Friday, October 1, 2010

For a Good Time, Call Fran: 21-15-9

We did Fran yesterday. 

Fran is a benchmark CrossFit WOD. 

21 Thrusters
21 Pullups
15 Thrusters
15 Pullups
9 Thrusters
9 Pullups

Usually written as:

It's probably the most widely known WOD and is part of the vernacular.  You know you're part of the cult when some one asks "What's your Fran time" and you know the answer.

Oh, wait, you have no clue what I'm talking about?  Well here is a classic Fran video for your pleasure.  (I may call shenanigans on some of the form, but, hey, it's a classic.)

The thing about Fran is that the whole thing is intense and both movements take full body participation.  Thrusters are a front squat to a press.  I can't think of any muscle group you  don't use in a thruster.  In CrossFit, we generally do kipping or butterfly pullups - both of these involve using your entire body to generate upward momentum and to maintain intensity during the workout.

It was relatively brutal as usual.  Although I helped myself out a little this time.  I actually warmed up a little which limited my Fran cough to about an hour and kept me moving pretty smoothly through the first part of the WOD.  "Fran cough" is a term we gave to the burning throat and lung feeling and the accompanying cough that comes after Fran (or any short, high intensity workout).  Some blame this on a short, mild case of pulmonary edema, but I'm not a doctor and barely even know what that means.

Anyway, I did my 21 thrusters without breaking and didn't break my pullups until 11 (and I continued to do more than half in the first set every round).  I attribute this partly to much slower, more deliberate, more careful pullups since recovering from tendinitis in both shoulders.  My time was about 30 seconds off my max.  Next time I need to break through my mental barrier, take shorter breathers, push through the 15 thrusters in one set and do it on solid ground (rather than the mats we have in the gym now).  Hopefully I can go into it with less of a case of Fran tummy (another "Fran" term, this one I don't want to discuss but involves the nervousness finding out you have to do Fran invokes).  I have a plan of action!  Let's see if I can make it happen!


Jessica said...

I recently did Fran for the first time. Still modifying my WODs due to the broken vertebra, but I got a taste of what this one is all about. I really thought the thrusters would be the hardest part but no, it was the pull-ups. BRUTAL. I kind of can't wait to do it again though!

Jaimee said...

The pullups are what got me too. For the most part I could power through the thrusters, especially a normal Fran at 65#. The pullups are a different story for me. And a huge part of it is mental and as simple as "I don't want my hands to rip." But there is also the fact that both moves in Fran, especially when combined, destroy your forearms. I def have a love/hate relationship with Fran.

Don't worry, you will eventually get past the broken vertebrate. I have one too (which has resulted in like four different things with my lower vertebrate, but maybe that will be a different post). I've just decided I need to take it easy on deadlifts and heavy squats. Good luck and keep me updated on your your CrossFitting is coming, there is nothing I love to blab about more.


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