AO: The Patriot

QIC: Maj Payne

The PAX: Lucius, Wedding Singer, Pong, FNG Daunte, Sunshine, Bone, Brown Bag, Cable Guy, Roadkill, Coconuts, Infinity, Mayberry, Slapshot, Choo Choo, Spokes


EC: One lone wolf — Lucius — Rucked up and down steps for 40 minutes of fun prior to the Q-School beatdown.  Well done!

It’s important to always keep learning, and although #thepatriot had lots of seasoned PAX beat the fartsack this A.M., one FNG stumbled upon Q-School (welcome Daunte!) to learn along with the other gathered PAX a bit about F3’s beginnings and listen to some pointers about how to run a workout as the Q.

Key historical and info points:

  • F3 emerged as the founders attended the Campos workout in Charlotte, NC
  • First F3 workout Jan 1, 2011 in Charlotte, NC; First official F3TheCapital workout was June 16, 2018, although there was an F3 group that started previously on Roosevelt Island – around 2012 or so.
  • Dredd and OBT wrote Freed to Lead to help explain what F3 is and the culture behind the F3 Nation
  • The Problem – (notable that F3 was not created to solve “the problem,” and figuring out and describing the problem was hard to put a finger on. It evolved to be known as Sad Clown Syndrome.  F3 helps to solve “Sad Clown Syndrome.”
  • The Mission – “The mission of F3 is to plant, grow and serve men’s small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership.”
  • The five principals:
    • Free of charge
    • Open to all men
    • Held outdoors, rain or shine, heat or cold
    • Led by men who participate in the workout in a rotating fashion, with no training or certification necessary
    • End with a Circle of Trust

WU: SSH, Merkins, Little Bitty Arm Circles (LBACs) front a rear

Several of the PAX took turns leading some of the warm up exercises, and afterwards YHC (Your Humble Correspondent) led a short after action review (AAR).

Some key points:

  • Command Voice: Comes from the gut, not the throat. Signals to the PAX that you are in control, have a plan, ready to roll and take leading them seriously.
    • Weak voice signals weakness. LEAD the PAX.
    • Slow, soft, tired voice hurts morale and makes PAX think you’d rather not be there leading them.
  • Why Cadence? CONSISTENCY in all things is the building block of leadership.
    • Esprit de Corps – Counting together builds bonds, fuels morale
    • Simple and Effective – Doesn’t require complex thought, designed for breathing
    • Demonstrates Consistency, Competence & Attention to Detail: Lets the PAX know what’s happening. One movement per count.
    • Voice inflection signals the end
  • Additional Comments
      • This is not easy. Takes practice, preparation, thought, discipline.
      • 100th time “marginally competent”
      • 10,000 times to be an expert
  • The Commands
    • “THE NEXT EXERCISE IS THE ________!” (PAX repeat exercise to signal understanding)
    • Starting Position is the information (or preparatory) command. MOVE is the execution command. Pause between is critical to allow PAX to understand where to go next.
    • Only if doing the exercise in cadence, which is generally a four count. If not then “This will be done on my count” or “We will do this for 30 seconds” or “This will be done OYO (On Your Own).”
    • EXCERCISE! 1, 2, 3, ONE. 1, 2, 3, TWO.
    • VOICE INFLECTION at last 1, 2, 3 to signal end, or add “AND, Down” for last rep of an “on my count” type exercise.

The Thang:

  • 20 Merkins, bear crawl 20m, 19 Merkins, mosey back, 18 Merkins, bear crawl 20m, 17 Merkins, mosey back…. so forth to 15
  • Plank it out once 15 Merkins completed unto the six joins.

Workout Structure Pointers:

    • Design your workout in advance. Ask for advice/feedback from the AO or other more experienced Qs.
    • Design too much rather than too little. Easy to cut on the fly. Harder to improvise and create on the fly at the end of a workout when fatigued.
    • Design while thinking of the PAX and what you are asking them to do. We generally DO NOT start by stretching (stretching should be done before 0530 startex) but, at the same time, starting with sprints or a dynamic exercise (like the burpee) off the drop could cause injury.
    • Think of what muscle groups each exercise uses and understand how each exercise will affect the next. You may want to burn out the PAX chests in the first 10 minutes of the workout with 5 sets of merkins and burpees but if you plan to do a burpee ladder 10 minutes later you may not want to smoke their chest right out of the gate…but you might…just have a plan and THINK.
    • Prior to Startex, give a 1-minute warning so that guys can get their head right.
      • Q needs to survey the PAX present. Are they all studs? Do you have studs and guys 40 pounds overweight? Do you have 5 FNGs?
      • Use this survey to make sure your workout challenges each man but protects each man at the same time.  Tough task. No one said it was easy.
    • Communicate the Disclaimer
      • I am not a professional.
      • You are out here at your own risk.
      • I will make some workout recommendations. It is you against you out here. Do what you can. Always do something. If you have an injury, protect it. I do not know what your issues are. If you can’t do what is called, or the number called, modify as necessary, but always do something to encourage your brother.
      • We will not leave you.
  • 14 squat, lunges 20m, 13 squat, mosey back,12 squat, lunges 20m, 11 squat, mosey back… so forth to 10.
  • Al Gore until the six joins.

More Workout pointers:

    • If you make a mistake, when falling, DIVE.
      • The PAX don’t know your plan so don’t let them know you’ve gone off script, forgotten the next exercise, did too many or not enough.  Letting them know you messed up hurts their trust in you and effects their morale. You are in control.
      • Confidence over Competence (but then get it right the second time)
    • Don’t smoke yourself as the Q and don’t Show off.
      • You cannot lead effectively if you are about to pass out. REMEMBER, your Q is not about you.
      • Also, you are not there to win every sprint or show how awesome you are.  You are there to challenge each man with a workout and guide each man safely through it, NOTHING more. Win the sprints at your next workout when you’re not Q’ing.
    • Never, EVER, leave a man behind.
    • Don’t discourage but push each man to give 100% effort because he will be better for it physically, but most importantly, mentally and emotionally.
      • This is a tough balance and everyone has their own approach and personality. Just put the PAX first always (above your frustration and above your “plan”) and it should take care of itself.
    • Don’t punish individual initiative – flexibility is a good thing.
    • If you can’t do it, don’t Q it. EVER.
    • Wear a watch/be aware of time.
  • On the track – Burpee 400:
    • Sprint 100 yds, 5 x burpees,
    • Mosey 100 yds, 5 x burpees,
    • Sprint 100 yds, 5 x burpees,
    • Mosey 100 yds, 5 x burpees

More Workout pointers:

  • It’s got to be HARD, which is how you motivate men to be leaders.
    • Our time is valuable. We have families, jobs, responsibilities. We want to be challenged. We want to find and conquer new challenges – it’s in our DNA.
    • We respect things that are tough. Nothing worth doing is ever easy.
  • We don’t want to let others down. We want to be accountable.  Leading others makes us accountable.


Not a lot of time for Mary (Named from Something About Mary — 7-minute abs)  Great way to put some time padding at the end of a workout if you need it.  Today the PAX didn’t have time for much, and completed just 10 x Flutter Kicks.


  • With this Backblast chocked full of pointers, any PAX should be on a good road to a successful Q.  Reach out to your brothers that have previously Q-ed for support.  YHC, or any of the PAX would be honored to co-Q with you!
  • Some final pointers:
    • COT (Is a duty of the Q)
      • End EVERY workout with a COT
        • EVERY man is in the COT. No one sits/stands outside.
        • Immediate acceptance for FNGs. Get them in the circle and get them involved. Help them through the sometimes daunting name-o-rama.
      • Count-o-Rama
      • Name-o-Rama (Hospital name, Age, F3 Name)
      • Announcements
    • Don’t forget “Respect” (50+ PAX) during Name-o-Rama!
    • Record the Details for the backblast via a pic, video, photographic memory, whatever.
    • F3 TheCapital hasn’t been strict about this, but many regions tweet out the PAX counts for the workouts, which helps to improve morale and accountability. Tag the @f3thecapital and/or@f3arlingtonva Twitter accounts
    • The Q is responsible to post the backblast. This is important. Show respect for the PAX by making sure to post a back blast and have them listed. They got through your workout and you owe it to them to give them recognition.


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