Good morning, Fringe Fam. This is Peter Keller from Fringe Sport, and today I am here with Chuck Farr from BBBB Four. Now, we're actually sitting across a table from each other because Chuck is also based out of Austin, Texas, and he rolled by to chat with me today. Chuck, how you doing this morning?
Chuck Farr: I'm well this morning, sir. How are you?
I am doing fantastic. Now, Chuck was just telling me, and it's summer here in Austin, he was just telling me that he got back from the mountains in Colorado. So, were you getting to use your fitness out there?
Chuck Farr: Yes. I used the Fringe Sport sandbag that I picked up and my Fringe Sport rings. My sister who's been my fitness road dog from day one and I managed to do all of our WODs with the sandbag and the rings hung up in a tree and overlooking the mountains and the pine trees and whatnot. So, yeah, we managed to make it work.
Awesome. Sounds fantastic. Well, welcome back to Austin, Chuck. Part of the reason that I'm talking with you is that you're a long-time Fringe customer and you and I were chatting in the gym the other day, and we share affinities for short shorts, the Silkies, Ranger Panties, and we also both really love sandbag training. So, I know you've got a lot of other interesting stuff going on as well, so we'll get into those two things in a moment. So, why don't you tell us a little bit about your business? Tell us about B-Four and those Bs.
Chuck Farr: So, B-Four stands for Building Blocks for Brilliance and Basics. The whole premise of the business is based around just how the basics and, in my opinion, specific to physical health and well being have just been overlooked or quickly moved beyond, within the industry, and just how we can become proficient and good at things, but if we don't build it on a solid foundation of basics and continue to practice those basics, nothing ever works long-term, and I think cyclically, that's how we see people repeating what they consider to be failures or having a lack of success in endeavors that they want to move within. So, that is the basic premise of the company.
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For myself, I'm looking at it in all aspects of health and well being, the four different aspects. What I want to build are programs and then workshops for people to take advantage of, gain the material, and then have a social network where everybody can help in supporting one another, and then just work at the basics. My idea is to get, as soon as I start working with someone, to get myself laid off from working with him as quickly as possible, and for them to feel that sense of self and that empowerment of getting a grasp on the basics and really working at that and mastering it themselves.
From there, again, specific to physical culture, then they have a firm foundation to move towards whatever might interest them, and now they've mastered the basics of squatting, push-ups, core work, movement, picking things up, putting them down, and just the very simple idea of what we should be practicing, regardless of how into this lifestyle we are or not every day. Then when they walk into, say, a CrossFit affiliate or a powerlifting gym, they want to do a Zumba class, whatever it might be, they are on a firm foundation of movement. So, if they decide that they enjoy something, they'll be successful. If they decide they don't enjoy something. It's not because they were ill-equipped to begin in the first place.
I love it. Now, you had mentioned the four aspects of fitness. So, what are your four aspects of fitness? Because CrossFit has the 10 aspects, then a few other places I've seen this or that.
Chuck Farr: So, for me, well, the four aspects of health and wellness go beyond fitness, but specific to fitness, what I feel like is most important is body awareness, metabolic capacity, strength, and then, of course, your diet. So, with the program that I've developed, content-wise, it's specific to just understanding what those basic movements are and working an idea of progressive overload over 52 weeks at really understanding squatting every day, push-ups every day, and sit-ups every day. It is not a sexy program, and it just compounds on itself week by week, but it's really important that we maintain that body awareness, and for people who have been in this world and very comfortable with it, I promise you that's something that we've all probably ignored and will benefit from. Since I've implemented it in my own life, I certainly have.
For people who feel intimidated and just want to change their life and feel better, understanding that starting somewhere and doing something is always better than waiting and doing nothing. So, for me, the real importance is to not reinvent the wheel, and just to show people a responsible way of, hey, these are the scales and progressions. This is where you start. The moment you can do the next harder progression, you're already winning. In the course of 52 weeks, if you're willing to do the work, it will change your life.
I love it. That's amazing. So, have you heard of a program for running called Couch to 5K?
Chuck Farr: I have.
Is your program, at least in some skin of it, could it be like couch to strength or something like that? I mean, you had mentioned that starting somewhere and doing something is better than doing nothing.
Chuck Farr: Absolutely. So, I think that the premise, the two of them are akin to one another. For me, whether someone would choose to do the workshop or just purchased the material, there are 52 weeks involved, and at the beginning of the program or at the end of the workshop, there is a baseline workout. This is your check-in. Say you're doing the workshop. We'll go through, we'll identify the best scales of the three movements, and there will be a walk/run. So, you're going to go through this workout. It's timed and it scored, and you begin with that baseline. Now over the course of the next 52 weeks, you're working at a responsible, sane approach to diet, and you're working at this progressive overload template of movement and wellness.
At the end of it, you're going to take that same test again, that same baseline test to see where you've improved. The thing about it, and it's the same as Couch to 5K, if you were sitting on the couch, and the idea of running, if you needed to, from the couch to get out the front door if your house was on fire puts you in a bad place, if you wake up when it's 5K day and you complete that 5K, does the time matter? Absolutely not. So, it's the same idea within this. If you start in squatting down, to what we would consider within this world as a legitimate air squat, if that's not possible, and at the end of 52 weeks you can perform one of those flawlessly, man, we've won.
If the idea of moving for a mile over a course of time is just not something that's going to happen and you can complete a mile, doesn't matter how long. So, I think that they're very similar in idea, and again, what I want to do, and I'm not too familiar with their format, but what I want to do is I want to create within 52 weeks a lifetime of change. I want somebody, once they get the material, albeit again, purchase the material, do the workshop, you will at least always have the simplest foundational program design to master the basics. If you will do the work, it will change your life for the rest of your life.
If for some reason you decide that you obtain the material and you do nothing with it, well you at least understand it better than you did before, and now you have it in your disposal. But my real dream is to, for as many people that are willing to do the work, to provide them something that will gain them that empowerment and just knowing that they can continue and do things on their own and that it's not the boogeyman. It's not some sort of special supplement or workout regimen or diet. There's just a basic way of approaching it, and if you're willing to do the work, again, that's the element that none of us can control, but if people are willing to do the work, they'll win.
I love it. I love that so much. Let's broaden a little bit to talk about our mutual love of sandbags. So, sell me on... You don't have to sell me because I love sandbag work, but you sell me or sell somebody on sandbags who doesn't... Let's say it's a barbell person who's like, "F sandbags. Why do I need sandbags?"
Chuck Farr: So, sandbags, Peter, I spent an entire year not touching a barbell, not working out in the traditional gym, and I rolled around with kettlebells. I rolled around with sandbags. I designed a sled slash sandbag hybrid that I could use, obsessed with the idea of how could I be mobile and get a responsible working with the simplest implement there is. I love kettlebells. They're great. The problem with kettlebells is that they're kettlebells, and the weight you got is the weight you got. Now, they have some different ideas in adding water and some different platforms where you can alter the weight. They're not bad, but they're not too terribly functional quite yet. A sandbag, if you're a barbell person, there is not a single barbell movement on the face of the planet that you cannot perform with a sandbag.
Now, what's beautiful about a sandbag, if you're really into fitness gains, becoming a master of, say, the barbell arts, which are beautiful, Olympic lifting is gorgeous, sandbag has to be in your wheelhouse, because moving that sand is not the beauty of a plane moving a barbell and keeping it over your center line and the extensions. Sandbag is nasty. It's unpredictable. It moves you around. Your core stabilization, your focus on the key elements of movement have to be in place and on point, and a sandbag, quite frankly, will humble anybody. So, the functionality within that goes beyond anything you could possibly imagine as an accessory tool for a barbell person. Now, as a piece of equipment, for me, if I'm looking at my life, and that's like, Chuck, you can have one thing, the sandbag is always going to be that thing.
There is nothing on this planet that I cannot completely attack and get everything I could possibly want or require out of it with the sandbag, and that goes from old school Doggcrapp Training to what people like to consider a Globo Gym to the Fringe Functional Movement within the different elements of how people are liking to get outside and move with the different stabilization exercises that we see that are so popular. I mean, that sandbag transcends and moves flawlessly within all of those. You can do curls. You can do presses. You can do swings with the sandbag. You can do snatches. I mean, there's no point where you look at that piece of equipment and you're like, man, I'm doing great, but if I just had this... There's this one element of my full body assessment that the sandbag just doesn't provide, and it is the only piece of equipment that I have come around to where it's the full package.
I love it. So, real quick, favorite sandbag workout.
Chuck Farr: So, my favorite sandbag workout will always be Grace with a sandbag, just because 30 reps from the ground overhead for time is just... I mean the bang for the buck with that, I don't know anything else that puts me in the worst place and is more satisfying when I'm done. Then the idea of doing something wherewith sandbags, I love doing floor presses and squats, and then I incorporate usually a box jump or some sort of... maybe jumping squats or something within that, and usually that's like a 50/50 split. So, those are really... The sandbag, as far as where it attacks your metabolic capacity, is where I think you'd get humbled, and then of course, as in any implement, if you work with it long enough, the factors that throw most people for a loop subside a bit, the unpredictability of load and being accustomed to bringing it further away from your centerline to bring it up and things of that nature. But pound for pound, my go-to workout if it's like me and the sandbag want to have a good time, it will always be Grace.
I love it. So, what do you weigh yourself? What heaviness of sandbag do you use?
Chuck Farr: So, it's interesting. I was having this conversation in my head movie while we were in Colorado. I have that hundred-pound sandbag, the large one, and I'm still a guy. I still like to crash the car when it comes to workouts, and I have that ego, and so I find myself overloading that bag and always like, the sandbag, it's me. I'm going for a hundo. Now, what I found out, why I... The elevation is humbling as well, but what I really started to focus on while I was with my sis up in the mountains, there's just honesty in movement.
Going back to the idea of those basics, it's like, you know what? I don't ever need to put more than 40 pounds in a sandbag, and if it's too light within the movement, say I'm doing presses, well, then I just switch that to one arm and try to stabilize and work from there. So, I think I kind of talked myself into being a believer of a smaller sandbag and more of a load of 40 to 50 pounds, and that's kind of where my interest lies in really starting to play with my own evolution within sandbags. Next is rather than always looking, it's fun to clean and press a hundred-pound sandbag. I don't know that it's always necessary.
I love it. Well, let's broaden a little bit, and we have to wrap up in just a moment, but I want to talk about shorty shorts. So, what do you call them? You call them Silkies? You call them Ranger Panties? What's your preferred nomenclature?
Chuck Farr: I like to call them panties because, because just at face value that just kind of gives people pause. But yeah, they've been the uniform, so to speak, for the better part of eight years now. So, yeah, they're the go-to's. I would imagine more people know me by remembering that I wear these short shorts everywhere than people actually know my name.
So, are you a military guy? Do you have a military background?
Chuck Farr: I was in the Navy, but I enlisted out of high school. I'm 42 years old. That point in my life is something that I'm far enough removed from that I wouldn't pretend that wearing these panties is romanticizing that life, remembering PT or any of the other things I did while I was there. But yeah, I was in the Navy.
Okay. I was just curious because a lot of people who are into them have a military background.
Chuck Farr: It's funny, man. I would kind of like to change that for people. You know what I mean? Because I feel like that that's the sort of thing where a lot of guys are like, "Well, I didn't serve," and it's like, "Come on, man. It's just short shorts." I don't feel like the girls should have all fun and the idea of getting away with wearing the least amount of clothing as possible. So, that's something... I would like to see that change and I'm willing to participate.
I love it. I will mention one thing. I am an enthusiast for the short shorts and the Ranger Panties, short shorts in general and Ranger Panties specifically. However, once recently I was telling one of my employees about the guy who used to run American Apparel, a guy named Dov Charney, and he did a lot of, maybe did some good stuff in terms of American manufacturing, stuff like that. He definitely did some very questionable stuff in terms of sexual harassment, that sort of thing, and one of the things he was famous for was he would walk around the office in his underwear, and I was mentioning this to one of my employees, and I'll just mention this was a female employee that I was mentioning it to, and she said, "Well, you kind of walk around the office in your underwear," and I immediately took umbrage. I said, "No, I don't walk around the office in underwear," and she's like, "Well, what do you call Ranger Panties? You call them panties," and I was like, "Hmm." So, it really gave me a little pause.
Chuck Farr: Right. Well, you consider what most men who wear underwear, they're what, a two-and-a-quarter inseam? When push comes to shove and you're looking, it's like, yeah, you're in underwear or less, for sure, and it is interesting to see how people react, but man, I've got an eight-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son, and it's normal to them, but when I go to pick them up at the bus stop, you'll see all the kids are like, "Oh," and they're getting to that age where they're like, "Oh, man." You can tell they're a bit embarrassed, but I'm also the dad that wears the Speedo briefs with the jungle theme to the pool.
I mean, it's just one of those wherein any level of aesthetics in what I look like, I've never considered that as like, oh, I'm not going to wear those right now. I mean, I've been fluffy, and I've been different, and it's just one of those where it's like, you know what? I'm good at this. So, for sure, I have an affinity for the panties, the Silkies, however, we want to go about it, and really, as far as working out goes, I see all this gear and what other people wear, and just from a functionality standpoint, you look at a woman wearing the same thing, except its spandex, and then you look at the guys wearing these baggier shorts and all this different stuff, and it's like, no, man. If you want to maximize your movement, you need to shorten up inseam at least a little bit.
I love it. Well, Chuck, unfortunately, we're about out of time. I definitely want to chat with you some more, but where should people find you if they want more information about your training?
Chuck Farr: So, social media-wise, I have a Facebook page. I'm just jumping back into that. I can be found on Instagram @bbbbfour1, and then bbbbfour.com, any of those places. I'm excited because I've developed all the material and all the content, and this is the next week where everything goes live, and I started doing the workshops and really communicating with people. So, I can be found at any of those places. Shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and then yeah, that's pretty easy to come across.
Awesome. Well, Chuck, this has been a pleasure for me. Like I said, definitely want to have you back in, talk more shorty short stories and whatnot. I want to hear about the Speedos, too, because I am a Speedo enthusiast as well much to the chagrin of my wife and possibly neighbors.
Chuck Farr: Yeah, absolutely.
Well, this has been Peter Keller from Fringe Sport and Chuck Farr from B-Four. Go out there and lift a heavy sandbag today.