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|The Fran WOD
21, 15, and 9 reps of thrusters and pull-ups
Start with 95-Pound Barbell
Keep in Mind
You’ll need a solid warmup before you attack this WOD, so make sure you’ve got a good sweat before you start.
Three minutes at 95 pounds is the number you should shoot for. if you wind up taking more than 10 minutes, however, don’t be afraid to drop the weight and work your way back up.
Form is key—you don’t want to risk injury by allowing your technique to break down.
CrossFit is a great way to make you more functional as an athlete (and in general) and can also get you in the best shape of your life with its constantly varied, high-intensity workouts. But the one thing people often forget is that CrossFit also gets you plenty ripped.
CrossFit is known for advocating compound movements that incorporate three, four, or even more major muscle groups with a single exercise. Here, we’ll focus on a move CrossFitters call the “thruster.” The thruster is essentially a full-body move with emphasis placed on the quads, glutes, core, and shoulders. One great feature of the thruster is that you can perform it with many different pieces of equipment — for instance, kettlebells and dumbbells work just as well as the barbell variation prescribed in the famed Fran benchmark workout. If you don’t have access to a gym, cinder blocks or sandbags can also serve as resistance for thrusters.
To perform a thruster correctly— and we’ll focus on the standard barbell thruster here— start with the bar in the front-rack standing position. Doing your best to keep your elbows pointed forward, drop down to a full front squat with your butt back, core tight, and knees out to maintain stability. Squat all the way down until your hip crease breaks 90 degrees. From there, explode up using your quads and glutes. Accelerate as much as possible as you approach the top of your squat to give the bar momentum that you can transfer to your shoulders as you press the barbell overhead to a full locked-out position. That’s one rep.
In the context of a WOD, we’ll focus on the aforementioned Fran, which consists of 21, 15, and 9 reps of thrusters and pull-ups. Start by loading your barbell with 95 pounds, the prescribed weight for this WOD, but remember that scaling down or up is always acceptable, depending on your ftness level. Anything under three minutes is considered a great time, so if you’re doing a Fran with a 95-pound thruster in 10 minutes, you’ll need to decrease the weight to lower your time. You can work back up to 95 pounds once your strength and conditioning improve.
Remember, maintaining technique is very important to get the results you’re looking for and to protect yourself from injury. Start practicing the thruster, even if it means using a lighter weight, and not only will your Fran time improve, but your body will also show the results in the form of more shredded legs, shoulders, and abs.