Q 101 – THE FIRST “F”


The purpose of this outline is to provide guidance on leading your Q. Q101 is designed to teach all PAX the proper way to lead an F3 workout. Q101 is intended to provide the PAX with an example of a proper workout, including Disclaimer, Structure of the Workout, Position Assignments (Point man, Sweeper, Mumble Chatter, etc.), How to Count, COT (Name-o-Rama) and Ball of Man.


The First F in F3 stands for Fitness. It is, for all intents and purposes, the workout that we suffer through together in the Gloom. Traditionally, the First F is the bootcamp, and that is the focus of this Q101.


There is no “perfect” F3 workout. Everyone’s structure will be different, or at least somewhat different, but there are some important points that need to be considered and observed in order to provide a better experience for the PAX.

1. It’s not about YOU.

The Workout is not about the Q, it is about the PAX, and everything a Q does during the workout should be with the PAX in mind. What does that mean? It means you should try to avoid starting off the workout with a hundred yard dash from a dead start, or 25 burpees as fast as you can. Are we telling you that you cannot do that? No. It is your workout and you are the Q, but if you are thinking about the PAX, you wouldn’t want to do that.

2. Actually PLAN your Workout.

Plan the workout. Write it down. Think about past workouts. What worked? What didn’t? If it is your VQ, run your ideas past someone who has Q’ed before. The more preparation you put in, the better experience it will be for the PAX, and for you as the Q. Plan it out – remember item #1 above.

3. If you can’t DO IT, you can’t Q IT.

We do not “clipboard” in F3. You, as the Q, will need to be able and willing to do anything you call for the PAX to do. That doesn’t mean you have to be “first,” although you should lead from the front, but if you cannot do 20 Merkins, with proper form, in cadence, then you cannot call it and ask the PAX to do it. So, plan your Workout accordingly. Know your limitations.

4. Better to have too MUCH than not ENOUGH.

It is always a better idea to have too much planned for the workout than not enough. When you are tired, especially if this is one of your first Q’s, it is difficult to come up with new ideas. Better to have 55 minutes of stuff for a 45 minute workout, then to be at the 30 minute mark and out of ideas.

5. Always wear a WATCH.

As the Q you must be able to keep up with the time. We have a set schedule for each bootcamp, and it is not fair – nor respectful – to the PAX to go too far past the scheduled end time. If you forget your watch then carry your phone with you, or locate a member of the PAX that has a watch and put him on timekeeper duty.

6. NEVER Leave a Man Behind.

This is one of the bedrock principles of F3. We start together and finish together. It is how we make a man feel included, and how we keep people coming back. You have to keep this in mind when you are planning the workout. Traditionally, a bootcamp uses the “String of Pearls” structure. You move the PAX a short distance, then circle back up, which allows the back of the PAX to catch up. If you design a 1 mile run into the workout, with no stops, you are apt to leave someone behind, and we NEVER do that.

7. SAFETY Best Practices.

Count-o-Rama before the Workout – get a head count before getting started and confirm throughout the workout to make sure you have everyone accounted for throughout. Additionally, the Q should always:

*Carry a cell phone, or make sure someone else has theirs, in case of emergencies;
*Know the physical address of the AO, and be able to direct emergency vehicles to all workout location spots;
*Know who in the Pax has medical training, and point them out to the entire Pax; and
*Advise the Pax if any AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) are available near the AO, and where they are located.


Every F3 workout will be different. That is one of the beauties of F3. From a fitness standpoint the muscle confusion that results from differing workouts is part of the benefit to the PAX. Different workouts also help reduce the monotony that sets in with other workout routines. We purposely have members of the PAX step up to lead, as we play to our own strengths; however, the following represents a certain structure that should be followed in every F3 workout.

1. Show up EARLY and ENERGIZED.

Leadership starts with showing up, and good leadership starts with showing up prepared and ready to go to work:
a) Get there early and make sure the AO is what you expected
b) If you are energetic it will energize the PAX
c) Set the tone; welcome guys (esp. any and ALL FNGs) and allow your presence to establish you are in command

3. Disclaimer.

Every workout must start with the Disclaimer. This is more than a formality for several reasons. It has important legal significance:
a) F3 has standards to uphold, and the Disclaimer is one of them
b) It helps set the tone of the workout from the very beginning. The Disclaimer does not have to be elaborate, but it needs to include the following:
– “I am not a professional”
– “You are participating at your own risk”
– “You are responsible for your own well being”
– “You are here voluntarily, and you are not paying to be here”
– “Know your limits and do the best you can – modify as necessary”

5. How to Call an Exercise and How to Count.

In order to get the PAX to perform an exercise, you have to call it out, and in F3 we have a very specific way for calling exercises – to create order in the group and builds morale…

a) “The Next Exercise is _________”
– Clear and concise command
– PAX repeat exercise name to demonstrate understanding
b) “Starting Position … Move”
– “Starting Position” is the information
– “Move” is the command
– Pause between info and command, to assist with understanding
c) “In Cadence”
– “In cadence” is the information
– Not all exercises are in cadence (see sample cadence below in 4e)
– PAX repeat back “in cadence” to demonstrate Understanding
d) “Exercise”
– “Exercise” is the command; Signals to PAX it is time to begin
– Pause between info and command (between c & d above), to assist with understanding
e) Counting in cadence
– There are different forms, but most common is “1, 2, 3” then PAX calls rep (in place of “4”)
– Your cadence MUST match the called exercise
– Not all exercises are performed at the same cadence
– Your count matches the body movement
f) Change your voice inflection on the last rep
– Signals to the PAX that we are ending
– Important to keeping order and morale
g) “Recover”
– At the end of the called exercise you call “Recover”
– Important command to let everyone know we are finished
h) Click here for a quick video sample from F3’s founders: Dredd & OBT


The purpose of this outline is to provide guidance on leading your Q. Q101 is designed to teach all PAX the proper way to lead an F3 workout. Q101 is intended to provide the PAX with an example of a proper workout, including Disclaimer, Structure of the Workout, Position Assignments (Point man, Sweeper, Mumble Chatter, etc.), How to Count, COT (Name-o-Rama) and Ball of Man.

4. The Thang.

You already planned your Workout, now it’s time to do it.
a) Call out a ONE MINUTE warning:
– It provides a needed warning
– It allows you to establish command
– It gets everyone’s mind right
b) Use your COMMAND Voice:
– Comes from the gut; project your voice to the back
– Weak voice signals weakness
– Slow, soft, tired voice hurts morale
c) You MUST use good form:
– The Pax will be looking to you and taking their lead from you
– If you use lousy form, so will they
– If you do not pay attention to details, neither will they
– Lead by example!
d) Push EVERY man to give 100% Effort:
– Encourage, don’t discourage
– Praise individuals, critique en masse
e) Get some HELP:
– Assign a Point man, who will usually be out front
– Assign a Sweeper, to keep eyes on the 6
– Assign a Mumble Chatterer, to keep the morale high

6.Circle of Trust (COT) and Ball of Man (BOM).

Every F3 workout ends with a COT and BOM. It is part of what makes F3. As the Q you are responsible for leading the COT:
a) No one sits outside the COT
b) Immediate Acceptance of FNGs is paramount
c) Count-o-Rama (count off, go around the circle, one at a time)
– You are responsible for getting the Count
– You are responsible for communicating the Count
d) Name-o-Rama (go around circle again, one at a time)
– We call out, “Name, Age, Nickname” (FNGs call out, “Name, Age, ‘FNG’ “)
– Every Man calls out his nickname, and the PAX repeat it
– PAX calls “Respect” for those Over 50 & “Respect-Respect” for those over 60!
– PAX calls “Hate” for those in their 30s & “Hate-Hate” for those in their 20s (“Hate-Hate-Hate” for any younger)
– You are responsible for recording names for your Backblast
e) FNGs
– Every FNG gets a Nickname at the close of Name-o-Rama
– You are responsible for recording nickname, and have final say on the name
– You are responsible for recording Hospital Name, Email, and Contact Info on our FNG Contact Page
f) Backblast
– You are responsible for writing the Backblasts
– Backblasts are important; you owe it to the PAX!
– The standard is that the Backblast is posted within 24 Hours
– Post it on our Backblast Page & on Band

7. Pay Attention to the PAX

As the Q you should constantly be engaging the PAX through your presence and your attention. Look at the PAX. Look for signs of confusion, or utter fatigue. If some of the PAX are not keeping up with you, then slow down! If people exhibit confusion over a called exercise, then be prepared to DEMONSTRATE.
a) Engage the PAX
b) LOOK at the PAX
c) KEEP IT SIMPLE and there will be no issues (for you or the PAX)
d) Demonstrate when needed
e) Don’t be afraid to alter your workout if it isn’t working for the PAX
– You are the only one that knows the plan, so modify and nobody will notice

If this is your VQ – remember to keep things simple!

Always feel free to reach out to your fellow brothers in the Gloom for pointers, or if you want someone to take a peak at your plans. We are here to help and sharpen each other’s iron.