Author Archive Voodoo

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.

Black Friday Hangover

Saturday is lifting day, so YHC came up with a weinke, loaded the bells in the car, and headed for the hot box at Calvary for another week’s edition of Olympus. It was cool and a little wet, so I expected numbers to be down. Unfortunately, the rest of the pax were apparently suffering from Black Friday hangovers and it was a beatdown for 1.. Not a problem when you’ve got a good playlist.

Appetizer: SSH, Sharon Towers, Arm Circles, 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)
  • 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.

Load the bells back in the car and join the RockZero crew for some Mary and COT.


  • While this is an extreme case of social distancing, please try to maintain 6′ at your workouts in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order. While it’s frustrating not to be able to work out the way we like, it’s only temporary.


  • Thanks to Geraldo and the RockZero pax for stopping by the hot box on their way to McAlpine Elementary and inviting me to join them rather than work out solo. I had to turn them down since I wanted to focus on bells today and I already had my weinke planned out. While it stinks to work out solo, it was nice to have a choice.
  • While YHC was rocking out to some AC/DC in the middle of my 3rd round of swings, I noticed that a woman with a yoga mat had appeared on one of the benches on the far side of the hot box. A little startled, I asked if she had a group meeting her and she responded that she was just waiting for her trainer. The trainer showed up shortly thereafter and we did parallel workouts until I wrapped up. Good thing I didn’t have Chipotle last night. #nocropdusting
  • YHC will be the Q at Skunkworks on Tuesday. It’s been a while and I’m looking forward to getting back out there. SYITG!

T’was the day before Thanksgiving

8 pax met up at Meathead on the day before Thanksgiving at the leisurely time of 0600. #holidayhours The plan for the day was to take turns leading portions of the workout while we got our 250 swings in. 5 rounds of 20 swings, 1 exercise, 20 swings, 1 exercise, 10 swings, 1 exercise.

Warm-up: 15 SSHs, 10 windmills

Main Thang (here’s what I remember of the other exercises):

Voodoo: 10 goblet squats, 5 clean + press per side, 15 merkins

Unplugged: RDLs, lunges,

Mighty Mite: 1 TGU on the left, 1 TGU on the right, 5 snatches per side

Frehley’s Comet: 10 merkins on your bell (5 per side), 10 squat/curl/press

Soul Glo: high pulls

That covered our swings for the day. Uncle Leo led us through a couple of rounds of racked carries, then Das Boot (site FNG!) called overhead carries and LBCs with the bell, and Sweetwater (site FNG!) called farmer carries. We wrapped up with 1:00 each of elbow planks, hollow body holds, and glute bridges.

Thanks to Frehley’s Comet for taking us out.


  • Turkey Jam Convergence tomorrow at 6:30 at Rea Farms. Paper Jam on Q.
  • Convergence at Centurion on Saturday at 7:00 at Amelie’s across from Charlotte Catholic
  • Please check Slack for workout closures and rescheduling during the holidays
  • Per the Governor’s recent Executive Order, please make sure you’re maintaining social distancing or wearing masks where that’s not possible. The sooner the current increase in COVID cases subsides, the sooner we can get back to normal behavior.
  • Please keep Bout Time and his family in your prayers as his son, Jennings, battles AML for a second time.


  • Thanks to the pax for coming out and helping lead today’s workout. The Q by committee was Frehley’s Comet’s idea and was a good way of giving everyone a chance to handle a portion of the workout.
  • Das Boot and Sweetwater came to punch their passports as part of the Passport Challenge and got thrown right into the fire by being asked to lead a portion of the workout. They were unfazed and stepped right up to lead.
  • The music tonight was Spotify’s Rock Classics playlist. Soul Glo thought it was a little more mellow than my usual tunes. Sometimes you have to mix it up.
  • I hope all of the pax have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Please sound off in the comments with any additional mumblechatter.

Feel the burn

10 pax posted at Calvary at 0530 this morning for another edition of Meathead. Everyone knew that the main course would be 250 swings, but the real question was what other exercises would we struggle through?


  • SSH x 20 IC
  • Windmills/Sharon Towers x 10 IC
  • Forward arm circles (small to big) x 5 IC
  • Backward arm circles (small to big) x 5 IC

Main Course:

  • 20 2-handed swings
  • 8 lawnmower rows per side
  • Rest for the balance of 2:00
  • 20 2-handed swings
  • 8 goblet squats
  • Rest for the balance of 2:00
  • 10 2-handed swings
  • 15 merkins
  • 5 cleans per side
  • Rest for the balance of 2:30

Repeato for 5 total rounds. That’s 250 swings, 80 rows (40 per side), 40 goblets, 75 merkins, and 80 cleans (40 per side).


  • Waiter carries (:30 out, :30 rest, :30 back, :30 rest)
  • Racked carries (:30 out, :30 rest, :30 back, :30 rest)
  • 1:00 of hard-style elbow plank, :30 rest
  • 1:00 of hollow body hold, :30 rest
  • 1:00 of glute bridge, done.


  • The blood drive is upon us. This Friday at the Brace (formerly Siskey) Family YMCA. There are still 5 slots available, so get signed up and donate blood for a good cause. Contact Mighty Mite for more details.
  • Some pax are gathering at Char Bar 7 at the intersection of Weddington and McKee roads on 10/23 if you’d like to join. Reach out to Hoover to HC.
  • Please consider donating to the Give 2 Give campaign. The Area 51 link is here and the SOB link is here. The first $500 of donations to the Area 51 site will be matched.


  • After taking a tour of AOs the past 2 weeks, it’s good to get back out to Meathead. My hands were a little tender in a few spots after Monday’s Swole, so clearly I needed to get back to swinging some iron.
  • This was a pretty meat and potatoes workout this morning. The goblets were challenging and it was tough to get the heart rate back under control before the last round of swings.
  • T-claps to Turkey Leg for pre-running the workout. Please advertise in the future and maybe I’ll join you.
  • Please sound off with any other comments, observations, etc.


A plethora of bells

4 pax (as expected) gathered at Calvary this morning for a bell extravaganza in refreshingly cool temps. After weeks of swings, YHC thought it might be fun to bring out some bigger bells for the pax to try. High Tide confirmed he would be in attendance via text the night before and offered to bring some of his big bells as well. He also brought some much-needed sanity to the number of reps we’d be performing.

Warm up:

  • SSH x 10 IC
  • Windmills x 10 IC
  • 20 swings OYO

The Thang:

  • 10 swings with the 48kg/108# bell
  • 10 swings with the 44kg/97# bell
  • 15 swings with the 40kg/88# bell
  • 15 swings with the 36kg/79# bell
  • 25 swings with the 32kg/70.5# bell
  • 25 swings with the 28kg/62# bell
  • 50 swings with the 24kg/53# bell
  • 50 swings with the 20kg/45# bell

Repeato for 400 total swings.

We finished a little early, so Alf and Madison performed various exercises while High Tide and YHC decided to start again from the top and get through the 2 sets of 25 for an even 500 swings.

COT with RockZero. Thanks to Sprockets for the takeout.


  • Thanks to the pax for coming out and trying something new. With all the swings we’ve been doing, YHC thought it would be fun to have a less-structured day with some bigger bells. It helps the pax understand what they’re capable of and makes your “heavy bell” feel much lighter.
  • Alf made the mistake of showing up at Olympus on the wrong day, but he gamely played along. He got a few swings in on the big boys and crushed the rest of the bells.
  • Madison took his turn on all of the bells and was looking strong out there this morning. Hopefully he’ll be able to keep up with his pace group tomorrow on their 35-mile ride.
  • High Tide loves big bells and he cannot lie. He skipped the 20 OYO swings so he could have the first shot at the 48 and he set the pace on the rest of the swings.


  • Sign up to donate blood on 10/23 at the Brace (formerly Siskey) YMCA. Search for Mighty Mite on Slack to find the preblast.
  • October is Give2Give month for the F3 Foundation. If you’re able, please try to make a donation to support the professionalization of the foundation. More details here.

Fantastic Four

4 pax circled up at Calvary under a steel gray sky. The cool weather was welcome after the heat of the last few months. After a quick disclaimer, we did a little loosening up:

  • SSH x 20 IC
  • Windmill/Sharon Towers x 10

On to the Main Event:

  • 15 swings (25 for round 2)
  • 10 goblet squats
  • 35 swings (25 for round 2)
  • 15 flutter press
  • 15 swings (25 for round 2)
  • 5 presses per side
  • 35 swings (25 for round 2)
  • 10 Louganis
  • 25 swings
  • 5 lawnmowers per side
  • 25 swings
  • 15/20 LBCs with the bell on your chest
  • 25 swings
  • 15 merkins
  • 25 swings
  • 15 dolly press

Repeato for 400 swings, 20 goblet squats, 30 flutter press, 20 presses, 20 Louganis, 20 lawnmowers, 35 LBCs, 30 merkins, 30 dolly presses.

Waiter carry :30 x 4 (2 per side)

Farmer carry (2 bells) :30 x 2


  • 1:00 elbow plank
  • 1:00 hollow body hold
  • 1:00 glute bridge

COT with the RockZero pax. Thanks to Flipper for the take out.


  1. Blood drive – October 23rd – get signed up!
  2. Makeshift Marathon – see the #fallmarathon channel on Slack

Naked Moleskine:

  1. Thanks to the pax for coming out. The weather ended up being perfect, but it was questionable with all the clouds.
  2. Based on my calculations, we’re at approximately 10,000 swings now for the swing program. We’ll be switching it up soon, so come on out if you’re interested.
  3. YHC outsourced the weinke to High Tide yesterday and I think it worked out nicely. If anyone has any complaints, take it up with our resident KB mad scientist.
  4. Ickey Shuffle did a good job of identifying some of the deep tracks on the playlist this morning. He was also fired up for some SEC football this afternoon. He was not impressed with the heavyweight UVA/Duke game. Go Wahoos!
  5. High Tide is rounding back into kettlebell form after a mysterious illness had him on the bench for a few weeks. He was looking strong today. He also provided some musical suggestions for our next workout. #badcompany
  6. Beetlejuice was back at it again this morning. He’s become a fixture of the kettlebell workouts. Hopefully he can get more bells soon so he has some options for different exercises. #24kg4life

The human burpee

9 pax posted this morning at Meathead on a pleasantly cool morning. YHC showed up at precisely 5:29.55 due to an alarm clock issue (I hit snooze). #cobains The struggle to get back into the swing post-BRR is real.

After throwing a few bells on the ground and shaming Uncle Leo into taking a 24, I gave a thorough disclaimer and explained the workout.


  • SSH x 20 IC
  • 20 swings
  • Windmill x 10 IC

Main Event (2:30 per round):

  • 15 swings/15 goblet squats/1 merkin
  • 15 swings/14 goblet squats/2 merkins
  • 15 swings/13 goblet squats/3 merkins
  • 15 swings/3 goblet squats/13 merkins
  • 15 swings/2 goblet squats/14 merkins
  • 20 swings/1 goblet squat/15 merkins – (added 5 swings to get to 250 for the workout)

Time for a bit of Mary: 1:00 elbow plank, :30 recovery, 1:00 glute bridge


Thanks to Hoover for the takeout this morning.


  • Sign up for the blood drive or you answer to Mighty Mite. As he explained this morning, you’re going to give blood – one way or another.
  • Swole, Meathead, and Olympus are all looking for Qs. The rules are pretty simple for now – 250 swings on weekdays, 400 on weekends. Go with whatever rep count you want and mix in some accessory exercises. As Uncle Leo said this morning, the hardest part is coming up with music you won’t get made fun of for.
  • Keep an eye out for more information on the F3 Foundation. In an effort to make it more professional, they’re going to be hiring a director and are launching a $200,000 fundraising campaign in October. If you can contribute, please consider it.


  • High Tide came up with the idea behind this workout a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been sitting on it until I had the opportunity to use it. Apparently, it’s based on a Dan John article and he calls it the human burpee. I haven’t read the article, so can’t tell you why. I can tell you that it’s the closest YHC is going to get to a burpee. If you have any complaints, please email him.
  • As always, thanks for posting at Meathead and for following my lead. We have a strong crew of regulars and are seeing some new faces as well. Now, we just need to kill that stupid sandbag workout that poached Wild Turkey. Friday really is a better day for it anyway…
  • The pax were having fun with the numbers this workout. We’re going to have to rename Uncle Leo Rainman or something.



Blew through my weinke

5 men met up at Olympus on a cool Saturday morning for some fellowship, ball-busting, and 400 swings. About halfway through, Frehley’s rolled in to catch the back half of the workout after posting at Stonehenge. He had sent a note to the Q, who promptly forgot until he saw his car rolling in.

Warm-upSSH (20), IW (15), Mountain Climber (20) IC

The Thang:

  • 10 swings, 1 press per side
  • 15 swings, 2 presses per side
  • 25 swings, 3 presses per side
  • 50 swings, 4 presses per side

Repeato 3 times (4 total rounds) with goblet squats, rows, and lunges (400 total swings)

Waiter carries – 1:00 per side 4 times (twice per side)

Snatches – 5 per side for 10 rounds (100 snatches)

Mary: elbow plank and hollow body hold

COT with the RockZero pax


  • SOB/Area 51 blood drive will take place on 10/23 at the Brace (formerly Sisley) Y. Don’t do at between now and then or you will be ineligible
  • Wild Turkey on Q on Wednesday at Meathead. Come for the music, stay for the 250 swings. Unplugged will be Qing on Saturday at Olympus. Next week, Beetlejuice will (V)Q at Swole.


  • #cobains for the delay in getting this posted. I find it hard to sit at my computer during the weekends after being on it all week.
  • Good to have a strong crowd out there this morning. Thanks to Frehley’s for double-posting to catch the second half of the workout.
  • It had been a while since we did the 50 swing set, so I decided to bring it back for this workout. It’s good to challenge the grip every once in a while.
  • I didn’t really have anything planned after the 400 swings since that usually takes us most of the hour. I guess the 50 swing sets reduced the amount of time, so we had a little less than half the workout to go. Tiger Rag suggested the snatches, so the pax can thank him for that. Madison didn’t take kindly to the 5 rounds turning into 10 and there was some modifying.

Who checks the weather?

YHC rolled in to find 3 pax ready to roll at Olympus this past Saturday. Beetlejuice was ready to check his loaner bell out of the library and Frehley’s had his towel at the ready. Tiger Rag had already gotten a pre-run done and was doing some hideous battle rope/hairburner/kettlebell drag combo. Madison rolled in, there was a brief disclaimer, then we got down to it.

Warm up: SSH, arm circles

The Thang:

  • 20 swings
  • 8 rows per side
  • 20 swings
  • 10 deadlifts
  • 10 swings
  • 5 presses per side

Repeato 8 times for 400 total swings, 128 rows, 80 deadlifts, and 80 presses.

Mary1:00 each of elbow plank, hollow body hold, and glute bridge.


  • Freed to Bleed: SOB/Area 51 Blood Drive at Brace YMCA on October 23. Please join if you can and don’t give blood between now and then! Mighty Mite is coordinating and will come out with more details as we get closer.
  • The Iron Pax Challenge is in full swing, with week 1 starting 8/31. Opportunities to complete it on Tuesday at South Charlotte Middle School with Hoover, Wednesday at WAMRAP with Alf, and Saturday at Matthews Sportsplex at 0730 with Orange Whip.
  • Q spots open for Swole, Meathead, and Olympus. The weinke is pretty straightforward these days with 250 swings at 45 minute workouts and 400 swings at 60 minute workouts.
  • The swing program is scheduled to keep running for a few more weeks, then we will transition into a new program. Before we start the next program, we will offer a kettlebell workshop to allow pax to learn more about the movements, ask questions, etc. This is still in the planning phases, so keep an eye on Slack for more details in late September.
  • Labor Day convergence at SCMS with Base Camp – Mighty Mite will be offering a KB option.


  • Thanks for posting and working hard. It was nice to break the 4 pax cap we’ve had for a few weeks at Olympus and get to 5!
  • #cobains for not checking the weather and telling everyone to meet at the Hot Box. Instead, we completed 1 round, then had to relocate as rain started. We still had plenty of time to complete the rounds, so no harm done.
  • Good to have Tiger Rag back out at a kettlebell workout. The new pax might know him as a runner, but he was one of the original meatheads.

Me and the Respects

4 pax pulled up at Calvary for another round of Olympus. Everyone (except Cottonmouth) knew what was in store: 400 swings.

Warm up:

  • SSH x 20 IC
  • IW x 10 IC

The Thang:

  • 20 swings, 8 rows per side
  • 20 swings, 8 reverse lunges per side
  • 10 swings, 15 chest presses per side

Repeato for 8 rounds – 400 swings, 128 rows, 128 lunges, 120 chest presses. The swing count was mixed up a bit with some rounds of 15/15/20, one round of 50 straight, etc.

Finish up with some elbow plank with our final minute, then hustle over to the RZ pax for COT.


  • SOB/Area 51 blood drive is coming in early October. Since you need to wait 8 weeks between donations, please don’t give if you might be able to make this blood drive. T-claps to Mighty Mite for his leadership on this front. #FreedToBleed
  • Swole and Meathead are going back to 0530 starting on 8/17 to accommodate school schedules for those pax who are fortunate enough to be getting their kids out of the house!


  • It was great to have Cottonmouth join us today. He had threatened to come to some ‘bell workouts soon and finally made it happen. He also regaled us with stories about work travel, book smart salespeople, etc.
  • Frehley’s Comet is trying to heal up a knee injury and is crushing the kettlebell workouts lately. He’ll be taking the lead at Meathead tomorrow to give the pax a little taste of some old school strength training knowledge.
  • Beeltejuice has also been a regular and is doing well at the bells while mixing in some boot camps. He’s still in the market for a bell (buy or borrow), so reach out if you’ve got any laying around gathering dust.
  • Thanks to the pax for joining me this morning. These workouts are grueling and sneaky hard.