Author Archive Byron

KB 101 & IODs

11 faithful welcomed the long weekend with what made America great…education and hard work!

SSH x 20 IC

KB 101 – introduce a teaching point and perform 10 swings each time

  • “Hips drive, arms guide” – all kettlebell movements are driven or originated by your lower body
  • “Long spine is a strong spine” – maintaining a neutral long spine position is crucial for years of swinging pain-free
  • Go Heels! – Every lower body movement and kettlebell movement should have a focus on driving your heels through the ground or step
  • Slingshot analogy – shins are the Y, hamstrings are the band, butt is the leather that holds the rock…load the slingshot then fire it!  Load and explode…hip hinge to full extension with long spine.
  • High pulls – bell floats to ear level and you guide it back through the legs. Elbow high and wide.
  • Clean – “zip the jacket” – elbow gets close to your ribs quickly and the bell lays over on the forearm without breaking or extending the wrist.
  • Snatch – one continuous motion with the hand “entering” the bell.  Timing is key and it takes practice so that the bell is not crushing your forearm.
  • KB Flow – “become one with the bell” (start playing hokey yoga music in the background at this point) – you can improv a KB sequence between swing, high pull, cleans, snatches, and more.

Transition to 7…uh, 5 Implements of Doom due to Q’s long-windedness

Scorpion Merkins – demo only – push-up while looking to the left and taking your left leg over your right leg as you lower. Repeat on the other side.

Get in teams of 3…one is the runner, one is KB flowing, and the other is hitting one of these 5 options:

  1. Tire – sledgehammer, flip it, jump over it
  2. 40lb. MB Squat and Launch
  3. Battling rope-a-dope
  4. Moving dolly core annihilator
  5. Barbell – users choice

Once the threesome has rotated through implement, run, KB, then the whole group moves to the next implement and repeat.



Shake and Bake encouraged a Terrain Run coming soon.
Conviction (new UC moderate AO) opens 5/31.  Site Q’s are Bullwinkle, Jabberwokky & Playoffs


It was an honor to share some gloom with this group of guys this morning.  Big love and encouragement to DT…proud of your hard work brother, keep it up. Thanks to HB for the invite and the rest of the Pax for the warm welcome and being open to the KB clinic. Aye!

Putting the OX in FOXHOLE

14…the answer is 14.

The question is how many oxen-like men does it take to dominate the Circus of Pain?


Overhead Bell carry to end of lot for COP
SSH – 15
IW – 15
Full-body Mobility Circles – 4 each way
KB Swings – 20
Scorpion Merkins – 10
Prying Squats – 5
KB 101 and KB Flow set – make it up for 1 minute
Overhead Bell carry back to the Circus

Get in teams of 3 for IOD (Implement of Doom), KB Flow, and Run 100-ish yards with 1 burpee.  Runner is the timer.  Keep rotating in your group until all 3 have hit the IOD.

Today’s 8-ring Circus included:

75lb. Steel Log
Tire flips or sledgehammer (users choice)
Battling ropes
Dolly sidewinders or knee tucks
65lb. BB (users choice) – curl, press, or one-arm snatches
40lb. MB Squat and Launch
Banded lunging rainbows
Slosh pipe (Thanks Chanel!)

COT – Group takeout with some heavy requests. Thanks for sharing


I was honored to lead for the first time at Foxhole.  Many thanks to Chanel and Voodoo for the invite.  Great group of dudes and even had a couple of Diamondhead brothers (Ickey and Tootie) post today.

Personal Highlight #1 – After a brief discussion on KB swing technique, the War Daddy New Trick tremendously improved his form.  Great job!  You lived up to your name!

Personal Highlight #2 – COT prayers – I remember what was mentioned and will continue to lift those things up today.

Small soap-box rant – I don’t know why more fitness professionals don’t attend F3.  I have learned so much as both part of the Pax and Q over the years.  Now that I work for my church full time, I think it would be like a minister who only preaches and never sits in the congregation or kneels at the altar.  We all have to check our ego and be served in order to better serve.  I am thankful for all of the F3 brothers from Metro and Area 51 that have enriched my life and made me better.


200, Ciabatta, X Marks the Spot, Band-aid

9 Strong grabbed their bell in one hand and raised a fist of defiance with the other.


Warm-up: SSH (20), IW (20), Scorpion Merkins (10), Low, slow squat (15), KB swings (20), Thread-the- needle merkins (10)

Partner up and mosey to track about 40 yards away from pull-up bars.  Accumulate 200 swings with your partner while the other partner runs to bars for 5 pull-ups and back.

Tabata around the playground with 9 stations. 25 seconds of work, 15 seconds of rest:

Double KB swing or high pull with various weights
Personal KB option (swing, clean, etc.)40lb. MB Squat and Launch
Pull-up with band assist if needed
TRX merkins
Band Fireouts
65lb. Barbell option (press, curl, squat, whatever you need)
Renegade Rows 20lb. DBs
Battling Rope-a-dope

Grab bell and mosey to other parking lot for X Marks the Spot…15 sidewalk chalk X’s were waiting on us around the edge of the lot, 15-20 yards apart.  We carried bells overhead, alternating from left side to right side between each X.  1st X – 10 swings, 2nd X – 10 merkins, 3rd X – 10 flutter kick dollies with KB press.  Repeat for 5 total rounds through all of the X’s.  We took a 2nd F 10 second break in the middle.

Back to main parking lot for Band-aid.  Hand out blue bands and went through lower-body mobility time –

COT – Chum was Holy Ghosting this morning!  Great takeout.


This looked good on paper, but hurt in person.  Great job everyone!  Original title of this BB was “It Doesn’t Have to be Hard to Make You Better,” but I knew that would lead to some inappropriate jokes.  The point was YHC was smoked 47 minutes in and didn’t want to do Mary or even look at my bell anymore.  We changed gears to something I think we all need more of…flexibility/mobility/recovery work.  The response was very positive.  It wasn’t hard, but might have revealed some areas that need addressing, and left us all better than we started.  There is a quick recap video above and you can do the same drills with a beach towel or any band.

We tweaked the 10 second break to add in a fellowship component.  Rather than just counting to 10, turn to your neighbor and find out the name(s) of their kid(s) (or nephews or neighbors if they don’t have kids).  Now you have names to add to your prayer life later in the day and it connects the group a little more.

BLC and Baracus are on IR and still showed up!  We were not a true 0.0 site today, but they adapted and chose fellowship over fart-sacking.  Nice work men!

Fletch might be the new “pound for pound” stud of F3.  I’ve got him by 40lbs. but he uses the same size bell and I have never seen him get tired.  He might be the new T-1000.

Crawdad shared the War Daddy and Respect moniker with BLC.  He brings a smile and amazing effort to every challenge.

Young Love just does everything well…that’s why I secretly hate him.  Don’t tell him I said so.

Ickey Shuffle represented for 30 minutes then had to resume his life.   Great to see you, even if it was brief.

Winter Place is another fast, lean dude that can just kill it all day!  Great meeting you brother!

Chum brought water for the COT, power, integrity, solid prayer, and class to the group today.  How do you do it, man?!

Thanks men for making better and the great camaraderie today!



“You blessed us with your presence in our odor.”

It’s biblical…it’s powerful…it’s what we had this morning for the Power Gauntlet.



SSH -20
IW- 20
KB Swing – two handed OYO – 20
Full body circles – 5 each way
Prying Squats – 3
Rolling Merkins – 10

COP continues with various KB exercises called while participants feed into the Power Gauntlet one at a time:

Tire sledgehammer pounds (10 each side) and 5 flips
75lb. Steel log Clean and press – 10
Farmer’s Walk Implements 85lbs. each – walk 50-70 yards
Pullovers (10) with various weight options
Sandbag (40lbs.) over head and back – 10
Ab Wheel – 10
Banded lunge and row – 10 each side
TRX – 10 push-ups and 10 horizontal rows
40lb. Med. ball Squat and Launch
Hairburner 50-70 yards

2 rounds!



Title is reference to a great takeout from Chum who channeled his inner Jim Bakker and had us all reaching for our wallets.  It is true…God is everywhere, even amidst our odor.  Seriously, Chum is anointed and I am excited about where God will lead him.

Favorite exchange: Me: “Crabcake…what time is it?” Crab: “Shut-up Byron…I’m tired of hearing you talk today.” Beautiful.

Brown is farm-boy strong.

BLC led us into the Gauntlet.  That is perfect because at Coffeeteria we discovered he has done about 10 GoRuck challenges.  That explains why in the middle of round 2, when we were all struggling, he had a sly grin on his face.  He might be the T-1000.

Night Court came back to a rude welcome with this program, but made it look easy.  This guy is a freakish athlete!

Gullah is the epitome of commitment.  He shows up for the first 30 minutes, kid in the car, church 5K race looming, and still ripped out some great reps and effort.  Thanks for posting with a busy morning.

F3 Golf is Thursday

Next week – Olympus combines with Rock and meets at Calvary!

“Just keep matriculatin’ the ball down the field, boys”

6 Men said goodbye to football and hello to sore glutes after Olympus


Mosey with bells to track.
Jog (yog) 1 lap.
Partner-up for FW carry and mobility around the track.  This is like a really slow catch-me-if-you-can with bearcrawls, rotational toe-touches, slow defensive slides while the bell person carries them various ways.

Move to big parking lot…

8 stations:

Tire flips, 25lb. MB squat and launch, 75lb. steel log, ab wheel, Oompa Loompas, fireman pulls with big bands, double KB cleans, dolly sidewinders and knee tucks.

Partner 1 is with one of the implements and Partner 2 is doing called KB exercise.

The timer is another pair of manly-men who are matriculating the football 200 total yards, down and back to the group.  One guy throws it, then sprints by the guy who caught it…you get the idea. Every drop equals 1 burpee for the footballers. At half-way point, circuit partners switched (implement to KB and vice versa)

3 total rounds then we finished out the circuit above.

Final challenge – 80 yard truck push.  We took turns while others hit more on the circuit.

COT – BLC taking us out with passion and a Mississippi drawl!


Check the site for mud runs, BRR, and other special events.

F3 gets $5 off of the Run Jen Run 5K at Southpark on 3/8. Code is RJR-F3

PreBlast – Kettlebell Clinic Part 2 – 5/31/14


Let’s gather to review the KB swing and explore cleans, snatches and more.

Meet at The Rock at 0600 tomorrow morning (Saturday 05/31/14) and we will finish at 0645 so you can get to other locations.  BYOB (bell), but a few extras will be available.

Here’s a recap of Session #1 in case you missed it…

See you tomorrow!


Kettlebell Clinic Session #1 Recap and Schedule Update

35 men and many more kettlebells attended our KB clinic at The Rock on 5/17 at 0600.

Here is a recap of the drills, but first a quick update that we will NOT meet this Saturday due to a big response that many of you will be out of town for Memorial Day weekend.  We will push Sessions #2 and #3 to the following two weeks.

Session Focus – Swings and Get-ups.  Each teaching point below were followed by 10 swings by the Pax to nail down the point.

* 10 swings to assess current technique.
* Go Heels! – at this point, weight should be focused on the heel of the foot to properly activate the posterior chain. Stance is similar to a good squat stance.
* Perform 10 KB deadlifts to emphasize that the range of motion for a squat or traditional deadlift is significantly more than the swing.  Still focus on the heels and don’t engage the shoulders.
* Romanian deadlift – 10 reps to make sure we can feel our hamstrings.  They are part of the driving mechanism for a good swing.
* Posture – (carry over point from the RDL)…”A long spine is a strong spine”.  Once the spine flexes, the hamstring disengages.
* “Hips drive…arms guide” – enough said.
* Size does matter – If a bell is not heavy enough for ballistic movments, a myriad of problems can occur, so we upsized for 10 swings.
* Swing is a lower body driven movement – relax your arms!
* Towel swings – thanks to Tiger Rag for his rags.  We looped a towel around the handle so that the arms were eliminated from creating the force.
* Slingshot analogy – shins = “Y” of a slingshot, hamstrings = bands coming off the “Y”; butt = piece of leather that holds the stone.  Load your hamstrings and fire your glutes!
* Russian vs. American swings – how high is the bell going…Russian stays chest to head; American goes overhead.  Focus for today was the Russian style, so we explored with waist, chest, and head height swings.
* Single -arm – same set-up just harder on grip and core.
* Alternating single-arm – rotate the bell 90 degrees and put your palms together at the point of zero gravity (top of the swing) to transfer the bell to the other hand.

There were a couple of other teaching points, but we ran out of time to explore.  Next session, will start with a recap of this info and we will add those points in for just a few minutes.

For the last 15 minutes, we moseyed to the grassy knoll for Turkish Get-up 101.

* Lay down with a bell by your shoulder.
* Roll over to insert your hand into the handle (brief description on grip followed).  Press the bell with your bones from shoulder to hand stacked perpendicular to the ground.  The arm stays perpendicular to the ground throughout the rest of the movement.
* Bend the leg on the same side as the bell and stabilize with your non-pressing arm.
* Roll onto the non-pressing elbow, then pop to your hand.  Now you are sitting with the bell overhead, and your hand and opposite heel down.  Other leg is straight.* Now you have to “James Brown” it…take it to the bridge! Use the hand and heel to bridge your hips off the ground and “clear” the other leg back to the hand on the ground.
* Bend that knee and put it on the ground. Now you are in a lunge position with the bell still perpendicular to the ground.  Clean-up your lunge position and drive off the front leg to a standing position.  That’s half of one rep!
* Put everything in reverse and return to the lying position on the ground (I’m tired of typing, so if you can’t figure it out, don’t miss next time or Youtube it)
* We did 3 reps on each side, and emphasized each step.

Resources:  As I mentioned, there are many kettlebell coaches much smarter than me that I highly recommend you check out if you really want to master this amazing implement.  Here are the guys I mentioned – Pavel Tsatsouline, Geoff Neupert, Steve Cotter, Jeff Martone, and Steve Maxwell.

Next session – Swing quick review, how to transition the bell to the rack position, explore with cleans and snatches, more Turkish Get-up time!

Thank you everyone for your attendance and feedback!  Please comment below if you have other questions or you can email me directly –

*No class next week due to Memorial Day celebrations – instead you should find a veteran, hug them, thank them, then show them how to swing a bell if you want.

Byron’s Traveling Circus of Pain – 3-Man Grinder Edition


16 Faithful, 10 Pain Stations, 1 VSF…beautiful Saturday at Olympus


Warm-up – Listen to Byron run his yapper about the ensuing beatdown

Group KB Flow – become one with your KB through swings, high pulls, clean, press, snatch, squat, row, lunge, bottoms -up cleans, windmill press, etc.

Divide up into teams of 3. One team per station (10 total).  Team member #1 started on “the implement”. Team members #2 and #3 were at the opposite ends of the course.  Team member #1 moved the implement to the awaiting team member #2, and #2 takes it back to #3.  While one team member is with the implement, the others are KB Flowing.  Stay at each stations for 2.5 minutes then rotate with your bells (thanks to Gullah for manning the watch today).

Here are the 10 stations:

1 – Tire sledgehammer pounds – 5 each side (thanks to Gabriel in providing the sledgehammer)
2 – Battling rope – 20 each side
3 – Sled rows – 10-12 pulls
4 – Prowler sprints
5 – Med Ball (20lb.) Frog Hops
6 – Firehose sprints
7 – Heavy KB Farmer’s Walks (70lbs. each hand)
8 – Med Ball (25lbs.) Squat and Launch (6-8 reps)
9 – Reaction ball drop and catch – 1 or 3 burpees depending on if you catch it.
10 – Barbell curl & press

Round was for 2.5 minutes at each station.  Round 2 was a speed round – once each member got through the implement once, move on.




COT – Popcorn Prayers then 2 choruses of “Awesome God”


* Another Brew Ruck is coming May 17.  A new PR of intoxication is expected, but it is all for a good cause…rucks will be filled with can donations to Second Harvest.  Look for details from those wacky Spearhead guys.

*Possible coffeeteria option for all South Charlotte locations on the first Saturday in May.  Matthews UMC has a big pancake breakfast for Charlotte Rescue Mission and other mission projects.



Olympus – Byron’s Traveling Circus of Pain

It was just warm enough for 6 Pax to emerge from the Gloom into the COP 2.0

Quick Warm-up:
SSH x 20
IW x 15
T-Merkins x 10
Reach Back Squats x 10

8 Stations of Pain:
Tire flips (5) and Sledgehammer Pounds (10+)
Firehouse Flow – similar to battling ropes
30lb Med Ball Squat and Launch
70lb. KB Farmer’s Walk (70 each hand)
Banded Lateral Bearcrawl (8 yard course)
Firehose Run (60 ft.hose dragging behind you)
Dolly Bearcrawls

The Tire and Firehose Run were the timers. One round completed.

3-Man Grinders

Team 1 – Hairburners
Team 2 – Firehose Run

The partners at the “start end” performed goblet squats and the partners at the “finish end” performed shoulder presses. One round through for each team then switch locations.

3-Man Stations

Team 1 = Tire flips, KB snatch, KB Lunge – Rotate after the “Snatcher” has performed 5 reps each side.
Team 2 = Firehose flow, MB squat and launch, banded lateral bearcrawls – Rotate after “Squat and Launcher” has hit 10 reps.
Teams switch locations.

KB Core Suicide – KBs stay at the start line.  Perform 5 combos on each side – 1 swing, 1 high pull, 1 clean and press, 1 snatch = 1 combo. Sprint 25 yards and hit 15 flutter kicks and dollies. Sprint back to start for 5 more combos on each side. Sprint 50 yards and hit 10 side plank hip abductions each side. Sprint back to start for 5 combos each side. Sprint 75-ish yards and hit 10 flutter kicks and dollies and 5 side plank hip abductions each side. Sprint to start.

COT – Good send-off BLC with your prayer!


*The Clock says Go, but the Body says No – After the first round of stations, I asked Gullah for a time check.  We were 30 minutes in!  Half way. 30 minutes to go. Why Lord? This hurt fellas but when it is cold, I like to get heavy and nasty with fun implements of doom.  Thanks for playing with my toys and the opportunity to lead.  Our glutes will never be the same.

*Special prayer for Hoff’s bowels.  Let’s just say that while we working our extremeties, he had a special internal isometric contraction to focus on.  Hope you made it home, big guy.

*No Olympus next week, but hopefully everyone is doing the Murph…check the site for details.

*F3 Charleston on 2/1…I am heading down with Nibbler and crashing at a minister’s house on Friday night.  Anyone interested in joining us is invited, just comment below.

12 Days of (KB) Christmas at Olympus

9 Fearless F3ers
1 Kettlebell each
576 Reps
12 “Days” of Christmas at Olympus

The numbers don’t lie…this one will be remembered.

The Thang:

Hoff led a brutal warm-up. Partner up and play “catch me if you can” with KB Farmer’s Walk/Runs while partner hits 10 merkins. Repeat-a-rama for 2 laps around the track.

Byron led remaining time together…KB 101 for about 10 minutes (or until the arctic wind dictated that it was time to get busy).  Take away point…”hips drive, arms guide” for all KB exercises worth doing.

Next, 12 Days of (KB) Christmas at Olympus…

1st Day = KB Burpee
2nd Day = Windmill Press (1 each side)
3rd Day = Snatch (3 each side)
4th Day = Renegade Row (4 each side)
5th Day = KB Lunge (5 each side)
6th Day = High pulls (6 each side, except on sets 10 and 11)
7th Day = Shoulder Press (7 each side)
8th Day = Goblet Squats
9th Day = Russian Twists
10th Day = One-arm Row (5 each side due to time)
11th Day = Single-leg RDL (11 each side)
12th Day = 12 curls and 12 overhead triceps extensions

It follows the song (Day 1, Day 2 + Day 1, Day 3 + Day 2 + Day 1, etc.) to equal 576 total reps!



*About the time I thought I was talking too much about pelvic and thoracic mobility, a mighty wind blew through the group and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees instantly.   That was my cue from the big guy to move on and get busy!  We determined the temperature dropped a full 20 degrees during our entire session, but the KB kept us warm.