Go Home, Fran. Nobody Likes You.

via The Ascent Blog

On Saturday I did something that I never thought I would do: I Rx’d Fran.

For those of you who are not fluent in CrossFit speak: Fran is a benchmark WOD, which means that anyone who does CrossFit anywhere in the world will know what you mean when you start talking about it. And Fran isn’t just any benchmark WOD, it is THE benchmark WOD. Something about it just makes Fran SO miserable that most people regard it as the most brutal WOD in CrossFit. The structure is 21-15-9 of Thrusters and pull-ups (3 rounds with 21 reps of each movement in the first round, 15 in the second, etc) and the prescribed weight is 65 pounds for women and 95 pounds for men.

I had only ever done one WOD with 65-pound Thrusters before, my ground-to-overhead max is only 95 pounds, and I can still only link 2-3 kipping pull-ups at a time, but for some reason I still decided to go for it. And it sucked. I was able to link my first 11 thrusters but it was mostly downhill from there, all the way until my last 9 pull-ups where I could only link one at a time. I finished in 12:36, and it was by far the longest twelve and a half minutes of my life. (For comparison, elite athletes finish in 2-3 minutes, we had a few people at our gym finish in 4-5 minutes, and most people finish in the 7-10 minute range. The BF PR’d his last Fran time by almost exactly a minute, coming in at 6:36 and then lost his breakfast a few minutes later, the first time in his life he’s ever legitimately puked after a workout of any kind. I mean, if you have to puke after something, Fran is a pretty worthy activity for it…)

Even though my Fran performance wasn’t pretty, and even though 2 days later I am still using the towel rack to lower myself onto the toilet and cringing any time someone touches me, Rx’ing Fran feels like a pretty big achievement. I have definitely come a long way from the first time I did “Invisible Fran” last April, doing Thrusters with an empty 35-pound bar and doing push-ups instead of pull-ups. It was even a big improvement from the last time we did Fran in August, when I used 55-pounds and 2 bands for my pull-ups. I am hoping next time to come in under 10 minutes, but luckily, TJ has promised not to program Fran again for a long time.

  • Sarah

    That is awesome, way to go!

    • clairechapman

      Thank you!!

  • Mikayla

    Yay! Yay! Good job! :)))))

    • clairechapman

      Thanks!! I am still SO sore but hopefully some day I will be able to do Fran without it totally destroying me! :)

  • http://twitter.com/BeastMode_chic Karli Christine

    Ahh Yay!! I love that you posted this! I have been wanting to do Fran since I got my kipping pull-ups (I can do 5 before letting go of the bar) Also, I hate thrusters. Congrats on doing it! Soon enough you’ll be finishing in half that time!

    • clairechapman

      Thanks! I am still working on linking my kipping pull-ups as well, I can get 7 if I’m not in a WOD but typically only 2 or 3 if my grip is already tired. And what’s not to hate about thrusters, let’s be honest… They are almost as bad as wall balls.

  • http://twitter.com/winetoweights Jennifer

    Soooo amazing, Claire!!! :) Can’t wait to be as cool as you with a big “RX” next to my time! :)

    • clairechapman

      Haha thanks! You’ll be there soon :)

  • http://twitter.com/SnowfoxBandit Simone

    Woohoo! Good for you! I’m still doing jumping pull-ups and I think 55lb thrusters still make me cry internally (or externally, depending on the day). Nice work!

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