Author Archive Soft Pretzel


With a little slack requested for lateness by YHC, here is the tale of Bagpipe Tuesday morning.  17 PAX in all.

Bit of a long mosey to warm-up in the far parking lot of the office buildings around Lochness.  COP = 20 SSH, 10 merkins, 20 hydraulic lunges, and 15 mountain climbers, all IC.  Thank you to Hops for his first of several witty comments this morning – the Deacs climbed the Mountain on Sat – YHC enjoyed this reference to the Wake win over App St in Boone.

Mosey on to the grass hill located at the bottom of Bagpipe Hill.  Triple nickel with squats at the top and merkins at the bottom.  Run Bagpipe Hill and stop on the bridge for: 10 derkins IC, people’s chair w/ 50 air presses, 10 derkins IC, people’s chair again.

Mosey all the way to the helicopter pad.  Take note of the fertilizer and other debris that had blown all over it, proceed with the plan anyway.  30 dollies and 20 LBCs IC.  Then 24 merkins civilian count with a burpee on every third.  20 American Hammers and 15 Heels to heaven IC.  Take the stairs and run to the top of the parking deck.  Plank and wait for the six.

At this point, YHC panicked a little and we started heading back even though I probably underestimested the speed of the PAX and we could have stayed a while.  Anyway, mosey back with multiple stops for merkins, merkin/burpee combos, and Mary.

After a foolish stop in the Pei Wei parking lot, which of course is also the Starbucks parking lot where many cars drive through, we finalized the workout in the BofA parking lot next to launch.  ~25 yard sprints x 4 in groups of three.  Time called.


B3 = Ballantine Brown Bag.  Tuesdays at Carolina Premier Bank at 12:15.  YHC took part in this and it is another great way to get to know your fellow PAX and get some 2nd and 3rd F.  Thanks to Hops for the leadership as well as Van Pelt for hosting in the Carolina Premier Conference Room.

Church on The Street: Need guys for this Sunday especially.  Contact Strawberry or sign up here:!/showSignUp/20F0D4AABA82CA7FE3-church

The Benefits of Re-Branding

Don’t worry, this is not a position paper for a Marketing Seminar.  It is just worth noting that since the “Fat Hole” brand was introduced post BRR and post swimsuit season, numbers are up… including the 11 PAX who posted on Monday.  Here is what we did:

Warm-up: Series of exercises while a few folks recovered from the 5 K they ran, found bells, etc.  10 IW, 10 merkins, 10 mountain climbers all IC.  The partner up when all are ready and alternate in a “Catch me if you can” cadence: P1 farmers carry both bells while P2 does 10 squats and runs to catch up.  Finish the warm-up with 20 two hand swings  and some limited kettlebell instruction.  (Note: Schnitzel had his first KB workout but needed almost no coaching to get some good form going.  Nice job.)

The Thang: Everybody start in one corner of the soccer field.  For Round one, the stations are: 20 snatches, 20 merkins, 20 high pulls, 20 merkins, 20 one hand swings, 20 merkins.  The format is, do your KB exercise, then run across the field for merkins, run back, then carry KB half the length of the field, do next KB exercise, and so on.  If you can visualize that, congratulations on being very sharp and this backblast is of some use to you.

Round 2 the stations are: 20 squats, 15 CDDs, 20 cleans, 15 CDDs, 20 2 hand swings, and 15 CDDs.

Mary after both rounds to recover.  Then mosey with bell back to the playground. P1 does 1 set of max pull-ups while P2 does swings.  Flapjack then repeat 1x.  Then weighted dips (KB on legs) 10 IC.  Repeat the whole thing once and we’re done.

Moleskin:  Great to have double digits at the hole.  Welcome back FMB and thanks for the talk at the end on appreciation of being back at F3.  #donttakeitforgranted.

The Saturday Gloom

6 men arrived at Chik Fila Saturday.  It seemed a lot darker than same time last week and scientist Mighty Mite noted that we have passed the Vernal Equinox, so I guess we can expect the Gloom to get gloomier on Saturdays.  Without further ado…

Disclaimer given and mosey across Rea Rd.

The Thang: COP = 20 squats, 20 SSH, 15 Peter Parkers, all IC.  Warm-up further with some high knees, butt kicks, and karyokes across the parking lot.

Hit the fountain for 3 sets of 5 burpee jump ups OYO and 10 dips IC.  Then 5 minute run on Ardrey Kell – 2.5 minutes out, 2.5 minutes back so we all start finish in the same place and stay relatively together.

Mosey to the wacky playground for the rest of the workout.  Next 3 sets: AYG pull-ups followed by 5 burpee pull-ups.  In between, 20 squats, 20 flutters.  Then 4 minute run on AK (2 min up, 2 min back).  Back to the playground for Jack Webb.  3 minute run.  Partner up for under/overs – 3X5 for each partner.  2 minute run.  Partner sit-ups 3×20, elbow planks.  For the last run, head back to launch so we’re not late, then merkins until time expires.

Moleskin: Great effort and a nice job by the 6 PAX pushing each other and bringing out the best in one another.  A couple of the strength exercises were tough: under/overs and JW particularly painful.  The running format worked well as far as people of different speeds getting in some good work but staying pretty together.  Shout out to Paper Jam who continues to get faster and stronger as a runner.  An honor to lead – thanks men.

Heroes in a Halfshell

14 men took on the challenge this morning… and by that I mean escaping from the thing that crawled out of Lochness and was in our path while we were running.  More on that in a minute.

The Thang:

Mosey for a while and form COP: 10 windmills, 10 low slow squats, 10 mountain climbers, 10 merkins all IC.

Mosey some more – 50 high knees, 50 butt kicks, make people think its Swift for a minute.

Arrive at the pond (not Lochness, the other one).  Groups of three.  P1 runs the lap, P2 runs the hill, P3 does merkins.  Rotate through until everyone has ran.  Then round 2 = P1 runs the lap, P2 runs the hill backwards, P3 does LBCs.

Move on to the hill behind the pond and leading up to the back of the bull ring.  20 walking lunges and run to the top (~.25 mile).  Mary at the top and back down.  10 six count burpees IC then run the hill again.  Mary at the top.

Mosey to Lochness.  Do three laps around with 3 sets of 20 exercises per lap.  Lap 1 = derkins, Lap 2 = dips, Lap 3 = hip slappers.

(Sidebar:  It was on lap 1 that we saw it.  An actual mutant turtle.  I’m not a scientist but I believe a sea turtle mated with an armadillo and this thing was its offspring.  How else do you explain the size, the shape, the spikes on the shell?  I wish so bad we took a picture of this thing.  So bad)

Exercise Trail for a rotation of pull-ups, rock shoulder presses and merkins.  Then pull-ups, rock curls and diamond merkins.  This was not in the plan so you’re welcome FC and Haggis.

Take the long way home to get north of four miles and we’re done.

Announcements: Isabella Santos, F3 Golf and Christmas Party.  Something else I’m forgetting… please comment someone and sorry for not having the recorder going.


23 men came out to Dromedary for the VQ of the legendary Johnny Utah… and some additional Q time from the not so legendary Soft Pretzel.  Here’s what we did.

COT: After a lap around the parking lot, circle up.  Johnny delivers the perfect disclaimer and we start warm-up.  20 SSH, 15 IW, 20 cotton pickers, 10 merkins and 20 LBCs all IC.  Silent cadence at first, then actual J.

Indian Run around the school to the football practice fields. Partner up for:

  1. P1 holds plank while P2 sprints 25 yards, 5 burpees, sprint back. 3x
  2. P1 holds elbow plank while P2 sprints 25, 5 merkins, sprint back. 3x
  3. P1 does LBCs while P2 bear crawls 10 yards out and back. 3x

Hand-off Q to SP.

Mosey to “lightpost alley.” Run the length, stopping at each post for jump squats (2,4,6,8,10 reps).  Run back to the start and wait for the 6.  Flutter IC until all are in… believe we got to 30.  Repeat with CDDs same format.  Flutter IC x 20 (lead by Boucher).

From there, time to start the march back. Stops for:

  1. Merkins x 20, 6 inches for a 10 count (by Dasher), plank jacks IC x 20 (lead by The Grease Monkey)
  2. Squat hold waiting for 6.
  3. 10 Mountain Climbers IC, 5 merkins IC, 10 MC IC

Mosey to middle of parking lot and circle up for Mary. PAX choice going round the circle which if I remember right was this:  (ALL IC) Das Boot = 20 rosalitas, Boucher = 20 Freddy Mercury, Joy = 10 heels to heaven, Shop Dog = 20 American Hammer, Abacus = 20 LBC.

Finish the workout with an AYG run – half the parking lot down then the whole thing back.

Moleskin: Great job by Johnny U to step up for his first Q. Fun group as always with plenty of chatter and strong efforts.  Thanks to JU for the strong takeout.

Announcements: Isabella Santos Run 9/30, Susan G Komen Run 10/7. F3 Golf 10/27 at Old Sycamore – proceeds benefit “The Leap” for F#, i.e. funds to plant workout groups in new cities.

Pain in the Rain

9 men arrived at the Pineville Police Department this morning for Pain in the Rain.  I’m sure someone has used that as an F3 slogan before but screw you, I just thought of it.  Anyway…

Read disclaimer and start a long mosey around the baseball fields.  Stop once for merkins (15 IC) then circle up in the parking lot for proper warm-up.  15 IW, 15 squats, 10 MC, 10 CDDs, all IC.

Short mosey and partner up.  Partner 1 does burpees until Partner 2 completes 10 merkins.  Flapjack and repeat.  3 sets each total.  Recovery lap then do the same format for squats and jump squats.  3 sets as well.  Mosey a lap then stop off at the planter boxes.  3 sets of: 10 dips IC, 10 hip slappers IC, 10 jump ups OYO.

Mosey back to parking lot for Running and Mary, always a winning combo. P1 runs the length of the lot and back while P2 does the called exercise.  Flutters, American Hammers, LBCs, Dollies, Bicycles.  Halfway through all that, we stopped running for 25 partner sit-ups each.

Group run back around the baseball field with stops for diamond merkns, wide arm merkins and people’s chair.  Finish up at a rock pile and grab one.  10 curls, 10 tricep extensions, 10 shoulder presses all IC, 2 sets.  Mosey back and that’s all folks.

Moleskin: It was actually a good morning for a workout.  Rain wasn’t too bad.  Thanks to all for a great workout and the opportunity to lead.

Announcements: Be on the lookout for a new Saturday workout in Indian Land.  Details to come.

The Foxhole

5 familiar faces gathered at Tha Hole this morning.  Here is how it went.

Warm Up: Circle up for 15 IW, 15 merkins, 15 windmills, 10 MC/10 Plank Jacks/plank-o-rama

Main Event Part I.  4 sets of alternating Pull Ups and Double KB Cleans.  6-10 reps per set.  Slow pace, focus on form, strength.

Main Event Part II. 4 sets of 10 KB merkins/10 Two Handed Swings/10 Overhead Presses/10 Two Handed Swings.  Recovery =  a 10 count in between each set and one set of flutters x 30 IC after 3rd set.

Main Event Part III.  Mosey down to the soccer field and line up facing the field width wise.  KB burpee ladder: 1 burpee, run across and back, 2 burpees, across and back, etc.  AMRAP fashion and hit pause when the 6 gets to 3 reps.  Then gather for 3 sets of one-arm rows/Mary.  Mary was LBCs/American Hammers, Heels to Heaven/Pistol Crunches, Full Sit-ups/Side Crunches.  Then re-start the ladder and go back down to one KB burpee.

Mosey back to launch and kill time with snatches (5 a side), high pulls (10 a side), and swings x20.

Moleskine:  “Sometimes you wanna go… where everybody knows your name…”  That is pretty much what it felt like this morning with Argonaut, Kirby, Fire Marshal, Luggi, and YHC this morning.  YHC had been missing Foxhole lately for some Big House and some fartsack – it was good to be back.

Announcements: May 24 SOB convergence at The Maul with an FNG quota.  Start thinking it through now and make it happen.

Feel The Burn

8 men gathered at the Pineville Police Station for another episode of THE BIG HOUSE.  The plates had already been placed with care in the parking lot so after my best version of “the disclaimer” off we go.

COP: 20 SSH, 20 IW, 20 mountain climbers, and 10 merkins.  All IC.

Main Event: Get in groups of 4 with one plate per group.  “Cones” are set up to mark the distance – one short, one long.  (Sidenote: instead of actual cones, I used my kids’ toys which were the police dog character from Paw Patrol.  I thought this would make hairburners somehow whimsical and fun.)  Set up for a hairburner relay where PAX take turns pushing the plate.  On the short runs, called exercise was merkins and on the long runs it was flutter (Round 1).  Every PAX goes twice per run, then a recovery lap.  Round 2 – same thing but diamond merkins and LBCs.

At this point, time to regroup.  Circle up and go through some called exercises.  Spice it up as YHC called out PAX for extra hairburners and asked for volunteers for the same.  Guys were stepping up left and right and everyone got in several more runs.  Exercises were: American Hammers x 20, Carolina Dry Docks x 10, Diamond merkins x 10, dollies x 20, plus some others that were called out while YHC was taking turns pushing plates.

6 minute run.  As many laps as you can running from the parking lot over the bridge and back.

Mosey back to the launch with a stop for LBCs on the way.  Time called.

Moleskin: As I noted at the beginning, hairburners are easily my least favorite F3 exercise.  No more sure way to push yourself and get absolutely banged up on a Monday.  Tremendous effort especially by FNG JWOW.

Announcements: Run Ballentyne May 20.

Running, Pushups and Pull Ups – The Arsenal

With temps in the low 20s, 6 gathered to drive that 1st F another step forward.  YHC is glad we got a good one in before the tournament started because March Madness is a serious inhibitor of both my fitness and ability to write backblasts on time.  #terrible excuses

The Thang: Warm-up = a run to the football field, catch-me-if-you can style with 3 burpees a piece.  SSH waiting for all to arrive. Then complete the basic form-running drills made famous by #Bratwurst: heels walk, toes walk, 50 high knees, 50 butt kicks, stride the remainder of the 100 yards after each.

Main Event.  Line up for sprints going width ways across the field.  Each sprint is down and back AYG.  10 merkins IC before each sprint where the “halt” on the merkins = the “go” of the sprint.  3 sets.  Then switch to face the length of the field.  Same format for the ~200 yard run.  Try to fun it at your ~1 mile race pace.  Finish with an AYG 100 yard sprint then keep going AYG to the top of the big hill.

Mosey to the playground.  At this point we’re thinking completion of the daily fitness challenge – 30 pull ups and 200 merkins.  YHC had been a little math challenged on the merkins thus far and time was running down.  3 sets of 5,10, and 15 pull-ups with a lap in between each as well as a set of merkins.  Mosey the long way around the school back toward launch with stops for merkins and Mary to get to 200.

All in: 2.6 miles (about 50% of it at all out effort), 30 pull-ups, 200 merkins, and other stuff.  45 minutes goes fast but it was a respectable effort.

Announcements: P200 next weekend – good luck to all competing and prayers for good health.

The Foxhole

A lucky 7 entered the Foxhole this morning.  Here is what we did.

The Thang: Warm-up with a lap around the school.  Stop in the back parking lot for: 20 mountain climbers, 10 merkins, and 20 SSH all IC.

Main Event: Form a circle around the pull-up bars.  5 pull ups, 25 2-handed swings, 10 merkins IC, 10 KB squats IC.  Do the circuit 4 times.  Good way to get the fitness challenge in hand before getting to fun stuff.

Partner up and line up.  Set 1: P1 bear crawls to the curb and back, P2 cleans (flapjack).  Set 2: P1 broad jumps to the curb and back, P2 high pulls (flapjack).  Set 3: P1 lunge walk to the curb and back, P2 deadlift/upright row then shoulder presses (flapjack).

Shift to face the lot long ways.  3 sets of P1 run to the end of the lot and back, P2 Mary – side-bends, pistol crunches, side planks.

Finish with a triple nickel of 5 snatches right, 5 snatches left, 5 KB merkins, 5X.  Recovery lap then 4 minute AMRAP of 20 swings/20 LBCs.

Moleskin: Don’t you just love Mondays.  I mean I don’t but shaking the rust off at Foxhole is the only way to go.  Thanks men for a good work-out.  Honor to lead as always.

Announcements: Wall build this Saturday!  Get out there SOBs and make it happen.  Sign up for Savage Race.