With more workout options than ever, there's one exercise group that looks to build both muscle and character.
F3 is a nationwide men's fitness movement that began in North Carolina seven years ago. The organization offers free participant-led outdoor workouts open to all men, with a purpose.
F3 stands for fitness, fellowship and faith - all values on display in their sessions. With bear crawls, step-ups, push-ups and planks, the fitness part is easy to see.
When it comes to fellowship, everyone gets a nickname, like Bob Happ, also known as "Bob Ross."
"I got invited by my pastor at my church," said Happ, who is the oldest participant at age 65. "He’s my confessor and he’s also my trainer."
And as it's open to men of all fitness and skill levels, F3 participants make it a point to tough it out together.
"We always go back and get the guy who might be in the back of the pack," Happ said, adding, "Three, four, five, six guys might bring him forward. We never leave anyone behind."
For some, like Kevin McMillan, known as "Denari," it's the faith of the group that's most important.
"What really keeps me coming back is the faith component, not that we have a single denomination, we’re not a religious group per se, but the third F is more about knowing that there’s more that’s out in this world than just you yourself," McMillan said.
After every workout, the men huddle together to form a circle of trust.
"This is a true blessing to have other men out here pushing each other, pushing ourselves, holding ourselves accountable and making us better each and every day," one participant said.
F3's goal is the invigoration of male leadership to make members better men, husbands and fathers. Any workout can get you in shape, they say - but participants like Happ said F3 is so much more.
"It’s important to my heart, it’s important to my soul," Happ said.
Information on F3 workouts across the Chicago area can be found at the organization's website here.