Our Mission is to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for men for the invigoration of male community leadership.
F3, which stands for Fitness, Fellowship and Faith — traces its roots to a free, participant-led boot camp workout held on Saturday mornings at a Charlotte, North Carolina park since 2006. The leaders of F3 launched their first Saturday workout on 1/1/11, on the campus of A.G. Middle School in Charlotte. We launched in the Sarasota/Manatee area in April of 2017.
Core Principles of F3’s Fitness, Fellowship and Faith
F3 workouts …
Are free of charge
Are open to all men
Are held outdoors, rain or shine, heat or cold
Are led by volunteer men who participate in the workout in a rotating fashion
End with a Circle of Trust
Our workouts are open to men of all fitness levels and are organized to keep the entire group together while ensuring a thorough beatdown for all participants. Our model, in which leadership of the workout varies from day to day and week to week, means that workout leaders — “Qs” in F3 lingo — are constantly introducing new exercises and ways of doing them. Because participants are challenged and pushed in new ways every day, they achieve an all-around fitness that makes F3 guys supremely fit for endurance challenges, including mud runs, obstacle races, triathlons, marathons, long-distance relays and all manner of other adventure challenges.
While the classic F3 workout requires no equipment other than workout clothes, gravity and the great outdoors, our growth has allowed regional leaders to introduce specialized workouts, including bike rides, gear-focused workouts that include kettlebells and other heavy metal, track workouts for runners and trail runs.
F3 workouts take place at publicly accessible venues, including parks, school campuses, churches — even in parking lots. In the Sarasota/Manatee area, we currently offer workouts outside at local parks and parking lots.
It’s easy to get someone out for a free workout — we call it putting the “Emotional Headlock” on a guy. But for more than 90 percent of F3 guys, the reason they keep coming back, setting their alarm for 4:45 or 5:45 a.m. three, four or five days a week is the friendships that are built in what we call “the Gloom.”
There’s something special about pushing through a brutal smokefest with another guy. We encourage those bonds by closing every workout with what we call the “CoT” (Circle of Trust). Every guy gives his birth name, his F3 nickname and his age. Even if you’re brand-new (what we call an FNG, or Friendly New Guy), we’ll slap you with an F3 nickname — the stupider and more insulting, the better — so we can remember who you are the next time you post.
We reinforce the Second F through organized F3 participation in physical challenges like obstacle races, mud runs, distance relay races, GORUCK events and other adventures (we’ve found that, in general, the more Completely Stupid And Utterly Pointless — or “CSAUP” — an event is, the more enthusiastic F3 guys are about it). Many regions have regularly scheduled weekly happy hours, as well as other Second F events for couples and families.
We close each CoT with a brief “shout-out” led by one of the participants. Men are free to pray or to speak from a secular perspective — F3 is open to men of all faiths and no faith, and the closing shout-out is generally the only faith-specific component of a workout. We do it because we are thankful for the opportunity to come together and build ourselves into better men and because the vocal and corporate expression of that gratitude builds a stronger F3 community.
Outside of the workouts, we have found that many F3 participants, after getting in the best physical shape of their adult lives and meeting their social needs for the first time as adults, start taking a more serious approach to questions of meaning and purpose. Many F3 workouts have spawned Bible studies, attendance at speaker series and other Third F initiatives. We encourage those efforts as supplements to the workouts and an important way for F3 participants to exercise leadership in their families and communities.
F3 is intended to be led by the PAX, meaning each man who is in F3 should consider himself willing and ready to lead — or “Q,” in F3 parlance — a workout, event, or any other initiative consistent with the mission and core principles of F3, fairly soon after they begin showing up.