Monthly Archive October 2017


Summary, Thang, Moleskine, and Everything Your Heart Desires from a Backblast…

22 men showed up to play with some man-strollers…. boy-toyz… this isn’t working.  Let’s just call them what they are… SPEED FOR NEED racing chariots.  Fresh off his sub-20 minute 5k, Benny got there early intent on falling on his face at least once more to make himself prettier… um faster.  Disclaimer and Operating Instructions… left a couple of minutes late because YHC likes to hear the sound of his own voice.  It’s sexxxy like that. And old ladies at home and less old ladies at Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctors offices waiting rooms around Charlotte were serenaded by it for all of 2 minutes yesterday on FOX Good Morning Charlotte ( ) #MongolTV.  Mosey down Woodfox Drive to where Fireman Ed lives on Burning Tree Drive.  We did 5 laps of the cul-de-sac loop alternating pushing the chariots filled with 50-80lbs of weight.  There was a strange banging noise coming from the general direction of Ed’s bedroom… and some panting. But alas, it was just Cheese Curd huffing and stomping his rucking legs around the circle, he was working hard. Nothing to see here.  Next over to the steep hill on Rising Meadows Road for 5 trips up and down with the racing chairs, alternating between PAX. Backwards run halfway to top if not pushing.  Hillz Part Deaux: 3 or 4 trips up to the top, this time pushing a PAX AYG to the top (switch halfway if needed).  Turkey Leg helped simulate a small child Track Commander riding in the chariot Marathon Day.  He kept playing that role when we were done with the workout… the small child. The guy can flat out act, and stay in character!   Back towards launch for some speed work (aka time filler).  Sprint down Strawberry lane from one speed bump to the next, with instruction from YHC to try and beat the chariots.  Purell and Lorax… you completely failed the test.  You won the “Least Willing to Care About Anyone But Yourself Award” for finishing ahead of the racing chair, while the rest of us didn’t take the bait, and finished behind.  Redefining #HIM the wrong way… High INDIVIDUAL Men.  Finish off with 35 Merkin Ladder (regular/wide/diamond/R-hand Fwd/L-hand Fwd/R-leg up/L-Leg up) really only because Mr Brady was there and YHC wanted his male hormone dispenser to re-simulate the BRR a year ago… or was it this year… both? By doing a strength exercise. Eh whatever.  Finito! Thanks Haze for the takeout. YHC will tag the South Charlotte Twitter handle a few less times for it… but you won’t be able to tell.

More musings: Breaking news… Alf is not helpful. In fact he’s something that rhymes with BRICK…. Yup, he did have a little cough this morning.. SICK!  His efforts to coordinate the marathon relay were negated 10x by releasing the inventory amount of SPEED FOR NEED shirts sitting in YHC office… 526.  Did YHC mention it’s the second highest selling shirt in all of F3 Nation? YUP* it is.  YHC didn’t recognize One Eye this morning… mixed him up in the group of 35-45yr old white guys that showed this morning, except Margo who hasn’t stopped growing his Movember since last year. Men’s health all day every day! Poptart…. excuse me, Rachel is… the model of men’s health. They both are models really, BEFORE and AFTER.  Thanks Madison for coming and preaching more SPEED FOR NEED… YHC will unblock you one day, since it’s so irritating my feed is littered with your Tweets. Ok, would love to stay and provide more candor in this backblast, but time to get home to trick-or-treat…. My son is Indiana Jones, and YHC knows because of the whip mark on my back from the “toy”.


Tolkien’s Thoughts (the somewhat serious part)

Thanks for having me out this morning, and thanks everyone for your support, big or small for SPEED FOR NEED.  Sometimes I can get emotional in presence of my brothers because you guys are my family, my outlet, and I appreciate being able to have that in my life, and hope you all feel like at some point you can confide in another brother and feel like F3 is true community as well.

Here is a segment of the backblast I wrote for Lake Norman’s Amazing Grace 5K Race, the only race I have pushed in so far, but thought it would be good to share with the group.

“When I think about it, our being at the Amazing Grace Race was no accident. It was God giving us a gentle reminder, in the midst of so much short term success and exuberance, of why SPEED FOR NEED exists.  It was about Him refocusing us on what SPEED FOR NEED is really about: to be there and help the community, with the gifts He has given us… our time, our money, our fitness, our kindness, and for SPEED FOR NEED, our racing chariots.  A reminder that each of us can make a small difference wherever we are at, whether it’s a 15,000 person race or just a few hundred.  A reminder that when we feel burdened by soccer games taking up every Saturday, that there is a mother and father out there that will never see their child kick a ball, since they’re immobilized in a wheelchair.  SPEED FOR NEED isn’t about having 50+ F3 Nation runners signed up to get the largest team award.  It’s not about how fast we can push our Track Commanders to the finish line.  And it’s not about how many people watch our Youtube videos or like our Facebook page.  It’s about continuing to help the community one person at a time.”

Announcements & Events

  • 11/11/2017 Charlotte Marathon Relay – looking forward to running with you men. Good luck on those hills. Message me if you want a SFN shirt $20 and/or if you want to run alongside the racing chairs in the event.
  • 1/6/2018 Joe Davis 10K / 5K: Today is the last day to sign up for the Joe Davis 10K and 5K and save $5 on pricing. In addition, Rock Thrill will donate $10 of his own money for everyone who signs up today, as well as do 10 burpees for each man that signs up, in honor of his fallen brother Joe, whom this race is in memory of.  For those of you newer to F3, consider this race a HC every year. It easily draws the most F3 men and FiA women from all regions in the Charlotte area.
  • Few other things… can’t remember. I’d refer you to the newsletter . Speaking of the newsletter, there are 1,252 recipients but only 369 opens (~30%)and 4.3 click rate. Cmon fellas get involved. Read what’s happening in our region, get involved and make F3 more than a workout. You’ll not regret it.

SYITG ~JRR Tolkien

Rack em and Rep em


Rack em

Walk down to benches at scout hut

Warmup of

One run to street and back

20 step ups 10 each leg

20 bench dips

20 decline Merkins 

3 rounds of

15 swings

15 presses each arm

15 weighted lunges

15 good mornings

15 decline Merkins

Run to road and back

3 rounds

15 Goblet squats

10 snatches each arm

15 2 hand press

10 1 handed swing each hand

10 kettlebell crusher curls


Rack em

Back to field



Good mix of the boys out there today.  Chin Music checked twice on me and Blazing once to make certain I was going to Q.  You guys act like I don’t post anymore.  Thanks for following my lead and working hard today guys.  Not a whole lot of mumble chatter outside of Les Mis crop dusting the other bench, and a few comments wondering if it was going to be a kettlebell workout during the KB free warmup.   Hope you got plenty of reps.

Have a fun Halloween and don’t eat any razors.

Hops, feel free to add all of the links to announcement festivities below.


Trick or Treating – Watchtower Style

Halloween Trick or Treating
On a crisp autumn morning, 18 PAX showed up for Fuze Boxes Virgin Q and some Trick or Treating fun. We were graced with not one, but two Bottle Caps. It was determined that since Jingles showed up on time dressed as Bottle Cap, that he now needs to come dressed as Bottle Cap for future workouts.

Warm up:
• Two laps around the parking lot
• Side Straddle Hop
• Opposite Knee to Elbow mountain climbers
• Peter Parkers
• Imperial Walkers with a squat hop
• Cherry Pickers – yes, we looked ridiculous
Mosey to Bus Parking Lot

• Partner up. One does one legged step up while the other runs the bus loop. Transition exercise 5 partner darkens with hand slaps. 2 rounds. Its right about here where the complaining started about the number of new exercises introduced. I tapped down the uprising with promises of candy at the end.
• Partner up. One does Durkens while the other runs the bus loop. Transition exercise: In and Outs (Bottom half of a burpee). 2 rounds.
Mosey to Rock Pile

• Partner up: One partner does curl press with a heavy rock. Other partner does toe touches on the curb. 2 Rounds.
• Partner up: One partner does front raise and triceps extension with a heavy rock. The other partner does lung/squat/lung. 2 Rounds
Mosey to back of school
• Peoples Chair with 50 overhead claps
Mosey into a Jailbreak to side parking lot
• Lock horns with partner and push partner to top of parking lot. Sprint back to lower parking lot and flap jack with partner. Several PAX sucking air on this one – including the VQ.
• While waiting for 6 in, group started small arm circles out to the side.
Slow mosey to front of school while doing arm circles
• American Hammers while passing bucket of candy around. Each Pax takes one piece of candy and we preformed exercise until the candy was gone. It was reported that Money Ball turned the candy bucket up during the exercise. The chocolates around his mouth was all the evidence we needed to confirm our suspicions.
• Finished workout with Pistol LBC’s
• We welcomed FNG – Matt to the group. He was given the name “The Great Pumpkin” in honor of Halloween being his first Q and the tie in with his work at Metlife/Snoopy/Charlie Brown’s The Great Pumpkin.
• Mad Dog and Halfback out early offering encouragement to a nervous VQ who was teetering on loosing his voice from a night of coughing. Thanks guys.
• Shout out to Posse for giving me the opportunity to Q for the first time and for the constructive criticism afterwards. Some lessons learned after this first Q and I hope to improve during future Q’s.
• Posse provided the pink handkerchief in support of Brest Cancer Awareness month. Posse shared a personal story earlier this month of losing his mom at a young age that has stuck with me all month. Thoughts to all those affected by this horrible disease and the impact it has had on families and friends.
• After all the talk – only one Halloween costume was brought out today. Thanks to Jingles for adding some laughter to the group.
• Good work by the group. I threw in some curveballs with new exercises mixed in with my inexperience of leading the group. Everyone was able to hang and figure out what I was attempting to do.
• In listening back to the recording, I can barely make out Money Ball’s name as he is chomping down on what is thought to be a Snicker bar. I’m glad some of yall enjoyed the candy. That Caramel really locks down the jaws when you are combining fun sized to make real sized bars. Despite his best efforts, all the candy in the word won’t bring Tennessee another win this year.
• Union County F3 Christmas Party at the Red Barn. Information posted on Group Me.
• This Thursday a movie will be playing for one night only at Stonecrest that tells a story of a guy pushing his terminally ill friend 500 miles through Europe. A few tickets still available.

Do you have a better way to stay warm than to set your hair on fire?

9 men succumbed to FOMO and entered the DMZ for a workout brought to you by Joe Weider and inspired by TR

Merkins x 30 IC

Mosey to C@C for some laps:

Lap #1 (~1/3 mile) – 12 Jerkins on the corners. Flutter on the 6.

Partner up, groups of 3.

#2 – Partner One, run with a 45# rubber plate .  Partners Two & Three, 10 Monkey Humpers, then chase down the plate carrier. Rotate through, 10 MH each transition until plate back to starting point. Plank on the 6.

#3 – Partner One, Hairburner w/33#* “Weider International” steel plates. Partner Two – Repeat rounds of 5 Merkins, 10 Squats, 15 LBCs. Partner Three – run (use breezeway) until reaching burner man. Burner man back to exerciser, exerciser runs to burner. Rotate through until plate is back to starting point. Plank on the 6. (* 15 kilo)

#4 – 12 HR Merkins on the corners, Freddie Mercury on the 6.

#5 – same as #2, except with 10 Jump Squats on each transition.

#6 – 6 Diamonds & 6 Wide Arms on each corner, LBCs on the 6

#7 – just a lap

Mike Tyson x 10 IC

Rosalita x20 IC

Derkins x 2 IC


Check out Speed for Need if you haven’t. When & where are Thanksgiving convergences?

Great takeout by Snowflake.


  • 9 pax showing up was clearly divine providence – no need to alter the planned 3-man team structure
  • The 60 merkins on the front end was a crowd pleaser
  • On the first chasedown lap, we ended up with 2 four man teams and one 1 man team for about 1/3 of a lap. Math is tough sometimes
  • Hairburners: I remember TR showing up at Carmel Road Park not long after I started F3 with his trunk full of steel. No less painful today
  • Sparks were flying, there was a real risk of igniting the dried leaves blowing around the bottom of the lot
  • In prepping for this I found out a) Joe Weider is no longer with us, RIP and b) He was Canadian which explains his stubborn attempt to cram the metric system onto the 1980s lifting public
  • One of the teams (not mine) absolutely destroyed the burner lap – nice work
  • The burner intervals were a little too long so that will be tweaked next time
  • All in all a good (that is to say terrible) change of pace
  • Also should give a hat tip to Prohibition and the terrible Horsey McSandbag workout this past summer – another inspiration
  • Snowflake – Respect; great to see you at DMZ again
  • Reminder to headlock at that neighborhood Halloween party you are going to tomorrow
  • Thank you for the opportunity to lead


A Marathon Story

Although the temperature dropped, it did not discourage 4 PAX from following a new route conjured up by Bratwurst filled with sprinklers and hills. At 5:15 we launched and tackled the menacing hill of Ardrey Kell to go past the high school. A right onto Zachary Ave, right onto Pomerane Place, right onto Old Ardrey Kell Rd (where we found the sprinklers), then through some other neighborhoods (I cannot remember which ones) and we ended up on Community House Rd. A quick left onto Highgrove to complete a loop around Highgrove-Fortbridge-Summer Club, Pemswood and then back to Community House. Down to Adrey Kell and a left back to base.  The broga mats and a towel came out for stretching led by Paper Jam.


As a person who is often looking at the backs of other PAX in workouts, I sometimes get discouraged because it seems like some guys never struggle. They show up to a running workout, knock out 5-6 miles at some incredible pace or they show up at a boot camp and are always in front. It can be quite intimidating. They make it look easy. So when Gumbo relayed to us this morning his latest marathon story, one that documented how he successfully fought through physical battles with his body and second thoughts about running the marathon, for me, it was not only inspiring to hear about his triumph but also encouraging to know that I am not alone in the mental and physical struggles of our F3 workouts. It makes guys like me, who may never run a marathon, feel like we belong at an F3 workout with someone who can. Thank you Gumbo for a great start to my week.

Preblast – Citius, Altius, Fortius

PAX will launch from the Vine Restaurant on Tuesday morning at 0515 to reach for the objective Citius, Altius, Fortius.  It will be a next phase in the Swift training regiment.  We have been doing Repetition Pace training intervals over the last 2 weeks in pursuit of Running Economy.  We’ll now turn to Interval Pace to get back to the training intervals similar to 3 weeks ago in order to maximize Aerobic Power .


  • 0500 – Pre-run for 1.3mi at a 2nd F pace
  • 0515 – Leave the Vine parking lot for the MetLife back alley near Ballantyne Commons and North Community House.  Route is either through the Ballantyne Hotel or by SPX (via fitness trail).  Choose wisely to arrive at MetLife by 0525.
  • 0525 – Warm-up drills
  • 0530 – At North Community House we’ll get to some Interval Pace (a.k.a. 2 mile race pace / VO2Max / “Hard” intervals / 8.5 out of 10 on the effort scale / 97-100% max heart rate).  Note, the goal is to run at an effort that will induce 97 to 99.99999% max heart rate during the interval, which is your VO2Max.  It’s a slow ramp up of heart rate during the interval because you should be running at a consistent pace, but realize that you can run faster than a level which produces 100% max HR, but your heart rate won’t keep climbing and you’ll just be running anaerobic.  And that Hurts!  Our goal is not to Hurt, but to maximize time at VO2Max.  If you start out the intervals too fast, you’ll not get the maximum benefit of the workout.  Watch the video for more details:
    • 5:00 I-pace, 4:00 jog recovery to regroup the PAX
    • 5:00 I-pace, 4:00 jog recovery
    • 4:00 I-pace, 3:00 jog recovery
    • 4:00 I-pace, 3:00 jog recovery
  • 0605 – Head towards COT at the Vine.  If you so desire, there are more optional Intervals on the way there.
    • 3:00 I-pace, 2:00 jog recovery
    • repeato until arrived at COT
  • 0615 – COT
  • 0630 – TimeKeeper at Einstein Bagels

See you in the Gloom,


Slapping the Floor

AYE. The PAX gathered in the gloom and 05:30 came and went without any floors being slapped. We were about to have a Q by democracy and Da Squids was explaining something about 4 stations and then YHC decided it was time to take charge. Not because DS would have done a bad job, but because YHC remembered that I had to pay penance for missing my Kevlar Q last Friday. For good reason, by the way, but still missing it. So here’s what happened next:

Mosey to lower parking lot, run a lap and then COP for SSH x 10 and Imperial Walkers x 10
Enough of that shiz
Mosey to end of parking lot and partner up

Partner 1 runs a lap, Partner 2 does stated exercise
Goal is cumulative total reps per exercise

Round 1 – 200 Merkins
Round 2 – 300 Jump Squats
Round 3 – 400 LBCs
Round 4 – 500 Mountain Climbers
Round 5 – 400 Sister Mary Catherines
Round 6 – 300 Flutter Kicks
Round 7 – 200 Jump Squats wait, nevermind, 100 Burpees

Finish out with a little bit of Mary – Heels to Heaven, High Slow Flutter, Jackknife
AYG to the finish line


  1. Floor Slapper missed a good one.
  2. Some serious speed this morning out there in both waves. Smokey was a consistent top finisher in Wave 1, Laronda crushed Wave 2.
  3. I have no idea where No Regerts’ name came from but it’s awesome.
  4. It was cold out there. I guess that scared away the PAX without the fortitude to handle the cold. I mean, it was so cold that O’Tennenbaum only sweated through one of his two shirts.
  5. When are we going to have the pleasure of seeing both Squid and Squid Twin at the same workout?

That’s it. Something about a Christmas party and a 5k as well. #horseneck OUT

Navy Seals

The Thang

  • ¼ mile jog to track
  • Standard old-school warm up: SSH, Imperial Walkers and Squats
  • ½ mile warm up around the track
  • Navy Seal Fitness Test

o   Timed 1.5 mile

o   Max push-ups in two minutes

o   Max sit-ups in two minutes

o   Max pull ups

  • Cool down with plank, dips, etc.



  • A Navy Seal fitness test without water isn’t much of a Navy Seal fitness, but we did the best with our available resources.  I did this workout a few years ago, and I thought it would be a great day to bring it back.
  • Based on a quick review of the website, it appears there are some fairly specific pre-screening qualifications to become a Navy seal, including:

o   Applicants must be between the ages of 17 to 28 [… sorry Uncle Leo, but turns out that you and I are almost 20 years outside of the range]

o   Eyesight requirements: 20/40 best eye; 20/70 worst eye; correctable to 20/25 with no color blindness.  [Interesting… not sure if I have a “best eye” and “worst eye”.]

o   Meet the minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score: GS+MC+EI=170 or VE+MK+MC+CS=220 or VE+AR=110 MC=50. [I have no idea what any of this means… but looks pretty impressive].

  • In terms of the fitness test, here were the targets:

o   1.5 mile in 11:30 or less, with a stretch goal to do it in under 10 minutes

o   At least 50 push ups in two minutes, with a stretch goal of 80

o   At least 50 pull ups in two minutes, with a stretch goal of 100

o   At least ten pull ups

  • Everyone pushed hard… good workout… and managed to have some good laughs along the way.  Great group of guys, with youngsters in their mid-20s and old guys like me and Leo.  Great way to start a Friday.
  • With Veterans Day right around the corner, this is a great time to give thanks to all of the men and women that serve in uniform!

Ruck or Treat

9 PAX made the right choice, arose from the #FartSack on a perfect Saturday morning and posted at #Stonehenge for their #DownPAINment, and here’s how it went down.

The Thang:

Mosey over to the Ballantyne Village parking deck, stopping at each ramp for 5 merkins kicks. Stopping on the roof for COP


  • SSH x 20 IC
  • Imperial Walkers x 20 IC
  • Merkins x 10 IC
  • Squats x 20 IC
  • Arm Circles x 20

Head back down the parking deck ramps performing 10 squats OYO at each ramp.

Costigan Park:

Head over to Costigan Park, and partner up. Partner 1 does called exercise while Partner 2 runs a lap, then Flapjack.

  • Step ups
  • Dips x 15
  • Incline Merkins

Trick or Treat?

Mosey back to the start point and pick up up some rucks. Staying with your partner Catch Me If you Can to the Vein Specialists of NC parking lot. Partner 1 does called exercise with their coupon while Partner 2 runs to one end of parking lot and back. Flapjack. Move the rucks down the line each round. Repeato when complete.

  • Round 1: Ruck Presses
  • Round 2: Squats
  • Round 3: Ruck Curls
  • Round 4: Ruck Swings
  • Round 6: Overhead Ruck Hold

Waterfall Relay Race:

Get into 2 teams, stay with your partner, at each station perform called exercise with your partner, bear crawl to the next station. The next set of partners doesn’t start the exercise until the one before has completed the called exercise.

  • 5 Partner Burpees
  • 10 Handslap Merkins
  • 15 Partner Air Squats


Return to the Vine with 5 minutes left for some Mary.

  • Flutters x 20 IC
  • LBCs x 20 IC
  • Rosalia x 15 IC
  • Dolly’s x 10 IC
  • Merkins x 10


  • Great effort by the PAX today, we covered 2.6 miles today without heading over to Loch Ness.
  • YHC wanted to mix it up today, and introduce some #GoodLivin’ to the SOB PAX. YHC pinged Dora to see if we can bring some more rucks to the PAX and he obliged. The rucks were of various weights and colors (neon pick GR1) to provide the PAX the opportunity to get taste of a ruck work out.
  • I wasn’t sure how many PAX would post this AM and brought more coupons just in case but we had more than enough rucks to pass around.
  • YHC borrowed the Waterfall Relay from Cadre Daniel (F3 Linus) after participating in the Capital Ruck Tour last week in Columbia. Apparently, it took YHC a long time to explain the instructions, will do better next time.
  • Billy Goat and Gruden were getting after it on the sprints, solid work.
  • Fire Hazard, who was killing it today, asked YHC before we started if I had and Rucks coming up, funny he should ask.
  • Some PAX may have been still recovering from the F3 Golf outing yesterday, y’all were missed.
  • Dora made his first post to Stonehenge since the launch, site #Kotters and thanks for the support.
  • Fire Hazard will be signing up for GORUCK event, #FutureGRT. He poked the Q during Mary so we finished with merkins with rucks on.
  • YHC had a voice recording failure and I’m missing 1 PAX, I believe this was only his second post, #Cobains.
  • Thanks to Wild Turkey and Nard Dog for opportunity to lead and please sound off with any mumble chatter.


101 Ways to Do A Burpee?!?

YHC had never been to DaVinci… Its not that I didn’t have time to scout the AO, I’ve known about this Q for months, but as ever life got in the way and on Thursday when Fredo sent the reminder I realized I was hosed.  As a result I scouted the AO via google maps and realized exactly where the space I need lay, but more on that later.

YHC ran into the parking lot at about 0627 to witness a solid 4 PAX waiting to get started.  Having planned for 8-12 an on the spot audible was necessary, such is the joy of the Q.



Mosey out of the parking lot and crossed Rea to the office complex where party favors awaited.  The gear was shortly laid out per YHC direction and the circuit was defined.  With classic rock blaring on the bluetooth speak we did 5X each of:

Plate Burpees (45 lbs) Chest to plate standard style arms during the merkin, press plate over head

Bumper Plate Burpees (20 KG) Chest to plate, military arms during merkins (elbows tucked), press plate over head

Ball Over Slamball Burpees (20 lbs ball) Press with right hand on ball, left hand on ball then over head slam at the top of the burpee

Military Slamball Burpees (40 lbs ball) Military style press with chest to ball, overhead slam at the top of the burpee

Sandbag Clean Burpee (60 lbs sandbag) Press chest to bag, clean bag to overhead during burpee

After the above 5 sets PAX hit the agility ladder for side-to-side directly followed by corner to corner runs (cones set in top of the lot)

Lap on the sidewalk down to Rea then around and back to the gear

Repeat above set

2 foot in and outs up and back down the agility ladder then 2x suicides on the cones

lap around the buildings

Repeat the burpee set but with two (or 4) merkins per burpee

Two foot in and outs up and down the agility ladder

Burpee suicides ran at the cones then another lap of the buildings was completed

A couple rounds of tug-o-war (cause YHC had brought the rope when anticipating a larger group but gotta use it!)

Gear Stowed in the Jeep, had a quick tour o’ blakney and an Indian run back to the BB&T lot for circle of Mary



Ye Naked Moleskin:

Being of A51, YHC doesn’t know the the Sons of Ballantyne as well as he might like, the DaVinci Q was aiming to fix that, I’ll have to give it another go!  That being said Fredo, Bucky, No Show and Jerry MGuire made a SOLID showing.  This was no easy workout and we covered a lot more ground than I had originally planned given the burpee heavy format.  Despite the audible, we had plenty of sweat equity invested this AM.  It was an honor to work with you men, I look forward to doing it again.




SOB Christmas Party and Balrog II (see pre-blasts)