Backblast Saturday 2/20/21 @ aoTarpit- Dante’s Inferno

Was the weather (3 degrees) too cold? Was the pre-blast too intense? We’ll never know why only 4 PAX showed at #AO-Tarpit for the promised 5:30am Saturday Inferno, but alas – only Gummi Bear, Tortuga, Shiplap and Katniss (Q) were brave enough.

YHC began the beatdown with a prologue – an introduction to this Q which was inspired by a college Lit course on Epics (aka really long books that follow the “Hero’s Journey” story arc). This morning we’d be sampling the first book in the Divine Comedy: Dante’s Inferno. In Inferno, Dante and poet Virgil take a guided tour through the 9 layers of H-E-double hockey sticks. Q promised that, true to the text, each layer of our guided beatdown would be progressively more punishing. Starting positions…move:

Ring 1: Limbo.
Here are those not vile enough for the lower levels of the inferno. These souls wander aimlessly alone in the caves of limbo.

Exercise: Warm-o-rama
7X motivators
25 Wandering goofballs IC (move counter clockwise in rotating circle while doing goofballs)
John Cusack w/ Coupons to base of tarpit steps

Ring 2:
Here the lustful are thrown in a violent circle by a windstorm without rest.

Exercise: Three sprints up the steps, run back down the slope. You must bearcrawl in between.

Ring 3:
The gluttons wallow in a freezing, putrid slush by themselves.

Exercise: 75 Big Boy Situps in the snow

Ring 4:
The wasteful and hoarders spend eternity pushing heavy weights at one another.

Exercise: Partner up. Stand equidistant apart. 10 blockbeees, 5 lunges until one of you meets the center first. The loser must farmer carry his opponents block back to his start for him. Did three rounds subbing blockbees with thrusters and Hodors.

Ring 5:
The wrathful fight each other on the river sticks for eternity

Exercise: Partner up and stand on opposite sides of the heated incline driveway. Bear crawl race your partner up the hill. The first to complete 75 hand release merkins at the top wins.  

Ring 6:
The Heretics are trapped in flaming tombs. 

Exercise: 100 coupon press, 50 flutters, then we drop down to the 7th circle.
*Jon Cusack back down* Leaving 3 stations with coupons

Ring 7:
There are many layers here – but a particularly troubling layer involves war-makers and plunderers who wallow in boiling blood. Should any of them crawl high enough out of the blood, they’re shot back down with arrows.

Exercise: Suicides up the heated incline driveway. 3 stations. Burpees at bottom until your turn, burpees at top until all finish.

Ring 8:
Fraudsters are thrown into a pit of darkness where they’re endlessly abused.

Exercise: Drill instructors
Standing (“On your feet!”),
Holding 6″ (“On your six!”),
High plank (“On your face!”)
Merkins (“Down/Up”).

Ring 9:
Escape the inferno. Emerge on the other side of earth to a starry night.

Exercise: Jon Cusack from the top landing back down to the parking lot. If you must stop to rest, you owe 5 Blockbees before you may begin again.

Prayers for Gummi’s former co-worker Deedee who’s been shouldering the burden of sick husband and son. Lift up all of our PAX who are out with injuries. Praise for the motivation and excellence F3 brings to other non-fitness parts of our lives.

Stay tuned for more Epic-themed workouts from YHC! This was only the beginning.

1/16/21 – F3 Waterfall at AO Tarpit

Per the Pre-blast, a forecast promising snow did not disappoint! A Q promising 100 burpees came through with 115 instead! And all PAX were sufficiently beat down after an hour of snowy F3 Waterfall!

Eight brave PAX showed up at gloomy AO Tarpit before dawn as a fresh inch of snow continued to blanket our AO. In attendance: Shiplap, Banks, Beaker, Jolly, Gummi Bear, Tortuga (respect), Da Vinci and Katniss (Q).

YHC wanted to incorporate some new exercises into the WARM-O-RAMA so we did…

15 burpees OYO
Quad stretches
Blarts (Al gore and rock left, forward, right and back = 1 rep) x 12
Air Squared (Al gore and overhead clap) x 25
ABCs (while on your six, write the alphabet with your legs up at ~20 degrees)

Thang 1:
We did 50 burpees for time to get warm and tired. Then the real fun began.

Thang 2:
F3 Waterfall! A variation of the popular drinking game.

All PAX moseyed behind Q at his pace, wherever Q leads them
Whenever Q decides he stops the PAX and yells “CARD!”
One brave PAX steps forward and pulls a card from a standard deck of cards
Each card in the deck corresponds to an exercise
All the royals (J, Q, K, A) require coupons – which means you must fast mosey back to starting point (where coupons stayed) and perform those exercises
If any PAX pulls a Joker (of which there are 2) – it’s penalty of 25 blockbees

Card values were:
2 – BBCs (20)
3 – Merkins (20)
4 – Lunges (20) – each leg counts
5 – LBCs (20)
6 – “On your six (aka jollies)” (20 seconds)
7 – Squats (20)
8 – Bonnie Blairs (20)
9 – Nipple Scrapers (20)
10 – Peter Parker Merkins (20)
J – Overhead press (30) — requires sprinting back to start
Q – Coupon Squats (30) — requires sprinting back to start
K – Thrusters w/ coupon (20) — requires sprinting back to start
A – Waterfall (run back to start and perform 10 reps of ALL exercises in list)
Joker – Makes burpees at the end of the beatdown split 25 blockbees, 25 burpees

Together we got through around 20 cards, including only one rest (card #6) and at least one waterfall (an Ace). A good mixture that left out only a few of the exercises! No Jokers were pulled (thank the Lord).

Thang 3:
We did 50 more burpees. Safe to say no one beat their original time.

COT/Moleskin: YHC told a story about his M, overwhelmed with 4 kids and feeling like she wasn’t able to keep up / feeling like a bad Mom. A few days later our 2.0’s teacher wrote my M a quick email saying “Thank you for your son, he makes our classroom a brighter place. You must be such a wonderful mother.” — Takeaways: The Lord works in powerful, mysterious ways through each one of us to collectively keep us going. If you do your best, others, and the almighty, take notice. Your best is all he asks.

Prayers for bodies that work, motivation to keep going when times are tough, and the miracles the Lord works through each and every one of us on the daily.

“Frenemy Relay” in the Snow

Twelve hardened PAX woke this morning to a blanket of fresh snow, but braved the gloom anyway. Panhandle, Beaker, Big Mac, Shiplap, Hotbox, T-bone, Jolly, Da Vinci, Banks, Gummi Bear, Katniss and one new F-N-G (later dubbed Olaf) arrived at AO Mastodon as snow continued to fall. The beauty of our AO was on full display.

Banks proceeded to test the snow quality and proclaimed it ideal for snowball making, then launched several at Shiplap’s vehicle as he dared to step out. Together we welcomed our F-N-G, recited the disclaimer and prepared to warm-o-rama.

WOR: 7X Motivators + 10 Tappy Taps + 10 Goofballs (all IC)

The Thang: Frenemy Relay

After all moseyed to position just East of the roundabout, Q intro’d the morning’s workout: “Pick a partner of equal strength, speed and stamina. Choose carefully – try to find the man who is your near perfect equal. If you choose correctly, you’ll be rewarded later.”

You and your partner are both friends and enemies – aka FRENEMIES – today:

  • You are enemies because: Each round you’ll face off against your partner in a race to finish the assigned exercise.
  • You are friends because: At the end of the entire workout we’ll crown a “most balanced 2-man team” (i.e. the team with the most “split rounds” where neither partner was dominant)

*The group partnered up (2×6), then half the partnerships moved into adjacent parking lot for social distance*

Each round…
One partner will complete a high rep count of an exercise, while the other partner does a mix of cardio and lower reps. The partner who finishes first wins. Then you’ll switch and repeat. 
That set (i.e. 2 cycles) = a single round.  

Round 1:
Partner A: Does 50 burpees
Partner B: Runs to poolhouse, does 12 burpees, and runs back
-Flip and repeat-

Round 2:
Partner A: Does 100 Merkins
Partner B: Runs to poolhouse, does 25 Merkins, and runs back
-Flip and repeat-

Round 3:
Partner A: Does 50 coupon kettle bell swings
Partner B: Does 20 Murder Bunnies out (away from partner) and back (return to partner)
-Flip and repeat-

Round 4:
Partner A: Does 50 Hodors w/ coupon
Partner B: Runs to poolhouse, does 20 squats, and runs back
-Flip and repeat-

Round 5:
Partner A: Does 100 Big Boy Situps
Partner B: Runs to poolhouse, does 25 Big Boy Situps, and runs back
-Flip and repeat-

Round 6:
Partner A: Does 100 Overhead press w/ coupon
Partner B: Runs to poolhouse, does 100 “Raise the roof”, and runs back
-Flip and repeat-

Big Mac and (T-bone?) were dubbed “Most Balanced Duo” as the only group who didn’t have a single partner dominate at least one of the exercise rounds above. Congrats – you win another imaginary coffee from Katniss.

COT: After mosey back to parking lot we circled up, named our F-N-G (Welcome Olaf) and prayed for health of all those directly (and indirectly re: nursing home patients struggling with isolation) dealing with COVID. Safety for all those gathering for Thanksgiving this week.

Moleskin: Praise for a beautiful morning at the AO. The falling snow throughout the workout, the quiet of the early morning AO, and the fellowship of 12 great men made for a picturesque memory this Q won’t soon forget.

11/4 at AO Tar Pit: The Bearmuda Triangle

14 weary-eyed PAX rolled in to AO Tar Pit at 5:30 for a post-election day beatdown. Shiplap, Tortuga, SAGA, Panhandle, Katniss, Banks, Captain Crunch, Big Mac, Sparrow, Cookies, Da Vinci, T-bone, Noodles and Gummi Bear. Many reported turning in late the night before as they anxiously awaited the election results that are still outstanding. After planting some flags, we rolled into the warm-o-rama:

7X Motivators
10 burpees
10 slow merkins IC
*Head to field w/ coupon*

The Thang

PAX partnered up into teams of two

Partner 1:
Runs a suicide line (3 stops with a graduated 1, 2 and 3 merkins owed at each)
At the third line, PAX runs straight to the “Bearmuda Triangle.” (Bear crawl to each of three stakes arranged in a triangle, graduated 1, 2 and 3 merkins owed at each)
When complete with this cycle, runs back to switch/relieve partner

Partner 2:
Partner who was not performing suicides/crawls does AMRAP of exercises below until partner returns to relieve/switch.

Overhead press w/ coupon200
Big Boy Sit Ups200
Bent Over Rows w/ coupon300
Totals above are team total (DORA fashion)

Prayers for our country as we adjust and accept the results of a close election. Thank the Lord for this fall season with beautiful weather, colors and the morning bootcamp fellowship.

Backblast: 10/2/20 EC

Tortuga, Gummi Bear, Crack and Katniss hit AO Tar Pit under a full moon for some EC run club / burpees at the usual 5:30 slot.

W.O.R: Motivators (7X), Tappy Taps, Quad stretch, 5 burpees.

Run thang: Mosey around Lake Ellyn on the short path, stop for 50 burpees at the boat house. Continue for another mosey around the neighborhood until the traffic and bikes threatened safety in the gloom. Headed back to the high school where we proceeded to the stairs.

Stairs: Run up all stairs, 10 merkins, run down hill, 10 squats. Repeat 5X.

Hit another ~.75 mile run around the lake and took the long way back to the parking lot where we knocked out another 50 burpees.

~3 miles and 100 burpees + some stairs. A successful EC!

COT: Prayers for tough work weeks ahead for Crack, his M and kids. And Thanks for Gummi Bear’s successful test to snag his Michigan real estate brokers license.

Backblast: Saturday 9/26 “Heads or Tails” Bootcamp

An impressive 22 PAX joined for this Saturday’s beatdown at AO Mastodon. Big Mac, Panhandle, Banks, Jazzhandz, Da Vinci, Archive, Captain Crunch, Wet Burrito, Tortuga (respect), Shiplap, Crack, K-pop (hate), Hotbox, Nickerdoodle, Smokey, Noodles, Bloomer, SAGA, Crash (hate), Double Beef and Cheddar (hate), To Big To Fail, Katniss (Q).


7X Motivators
Hand release merkins X 25
Squats x 25 IC
*Grab a coupon, head to base of hoffa

Thang: Heads or Tails?
*Partner up

Reps and Time – those are the two ways we structure our exercises. One will win, we don’t know which until the coin flip at the end of the morning (Heads for reps, tails for time). You and your partner must yourself on both, not knowing which will win

For each round: Each partner team must perform the Round’s coupon exercises. When each partner finishes they may begin the bonus exercise and try to rack up as many reps as possible before starting the round’s run. Only the bonus exercise reps count for the total.

—Round 1—

10x Manmakers
20X Hodors
30X Overhead press
40X Kettle Bell Swings
50X Squats

Bonus: Hand release merkins
Run: Tree and back

—Round 2—

10x Manmakers
20X Hodors
30X Overhead press
40X Coupon Swings
50X Squats

Bonus: Squats
Run: Poolhouse and back

—Round 3—

10x Manmakers
20X Hodors
30X Overhead press
40X Kettle Bell Swings
50X Squats

Bonus: Burpees
Run: Big mile (later shortened to Hoffa Bridge > Parking lot > Hoffa due to time)

22 is an incredible number of PAX for a gloomy Saturday, especially after 12 had just completed an 8-mile ruck. Way to hang in there men.

Prayers for rest and sleep for those not getting it right now. Prayers for Tortuga’s wife as she adjusts to life back in the U.S.

Following the workout we were treated to some wet burritos from Mi Casa courtesy of…Wet Burrito.. And some coffee and donuts thanks to Captain Crunch and M. Big thanks men and M’s for treating us so well. We’re thankful on this third anniversary of F3Wheaton to have such incredible engagement and such a solid group of HIMs. Let’s keep it going!

Backblast: Monday 8/31 Ruck Club


Thirteen motivated PAX leapt out of bed this morning and donned a ruck sack for a Monday Ruck Club at AO Mastodon dubbed “Doing hard things with weight on your back”.  Shiplap, TBTF, Banks, Gummi Bear, Sparrow, Da Vinci, Big Mac, Double Beef’n’Cheddar, Panhandle, Taco Bell, Wet Burrito and Katniss all in attendance. (And shout out to Archive for nailing his IPC Week #1!!)


Ruck get-up: 5 each side (10 reps)
Squats: 20 IC
Merkins: 30
Landmine chest press: 12
**Ruck hold IC for time** (remember your time)

 Mosey until Q gets tired. Brisk pace.


 Mosey until Q gets tired at brisk pace (from parking lot out to Dan Taylor Alley)

First station: 2 rounds
Partner A: 30 Merkins
Partner B: Plank until partner A is done then switch.
Hold Plank until all groups are done


Mosey until Q gets tired, at brisk pace (from Dan Taylor Alley to base of Hoffa)
Second Station: 1 round
Partner A: 10 Burpees
Partner B: Al gore w/ ruck sack in front of you
Hold Al Gore until all groups are done

 **Ruck hold IC for time** (try to beat your first time)

Mosey until Q gets tired. Brisk pace.

Walk back to parking lot. Cheer on Archive as he braves IPC Week #1 (way to go Archive)
Third Station: 1 round
Partner A: 50 Ruck Curls
Partner B: Landmine chest press
Hold Al Gore until all groups are done

**Ruck hold IC for time** (remember your time)


Mosey around Hoffa and back to same spot in parking lot for COT
**Ruck hold IC for time** (last chance to beat your first time)

COT: Remember to check the AOMastodon thread for details about Shred-tember.  Prayers for families shifting into school year and kids as they go back/acclimate to home schooling. Be with any struggling with anxiety, depression, or who are just plain stuck in a rut from quarantine – that they get out, get moving and feel some relief from it.

Remember that the mind fails long before the body does! I take comfort in that when I feel like more has been thrown at me than I can handle. You’ve got more in you than you think.

Backblast – Saturday 8/1 Bootcamp: “Friendly Fire”

An impressive (17? PAX joined at the AO for an extended Saturday beatdown, some following a Banks EC beatdown shortly before!

Today’s workout was called “Friendly Fire” – named after a semi-friendly, semi-competitive Thang 2 routine that pit partner against partner.


7X motivators
Arm Circles (B and F)
10 Tappy taps

Thang 1: 11’s via lightposts
Start with 1 burpee, 10 merkins
End with 10 burpees, 1 merkin

Thang 2: Friendly Fire
Partner up! Equal speed/strength.
P1 exercises. Keep your count
P2 runs the hill and back (bear crawl and other variants thrown in for pain)
Once both have run and exercised, reveal your number of reps to your partner.

Winner planks, loser makes up the difference with the makeup exercise.


  1. Merkins/Merkins
  2. Curls/LBCs
  3. JumpSquats/Big Boy Situps
  4. Blockbees/Flutter kicks
  5. Overhead press/lunges
  6. Monkey Humpers/LBCs
  7. Star Jumps/Crunchy frogs
  8. American Hammers/Diamond Merkins


John Cusack your coupon around the hill and back to its home.

You-call-it Mary round. 50LBCs (sparrow), flutters (SAGA), E2Ks (Pele), Leg raises (Hotbox)

Prayers for family and friends of Crack and Saga for loss of close friends
For Crack’s daughter as she heads down to school
For all grappling with the decision to return their kids young/old to school – your decision is the right one.
For any struggling with anxiety and restlessness  – that they find needed peace.