Author Archive High Tide

Ibiza DJ Skills

DATE: 2023-01-17 AO: Meaad Q: high_tide PAX: high_tide, ickey_shuffle, Soul Glo, teddyf3, The Worm, Urlacher FNGs: None COUNT: 6 6 Went to Ibiza and did lots of presses nd marveled at DJ Skills. WARMUP: THE THANG: MARY: ANNOUNCEMENTS: COT:

Inaugural Functional Strength Challenge

10 men kicked off the inaugural Functional Strength Challenge (FSC) with grit and determination this morning.  No one knew exactly what to expect or what they could achieve.  Most, if not all, left the AO with a PR or two, and no, not just because it was our first event.  They were just that good.

The Thang

Disclaimer – quite thorough.  (This is a CSAUP, after all)


  • Participant categories – Pax (open to all), Meathead (experienced KB users), and Respect (50+)
  • Events – deadlift, pull-up, snatch
  • Max reps in each event
  • Pax are ranked within each event.  Ranks are tallied across all events to determine the finishing places for each category.

COP – aka Warmup

  • Mosey – quite the #crowdpleaser
  • SSH
  • LSS
  • Merkins
  • Mosey back

Main event(s)

  • Deadlift – max reps
    • Meatheads led us off with max reps of 2 x 48 kg (total 212 lbs)
    • Respect followed up with their reps of 2 x 40 kg (total 176 lbs)
    • Pro tip:  next time, wear long socks.  #chaffing
  • Pull-ups – max reps
    • Meatheads again led us off, this time with body weight as the only thing holding us down.
    • Respect brought up the rear.
  • Snatches – max reps
    • This is the big one.  What we’ve all waited for.  The separator of men from boys.  Let’s get on with it.
    • Again, the Meatheads were first and set a mighty standard with their volume of 24 kg (53 lb) snatches.
    • The Respects held their own with a similar high volume of 20 kg (44 lb) snatches.



“A good time was had by all.”  OK.  No one really said that, at least out loud.  But more than one expressed an interest, not only in doing this again, but more than annually.  YHC considers that a success and was already thinking of doing this semi-annually.  Keep your ears open during COT for an announcement this Fall.

Full results are online, but suffice it to say, everyone put up impressive numbers.  All exceeded what we see in typical workouts and even more than we saw a few weeks ago during our logistical dry run.  As an example, for a KB certification, the snatch test requires a minimum of 100 snatches in 5 minutes.  8 of 10 participants exceeded the standard, and of the remaining 2, one was new to snatches while the other had just completely dominated the deadlifts!  Deadlifts and pull-ups were equally impressive.

Looking forward to the next event (although I’ll admit dreading the snatches already…hopefully it’ll pass).


Do Over

3 #respect-ful pax joined YHC for a do-over of last week’s weinke, unknowingly.  YHC was unable to join last week, so, with a slight modification here and there, we were good to go.  Maybe even…better to go.

The Thang

Disclaimer – quite thorough, given the seasoning of this group of pax


  • Single arm rack carry – L
  • Prying squat
  • Single arm rack carry – R
  • Prying squat
  • One-hand swing – L – 15 reps
  • Windmill – aka Sharon Towers – 10 in cadence
  • One-hand swings – R – 15 reps


  • Double swings – 10 sets of 6 reps – EMOM

Easy Strength (pax choice of reps, as needed)

  • Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10
  • Renegade row – 3 sets of 3
  • Press – single or double – 3 sets of 3
  • Explosive merkins – 3 sets of 10

Snatches – Viking Warrior

  • 20 minutes EMOM, 5-7 snatches at top & bottom of each
  • such as: 5 during first 5 minutes, then 6, then 5, then 4 during subsequent 5 minute blocks – totaling 200 snatches

Round it out

  • Waiter carry – L
  • Waiter carry – R



Functional Strength Challenge (FSC) – May 22 – deadlifts, pull-ups, and snatches.  Pax, Meathead, & Respect classes.  See preblast for more details.


As a late substi-Q and having missed last week’s Q (thanks for covering, Voodoo), YHC wanted to see how it compared in actuality vs in planning.  Added a few more minutes of snatches (you’re welcome) and ran out of time for the squats (you’re very welcome).  YHC rated it “good” overall.

Welcome back #kotters to Beetlejuice, recently healed up and pried off the couch.  Glad to have you!

Uncle Leo staked out the Meathead location for us, which is preferred for the carries, of which we did some but not as many as planned.

Frehley’s Comet joined us about halfway through the Neupert sequence, after having warmed up at Stonehenge.  Said something about it being “easy”.  (Or maybe I’m confusing it with the snatch discussion…)

Good work gentlemen.  Honor being among you.


High Tide

PreBlast – F3 Functional Strength Challenge – 2021

What:  a challenge – to measure all of the hard work you put in week after week

  • a query as to the truth of something, often with an implicit demand for proof
  • a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something
  • a call to take part in a contest or competition

Who:  ALL pax  (yes, that means bootcampers, meatheads, and even runners)

When:  0700, Saturday, 22 May 2021

Where:  Olde Providence Elementary School

How:  watch Slack/Twitter for Google Doc signup


The Thang:

The inaugural F3 Functional Strength Challenge is designed to test, nay, to challenge the functional fitness you’ve been striving for week after week.  Why?  Why not??  Besides the fun of it and the CSAUP nature of a challenge, it will provide a measuring stick for where you are now versus where you want to be (above/at/below) and enable you to quantify future improvements (beyond simply thinking, “well, I feel stronger”).  It will also challenge you to improve.  Happy with your performance?  Can you beat it next time?  Heck, can you maintain it through the daily challenges we all face – aging, injury, other commitments, etc?? Unhappy with your performance?  Can you address the areas that disappointed and improve next time?

The events:

The three events are designed to identify well-rounded overall functional strength.

Deadlift – gross strength.  This expresses itself in so many areas of daily life – carrying in the groceries, picking up kids, yard work, lifting the corner of the car with one hand while changing a tire with the other, etc.  You know, the work capacity to get $hit done.

Pullup – strength to weight.  It’s not enough to be a 400 lb. mountain who can lift a small car, if you can’t pull your chin over a bar.  Similarly, if you’re a 120 lb. sinewy runner, can you pull yourself up and get over the proverbial wall?  Either way, the pull-up tests your ability to ambulate your body.

Snatch – strength endurance.  How big is your engine?  How long can you move that load?  Besides being everyone’s favorite exercise, the czar of kettlebell movements covers all the bases.  It builds hip strength and power, helping you in the deadlift.  It builds grip and back strength, helping you in the pull-up.  And it builds aerobic endurance, necessary to move loads over time.  If you only train one exercise…train the snatch.

Which division is for you?

With three divisions, it’s easy to tailor the challenge appropriately for you.

  • The Pax division is intended to be approachable for anyone reading this preblast. Weights in the deadlift and snatch are more reasonable, allowing anyone to truly test their functional strength in a non-intimidating manner.
  • The Meathead division is geared toward those pax more familiar with kettlebells, lifting weights, or who is just generally strong. The snatch weight is the standard weight used for most all kettlebell certifications as well as the revered Secret Service Snatch Test.   The deadlift weight is a little higher than in the Pax division, but still reasonable, to allow solid confidence at banging out multiple reps.
  • The Respect division, for pax 50 & older, uses the same weights as the Pax division, in recognition of the wear and tear that occurs when you’ve made that many trips around the sun. (Respect pax are also welcome to compete in the Meathead division, if so inclined.)


Deadlift – Competitors will be ranked based on the number of successful reps completed.  Competitors will use the designated weight for their division.

Pull-ups – Competitors will be ranked based on the number of successful reps completed.

Snatches – Competitors will be ranked based on the number of successful reps completed.  Competitors will use the designated weight for their division.

Scoring for each exercise is based on the pax’s rank. 1 point for 1st place, 2 for 2nd, and so on. In the event of a tie, the pull-up goes to the heaviest person and the deadlift will go to the lightest. A tie in the snatch test will stand.  These points will provide a ranking for each event and for each division.  Points will be added across the three events for each division to provide an overall standing for the divisions. The pax with the lowest score across all events in his division will be deemed the winner of his division.


Rank Pax Deadlift Pull-ups Snatches
1 A 6  (24 reps) 9T  (15 reps) 3     (114 reps)
2 B 10 (19) 2   (19) 7     (103)
3 C 1  (30) 5   (17) 18  (91)
4 D 8  (21) 9T  (15) 13  (95)
5 E 14  (14) 12  (14) 5     (108)


Watch for Rules (to be posted) for more information.

How does this fit into Flipper’s Rut-Breaker CSAUP?  I have no idea, but I know that it does.  Brush up on your calculus skills and check out the Rut-Breaker preblast here.

Sprints > Snatches > TGUs?

9 Meatheads, including a very late arriving FNG, Goose (Daniel), and a bunch of #Respects, gathered for doubles, sprints (<> #0.0), and snatches.  With this group of veterans, an informal disclaimer was given (too bad the 18 y.o. FNG missed that), and we were off in search of gainz.


The Thang


COP (aka warmup):

  • 15 swings
  • 10 merkins
  • 5 goblets
  • Repeato 5x


Neupert Doubles:

  • 3 double clean & press
  • Repeato 5x with 60 seconds rest between


Dan John’s Squats & Sprints:

  • 8 goblet squats (using 10 RM bell), then immediately
  • 50-ish meter sprint (not mosey, not jog, sprint)
  • Recover back to your bell
  • Repeato 3x, beginning every 2 minutes
  • (about 30 seconds of work, about 30 seconds walk back, about 1 min of rest)


Pat Flynn’s Crazy Eights:

  • 8 strict double presses (using 10RM bell)
  • 8 push presses
  • 8 merkins
  • Repeato 3x with 2 minutes rest

(insert FNG Goose about halfway through, due to a F3 website calendar error that still listed Meathead beginning at 0600 instead of 0530  #cobains)


#Crowdpleasing Finisher:

  • EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute)
  • 10 snatches (start with Left and alternate L/R each round)
  • Hollow body hold until 10 seconds before top of minute, then hop to your feet for the next round
  • Repeato for 12 minutes






Moleskine (which is useful to cover the blisters/torn skin on your hands from too much snatching):


This was a bit of a negotiated substi-Q, as YHC was supposed to have the prior Olympus but then went out of town so swapped a Meathead Q for the Olympus Q.  As such, YHC strived to pack in 60 minutes of goodness into just 45 minutes so that the pax were not shorted.  #YW


Considerable mumblechatter during and after the sprints (and after the workout on Slack) as to whether or not the sprints constituted a violation of the #0.0 rule of Meathead.  As cofounder of Meathead and cosponsor of said commandment, YHC opined that this was not a violation in that sprints are a strength exercise, which is the foundation of Meathead, and not “cardio running” or metcon, which was the target of #0.0.  And, and, and, Dan John likes the combination of squats followed immediately by a sprint (or prowler or hill sprint, etc) for building power and strength, and he hates cardio running so it must be ok.


The crazy eights were something YHC named from a Pat Flynn podcast that I can no longer find.  Regardless, by the 3rd round, many were having trouble with reaching 8 on any of the exercises, which was about right.  My shoulders felt it the next day; how about yours?


The snatch & hollow body combo was a product of the aforementioned packing of too much goodness into too little time.  So, you take the planned 10 minutes of 10 snatches EMOM and combine it with the hollow body holds intended to pair with swings.  Walla!  #crowdpleasing  Oh, and increase the time to 12 minutes, since we don’t have to save time for Mary.


Thanks for coming out and pushing one another.  #ISI



High Tide

Carrying the load

YHC heard that backblasts are making a comeback, so as to not be too far behind the curve, he decided to get onboard this train.

What started as a Core 4 became a 6 pack (abs) after two pax came in on two wheels, after being insufficiently challenged at a prior workout this morning.  As they each found out over the course of the hour, they’d all be carrying the load  

The Thang

COP (aka the Warm up)

20 two-hand swings

100 yard waiter carry – Left side

20 two-hand swings

100 yard waiter carry – Right side

20 two-hand swings

100 yard racked carry – Left side

20 two-hand swings

100 yard racked carry – Left side

20 two-hand swings


Pat Flynn’s Reverse Fibonacci Series

8 one-hand swings

5 racked squats

3 presses

2 rows

Left then right side, no rest

Then 100 yard suitcase carry, switch halfway

Repeato with snatches instead of swings

Repeato with cleans instead of swings/snatches

Then repeato those three rounds – with swings, snatches, and cleans – and increase rows to 8 and replace suitcase with farmer carries


Dan John 3 minute squat test

Goblet squat, remain at bottom, stand up at top and bottom of minute, otherwise remain in the bottom of the squat

We lengthened to 4 minutes

Then, immediately (as the RockZero pax looked on in jealous, slack-jawed amazement), 75 yard all-out sprint


Cool down with

6 minute abs

Flutter press

American Hammer (aka Russian Twist)

Pullover into Louganis

Dolly press

Freddie Mercury (regular then slow then regular)

LBC with bell

COT with star-struck RockZero pax



First Q in a while and first backblast in an even longer while, but I think they’re going ok so far.

Good to see such a good turnout at Olympus, up from a low of 1 two weeks ago and our typical 2-4. (Ask Voodoo for insight into his growth plan secrets)  Joker defected this week from RockZero and has bulging biceps to prove it. Madison joined with a couple of respectable bells in tow (none were painted pink) and put them to good work. Chopper, double respect, won the race (and Ford vs Chevy/GMC war) with Frehley’s from Stonehenge. Some mumbling about a rematch due to the traffic light. Voodoo, esteemed Nantan, provided executive guidance on choice modifications to keep pax interest top shelf. Throughout, pax enjoyed a perfectly curated playlist today, courtesy of YHC’s Top Songs of 2020 on Spotify, including such old chestnuts as: AC/DC, Def Leppard (non-Taylor Swift versions, although willing to listen), Nickelback, some well placed disco, and perfectly timed Paul Van Dyk for our Dolly Presses. Let’s do this again sometime.

Be safe out there.


Kettlebell Endurance

The three South Charlotte kettlebell sites of Swole, Meathead, and Olympus are again partnering on a coordinated program – this time focusing on our conditioning.  The goal is to build endurance, burn fat, and give you glorious 6-pack abs*.


Our past two programs have focused on building strength – first through Total Tension and then through an SFG Level I Prep course.  Knowing that it is a good idea to vary your training (for example, in running, LSD, tempo, speed work, etc.) and considering many pax are more focused on running and building their aerobic capacity at this time of year, we wanted a kettlebell program that would be complementary to those goals.  I researched a lot of material by experts I trust – Pavel Tsatsouline (especially Strong Endurance and his book The Quick & The Dead (dumb name but good book)), Phil Maffetone, Al Ciampa, Dan John, among others – and I kept coming back to an A+A/AGT training style.


What is an A+A/AGT training style?  It is one that trains the Alactic and Aerobic energy systems, which avoids use of the Glycolytic system (Anti-Glycolytic Training).  Glycolytic training is the type that produces “the burn”, with lots of lactic acid, and “feels like a good workout”. There is certainly a place for this type of training, such as in a peaking session or program.  Here, however, we’re focusing more on endurance through building the mitochondria. Kettlebell base building.


To accomplish this, we’re following The Quick & The Dead protocol, supplemented by a single strength session (to maintain our gains from our strength work).  The Q&D is a well-researched plan within the Strong Endurance program, is simple to implement, and easy to do as a group or in quarantine. If you’re interested in a deeper dive into the science behind the program or more information about why this works, I do encourage you to grab a copy of the book. Otherwise, you can just follow-along with the plan outlined here.  The variability will enable us to follow this almost indefinitely (I’ve mapped out 12-16 weeks; we’ll adjust the end date as we go along), and it pairs well with a 3 times per week running program, if desired.



(Includes a link to The Quick & The Dead book)


Who:  all KB pax, runners, & others who want strength and endurance 

What:  an A+A/AGT strength endurance program, based largely on The Quick & The Dead book

Where:  OYO or with fellow pax at Swole, Meathead, & Olympus

When:  WODs will be posted 3 times per week, in conjunction with the above AO’s schedules, or access a link to the entire workout here

How:  explosive, perfect movements with sufficient rest

Bell selection:  use a bell that you can swing/snatch for 20-30 seconds with perfect, explosive form.


  • Swings & Merkins: “within each series, you will be doing a set of 5 reps every 30 seconds or 10 reps on the minute.  The rest between series is the time left until the start of the next minute, plus one minute – around 1:20 with 5/4 and about 1:45 with 10/2.”
  • Snatches: same as Swings & Merkins, except two minutes rest between sets.
  • Merkins – you may want a set of elastic bands for increased resistance, at least once you’re into the program.  Here are the ones I have used. (I tried others unsuccessfully)


*   Disclaimer:  whether or not those abs are hidden under a protective layer of “cushioning” is OYO.

Stretching by Number

11 lumps of clay posted at Gumby with hopes of becoming more pliable like the AO namesake. This being 7 days before Christmas, a 12 Days of Christmas was considered, but some things just don’t translate well to broga. Consideration was also given to just recycling the past weinke (or three), but sometimes, Santa just wants a brand new bag. So, YHC pulled out the ole “Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga”, which incidentally was not in my pocket, and we proceeded to limber up by number, err, by picture.

Disclaimer: YHC is sooo not a professional and can hardly do half the stuff we’ll attempt today. Follow at your own risk. #buyerbeware

The Thang

COP (aka warmup)

Savasannah (aka just lie there like a corpse)

Devotional – Luke 1:36-38, CSB (aka The Holman)

Page 12 – Spinal warm-up, prone

  • Cat & cow
  • Child’s pose
  • Lateral child’s pose
  • Thread the needle

Pages 21-23 – Sun Salutations with Lunges

  • Salutation
  • Forward fold
  • Half fold
  • Forward fold
  • High lunge
  • High plank – low plank – high plank (#merkin)
  • Up dog
  • Down dog
  • High lunge
  • High plank – low plank – high plank x2 (#merkins)
  • Down dog
  • Forward fold
  • Salutation

Pages 41-42 – Lunge Series

  • Low lunge with groin stretch
  • Crescent lunge
  • Lunge with prayer twist
  • Runner’s lunge (#notarunners welcome too), toes down
  • Runner’s lunge, toes up
  • Repeato all, other side

Pages 47-48 – IT band flow

  • Cow-face fold
  • Half Lord of the Fishes
  • Lunge with groin stretch
  • Standing spread-legged forward fold, with twists
  • Lunge with groin stretch
  • Cow-face fold
  • Half Lord of the Fishes

Page 53 – lower leg stretches

  • Kneeling Achilles stretch
  • Front ankle stretch
  • Toe stretch
  • Repeato on the other side

Page 45 – Pigeon

Savasannah (#corpse)

Devotional – encore – Luke 2:1-20



  • Gumby is on vacation until January 8th
  • Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve convergences – watch for details

Pliable Moleskinne:

Big group today, more so than YHC expected anyway, and some new-to-YHC faces as well.  YHC’s yoga/broga practice has fallen off of late (so much so that I asked Swiss Miss to temporarily remove me from the go-forward Q roster), so it was good to see the both the quantity and quality of posting pax.  YHC forgot his yoga mat, so the fresh faces were introduced to YHC’s ginormous, plush Turkish Getup mat, last used at Gumby by Fireman Ed.  It got the job done, despite some slippage during downward dogs.

Musically accompaniment today was by Trans-Siberian Orchestra for all but the last two songs, which were by the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants choir.  #MerryChristmas

Thanks for following along today.  Great seeing familiar faces, including several #respects, and meeting new ones.

Merry Christmas, all!


Is this thing on?

Backblasts are an important part of F3 and leading any workout, so there’s that.  But I’m also writing this because when I logged onto, the four most Recent Backblasts on the homepage were all from Waxhaw or SOB.  #representArea51

Despite the chilly temps, which were warmer than the forecast of 28, four other hearty souls joined YHC to make a handful at today’s Meathead.

The Thang


  • 10 swings
  • 10 merkings
  • 15 swings
  • 15 low slow squats (which weren’t slow enough for Hoover to get his extended frame folded up, so we slowed down further  #lowslowersquats)
  • 25 swings
  • bunch of arm circles – forward, backward, big, small – everyone looked happy
  • 10 swings
  • 6 halos – 3, left, 3 right – that’s 6, so do 4 more = 10
  • 15 swings
  • 3 prying squats – first #refusnik of the day (thanks, Drop Thrill  #kotters)
  • 25 swings  (that makes 100, for you counting at home)

Partner Fibonacci

  • Round 1
    • A – double front squats – 3, 5, 8, 5, 3
    • B – explosive merkins – 6, 10, 16, 10, 6  (#doublefibonacci)
  • Round 2
    • A – double presses – 3, 5, 8, 5, 3
    • B – bodyweight squats – 6, 10, 16, 10, 6
  • Round 3
    • A – double swings – 6, 10, 16, 10, 6
    • B – explosive merkins – 6, 10, 16, 10, 6

Cook Drill – using a bell you can’t press, somehow get the bell overhead, then left-hand waiter carry, rack carry, & farmer carry.  Sit it down, get it back overhead right-handed, and return to the start.

Snatch Test (#crowdpleaser) – 100 reps in 5 minutes with a 24 kg.  That’s the standard.  Adjust as needed.  Go.

(how does this wordpress block thing work again?? I can’t see what I’m typing… Next time, I’ll cut and paste from WordPerfect)



Chilly Moleskinne

Thanks to Voodoo for tapping me to fill-in for Chin Music.  Otherwise, I might have #fartsacked this morning.  (or gone to the #fern)

I wheeled into the parking lot to see Voodoo, back from an abbreviated 2 mile fun run, chatting with Drop Thrill, visiting from the Southern Carolina.  We were shortly joined by Soul Glo, of the product name.  As we were wondering whether Hoover was traveling or not, he wheels in to make it an even 5.  (?)

We began a few minutes late, as we were all #chattykathying, so we tried to make up for it in volume.  We did go over just a minute or two, to make up for the late start, but no one minded as we were snatching.

Mumblechatter was in full effect, with Drop Thrill leading the charge, but we all participated and solved many world issues, such as Brexit, the British elections (Bulldog, did you vote?), what kind of music is Trans-Siberian Orchestra classified (and which songs are good, which are not, and is this the first time for Christmas music at Meathead?)  (Oh, and maybe 12 Days of Christmas next week??), and other topics of high importance.

I can’t see what I’m typing, so we’ll call it done.  Plus, I discovered the left arrow is some kind of evil undo button, randomly changing things, so be ware of that.  #protip

Each did what was right in his own eyes

11 pax, too wiley to run in the BRR, set out to honor those who did. Haha…nah, just kidding…they celebrated their well rested bodies by beating them down with individualized versions of The Murph.


The Murph

  • 1 mile run around the parking lot
  • 100 pull-ups (modify, as desired, with supine rows)
  • 200 push-ups (no modifications noted)
  • 300 squats (varying depth observed)
  • about halfway through, 5 minutes of Mary was called (pax choice)
  • 1 mile run around the parking lot (choose your own route)

Whole Lotta Mary – about 5 minutes of pax choice to run out the clock


Announcements – see Geraldo to sign up to Q (or you’ll be volun-told)


No BRR-level running nor kettlebells were promised. The Murph was delivered. I think that’s fair. Though it wasn’t easy, we are now swole (and likely sore for a day or two).

Pro came in on two wheels, just as we were began our opening run, but his leg wheels soon caught up to us.

Once at the kitty litter, er, playground, pax were given the open to break up the reps into sets as it suited them (e.g. 10 sets of 10, 20, 30 or 20 sets of 5, 10, 15 or whatever – even straight sets, if that’s what suits you). Some may have skipped freshman (high school) match, with sets of 5, 20, 20. (What?? #farmersausage) Not sure how that added up, but eh, I’m cool with that.

That’s about it.

Thanks for following me around today. Woulda sucked to do this solo. Or to run BRR.