In 2011, a group of men began working out with each other outside in the early, pre-dawn morning. They came for fitness, but soon found something more powerful and lasting: fellowship and an urge to improve the people and community around them. This is where F3 was born, and now these local, peer-led workout groups are spreading across the country and the world. Read #Freed To Lead to hear it from the founders themselves.
There is never a charge for F3, it is always free. All men are welcome to join. The men of F3 take pleasure in working out in all types of weather because they know it makes them stronger and more capable; and they rotate the volunteer responsibility of leading the workout group to build leadership skills. Finally, all workouts end with a circle of trust, a time for men to be honest about their troubles, and sincerely lift each other up.
We welcome men of all fitness levels to our workouts and have no requirement for membership other than that you show up at the appointed time and place and follow what the workout leader does.
We do not show up at F3 for ourselves. We show up for the man standing beside each of us.
We need authentic relationships with other men who are working to be strong fathers, husbands and leaders. Isolation will destroy a man. We have the opportunity to change our community and the trajectory of our families. Getting in the best shape of your life is just a by product. The workout is the magnet, the relationships and community with other men is the glue. Lock shields with us and help us accomplish F3’s mission to invigorate male leadership in our community.
I'm not fit enough to work out with you guys
This is a common excuse. And for a lot of guys it gives them all the wiggle room they need to take themselves off the hook. Because let’s be honest: There’s nothing you can do on your own that is going to get you ready for that first workout. Almost no one working out in a gym or on the streets (let alone coming off the couch) combines the kind of aerobic and bodyweight fitness that F3 workouts demand. So you need to make the choice to join with a bunch of other men and push through that pain. Because “I need to get in shape” is really just a way of keeping the commitment just over the horizon, always just out of reach. The only way to get in shape is to put yourself in the middle of a group of other men and force yourself to keep up with the Pack.
I already go to a gym
I bet it really rockets you out of bed every morning to think about another exciting day on the treadmill, headphones plugged in so you can listen to the SportsCenter anchors run through yet another rendition of “Hot or Cold? Brought to You by Miller Lite” while the plastic ficus next to you waves gently in the 68-degree climate-controlled splendor. Meanwhile, elsewhere in your home city, men are gathering of their own free will in temperatures ranging from 9 to 90 degrees and conditions ranging from starlit to monsoonish to sweltering to give it their all for an hour and launch into the day with power and impact. Trust us, there’s a difference.
5:30 am is much too early to work out
Oh, yeah… I know you. You’re the Lunch Hour Workout Guy until that 11 a.m. conference call runs long and you don’t have time to work out and get back for the 1:30 meeting, so you’ll have to run over to Chick-fil-A to grab some Fast Food That I Can Pretend Isn’t Fast Food, but you’ll definitely get out in time to hit the Y before you go home except your wife calls and she needs you to go pick up your 2.0 from basketball practice so she can get the 2.1 from violin lessons and still get home in time to put dinner on the table and meet her friends for girls’ night out at 7:30 and, well… now you’re Tomorrow Workout Guy, aren’t you?
What if it's raining? ...too cold? ...too hot?
Greatness was never born of convenience. There's a reason we call the early pre-dawn environment "The Gloom": it's not easy. However, our bodies get better when challenged - and our psyche gets better when it is challenged too. Funny things happen when you succeed at something difficult: you grow esteem and confidence. We are motivated to build durability in our bodies and mind. Embrace the suck!
I don't like working out with other people
That's something I said for most of my life too. I didn't want to be slowed down or bothered by other people's pace or a personal trainer's bias. Hmmm... sounds a bit like lack of accountability and allowing yourself the option of going easy. At least that's how I view those rationalizations of my younger self. Working out with the boys in the morning is a rich mixture of accountability and encouragement. Never got that from my water bottle or earbuds at the gym.
Faith? I don't do religion
When we say faith, we don't mean religion. Sure, there are lots of religious men in F3. But when we say faith - we are talking about the awareness and appreciation that we are a small piece of a big community, a big world; and that we have an active role to play in that community. When a man begins to get right with fitness and his brothers, he begins to identify his purpose to help those around him. Some of us become more aware of our Creator, and find that getting right with that relationship also helps serve ourselves and those around us. Strong men create amazing communities.
What's with all the wierd exercise names and lingo?
What, you mean "rolling a clown-car to Bogey's VQ at Breakpoint so you can run ladders of pickle pumpers and monkey humpers, followed by a merkin and big boy DORA, just to watch an FNG splash merlot during Mary" doesn't make sense? Check out the F3 Nation Lexicon and Exicon to brush up on your F3 slang.
It sounds like a cult
Back when our father’s fathers ran the world, a bunch of men gathering at odd hours to engage in common effort for the common good and with an eye toward the larger improvement of the world around them and the raising up of men to be leaders was simply plain vanilla, old-fashioned civic engagement, and it was what grown-ass men did. If society has moved so far toward atomization and self-absorption that free assembly and group pride qualifies as cultish behavior, then so be it, but we will be the ones, in the words of the late William Buckley, standing “athwart history, yelling stop.”
Where do I find out where the next workout is?
Aye!!! Now you're talking!
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