The Fran workout is notorious within the CrossFit community. It is simple, quick, and most importantly, effective. This workout is a "for time" workout, which means once you start, you continue going until you finish all 90 reps. The Fran workout is meant to be straightforward and done in large or unbroken sets, intended for you to fully feel the burn.
You now have an idea of what Fran is, but why is it called that? Who is Fran? You may be thinking it's named after the creator, and although this is the case in most CrossFit exercises, this one is unique.
The creator of this workout, Coach Greg Glassman, was looking for a new way to supplement his gymnastics training with weights. He wasn’t interested in the basic lateral dumbbell curls or biceps curls, he wanted a workout that tested not only strength but also stamina.
By combining thrusters with pull-ups and completing the 21-15-9 sets as quickly as possible, he created exactly what he was looking for. Rather than repeatedly explaining the workout and its movements, he gave this workout the name “Fran.”
The weight recommended for CrossFit athletes is 65 pounds for women and 95 pounds for men. But if 65 pounds is too heavy and you've never done a barbell thruster before, try picking a weight you could use to do 21 reps unbroken.
You may be looking at the Fran workout and think "45 thrusters and 45 pull-ups, piece of cake!" but take it from us, this workout is exhausting. Not only are you continuously moving until the workout is completed, but it is a complete test of full-body strength, cardiovascular capacity, and mental fortitude.
One of the great things about the Fran workout is that it's fully customizable to your capabilities. Beginners can break down the sets of 21 into 3 sets of 7 reps, break the sets of 15 into 2 sets of 8 and 7, and power through the sets of 9. Resting minimally in-between each set while you work your way up to a "for time" workout is also a great way to reduce the intensity.
Keeping track of your time for the Fran workout is how you can keep track of your progress and compare to other CrossFitters who may be in the same position as you. Below are the standard times it takes to complete the exercises.
Whichever version of Fran you choose to do, take down your score and attempt to beat your own record. Repeating the workout is the best way to track your progress and get the results you are looking for.
At the time of writing this article, this was the fastest Fran time we could find. Do you think you have what it takes to beat his time?
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