Despite warning tweets two days before, 14 PAX assembled in the predawn gloom, each holding cold black iron thick with its dark promises. YHC issued an extensive and detailed disclaimer. After all, it is dangerous to lift and swing iron balls above the shoulder line, around the head and with gravity beckoning them back toward all the tender parts. So with nervous mumbling about the graphic disclaimer, the PAX moseyed down by the track.

Warm up:

  • 20 x SSH,
  • OYO – One-armed KB side twist, reverse,
  • OYO – KB halo, reverse
  • 10 x goblet squat

The Thang:

5 rounds

  • 40 x two handed KB swings
  • 20 x KB snatches (10 per arm)
  • 10 x KB squat presses
  • Progressive Plank – Upon finishing a round, each PAX planks maintaining good form (no downward dog). As another man finishes, the rest of the PAX move their hands forward, until all men are done and hands are extended forward as far as possible.


Mosey back the parking lot and assemble at the curb

  • 20 x Nipple Scraper Merkins – Also called an Arabian or Half Moon push up. With hands on the curb & butts high, drop knees down and to one side. Lower one nipple until it touches the curb, twist your body in the low plank position until the other nipple comes to the curb, and then press up. That is one rep. Reverse the motion.
  • 8 x 4-count Wall Plank with High Knee March – Plank with feet pressing against the wall, good form, body parallel to the ground. Using a four count, raise right knee to chest, return it to the wall, raise left knee, return.


Between the third and fourth round, Orwell issued a call for a violent overthrow of the Q. However YHC called for the next round to begin, and rebellion quietly ended before it began. In the late 1960’s psychologist Martin Seligman discovered a phenomenon that he called “learned helplessness.” In the experiment, researchers found that dogs that were restrained when receiving a shock did not even try to escape when given subsequent shocks, even if the restraints were removed. And so each of the PAX grabbed their bells, and kept on swinging.

At the coffeeteria that has become a staple of the Blitz and a glue for fellowship, ManRam commented that this really was a psychological workout: To find the steel and resolve to keep going, round after round, 40 swings at a time, limited rest, without knowing how many rounds we would do. Aye brother. This was an iron test of stamina and mettle, and all PAX passed with astounding character and strength.

Each man completed 200 swings, 100 snatches and 50 squat presses within approximately 30 minutes. KB ranged in size between 30 and 50 pounds – meaning that each man raised between 10,500lbs and 17,500lbs (over 5 – 8.5 tons) over their heads while our neighbors, bosses, and the garden club ladies were all still in their pajamas. After four rounds YHC looked at Shaggy planking directly next to him, his body fully extended and every muscle trembling. That moment was an example of what every man showed this morning. There is a second half to the story of learned helplessness.

Seligman noticed that, trial-after-trial, no matter how many shocks were administered, some dogs still tried to get away. They never “learned” that they were helpless. This led to a shift in thinking about people. When pushed, pressed or stressed by trauma, people do not necessarily dry up, crumble and blow away. We too can rise to a challenge and recognize that we can withstand more than we thought. We can recognize that we are stronger than we ever believed. That is what happened this morning. Each man was pressed. Each man conquered. YHC could not be more proud to have been a part of this morning and to see the example set by every one of these 13 other men, my brothers.

Announcements and Prayers were issued, and then the PAX rested.