Ready to lead a workout? Start Here

PURPOSE The purpose of this outline is to provide guidance on leading your first workout or Q.  This 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.


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
Review old Backblasts for workout ideas


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. Lastly, we purposely have members of the PAX step up and lead (the reasons for that are covered in other Q School segments) and we each tend to play to our own strengths. But, the following represent a certain structure that should be followed in every F3 workout.

Show up EARLY and ENERGIZED. Leadership starts with showing up, and good leadership starts with showing up prepared and ready to go to work.
Get there early and make sure the AO is what you expected
If you are energetic it will energize the PAX
Set the tone; welcome guys and allow your presence to establish you are in command

Disclaimer. Every workout must start with the Disclaimer. The Disclaimer all too often gets taken for granted and ignored. This is more than a formality for several reasons. It does have legal significance F3 has standards to uphold, and the Disclaimer is one of them
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

The Thang. You already planned your Workout, now it’s time to do it.

  1. Call out a one minute warning
    • It provides a needed warning
    • It allows you to establish command
    • It gets everyone’s mind right
  2. Use your Command Voice
    • Comes from the gut
    • Weak voice signals weakness
    • Slow, soft, tired voice hurts morale
  3. 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
  4. Push EVERY man to give 100% Effort
    • Encourage, don’t discourage
    • Praise individuals, critique en masse
  5. Get some help (optional, determine your need)
    • Assign a Point man, who will usually be out front
    • Assign a Sweeper, to keep eyes on the 6
    • Assign a Mumblechatterer, to keep the morale high

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. Q101 is not the place to get into the nitty gritty on “why” we do these things, but suffice to say it is borrowed from the way the U.S. Army does it, and there is plenty of research and experience that proves this method creates order in the group and builds morale. Esprit de Corps.

  1. “The Next Exercise is ______________________”
    • Clear and concise command
    • PAX repeat exercise name to demonstrate understanding
  2. “Starting Position … Move”
    • “Starting Position” is the information
    • “Move” is the command
    • Pause between info and command, to assist with understanding
  3. “In Cadence … Exercise”
    • “In cadence” is the information
      • Not all exercises are in cadence
      • PAX repeat back “in cadence” to demonstrate Understanding
  4. “Exercise” is the command
    • Signals PAX it is time to begin
    • Pause between info and command, to assist with understanding
  5. “1, 2, 3” then PAX calls rep
    • Your cadence MUST match the called exercise
    • Not all exercises are performed at the same cadence
    • Your count matches the body movement
    • PAX call the rep number in place of “4”
  6. Change your voice inflexion on last rep
    • Signals to the PAX that we are ending
    • Important to keeping morale and order
  7. “Recover”
    1. At the end of the called exercise you call “Recover”
    2. Important command to let everyone know we are finished

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 no one is keeping up with you, then be prepared to slow down. If people exhibit confusion over a called exercise, then be prepared to DEMONSTRATE.

  1. Engage the PAX
  2. LOOK at the PAX
  3. Demonstrate when needed
  4. Don’t be afraid to alter your workout if it isn’t working for the PAX

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…F3. As the Q you are responsible for leading the COT.

  1. No one sits outside the COT…NO ONE
  2. Immediate Acceptance of FNGs is paramount
  3. Count-o-Rama (count off, go around the circle, one at a time)
    1. You are responsible for getting the Count
    2. You are responsible for communicating the Count
  4. Name-o-Rama (go around circle again, one at a time
    1. We call out, “Name, Age, Nickname”
    2. Every Man calls out his nickname, and the PAX repeat it
    3. PAX calls “Respect” for those Over 50
    4. You are responsible for recording names for Backblast
  5. FNGs
    1. Every FNG gets a Nickname at the close of Name-o-Rama
    2. You are responsible for recording nickname
    3. You are responsible for recording Hospital Name and Email
  6. Backblast
    1. You are responsible for doing the Backblasts
    2. Backblasts are important; You owe it to the PAX
    3. The standard is that the Backblast is posted within 24 Hours


EXAMPLE WORKOUT. In order to facilitate Q101, here is an example workout that can be performed. This workout is not mandatory, so feel free to alter and/or modify to your liking, but this structure allows the Q to interject at certain points to convey the topics covered in Sections I and II of this outline. The field work in this “example,” can easily be switched for a “string of pearls” around the neighborhood streets at your AO, and the exercises in the initial COP can be changed, but this gives a good overview of the types of exercises we usually do in a F3 bootcamp

  1. Pre-Workout you should assign someone to be “Point Man,” someone to be “Sweeper,” and encourage one or two guys to lead the “Mumble Chatter.”
  2. One Minute Warning
  3. Disclaimer
  4. Mosey to COP: 
    [Explain Cadence; focus on PAX; Look around; Command Voice; Demonstrate] Side Straddle Hops (SSH) x 25, 
    In Cadence (IC) 4 CT Imperial Walkers x 20,
    IC 4 CT Freedom Twists x 20,
    IC 4 CT Merkins x 15, 
    IC 4 CT Mountain Climbers x 25,
    IC 4 CT Squats x 20, 
    IC 4 CT Flutter Kicks x 25, 
    IC 4 CT Big Boy Sit-ups x 20 
    On Your Own (OYO) 
    Burpees x 10 OYO
  5. Mosey to Field for some Partner Sets
    [Focus here is on Mumble Chatter; Morale; Camaraderie] 
    100 Merkins (P1 does 10 while P2 holds plank; 100 total for group) 
    100 Little Baby Crunches (LBCs) 
    (P1 does 10 while P2 holds 6 inches 100 total for group) 
    100 Squats (P1 does 10 while P2 holds air chair; 100 total for group)
  6. Circle up for Dealer’s Choice Call on PAX to call out exercises. Have them actually take a turn leading the PAX. Gently critique them on “How to call an exercise,” and “How to Count.” Go 5 7 rounds.
  7. The BEAST: 
    [Use time between sets to pick up morale; work in personal story] 
    [Cut it short if you have to; you need 510 minutes in COT to explain Q101] 
    The BEAST is 6 exercises, performing 6 reps at 6 stops. 4 lines (lined field or cones). Start at first line, sprint to second and do 6 reps, then to third and do 6 reps, then to fourth and do 6 reps, back to third for 6 reps, back to second for 6 reps, back to start line and complete 6 reps. Hold Plank until all finish. 
    Wide Arm Merkins 
    Freedom Twists 
  8. Mosey to COT
    After Count-o-Rama and Name-oRama, go over the importance of “how to call an exercise” and “how to count.” Explain why you did what you did in the workout. Explain duties of the Q, and how the focus has to be on the PAX. Explain Command Voice and demonstrate. Take questions if there are any.
  9. BOM