Archives: F3 Q School – Oak Park 11/21

Date: Saturday November 21, 2020

Time: 08:30

Location: Wreck Center – Oak Park


My Buddy


Why does F3 do things the way we do them? What is F3 really all about? How do we accomplish our mission and goals of an organization? What are the responsibilities of the Q? So many questions! On Saturday November 21st F3 Oak Park will host its first Q school for all Chicagoland pax! YHC and Rancid will be leading based on our experiences in Q schools from two other regions. I encourage all pax from the most senior to the newest to make time to attend this discussion based workout.


A tremendous morning of F3 in Oak Park as pax from all around the Chicagoland area joined in for a deep dive into Q School: the why, what and how of F3. Men were engaged in discussion and dialogue and YHC hopes that everyone was able to take away a few #TruthNuggets for their lives and for their leadership. Ages ranged from 16 to 48, showing once again that F3 is applicable to all men!

Conditions: Mid-40s with sun and a light wind, for a November day in Chicago, this was a beautiful day and the SkyQ smiled upon us all.

The Thang: Here is your cliff notes version, for more in depth learning please check out Freed to Lead by Dredd & OBT…

  1. Bootcamp…led by Rancid, and an amazing backblast of this workout was posted.
  2. Intro to Q School
  3. History of F3 and its cultural mythology…
  4. The mission of F3 is to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership
  5. The problem we seek to solve is Sadclown Syndrome “Laughing on the outside and crying on the inside” “Life is a prison of preservation simply for preservation sake”
  6. History in Charlotte, NC 1/1/11 with the launch of the Mothership growing out of the Campos
  7. History in Oak Park & Chicago
  8. The Bowling Ball – AKA Sad Clown Syndrome
  9. Pogo40 – men’s failure of consistent fitness
  10. Yearly visit to the gym, strict diet, creating a static routine, climbing up the mountain but ultimately sliding back dow
  11. The Sifter – men’s failure of formative fellowship
  12. Who are your big particle friends, those who will still be standing when your life gets shaken? Who will kick you back in line before the crash? Men’s relationships are culturally viewed as two-pronged either altruistic or debauchery based, but this does not tell the whole story
  13. Hard to rely on legacy friends
  14. Man Date is superficial at best
  15. Work friends are really competitors only and will leave quickly
  16. The Reacher – men’s failure of a self-centered faith and purpose
  17. Jack reacher is the embodiment of the anti-hero fantasy. No mortgage, no bills, no strings attached. Bounces from town to town with no moral code except the one he creates. This is not a realistic lifestyle and exists only as a fantasy for men lacking purpose in their life.
  18. “Like bowling balls gathering dust in the closet, unused and ineffective, men have become, in our culture, Sad Clowns.” Bowling balls are designed for impact just as men are happiest when they too are fulfilling their purpose of making an impact on their community.
  19. IATA – The “How” of effective leadership (XXX)

I: Individual Initiative -I2 from Freed to Lead

                                          i.        Teach what you know

                                         ii.        Make clear the mission

                                        iii.        Reward initiative, own the outcome  


A: Accountability – Must be applied by an outside force

                                          i.        Establish objective standards of performance

                                         ii.        Establish consequences for failure.


T: Teamwork – Individual participation based on strengths

                                          i.        Assemble a team BUT make adjustments when needed.

                                         ii.        Appoint subordinates – succession planning


A: Attention to Detail

                                          i.        Includes someone on the team who is detail oriented (Weasel Shaker)

                                         ii.        Value precision (exemplified by HTC)

                                        iii.        Rely horizontally on the team but telescope vertically for results


  1. How to Count – Effective Leadership as a Q (XXX & XXX)
  2. Command Voice: Comes from the gut, not the throat. Signals to the pax that you are in control, have a plan, ready to roll and take leading them seriously.
  3. Weak voice signals weakness. LEAD the pax.
  4. Slow, soft, tired voice hurts morale and makes pax think you’d rather not be there leading them.
  5. Why Cadence? CONSISTENCY in all things is the building block of leadership. (Hard To Count)
  6. Esprit de Corps – Counting together builds bonds, fuels morale
  7. Fatigue by Leader – Doesn’t require complex thought, designed for breathing
  8. Demonstrates Consistency, Competence & Attention to Detail: ALL very important leadership principles
  9. Voice inflection signals the end
  10. Comments by Dredd’s commander
  11. This is not easy. Takes practice, preparation, thought, discipline.
  12. Dredd’s 1st time belongs in the Ft. Bragg “Museum of Failure”
  13. 100th time “marginally competent”
  14. 10,000 times to be an expert
  15. [Practice Counting with all Pax while seated]
  16. Teach
  17. “THE NEXT EXERCISE IS THE MERKIN!” (Pax repeat exercise to signal understanding, LISTEN for unsure voices.)
  19. Starting Position is the information command. MOVE is the execution command. Pause between is critical to allow pax to understand where to go next.
  20. LOOK at pax during the pause to see if anyone is clueless. If so, then STOP. “I will demonstrate”. Then demonstrate the starting position and execute a rep or two WHILE COUNTING out loud. THEN START OVER. “The next exercise is…”
  22. Only if doing the exercise in cadence. If not then “This will be done on your own” or “We will do this for 30 seconds”.
  23. EXCERCISE! 1, 2, 3, ONE. 1, 2, 3, TWO.
  24. Q’s eyes never leave the pax while counting. Look for form issues, fatigue, need for less or more reps than planned, morale issues AND think about what comes next.
  25. VOICE INFLECTION at last 1, 2, 3 to signal end.
  26. RECOVER to bring everyone back to their feet.
  27. Demonstrate
  28. SPEED of cadence is critical. THINK about this when planning your workout. If you have never called a particular exercise during a Q before think about how to call it and the cadence pace. The Q owes it to the pax. Too fast or too slow could cause undue fatigue, bad form, injury.
  29. Your count should always match your body movement 
  30. Workout Structure (XXX)
  32. Design your workout. Ask for advice/feedback from the AO or other more experienced Q’s.
  33. Design too much rather than too little. Easy to cut on the fly. Harder to improvise and create on the fly at the end of a workout when fatigued.
  34. Design while thinking of the pax and what you are asking them to do. We DO NOT start by stretching but, at the same time, starting with sprints or a dynamic exercise (like the burpee) off the drop could cause injury.
  35. Think of what muscle groups each exercise uses and understand how each exercise will affect the next. You may want to burn out the pax chests in the first 10 minutes of the workout with 5 sets of merkins and burpees but if you plan to do a burpee ladder 10 minutes later you may not want to smoke their chest right out of the gate…but you might…just have a plan and THINK.
  36. Show up Early & Come Energized 
  37. Check the scene and make sure the AO is what you expected.
  38. An energetic Q can overcome a lousy Wieke. A flat, boring Q is no fun to follow regardless of the workout.
  39. Welcome guys you know and introduce around FNG’s.  
  40. 1 minute warning so that guys can get their head right. (Command voice)
  41. Q needs to survey the pax present. Are they all studs? Do you have studs and guys 40 pounds overweight? Do you have 5 FNGs?
  42. Use this survey to make sure your workout challenges each man but protects each man at the same time. Tough task. No one said it was easy.
  43. Communicate the Disclaimer
  44. I am not a professional.
  45. You are out here because you want to be.
  46. It is you against you out here. Do what you can. Always do something.
  47. If you have an injury, protect it. I do not know what your issues are. If you can’t do what is called, or the number called, do something else but always do something to encourage your brother.
  48. We will not leave you. Our goal is to leave no man behind but leave no man where we found him
  49. Some type of mosey, or not, but do something to get heart rates up slowly and blood pumping into the major muscle groups.
  50. If you make a mistake, when falling, DIVE.
  51. The pax don’t know your plan so don’t let them know you’ve gone off script, forgotten the next exercise, did too many or not enough. Letting them know you messed up hurts their trust in you and effects their morale. You are in control. 
  52. Confidence over Competence (but then get it right the second time)
  53. Don’t smoke the Q and don’t Show Out.
  54. You can not lead effectively if you are about to pass out. REMEMBER, your Q is not about you. You are not there to win every sprint or show how awesome you are. You are there to challenge each man with a workout and guide each man safely through it, NOTHING more. Win the sprints at your next workout when you’re not Q’ing.
  55. Never, EVER, leave a man behind. 
  56. Don’t Discourage but push each man to give 100% effort because he will be better for it physically, but most importantly, mentally and emotionally.
  57. This is a tough balance and everyone has their own approach and personality. Just put the pax first always (above your frustration and above your “plan”) and it should take care of itself.
  58. Don’t punish individual initiative. Praise Individuals, critique en masse.
  59. If you can’t do it, don’t Q it. Ever. There’s no harm letting the Pax see that a workout is difficult for you but do every rep you call.
  60. Wear a watch/be aware of time.
  61. It’s got to be HARD – How you motivate men to be leaders. (XXX)
  62. Mean Mean Stride from Tom Sawyer by Rush
  63. Tom Sawyer punished not for getting in a fight but for getting his church clothes dirty, for not knowing the time and place for such things.
  64. Punishment is to whitewash a fence on a great day for fishing.
  65. Creates a desire in his friends to achieve/accomplish something HARD
  66. We were created for work… make it a challenge and it becomes fun.
  67. COT (Is a duty of the Q) (XXX)
  68. End EVERY workout with a COT
  69. EVERY man is in the COT. No one sits/stands outside. 
  70. Immediate acceptance for FNGs. Get them in the circle and get them involved. Help them through the sometimes daunting name-o-rama.
  71. Count-o-Rama & Name-o-Rama
  72. Repeat nicknames
  73. Respect(50+)/Hate(30s)/Hate Hate(20s)
  74. Honor the War Daddy (oldest) and the War Baby (youngest)
  75. Record the Details for the backblast
  76. Q does the backblast. Show respect for the pax by making sure to post a back blast and have them listed. They got through your workout and you owe it to them to give them recognition.
  77. The mysterious 3rd F (XXX)
  78. Leaders seek a platform for leadership (Individual Initiative)
  79. Men seek causes greater than themselves. (BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
  80. The 3rd F is mens natural search for difficult goals to achieve against which they can be measured by an objective, outside measure (Accountability)
  81. We seek to achieve that mission within a brotherhood of like-minded, goal oriented peers. (Teamwork)
  82. And we expect out of our peers the very best we all can offer (Attention to Detail)
  83. Our own COT

Moleskin: What a pleasure it was to share some thoughts and lessons learned with the pax of F3 Chicago. There were men there who have been doing F3 for 3 years in Chicago and men who just started a few weeks ago. 15 pax stayed behind for 1.5 hours of learning on a Saturday. This thing is primed to explode in Oak Park, Evanston and LaGrange! Big thank you to Rancid for his Co-Q of Q-School and for allowing the pax to use his beatdown for critique. T-claps to Billy Bob and McLovin from F3 Columbia for sharing their outlines for Q School and for all they have taught YHC about F3, and about being a man of purpose in the spirit of the SkyQ. F3 has meant so much to YHC these past 6 years, and there are many, many stories to tell of how YHC has personally seen F3 impact the lives of men, including YHC’s own. So much to share, so little time. Until the next one brothers…Cheers!