Ask any CrossFitter about the first time he tried “Murph,” “Fight Gone Bad,” or “Linda,” and it’s guaranteed he’ll have a story to tell. These are some of the most notoriously brutal benchmark Workouts of the Day (WOD), the standard by which all other WODs are measured. But within that elite group of WODs, one stands above all others: “Fran.”
Fran is recognized as THE benchmark because even though many CrossFit workouts don’t look like much on paper, Fran is especially deceptive. A 95-pound barbell is pretty light, and pullups just take practice. But after two minutes, even elite athletes hit a wall, struggling to maintain speed and intensity.
The key to approaching Fran is to proceed with caution. Drop the weight down to 65 pounds and perform assisted pullups if you have to. If you think 90 total reps is a piece of cake and attack it full bore, you’ll have extreme soreness at best, and rhabdomyolysis— a life-threatening condition where broken down muscle tissue can actually poison your blood—at worst.
Up Next: The Fran Workout