25, IC
  • Mountain Climbers x25, IC

Steamed, Toasted, and Roasted. Tender? Yep! We’re done!

After count-off determined the PAX at 12, the Name-O-ramA documented F3 Anderson Brothers outnumbering F3PowderKeg Brothers by a 7 to 5 count! Impressive! Powder Keggers DR is to be expected for Holy Week, I suppose! Still makes F3 Anderson’s capture of the GHOST FLAG all the more IMPRESSIVE! Props to Wahoo, Whamo, Aunt Jemime, Principal Rooney, Roscoe P. Coltrane, Skimmer, and Netscape on their GHOST FLAG mission! [Had a picture to show you, but no permissions to post it!] Mentions were given during announcements for a Mud Run “fill in” due to a Swamp Rabbit team member on Injured Reserve. If interested, contact Hook & Ladder or Seal. Mention was given regarding another successful launch by F3 Anderson for HavenTown in the heart of the Electric City. Stay tuned to BB coming from this new AO. Understand the resources include parking decks among ‘other things’ for creative Q opportunities! Prayer mentions for a family member with need. Remember as well all our F3 Brothers facing struggles and the opportunities we are given to grow in our fitness, fellowship and our faith! We are F3rd and we are FREED TO LEAD!

As always, it is a pleasure to Q such HIGH IMPACT MEN (HIM) who are willing and available to step out of your comfort zone to “suffer a little while’ knowing that “HE will restore, support, strengthen and place you on a firm foundation!” All power and praise to Him forever! Amen.