Author Archive Swiss Miss

Predictably painful Peak

With the stars out overhead and ideal cool, still air, 11 men gathered to see what kind of pain YHC had scheduled.  Here’s how that worked out:

Mosey to back bus lot and around it 2 laps adding dynamic stretching second lap.

SSH-15IC                                Merkin ring 1X
IW-15IC                                  Merkin ring 2X
Squats-15IC                           Merkin ring 3X
Seal Jack-15IC                       Merkin ring 4X
Windmill-10IC                        Merkin ring 5X

The Main Thang:
Mosey to playground equipment and find a pullup or supine pullup bar
Up & hold 5 count then 5-count descent
10 CDD OYO //REPEATO minus 1 CDD each round until 1 CDD

Mosey back to bus lot, partner up for some plank walks.  Partners face each other in plank on same line (spread out!) and plank walk toward fields 5 lines, then back to start, stopping for one merkin at each line.  Stay with partner.

Mosey to sidewalk.  Lunge walk ~ 10 yards, then mosey to base of hill for 7s.
1LBC @ bottom, backward run to top, 6 squats, down, 2/5, etc

Mosey to near wall.  People’s Chair w/palm up/down -20IC

Mosey to parking lot for Mary:
Superman 10-count X2
Dead bug-10IC
Superman 10-count X2
Bit of warm-down stretching and “time!”

(From Tang) Mission trip opportunity: in March 11-21 to Chili (not the restaurant) to work with young faith leadership rebuilding from last year’s earthquake/tsunami.

Merkin Ring, or Ring of Fire, or whatever it’s called, is one of those things that are easier to do than to explain.  Fortunately, YHC had planned for us to get plenty of practice, with five rounds.  Only 15 merkins total, but we really had to work for them.
Pullups are standard fare when YHC Qs, so shouldn’t have been any surprises this morning.  Hopefully the 1-at-a-time method made it tolerable.
Plank walks are questionable as “moderate intensity” activity, but Slim Fast introduced them and he’s site Q, so please forward complaints to him.  At least this time, we only did 5 each way, not like Slim Fast’s “five” which was more like 7.
Sounded like a teacher caught us practicing the Macarena while we were resting in our chairs.  I’m sure that was fun for all, but the mumblechatter didn’t make it down to my end.
Thanks for keeping the count going while I tried to insert a comment here or there and totally lost track.  I’m not a professional – but I do try to act like one (sometimes).
Thank you for the privilege of leading this morning.  It’s fun to be back in A51 after long weeks in the wilds of Mint Hill.

Demonstration – I am not a professional

A cold, still morning welcomed the 20 men of Area 51 who gathered under the soft glow of the parking lot lights, ready to start their Monday with a dose of downpainment.  The stillness was broken by the Q, who announced he wasn’t a professional, then proceeded to demonstrate the fact.  Here’s how:

Mosey to 51 and circle up:
Mosey ~ half-way to Windswept Dr and circle up
Mosey to Windswept Dr and circle up:
15-full-range Merkins (3down/1up)

Mosey to playground for the Main Thang:

Starfish #1:
Legs = 10 pullups, 10 step-ups (each leg=1) on fixed bench, 10 merkins by back, 10 dips on picnic benches, 10 donkey kicks on swings
Center (at playground entrance) = 1 burpie + 1 each time you complete the entire set of 5 legs
(time = 10 minutes)

Starfish #2:
Legs = 10 squats by back left toy, 10 supine pullups (on swings), 10 speed skater by back center of playground, 10-sealjacks by back right toy, 10-lunge (each leg is 1) by swings
Center (at playground entrance) = 1 clap merkin +1 each time complete entire set of 5 legs
(timer = 8 minutes)

Mosey back to school, stopping at corner by Gateway for inchworm merkins until 6 arrives Mosey to parking lot for Mary:
12-Freddie Mercury


Welcome to our newest member of the F3 nation, Smithers.
Simba lobbied hard for FNG Matt to be called Dabo (underestimated, but leading).  After some polite banter (after all, he is Site Q, and not afraid to remind us), we moved on to gather more intel, and based on his job description found a better fit with “Smithers.”

Simba, Insomniac and Smash demonstrated the core F3 value “I am 3rd” when we had one man go down on the way into the park.  Balk took an unlucky step in a hole and injured his ankle.  Smash stayed with him while Insomniac and Simba ran back to get a car and drive him back to his car.  Apparently he was just getting back after 6 weeks out with an ankle injury on his other foot.

YHC offers sincere apologies to any pax that felt the moderate part of Base Camp’s designation “Moderate Intensity” was missing.  I didn’t have any 10-counts and we didn’t plank to wait for the 6 after the runs.  It wasn’t an oversight, but instead I wanted to offer a challenge to every level: faster guys got to do a few more reps of whatever the called exercise was, but everyone got to do some of that exercise.  Also the design of the starfish is that you push yourself as hard as you want/can.  So I thought I had the “moderate” part and the “intense” part both covered, but if I missed the target, I apologize.

Happy Birthday to The Fridge!

Dealing with sodden cards

Forecast for this morning was only low percent chance of rain. We beat the odds with almost constant rain that varied from light to drenching every few minutes. Unfortunately, we didn’t get so lucky with the cards. Here’s what happened:

Mosey around kiddie track and on second lap add backward-run, side-hops, high-knees back-kick.

15 SSH
10 4-count chest to ground Merkins
15 IW
15 speed skater (R+L=1)
10 LSS

Mosey to playground for the MAIN THANG:

Deal out deck. Each pax calls cards in hand. 10 count before next Pax hand.

Deck of cards including jokers (10-count): Suit is exercise, number = #reps. Ace is 11, faces are ten,
Heart=Spartan Burpie (bonus=Full Burpie)
Diamond = Merkin (bonus=Diamond Merkin)
Club = supine pullup (bonus = pullup)
Spade = dead bug (bonus = there is none)

Mosey to bleachers. Shuffle and re-deal (audible b/c time: play only first 5 cards)
Heart = squats (bonus = jumpsquats)
Diamond = CDD (bonus=feet on first bench of bleachers)
Club = lunge (bonus = sistermarycatherine) R+L=1
Spade = dips

Mosey back to parking lot.


Christmas party Dec 12: hold the date
Joe Davis Memorial Run Jan 9: sign up
F3 Gear Store – pre-order by 11/21
Convergence 11/11 @ Anvil (Calvary) @ usual time

YHC hasn’t Q’d at Ascent in ages, so was happy to bring an old favorite out of the ol’ bag o’ tricks: the card deck. It’s fun to mix things up, and YHC trusts that while the deck may have been a little suspect, the entertainment value was worth the extra ten reps.
The mumblechatter was light as the breathing got heavy: multiple cards of the same suit does lead to some O2 deprivation.
I appreciate the privilege of leading, and look forward to seeing you at a future A51 (or MH) workout soon.

Bum deal

A lucky break in the weather didn’t bring any luck in the cards to the 19 Pax assembled in front of Sun Valley Middle this morning. Here’s how it went down:

Mosey to flag hill for COP
Slerkin-25 (slow low Merkin)

Mosey to practice FB field and circle up. Disclaimer given, then YHC pulled out a deck of standard playing cards, shuffled and ready to use.
Count = # on card, Faces=10, Aces=11, Joker=10-count
Hearts = Burpies
Diamonds = Merkins
Spades = Dead Bug (each side=1) (more on this later)
Clubs = Lunge walk (R+L=1)

Slow mosey to elementary school playground for some pullups/LBC ladders: split up so half starting on six, half on bars, then 2 pullups/2 LBCs, 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10 and back down to 2/2.

Indian Run back to parking lot for some Mary.
Freddie Mercury-20

Time up, but Q called bonus: 10 SmurfJacks, Civilian Count.

BRR needs drivers – talk to guys going for details
Fall Mud Run (Oct 24) signup live – search and follow links.
Young Life Mud Run 9/19 @ Whitewater Center – competitive and noncompetitive heats, great for kids and M’s

Welcome to Good Luck from Asheville. Great to see brothers from other regions across the F3 Nation.
Also great to meet Big Trade’s 2.0, and newest F3 member, Spike. Hope we see you out here often.

YHC had another entire round of activities planned, but underestimated the time needed to get through 52 cards of pain. It won’t go to waste, I promise. Think of the Smurgjacks as a preview of coming detractions.

The randomness of YHC’s card deck shuffle was questioned by all, including YHC. Urkel (aka Glass Joe) calculated the odds at less than 3.14%. He also calculated the number of each exercise at 96 (YHC had to use a calculator last night, twice.) Number of cards also questioned – definitely felt like more than 52. Apparently some of the PAX heard that each Dead Bug was half count, so that “1” was R+L, but YHC stands by his assertion that instructions at beginning of cards was for Dead Bug single count and Clubs was the only R+L=1. Step forward (comments) to claim your bonus points/not listing penalties.

Good takeout by Horse Head.

Thank you for the privilege of leading.

Squeaky swings

We were blessed with the best summer morning since early June: cool breeze and overcast. We needed the break, because YHC had planned to deliver a solid beatdown. Here’s what happened:

Circle up in front parking lot for disclosure (did have one FNG) then COP:
SSH – 40
4-count Merkins – 4
IW – 60
Seal Jack – 30
LSS – 8
Parker Peter – 10

Main Event:

Mosey to side of middle school. Count off in 3s and head to stations for 3 rounds:
1) 30 step-ups (each leg = 1),
2) rail walk
3) 20 dips
Plank-o-rama when finished.

Indian Run to playground for Murph: as much as you can in 10 minutes, if finished early, run around the track. 100 pullups, 200 merkins, 300 squats (Q reco: 5/10/15 X20)

Mosey to practice football field. Split into 4 teams for Frisbee hairburner relay races. LBCs until on deck. YHC had 3 rounds planned, but football team and clock constrained it to one round to middle cone.

Mosey to small hill between soccer and tennis for some 11s. Backward run up, regular down. 1 Superman at bottom, 10 high-knee jumps at top, 2/9, etc. YHC called halt around 6 or 7 jumps to be sure we had time for Mary.

Mosey to shovelflag, circle up and on your 6.
Flutter – 21
Russian Twist – 10
Dolly – 15

Bonus round: winner of hairburner relay called 10 Merkins. The rest got 15.


Keep HH and DT in prayers for recovery.

Great to welcome a new brother this morning. Hank “The Dealer” Waltmire. He knew Liger, and just moved from CT. Hasn’t even been in town a full week and already posting. The man knows his priorities.
Solid work by all the Pax. YHC planned to deliver a healthy dose of downpainment. Hope it was just what the doc ordered for all.
I didn’t see anyone hit the track during the Murph, and heard a lot of chatter about the pull ups. I know I was modifying (upright row) before time was up, but would like to be able to do a full Murph one day – preferably this year. Oh, and in case you hadn’t been to any other workouts I’ve Q’d: If there’s anything to hold above the ground, I will always include pull ups. #warninggiven
Thank you for the honor of leading.

From the peak you can view the full range

With humidity over 90%, it was easy to forget it was just in the 60s, especially after about a minute of movement.  However, the Pax of Peak51 don’t shrink from a challenge, so 5:30 we set off, well most of us (see moleskin).
Here’s the thang:

Mosey around front of school to basketball court for COP:
Slow Merkins-20 (3 down/1up)
Hillbilly – 20
CDD – 15
LSS-15 (low slow squat)

Mosey to playground equipment and find a pull-up or supine pull-up bar of choice
Up & hold 5 count then 5-count descent
10 recovery Merkins OYO
REPEATO minus 1 Merkin each round until 1 Merkin,

Mosey to bus parking lot
Rock Hopper – Merkins – Jump Squat (hands touch ground and hands up at end)
Set of 10 each, then 8/6/4/2
LBC recovery until all Pax done
Put it all together: 10 burpies

Mosey to wall: People’s Chair with straight-arm raises: hands touch bottom wall and top wall in cadence 1 minute / 45 sec / 30 seconds

Mosey to grass in front of theater for some Mary
Dead Bug X10
Back Scratcher X15
One-legged Flutter X 10
Other-legged Flutter X10
Freddie Mercury X15

Mosey small parking area at side of theater
Lunge-walk to end, backward lunge-walk back
Speed skate half-way, frog jump back

Mosey to cars and circle up for two minutes of Merkin wave



F3 Dads at Col. Beatty Park: Saturdays this summer 0900 to 1000.  Bring kids of any age for some fitness cleverly disguised as fun.

New running workout Fridays at S.Charlotte Middle.  5:15 – 6:15.  Name just announced: Mountain Goat

Joust/Kevlar new AO starting tomorrow at far west end of Arboretum.

Maniac driver warning: young white male in white car almost crashed with Pax driving to workouts two different times around 51/Fullwood.


The un-announced emergency response test that Horsehead put us through highlighted some opportunities for improvement.  For example, when YHC was on the phone with 911 for medical help, and the guy asked “what’s the address,” I had no clue.  I guess asking him to google it would be rude?  And Kilowatt volunteered to go to the road to meet the EMS truck, but when we cancelled the call, nobody went to  get him.  Fortunately, it was only a test, and HH was back on his feet for COT.  Learnings YHC took away: (for the Q) make sure someone has a phone and knows the address; plan a mid-workout swing by cars to get a swig of water if needed; don’t send a scout to the main road until EMS call confirmed; (for the Pax) bring water and leave at car, and bring something to eat just in case.  Others: please chime in with anything else you learned from HH’s test.

Start time is 5:30.  Not sure everyone knew that.  Not calling anyone out.  Just sayin.’

YHC’s goal was first to bring a good beatdown, and second to help sharpen the focus on the full range of motion for some of our movements.  Hope I was able to deliver.

As always, I had fun and was honored by the challenge of leading.

Thanks for the solid take-out, Slim Fast.

Dearth of Bells

With many of our brothers off to put their mark on the 2015 Spring Mud Run, The Rock, Day Zero, Olympus and Ascent all converged at Olde Providence for some running, swinging, pushing and pulling.

Here’s the thang:

SSH – 20
IW – 20
Slow Merkins  – 10
Arm Circles – 10 forward, 10 reverse
LSS – 10

Gullah Q:

Grab a KB or two and mosey to track.  Partner up.  P1 does called exercise at this end, P2 runs to playground and does other exercise.  Repeato for 5 minutes.

Round 1: 10 Two-Handed KB Swings,  5 Burpees
Round 2 – no running: 10 Two-Handed KB Push Presses, 5 high pulls per side, 10 Goblet Squat, P2 planks, then switchero
Round 3: 10 Good Mornings, 5 Diamond Merkins

Swiss Miss Q:

Grab bells and mosey to bigger playground with some lunge walks and/or shoulder shrugs.  Partner up. 10 minutes AMRAP: 5 partner-assist (as needed) pullups (modify to supine pullup), 10 merkins (modify w/incline), 15 squats (extra credit: goblet squat – must use same KB and do goblet squat all 15 squats each time for full EC)

Form close circle, count off by 2s for some KB “Hot Potato”.  Once around clockwise.  Once anti-clockwise.

Hairball Q:

Mosey with the KBs to the small track beside the parking lot. Split into groups of 3 for a set of grinders with a called KB exercise at each end.

Lap 1- End A: Merkins, End B: Pullovers with KB,
Lap 2- End A: Deck squats, End B: Two-handed swings with KB,
Lap 3- End A: Russian twist (extra credit with KB), End B: upright rows with KB.

LBCs until the six finished up.

Circle up for 6 minutes of Mary in the track infield. J-Lo x 12 IC (Hairball), Flutter x25 (Young Love), Sit-ups x 10 (Les Mis), Slow Freddy Mercury (High Tide)



–           Lots of strong work out there. This workout had something for everyone – running, KBs, trash talk. T-claps to Les Mis and Radar’s 2.0s for posting and running circles (literally) around their old man.
–           Thanks to Byron for digging into his traveling gym to supply is with additional KB’s.
–           Gullah had some devious plans on the field, but the clipboarders beat us there by 10 minutes. Hairball suggested a hostile takeover, however they had archery equipment (seriously), so we called an Omaha and found some alternate turf.
–           Lots of mublechatter during the hot-potato rotations judging the size and décor of several KBs that made the rounds a couple of mention – own up or sound off in the comments: the massive (deceivingly light) plastic bell, the hello kitty KB (Hairball)
–           Thanks to Stay Puft for the send-off prayer.



Take advantage of a great BRR training opportunity for the “Tread Nightly” after-dark trail half marathon & 4-miler at the Whitewater Center on Friday, June 19th. Races start at 8pm, beer and 2nd F opportunities afterwards. Sign up:

Smoked on the Peak

Ten fierce warriors fought back the gloom and made it to the top of Peak51.  Here’s the thang:

Mosey around front of church to back and over to school bus lot.


  • SSH-15
  • IW-15
  • Merkins-15
  • LSS-15

Mosey to playground equipment and find a pullup or supine pullup bar

Up & hold 5 count then 5-count descent
10 recovery Merkins OYO
REPEATO minus 1 Merkin each round until 1 Merkin,

Mosey to parking lot, partner up (opposite speed)

Partner 1: SSH while P2 moves to opposite side doing following exercise: (mosey back then flapjack)

  • lunge walk
  • bear crawl
  • frog jump
  • “speed skate”
  • sprint

Plank when done

Repeat: Switch out SSH with Peter Parkers

Mosey to the tundra and circle up for some Mary.

Pax #1 calls ab exercise and takes recovery mosey around ring.  Remaining Pax perform called exercise OYO. Repeato until all Pax have gone.  (YHC recalls: Flutter, Merkins, IW, Mountain Climber, Protractor, Freddy Mercury (variable speed), Sid-the-Kid, Russian Twist, Rosalita, LBC)

Mosey to benches by side of theater: 15 dips, 15 decline/incline Merkins, 15 step-ups OYO.  Wall-sit when done

Mosey to cars.  Time’s up.


  • DT, Sensei and SlimFast arrived early to knock out a few miles before the main show.  #Respect
  • Missing brother found: Insomniac made an appearance after almost 2 months hibernation. With all the gloom this morning I’m pretty sure he didn’t see his shadow, so expect to see him posting at many future A51 workouts.
  • Geraldo pulled the ruck out of his car before we got started. I didn’t see it come off until it was time for Mary.  #Strong
  • DT was a real beast: not only did the pre run, but also crushed the workout.
  • The continuous activity back and forth across the parking lot winded me and I’m guessing a few others, yet a few Pax kept up a continuous mumblechatter. Geraldo and Simba maybe?  YHC salutes your O2 resilience.
  • The band had a little trouble with the key signature when it came to circle of Mary, with several Pax calling questionable ab exercises. IW, okay I get it.  Merkins?  Also, thought Sid-the-Kid was trademarked by Strange Brew.  Not a crowd favorite.
  • Nice take out from DT.
  • Thank you for the honor of leading, gentlemen. And for graciously applying some form of modify to spare me penalty burpees at the end.


Sign up for the spring Mud Run

Start assembling your team for the Fall Blue Ridge Relay

Avast the clean&press

7 hearty mates sailed into Port Olde Providence to join YHC and High Tide who were swinging some oddly shaped cannon balls in a pre-workout workout.

After some brief chatter, we rounded up the iron, moseyed to the field and circled up.

SSH – 20 IC
IW – 21 IC (Q miscounted)
Merkins – 15 IC
Squats – 15 IC
Having got the blood flowing, it was time to move on to the main thang: partner up and line up on the sideline, partner 1 does called exercise while P2 does recovery run to other sideline and back, flapjack until reached called total count. Plank when finished. Once all PAX planking, move on to the next round.

1)      100 2-handed swings
2)      100 partner total CDD
3)      150 dead bugs (each tap is “1”)
4)      60 clean and press (had called for 100, but audibled 60)
5)      100 merkins
6)      200 Freddy Mercury (each knee is “1”)
7)      50 viking press (or some approximation that wouldn’t result in injury)
8)      100 calf raises

  • mosey to pullup station
    chin to bar and hold for 10, then descend slowly to straight arms during 10-count
    1 burpie
    chinup for 8, 8-count descent
    2 burpies
    chinup for 6, 6-count descent
    3 burpies
    chinup for 4, 4-count descent
    4 burpies
    chinup for 2, 2-count descent
    5 burpies
  • Mosey around closest ball field and back to COP site. On your six.
    Form circle on field.  Each PAX calls a Mary exercise.  PAX perform called exercise AMRAP while caller lunch walks or frog jumps around circle. If YHC recalls correctly, we had a few Flutters, and a few Protractors, Freddy Mercury, LBC, and regular sit-ups.
  • Protractor: each Pax calls a degree and hold for 10 count

Thank you for the honor of leading – I had fun and hope you did too.  Way to push yourselves, especially with the novelty of some new movements courtesy of the kettlebells. If you don’t have a KB, you should get one soon.  There are several workouts around Area51 that make extensive use of KBs, and I’m sure they will be making guest appearances at other workouts from time to time.  But since we can’t all be beasts like High Tide and swing a 45# bell like it’s a birthday balloon, I recommend starting with something a bit smaller.

T-claps to Relo – War Daddy, and to Low Tide, who is recovering from an ankle injury, but still hung tough.

Project Sole Redemption: Bring pair of used men’s shoes (decent shape and cleaned off) next month between November 10-17. Goal for Area51 is 300 pairs.

Modify, modify, modify

10 seasoned PAX and one FNG gathered in the gloom to savor a moderate intensity beatdown, Swiss style.

Mosey to back bus lot
SSH – 20 IC
IW – 20 IC
Merkins – 10 IC
Squats – 15 IC
8-count Manmakers – 10 IC

The main thang:
Mosey to church parking lot and partner up
Partner 1 starts called exercise while Partner 2 goes to top of lot (long side).
1-Manmaker, 2-run to top of lot closest to back of church / Total partner count = 50
1-LBC, 2-lunge walk half-way and back / 100 total
1-CDD, 2-backpeddle to top and run back / 50 total
1-Freddy Mercury, 2-crabwalk to first lamppost and back / 200 total (each side is “1”)
Mosey to back lot.
Plank-walk to the left on curb ~ 10 yrds

Mosey to pull-up station
5 jump up and hold for 5 count and 5 count descent with 10-count in low squat position between each
Mosey to back lot and plank-walk to the right ~ 10 yrds

Mosey to theater entrance
7’s: 1 JumpSquat + 6 dips, 2+5, etc

Mosey to cars
Dolly – 15 IC
Russian Twist – 10 IC
Flutter – 15 IC
Mosey to cars
Protractor: each Pax calls a degree and hold for 10 count



One FNG fought the lure of the fartsack, and braved his first F3 beatdown solo – EH applied remotely by brother-in-law Costco from Raleigh.  T-claps to newest member of the F3 Nation: Dumpster Fire, f.k.a. “Biff” (Post-workout renaming based on late-breaking intel and a name that proved too good to pass up.)

YHC wasn’t sure if Geraldo’s count was intentionally skipping ahead to shorten the COP, or he was just helping keep the mood light.  Fortunately, enough of the PAX kept the right count so YHC could call a halt at the planned count.

Outstanding effort by all: definite iron sharpening out there this morning.  T-claps to the men on IR who had the courage to post anyway, and the wisdom to modify extensively to avoid re-injury. Mumblechatter duly noted.

Great take out from Insomniac.
Thank you for the honor of leading.


Two new workouts launch tomorrow morning: at Ballantyne and at SunValley.  Do not post at your usual Friday AO, but help your brothers make these expansions a success.

Hold the date: January 10.  Joe Davis Memorial Resolution Run: double down with workout followed by 5K fun run to raise money for the foundation established in memory of Rock Thrill’s brother.