July 4th Hangover – 7/8/19

What he said…

July 4th is a time for relaxing, cooking out, drinking beer and basically doing nothing. The problem is that it’s not free and like everything else in life there is a price to pay. That’s where a mid 70’s summer morning with 91% humidity comes into play. 23 PAX decided to start paying down that debt this morning. Welcome “Free Shoes” to the F3 brotherhood.

  • Side Straddle Hop Burpees (5 SSH, then 2 Burpees) – 25 & 10
  • Squats – 30
  • Mountain Climbers – 25
  • Shoulder Taps – 25
  • Monkey Humpers – 35
  • Plank Jacks – 25
  • Big Boy Sit Ups – 20
  • Dive Bombers – 15

Hands up mosey to Ash for some wall time…

  • Donkey Kicks – 10
  • People’s Chair – 10 (In cadence)
  • Donkey Kicks – 10
  • People’s Chair – 10 (In cadence)

Hands up Indian Run to the Patriot parking lot. Two man Doras…

  • Pax 1 – 25 Hand release Merkins (2x)
  • Pax 2 – Suicides (2x)
  • Pax 2 – 25 Hand release Merkins (2x)
  • Pax 1 – Suicides (2x)
  • Hold plank until all PAX are done
  • Pax 1 – 25 Monkey Humpers (2x)
  • Pax 2 – Suicides (2x)
  • Pax 2 – 25 Monkey Humpers (2x)
  • Pax 1 – Suicides (2x)
  • Hold Al Gore until all PAX are done

All PAX – 4 gassers then hands up mosey to the park…

  • Dips – 44
  • LBCs – 30 OYO
  • Dips – 44
  • LBCs – 30 OYO
  • Dips – 25
  • LBCs – 30 OYO

Hands up mosey around the park track then back to the Patriot parking lot…

  • Raise the Roof – 25
  • Imperial Walkers – 25

Grand finale with Mr. Jack Webb – 10

Name-a-roma, announcements, message, prayer then lead on 3. To do list, Monday – kick ass. Big green check.

The Most Important

The “M” and the 2.0

As men, we do a lot of things for ourselves. We are kings of our own island. It is easy to take care of yourself, right! Well, sometimes. Getting in shape, staying in shape, bettering yourself isn’t always easy. However, we aren’t only doing this for ourselves.

Every man has someone that is important to him and He is important to someone. We can start some sort of exercise routine or diet trying to look better or feel better. The great thing about F3 is that it pushes you to think about someone other than yourself. It starts with that PAX right next to you or the SIX in the rear. You soon begin to realize that this is impacting others as well.

You are about to get ready for bed and you lay your F3 clothes out for the next morning. You choose a healthier snack from the pantry, you encourage your kids when they are struggling, you call friends that you haven’t spoken to in a while, you wrestle on the floor, you pray more or attend church more often. All of these thing and countless more are being witnessed by those that are the most import to you. Your “M” is the “Most” important person in the world to you. That could be your, wife, your finance, your mom, etc. Your 2.0 is that little version of yourself that you are raising to be even better than you are. Your sphere of influence is directly affected when you begin to better yourself.

My 2.0s always asked me about my F3 workouts and seemed really impressed that I can get up that early. They got to witness first hand what we do every week when we all attended kid’s day at the Vulcan. Scam Q’d a 2.0 workout that my kids still talk about. They got to see us interact with one another as men, they got to experience huddle prayer and feel the power of the Holy Spirit when we all gather together. These, are the things I want to impact the people that mean the most to me. There is too much in this world trying to grab their attention. Let’s all be THE EXAMPLE in their lives. Live as though someone is watching you, because they are! Be the HIM you were called to be.

Fishers of Men

I hate mornings, I love sleep, and I’m not too fond of groups of people. That’s what I use to tell myself. At least, until I was reluctantly introduced to F3.

I fought F3 every time it was mentioned to me, starting with this weird group of guys with painted faces in the parking lot of Oak Mountain after a mud run in 40 degree weather. I fought it from the same friend I ran with after he decided to give F3 a try. It’s the mornings. Those sweet, precious moments when you are dead asleep in a warm bed, hopefully next to a beautiful woman. I thought there was nothing better. But there is!

Now I find sleep to be the necessary ingredient needed to help me have the energy to get up in the Gloom of the morning to crawl, sweat, hurt and fellowship with my new found Brothers. That initial rise out of bed in the wee hours of the morning gets overshadowed by the excitement I find when I pull up to a parking lot filled with guys I love and respect.

So, now I find myself attempting what F3 lovingly refers to as a Headlock. But, unlike most workout groups, I don’t find myself looking for that guy that is already in shape and may want to save money with a free workout (which you do). I literally tell everyone. Because everyone needs to be part of something bigger than themselves. It is less of a workout group and more of a brotherhood. Matthew 4:19 states – Jesus said to them “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to be fishers of men” There are few places to put that message from God into practice better than F3. Don’t just invite people to F3. Tell them your story. What does F3 mean to you?

This isn’t Fight Club. The first 2 rules are NOT  “Don’t talk about F3”. Slumlord ends all of his emails with “ALWAYS BE HEADLOCKING”. So, lets do our part. We are 1,000 PAX strong. Imagine the impact we can have on our community if that number doubled or even tripled. Imagine the differences we can see in our 2.0s, our M’s that witness us attempting to better ourselves. You may not realize it, but it affects them too. Its like a spark igniting a flame. This world is in desperate need of Male leaders. I can’t imagine better leaders than men that have the discipline to do the hard thing in the gloom of the morning while also following God’s word.

Let’s go be Fishers of Men


F3 Spin the Bottle

16 PAX played some F3 Spin the Bottle (Not what you think) in the Valley of the Gloom this morning. We welcomed 3 FNGs : Outlet, Lumberg and Cart boy. Nice representation at Coffeeteria with 10 guys posting.

So, we circled up and each PAX had an exercise and a number of reps printed on a card. We spun the bottle and wherever it landed, that is what we did. We may have had a few too many ab exercises in a row, but what the bottle dictates, we do.

The cards were as follows:

25 Jack Merkins
30 Flutter Kicks
30 Little Baby Arm flutters
30 Ankle Biters
20 Burpees
30 Dips
20 Derkins
40 Step ups
30 American Hammers
25 Squat Jumps
20 Starfish Crunches
25 Box Cutters
30 Hello Dollys
20 Good Morning Abbys
20 Big Boy Sit Ups


Modified Beams

Today 4/28 in the Gloom of the morning 8 PAX did some conventional F3 Exercises in an unconventional way. Sure, there were Big boy sit-ups, Burpees, Lunges, Merkins, Plank Jacks, etc. . But these were done with landscape timbers so we Modified the names a little bit as well.

Side bends x 25
Side straddle hops x 25
Imperial Walker x 25
Little baby arm circles x 30
Get beams. Mosey to astro turf
Leg lifts with beams x 30 in cadence
Lay down arm extensions x 20
Straddle plank jacks x 25
(Wood) Morning Abby x 20
Frankenstein (Frankenbeams) to other side of turf
Inch wood back
Beam merkins (Beamkins) 1 arm x 25
Beam boy sit ups x 25
Beam bends each side x 20
Beam Bends cross over x 20
Burp Beams x 5
Beam lunges across field
Bunny hops over beam x 25
Flip your wood going back across field
Burp Beams x 10
Flip your wood going back again
Bunny hops over beam x 25
Burpee Waterfall x 10

Thank you to The Donald, Chisel, Sloss, Burger, Tinactin, Frost, and Saluki for your bringing your “A” game this morning. I enjoyed getting back into the Gloom with my brothers.




Mary Blaster 4/1/19

11 PAX came into the cold Gloom of the morning in need of some warmth. What better way to warm up than from the core.

Side straddle hop x 25
Side bends x 20
Imperial Walker x 25.
(Freddy Mercury) Bicycles x 25
Good morning Abby x 15
Alligator merkin across turf
Inch worm back
Spin Cycle x 15 twist w/ arms up
Ankle biters x 25
LBC x 30
Flutter kicks x 25
American hammer partner run 3 laps
Flutter kick run 1 lap
Hanging leg lifts x 20 then 10, then 5
While partner does merkins
Plank jacks x 25
Way backs x 15
Hello Dolly x 25
Side dips (15 each side)
Bernie up Gloom Mtn then bear crawl
Mountain climbers x 20
5 Burpee waterfall


Letter to the FNG and the Six

Dedicated to F3Birmingham at our Two Year Anniversary

To the FNG and the Six,

There are books written, podcasts recorded, and endless Slack posts filling in space to try and define what, specifically, is F3.

But the words aren’t the thing. The words aren’t the Gloom. This letter is certainly not the thing.

And I can’t write anything (not really) that adds to or takes away from what you have already found out there in the pre-dawn hours. But there are trends. Phenomenon. Revelations. And that shit is just fun to talk about.

Funny thing is that we’re all men, of one kind or another. We all know who we are…most of the time. Know or think we know what it means to be a man. To be a good man, even if we feel like we ourselves have missed the mark. And I knew and felt all this until F3 came along and T-Boned my sad clown syndrome.

F3 is tough. F3 sucks. And for you Six, or for you FNG, F3 is embarrassing. And it is that way because it has to be. Because of how we are. How men are. And that is precisely this: one thing alone pierces through the daily, minute by minute, hour by hour, slow Green Mile march that is a purposeless life, mingled in with the lies we start telling ourselves to make the slow demise less obvious, if only to ourselves. The guy who played sports 20 years ago thinks he still has what it takes. The guy who hides behind his walls of whatever he built (money, intelligence, career) to make sure nothing ever shames him. The guy whose marriage is falling apart because…well just because. The guy who used to have no problem with the 3rd F before the real Gloom got a hold of him. The despair. The lack of faith. Which is just another way to say lack of hope. And when you can’t have hope, or faith, you eventually can’t have love either…not in the best of ways, anyway.  

And that one thing, the thing that cuts through the drama and all your existential, angst-ridden fears and posturing and position and money and maybe even the fitness and fellowship you already had before F3…is pain. And I don’t mean pain from the push-ups. Or the 5ks. Or when Scam is in a bad mood.

I mean the pain of spending hour after hour after hour in the dark, scraping gravel and bloodying palms alongside some PAX you started calling your brother, hear his prayers in the COT, remember his days spent as the Six, splashing Merlot, both of you getting stronger, before the real Gloom steps in to one of your lives and you realized you were never really strong. What’s a push up to cancer? A 5k to a disease in your child? Jack Webbs and Bear Crawls to suicide?

Why is this letter for the FNG? To the Six? Because you won’t know this kind of pain for a long time. You’re new to the Gloom, and we’re glad you’re here. Two months? Try two years. Try twenty years. Whatever it takes for you to recognize that F3 is not the answer. It’s not the savior. It’s not the silver bullet to whatever followed you out to the Gloom. No, F3 is just the arena itself. Life, boiled down, purified, leaving you out in the dark, pushed, in pain, maybe embarrassed. But you have to stand up. Breathe. Count. And keep your ass moving. Because you are not alone. And the PAX need you.

And for the Six, you probably don’t have hope that this will change anytime soon. But on the other side. When you finally feel strong, like you can run wherever, for whatever, and do burpees till your old self would have cried in the grass, right when you get there…there is another test coming. A trial of one sort or another. Because life doesn’t stop.

But because of F3 you already knew you weren’t strong enough. You’ve splashed Merlot. You’ve shaken in the shower because you can’t lift your arms. You’ve been broken. So this trial is different. You can’t outrun it. Out box it. Out sprint, out burp- or out-Merkin the thing that’s coming in your life.

And that is OK.

“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

So here we are. Men, PAX, who have spent hours in the maddening pursuit of fitness, fellowship and faith, only to realize it couldn’t save us from the Gloom. Death still comes for us. Pain still comes for us. It comes for our wives, and our children and our loved ones and the PAX. So do we despair…? Do we lose hope? Fall away? Drift back? And when they start to drift, PAX, do you let them go? Or do you fall back to the Six…in that deep Gloom…and make sure he knows he’s not alone?

F3 is the arena. The sign. It’s not the thing. And just when this new trial makes you break. And your spirit gets crushed by something you didn’t see coming, until you find yourself splashing a type of spiritual Merlot all over the place and the pain is huge and oppressive and embarrassing you with how weak you are…well now you’ve been here. Breathe. Stand up. Count. You’re not alone.

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one…”

FNG, you came out to a park and found pain. You came back and you found purpose. A place. You came back again. You found brothers. And you carved out a space to make it last. You set your mark in the field. In the turf. In the mud and rain and ice. And you kept coming back to the line.

But when this second pain comes, when the Gloom comes to you…shield lock. Bear down. Grit your teeth and hold on to faith like the shield it is holding back all the horrors of this world.

Breathe. Count. Now…go look for the Six.

It might be your wife. Your own child. A friend. A coworker. An enemy. Someone who hasn’t been broken before. They never came back to the line. They have no faith or it’s weak and they are in need of shelter. Put your faith over them. Pray for them. Bless them. Carve out space in the midst of this Gloom of life and hide all you love there so that when the evil of the world presses in to take what you love you don’t roll over in despair, but you roar with hope and joy and love and faith and tell all the ones you’ve gathered that they’re not alone. Give them peace. Not because you were strong enough. But because you already knew you never were.

We are not the strength. The strength is the shield. And the shield is faith.

This is, in part, F3.

See you in the Gloom.


Muddy Wood in the Gloom

8 PAX did the hard thing. It was cold. It was wet. It was muddy. The Beams were not forgiving. But, we all got better together

Side bends x 20
Side straddle hops x 20
Little baby arm circles x 20
Get beams. Mosey to astro turf
Leg lifts x 30 in cadence
Lay down arm extensions x 25
Straddle plank jacks x 25
Frankenstein’s hold beams in the air
Inch wood back. Inch worm while holding the beam
Beam merkins 1 arm on beam switching arms x 25
Beam boy sit ups x 20
Beam side bends x 25
Beam cross bends x 25
Triceps extensions x 25
Web jack 10 merkins 20 arm counting down
Forward cross bends
Beam lunges across field
Flip your wood going back , Repeat.
Frog hop over beams

The Gloom Mountain Hundreds – 12/31/2018

15 PAX pushed it to the dark place to make themselves better on the last day of the year.

Warm Up

SSH x 30 in cadence 

Willie Mays x 16 in cadence

Little Baby Arm Circles x 10 front and back

Flutter Kicks x 30 in cadence


Mosey 2 laps then to covered benches

100 squats

Repeat Below 4 times (5 x’s for step ups)

20 step ups (10 each leg)

25 Merkins

25 LBC’s

25 Dips

2 Lap Indian Run

Jack Webb

25 flutter Kicks

20 American Hammers

20 big boy sit ups 

Plank to “Auld Lang Syne” – Julie Andrews

10 Burpees

The Torch 12-27-18

11 Pax sufficiently recovered from their Xmas holiday to report; it was 50 degrees and somewhat moist.

After some warm-up stretches, we did 25 Merkins in cadence (using perfect form), then mosied (sp?) over to the wall and did 15 more perfect Merkins in cadence to prime our arms and shoulders for 20 donkey kicks followed by 20 people’s air air press on the wall for 3 sets.

After the wall exercises, we did an Indian run to Bernie Hill, turning around so as not to leave any men behind.

At Bernie Hill, we partnered up for the BLAME 500, where each team did 100 each of Burpees, Lunges, Air Squats, Merkins, and Elbow Planks (counting to 100 by saying “thousand” in between each number). One partner did the exercise while the other Bernied up the hill.