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Being the Q
Basic Q Guidelines
Updated July 23, 2020 — By Jumanji
You Are The Leader
- Give a 5 minute warning and then a 1 minute warning
- Start on time
- Welcome FNGs and sporadic posters; tell FNGs what to expect
- Enthusiasm is crucial
- Give the disclaimer before starting any fitness
- Counting Cadence (MUST BE DONE CORRECTLY! Core to the identity of F3). Use these exact words in this exact sequence:
- First (or Next) exercise is….Side straddle hop (name the exercise)
- Starting position….move
- In cadence
- 1,2,3-1 1,2,3-2…(the point of cadence is to keep everyone together, if men are at different parts of the movement at different times than your counting is off or you’re trying to count something that should be done OYO. If you are in the PAX, you are to match your movement to the Qs, not freelance)
- Voice inflection on last set of cadence; PAX calls halt
- Recover (this is easy to forget)
- Command presence and confidence: give clear instructions in an authoritative voice. You are the leader.
- Make it hard, but remember to watch the 6: leave no man behind
- Encourage the PAX. You are the leader.
- A 10 count is to be done backwards from 10. Make the PAX do things right. You are the leader.
- Finish on time
- At the COT (circle of trust):
- Count O Rama
- Name O Rama
- Announcements (convergences, 3F, reminder/explanation about Coffeeteria, Q-Source, etc.)
- Keep F3 business separate from your personal beliefs (especially critical with FNGs)
- If FNGs/visitors are present say something like “F3 is not about any specific religion and is open to all men. The Q is free to express his personal beliefs and we just ask that men stand respectfully by as he does it. I am a….Christian, Jew, etc”…..and on into the BOM
- BOM (ball of men):
- Lead whatever BOM that fits your personal belief- prayer, inspirational quote, etc.
- ‘prayer requests’
- Still steer clear of controversial statements and social issues i.e. abortion, gay marriage, etc. that can ostracize/exclude FNGs and other PAX
- Pledge of Allegiance (if your AO has that tradition)
- Post workout
- Make sure to collect contact info from any FNGs (physical cards) or assign their sponsor PAX to do it. Input their info on the F3JAX website FNG form. Get them invited to Slack and plugged in.
- Write your backblast within a day or two and tweet out the link if you use Twitter
- Think of ways to improve for your next Q, gather feedback, hold yourself accountable
- Bonus Tips:
- For your VQ (virgin Q) reach out in advance to an experienced Q and enlist his help and support in both the planning and execution; they are happy to help and support
- Wear a watch
- Practice counting cadence before your VQ- it is harder than expected; watch the YouTube video
- Plan for extra exercises to fill time if needed (or call a Dealer’s Choice)
- No one’s VQ is great; flubbing a VQ is normal and accepted, being too scared or lazy to ever attempt a VQ is not.
Leveled-Up Q Guidelines
Becoming a better Q is a process, not a one time event.
OK, so we can count cadence without thinking about it. We have Qd more workouts than we can count on our fingers. We can Q without a Weinke. Fantastic. F3 is about constant improvement and holding each other accountable to high standards, so let’s get better.
The Golden Q:
Q works a message and theme into the workout
Workout smokes the PAXs, but no one leaves discouraged to the point of no return
A strong, brief message in the COT that supports the underlying workout message
FNGs and newer guys leave with an understanding of the bigger picture of F3 (2nd and 3rd F) and that they are now part of something bigger. They are motivated to come back and get better.
It’s not about your Q
In a Jocko-esque dichotomy, being a better Q is not about your Q:
- It’s not about you and the super detailed workout you planned
- It’s not about your genius plan that incorporates 80s hair metal, seventeen new exercises and is meant to make the PAX bleed from their spleen
- It is about the PAX, whom you’re there to serve
- Be able to adapt on the fly according to the PAX:
- Adapt when the group is larger or smaller than expected (don’t plan a workout expecting a specific group size- you will be surprised)
- Adjust if PAX are struggling too much or not working hard enough
- Adjust when you have FNGs or newer guys
- Why adapt when you have FNGs or newer guys?
- The workout should adapt to them, because they are what we are here for. The objective of the Q should immediately become getting them engaged with F3.
- The regulars don’t matter
- The regulars are going to come back—they are part of F3. If the workout is vanilla or not challenging enough they aren’t going to stop coming, so don’t worry about them. Let them complain. They should know to focus on the FNG as well.
- Remember we might only get one chance with a FNG and he probably really needs F3
- So have some humility, suck it up and come off your genius Q plan (you can always roll it out some other time when the group is right).
- If you have FNGs and/or newer guys- start with the Circle of Pain. It gives them context, teaches some basic exercises, and counting in cadence builds esprit de corp. If you immediately go into some individual exercises or take off from the AO it gives no sense of group or spirit of F3
- Don’t set up stations with exercises that nobody but the old timers know. One trick is to do the exercises in the COP that you will use later for stations, etc. so everyone is on the same page.
- Make sure FNG/newer guy has a partner if it’s partner exercises- assign someone if needed. You should be the odd man out if there is an uneven number.
- Try to review the core part of F3: the Fs, mission statement and credo (5 core principles if you’re feeling frisky)
Don’t talk, work:
If part of your workout takes longer than 1 minute to explain it’s too complicated. PAX don’t come to listen to a 5 minute explanation, they come to work.
The PAX can only hold about 2-3 exercises and rep counts in their mind, so don’t explain the next 15 exercises at the start because no one will remember. Get to work.
If you have messages you want to work in, deliver the messages instead of doing a 10 count
End on time:
Keep the COT/BOM short. People have shit to do, especially on the weekdays. Count o rama, name o rama, give your message, take prayer requests and close it out.
Don’t start the count a rama or name o rama with a new guy who doesn’t know how to model it- find a part of the circle with 2-3 veterans in a row and start there.
Take care of the 6:
- Don’t abandon the 6. Period.
- It’s in the credo “Leave no man behind…”
- This is especially important when traveling off campus with non-runners in the group. Be ready to do some wagon wheeling, etc. Leave yourself enough time to get the PAX back. Challenge the fastholes to get home and circle back for the 6 in ‘Clydesdale suicides’
- One option is to give non-runners a heads-up that you’re going off campus and what the destination is so they can get a head start, drive, etc. Non-runners, you might have to suck the teat of humility and leave early, carpool, ride a bike, etc.
Communicate and uphold standards:
- Exercise standard:
- Give a clear instruction for the exercise, don’t say ‘well, you can do some merkins if you want or some lunges if that feels better or some downward dogs….’
- Give a clear number for reps, don’t say ‘10-15 merkins.’ Give the standard- ‘15 merkins.’ PAX can modify from that, or Q can actually suggest the modification exercise.
- Q Standards:
- We are expanding rapidly and it is the experienced PAX’s responsibility to both explain the core concepts of F3 and hold Qs accountable to the established process and standards
- ALL the experienced PAX are responsible for communicating to FNGs and newer guys what F3 is about.
- Q Heckling and Correction:
- VQ- gentle correction/reminders and encouragement during someone’s VQ is appropriate. It’s a big step out of the comfort zone so experienced PAX should primarily support and assist. *Unless it’s clear the VQ made no effort to practice, plan or attempt to do things right—in that case, heckle mercilessly*
- Subsequent Qs- if there is improvement and/or sincere effort to improve, continuous gentle correction and reminders of standards and process. If there is no effort to improve, dynamically shamegoad with high intensity.
- Experienced Qs- hold each other accountable to standards, regardless of who the Q is, or how long he’s been Q-ing.