Pictured are (standing) Brad “Whiteboot" Tisdale, Jason “Big Star" Wegner, Chuck “Bean" Goldberg, John "Shocker" Wegner, Charles "Skip" Barbour, Stan “Bar Fly" Heffington, Ben “Utah” Marshall (crouching) Jay "Deuce" Mooney, Danny "Hermie” Story (kneeling) Alex "Eggbowl" Engle, Chase "Gamer" Cooper, Trey "Shinebox" Belcher, Harrison "Trunk" Matheny
Pictured are (standing) Brad “Whiteboot" Tisdale, Jason “Big Star" Wegner, Chuck “Bean" Goldberg, John "Shocker" Wegner, Charles "Skip" Barbour, Stan “Bar Fly" Heffington, Ben “Utah” Marshall (crouching) Jay "Deuce" Mooney, Danny "Hermie” Story (kneeling) Alex "Eggbowl" Engle, Chase "Gamer" Cooper, Trey "Shinebox" Belcher, Harrison "Trunk" Matheny
For three days each week, a group of metro-area men gather for fitness, faith and fellowship with regular boot camp-style workouts.

F3 Jackson is part of a nationwide movement that brings people together from a variety of backgrounds for regular workouts and Christian devotion

Trey Belcher is the unofficial leader of the group. Though they do not rely on any formal hierarchy, Belcher inherited his role from the men who started the group, Ben Chapel and Gabe Fluhrer, who have since moved away.

“We are kind of a grassroots movement. We have a group chat of about 30 or 40 guys and from that we may have about 10 that show up to any individual workout,” Belcher said. “It’s low pressure and gives people the opportunity to come whenever they are able.”

F3 stands for fitness, faith and fellowship. It is a national movement to bring men together to foster leadership and fitness. Members meet at a regularly scheduled time at a predetermined place to participate in “military style” workout, meaning they are conducted in large groups with minimal or no equipment. Most workouts include running laps, push-ups, sit-ups and any other number of calisthenics.

Ask any participant how they got involved and it almost always starts with a friend.

Madison County resident John Wilson is no different. He was first invited about four months ago by some guys in his Sunday school class at First Baptist Jackson.

“You aren’t paying any money or anything and you get to go as you can,” Wilson said. “I have found it to be a great group of motivated guys chasing a common goal and that makes you want to return.”

Fitness and faith are central and every workout is concluded with a short devotional, but the fellowship aspect really drives the membership of the group.

“Anyone is welcome and it kind of works in a word-of-mouth way,” Belcher said. “We call it peer pressure.”

Again, the group has no formal hierarchy, but people fall into natural roles.

Harrison Matheny is often the youngest member in the group. In his 20s, he has been dubbed “the minister of propaganda.” He says the group has exposed him to friendships he may not otherwise have cultivated.

“It has given me opportunities to lead a group of 13 men on a Saturday morning,” Matheny said. “Through F3 I have gotten in shape and have loved getting to know guys that I might not have otherwise gotten to know.”

Moving forward, Belcher has growth on his mind, though instead of trying to get more people to come to his group, he would like to see other groups spring up in the metro area.

Belcher also hopes to see the fall expand their fellowship function.

“It can be hard to find that male friendship when you are 40 and have kids,” Blecher said. “We have a morning Bible study that meets for coffee and some loose groups of guys that will get dinner or drinks after work, but we would like to see that expand to grilling for some football games and other events. You can tell that fellowship is a big part of our appeal.”

For more information, Belcher said the best way to get involved is to show up at a workout. Monday workouts are at 5:30 a.m. in the parking lot of The First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Tuesday is at the same time in the Biaggi’s parking lot in Ridgeland and Saturday workouts start a little later at 7 a.m. at Biaggi’s or Freedom Ridge Park.

Updates and workouts are posted on their Facebook page, F3 Jackson.