Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My morning with FRAN

So I woke up Tuesday without a plan for my morning workout.  I completed my strict following of the Prison Workout #2.  And I haven't had time to assemble a schedule yet.  I had just seen that CF of Naperville had FRAN as their Workout of the Day.  For you beginners, FRAN is one of the most popular, if not the most popular CrossFit benchmark workout. It is one of those fundamental pairings of gymnastics with the ability to move weight....

  • 21 thrusters (click) with 95# barbell (65# for women)
  • 21 pullups
  • 15 thrusters
  • 15 pullups
  • 9 thrusters
  • 9 pullups

But at 4:30am, as I got out of my car, I told myself, "She's mine today. I'm doing FRAN."  I felt great this morning...well-rested, awake, energized, and "in the zone." I had ignored FRAN for the past ten months. She scares me. I'm completely intimidated by her. So I avoid her at all costs.

My previous FRAN experiences were not joyous ones:
  • Summer 2007: Could not do FRAN as RXed
  • Late 2007: 22-24 minutes (stopwatch problem)
  • March 2008: 13:59

For perspective: There are some freaks of nature who can do FRAN near 2 minutes. During the CF Level 1 certification course, the trainers will cut you off at 10 minutes. I obviously had some work to do.

So I warmup with tons of growing anxiety, for I know FRAN hurts bad. She burns lungs, swells forearms, sticks knives in thighs, and drys the mouth. But after some time doing air thrusters and dynamic stretching, I reluctantly hit the "start" button.

I finished in 7:05.  Barely believable. I would have been happy with a sub-12:00, and elated with a sub-10:00.  I came close to barfing. My lungs hurt all morning. My lats and hammies are tender this evening. But, in 10 months, I cut FRAN in half. And in just over a year, I cut her in three. That makes all those 4:30am workouts worth it! I have been flying high all day.

I share my performance for many reasons. Some of you appreciate the hard work that goes into a regular goal-oriented, results-driven workout plan. Others have attempted FRAN with similar results as I had not too long ago: poor.  Others just laugh at FRAN as some far-fetched pipe dream....with mere RXed completion not even in view. Lastly, I know how proud I get of some of you during your successes....I figure I'd give the rare opportunity for you to be proud of me for a change HAHAHA.

Take my performance this week as proof of the system of functional fitness.  It works. My ability to work quickly improved in relatively little time. Now it's time for you to get going on a plan to reach some of your goals. Play with these options, adjusted to your fitness level:

Assisted FRAN: using rubberbands on pullups
Scaled FRAN: lighter weight and/or assisted pullups
Jumping FRAN: jumping pullups
Piecemeal FRAN: 9 rounds of 5 reps each (or other partition)
Heavy FRAN: 135# thrusters, and +45# pullups (some use +25 or +35)
SWAT/Firefighter FRAN: Wear gear and mask

Next FRAN goal: sub-6:00. See you there soon.

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