Purposeful effort is better.

“Success is dependent on effort.” – Sophocles


Humid with a high chance of mosquitos.


YHC led the group in a short mosey to a COP for some warmup exercises in cadence:

  • Daisy pickers
  • SSHs
  • MNCs
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Merkins
  • Plank variations

Then we moseyed to the south side of the parking lot for a round of 7s:

Burpees -<>- Lunge 40 feet -<>- 4X4s (4 Merkins/4 Mtn Climbers)

The moleskin for the day was focused on the concept of quality over quantity; or in other words, the superiority of effort over repetition number, weight of implements, or speed of movement. The latter are all extrinsic outcomes of effort but not necessarily indicative of effort itself. In order to improve, more is not always better. Better effort is better.

GOOD athletes don’t train max loads for max reps all the time. They train with optimum loads for optimum reps with max effort. Physiologically, the body adapts to demands placed on it, and such demands can be modulated by a guy’s own effort. This inevitably means the Q must also be leading with this knowledge and in an attempt to help the pax not necessarily do an increased quantity of work, but rather, increase their effort.

For example, when completing a merkin, if the Q calls for an insane amount of them, such as a total of 200, some individuals will no doubt achieve this lofty number, but at the cost of poor range of motion, sloppy form, and half-ass effort as they fatigue. As an alternative, 50 merkins broken up into multiple sets, with instructions to be completed with control in the descent and explosive power in the ascent will be much more effective in terms of strength and power improvement, and with it, hypertrophy (muscle-growth), while limiting potential for injury.

Yes; too many reps of any exercise can be pointless and even detrimental if your goal is just to wear everyone out.

The Thang

In tune with the moleskin, we paired up and completed the following:


  1. Partner 1 completes 5 ME (max effort) Carolina Dry Docks
  2. Partner 2 holds a squat

Partners run a loop when completed.



  1. Partner 1 completes 5 ME (max effort) Jump Squats
  2. Partner 2 holds a plank

Partners run a loop when completed.

The Finisher

Dora 3-2-1 X1/2

In partners:

  • 150 LBCs
  • 100 American Hammers
  • 50 Leg Lifts

**ME Sprint 60 feet with jog back**


  • F3 Suncoast Retreat at Gator Wilderness Camp
  • S/O from Condensor to Banjo for great effort this gloom.


  • Banjo’s daughter in pain and discomfort after getting wisdom teeth out
  • Kotter and wife in preparation for newborn
  • Lonestar and ministry kickoff in Tampa

Moleskin Conclusion

So effort given and purpose maintained in our exercises is superior to the reps, weight, or otherwise external variables when training in the gloom if we actually want to improve physiologically. But how can we improve the effort we put out instead of mindlessly chasing fatigue every time?

I have two proposals:

  1. If you are a pax member in a workout, self-clarify your fitness goals and be purposeful with your work. If necessary, modify so that you can maintain quality effort of work over quantity of work.
  2. If you are a Q, stop making fatigue your primary goal and instead, structure your workouts to help the pax successfully give their best effort. A good outline to follow is one we use with athletes based on the fundamental principles of training and adaptation:
    1. Warmorama: Begin with a warmup designed to a) increase heart rate and body temperature; b) activate muscles that will be used in the workout; c) take all joints through appropriate ranges of motion.
    2. a. The Thang: Begin with lower intensity, strength and power-focused exercise. This means lower repetitions with ‘rest’ for those bodyparts in between in order to achieve maximum effort and therefore train the qualities of strength and power. Sprints, plyometrics, weighted exercises are all best done here. Perhaps the best thing you can do as a Q is to clarify the type of effort you want from your pax.
    3. b. The Thang: Start to increase the intensity now. More reps and lower loads, or, better yet, a timed AMRAP (As Many Reps and Rounds As Possible) works best here so that pax can focus on doing the work at their best effort rather than achieving the Q’s standard. Merlot-Splashing, Heart Rate-pumping workouts are best here.
    4. Coolorama: Do something as a burnout or break it down with some stretching while everyone gets the Mumble Chatter out or just nah.

Brothers, if we want to get better, our effort must be our focus and it must be purposeful. This doesn’t only apply to first F…

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Cor. 9:24-27