1.20.20 — Rucking and More Rucking

A balmy (positive single digits) MLK Day saw 6 PAX (Archive, Banks, Ship Lap, TBTF, Gummi Bear, Capn Crunch) looking for a good scenic hike. A nice 3 mile loop through Lincoln Marsh and back to the AO was selected and they were off.

The weekend snow had frozen hard so ankles we’re looked after, opting to keep the heavy shuffle portions to the first and last miles where pavement was plentiful. The scenic middle mile had lots of crunchy, lumpy snow (our fate for the foreseeable future). Solid mile times meant getting 3 miles in 40 minutes, arriving back at the AO just in time after a slightly delayed start. Good conversation and good exercise in the same heavy breath.

Prayers for a good start to the week, good time at home, health and intentionality as we get into the groove for the year.

But wait, there’s more!

Archive, TBTF and Crunch saw everyone off and then set off on an EC ruck on loop #2, heading on a wide perimeter around the outside of the park to Main St., Cole, Morse, and then back in. The way was treacherous and lumpy most of the time so we made slow progress and cancelled the planned mini ruck PT session in favor of a prompt return to breakfast with family.

1.11.19 – Isildur’s Bane

11 PAX (Noodles, Ship Lap, FNG-Dovetail, HotBox, FNG-Body Pillow, Captain Crunch, Too Big To Fail, Banks, Jazz Hands, Archive, Gummi Bear) posted to a squally Saturday morning workout ready to “Embrace the Suck”. The weather took it slightly easy on us with a two hour break between rain and snow, but the wind was still a brisk 20mph. Without much fanfare, we settled in for some fun times.

  • Motivators (IC x 7)
  • Windmills (IC x 15)
  • Scapular Push-Ups (10 OYO)

Mt. Doom:

  • Ring of Fire variation, PAX calls an exercise (they dislike) and performs exercise while the remaining Fellowship descends the hill and then buddy-carries (in teams) other PAX to the top. Rotate until all PAX have been Isildur/Frodo once. — We broke into two teams of 5 (before Jazz Handz arrived), I think some PAX were doing the quick math on 11 hill runs…

18min AMRAP (reprise) we got to reprise the TBTF / Gummi Bear workout that everyone else missed, which (un)fortunately set our arms up for some low figures on the next portion

  • 18 Merkins
  • 18 Sit-ups
  • 18 Aussie Pull-ups
  • 18 Squats

Resolution Time: another check-in is needed here sometime to confirm how many pull-ups can be done with fresh arms that haven’t done 100+ rows first.

  • Do AMRAP pull-ups, stop when you can’t get your chin over the bar
  • (interlude) 30 lunges
  • Eccentric Pull-ups (start at top, slow lower) 5ish (or AMRAP)
  • (interlude) 30 Sit-ups
  • “Back-only” pull-ups (arms stay straight, engage back muscles)

Mary:

  • J-Lo #1 for one minute (knee to chest, straight, side, straight, chest)
  • J-Lo #2 for one minute (low-plank hip dips)
  • Flutters ICx50

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for safe travels in the weather — Jazz Hands packed weekend with a friend’s wedding and hosting — a good start to classes for Noodles — and keeping and building solid momentum for 2020!

12.19.19 – The Darkest Q

MOLESKIN: As Your Humble Correspondent prepared his first Q in a while, he reflected on the past month and got all sentimental thinking about last winter. He was filled with appreciation for all the guys who have stepped up and taken on the mantle to Q a workout, to lead our social media pushes, or come up with great EC ideas and be good brothers to one another. That appreciation inspired the Circuit below, an exercise in gratitude for all the combined hours spent agonizing over weinkes and backblasts. Many hands makes the work light.

I spent the better part of the past month on the back foot and really couldn’t have pulled my weight with F3 if it were required of me. You (dear PAX) may have noticed a lack of “filler noise” on Slack as I needed to prioritize work and push into other fronts in my life at the expense of my F3 presence. In a different year, that month-long downturn from one person may have spelled the death of F3 Wheaton. I am filled with hope and confidence having “returned” and seen that things have continued on just fine without me. As I immediately head into another two-week (three weekends!?) absence from workouts, I am comforted by the faithful regularity of the men of F3 Wheaton. This week marks the darkest Gloom that we will post in (though it might get colder). Hold the line, brothers. Let’s kick this winter in the teeth and come out on the other side ready to share the joy of our regular weekday/weekend shieldlock with a fresh batch of FNGs. Set those alarms. See you in January. SYITG.

4 PAX (Archive, Noodles, Gummi Bear, Crunch (QIC))

Warm-o-Rama / The Standard:

  • Motivators IC x7
  • Windmills IC x15

Bring coupons to the Hill

The New-Q Appreciation Circuit

  • Noodles = Merkin x20 + Derkin x20 + Bear Crawl up the Hill
  • Gummi Bear = HODOR! x25 + 5 Pull-ups
  • Jazz Hands = Death Die SSH (1d6x10) + Welsh Dragons (2D6+3)/2
  • TBTF = Paired Sprints Around the Hill + Modified Bruce Lee core exercises (crunchy frog x20 / Hammer x20 / Heel Touches x20 / 100s)
  • HotBox = 20 Derps (Decline Dips) + 20 Flutters + All Out Sprint Up the Hill (10 points at the end) (x2, but don’t tell the PAX until you’re done with the first)
  • Banks = 5+5+5 Burpees (boil the frog – just break the news one set at a time)

Mini-Leg Day:

  • Dan Taylor (Squat:Lunge4) the coupons back to the wall
  • Bolt 45s

COR/NOR/COT: PAX prayed for good end to the week, boxes checked, and a restful, joyful holidays for everyone

12.7.19 – #RememberTheBackblast

(11 days ago) A 6-PAX gathered (Jazz Hands, Banks, Gummi Bear, HotBox, Noodles(SubZero), Capn Crunch) with the beginnings of winter chill and a mission to try something new and different. Knowing very little about what was coming except that it was totally easy, the Q settled in with some old stand-bys to put them at their ease:

Warm-o-rama:

  • Motivators ICx7
  • Windmills ICx20
  • Scapular Push-Ups (Low range of motion (1-2”) focusing on the serratus anterior; All fours or push-up position; lock elbows, press fingers out and up, tight core, straight back (no arching)

YTWLs – 8-10 reps (1-2min rest between each) focusing on spine muscles and scapular-thoracic movement; Not shoulder joint, keep shoulders down, scapula set before movement begins. Bellybutton OFF the ground.

The “rest” exercises:

  • J-Lo #1 for one minute (knee to chest, straight, side, straight, chest)
  • J-Lo #2 for one minute (low-plank hip dips)
  • Jane Fondas
  • Hollow Body (Shoulder blades off the ground, lower back pressed into the ground, deep breathing(shaking), toes pressed together, pointed, bring as low as possible with form. Everything clinched and straight.)

After completing the restful / yoga portion of the set, it was time for the surprise attack Pearl Harbor themed WOD, with the goal of completing over 2,335 reps, one for each U.S. serviceman killed.

The “USS Arizona” WOD (39 sets as a group)

  • 12 Bent Rows
  • 7 Dive Bombers
  • 41 American Hammers

The wrap-up:

  • Coupon Presses (8 min AMRAP)

Due to a Reindeer Run 5k that day, we avoided our usual Coffeeteria spot and went to Starbucks for a change of pace:

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11.29.19 — Black Friday Rucking

What better to do with a long weekend but get a good long ruck in? 9 PAX jumped at the opportunity to wake up early, and hit a FREE door-buster fitness opportunity. Walking with weight. Banks, TBTF, Noodles, and Crunch hosted the return of Reactor and Shakespeare with (the as yet unnamed) Chris, Matt, and Don.

Turning their back on the temptation of donuts and coffee, they got down to it with a ruck start time of 0538. A quick hike up North past Geneva and the Wheaton Christian Grammar school and on over to Kline Creek Farm before heading back toward Wheaton. A quick jaunt over the bridges at the Towers and the Fairgrounds before cutting through Lincoln Marsh and heading back to Northside Park, where the donuts were a bit more tempting after 10.2 miles and three solid hours of ruck work.

Good conversations maintained the whole time, only occasionally punctuated by some ruck-shuffle. Topics ranged from good wool socks and the other virtues of CostCo to the various temperaments of pre-schoolers and the benefits self-imposed phone-time limits. Calories burned, weight moved, and the brotherhood encouraged, all before breakfast.

Average pace maintained: 17min / mile

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11.16.19 — Circuit Breaker

4 PAX (Banks, Hot Box, Gummi Bear, and Crunch) posted in a now typically chilly day with a promise to that work and warmth was on the horizon. We dusted off some old reliable standards and got some new stuff to add to our core routines.

Warm O Rama:

  • Motivators ICx7

Thang #1: 

  • The Murph (almost)
    • 1 mile
    • 20 min AMRAP circuit (aim for 20 sets)
      • 5 Pull-ups
      • 10 Merkins
      • 15 Squats
    • .5 Miles20191116_07210320191116_072104

Thang #2:

  • The Cora (aka, “Core” Dora) (Partner exercise)
    • Shoulder Taps ICx100
    • Pickle Pointers (aka, Glute Bridges) x200
    • LBCs x300

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5MoM:

  • Ol’ Ironsides (Boat/Canoe + American Hammers ICx10)(x2)
  • Flutters ICx30

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for the brothers travelling or otherwise unable to make it that day — prayers for incoming family this week and over the holidays, that they would be close, connected and able to draw near to one another and to the Lord.

11.11.19 – 11.11.1918 The “Armistice” Shuffle

6 PAX posted were not deterred by the beginnings of our Veteran’s Day snow-dump. For their valor against the fartsack on a blustery day in the Gloom they received a Ruck-Day inspired by Team RWB’s “Armistice” WOD.

The Set:

  • 11 Thrusters IC
  • 11 Burpees OYO
  • 19 Squats IC
  • 18 Lunges OYO

The Mileage:

Perform the set. Ruck 1.1 miles to the Wheaton North HS flag-pole, repeat the set, ruck 1.1 mi back to the shovel flag. Lotta shuffling.

  • 11 Ruck-Deadlifts IC

(Total Mileage: 2.4mi at a 4.8 mph pace! Way to get after it, men!)

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for our Vets for community, encouragement, support and serving them as they have served and continue to serve us. — for health and support in Gummi Bear’s family (esp. M. and youngest) as they live and grow — for Noodles as he holds the line at home — all the brothers as we start a new week: strength, endurance, courage, leadership

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10.28.19 — Every Ruck Day Shufflin’

With a new appreciation for just how warm 40 degrees is, 5 PAX (Noodles, Gummi Bear, Too Big To Fail, Archive, Crunch(QIC)) posted in the Gloom for another Ruck Day. This time it was two quick laps around followed by a little PT circuit to finish out the time.

Warm-o-Rama:

  • Mountain Man Poopers IC x 10 (we miss you, Banks!)
  • Imperial Walkers IC x 20

The Shuffle:

  • 1.75 miles in 21 minutes flat for a solid 12:00 mile-time (5mph)

The Team Spartan ruck circuit:

1 PAX each on the following exercises, rotate when the hill runner returns:

  • Hill Run + 10 ruck-pushups
  • Thrusters
  • High Pull / Ruck Swings
  • Plank Pull-through
  • Ruck Lunges

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for Noodles’ family and their rest (praise for breaking the 4 hour mark on sleeping!) — for Archive and the long wait to hear back from the hiring process — for focus, discipline and character for the week ahead.

10.26.19 – APFT, take 2

6 stalwart PAX (Noodles, Jazz Hands, Banks, Crunch, Archive, Gummi Bear) met the misty, chilly gloom head-on looking forward to their quarterly check-in. The brisk air was motivating as they warmed-up and then gave it what they had. If their scores did not improve we firmly content that their overall form was much improved this time around. Look to next quarter for some solid acceleration. Crunch at least needs to work on his core…

Warm-o-Rama

  • SSH ICx25
  • Ballerina Toe-Squats ICx25
  • Bat Wings ICx20
  • .6 mile mosey

“The” Test

  • 2 min AMRAP Merkins
  • 2 min AMRAP Big-boy sit-ups
  • 2 mile timed run

COR/NOR/COT: Prayers for Jazz Hands mom, who got good enough blood work back and is now looking forward to a mid-November procedure — for M. Jazz Hands as she deals with some physical ailments and the blues — Archive as he waits to hear back from the Itasca hiring process — Noodles and his house as they seek more concentrated and extended sleep for baby and parents — prayers for leadership, clarity of purpose, and strength of spirit for the coming week.

Slow Burn: the Eccentric Jane Fonda Workout

On a morning that was slightly warmer (and slightly darker) than most days this week, 6 PAX (Too Big To Fail, Banks, Noodles, Archive, Crunch, and F3-Birmingham’s Sparrow!) posted for an odd workout that aimed to hit them in some strange places. The main drumbeat of Good Form was preached and we settled in for a not-so-sweaty but stealthily difficult exercise.

  • Motivators x5
  • Bat Wings IC
Eccentric Murph Training (Circuit) (15min) — slow-lowering reps done in reverse of the normal exercise to build strength and practice proper form and muscle activation. Done in a circuit for 15 min.
  • Eccentric Pull-ups x3–5
  • Eccentric Merkins x8–10
  • Eccentric Squats x15
Locked and Loaded — an opportunity to put that practiced form into action going the right way through the exercise
  • Dead Hang Shoulder Shrugs x5
  • Full Range of Motion Merkins x10
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The Jane Fonda Circuit — The Gluteus Medius. Look it up. Work it. Get injured less.
  • The Jane Fonda ICx10 (each side)
  • Hip Raises ICx10 (each side)
  • Curb Stomps ICx10 (each side)
  • Plank Fondas ICx8 (each side)
A little more Mary — not letting that rotator cuff off the hook. Not enough time to hit this like I wanted to.
  • Pike push-up 5 OYO
  • American Hammer
  • Pike push-up 5 OYO

COR/NOR/COTprayers for travels — focus and stamina at work — that word would be swift in coming on job interviews — that rest would be abundant for young parents — that Birmingham and Wheaton would be closer for Sparrow’s journey to us.

Moleskin Testimonial – Talking with Sparrow this week, and thinking through the past 2 years and the WAS/NOW of my own journey, I started F3 a listless time waster who couldn’t get up in the morning without his M. Getting my butt off the couch to take care of the house or get down on the floor to play with my kids was a mental wall I often could not push through. I wasted most of those evenings on video-games and YouTube, lonely, underused, and ill-spent. When Archive came calling, I knew I needed discipline, fitness, energy, and guy friends in my life. I said “sure” in as nonchalant a way as possible. I’d post. So I did. And it was fun; silly enough (Side Straddle Hop? Really? It’s a jumping-jack guys…) to not take itself too seriously, but purposeful in the small ways that build up week by week, as long as you show up for it. So brick on brick we made a small community of men leaning into each other’s lives. It was definitely a small community at times, but the need to show up and be there for each other was clear. I would have quit in the first year if I were on my own or if the group didn’t need me. But here I am, still at it, more fit, disciplined, and connected than I’ve been since I was 20. Whatever hits the to-do list at work or at home, I regularly think to myself: “Suck it up, man, you’ve already done harder things than this today. Get after it.” So, thanks, guys. I hope your story is similar. Keep showing up for it.