Crossfit

Crossfit workout: the Wod “Fran”

fran-crossfit-workout

Created by the father of CrossFit himself, Greg Glassman, Fran crossfit workout is arguably one of the most famous CrossFit Wods.

In the 1970s, good old coach Greg was looking for a way to better prepare for the gym rings. After trying many different weights and Olympic lift combinations, he came across what is now known as Fran.

Fran crossfit workout consists of only 2 movements: thrusters (sequences of front squats and overhead presses) and pull-ups.

A composition as simple as it is formidable because, you see, the two movements are as complementary as pears and black chocolate.

On one side, we will push with the thrusters, and on the other, pull with the pull-ups, all of which solicit most of the main muscle groups.

It’s beautiful; it’s moving, so you might cry the first time (not for the same reasons).

You’re mission, if you accept it, finish this Wod in the least possible time. Most cross fitters have it for 5-10 minutes, while some aliens like Mitch Wagner so below smack it in less than two minutes in the greatest of calms.

The guidelines given by the order of CrossFit impose a loaded bar of 40kg for men and 30kg for women to carry out the thrusters, but nothing prevents you from taking less to start. If you are beginning, follow these weight prescriptions and adapt the training as you can.

How to make this wod?

Set your timer, load your bar on the ground, and wait for kickoff.

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And your first challenge begins: How do you lift that bar on the ground to bring it into a front squat position? There are two ways to do it: the “squat clean” or the “power clean.”

You don’t have to do all 21 thruster reps in one block; god bless you! You can share them as much as needed, but you can’t switch to pull-ups until the required number of thrusters is reached.

Here is the sequence of the Fran crossfit workout:

  • 21 thrusters
  • 21 pull-ups
  • 15 thrusters
  • 15 pull-ups
  • 9 thrusters
  • 9 pull-ups

As for the pull-ups, the program does not impose a particular type, so the workout does not specify the type of pull-ups, so you are free to do any pull-ups you want. You prefer jumping pull-ups, butterfly pull-ups, kipping pull-ups, or even strict pull-ups (generally not indicated because they tend to burn you out quickly).

The main mistakes with fran

Fran should be approached by first acquiring perfect movement form. Even when the basic movements are mastered, we usually observe a form of movement that begins to sag when attacking the fortnight. If you notice that your movements are no longer good, put the bar down, take the necessary time (too bad for the clock), and get back to the coal.

I should be fine with repeating this, but poor movement form causes most injuries in CrossFit as it is in bodybuilding, and it’s also what can lead to bad habits that will be difficult to correct.

Generally, we see these deviations in a form on the thrusters, with front squats that tend to go forward. We always want to ensure that the weight remains evenly distributed over the whole foot with a very straight bust and well-placed elbows (the latter form a right angle and a parallel with the ground). To protect the lower back, your abdominal strap is active, especially during the press phase.

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Remember to breathe, though, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. It may seem obvious, but once the body reaches exhaustion, you tend to gasp instead of controlling your breathing.

The key to fran crossfit workout will be maintaining a steady pace. At first, it may seem easy, but after the first 42 reps, your body will tire (not Mitch’s, apparently).

Don’t let the bar drop, but try to draw on your resources; Fran is one of those Wods who forces you to surpass yourself.

Possible alternatives

There are several ways to modify Fran if he is not accessible to you.

To start, you can lighten the load of the thrusters perfectly, for example, by starting with an empty Olympic bar to build a solid movement and a pure form.

The pull-ups can, as usual, be modified by using elastic bands to relieve some weight or by opting for Australian pull-ups (horizontal pull-ups) if you still need to gain the necessary strength.

Finally, for those who find the training a little too easy, you can think outside the box by wearing an additional weighted vest and/or by adopting a heavier load of 60kg, for example. You can also adopt strict pull-ups (even if it means wasting a little time on execution) or even muscle-ups!

Finally, there is a derivative of Fran called “Frannie” and adds 50 double unders (double jump ropes) and 50 sit-ups between each series, which gives:

  • 50 double unders
  • 50 sit-ups
  • 21 thrusters
  • 21 pull-ups
  • 50 double unders
  • 50 sit-ups
  • 15 thrusters
  • 15 pull-ups
  • 50 double unders
  • 50 sit-ups
  • 9 thrusters
  • 9 pull-ups
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Enough to push you to your last entrenchments!

Finally, if you are new to CrossFit, ensure you are well supervised and forget the timer on your Wods. Always focus on the form of movements, and do not try to take shortcuts.

Do not be ashamed to modify the movements or the loads, and work correctly on each exercise that makes up the wods.