F-Club is the Cubicle Warrior way of getting into shape using goals, a plan, measurement, and accountability. It is not a prescriptive diet or an exercise routine. Although diet and exercise do play a part, you choose that yourself and customize it for your own situation. It is a system for getting you and your friends off your asses and into the best shape of your life while making fantastic memories and having the time of your lives.
History of F-Club.
Several years ago my friend (Trapper) walked on to a college campus for a sorority kegger filled with the hottest of the hot coeds. He hadn’t been on campus for 8 weeks. No, he wasn’t in college – just a few years out in the cubicle world. This time was different. He was in phenomenal shape. The girls all came up to him. He never had to play the game of 10!
What was Different about Trapper?
He had just spent the last 8 weeks working out and dieting like a madman. That’s not to say that he spent the time in a cave. No, he worked 50+ hours each week and had a full social calendar. What was different was we were competing in F-Club and he had lost 30lbs of fat and replaced it with 10 lbs of muscle. The dude looked good. And everybody knew it.
How F-Club Works.
Like every program in Cubicle Warrior, it starts with a Goal. The Goal is to lose as much fat as you can and gain as much muscle as you can in a safe, sustainable way over a set period of time. (Dehydration tips like Ferriss mentions here is not sustainable)
Gain muscle and lose fat via the 50-20-30 diet and a weightlifting exercise routine inside the constraints of a Sprint. A Sprint being a set period of time – we like 3 weeks, Trapper originally used 2 week sprints.
On the first day of the first sprint we had a personal trainer measure our bodyfat percentage using a 7-site skin fold analysis. The percentage when applied to our weight told us how much body fat we had in lbs and (roughly) how much muscle.
Ex. Say you are 200lbs and 20% bodyfat. You have 200*0.2 = 40lbs of bodyfat. Thus, you also have 200-40 = 160lbs muscle.
You repeat the measurement at the end of the sprint. For every pound of fat lost you get one point. For every pound of muscle gained you get another point. Let’s see this in an example.
Ex. Take the 200 lb guy listed just above. Let’s say that at the end of Sprint 1 he now has only 34 lbs of fat and has 162 lbs of muscle. He would earn 6 points for the 6 lbs of fat lost as well as another 2 points for the muscle gained for a total of 8 points.
This is a sustainable model because if you diet and work out too hard, you will lose muscle and thus lose points. Likewise, if you eat everything in site and focus on gaining muscle but put on fat in the process, you lose points for that fat gain. Your total weight is irrelevant. Only your progress gaining muscle and losing fat is important.
Accountability to yourself is one thing. The most satisfying, and entertaining portion of F-Club is beating your friends.
Each sprint you measure the points you earned against the points your friends earned. When Trapper and I did it the winner would buy the other a steak dinner at Outback (and many, many beers!) the last night of the sprint. In my current club, we have 4 members. Here, the top 2 point winners eat tasty steak at the expense of the losers every 3 weeks.
The key here is that everybody wins. Each person may have an off sprint (or 2, or 3) but they stay in the game. Even if your progress is minimal, it is better than what you would have done without the peer accountability. The biggest bonus is that, eventually, after a few sprints, you will know what your body reacts to and what it doesn’t and respond accordingly. The amount of innovation that you can come up with is outstanding. Furthermore, it’s customized to your exact situation.
In my current club we have 4 distinctly different people:
Trapper – 30, male, married to a great cook who regularly feeds him dumplings that go oh-so-well with his amazing home brew. Prime interest is losing bodyfat. He enjoys swimming and is using it to great effect earning steaks off the rest of us and slimming his waistline. Also uses Tony Horton’s 10 minute trainer.
Radar – 25, single with a metabolism of a greyhound. Prime interest is, well, being 25 and getting jacked. While he swims once a week, he also plays co-ed dodgeball to balance a heavy weight training regiment.
Painless – 40, single dad. He used to have Radar’s metabolism but joined F-Club after swelling up over the years. Prime interest is to be in better shape than his college-aged son. He started the year losing 40 lbs hiking a zillion miles over the Carolina mountains but now is adding muscle and further reducing fat working out at home using P90x. He may also be the first person to say that the P90 Plyometrics is a nice warm-up.
Hawkeye – 30, engaged but let himself go after taking 3rd in the Light Heavyweight section of a bodybuilding show in 2001. Prime interest is acquitting himself well in the 5.5 mile Great South Bay open water swim and getting back into striking distance of a competition (under 10% bodyfat.)