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.
Sign-up to lead or post for a Leap Saturday bootcamp:
- Atlanta: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040a4da9ac23aa8-thequadruple
- Launch workouts: 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9
- Newtown Park – 3150 Old Alabama Rd, Johns Creek, GA 30022
- Hammond Park – 705 Hammond Drive, Atlanta, GA 30328
- Piedmont Park – 1342 Worchester Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
- Chastain Park – 4469 Stella Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30342
- Jacksonville: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040a4da9ac23aa8-f3expansion
- Launch Workout Dates: 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23
- Alexandria Oaks Park – Jacksonville, FL 32207
- Birmingham: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040a4da9ac23aa8-f3expansion2
- Launch Workout Dates: 5/30, 6/6, 6/13, 6/20
- Mountainbrook – AO is TBD
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
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.