CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Every morning before sunrise, in public parks, on school and church campuses and in parking lots, thousands of men gather to work out. It’s called F3. It started in Charlotte, North Carolina on New Year’s morning, 2011.
F3 is a men’s workout group, with a mission to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership.
The group is called F3 which stands for Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith.
The fitness is the magnet that gets guys to show up for their first boot camp style workout. But the fellowship and the faith components are what draws the men into deeper friendships, and keeps them coming back.
“Originally it was the fitness, and then, once I started coming and I started becoming friends with some guys and building out a network and recognizing there’s a lot of accountability here, and there’s a lot of camaraderie and also a lot of vulnerability,” said A. J. Bembry group workout leader today.
The core principles of the F3 workouts are that they are free, open to all men, held outdoors rain or shine, led by the participants in a rotating fashion, and end with a circle of trust.
Today’s workout was called a Convergence, where members from several of the 10 different F3 groups in the Chattanooga area, showed up to get the new year started right and to workout together.
A. J. Bembry said, “We have one dip down here, six dive-bombers up there, and then reverse.”
At the end of the workout, during the circle of trust, today’s Q, or the workout leader, challenged the men to do more than make a resolution this year.
“Don’t make the resolution, commit to it. Commitment requires accountability, it requires a goal, requires something that can be measured, it requires someone to call you out when you cannot achieve it,” said A. J. Bembry.
A. J. Bembry, who’s F3 nickname is “Wuzn’t Me”, has been coming to F3 for over a year.
“The terminology we use a lot of times, is ‘As Iron Sharpens Iron, so does one man sharpen another’, so, you’ll see a lot of times people have F3 shirts that say things like ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’, things like that, because we hold each other accountable and keep each other on point,” said Bembry.
Jim Gilliland was invited to an F3 workout by his son, and is now hooked.
“This kind of getting together around fitness, is just the starter, the real key is fellowship and ultimately the expression of your faith and your belief,” said Jim Gilliland.
Exercise counting . . . “One, Two, Three, FIVE.”
The F3 groups meet at 10 different locations all around our region, for workouts like this one, on various days of the week, not just on New Year’s Day, to inspire men to become leaders in their community.
To find an F3 workout near you, click here. They meet Monday through Saturday, mostly at 5:30 am. There is also a similar group for women.