Q School at the Firehouse or – Floating HR Merkins
PAX (11): Ace Ventura, Baskins, Lifelock, Lightweight, Sirmixalot, Valley Girl, Zohan, Pebbles, Zuckerberg, Swarez, Deja Vu
Ace Ventura asked me to run a Q School at the Firehouse. I struggled a bit to come up with something worthwhile, since my last Q School had 1 hour and 4 Qs and we still didn’t cover all the material. I decided to focus on key points and published the Q School 101 document that has about everything written down. Went to bed early the night before, but couldn’t fall asleep. Woke up at 4:15am so I can make it on time and arrived by 5am. As I was about to start a pre-ruck Ace Ventura came and we did a short pre-run while talking about governments, wars, cultures and other topics that usually I don’t discuss before my 2nd cup of coffee. I loved it!
A proper disclaimer was given and we moseyed to one side of the parking, then turned around for Sprint-mosey-sprint-mosey-… to the other side. Getting run over by a coming car wasn’t on the menu so stepped on the sidewalk. Not clear what kind idiots drive to parks at 5:30am to do who knows what. Don’t they have something better to do??
Anyway, moseyed back to flag with some ass kickers and high knees and circled up. After the mandatory SSH (the unofficial 6th core principle) and Weed Pickers we did some Squats.
YHC stopped the count mid point so PAX maintained a low squat position and were asked to name the first core principle. I think they named 3 other principles before the first one (FREE) was called out. Given more time this would have earned them some burpees, but YHC wanted to be nice and no penalties were distributed. We continued to name the 2nd principle (ALL MEN) and why we have it.
Next on the menu were some Merkins IC. Again the count was stopped while holding the ‘down’ position of the merkin for a quick discussion on the 3rd core principle (OUTSIDE) and how we need to build mental and emotional toughness.
Holding 6″ we discussed the 4th principle (PEER LED) and why we need it, then recovered and mentioned the 5th point (COT) with the promise of more details to follow on it.
Assuming the PAX were warmed enough, we moseyed to the coupon pile to grab something useful and moseyed back to the flag.
Part 1 – Schooling
To allow YHC to talk, counting was not an option. Hence chose a TABATA format.
Each round had 80 seconds workout, AMRAP of one exercise, followed by 45 seconds of Run/Rest. Meaning – run to the stop sign and back. Rest till the next round starts.
Round 1 – Why Squats. PAX did AMRAP Squats with the coupons while we talked about Why should we Q, which is partly about us (practice leadership) and partly about others (who need to be led).
Round 2 – Inspiring Curls. AMRAP Curls while discussing possible inspirations for a workout – personal events, sports games, holidays, exicon, terrain, others’ backblasts…
Round 3 – Format Skull Crushers. AMRAP Skull Crushers. YHC talked briefly about the main components of a workout (disclaimer, workout, thang, mary and fillers). 80 seconds were far from enough to say everything that could be said. The Q School could have been better with a longer timeframe here. Fortunately there’s still the Q School document.
Round 4 – Timing Lunges. YHC shared some tips on timing the beatdown and how to modify it, while we did Lunges with the coupon.
Round 5 – Equipment American Hammers. No coupons for this one. Mostly covered how music can be used in a beatdown and mentioned some other options like whiteboard, cones or cards. Warning – don’t make it too complex.
Round 6 – Execute Wonder Bra. Push forward and push up. Talked about executing the beatdown, with focus on paying attention to FNGs, the 6th and the gazelles, and what can be done for them.
Round 7 – Closing BBSU. A few words about Mary and the COT, which is the opportunity of 2nd and 3rd Fs after the workout. Key point – some men aren’t used to having positive male friendship (or any male friendship) and their emotional state isn’t as visible as their physical shape and fitness level.
Round 8 – Burpees. No need to talk, since Burpees say it all. Just 75 seconds of Burpees with no run at the end.
Part 2 – Apprenticeship
After a few failed attempts to get Lightweight (and only Lightweight) to give us a 10-count, PAX were ready for a discussion on calling cadence. YHC chose an inexperienced PAX to lead us through 10 Imperial Walkers and guided him till he did so. The PAX commented on 3 things done well and 3 things that could be better.
leadership is a skill that can be, and needs to be, learned and practiced. If we don’t think we’re good leaders it’s not a personality issue or some mental disability. It means we need to get some lessons.
YHC continued with examples of other counts – IC Burpees (6 count, fun to stop at #3 for a moment or three), BBSU (2 count, Q calls only up or only down), Freak Control Merkins (2 count, Q calls both up and down) and OYO SSH.
Part 3 – Levitating Merkins
YHC chose to respect a great teacher – Yoda. Yes, that small green guy. Start in Plank position and do 1 Hand Release Merkin whenever you hear the name ‘Yoda’. YHC asked the PAX to channel their inner Force, so when done correctly one should levitate when bringing up the hands. YHC, alas, has a low count of Midi-chlorians and cannot levitate. Modifying to regular HR Merkins was allowed. The song, btw, is Weird Al’s Yoda. 4 minutes and ~40 Yodas.
I’m pretty sure that Luke Skywalker didn’t cry and moan as much as the PAX did. YHC think he saw some tears from the less emotional-resilient PAX but maybe it was just sweat.
Part 4 – Opportunity
Quick round of Mary. YHC gave other PAX, including the one from Part 2, an opportunity to lead an exercise of their choice.
Convergence on the 23rd. Alpha shirt. Prayers for mental and physical healing.
After the BD there was a great 2nd F over coffee which touched all sorts of personal aspects. Real icon sharpens iron discussion that was much appreciated!
I really enjoyed leading this great group! Always an honor!!