Author Archive Voodoo

Socially Distant

Most of the Area 51/SOB pax apparently took Governor Cooper’s advice and decided to keep their distance from Olympus on Saturday morning. Their loss. High Tide, Retread, and YHC posted at Elizabeth Lane for the usual workout.

Warm up: YHC ran a 10k for a warm up. Once the actual workout started, HT and I did 5 TGUs per side while Retread took the waiter carry option.

The Thang: Today’s prescribed workout was pretty brief, so we supplemented.

  • 5 x 20 2H swings with a heavy bell with :30 rest (HT and I shared the 44kg bell, so got more rest than called for)

Head over to the jungle gym for:

  • 5 pull-ups, 10 merkins
  • 4 pull-ups, 10 merkins
  • 3 pull-ups, 10 merkins
  • 2 pull-ups, 10 merkins
  • 1 pull-up, 10 merkins

Return to the parking lot for:

  • 5 sets of 5 double cleans
  • 2 x :30 of hard-style elbow plank
  • 2 x :30 of hollow body hold
  • 2 x :30 of glute bridge


COT – not really due to coronavirus fears.


  • This backblast is late, so you are probably aware that formal F3 events (1st F, 2nd F, 3rd F) are cancelled until further notice. We will post the workout for each of the gear workouts, to be performed OYO.


  • It was good to have some dedicated pax out on Saturday to swing some bells. I’m not sure why today’s workout was relatively light (on exercises, not weight), but it was good to get some bodyweight work in. Clearly, I needed it because I was sore!

Road Trip

7 pax showed up at South Charlotte Middle School to join the convergence for the retirement of Death Valley, one of the original Area 51 sites. While it would have been fun to join the rest of the pax (50+ of them) for the boot camp, we have a program to run here.

The Thang:

  • 5 sets of press ladders (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) – recommended weight is 28 (YHC couldn’t handle that weight for all of it, so switched to a 24 for the higher reps)
  • 20 sets of 10 1-handed swings with :10 rest – recommended weight is 32
  • 4 sets of farmer carries for :90

COT: Circle up with the Death Valley pax for COT. Thanks to TR for the takeout.


  • High Tide is hard at work in his evil laboratory preparing our next strength program. The plan is to focus on core exercises (swing, merkin, squat, pull-up, snatch, carries, TGUs) utilizing some of the Quick and the Dead methodology. Stay tuned for more details.
  • April 24 – some dudes unaffiliated with F3 in any way (and certainly not wearing any F3 t-shirts) will post at SCMS for a beer mile. Hop on the Slack channel if you’re interested in joining.


  • The workout seems simple. Mighty Mite even thought we’d have extra time (well, he did). Instead, we had to cut off the carries after 2 rounds. That volume of presses (75 per side) just takes a ton of time. Unless you’re Mighty Mite, who pressed a 70# bell for sets of 15 reps. Child’s play.
  • The swings were also a crowd pleaser as the rest was insufficient. You basically put the bell down, stand up, bend over and pick the bell up again. At least it was only 10 sets.
  • Finally, the farmer carries. I think everyone is getting tired of them, but it’s like eating your vegetables – you know they’re good for you. We’ll keep them in the new program as well.
  • Thanks to the pax for coming out and following my lead. It was good to see so many #kotters and OGs at the DV convergence. For those of you that haven’t been posting, I hope this reminds you of what’s special about F3 and why you should be coming back out. The workouts continue to evolve, so there might be something you’d like that wasn’t around before. If there’s something you’re looking for that doesn’t exist, find some like-minded pax and start it. These workouts are not intended to be permanent and they will run their course. What keeps F3 going is the creative destruction of new workouts forming and serving a need that wasn’t apparent before.

Snatch Test Time

When YHC arrived at Elizabeth Lane Elementary about 5 minutes early (seriously), I noted MAD’s car in the lot. MAD had threatened to attend a gear workout earlier in the week, so it was nice to see him making good on his word. High Tide joined a few minutes later and we got the bells together.

Disclaimer: YHC and High Tide knew what we were in for, so the disclaimer was more personally applied to MAD, especially with his return from injury.

The Thang: (workout #3 of week 9 of the SFG I prep program)

Main Event:

  • 5 sets of 1, 2, 3 presses – MAD and I opted for doubles while HT plowed through the reps doing singles
  • 5 x 10L/10R snatch with :10 rest – MAD opted for some burpees and swings
  • 4 x farmer carries for :90


  • 2 x hard style elbow plank for :30 with :30 recovery
  • 2 x hollow body hold for :30 with :30 recovery
  • 2 x glute bridge for :30 with :30 recovery


  • It was a small, but strong crew this morning. It was good to see MAD again and hear about his journey back from injury. He modified the workout where necessary and worked with a couple of different weights.
  • Well, today was the day we’d been dreading. The main exercise was the SFG snatch test – 100 reps in 5:00 with a 24kg bell. We had been inching up on it for the last couple of weeks, dropping the rest between sets from :20 to :15 and finally :10. Last week, I finished in a little over 5:00 with :15 rest, so I knew if I kept with the prescribed rest, I’d get it done. High Tide had similarly barely missed earlier in the program and knew it was within reach. I ran through the 5 sets as described above while HT decided to do 10 snatches every :30, switching hands at the top and bottom of each minute. Both of us got it done and then laid on the ground for a few minutes while MAD looked at us. Good times.
  • Farmer carries after smoking the grip on the snatches was a lot of fun, too. We keep doing the carries and they just don’t get any easier. I guess we’ll have to keep doing them.
  • With the current program set to wrap up in a couple of weeks, High Tide has taken the lead in developing our next program. The goal is to continue working on some key KB and bodyweight strength movements, but with more of a metabolic conditioning focus. Think explosive reps with sufficient rest to allow for recovery. If you’d like to learn more, buy a copy of The Quick and the Dead.
  • MAD’s got some good ideas to promote safety within Area 51 and beyond. Hopefully he’ll keep pushing to roll them out. Ask him about them if you’re working out and would like to learn more.

Back in the saddle

10 pax posted at Meathead this past Wednesday for the second installment of week 9 of our 11-week strength program.

Warm up: arm circles (big, small)

The Thang:

Waiter carries: 5 x (1 carry ea side @ 32kg)
Double cleans: 5 x (5 cleans @ 24kg)
Double front squats: 5 x (5 squats @ 24kg)
2H swings: 5 x (20 swings @ 40-48kg, rest :30)

COT with the Anvil pax, where Point Break took us out. Happy birthday, PB!

Announcements (courtesy of the Anvil backblast):

  • PLEASE READ: Two of our brothers have recently been laid off. Please check out their LinkedIn profiles below and socialize them across your networks. One of the great things about this group is the opportunity to support each other in these times of need. If you know of an opportunity make sure to reach out to them.
  • Beer Mile (Unofficial): April 24th – Check the Slack Channel (#beermile) for more info


  • Thanks to the pax for posting. We’ve got a strong core kettlebell crew that’s been powering through the current strength program. There’s a little turnover/shuffling depending on the day and week, but we’ve been experiencing great numbers. Your site Qs appreciate it.
  • After weeks of travel that took me away from my regular posts, it was good to be back out there in the gloom. It’s not the same doing the workouts with dumbbells in a hotel gym (although it’s better than not doing them at all).
  • There were a lot of strong performances out there: Mighty Mite swinging the 40kg bell, High Tide swinging the 44, Unplugged with the double 24s, Hoover with the double 28s, Ickey with the double 28s. The list goes on and on. It’s clear that the pax are experiencing mad gainz from the regular KB workouts. If you want some of this, you’d better start posting.
  • On Saturday (tomorrow at the time of posting this BB), we will be doing the presses, snatches, and farmer carries. The snatches will be tough with only :10 rest between sets, which should be sufficient to get you to 100 reps in 5:00 if you keep the rest strict. If performed with a 24 kg bell, that is sufficient to complete the SFG Level I snatch test. Push hard!

Has it been an hour yet?

4 pax met up at 0630 (+/- a minute) and headed off for a pre-Olympus run along the Spamrunner route. When they returned, they were joined by another 4 pax. After some mumblechatter, we got down to business.

The Thang:

  • 10 RDLs per leg with moderate weight (doubles or singles)
  • 5 x waiter carries – out to the last island on the left with one arm, then switch and head back
  • 5 sets of 5 double cleans
  • 5 sets of 5 double squats

That was the prescribed weinke, but we still had about 20 minutes left, so we killed some time with pax suggestions:

  • 5 sets of 5 snatches per side
  • 5 sets of 10 merkins on the bells
  • 5 sets of 5 thrusters + 10 swings

COT – thanks to Stone Cold for the takeout


  • Please keep Madison and his family in your prayers as they await answers on his daughter’s MRI.
  • Please keep Doc McStuffins in your thoughts as he recovers from heart surgery earlier this week.
  • Please keep Noonan (from F3 Naperville) and his family in your prayers as he passed away suddenly on Friday.
  • Swole will be starting at 0515 on Monday to allow sufficient time to complete the workout. If you join at 0530, be prepared to jump into the workout. Wild Turkey will be the Q.


  • 2 bell workouts in 1 week for Spackler and he even joined for the pre-run. Solid. Alas, Bananas did not show.
  • Everyone put in some work this morning and enjoyed relatively warm weather once the sun came up.
  • Next week will be week 5 of the workouts. Here’s what the weinke holds for each day:
Session Date Exercise Notes
1 2/3/2020 Single press ladders:  4 x (1, 2, 3 press ea side @ 28kg) Moving up a weight in presses and moving to ladders:  1L, IR; short rest; 2L, 2R; short rest; 3L, 3R; longer rest; repeat 4 times.  Mix in the lower weight as needed, if unable to complete with the heavier weight.
1H swings: 30 x (10 swings OTM @ 28kg)
Farmer’s walks: 4 x (90 sec @ “heavy”)
2 2/5/2020 Single leg RDL: 3 x (5 lifts per leg – light) Use a heavier weight for one or two of the waiter carries, if feeling up to it.
Waiter carries: 5 x (1 carry ea side @ 32kg)
Double cleans: 5 x (5 cleans @ 24kg)
Double front squats: 5 x (5 squats @ 24kg)
3 2/8/2020 Single press ladders:  5 x (1, 2, 3 press ea side @ 28kg) Allow adequate recovery between press ladders.  Recovery between sets of swings may be improving now.  The farmer’s carries will give you a good cool-down.
1H swings: 30 x (10 swings OTM @ 28kg)
Farmer’s walks: 4 x (90 sec @ “heavy”)



11 pax met at Calvary this morning for another edition of Meathead. Everyone was advised to be ready to rumble promptly at 0530 because the weinke was long and distinguished.

Thang (including recommended weights, but modify as needed):

  • 10 sets of 5 presses per side – 24kg
  • 10 1-handed swings EMOTM for 24:00, switching hands each minute – 28kg
  • 4 x :90 farmer carries – heavy – we ran out of time after 2 rounds

COT with the Anvil pax, where Wild Turkey provided the takeout


  • Keep Doc McStuffins in your prayers as he undergoes heart surgery this morning. The last I heard, it went well, but I’m sure he’s got some tough weeks of recovery ahead of him.
  • Keep Madison and his family in your prayers as his 14-year old daughter (Kennedy) has a brain scan scheduled for Friday. Pray for good news!
  • More trivial announcement – Swole on Monday will feature the same menu offered above, but with 30 minutes of swings. As a result, we are asking the pax to arrive at 5:15. We will start with the farmer carries, then move on to the presses, then the swings. Wild Turkey will be your Q. Again, please arrive ready to work as we will not have spare time. You are welcome to arrive at 5:30, but be aware you will just have to jump in wherever we are or modify the workout accordingly.


  • Thanks to the pax for making it out and continuing to support the new strength sites and the SFG program we’re working through. This would have been a tough workout to get through alone.
  • Soul Glo seems to have figured out where Calvary is and has been at the last two Meatheads that YHC has attended.
  • Champagne joins us when he’s not driving a 2.0 to a 5am swim practice (#brutal). He was pressing the 28 easier than I was pressing the 24. As HT said, #oldmanstrong
  • Hoover is really excited about the 5:15 start on Monday – just think how little traffic there will be 15 minutes earlier! He looked strong out there, especially considering he moves the bell farther than the rest of us, so he’s probably doing 20% more work.
  • C3PO seem to have some emissions issues this morning or maybe he was just using it as propulsion to get his presses locked out.
  • High Tide said he wasn’t pre-running, then said he was, then was late to the workout because of his pre-run. Strong work nonetheless!
  • Gypsy is running again, but still joined us for some bells. #Madisonischeatingthough
  • Retread is slowly transforming into a meathead  – watch out, Slim Fast!
  • Mighty Mite blew through the presses and did it with a larger bell than most – the dude’s a beast.
  • Spackler joined us and provided his usual mumblechatter, including a cheerleading joke directed at the Q. #jealous? On the plus side of the ledger, he lured Bananas to the workout. Good to see you both!
  • Olympus is Saturday at 7:00 at Elizabeth Lane. The workout is on the shorter side, so expect some additional work. Also bring a mat if you’d prefer to do TGUs instead of waiter carries.

Climbing Mount Olympus

4 pax eventually gathered at Elizabeth Lane Elementary at 0700 yesterday. Stone Cold and YHC met at 0630 for a 5k pre-run. High Tide texted around the start time to let me know he had driven to the wrong workout (sorry, RockZero pax!). Retread pulled in with his loaner Charger at about 10 after.

Today was the final day of week 3 of the SFG prep program. I had been out of town the previous 3 workouts and was eager to get to work.

Here’s the weinke:

1/25/2020 Single presses:  10 x (5 press ea side @ 24kg)
1H swings: 26 x (10 swings OTM @ 28kg)
Farmer’s walks: 4 x (90 sec @ “heavy”)

100 presses (50 per side) is a lot of presses. I think everyone was feeling it after that. I can tell you the last few reps of the last 2 sets were really tough. The swings were grueling as well. 26:00 of 10 swings on the minute adds up. We were happy when the time was up and decided to ignore High Tide’s suggestion that we keep going until 30:00. Stone Cold had to bail after the swings to get his son to Scouting for Food. The three remaining pax experienced full grip meltdown as they completed the 6:00 (in aggregate) of farmer’s walks.


  • Thanks to the pax for coming out. With a lot of the regulars DR or conflicted with other responsibilities, it was great to have some company.
  • Stone Cold was looking strong and completed all of the presses with the 24kg bell. High Tide was a little late, but managed to complete all of his presses by the end of the workout.
  • Please join us at Swole on Monday morning at McAlpine Elementary at 0530 for the start of week 4 of the program, which looks like this:
Week 4
Session Date Exercise
1 1/27/2020 Single leg RDL: 3 x (5 lifts per leg – light)
Waiter carries: 5 x (1 carry ea side @ 32kg)
Double cleans: 5 x (5 cleans @ 24kg)
Double front squats: 5 x (5 squats @ 24kg)
2 1/29/2020 Single presses:  10 x (5 press ea side @ 24kg)
1H swings: 24 x (10 swings OTM @ 28kg)
Farmer’s walks: 4 x (90 sec @ “heavy”)
3 2/1/2020 Single leg RDL:  10 x (1 lift per leg – moderate)
Waiter carries: 5 x (1 carry ea side @ 32kg)
Double cleans: 5 x (5 cleans @ 24kg)
Double front squats: 5 x (5 squats @ 24kg)

Let’s rumble

10 pax (with 2 pre-runners) made it out to Meathead this morning for

Following an effective disclaimer, Champagne got straight to work and the rest of the pax followed, eschewing the usual SSH and arm circle warm up.

The Thang:

  • 5 sets of 5 presses per side (try to take as step up in weight) = 50 presses
  • 24 sets of 10 1H swings EMOTM (alternating hands each minute) = 240 1H swings
  • 4 x :90 of farmer walks (ran out of time after 3, but a few pax wrapped them up)

COT: We went over the allotted time slightly, but the Anvil pax were kind enough to re-do the count and name-o-rama.


  • If anyone is interested in the Run Ranger Run fundraiser, let me know. My cousin in F3 NOLA (Reluctant Yankee) has challenged me to beat his team.
  • A number of pax wore green in support of a little girl in Louisville. Keep Ryleigh in your prayers.


  • This workout is grueling. The 2nd F helps with the boredom you might otherwise feel while doing the 24:00 of swings, but your grip gets no break as you move right into the carries. Everybody was working hard and getting stronger this morning.
  • These workouts have plenty of rest built in, so try to focus on form. Try to squeeze your quads, glutes, abs, and lats on the presses and at the top of the swings. On the carries, roll your shoulders back and stick your chest out to stand up straight.
  • Madison and Gypsy, both of whom are new to kettlebell workouts (to my knowledge), are both stalwarts of the new 3/week workouts. Gypsy has been at every one and Madison only missed once when he was scheduled to Q elsewhere. Both are buying bells and putting in solid work. I just hope we don’t lose them when run training starts picking up.
  • C3PO (site FNG) showed up a bit late and missed most of the presses, but he got in there for the swings and carries. Nice work,  young man.
  • Chin Music got back from NOLA yesterday and got right back to work. Although he didn’t get the outcome he wanted in the national championship, his Clemson Tigers played well. He also got to eat beignets, which is always a win.
  • Champagne was crushing the presses with the 28kg bell (~62lbs). Mighty Mite was also working with a big bell and I know Hoover is looking to upsize his bells though I don’t know what he was pressing. All 3 of them were doing the farmer carries with the 28kg or 32kg bells. I tried to keep up, but struggled to make it back to the finish on time.
  • Soul Glo made his first Wednesday post and crushed it. Hopefully his schedule allows him to keep making it back out.
  • Thanks to High Tide for the company on the pre-run. He was breaking in his sweet new wheels with about 400 lbs of bells. Half the workout was just putting away all the toys he brought out.
  • YHC will be DR for the next 3 workouts, but you’ll be in good hands with the other site Qs. Don’t get too swole without me!

Olympus – Part Deux

6 pax posted at Elizabeth Lane Elementary at 7am on a warm Saturday morning in January for the return of Olympus.

The Thang:

  • 10 sets of 5 presses per side
  • 20 sets of 10 1H swings OTM (alternate sides)
  • 4 rounds of :90 of farmer carries

Finish up with the total tension Mary sequence (hard style elbow plank for :30 x 2, hollow body hold for :30 x 2, glute bridge for :30 x 2)

COT: Thanks to Chin Music for the takeout


  • Please keep Madison and his family in your prayers as they deal with his daughter’s (Kennedy’s) potential medical issue.
  • See below for next week’s workouts:
Week 2
Session Exercise
1 (Monday @ Swole) Single leg RDLs:  10 x (1 lift per leg – light)
Waiter carries: 5 x (1 carry ea side @ 32kg)
Double cleans: 5 x (5 cleans @ 24kg)
Double front squats: 5 x (5 squats @ 24kg)
2 (Wednesday @ Meathead) Single presses:  5 x (5 press ea side @ 24kg)
1H swings: 24 x (10 swings OTM @ 28kg)
Farmer’s walks: 4 x (90 sec @ “heavy”)
3 (Saturday @ Olympus) Single leg RDLs:  3 x (5 lifts per leg – light)
Waiter carries: 5 x (1 carry ea side @ 32kg)
Double cleans: 5 x (5 cleans @ 24kg)
Double front squats: 5 x (5 squats @ 24kg)


  • Thanks to the pax that came out and supported the relaunch of the former Saturday gear site, including our illustrious Nantan, Alf. Madison and Gypsy made it 3-for-3 by posting all week. War Eagle made his second post after Monday (he must really like this workout). It was Alf and Chin Music’s first time posting since the launch of the new program. Hopefully, we’ll see more of both of them and a few more of the gear regulars in the coming days/weeks.
  • This was the same workout as Monday, but with more reps. I think most of the pax really enjoyed the feeling in their hands and forearms by the end of the farmer carries. Alf and Madison claimed that their arms had gotten a few inches longer.
  • Mighty Mite on Q at Swole on Monday at McAlpine Elementary.

It’s like Meathead, but on a Wednesday

10 pax took the DRP yesterday and posted at Meathead instead of a lesser site, like WAMRAP. I was a little worried that some folks would get confused and post at Elizabeth Lane or show up on the wrong day or something, but I think it worked out. The Anvil pax and their fearless leader (Lorax) were very welcoming and only mildly heckled our vast selection of kettlebells. At about 5:31, they moseyed off and, after I disclaimed the pax, we got to warming up with some SSH and merkins.

The Thang:

Today was day 2 of week 1 of the SFG Level 1 strength program we’re working on. The workouts are pretty simple (not easy) and consist of 3-4 fundamental kettlebell exercises.

  • 3 sets of 5 deadlifts
  • 5 x waiter carries per arm
  • 5 sets of 5 double cleans
  • 5 sets of 5 double front squats


  • 2 x :30 of hard style elbow plank
  • 2 x :30 of hollow body hold
  • 2 x :30 hip extension

Joint COT with the Anvil pax. Thanks to Hammer for the speedy takeout.


  • Olympus rises again like a phoenix from the ashes on Saturday at Elizabeth Lane Elementary at 7:00 (by popular demand). It will be a 60 minute workout.


  • Thanks to the pax for their patience while we got through this workout the first time. We initially tried to have half the group deadlift while the other half did the carries. Unfortunately, the carries took a lot longer, so some people did extra deadlifts and there was general confusion. We eventually got it figured out and everyone got through all of the work.
  • I think the consensus is that everyone needs bigger bells. This workout (which alternates with Monday’s workout) is relatively low reps, but heavy weights. People should take this as an opportunity to challenge themselves. Quality is also very important and is something the pax should keep in mind while performing the exercises. The core should be tight and the squats should be as low as you can go (knee health dependent).
  • Going forward we’ll be doing single leg Romanian deadlifts instead of standard deadlifts because we don’t have enough weight to appropriately challenge the pax. We’ll also knock out the deadlifts first, then do the carries.
  • I hope to see you out there on Saturday!