I’ve been involved in the CrossFit world for sometime. Been to the Games three times, Regionals four times, and at least a half dozen local comps. I’ve been a part of two gyms and have done drop-ins and had visitors. In 2014, I even shaked (shook?) Greg Glassman’s hand. I’ve done Fran over 50 times.
Wait, before I continue, I should explain. Fran is not a person.
Well, Fran is a name of plenty of persons, but that’s not what I’m talking about.
Fran is a what, not a who.
Ask a CrossFit athlete at any level (beginner, amateur, pro, bro-pro) about Fran and they’ll talk about anguish and rabdo-inducing thrill lasting less than 10 minutes.
Fran is a CrossFit staple.
For my money, it’s Fran, Murph, and a Fight Gone Bad.
What a group of names. George RR Martin would be proud.
Every society has had their own form of torture. Dark Ages had guillotines and draw and quartering. Wild West had hangings. Millennials block on social media.
CrossFit has The Girls.
Fran is the baddest girl.
Thrusters (95 lb barbell for men. 65 lb barbell for women)
If you’re new: That means 21 Thrusters, 21 Pull-ups, 15 Thrusters, 15 Pull-ups, 9 Thrusters, 9 Pull-ups.
If you read this and think it sounds easy…
This week’s workout is a modified Fran.
I don’t have a Pull-up rig.
Joanie and I are doing this workout together on our back porch. She’s approaching 4 months postpartum. Our tiny human is also coming outside. He’s a little fellow, so he’ll be sitting this one out. Fran is too intense for a guy who drools on himself and cries when he’s hungry.
I think I just described most dudes in CrossFit, huh?
Instead, he’s going to stare at his mom and grunt each time she leans forward, because he’s a baby and he takes after his father.
Thrusters (pick the weight)
Alternating Single Arm Power Snatch (pick the weight)
I’m using 25 lb dumbbells.
Joanie is using 12 lb dumbbells.
This is going to hurt.
I haven’t done Fran in over 2 years.
Call me crazy, but I haven’t been motivated to be overweight, sore, AND have the Fran Cough all at once. Today is a day to celebrate. It’s like coming home, except home is a torture chamber filled with sore legs and burnt esophaguses.
Excuse me, esophagi.
3… 2… 1… Go!
Thrusters can get really hard, really fast. CrossFit loves to incorporate movements with an entire body stimulus, Of all the CrossFit Girls, Fran covers that base pretty well.
13 reps in the 21 Thrusters and I’m feeling pretty stimulated.
Thighs feel crispy at rep 16.
Undergirth feels tight at 21.
21 Single Arm Dumbbell Power Snatch
Within 5 reps I realize how much harder this will be than I expected. Hang Snatches would have been a breeze, but that extra distance to the ground makes my glutes toot.
This is normally when the elite CrossFit athletes are doing insanely fast Pull-ups.
Instead, I’m doing lurching Power Snatches. This movement makes me feel like I’m tall.
By the time I finish the round. Joanie is probably 10 reps behind me and our baby is blowing white bubbles after puking on himself.
Parenting is so fun.
Worst part of the workout. I’ll say it right away. The 15 reps are the hardest part, reps 11-15 make my chest feel like I’m in the Alien movie. Something wants to burst out of my chest, my only hope is that it loves me and lets me name it Fran.
Heaven’s to Betsy. This part takes forever. I’m trying not to take a break during the 15er, but goodness – there is something eating its way through my sternum.
Your sternum is in your chest, right?
15 Single Arm Dumbbell Power Snatch
Say the movement out loud. Now, say is 10 times fast. It’s a tongue twister, ain’t it? Or maybe that’s just me, this modified Fran is starting to make me think I have lost feeling in the right side of my brain.
Joanie sets the DBs down, she’s breathing heavy. The baby meows at her.
Seriously, my child meows at his mother like a feral cat. Just letting her know he’s a hungry little lion and he would her to hurry up before he starts roaring with tears.
I cheer her on, because I’m a supportive husband.
And because I don’t want to hear the baby cry.
My legs burn. My lungs burn. Fran has risen from the grave. Earlier, I made the mistake of saying “I’ve done Fran over 50 times.” Yet, no one corrected me. It was the wrong thing to say.
Fran has done me over 50 times. It hurts so good.
I don’t want to take a break, I don’t even want to pause. These 9 reps are so much easier than the previous 15. Why does taking 1 away from 10 make it easier?
9 Alternating Single Arm Dumbbells Power Snatch
Lower back is aching. It feels like my entire midline is going to prevent me from getting out of bed tomorrow morning, or ever.
Can you get rhabdo from this movement? Or do you only get it from GHD Sit-ups and old lettuce?
These are hard, but I power through. I once did 15 Burpees in a minute, so I can do anything.
Joanie is finishing her Thrusters. She’s making a noise similar to a wailing roar. Except, there are no tears, only the external expression of F-U-Fran. If she was using a barbell, then I bet she would have flipped it off by now.
Even the baby has noticed. He’s confused.
Or maybe he’s just pooping his pants.
I stand by her and cheer her on as she finishes the work. This is another awesome aspect of CrossFit, the support you get/give to others during the middle of a hard workout. The best communities rally around one another, and while we’re not a part of any gyms at this point – sometimes you only need a proud spouse and a smelly baby.
Fran wasn’t defeated. Far from it.
Fran was victorious, but so were we.
She ain’t my enemy. Just an inspiration. A test.
We’re going to do this one again in a few weeks. I love it. Outside the Box is the best.
Check back next week for another Death to Dadbod!
And hey, follow me on IG @Instadanial_