Author Archive Voodoo

Gettin’ Yuge at Olympus

3 pax showed up at Calvary this morning at 0700 not to chase Benny around Bevington, but to swing bells. Doubles, to be precise. After a disclaimer whose thoroughness was inversely correlated to the experience level of the pax, we got right to it.


  • SSH x 20 IC
  • Windmills x 10 IC
  • Prying squats x 2

Main Course:

Neupert: 5 sets of 2 double clean and double press

Complex (Flynncinerator):

  • 10 x double swings
  • 10 x double front squats
  • 10 x see-saw presses (5 per side)
  • 10 x lawnmowers per side
  • 10 x merkins on the bells

Do this for 15:00 (3 rounds). I think each set was intended to be completed without putting the bells down, but we all took a break after the squats each round so our hearts didn’t explode.

Easy Strength:

  • 2 sets of 5 sumo deadlifts
  • 2 sets of double floor (ground) press
  • 2 sets of 5 upright rows
  • 4 sets of single snatches (5+5, 6+6, 7+7, 8+8)


  • Cook drill – waiter carry until you need to lower to the rack. Racked carry until you need to lower to the suitcase. Start with left hand, then rest before returning with the right hand.


  • 1:00 plank on the bell handles: 0:15 high, 0:15 middle, 0:15 low, 0:15 middle
  • American Hammer x 10 per side
  • Box cutters x 20 OYO
  • Plank until time’s up

COT with the RockZero pax where Hoover took us out.


  • Blood drive at Brace Y on 2/19.
  • Keep Bout Time’s 2.0, Jennings, in your prayers as he battles leukemia. Let Mermaid know if you’re looking for a way to help the family out.


  • YHC left plenty of time to get to Calvary by 0700 this morning. Unfortunately, I pulled on to 51 behind a couple of cars, including Geraldo, who was Sunday driving (5 below the speed limit!). I guess upstate NY drivers don’t all speed like their Manhattan brethren. I had bells to unload before the workout, so I passed him when the opportunity presented itself (only to get stuck at the light at Rea). I made it there at about 6:58, so crisis averted.
  • Unplugged was the first one there this morning. He’s back at Olympus now that it’s too cold for pickleball with his M. The man loves deadlifts and squats, so I think he enjoyed it. He was throwing around some big bells.
  • This was Frehley’s first kettlebell post in 2021 after posting at 5 boot camps this week and Qing 2 of them! The last time YHC saw him was for the 12 days of Christmas workout on the 27th. That one left a mark!

The Least Exciting Thing to Happen Today

8 pax posted in the cold morning air at Calvary this morning for the first episode of Meathead for 2021. This would be the second workout of the new kettlebell program. After a quick disclaimer for a veteran crew, we started to shake off the cold.


  • SSH x 20 IC
  • IW x 10 IC
  • Prying squat x 2

Main Thang:

Neupert: 10 sets of 6 double swings EMOM

Complex: The Goshawk: 8 goblet squats, 20 meter suitcase carry for 8 sets (64 squats and 160m of carries). Don’t put the bell down the entire time.

Easy Strength:

  • Single leg deadlift – 2 sets of 5 reps per side
  • Floor press – 2 sets of 5
  • Lawnmower rows – 2 sets of 5 reps per side
  • Cleans: 4 sets of 10 reps (doubles if you can)

Single bell complex: 5 swings, 5 cleans, 5 snatches, 5 presses, 5 reverse lunges per side. Repeato


  • Flutter press x 20 IC
  • American Hammer x 10 per side OYO
  • Bulldog x 10 OYO
  • Elbow plank until time is up


  • Blood drive coming up on 2/19 at Brace YMCA. Save your blood until then since you’re within 6 weeks.
  • Please sign up to Q at the gear workouts. The formula is easy (see the pre-blast here).


  • Thanks for coming out this morning and putting in a strong effort on the new strength program. With the low reps, the key is to make sure you’re (i) focusing on form and (ii) using an appropriate weight to push yourself. All of the pax that came out there did that, including borrowing a second bell when needed.
  • It was good to have High Tide back out there with us after the holidays. The Worm is 2 for 2 in the new strength program, so he must really like it. Still no sign of Frehley’s Comet, but apparently he’s rediscovered his love of boot camps since he was at The Maul with Madame Tussaud.
  • We almost had a row between Soul Glo (Ohio State) and Ickey Shuffle, High Tide, and Unplugged (Alabama), but cooler heads prevailed and we decided to let the teams settle it on the field. Those of us from ACC schools quietly minded our own business…
  • Feel free to sound off with any other tidbits you want memorialized on the interwebs forever.

A Case of the Mondays

8 pax circled up on the first Monday of 2021 for the launch of a new kettlebell program at Swole. If you want to read up on it, please check out this link.

After a thorough disclaimer and a quick description of what we’d be doing, we got down to business.


  • SSH x 20 IC
  • Sharon Towers/Windmill x 10 IC
  • Prying squat x 2

Main Event:

Neupert: Double clean + double military press (DCL+DMP): 10 sets of 1 rep with a weight that you can press with good form for 4-5 challenging reps

Complex: 15:00 AMRAP or Armor Building: 2 DCL, 1 DMP, 3 double front squat (DFS)

Easy Strength (use single or double bells where applicable, weight should be heavy since reps are low):

  • Romanian deadlift: 2 x 5 reps
  • Decline merkins (on the curb or your bells if you’re Madison and don’t like your teeth): 2 x 5 reps
  • Lawnmower rows: 2 x 5 per side
  • Double swings (DSW): 6 sets of 5 reps (can do heavy single arm swings instead, alternating sides by set)

Carries: Pick up 2 bells any way you want and carry until told to put them down. These were supposed to be 3 sets of 1:00, but the timer was tough to hear.

Mary: 1:00 elbow plank, box cutters x 30 IC, 1:00 glute bridge


COT: Thanks to Madison for the takeout this morning.


  • 2 blood drives are scheduled for the next 2 months – 1 with Waxhaw in late January and 1 with SOB on 2/19. Since you have to wait 6 weeks between donations, you can only do one. I hear Mighty Mite is offering homemade beer to any pax that show up to the 2/19 drive. #unconfirmed


  • Thanks to the pax for coming out this morning and trying the new program. While there will certainly be some repetition in exercises, the Q has discretion to come up with his own complex each week. I’ve included some samples in the Google Sheets document linked in the original pre-blast, but these are just guidelines. If the idea of repeating exercises makes your eyes roll, try to think of this as practice rather than a workout. You’re putting in the reps to learn the movements. The strength gains will follow and before you know it, you’ll be moving more weight than before.
  • As mentioned in the pre-blast and above, please try to challenge yourself with the weights. The idea of doubles is to get you comfortable with heavier weights. I know sharing bells during a pandemic isn’t ideal, so I will continue to bring out extra bells that the pax can borrow for the workout. If you have the ability to buy a second bell and can afford to, I’d definitely recommend something in the 20-24 kg (45-53 lb.) range. It might seem like a lot of weight, but I think you’ll find that you will grow into them.
  • Ickey was proudly sporting his Bama shirt this morning. I’m not sure if he was giddier about Clemson’s loss or the opportunity for a rematch against Ohio State. Speaking of Clemson, we’ve missed Frehley’s at the 2 bell workouts since Clemson’s loss. I was getting worried, but then I spotted him in this morning’s picture from Firestarter. #proofoflife
  • It was great to have The Worm back out there this morning. He joined us a few times in 2020 and hopefully will become a regular in 2021. Wild Turkey was pre-jump roping and mixed in some rucking with his bells this morning. As usual, he put in strong work out there. Mighty Mite continues to toss around 60+# bells like helium balloons, which is always inspiring when I feel like I’m getting crushed under lesser weights. Uncle Leo upsized his bell last year and I look forward to him getting a matching pair now that he’s a kettlebell regular. It was good to have Madison back out there again this week. He put in strong work on the doubles and was moving quickly through the AMRAP.
  • With the new year, please think of pax you haven’t seen in a while or guys that can use F3. Reach out and invite them to a workout. Offer to post with them and then do it. Lots of men are thinking about their resolutions, so let’s get them hooked before that feeling fades.

Inaugural 2021 Kettlebell Program

In January 2020, we rolled out a series of structured kettlebell workouts in order to provide some direction to the pax’s strength training. We spent months performing a modified StrongFirst Level I SFG training program, a swing/merkin/snatch program, and a swing program. For 2021, we will likely re-run some of those programs as well as revisit the Total Tension program some pax followed in late 2019.

Starting at Swole on Monday, we will transition to a new program focused on heavier weights and lower reps. The focus of the program will be two programs devised by Geoff Neupert: Kettlebell Strong and Kettlebell One. The Strong program consists of double cleans and double presses while the One program consists of double swings. If you don’t have a pair of identical bells, both can be performed with either (i) a single kettlebell or (ii) mismatched double kettlebells (switch sides each set). You should start with a weight that you can press for 4-5 tough reps. The goal is to gradually increase the number of reps being performed each workout. By the end, that weight will be much more manageable than when you started.

Each workout will consist of 4 sections:

  1. Warm-up (SSH, IW, Sharon Towers, prying squats, etc.)
  2. Neupert (KB Strong or KB One, based on the schedule) – this is the only thing the Q has to make sure they get in there. The reps are generally low, but it should be challenging so there should be ample rest. Ideally, the pax will use doubles, but singles will do. Bell size should be a weight that can be pressed 4-5 times with effort.
  3. Complex – I’ve included a selection of complexes from a few authors. Some are time-based (i.e., AMRAP for 15:00) and some just need to be completed. If they don’t take enough time, the Q can do another complex or move on to the next section.
  4. Easy Strength – We might only have time for this on Saturdays, but the idea is to do 5 exercises with relatively low reps at a challenging weight. I’ve provided some examples of the types of exercises, but they should include: deadlift, upper body pull, upper body push, full body explosive, and abs.
  5. Mary – If there’s not enough time to get through Easy Strength, Mary should be performed (elbow planks, hollow body holds, glute bridges, etc.).

The specifics of sections 2-4 can be found on the different tabs of the Google Sheet saved here. The Q has discretion over the Warm-up, any Complex(es), the Easy Strength, and Mary portions. Suggestions are included in the spreadsheet. Each workout will have a prescribed Neupert workout based on the schedule in the spreadsheet.

As always, the focus of each workout should be performing good quality reps. If you have questions about any of the exercises, please ask questions of the Q or site Qs at the workout. I (Voodoo) am working on collecting some of the bells that I have lent out during the pandemic and will bring extra bells to the workouts to lend to pax in need of them once I have them.

If you’ve been posting for a while, we hope you will continue to come out and support the sites. If you’ve been curious about bells, please join us and give it a try. If you have questions, please ask.

See you in the gloom,

Voodoo, Mighty Mite, Unplugged, Ickey Shuffle, and High Tide

Lucky Number 13

‘Twas the morning after Christmas and 5 pax posted with their bells at Petsmart in Blakeney in the early morning chill. The Da Vinci/RockZero crew was intimidated by the pax’s steely determination to not run and were led off to the far reaches of the parking lot by Taco Stand.

The plan for the day was to celebrate the holidays with a 12 days of Christmas themed beatdown. An extra 13 exercises were added to day 12 to celebrate my 2.2’s birthday today.

Warm up:

  • SSH x 20 IC
  • Halos x 5 each direction
  • Prying squats x 2 with some leaning

The Thang:

Each day builds on the last, so day 1 = exercise 1, day 2 = exercise 2 + exercise 1, etc.

  • Day 1 = 1 Sumo deadlift + 1 dozen 2H swings
  • Day 2 = Racked squat (alternate sides per round or do doubles)
  • Day 3 = Overhead tricep extension
  • Day 4 = Snatches per side (R/L)
  • Day 5 = Presses per side (R/L)
  • Day 6 = Reverse lunges per side (R/L)
  • Day 7 = Merkins
  • Day 8 = Cleans per side (R/L)
  • Day 9 = High pulls per side (R/L)
  • Day 10 = Deadlifts
  • Day 11 = Russian twists per side (R/L)
  • Day 12 = 1H swings per side (R/L) + 13 lawnmowers per side (R/L)


  • Elbow plank x 1:00
  • Hollow body hold x 1:00

COT: Circle up with the boot campers.


  1. Keep an eye on Slack for holiday hours for the next week or so:
    1. The Matrix will have its going out of business sale on Monday with Joker on Q. Swole will be on holiday hours and will launch at 0600 with Mighty Mite on Q.
    2. Bagpipe and Fast Twitch will converge with Hawk’s Nest on Tuesday.
    3. Centurion is hosting a convergence on Friday.
    4. Metro is hosting a convergence to celebrate the 10 year anniversary at AG on Friday.
    5. Da Vinci will converge with RockZero next Saturday at Calvary at 0700.
  2. Keep Bout Time and his family in your prayers as his 2.0 Jennings fights leukemia for a second time.


  • Thanks to the pax for coming out to the workout yesterday. I believe Lois was a site FNG, although he has plenty of experience with kettlebells being a regular at Skunkworks. He brought his brother-in-law, Hot Pocket, from Sumter, SC to join in the fun. I’m sure he really appreciated it, Lois!
  • Cobains for putting this out a day late. It’s tough to get on the computer during the family time over the holidays. However, the effort delivered by the pax yesterday during what was a tough workout in tough conditions deserves to be chronicled for posterity (and to make Horsehead happy).
  • The music was provided by a Spotify Christmas Rock playlist. It was an interesting mix of classics and some truly horrendous music that none of the pax could identify or hoped to ever hear again.
  • After doing so many swings lately, it was fun to mix it up with some other exercises. The pax all agreed that the workout didn’t get serious until about days 4-6. Cleans followed by high pulls were also a challenge. Dead lifts were sprinkled in there to make Unplugged happy and an extra 13 reps (per side) were added for my son, Daniel’s, birthday.
  • I’m in my 8th year of F3 and am truly thankful for the brotherhood I’ve found. Thank you for being a part of it. Let’s get out there and share it with as many men as we can – they need it like we do.

Multiple Q Fails

3 pax took shelter from the cold rain in the Hot Box at Calvary. Someone had kindly moved the picnic tables out of the way to create a large, open space for us to distance ourselves. The Q was right on time, which equates to being a little late when bells and other gear need to be carried to the workout location. #QFail#1

Warm up:

As we were about to get started, in rolled Flipper and Point Break. As the only 2 pax to post at Anvil on this miserable day, they figured they’d join us for a bit. Bells were distributed and we got started.

  • SSH x 15 IC
  • Windmills x 10 IC
  • Prying squats x 2
  • Swings x 20 OYO

Main Event:

Set 1:

  • 15 one-handed swings (left)
  • 10 goblet squats
  • 5 clean + press (left)
  • 10 merkins

Set 2:

  • 15 one-handed swings (right)
  • 10 deadlifts
  • 5 C+P (right)
  • 10 merkins

The plan was to repeato sets 1 and 2 8 times to hit 240 swings. 20 swings in warm-up + 240 swings in the main event is 260 swings, which is 10 too many. #QFail#2 It also turned out that all these exercises took too much time, so after doing 3 rounds of sets 1 and 2, we had taken up too much time and only done 110 swings. #QFail#3 For the next 4 rounds, we did 30 2-handed swings instead of the 15 1-handed swings. We wrapped up with 1 round of 10 1-handed swings to get to an even 250 swings for the workout.

After the first round through, Point Break and Flipper made a break for it, returning after the swings were over for a little Mary (1:00 each):

  • Hard style elbow plank
  • Hollow body hold
  • Glute bridge

COT – Thanks to Flipper for taking us out.


  • Please keep Bout Time and his family in your thoughts and prayers as his 2.0, Jennings, battles leukemia for the second time.
  • Please keep Pop Tart’s dad in your prayers as he recovers from his surgery on Monday.
  • Please keep Jello’s 2.0’s friend with COVID in your prayers.
  • Keep an eye out for convergence details toward the back end of the next two weeks. There will be a Christmas Eve convergence hosted by the SOBs at the Rea Farms shopping center next week and Metro is holding a 1/1 convergence at AG to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the founding of F3. They plan to have multiple Qs with social distancing observed. Obviously, attendance at any convergence is subject to your own comfort level. There will likely be a number of “regular” workouts going on as well.


  • Thanks to Mighty Mite and Frehley’s Comet for posting on a morning where it’s very tempting to turn off the alarm and roll over. Looking at Strava and Slack, it looks like there were a number of pax getting after it in pretty miserable conditions. T-claps to all of you.
  • Nice work by Flipper and Point Break in posting at a boot camp where they knew we had stolen their only real shelter. Thanks for joining us for a few rounds, although we could tell Point Break was getting a little antsy to get back to his boot camp. I think it was the body weight exercises he started doing instead of the kettlebell exercises that gave it away.
  • There’s a new kettlebell program in the works for January. It will involve double kettlebells of a size that you can grind out 4-5 reps of presses. Mixed bells will work if they’re pretty close in weight (5-10 lbs.) and I will also have some bells in the 35-53 lb. range to loan out on a longer term basis if any pax would like to borrow them. The plan would be for me to give them to pax so they are bringing them to workouts and there’s no need to share bells.
  • Frehley’s Comet started complaining about the singing/screaming when Audioslave came up on the playlist, so the under-50 crowd decided it was time to educate him on the superior vocal skills of the late Mr. Chris Cornell. Earlier this week, I had been listening to Spotify’s “This is Chris Cornell” playlist, so I pulled that up and let a combination of solo Chris Cornell, Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, and Audioslave take the reins for the rest of the workout. Frehley’s recanted his earlier statement about being able to sing as well and there was peace again in the world.


Let your soul shine through

Posted on behalf of Soul Glo (who is neither on Slack nor WordPress, apparently):

SSH x20
IW x15
Low squat and hold (prying squat)

Main Event:

Swing x25, clean x10, merkin x10
Swing x25, good morning x10, merkin x10
Swing x25, high pull x10, merkin x10
Swing x25, Romanian dead lift x10, merkin x10
Swing x25, lawnmower row x10, merkin x10
Swing x25, forward lunge x10, merkin x10
Swing x25, shoulder press x10, merkin x10
Swing x25, squat x10, merkin x10
Swing x25, laying hip-raise x10, merkin x10
Swing x 25, snatch x10, merkin x10

Waiter carry R 30 seconds, waiter carry L 30 seconds
Farmer carry R 30 seconds, farmer carry L 30 seconds

Elbow plank 60 second
Freddy Mercury x 50 (single count)

Neither the cool temp nor impending  playlist deterred five pax from posting at this week’s rendition of Meathead. I knew better than to stray from the 250-swing template but felt emboldened enough to swap out some of the 80’s power chords for, well, a few synthesizers and even an acoustic cover (in honor of Unplugged). War Eagle dug it stating, “Frehley’s would be rolling over in his bed right now but I like the mix.” Naturally, this led to stories of concerts, pregnant wives and pregnant wives at concerts. Remember concerts? Definitely what I’ve personally missed the most these past nine months. As for the actual workout my goal was to go all out on an exercise one time. I know when I have multiple sets ahead of me I tend to pace myself/sandbag. We’ll find out tomorrow morning if it worked!

Not welcome back

YHC pulled into the lot around 0500 and it was eerily quiet out there. Usually, there’s a herd of Swifters heading out for a pre-run, but they must have decided the extra 1.3 miles wasn’t necessary this morning. Atlas was there, but after getting out to check the temperature, he opted for 15 more minutes of warmth. Cooter2 climbed out of his car at 0502 and we headed out for pre-mosey at 0503. When we got back to the lot, 8 studs joined us for the main event.

Disclaimer: I’m not a professional, etc.

Warm-up jog along Ballantyne Commons, at which point Mighty Mite started complaining that he didn’t like where things were headed. To throw him off the scent, we turned right on Rushmore to circle up for COP in the parking lot:

  • SSH x 16 IC
  • IW x 10 IC
  • LSS x 10 IC
  • LSMerkins x 12 IC

Mosey to the base of Ben Nevis to crush the pax’s spirits.

20 dips, 10 derkins, 10 split squats per leg, the mosey up the hill to the first lot on the right. Plank for the six. Run back down to the bottom and repeato the set. This is where Cooter2 decided discretion was the better part of valor and headed back to the launch rather than risking a hip injury.

Mosey to the pond at Rushmore and Harney where the pax planked up again for instructions.

Partner up (size and speed don’t matter). P1 does called exercise and P2 runs around the pond (bear crawl the bridge). Flapjack until the required number of reps are completed:

  • 100 merkins
  • 200 squats

Each pax rounded the pond twice during this circuit.

Mosey up Harney and turn left, quick plank to wait for the six, then take the next right. Duck into another lot for more Mary (hollow body hold) while we wait for the six. Mosey back to the launch and circle up for more Mary:

  • Plankorama
  • Merkin wave
  • LBC x 20 IC
  • Protractor
  • Box cutters x 15 IC
  • Flutters x 15 IC


Circle up with the Swift pax (Frazier, Bunker, Paper Jam, Atlas, and Bratwurst) – thanks to Paper Jam for the take out.


  • Please be mindful of the social distancing mandate issued by the Governor.
  • Please keep Bout Time and his family in your thoughts and prayers as his 2.0, Jennings, undergoes a relapse of his leukemia. There’s a sign-up genius on Slack if you have the ability to perform some yard work for the family during a very difficult time.
  • Per Bratwurst: Project 658 (an east Charlotte ministry that serves kids and poverty-stricken families, many from refugee families) is in need of winter clothes for kids and teens – if you have any gently-used winter gear – jackets, gloves, hats, etc. — please bring it next Tuesday Dec 15 and Citgo will collect it and pass it along.
  • Per Brushback: Brookstone School (a Christian school providing educational opportunities for under-served students in Uptown) is fundraising as it tries to increase enrollment from ~190 to 250 students over the next few years. Please reach out to him with interest or questions. Details on the school can be found here.


  • Thanks to Cooter2 for the invitation to Q Bagpipe. As I told him on the pre-run, I had never Qed at Bagpipe and wasn’t sure I’d ever posted there. If I have, it’s been a long time. It was good to have a chance to catch up with Cooter2 on our pre-run. He reminded me that he still had my 35# KB, which is always good to know (I’ve loaned out so many KBs that I’ve started to lose track).
  • We ended up getting about 3 miles of running, which is pretty solid for a 45-minute boot camp. Some of the pax seemed to think the running was excessive as there were cries of “This isn’t Swift!” and “Please don’t come back!” this morning. Your feedback is appreciated and will be given the consideration it deserves.
  • It was great to have a #kotters carpool this morning with Pulled Pork and Brushback emerging from retirement to post this morning. Brushback recently bought Frehley’s house, so he’s officially an SOB – please stay on him so he doesn’t sneak back away to solo workouts!
  • I don’t know about the rest of the pax, but I felt Kirby’s support from the fartsack this morning.
  • Thank you for following my lead this morning. Hopefully it was worth getting up early for it. SYITG!

The 80s had the best music

After a solo mission last week, YHC was hopeful to have some company for this week’s edition of Olympus. I had 3 hard commits, so the odds were good. After a double pre-run (gotta hit the 2020 mileage goal), I rolled up to the AO (a minute late) and found Swiss Miss and High Tide in the parking lot. After my Mr. Rogers routine (changing out of running shoes and into lifting shoes, we got started.

Appetizer: SSH, Sharon Towers, Prying Squat

Main Course:

  • Set 1: 25 swings (32), 10 deep merkins on bells, 8 goblet squats (28)
  • Set 2: 25 swings (32), 5 double clean and press (24s)
  • Set 3: 25 swings (32), 10 deep merkins on bells, 8 deadlifts (double 24s) – this is when Frehley’s Comet pulled in, after posting at Stonehenge already
  • Set 4: 25 swings (32), 5 double clean and press (24s)

Repeat 4 times for 400 swings, 80 merkins, 32 goblet squats, 32 deadlifts, 40 clean and press.

Mary: 60 second hard style elbow plank and hollow body hold

COT: Circle up with the RockZero pax


  • Please keep Bout Time and his family in your prayers as his son, Jennings, battles leukemia for the second time. Please see Slack for a sign-up genius if you’re able to help out.
  • Please be mindful of the Governor’s executive order regarding social distancing and masking. While it makes 2nd F more challenging, cases are trending in the wrong direction.


  • Thanks to the pax for posting and following my lead this morning. I was definitely feeling the swings toward the end, even with the recovery time. Sorry for the recycled weinke, but I was the only one that did it last week, so it was new to you.
  • It was good to have High Tide back out after recovering from something he had tweaked a few weeks ago. It was also good to have Swiss Miss back out there with us this morning. He still posts elsewhere in F3, but it had been a while since we had him join us for some bells. Hopefully he can use some of this workout when posting in Kernersville. Frehley’s continues to impress. Cranking out a ton of swings after completing an hour bootcamp is a solid Saturday morning. Hopefully he got a well-earned nap later in the day.
  • The music today was provided by Van Halen Radio on Spotify. The mix was a bit eclectic, but generally solid. High Tide mentioned that the 80s were still one of the most popular decades of music, which got Frehley’s talking about the spectrum of music that decade included. Swiss Miss also mentioned White Squirrel radio (you can find it on TuneIn radio), where they play old Casey Kasem Top 40 shows – he listened to one from 1970 recently!

Too much material

It was chilly this morning, but 10 men dragged themselves out of the fartsack to sling some iron. Stone Cold, Horsehead, and YHC did a 3 mile pre-run with a flyby of the old Meathead AO. #pouroneout

After a somewhat disjointed COVIDisclaimer, we grabbed our bells and waiter carried them to one of the giant parking lots down by the church. We circled up there for some quick kettlebell instruction, covering all the ballistic movements (swing, snatch, clean, high pull). Some reminders for the pax:

  • Hips drive, arms guide. The power should come from your hips and your arms are just there to guide the bell in its arc and to keep it from flying into the guy in front of you.
  • The handle of the bell should pass above your knees on the backswing. If it’s lower than that, you’re bending your knees too much (or you have arms like an orangutan).
  • Vertical shins. This is a hip hinge movement, not a squat. Minimize knee bend and try to keep your shins close to vertical.
  • Eyes on the horizon, shoulders anti-shrugged away from your ears, and proud chest. Like the monkey humper, it’s best to stare deeply into the eyes of the guy across from you. #pleasedont
  • The bell should always start and end in front of your feet, so you have to tip the handle toward you to launch it. Engage your lats as you start the backswing. This will prevent you from using your lower back.
  • Bell size. For these types of ballistic movements, you need a decent-sized bell (at least 45 lbs.) to really feel the movement where you should. If you’re using a smaller bell, you can muscle through poor form, which can lead to injury. If you need a bigger bell, ask to borrow one from another pax.
  • StrongFirst has some great videos on their Youtube channel:
    • Swing:
    • Clean:
    • Swing and Snatch:
    • High pull:
    • Snatch:

After the tutorial, the pax partnered up (KB size and speed don’t matter). Partner 1 works while Partner 2 runs to the first island on the left and back. Each partner completes 4 rounds of each KB exercise:

  • Snatch
  • Clean
  • High Pull
  • Swing

Collect your bells and carry back to the launch lot, where we circled up for some Meathead Mary: elbow plank, hollow body hold, glute bridge, and LBCs.

COT: Thanks to Stone Cold for taking us out.


  • Congratulations to Dollywood and his family on the birth of their second child and best of luck to Battleship as his first child is due on Friday. It was good to meet you and I look forward to seeing you again in about 9 months!
  • Please note that Skunkworks will be moving its launch point next week to be closer to 51. Reach out to Horsehead or Stone Cold with any questions.
  • Please keep social distancing in mind as much as possible. There’s more community spread of COVID and we don’t want F3 to be the reason anyone gets sick. We also want to model good behavior and be considerate of other pax that might have a reason to be more cautious than most.
  • With everyone training at home, there’s been a shortage of kettlebells on the market. Carolina Fitness Equipment is a good local choice. Some online retailers I’ve used include Rogue, X Training Equipment, Get RX’d, and Kettlebell Kings. It’s probably worth it to shop around for availability and price.


  • Thanks to Horsehead and Stone Cold for inviting me out to Skunkworks this morning. As you may have heard, I’m a big fan of kettlebells, but I rarely make it out to Skunkworks these days because I’ve got Swole on Monday and Meathead on Wednesday. It’s good to get back out and to see some of the kettlebell pax from the Matthews side of Area 51. I was a little disappointed that Chin Music didn’t show, but I’m sure Header will give him the play-by-play the next time he sees them. Thanks to the pax for posting and following my lead for 45 minutes.
  • Das Boot didn’t get enough bells last week at Meathead, so he came out and punched his passport at Skunkworks this morning. Lucky for him, I didn’t make him lead any of the workout. He was driving up from a different state, so we’ll excuse his tardiness, even though it resulted in him missing the tutorial at the beginning. He then proceeded to troll us on Slack with a “catfished arm injury” (Horsehead’s apt description), making me wish I had repeated the disclaimer.
  • Battleship posted in a hat that looked like something Dan Ackroyd wore in Spies Like Us. The only thing bigger than his hat was his kettlebell, which appeared to be plastic and filled with helium. I have no doubt that once he gets his form down, he’s going to be swinging some heavy bells in no time.
  • Header was an old school Meathead pax, so I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when he showed up with what looked like a 35# bell. I know he can swing more than that. He proceeded to crush the workout, leading the way on the runs and getting plenty of reps in on the exercises.
  • I haven’t been to Joust in a while, so haven’t had the opportunity to work out with Yeti a lot, but he showed up dressed like Header’s twin and did equally well on the workout.
  • Lois looked like some sort of ninja out there this morning with leggings and a balaclava (I think that’s what it was). I can only imagine what kind of layers he’s going to have on at Peak 51 when it gets down in the teens and 20s. I think he should put a bigger bell on his Christmas list because he’s stronger than he thinks.
  • I think Cage was our only respect out there this morning, but you wouldn’t know it from his performance. He was crushing the reps and the running and quietly getting the work done.
  • It was great to see Baracus out there this morning. He’s been coming back strong from his hip injury and was proudly sporting his Steelers cap. #undefeated He’s got the Q at Anvil tomorrow, so please come out if you’re a Ravens, Browns, Bengals, or Patriots fan.
  • I don’t think I’d seen Stone Cold since the morning of Halloween when he posted for about 25% of a Stuckey’s workout. As always, it was great to see him and he got after it during both the pre-run and the workout.
  • Despite coming off of a torn quadriceps tendon injury, Horsehead pre-ran the workout and led the way on the running portions of the workout. I also know he’s judging this backblast and I feel like I’ve fallen short. I guess I didn’t eat enough lead paint as a child to come up with the same free association writing style that he does. Hopefully he will embellish it with some comments down below.