There is a new fitness effort in town, but it is not centered in a large, new workout facility with gleaming weight machines and hefty membership dues. F3 is free and meets in the parking lot of Creekview High School three mornings a week. But the gathering is about more than fitness. We asked Anthony Cipriani to tell us about the new group.
What is your mission?
First it is important to understand what the 3 Fs are for: fitness, fellowship and faith. The mission of F3 is to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for men for the invigoration of male community leadership. We try to stay in relatively small workout groups, because once you exceed 20-25 regularly, it is hard to keep the entire group engaged. Each workout is peer lead in rotation so each man has an opportunity to lead his peers when he feels ready. Usually one man will take Mondays for three months, another will take Wednesdays, and another will take Saturdays. Additionally, we encourage our members to find different ways to lead the group in the community through service projects, bible studies, and social events, giving members opportunities to lead through all three of the Fs.
Why target men?
We feel that it is important to reinvigorate the male spirit and help men make meaningful male connections. It is easy for men, post college and in the beginning of their careers, to start to lose real male connections, which is a problem that is only compounded as time and life continue to pass. Most will have work friends they talk to while at work, neighbors they are polite with while at home, and maybe even a few guys from school who they keep in touch with. As life at home and work become more demanding, men stop having true meaningful connections with other men. F3 is there to fill that void. The idea of a free workout is what usually gets most men to come out for the first time, but it’s the friendships they make that keep them coming back. A special bond is formed when you push yourself and, consequently, the men around you during a tough workout.
Describe a typical gathering.
Our workouts are free and open to men of all fitness levels; they are organized to keep the group together while ensuring each participant gets a tough workout. We encourage members to modify the regimen to their limitations and abilities. Typically we gather together at our shovel flag in the Creekview High School stadium parking lot. Men usually start trickling in about 5:15 a.m. By 5:25, most of the men have arrived because we start and end on time. We will typically do a short run to warm up, then circle up for a few in-cadence exercises by the leader. After a warm up, the leader gives a description of the main portion of the workout which will usually take up the majority of the 45 minutes. It ranges and changes everyday and with every leader, but it is usually boot-camp style with push-ups, squats, burpees, sit ups, runs, lunges, pull ups or other body weight type exercises. We always end with a COT (Circle of Trust) where we do a quick roll call/sound off followed by any praise or prayer requests, then finish with a quick prayer. We are a non-secular group and welcome men of all faiths, though we usually finish with a Christian prayer. All are welcome to join, if someone isn’t comfortable with a prayer, we just ask for a quick 30 seconds of respect. We return to our normal day-to-day lives a little stronger and ready to take on the day.
What’s the long term plan in Cherokee County?
Our goal is to reach as many men as possible and plant other F3 groups around the county. We plan to offer more service opportunities, such as cleanup projects and helping other projects presented by group members. There are countless men who would benefit from taking better control not only of their physical wellbeing but also their spiritual and mental wellbeing. I believe if I want my children to grow up to have healthy, strong, positive relationships with fitness, people, and spirituality, I need to model the way. Through F3, we can spread that message of health and growth in all three areas throughout our county and beyond.