Nine brothers joined YHC on this chilly morning for some total body conditioning. Here’s what we did:
Warmup: Side straddle hops, MNCs, Cherry Pickers and runner stance lunges. We then proceeded to execute 4 corners with 10 merkins at each corner followed by another round with 10 squats at each corner.
Starfish: We started with one of my favorite routines, the Starfish, with burpees in the middle (total of 50 burpees) and 25 merkins at one of the starfish points, 25 squats at another, 25 IC flutter kicks at another, and 25 pike presses at the last point of the configuration.
Twenty Tens: Using a timing device, we worked for 20 seconds and rested for 10 seconds. We did this for 8 rounds with the exercise of choice being the original burpee, the squat thrust.
Ab Lab: Heels six inches off of ground for about 60 to 90 seconds, 60 IC flutter kicks, 40 Freddie Mercurys.
7s: Prison cell merkins at one end, run 30 yards, perform jump squats ( 6 -1, 5 -2, 4-3, etc.)
Merkin Gauntlet: Had the PAX line up side by side in a plank position. The first person at the end of the line rotated 180 degrees and positioned himself at the first brother (facing him) and performed 4 merkins. Afterwards, he moved to the 2nd brother and performed 4 merkins and continued with 4 merkins at each brother until he completed the line. Once he completed the line, he rotated 180 degrees once again and returned to the plank line. In order to shorten the time of the plank, each successive brother started the routine when the brother ahead of him was at the 4th brother in the plank position.
After the workout concluded, I spoke about the following verse which gives us some insight into what is required to be an authentic and real man. The verse is from 1 Corinthians 16:13 and follows here:
1 Corinthians 16:13 : Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
I broke it down as follows:
Be On The Alert: Why do we have to be on alert? What is the source for us having to be on alert? In a nutshell, we have to be on alert for Satan’s schemes. Satan wants to emasculate us as men and ultimately destroy us. The Bible sums it up this way:
“Be watchful! Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone.”—1 PET. 5:8.
He especially wants to attack men. If he can neutralize the men, then he can ultimately destroy the family unit and society at large. We must understand that we are engaged in spiritual warfare and look to guard ourselves against Satan’s attacks.
Stand Firm In the Faith: We need to understand that there is something greater in this universe than ourselves. I personally believe that “something greater” is the triune GOD; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. With that said, when life is pressing up against us and it looks hopeless, we’re called to exercise our faith. We have this assurance from Romans 8:28:
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
We are not to run away in the face of adversity – we are to stand firm in our faith that God has our back! Yes, it may be difficult and costly, but if we can stand firm, we will flourish in the end. I was going through a difficult time about a year and a half ago and was praying one day over it and God gave me this verse out of the blue:
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I always come back to this verse when I’m going through a difficult time. God is clearly telling us that He is there, has our back, and that He loves us. We just need to accept this reality, embrace it, and stand firm in our faith.
Act Like Men: What does it mean to “act like men”? This is a big question and has profound implications for our lives. It’s a question that can be discussed for hours but here’s a topical view of one aspect of manhood that I have. We, as men, have to be courageous and take on challenges in our life. We cannot run away from the hard things in life (like so many males do in this society). God actually requires us to be courageous in this life. Here is what he told Joshua:
6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
Here is His word from 2 Timothy:
2 Timothy 1:7
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
We actually have power (His power) to be courageous and to rise to the challenges in our life. We can apply this to all areas of our lives, even when working out (1st F). My personal view concerning 1st F is that there should be no “moderately / easy designed workouts”. All workouts should be challenging to the Q himself as well as to the other PAX. Why do I say this? I say this because it’s the only way to truly improve your fitness and to make lasting gains. In the end, moderately / easy designed workouts produce mediocrity and allow a sad clown to remain a sad clown. Sure, the brother has on some different attire in the wearing of an F3 shirt, but deep down, he remains a sad clown because he’ really not fulfilling the overall vision of F3. There are 3 components to F3 and one of them happens to be about being fit. I always hear the expression that F3 is “more than a workout group”, and it certainly is without a doubt. But at the same time, it’s still a workout group! The men of F3 should be looking to be challenged physically, and should always place themselves in challenging workouts even if they are nursing an injury and or just not feeling it that day. We have a motto that we can “modify if necessary” which will allow you to make a harder workout “moderate”. By placing yourself alongside brothers who are working hard and rising to meet physical challenges, you may become motivated to work harder yourself which will benefit you far more than going to an easier workout where you don’t push hard enough to make real and lasting gains. In other words, accelerate, don’t decelerate! We can always do more than what we think we can do and you’ll realize this if you seek to take on the harder workouts on a regular basis. I’m also a firm believer that if you take on more physical challenges, you will be in a position to take on other challenges in life with much more vigor and success. God allows trials and tribulations (challenges) in our lives to help us grow and become more like Christ. We do not go through these trials / challenges for no reason. In the end, if we want to grow whether it be physically, emotionally, or spiritually, challenges and effort to meet them will be required.
Be Strong: What does it mean to be strong? It’s a concept that can apply to our physical nature, our mental and emotional state, and to our spiritual state. I have often heard it said that Samson of the Bible was the strongest man that ever lived. I disagree because although he was blessed supernaturally with incredible physical strength, he was morally compromised and weak. In my view, Jesus, in his humanity, was the strongest man that ever lived. He was strong spiritually by having incredible fellowship with God the Father, strong morally by the witness of his teachings, and strong physically as well as evidenced by the amount of time for Him to give up His spirit on the cross after suffering a gruesome beating with the cat-o’-nine-tails (that alone could kill a man), and then being nailed to the cross with iron spikes! If we are to be strong men, we need to work our bodies to develop physical strength, develop our minds by practicing moral character, and study the word of God to develop and make strong our spiritual commitment to God. We have to be strong in our totality – to be weak in any area concerning our body, mind, and spirit is to be, in fact, weak. There is no shame in being weak, but we are called to be strong men and should press towards that goal.
The scripture in 1 Corinthians 16:13 is a fantastic verse and I suggest that we give it more than a cursory glance. It builds upon itself. You can’t be strong without being alert, standing firm in your faith, and acting like real men. I ask that you read it with intent, study it, and try to apply it to your life.
I ask you to consider this. In order to achieve real and authentic manhood, we must come to the end of ourselves. We must reach the point where we are tired of our sin and aim to do something about it. We must die to self and live for Christ. It’s a very hard and challenging endeavor, but a necessary one. We will never be the authentic men that God calls us to be until we face some hard truths about ourselves and decide once for all to correct the deficiencies in our lives with God’s help. We can and must conduct our lives as real men rather than as adolescents occupying a grown up body. There are entirely too many supposed men in this world behaving this way and it needs to stop. Being born a male doesn’t make you a man when you come of age – unfortunately, too many guys think their age defines their manhood and it’s just not so. In F3 terms, it’s time for us to “GET RIGHT”.
Finally, please do me a favor. if you have read this backblast, please let me know either by commenting in the comment section of the backblast itself, or via twitter or Facebook. I want to know if the PAX actually read these backblasts and if it’s worth my time to put them together (if nobody reads them, what’s the point in writing them).
COT: We closed with announcements and prayers for several of the PAX and others. Please read the newsletter for upcoming events.