Northeast Tennessee

Merkins….”all of them” and then some

Northeast Tennessee Johnson City Iron Horse (Founders Park)

6 PAX found themselves unusually lonely for Iron Horse on a calm 48 degree morning. A group of NE TN studs were in Chatty preparing for the GrowRuck event so numbers were down. QIC had reached out to the Ruck group to inquire what type of pain should be inflicted in their honor during bootcamp. Responses were strong and (while not even close to GrowRuck) significant work was done.
SSH – 15 IC

TTT – 10 IC

Merkin – 10 IC

LBAC – 15 IC

LBAC Reverse – 15 IC


Everyone was warm so time to mosey to the Tombstone Hill.

The Baby-Rite Aid Smoker

These PAX had recommended two fan favorites from the Exicon so it was only fitting to combine them and add the hill. Starting at the bottom would be Lt Dan’s (1:4 ratio squat and single leg lunge) then run to the top of the hill for the Iron Hulk (1:4 ratio merkins and air presses). 10 rounds were completed with much appreciation (and sweat) for the wonderful suggestion from our brothers.

Donatello All Day

Virtually any of the NE TN PAX would be able to venture a strong guess what move our great Nantan would have requested. His reply….”merkins…all of them.” Without our brother Pythagoras to provide QIC the exact value of “all of them”, the recommendation was open for interpretation. The only reasonable thing seemed to be to review the Exicon and offer a sample of “all” the merkin tagged moves listed. The following moves were served:

  • Travolta Merkins – 5 each side IC – Merkin with a side-plank arm raise, then tuck the arm under the body, then raise the arm (think stayin’ alive), and then back to plank.
  • 4×4 Merkins – 5 OYO – 4 merkins followed by 4 Mountain Climbers with a Burpee chaser. (this is a new personal favorite)
  • Punch-Up Merkins – 5 each side IC – Perform a merkin and then in a static one arm plank punch forward and then to the side rotating for a total of ten. Perform another merkin and repeat on the left.
  • Merkin Wipers – 5 total IC – This move is no joke. Start in a plank then proceed to the bottom floor of the merkin. “Wipe” your nose across the ground to the right hand, then back across to the left hand, then back to center, and then back to the top floor. (undoubtedly another new favorite)
  • Plyo Tap Merkins – 5 each side OYO – Partner up head to head in plank position. First PAX does a plyo merkin (explode up off the ground at the top of the move) and then tap the shoulder of their partner with their right hand. Switch to partner 2 for the same and then back to partner 1 for the left hand.
  • Hand Release Prison Cell Merkin Burpees – 5 OYO – No lie, the name alone is enough to make you cringe. Starting in a plank position, 1 merkin, pull the right knee to the left elbow, another merkin, pull the left knee to the right elbow, another merkin straight into the top of the burpee. Back to the deck for another round. This one is a smoker.
  • Gump Jump Merkins – 5 OYO – Not found in the Exicon but a QIC favorite so we can’t leave it out. Starting in plank with feet together and stationary, plyo merkin to the right and then back to the left and back for a total of 5.
  • Diamond Merkins – 5 OYO – Diamond’s were not a PAX best friend at this point.
  • Elevator Merkins – 60 sec – as predictable as Nantan’s request.

 Brownie a la Launchpad

The final requests seemed so routine but at this point in the workout, no one was excited. The flag was placed about 20 yards from the starting point. 5 burpees, bear crawl to the flag, 5 burpees, and bear crawl back. Next round was 10 shoulder pretzels, bear crawl to the flag, 10 shoulder pretzels, and bear crawl back. This rotation was supposed to continue for another 5-7 min until…….the familiar and gut-wrenching sound of the Burpee Train.

Iron Horse Finisher

Not to be undone, the AO itself was in on the plan and offered up one of the longest Burpee Trains the QIC can remember. Rough estimate was 4.5 minutes. This train had a locomotive and nothing but empty container haulers for what seemed like an eternity.

Short and sweet after the Burpee Train but we were able to get in 60 sec worth of frog kicks.


Much prayer and respect to the GrowRuck team. Not only are they coming back with the accomplishment of overcoming a challenging event, but they represented NE TN like only the PAX can. HIM all day!!

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