F3 Gastonia

Fitness, Fellowship, Faith

Author: Rudolph (page 1 of 2)

Start every day by dishing out some Pain.

I always like it when a Q actually has something to say during the course of a workout.  Diet, mental health, perseverance, staying strong, whatever.  It’s just cool when you can learn something or get motivated.  HIPAA needed a Q per his announcement at Bulldog sessions (go to this AO guys, perfect location), and I told him the usual:  if no one steps up, I got Painlab.  But only if no one steps up.  i think Q’ing Painlab or Bulldog may seem strange if you don’t have 500 pounds worth of weights, ropes, racks, etc., but that’s not the case.  Anyone can do 1000 merkins and call it a workout, leadership is what counts.

Anyways, it just so happens that I knew my neighbor would come after several years off, and Oompa Loompa said he had an FNG.  Sounds like a good chance to actually put some words behind the weights.  I decided to make the theme “a new day”, as we all take a new step every day, whether we’re 3+ years in F3, or this is our first day.  Gotta keep grinding, because the grind makes us badass.   Along with that, let’s delve into the 3 F’s that make F3.

Timeframe warmed us up, it was an already perfectly warm morning, the large pack of guys who were there for Painlab followed me over to the picnic tables.  I gave disclaimer about Painlab – MODIFY, ZERO to LOW IMPACT, DO NOT QUIT.  Forgot about the “don’t sue me part”, I need to get better at that before I lose my house.  I told the guys that we just did the warmup, and F3 in the morning is a great warm-up to everyday life.  Not much will get to you after a workout with the boys in the morning.

I. PAINSTATIONS – I had everyone partner up, partner 1 does an equipment type exercise, partner 2 does a non-equipment exercise.  The stations:

-Battle ropes – Squats; Slamball – Merkins; Curls – Burpees; Swings – Lunges; Around the World – LBC; Thrusters – CDD’s.  Or something like that.  When we rotate I asked for 3 claps from the group.  They got it quick, and when I asked why 3 claps, at least one person said “I can’t count higher”.  Facepalm….

We did that x 2 cycles.  I explained we just got stronger, and fulfilled one part of the FITNESS requirement.  With muscle work done, let’s move on to agility:

II.   PAIN-RING – time to work on our skills in the boxing ring.  I love this stuff, and if you do it right, you’ll be gassed fast.  I gave brief intro on how/what punches really are, after that it’s truly up to the guys to make themselves work.  I gave specific instructions for 2 rounds (I was getting pretty gassed barking instructions), so for Round 3 I told them to use all the moves (jap, straight, hook, uppercut, shuffle, bob and weave) to go after it for 3 minutes.  Everyone did good work.  I attempted to box with Pockets, but upon approaching him, I thought I might throw up on him.  Let’s not do that….

I told them that in the Creed movies, Rocky tells him “take it one punch at a time, one minute at a time, one round at a time”.  I like that.  Just like every new day, take each and every moment as it comes and make the most of it.  You can’t eat an elephant in one bite. Agility done, let’s go to stamina:

III.  CIRCLE OF PAIN – this one’s easy.  I set a timer for 5 minutes, hold plank.  At no time may more than half of the pax be on their knees taking a break.  Hold plank.  5 minutes.  Some of us did some merkins, some did Nolan Ryans.  Lots of, well, pitiful mumble chatter.  I think this was a crown pleaser.  Before we started, I told the guys to look around the circle at the other guys, and asked them to say they wouldn’t let each other down.  Instead of saying “you” they all said “I won’t let you down”.  Facepalm again.  But the mission was accomplished.   The point here again was you can take a break, but you may not quit.  There was a word on Fellowship here, everyone in the circle had each others back.  So we covered Fitness and Fellowship, how about….

IV. DORA, THE QUEEN OF PAIN – Faith time.  Hard to make an exercise expressing Faith, but how about the fact that you have faith that your partner will bust their ass for you, helping share a load of work?  Works for me.  Pair back up with partners, easy work that focused on muscle groups we had not hit yet:

300 calf raises on curb

200 overhead claps

100 dips

one works, the other runs around that island (if you can run).  I tried to fake-collide with a few of the guys, actually did collide with Short Sale, my bad yo.  And up yours, Clavin, for not giving me some skin in passing, rather pulling a Fonz on me.  Brutal.  But what do you expect from someone with pink tights?

Here comes Linus and the crew, and Timeframe had told me before they left that he had a new core exercise.  I think it was called the Variable Leg Extension.  This sucks.  It’s like a V-Up only your legs continually work from straight to an L, while doing crunches.  Don’t do it.   When we circled up I noticed that we had our leader, Nantan, a Kotter, an FNG, Site Q’s, those we RESPECT (50+), and those we HATE (young ‘uns).  That was pretty dang dope.  Gashouse is strong.

MOLESKIN – motivation can be hard to come by, so any work at F3 should be a good dose of it.  I’m pretty easily persuaded/activated/motivated by my elements (song, movie, book, people) so it’s easy to get into a groove, for me, at F3.  When you’re surrounded by guys who know that iron sharpens iron, I get pretty jacked up.  I hope that same sensation was conducted, purposefully, today.  See you around the schoolyard, obliged and humbled to be a part of F3 Gastonia.  One last thing…I told the guys whether it was your first day, or your 400th F3 workout, each new day is the same – you’re not getting it back.  12/1/2018 is gone, and you had just ONE shot at it.  Proud that you all started it right.

To sum it all up…

What a great way to start the 39th year of my life, let’s lead Painlab!  The fact that I had no weinke wasn’t going to faze me, I’ve had  a LOT of research and exercises in my time that are: easy to modify, low to zero impact, and good for building muscle.  But being a Bday jam, I thought having a little fun was in order.

The Thang:

The day technically started with Pedal, RPO  and I cat-calling to Linus about how sexy he is as he was jogging towards Gashouse on Garrison.  Boy is putting in work.  They helped me set up Painstations around Frank, who I hadn’t seen in awhile.  We go over to see Linus forming the circle, he warmed us up, HIPAA and Mayor got their weights, and 13 HIMS did PainLab:


SSH x 15, Low Slow Squat x 10, MCC x 10, IW x 10, Merkin x 10, LBC x 10

DORA – 100 Merkins, 200 Squats, 300 LBC – this was warming up still, but had to Omaha for time.  I was solo man out, but here comes Dr. Feelgood!!  Now we’re rocking.  I had the partners bear crawl to the steps, crawl up the steps, side lunge across, bear crawl back.  This was good heart starter.  I caught a thorn in my hand that has caused a lot of pain in my finger.  At a cookout that night Gastone and Pedal made fun of me.  Back to the workout.  Omaha to Painstations.

PAINSTATIONS – lots of guys, so had to come up with a few on they fly.  They were:

Diamond Merks – Curls – Slamball – Thrusters – AmHam – Tricep Ex – Squats – Plank – Burpees – Lunges – Swings – something else:  do 8-12 reps, 3 team claps, rotate, I count to 10, repeato.   During this time we reviewed what F3 is, the 5 rules, and discussed renewal.  Since we had an FNG there, we had to cover some basics, but a birthday, hell everyday, is a chance at renewal.  Don’t let a birthday, a new-years resolution or the day of the week dictate how great your chance for renewing your spririt, your body, your mind, whatever you need, to get refreshed and start anew.   We did this until it was about 15 ’till, then broke out….

DR. FEELGOOD DRILLERS – I was tickled Feelgood made it, because I named this exercise after him.  I gave a brief rundown on why I created these, which is well documented, but let me tell you, either I’m way out of shape or these are just awful.  Everyone lines up, mimic my movements, which includes squats, merkins, feet chops, quick twists, monkey rolls, whatever.  Pedal, Feelgood, Mayor and HIPAA helped here until 10 till, then we broke out….

DODGEBALL – yes, bought an old-school playground ball the night before (thanks M), and we played Dodgeball.  I was on team Big Dawg, and we lost 2-1 to team Sandy V.  I played terribly but had fun.  THen the rest of the Pax joined for a mega-game.  It came down to a 3v2 with time almost up, then Hunkajunk caught a ball with his feet.  I called it on that, Team Sandy V prevailed.

We circled up, announcements about Burpees by the Lake, remember Tully is coming next weekend, Snowbird retreat, something else.  Named FNG Teddy Bear (ha!).  I was grateful to be able to pray us out.

MOLESKIN – another workout in the books, another day in the books, another year in the books.  Tomorrow will be even better, relishing the friends and families we have.  Men, you live better than 99.9% of human history.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, because everything is small stuff.  If you need help, dial up Rudolph any time, truly blessed person to enjoy your sharpening  Many hands make light work!

Serving Folsom time, inmates stole the belt.

Earlier this week I saw the famous Folsom Twitter operator pecking a fight.  This AO has been jabbing at we Gashouse crew long enough, time for a showdown!  I asked when the next time to Q was going be, they said bring it this Saturday.  Did I have plans?  Who cares, let’s rock.  I started thinking right then about what would be the message.

Got there at 10 ‘till, looking for some spots to set-up shop.  Hybrid PainLab is inbound.  Set weights/bells/blocks in a circle, 10 stations with more as needed, the men arrived, disclaimer stated.  The rad combo of Red, White & Blue along with the black and white flag set-up, forgot to pledge but we got it in the end.


SSH x 20

Low Slow Squat x 10

Moroccan Night Club x 10

Imperial Walker x 10

Merkin x 10

LBC x 20

Mosey to the tennis courts to continue the warm-up (kinda):

DORA – partner up, do exercise while partner runs the tennis court and back, switcheroo:

Burpees x 50

Merkins x 100

Squats x 150

Now we’re warmed up, first part of the message:  I was jogging when the Twitter war began on Monday, trying to get better, and remembered that the reason I have a good time with F3, my family, whatever in my life that I need to be passionate about it.  I’ve got to give it up to be better, and if I’m not passionate about fitness, fellowship and faith, then I’m failing.  So I told them we need to attack the next segment with great emotion:  time for Pain Stations.

We do the below, with the reps as stated on the paper, when I eyeball everyone is done, we give 3 claps (F3), rotate clockwise, I count to 10 (kinda quick) and then do the next.  We did two circuits of:

Curls w/ 50 lb. bar

Goblet Squat w/ 50 lb. bell

Thursters w/ 35 lb. bell

Lateral Raise w/ 20 lb. bell

Overlord Lunges w/ 25 lb. plate

Diamond Merkins

Pistol Squats

Tricep extensions w/ 20 lb. dumbbell

Plank/take a Break – yes, Huckleberry did well here, as the sign said (“take a Break, encourage others to do a good job”.  He did that.)

Next part of the message is the other meaning of Passion, and that is the suffering and death of Jesus.  Essentially, Jesus gave it up for us, gave it ALL up for us.  It’s the sacrifice, and it’s the greatest gift we can receive.  It made me think of a way we can give it up, and no better way than demonstrating than by giving it up for your team, so we took the Test:

4 groups, 15 minutes on the clock, the rules were stated: Burpee waterfall.  You can start yours early once the group in front has their hands touch the ground, up to you.  Ascending count, it’s up to all of us to see how many Burpees we can crank out.  I was impressed with the pace set here.  Dr. Seuss joined me the day before at Downtown for the 100 Burpee rock-a-thon, but it fazed him little if at all.  Huck busted his tail, and felt the power of the Warrior once that song hit.  Once again “Real American” lit a fuse with some folks, seeing team Bedpan/Gravity light up, and Sparky and Hacksaw were grinding too, always saying “let’s get more”.  My team was Volt and Mozart, and when you see the consistency that is Volt, and a 14 year old Mozart cranking it out, we’ve got a winner.  Final count: 375 team burpees, we’ll round up to 94 consecutive individual.  Did you think you could do that this morning after an already tough workout?  WELL DONE!  Folsom has the belt.

With 5 minutes left I didn’t have time to show them Dr. Feelgood Drillers.  I made this exercise in honor of Dr. Feelgood, but also all of F3, as the best version of passion was given to me, COMPASSION.  This was shown to me nearly 3 years ago.  F3 picked me up at a time when I was low, showed me compassion and care, and I’m a better man for it.  That’s the name of the game, many hands make light work and help your brother.  You do that, everything else falls into place.

5 minutes of Mary instead, some LBC, Sandy V, 6 inch for 60 seconds, and something else but I forget.  Time.

Announcements:  Stop Soldier Suicide run on Sep 22, Burpeethon Oct 6, Snowbird Sep 14-16, Billy Madison is back in town Sep 8-9th so help him move a few things on the 9th if you can

Prayers: for our Pax running, students back in school, Sean D whose wife just learned of cancer, Eric R who has suffered several family losses, and Huckleberry as his daughter is going on her first date tonight.  Yikes.   Pledge and breakfast time.

MOLESKIN: Folsom is a great crew, I think they all exemplify the passion we have for a group of guys who are sharpening iron, their iron is just funnier than most.  And their pancakes are bigger.  An honor to lead, a privilege to serve.  See you next time @FOLSOM.  I also found my new favorite car sticker…

The Spirit of 276

Today was the day to implement the test.  A few days earlier I messaged Roscoe and asked if he remembered a workout at Downtown that I never forgot.  It was my first post in awhile, those two years ago, where I was back from the beach and decided to rededicate effort into F3.  Nearly a year before Painlab was to start, Roscoe was the Q and there were about 10 of us.  I remember Easy Rider, Def Leppard, Hushpuppy and Squirt being there.  Can’t remember any more, but there’s a picture somewhere.

Roscoe took us on a workout around town, running up and down the parking deck, but stopped and had us circle up into 4 groups.  He did a waterfall of Burpees, and it never seemed to stop.  He sped it up with Def at some points, I remember that, but before the end we had done roughly 85 Burpees in a row.  I remember that workout because it was something I wouldn’t have said I could do, if you told me to do it beforehand.  That’s a great part of F3, the time you realize you can do more.  Plus I felt nauseous.

SO….with that backstory here we go.  I get to the parking lot with my truck full of weights and , and there is Linus.  This site Q is all over his job, and has been busting his @$$  pushing the rock.  We shoot the bull, and talk weight-lifting.  We’re thinking that maybe we should start an EC thing at Gashouse with some mass-building-centric stuff?  I keep saying it, the older we guys get, the more muscle loss is going to happen, it’s just a fact.  So you all stew on that.  But he helps me make the stations and set the weights at.   The guys start to trickle in, and I tell Mayor that we might not have but a few folks for Painlab and then we’d join JJ for a bootcamp.  Luckily the number hit just right!

JJ warmed us up, Pledge, then the split.  I told JJ in secret about the Test I was going to do, he said they were going to go away…..far away.  Later I saw they went to Ollie’s.  Adios boys.

8 (9 with me) stuck for Painlab.  Disclaimer, and remember these rules for when you Q:

1) Modify as needed.  Ankle hurting?  Let Q know and he can give you something else to do (Merkins, LBC, there is always an alternative).

2) We do zero to low impact.  You CAN do high-impact, like the hop after the Burpee, or do it slower.  Again, we modify.

3) We’ve had a theme of using weights.  This is not required.  If you Q Painlab, holler at HIPAA and get some original ideas.  He’s done great in innovating this AO.

I set up 8 stations to rotate through.  When someone realized that there was 9 of us, we made a new one on the spot.  Improv!

Goblet Squats with 50 lb. kbell

Diamond Merkins (Hushpuppy missed my diamond drawing.  Uncultured).

Halos with 30 lb. kbell

Curls with 50lb. curl bar

Tricep Extension with 20 lb. dumbell

American Hammer with cinderblock

Rows with 50 lb. kbell

Marches with 25 lb. plate or 20 lb bell

*Lunges with 2 10 lb. hand weights (this is what we made up, good job Mayor!)

You do 10-15 repetitions, rotate when I say so, we rest 30-60 seconds before next station, repeat.  My favorite was when Top Hat grabbed the 50 lb. kbell for squats and yelled out “JOHN BROWN!”.  I think he’s feeling muuuuuch better these days.  So we do this times 2 cycles.  This was more work than what we did 2 years ago with Roscoe, and while I knew it would have an effect, we put in 30 minutes of work.  Perfect.

Next was the test, we split into groups, Hushpuppy remembered what I told the gang about the Roscoe workout and girded himself.  Only difference was that each group would count and we would ascend, not do a 1-2-3-1, count, but just count up.  I thought this would give some mental edge.  Plus, I made a playlist specific for this event.  So me and Hunkajunk paired up, Mayor and Defib, Pedal along with Hushuppy, TopHat with Sledge-o-matic and Hunchback.  I can’t remember what number we were on, but here comes Madoff and Hercules.  They join up, welcome to the pain train!

At this point I set the time for 15 minutes.  I saw the sweat, I saw the push, and tried to keep the chatter up.  The third song on the playlist helped to inspire me and Mayor, when “Real American” came on.  How can you not flashback to your youth when Hulkomania was running wild?  Say your prayers, eat your vitamins and be a good American.  Hot damn I’m pumped up now!  At one point I saw the group sagging just a hair, I told them to put their arms in the air and I checked the clock.  11:30 had passed.  I asked if they had it in them to go for 4 more minutes.  The answer was a resounding yes, so back to work we went.

Final count – 276 group burpees.  That’s 69 individual in a row.  The bench mark has been set for PainLab.  Next time is 277 or bust.  GREAT WORK MEN.  And hats off to Pedal, who did the torture chamber with Gastone the day before, which looked like the stuff of nightmares.

I had everyone sit on their 6 and did some basic stretches to cooldown.  Weightlifting + 69 consecutive burpees is pretty rough on the body.  After 5 minutes of stretch I lead us in some yoga poses to actively stretch.  I enjoyed watching people shake and tremble while planking.  Monk came running up during tree pose and looked like he’d seen a car accident.  GET TO WORK MONK.  JJ joined me in the circle, we did some Mary work, churchbells = time.

MOLESKIN – been waiting for a time to do the test.  Hats off to Roscoe for pushing me 2 years ago, hats off to Painlab participants for not quitting.  You can pause, you can go slow, you can let doubt creep in, but the test has one bigger purpose – push your brother, iron sharpens iron.

Until the next time, adios.  And if interested in an EC kbell-weight session before bootcamp on Saturdays, holler. Gastone was thinking of one through the week too.  Opportunities abound.  Proud of all this new blood taking over site Q’s!


Plyo Lab

Time to experiment!  At the Community Run a week ago I had a baaaaad time running.  But this just strengthens me to do more core, and hydrate.  Then I read about how some high-impact plyometrics might actually help versus hurt someone like me.  So I read up a bunch, and it just happened that Gastone put the call out for Q’s.  I asked him to make it a “Mystery Q” so that folks who thought they were walking into Pain Lab wouldn’t be averse.  Introducing the Plyo Lab:

Disclaimer was given (as it literally says this in the articles I read):  Plyometrics are not for people on the rebound of injury, or those new to exercise.  If we would have had an FNG I would have told them to take it easier than they’d like.  But we did have Clavin who is grinding out a meniscus injury, and HIPAA met him with the intent of doing kettlebell work.  Pain Lab & Plyo Lab, supa-hot!!


25 SSH

10 IW

10 Low Slow Squat

10 Merkins

10 LBC

Pledge of Allegia……..oh wait, RECOVER.  DID YOU HEAR THAT WHOOPEE?!?!?

Pledge of Allegiance.

The Thang:

Run to Harris Teeter (or whatever it is now) parking lot.  Told them we would essentially do stations to a pre-set time.  I had 19 exercises to get done, with a few breaks inbetween.  Goal was 30-45 seconds per station (my call), then jog, karyoka or backwards run for about quarter to a half of the lot, then do the next.  Over and over again, no stoppage.   Here’s the exercises done:

  • Plyo Pushup
  • Squat Thrusters
  • Plyo Lateral Lunges
  • Reverse Lunge with Knee up(right leg touch, up in the jump)
  • Box Drill
  • Frog Squat Jump
  • Long Jump
  • Burpees with a Tuck Jump

WAVE OF MERKINS – took a break and everyone circled up.  At first, everyone circled too close!  Ya gotta give me room to swing a cat here.  But a Wave of Merkins was accomplished.  Short Sale did not like the ease, so he held out just about every time it was on him.  Good work! Now back to the horror show:

  • Lateral Triple Jump (make an L – Right jump off right foot, forward hop to left, hop to and together)
  • Alternating Lunge Jump
  • Tuck Jumps
  • Judo Roll with Jump
  • Kneeling Jump Squat**** Omaha’d to Rocky Balboa’s.  These felt so good after all this plyo work.
  • Full-Body Plyometric Push-Up (got some total air after someone asked what to do.  Kinda fun).
  • Single-Leg Deadlift into Jump
  • Horizontal Jump to Tuck Jump
  • Pistol Squat Roll with Jump (lower the body on one leg until no more, roll back up)
  • Plyometric push up to squat

WAVE OF MERKINS – this time Whoopee got in on the hold-out portion.  And Short Sale.  No problem by me, I’ll just cut it short!

SPRINTS – Line up by partner.  Lamp post to Lamp post.  I said next pair after me and Breaker Breaker wait until we’re halfway through.  Then I said, screw that, wait until we are ALL the way down.  Surprise, surprise, here come Whoopee and Squirt just about the time BB and I finish.  Sorry jokers got me again.  We did this times 2

LBC x 50 OYO (catching my breath 😉  )

GASTONE GIVE-UP: told Gastone to lead us home, and do an exercise of his choice.  It’s his AO, so I like to do this when possible.  He took us to the loading dock, and 5 rounds of hop-up/lunge walk circles.

MARY:  with American Hammers, Flutters, LBC, and MORE FLUTTERS.  Time.

Name-o-Rama, prayers for F3 brothers, JK2 family, Breaker Breaker family and community.

MOLESKIN:  A week or so ago I saw my friend Gastone state in a BB that more folks needed to take the helm on the Black Knight workout.  When he asks, we gotta step-up.  I hope to repeat this one sometime soon, and I appreciate the mumble chatter that I heard, no matter how much grief I might have given the boys during that time.  Heck, Pain Lab has required metal, and any talk from you guys is good talk.  Until next time, AYE!


The first rule of F3ight Club….

I was jogging (yes, painful) through the neighborhood Wednesday when Billy Madison called.  He’s asking for a jump rope.  Why?  He has another crazy movie-themed workout in mind.  This time he wants a piece of the Rocky saga.  I told him we do boxing exercises all the time at Painlab.  I run over to his side of the neighborhood, we get stupid, here’s the result:

10 HIMS showed up to a GasHouse workout.  They thought were kidding, then I broke out the hand-wraps and the Rocky soundtrack blasting.  3-4 would have been Painlab exclusive, I hope the following satisfied:

WARMUP – Billy Mads style

Side Straddle Hops

Cherry Pickers (really cotton, or possibly maize….low reach)

Morroccoan Night Clubs

CIRCUIT 1 – F3 Boxing exercises with Billy Mads

Money Mayweathers x 10

Rocky Balboas x 50 each leg

CIRCUIT 2 – Boxing Core Work with Rudolph

Bicycle LBCs x 25

Side Plank Raises x 15 (I saw this didn’t feel good to some.  Will repeat soon).

T-Merkins x 10 each side

Situp Punch Combos x 20

Ball Pass Runners x 20

American Hammers x 20

we did something else, but my Weinke on this disappeared.  It was good core work, a little different to do so early.  The Community Run reminded me I constantly need to do this, and drink water, to loosen my back.  Highly recommended.


CIRCUIT 3 – Roadwork

Billy Mads led an indian run to Grier while a few of us did lunges, kickers and other routines with arms extended for a period to when we all met at Grier.  First time we’ve done this, I think it worked okay.  At the PL we usually do a Jacobs Ladder or something else.  We had a truly injured soldier with us, so again this worked for the zero/low impact commitment.

CIRCUIT 4 – B&R’s Boxing Gym

Fun time!  Time for some boxing stuff.  10 guys, so 2 to a station.  I got to work with Top Hat.  Despite the Duke fandom, he’s top notch.  I gave a short lesson on boxing (arms always up, we don’t do Tae-Bo, we actually put power into punches, and make sure your hips are into it).  3 minute rounds, just like boxing, here’s what you do:

Station 1 – Heavy Bag/Merkins – one partner does 25 merkins while the other pounds on the heavy bag.  Warning was given – if you don’t hit something right, you WILL break your wrist.  No one did.

Station 2 – Jump Rope – giddy-up, 3 minutes of hopping.  If you do jump rope you will have a baboon heart for cardio.  I love it.

Station 3 – Shadowboxing – it was pure genius (luck) that the punch combos written on the board came out to exactly 3 minutes.  Shadowboxing can be intense, it’s all up to you.

Station 4 – Rocky’s Log – remember that scene where Rocky has a log and is lunging up a snowy hill?  Yeah, Billy Madison did.  So we grabbed a few of my weight bars, loaded them up, 3 minutes of lunges.  Just make sure you take  a break after you go the distance.

Station 5 – Chase the Chicken – to me, my favorite, and the hardest.  It was a NUR.  Billy gave us a dog toy chicken, one partner does 3 Burpees, the other backwards runs, chase him down, repeat.  CHASE THAT CHICKEN!!

CIRCUIT 5 – Roadwork

Back we went.  Billy and Clavin had to jet, but we had 8 minutes left.  Let’s do some…..

CIRCUIT 6 – Arms & Abs

Rudolph calling, holding Plank, low plank, Mountain Climbers, Jack Webers, all intermittent.  I hope this gave a good shoulder/pec routine.  I felt it, so there you go.

CIRCUIT 7 – Round Robin Mary

Everyone contributed an exercise, and we finished with each member doing one around the circle, and then the bells.

CIRCUIT 8 – The important stuff

we ended in a Circle of Trust, and said prayers for fellow F3 brothers, the families of JK2, Hunchback and for all of you.  It was a blessed day for sure.

MOLESKIN – Billy Madison does some of the most fun stuff.  I was discussing with Gastone at a school event the night before, he was just about to break his vow of “through the week only” to come.  That’s when you know you’re doing something right.  For me?  I loved boxing.  I hate that Mayor couldn’t come, as he takes joy in it too.  There’s something about the type of cardio you get, and you can really push yourself.  For someone who has a hiccup running, it goes a long way.  I appreciate everyone playing along, even JK2 joining the Sargento club of talking Painlab smack.  The Saturday Gashouse crew is special, it all started here, so when you feel crazy and want to have some fun, dial 1-800-BILLY-MADISON and come to Gashouse.


Deck of Pain – or how to hate the Turkish Get-Up

The parking lot was pretty full, and as it got larger you could tell that winter is nearing an end.  How many would make it out for Painlab?  Earlier in the week HIPPA thought I put a gif of a break-dancer with a kettlebell on twitter.  Soon he would meet the Turkish Get-Up.

Large group that Sargento Q’d, he made his usual crack about how Painlab is lesser workout (which he does EVERY time, I’ll break him soon), someone else said something about “only” Painlab, which Mayor replied with something I can’t type here.  Decorum prevents it, sincerely Douglas S. Nedermeir, Sgt. at Arms.

It should be noted that while in the warm-up circle, I met the soon to be Moses (FNG) who showed up by himself.  Dope!  He and I chatted and tried to explain this madness.  But how impressive is that?

We warm-up, we pledge, then Duke, Bandit, HIPPA, Mayor and I grab the gear.  We went to a different spot as I thought asphalt might be easier for the TGU’s.  We made a circle, I put on the tunes and meet the Deck of Pain, which is the Deck of Death but a big twist:

Every number is an exercise, and that tells you the repetitions.  Every suit is a specific exercise, and you drop-set from the exercise to the suit exercise:

2 – Turkish Get-Up

3 – Side Row Lunge (each leg)

4 – Tactical Lunge (each leg)

5 – Bottoms Up Curl (each arm)

6 – Clean & Press (both or single arm)

7 – Snatch (each arm)

8 – Figure 8’s

9 – Skull Crushers

10 – Around the World

Jacks 11 – Clean’s

Queens 12 – High Pulls

Kings 13 – One Arm Swings

Ace – Winner’s choice

The Suits:

Hearts – Merkins

Clubs – Squats

Spades – LBC

Diamonds – Burpees


So if you pull the 7 of Diamonds, we do 7 Snatch’s each arm, then go straight to 7 Burpees.  Next person draw a card.  This was not easy.  I had to employ 4-5 10 counts, especially when the King of Diamonds fell, then about 10 minutes later the Queen.  We pulled a major Omaha on the Turkish Get-Ups.  Along with Swings, this is the best exercise from kettlebells, but it’s also very form specific, and if you’re not used to it, watch out.  I knew that Mayor and HIPPA having on their vests that it would be a challenge.  So from then on when a “2” would drop, I’d Omaha and make it a 20 count of a the suit exercise.  Luckily the 2 of Diamonds didn’t fall!

We got through 5/6 of the deck before the group got back.  Great work by this crew.  Mayor pushed hard, brought the chatter.  You could tell HIPPA was concentrating and accepted every Kbell challenge.  Bandit was a workhorse, never a complaint, corrected form on me and the guys, and came up with a good interrupting exercise.  Duke was slugging it out, modifying and moving, never stopping for more than a few seconds.  Duke came out 4 weeks ago after I put the HC on him on a Friday night.  He has been to every Painlab since.  AYE!  We need more Dukes.

I’m glad the other Q’s encouraged Painlab to stay open.  You do get a workout, I’m glad to modify, and the fact that the last 3 weeks had 3 new Q’s for the lab is incredible.  Tell your buddies who want to modify exercises (I keep a list of alternates), their bodies don’t do well with running or other high-impact, or just want to work with weights to get stronger versus the cardio-centric bootcamp, then bring them along.  Our little circle gets bigger and smaller, over and over, but it’s there for the G-town Pax.  No one should have an excuse to not get-up on a Saturday, breath in the fellowship and fun that a workout can bring.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve F3.


Painlab – Functional Flush

Another Saturday, another Painlab.  But this time different.  We circled up and there were so many guys I hadn’t posted with before, pretty dang cool.  Then as we circled up we had a guy I put the EH on last night in Mr. Wayne Finley, and it was on.  We warmed up with JJ and his magic number 8, they took off and Bandit, Woody, FNG, Flush and I went to the circle.

The lesson of the day was “slow and steady wins the race”.  The idea that we are going to grind through our first functional workout was fun to me, and you gotta put in the work, each gruesome step, to be a winner.  Knowing Flush was there, and likely had a good Yoga routine, I decided on one cycle of total body exercises, would do the trick.  But another trick in that we would only get a 10 count between sets.  So one set, 10-15 reps depending on the exercise, and everyone had a kettlebell, which was awesome.

It should be noted Billy Madison walked in right at the first exercise.  With a big ol’ dirty rock.  Here’s what we did:

Lunge – trunk rotation

Squat to overhead press

Renegade Rows


Kettlebell chops

Bridge rotations

Kettlebell Swings

High kick bridges

Burpees (slow)



Yoga Squats

and a few others.  I’m doing this from memory, cut me some slack.

Then with 20 minutes left I threw it to Flush.  This was a mistake.  He gathered us up, taught us some basics on alignment and breathing.  Then the pain started.  A great routine consisting a proper flow through moves:  Mountain, monkey, chimichanga, up-dawgs, downward facing dogs, plank, more dog stuff. warrior poses, tree, airplane, half-moons (NEVER AGAIN…I MEAN YES), and just a very tough routine.  But rewarding.

The rest of the PAX got there, JJ hit some dance music from the night before at the W.A. Bess dance (props to our FNG – The Duke, Timeframe, Gastone and JJ for toughing it out with me) and we traded some abs.  After a damn eon long name-o-rama we got our FNG named.  He had a dose of pain and liked it.

Thanks for the chance to lead, using Functional Excercises, coupled with the real Yoga made for a great routine, and something that anyone is injured, or wants a change of pace, can integrate.


Painlab – Rule of 3

Colder than what we’ve had, mostly due to that wind.  I wondered how cold our circle  would be for the 2018 relaunch of Painlab, but whatever.  We ain’t scared.  Started out the morning seeing regular Oompa Loompa,  Madoff running his son Messi, an FNG (HIPAA), and a Kotter in Hot for Teacher.  That’s a healthy mix!  Others joined, then 3 jokers with heavy bookbags came running in.  Were they campers?

We warmed up with the Bootcampers, then HFT, Oompa, Flush and I grabbed our cinderblocks & kettlebells and headed for the circle.  I just now remember i forgot to get Flush my duct-tape for his cinderblock.  Cripes!  Reminded everyone to MODIFY as needed!  We then did 5 minutes of shadow boxing and other calisthenics to get loose.  Part of getting Painlab back on track is that I need to bring a Q lesson, so today is Rule of 3.  Things break down really easily into 3’s, and one of my favorite is Lou Holtz’s 3 rules for being a solid human.

Always do the Right thing

Always do the Best you can

Treat others how you’d like to be treated.

So let’s make a workout out of those!  And work 3 body parts – Pectorals, Triceps and Quadrilateral muscles.

Phase 1 – Do the Right thing.  To me, the right thing meant putting in the proper hard work.  So we did this:

Drop sets, where we do these exercises in succession, then 1 minute break before repeating.

  • Merkins Max-Out – French Curls – Squats (x 2 sets….max out or cap reps at 20)

-Decline Merkins – KickBacks – Lunges (x 2 sets, max out or cap reps at 20)

  • Pull-Overs – Diamond Merkins – Romanian Dead Lift (x 2 sets, max out or cap reps at 20)

Flush looked at me like I was on drugs when I said to max out on Merkins.  I forgot he can do about 148 in a row 😉

Phase 2 – do the Best you can.  To me, this means doing your best for a partner, so parter up!  HFT and I, Oompa and Flush were the tag teams.

3 minute interval.  One partner busts their tail to do as much as they can, then swaps exercises with their partner when they are smoked.

ROUND 1 – Rotational Push Up (20) – SWAP – Half Moons

ROUND 2 – Divebombers (OMAHA to Diamond Merks!) – SWAP – High Shelfs

ROUND 3 – Bridge French Curls – SWAP – Mountain Climbers

HFT pointed out that while I was concerned about cardio, this fit the bill quite well!  And what I love about Oompa always being there, if an exercise looks or sounds ridiculous, he leads the MODIFY charge.  Solid guy.  I’d also like to point out that HFT didn’t recognize the training montage music from Rocky 4.  SHAME.

Phase 3 – treat everyone well.  So here’s a chance to either be dastardly to folks, or be kind, or kinda both!  This was a guessing game.   One guy thinks of an exercise, and a number between 1 and 10.  FIrst guy guesses the number, if wrong we do that many of the exercise, and the man who is being guessed at tells us if he was “Hi or Lo”.  So you could say Burpees and 10, and be a cruel man, or say LBC and 1 and take it easy.  Proud to say every number was north of 5, so kind of fun.

Then a bunch of Cowbells  started ringing.  Here came a herd of HIMS!  They rounded us up, I led 7 minutes of Mary (thanks Whoopee), and then the bells rang.

Moleskin:  Fun to get PL back going, I appreciate the opportunity to give back to F3, which has brought me much more physically and spiritually.  Remember to headlock folks out there, that may be too scared to run or have some other non-life threatening thing, but need to fill that hole of bonding and fellowship.  More mumblechatter next time!  And I would really love some Q volunteers.



The ToolTime Teamwork Trap = Terribly Terrific

Ah Tooltime.  Never a second thought about creating a painful trap for the Pax.  Sneaky guy….I loved it.

After last week he took the Q, walked up and said “I want to know about Painlab, and I want everyone else to know.  How about I run ’em for a lap and bring them to the circle?”.  I said “you have a sick mind.  Let’s do it”.

So with that the trap was set.  The regular Painlab staff of Oompa and Bandit were in on planning, and the crucial move by Slaw to make sure we had enough coupons.  This was a BIG part, so big ups to Slaw for that.  The Pax should always know that I put 6 – 25lb plates in my trunk, along with 4 – 10lb. plates, some 5 lb. ones and a few Kettlebells.  Kettlebells are growing on me.  Get one in the 20-40 lb. range and I’m glad to send you a program!

Anyways, we planned through the week, and this morning Tooltime was grinning ear to ear.  I wrote a program that represents what we do, so here we go:

Tooltime wasted NO time, said he was an idiot and so were we, off they moseyed.  Meanwhile Oompa, Bandit and I grabbed our weights and did this in front of Frank:

4 Rounds – 10 Lunges, 10 Kettlebell Swings, 10 Merkins, 10 Squats

By the middle of Round 4 the Pax showed up.  Some looked confused, all enjoyed carrying their coupons.  They did the tradition of once you hit the curb, you lunge your coupon to the circle.  Then……WELCOME TO PAINLAB!  Gave the usual spiel:

  • Modify as needed.  I always have alternate exercies
  • We do non-high impact.  High Impact both feet leave the ground, low is one foot, zero is two feet on the ground
  • We focus on cardio, strength, core and flexibility

Phase I: PainLadder

25 each – Blockie Merkin, Weighted Crunch, Deadlift to High Pull, Weighted American Hammers

20 each – same

15 each – same

10 each – same

5 each – same

Good work, lots of chatter.  Tooltime asked Stroganoff to never ask him to Q again.  I saw Frank smile  Break time….1 minute lunge walk around the circle

Phase II:  PainCycle

  1. Boxing (3 minutes)
  2. PAINMARCH Lunge (1 minute – ALT Rockette)
  3. Muscle Work (3 minutes – Diamond Merkin, Curls, weighted squats – 10 to exhaustion cycle) (ALTS are French Curls, Bent Over Rows, Don Quixotes)
  4. PAIN MARCH High Knees (1 minute – ALT Slow Karyoke)
  5. Ab Work (3 minutes – Mary in circle, reps of 20)

wanted to repeat but had to Omaha…..had to get to:

Phase III: Follow the Leader

Lunge walk around the circle to the stadium steps, bear crawl up, then across, next level was crab walk, next level was lunges, next level was bear crawl again, then high knee the last one.

After that everyone found a pole and squatted for a bit.  Leave it to Tooltime to start talking food to break it up.  Hard to talk when I had a clock going off in my head….but I got delayed 15 seconds, you don’t feel that when you have an iso-squat going, do ya?  Good stuff.

Phase IV:  Isolation Drop-Sets

everyone has something they need to work on.  I try to leave 3-5 minutes to tackle something you want to hit, compliments of a Q I saw Roscoe pull many years ago.  Something about facing your fears.  So, I gave the men drop-sets (one exercise, then another to exhaustion, that focus on the same muscle groups).  I listed exercises, set the timer and said GET TO IT!  Good work by the guys here.

Phase IV:  Yoga

Asked the Pax what you do, so you don’t get injured, after some hard muscle work?  STRETCH!  And the best darn thing I have ever found in terms of stretching but staying intense is Yoga.  If done right, this stuff is the real deal.  For a many, many weeks now, Bandit, Oompa and other guys have been getting better and better.  Very proud of this, because check this out:


Warrior Pose 2, both sides

Hanging Knee

Chair Pose


Low Plant

Cat pose

Child pose


Hands to Feet, bleeding into….

Crane Pose.  BANDIT GOT FULL CRANE!  And held it.  He’s losing weight or getting stronger.  That’s all there is to it.  Awesome.

Back up to Tree pose on both sides.  Got some laughs here.  That’s good, it was quitting time anyways.  Walked the coupons back and name-o-rama.

Tooltime said it best:  when you are hurt and want the fellowship, come to Painlab.  When you want to focus on strength, core and flexibility, with a side of cardio, come to Painlab.  This is our thing to give F3 Gastonia, and whether I pull a solo merlot or have the big dogs Oompa and Bandit with me, you will always have stretches, exercises, but most importantly the fellowship time to push the rock.  Or block.  Or plate . Or kettlebell.

A pleasure to lead and have the team we did today.  Teamwork!  AYE!

  • Rudolph
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