your first q

freed to lead

So you’ve been posting and showing up in the gloom and now you’ve been asked to Q. Maybe you’ve even signed up to Q. Just in case you’re still not sure what a Q is, the Q is the leader of the beatdown. Now what do you do? Don’t over think it and keep it simple. Here’s a few helpful pointers, and as always “modify as necessary.”


Here’s an outline of a beatdown starting at 0530. Modify as necessary, but this is a good place to start.

0530 Welcome and Disclaimer
0530 Warm-Up
0535 The Thang
0602 Mary
0608 Recover, Recover
0608 Name-O and Count-O
0610 Announcements
0612 Circle of Trust (COT)

Please note this is just a suggested outline of the Beatdown. Modify as necessary, this is just a place to start. Detailed information for each portion is below.

0530 Welcome and Disclaimer

Say: Good morning, it’s 5:30, welcome to F3. My name is (F3 Name), and I will be you Q today. I am not a professional, therefore, please take everything I say as a suggestion. Modify as neccesary. Push yourself do not hurt yourself.

0530 Warm-Up

Pick 5 or so warm-up exercises. The warm-up should focus on the muscles you will use during the Thang. Some popular warm-up exercises are:

  • Grass grabbers
  • Pianotappers
  • Willie Mays Hayes
  • Goofballs
  • High Knees
  • Mosey
  • Moroccan Night Clubs
  • Pretzels
  • Batwings
  • Seal Claps
  • Overhead Claps
  • Burpees
  • Motivators

The warm-up exercises are generally led In Cadence. Watch the video below of Dredd explaining Cadence and Counting.

0535 The Thang

The Thang is the part of the beatdown. The Q is free to lead, meaning you as the Q can call whatever you want for the thang and the PAX will follow. There is one rule: don’t call it if you can’t Q it.  In other words, if you cannot perform the exercise(s), then do not instruct the PAX to do them. Does this mean you cannot push yourself? No. It does mean do not call an exercise or set of exercises you cannot do or are unwilling to struggle through alongside the PAX. Remember, you are the leader, which means you are there to serve the PAX.

Two easy thangs:

1. Dora 1-2-3

Find a stretch of land the PAX can run on. Have PAX pair off. Each pair of two PAX will work together to reach the number of reps for the below exercises. During the Thang one PAX will be completing reps of the exercise, the other PAX will be completing the movement. Once the PAX completing the movement returns to his partner, they switch off and the movement PAX picks up on the rep-count where his partner left off.

The exercises are:

100 Merkins
200 Big Boy Sit-Ups
300 Air Squats
Movement: 30 yard mosey there and back

2. Pearls on a String

The Q leads the PAX in a mosey around the AO. Along the route, the Q stops the PAX to complete an exercise. Mosey, stop, exercise repeat until the Mary. Remember to return to the Shovel Flag at the appropriate time. Helpful hint: have the exercises you want to do written down on a slip of paper (Q Weinke) or on your phone.

0602 Mary

Everybody loves Mary and there’s always time for 6 minute abs. So get to it. Many core exercises are completed on you six, meaning on your back. These can be done OYO (on your own), or In Cadence, but many times are down in cadence like the warm-up. Some example Mary exercises are:

  • Penguin Tappers
  • Big Boy Sit Ups (BBSUs)
  • Freddie Mercuries
  • Heels to Heaven
  • V-Ups
  • Planks (high, low, side)
  • Merkin Ring-of-Fire
  • Protractors
  • Little Baby Crunches
0608 Recover, Recover
After the last repetition is completed the Q says “Recover, recover,” signaling the end of the Beatdown.

0608 Name-O and Count-O
Count-O-Rama is where the Q has the PAX number off for the total PAX present section of the backblast. The Q completes the Count-O by counting himself, at times saying, “And Q makes #.”

The Name-O-Rama is the proof of life that the PAX completed the beatdown. It also assists the Q is remembering the names of who posted for the backblast. In the Name-O-Rama, each PAX states their Hospital/Given Name (John Doe), Age (43), and F3 Name (Big Mac). The Name-O-Rama is typically recorded on a cell phone and posted in the backblast.

If there is an FNG present, they will be named after the initial Name-O-Rama. Allow 3-5 minutes for naming if an FNG is present.

0610 Announcements

Q either opens the floor for announcements, or informs the PAX of upcoming items.

0612 Circle of Trust (COT)

Every beatdown ends in a Circle of Trust. F3 is open to all men, and the 3rd F stands for Faith. F3 defines faith as living for something bigger than yourself and not being the center of your universe. The Q can lead a COT in a time of silence for the fallen, a prayer, a Scripture reading or meditation, a quote, or as a time to share a personal struggle or recent victory. The Q is free to lead, but the goal of the COT is to be honest with the PAX and push every man to be better.

helpful information

Start on time, end on time. Do it. Don’t make excuses. Start on time and end on time. This means arriving early and bringing a watch. It means modifying the beatdown as necessary for conditions, PAX speed, or an FNG. Leaders adapt, therefore, so do you.

Write out your COT. Trust me, whether it is word for word or bullet points, you will thank me later. You will be tired, your brain will be foggy, and having your COT written or outlined for you is one less thing you have to remember on your VQ.

You probably wont’ sleep well, neither did we. There is something about the VQ that is akin to an eight year old visiting Disneyland. You just don’t sleep. You toss and turn like the night before that Chemistry final that you almost failed. Don’t worry about it. Set multiple alarms and trust your plan and your adrenal glands to get your through.

Q-Wienke. A written, analog or digital, list of your beatdown.  It’s a play by play, just like Chris used.

Co-Q. A Co-Q is just that, a co-Q. You and another HIM leading a beatdown together. You can split it up however you like, but is a nice wade into the deep in if you’re extra nervous for whatever reason.

Talk to your Site Q. Talk to your Site Q about your plan for your VQ. He is a helpful and semi-experience (though not professional) resource. He can help you time your beatdown and offer feedback regarding too long, too short, or maybe not intense enough. He can also help warn you of an impending dumpster fire.

Ask for Did Wells and Do Betters. Leaders tell the truth and leaders are learners.  Did Well – Do Better gives  the PAX to practice the opportunity to practice candor and Qs to practice receiving criticism.

When you’re in charge, take charge. The only way you can fail is by quitting. You might mess up cadence. You might mess up directions for the beatdown. You might run late. But fail forward. Fail leading the PAX. Every man there has made mistakes. No one expects you to be perfect. But they do expect you to lead. So lead your workout. Lead your workout in the rain, when you’re 10 minutes late, and you just pumped out 25 blockees without a warm-up and someone is in your face asking you what you’re going to do and you feel like a failure and a disappointment. Lead the PAX. 

Pre-blast + Back-blasT

Post the pre-blast to the appropriate slack AO channel at least 18 hours or so in advance. This gives the PAX times to see the Pre-Blast and HC. Posting at the last minutes, could lead to the great fartsacking of our time. Also, no one likes getting information last minutes. If you need to post a day or two in advance because you know you will be busy, go for it. You’re free to lead, just lead.

A pre-blast should look like:

Preblast! T-O-T it’s Dynomite
Date: Tuesday, October 25
Time: 0530
AO: #ao_bunker_lindenwood_park
Q: @Snackle
Coupon: Yes (ruck for extra suck)
FNGs: Totally

The pre-blast gives information regarding where, when, who is Qing, and whether or not to bring a coupon.  Feel free to copy someone else’s pre-blast and just update the information, or use the following:

Time: 0530
Q: @you
Coupon: Yes or No
FNGs: Always


The backblast is a record of the beatdown explaining who, what, where, when, and why. Each backblast includes details of the beatdown’s Warm-Up, Thang, Mary, and COT. For PaxMiner to work, each Backblast must include at least the following:

Backblast: T-O-T it’s Dynomite
Date: 10/25/2022
AO: #ao_bunker_lindenwood_park
PAX:  @Snackle @Big House @Jackie @Toddy
FNGs: 0
Q:  @Snackle
Total: 4
Information about the beatdown.

Here is a version you can copy, paste, and fill in the appropriate details.
Q:  @you
Total: ##

The Thang


Congratulations for reading this far and for signing up for a VQ…you know what the V stands for, there’s a first time for everything. 

Regardless of how it goes, perfect or total dumpster fire, every man there is proud of you. Also remember, every PAX who has ever Qd has led a dumpster fire. But you stepped up and led, and leadership in the gloom becomes leadership at home, work, and in your community. Leadership in the 1st F becomes leadership in your concentrica and 3rd F. Keep leading. Keep overcoming obstacles. Keep unleashing your modern day warrior.

You’ve got this and the PAX have you. Lead, learn, and become the man the PAX and your concentrica need.