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Old 06-10-2010, 12:12 PM   #1
Brock Wilson
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Wilmington  NC
Posts: 91
"Gaming" Fran

Hello All- Somewhat contrary to the philosophy of CrossFit, which I fully advocate most of the time, I am "gaming" FRAN, by which I mean training specifically for a decent FRAN time. I'd be interested in some community suggestions for how to go about this.

My best Fran is 330. I'm 5'11" and weigh 185, with moderately long arms. I can kip pretty well but cant butterfly at all. I find the thrusters more taxing than the pullups but that said, when I did the 3:30, I dropped off the bar at 8 reps in the set of 15, and (unbelievably!) at 8 reps in the set of 9.

In preparing for my next attempt, with a goal of sub 3 minutes, here's what I've been doing.

Day 1: 21-15-9 Front squats at 135 and resting 45-30-15 seconds while the clock runs to account for the pullup time. The goal here is to overkill the front squat portion of the thruster.

Day 2: 21-15-9 Strict Shoulder press at 95, again resting 45-30-15 seconds. Goal is to insure my shoulders can handle the loads and resist fatigue

Day 3: Sprinting for exactly 3 minutes on an incline treadmill to mimic/exceed the O2 demands without further fatiguing the movement patterns.

Day 4: rest

Day 5: 21-15-9 Thrusters at 115 same rest as above. Goal is to overload the exact thruster pattern.

Day 6: 21-15-9 Pullups at compromised grips (real wide, narrow etc) resting 30 and 15 seconds with a running clock, and adding 45 seconds to mimic the 21 set of thrusters.

Day 7 rest:

I have done this 7 day cycle 3 times and seen the respective times drop with each exposure.

Soon will start to chain the iso movements (FS/SP/Thrusters at 115) WITH the pullups and drop the monitored rest intervals. The hope is that the metabolic demands of FRAN will be less shocking by dosing up the weights and handicapping the pullups.

What do you think and what might you suggest, fellow CrossFitters?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:47 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Location: San Diego  CA
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Re: "Gaming" Fran

Why are you interested in getting better at Fran at the expense of your all-around fitness? Unless your answer is "to win a $1000 bet with my friend that I can beat him in a Fran-off a month from today," I'd say this is a misguided goal.

Having said that, I'd say your best bet is to learn to do butterfly pullups or at least hit all three sets unbroken, and to increase your 1RM thruster. My Fran time got faster last year essentially in direct proportion to the increase in my 1RM thruster. Once 95lbs gets easy to throw around you can get all three rounds of thrusters unbroken and leave yourself less taxed when you go to the pullup bar. A sub-3:00 Fran is really all about doing everything unbroken with minimal breaks during transitions...anything faster than that is going to require getting faster on individual reps.
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:14 PM   #3
Brock Wilson
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Wilmington  NC
Posts: 91
Re: "Gaming" Fran

Hey Eric-

Thanks for the reply. Indeed, I recognize that GPP is not enhanced by doing what I'm doing this month. Ever since the immortal Pat Sherwood declared Fran the "What's your bench?" of CrossFit, I have been interested in getting a legit firebreather time. So, boil it all down and it's pure vanity.

That said, I appreciate your input and will look to add some heavy thrusters. As I analyze the video of my 3:30 I have about 16 seconds of pure rest, and 9 seconds of down time when I fall off the bar. So I agree with your conclusion, to go sub 3 I need to eliminate all rest and stay on the bar.
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