Fran is one of the most famous workouts. It will be very difficult to find a crossfitter, who is not familiar with this benchmark.
This is a classical weightlifting complex, which can demonstrate the power and strength abilities. It is simple, quick, and most importantly, effective.
Spoiler: if you do this complex with proper weight and keep intensity, you won’t adamant about doing something else in the gym this day. Fran was not for nothing included in Reebok Crossfit Games 2012 on the final day. The fittest people of our planet competed with each other performing this task.
Of course, if you twiddle your thumbs during your training, Fran can seem easy. It’s a trap. It requires all-out efforts as you race the clock. Try to do it with an original weight on the barbell and see if you can finish it as fast as possible. By the way, time cap is 9 minutes. It will be an incredible feeling, and you will sincerely fall in love with this WOD (probably not;)).
For newcomers let’s figure out what is Fran.
What Is Fran WOD?
This is a couplet of thrusters and pull-ups. For those, who doesn’t know, thruster is an exercise that consists of front squat and push press. And there are thee rounds of this unpleasant combination: 21-15-9. You should perform 21 thrusters followed by 21 pull-ups, 15 thrusters and 15 pull-ups, and the same story with number 9.
Weight on thrusters for men 95lb (43kg) and for women 65lb (30kg). But in order to optimize your performance, we recommend to select a weight that will allow you to go unbroken.
This workout is for time, that means once you start, you continue going until you finish all 90 reps.
Fran WOD Levels
There are standards of time it takes to complete the task:
– beginners: 7-9 minutes ( Coaches often limit time for complex to maintain intensity. If you are not able to finish it on that time, you have to scale this workout).
– intermediate: 6-7 minutes.
– advanced: 4-6 minutes.
– elite: <3 minutes.
For example, the fastest time ever posted is one minute 53 seconds. The record is owned by a female, Marisa Flowers. It can be verified via video. If you can’t believe in this, you can see with your own eyes
But if you just a beginner who wants to meet with “Fran” for the first time, there are some advises. The most important, is to be honest with yourself. 45 thrusters and 45 pull-ups – this amount is real challenge even for skilled athletes. So, you should choose: if you do crossfit for your health or for feeding your EGO. If you are a person who chooses the first one, you should consider the load attentively.
Hints and Tips
What can you do to make this workout easier?
Make your barbell lighter.
You should know your measures. If the hardest thruster you’ve ever done is 110lb (50kg) and you are going to work with original weight (95lb) for 45 reps, this decision is not reasonable. You won’t be able to perform it at “good” time, and at the very worst, you can hurt yourself.
Reduce the amount or make breaks.
Fran is absolutely customizable to your capabilities. Amateurs can not perform complex unbroken like elite athletes, but they can break down sets. For example, 21 can be divided into 3 parts. And beginners should reduce the total number of exercises. For example, instead of “21-15-9” they can do “15-12-9”, or even “9-6-3”. The amount depends on the fitness level.
Make complicated gymnastics easier.
Some people can’t make even one pull-up at the start. But this is not the reason not to do Fran. You can do banded pull-ups, or use rings or TRX.
For advanced athletes we also have a tip. In kipping pull-ups you can injure you skin on palms. So you can use hand-grips. These things will ensure a tight grip on the bar without damaging your hands. You’ll find that you are able to perform more repetitions when you use them.
Change barbell on dumbbells.
If you have some mobility limits, work with light-weighted dumbbells will be more safely.
Remember, that time cap is 9 minutes. It’s good to have this as a goal, but not as at the expense of your safety. If you need more time, that’s ok. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Be smart when you train. If you can’t perform something with ideal technique, or you do it to long, make it easier. Fran is not an exception.