AO: Arena

When: 03/23/2023


Number of Pax: 10

Pax Names: Air Force Won, Big Papi, Brad Pitt, Green Mile, Jack Bauer, Mall Cop, Picanha, Saluki, Stage Dive, Tinfoil,

Number of FNGS: 0

FNG Names:



This year marks the fourth year for the Mental Battle WOD (workout of the day) and this year I’m happy to share that the boys in Winston-Salem North Carolina, @F3WinstonSalem on Twitter have designed a great starfish type workout.

Workout was designed by Spicoli and mental health stats were provided by Giles, an NC licenses psychologist who specializes in working with men.

With further ado, here’s the WOD:

This workout is inspired by the 5 Core Principles of F3:

1) Free of charge.
2) Open to all men.
3) Held outdoors, rain or shine, heat or cold.
4) Peer led by men who participate in the workout in a rotating fashion, with no training or certificate necessary.
5) Ends with a Circle of Trust.

It’s #5, the COT, that brings us all back together; gives each man a chance to listen and be heard; bring praises and concerns to the man next to him. In my opinion, it is the most powerful principle and allows for forming and strengthening bonds between each of us.


Suggestions for exercises to be done in cadence:
Side Straddle Hops
Imperial Walkers
Abe Vigodas
Grabbing Grass with a clap
Broga stretches

The Layout for the Workout:
In a field or large parking lot, create a box with five markers where the center marker is fifty meters from each of the four markers used to make the corners. Each of the four corners will be a specific station.

Starting in the middle, run to Station 1, do the exercise, then run back to middle, do burpees, then run to Station 2, do that exercise, then run back to middle, burpees, and so on. Once you’ve gone to all 4 stations with burpees in between, that round is over and you’ll progress to the next round. Add an exercise at each station each round.

For example: during round 3, at Station 1, you’ll do ten hand release merkins, ten clap merkins, and ten toe tap merkins, then run to the middle, do eight burpees, go to Station 2 and do the three exercises there, etc.

1 round= 1 trip to all 4 stations, coming back to the middle in between

***For the First Round Only***
For the first round, keep the PAX together. The Q will read two of the statistics about mental health (below) each time you come to the middle to do burpees. After that, progress through the other three rounds of the workout.

Middle Station (COT)

Round 1 = 2 Burpees (for a total of 8)
Round 2 = 4 Burpees (for a total of 16)
Round 3 = 8 Burpees (for a total of 32)
Round 4 = 16 Burpees (for a total of 64)

(Double Burpee count each round, so Round 4 would be 16 burpees each time you come to the middle)

Station 1 (Free)

Round 1 – Hand Release Merkins x10
Round 2 – Add Clap Merkins x10
Round 3 – Add Toe Touch Merkins x10
Round 4 – Add Mike Tysons x10

Station 2 (All Men)

Round 1 – Shoulder Tap x15 (Double Count)
Round 2 – Add Mountain Climbers x15 (Double Count)
Round 3 – Add Peter Parkers x15 (Double Count)
Round 4 – Add Donkey Kicks x15 (Double Count)

Station 3 (Held Outside)

Round 1 – Monkey Humpers x20
Round 2 – Add Bonny Blairs x20 (Single Count)
Round 3 – Add Side Lunges x20 (Single Count)
Round 4 – Add Jump Squats x20

Station 4 (Peer Led)

Round 1 – LBCs x25
Round 2 – Add Freddy Mercuries x25 (Double Count)
Round 3 – Add Heels to Heaven x25
Round 4 – Add Superman 25X

Modify as necessary. Need a longer workout? Repeat Round 4 until you’ve filled the time. Add a few minutes of Mary at the end..


Here are some statistics regarding mental health and its effects on our community, especially for men. During the First Round, the Q will read two statistics at the middle station each time the PAX comes back to do burpees.

1. Although men are marginally less likely than women to develop a significant mental illness during their lifetimes, about 1 in 2 men will have a diagnosable disorder at some point in their lifetimes.

2. Men are about 2x less likely than women to seek help if problems do occur.

3. Almost 50% of men feel that they are struggling more than they admit to people in their life.

4. Depression looks significantly different in men than in women… Women tend to present as sad and withdrawn, while men tend to present as irritable and angry.

5. Men are 2-3x more likely to abuse substances in an attempt to manage their mental health, which often leads to other health problems.

6. Suicide rates in men have been steadily increasing over the past 20 years, and at present, men are 4x more likely than women to die by suicide, and this risk increases with age.

7. Therapists that specialize in working with men often use different strategies to make therapy feel more approachable… therapy doesn’t have to look like sitting in an office and crying about your feelings!

8. Therapists have historically done a pretty crappy job of helping men, though things are slowly changing. Men often go to therapy at the urging of a loved one, but men tend to drop out of therapy sooner than women because they find it unhelpful. This is a legitimate problem, and you’re not crazy if you’ve tried therapy before and it wasn’t helpful for you! If you’re thinking about reaching out to a therapist, consider finding one that has specific expertise in working with men. (from Giles, who is a therapist and can offer this opinion form a place of experience).

Thanks again to the boys in Winston-Salem and follow the F3 Mental Battle on Twitter at @F3Battle and on the Nation’s Slack as well at #f3-mental-battle-challenge.

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