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Old 03-12-2008, 04:11 PM   #1
Shane Skowron
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Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

I've looked over all the threads on Fran that ask how a Fran time compares, but the problem is they don't say what other kinds of WOD scores they can do.

I've been Crossfitting for under a year now; I did my first Fran on Jan 1 at a measly 15:22. I just did another one today in 10:08. I cleaned from the ground. I understand the average is somewhere around 7:00-8:00.

I only stand a tiny 5'8, 145lb, but I think I'm strong at the components of the Fran: I can squat 205lb and nearly push press my BW 145, and I can do at least 20 deadhang pullups.

I'd like to think I'm somewhere around average in most other WODs, why not the Fran? I have some pretty solid times on the 30MU, Murph, JT, a few others. I understand that training for a WOD is not really part of the CF philosophy, but seeing as I'm below average in the benchmark WOD and pretty good in other WODs, it would seem that I need to work on a deficiency. Any ideas are appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:17 PM   #2
Daniel Hubbard
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Re: Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

Video it and post it. Might be a form thing. I know for me, my thrusters improved once I finally "got it" that it's a front squat for the bottom half. I had been supporting the weight with my arms instead of getting my elbows forward and racking the weight on my chest. Once I did that, the movement got easier. Good luck. -hub
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:29 PM   #3
Derek Maffett
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Re: Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

Could be form - if you're not kipping then that's a problem, too. For the record, my Fran is over sixteen minutes while I'm at almost 20 minutes on Angie. I'm not worried - my body type just doesn't support an rx'd Fran very well.

Kipping is probably the answer here, seeing as you mentioned 20 deadhang pull-ups. Everyone kips their pull-ups. If you already are, though, never mind.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:34 PM   #4
Shane Skowron
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Re: Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

I was kipping; it's just that I've never tested my kipping PU so I don't know how many I can do. I'm down to a 19 minute Angie--I think that's average isn't it?

It's the thrusters that kill me, not the pullups although I need a rest before I can start the pullup set. It could be technique although I feel like the bar is well onto my chest. I'll see if I can post a video later this week when I repeat it. I love Spring Break-- more time for WODs!
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
Jared Ashley
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Re: Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

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Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
I've looked over all the threads on Fran that ask how a Fran time compares, but the problem is they don't say what other kinds of WOD scores they can do.

I've been Crossfitting for under a year now; I did my first Fran on Jan 1 at a measly 15:22. I just did another one today in 10:08. I cleaned from the ground. I understand the average is somewhere around 7:00-8:00.

I only stand a tiny 5'8, 145lb, but I think I'm strong at the components of the Fran: I can squat 205lb and nearly push press my BW 145, and I can do at least 20 deadhang pullups.

I'd like to think I'm somewhere around average in most other WODs, why not the Fran? I have some pretty solid times on the 30MU, Murph, JT, a few others. I understand that training for a WOD is not really part of the CF philosophy, but seeing as I'm below average in the benchmark WOD and pretty good in other WODs, it would seem that I need to work on a deficiency. Any ideas are appreciated.
Dude, don't feel so bad. I'm right with you... I'm young, healthy, 5'7" and 135 lbs. I can front-squat 205 (back squat 250), push-press 130, and do exactly 20 dead-hangs (never tested kpping PU's max yet). I frequently am on the faster side of mid-pack depending on the WOD, but I simply cannot fathom how fast some guys are doing Fran. If there weren't video, I simply would not believe times under 3:00.

I started in October with a time of 12:40 (75 lb thruster), and most recently put up a 7:40 as rx'd. While I am sure I will get faster, the thing is that I was only resting during 1 (maaaaybe 2 minutes, tops) of my workout, so if I could complete it without gasping for breath I'd still be in the 6:00 range. So not only do I have to not rest, I have to do everything TWICE AS FAST to hit 3:00. WTF? here I am, literally the fastest, strongest person I personally know, and my fran time seems pathetic in comparison to the CF community at large.

I think it's important to remember that CF posters are probably mostly strong CF'ers, who are in turn elite among those who work out who are again in turn elite vs. the general population. I bet less than 1/1000 of the public can put up a sub-6:00 fran, less than 1% can do sub-10:00, and less than 10% can actually complete fran as rx'd at all.

Point is: don't worry about it... just keep working and your time will keep dropping. Also, diet is huge. I don't have the discipline to follow it 100% and that's part of the problem. I've decided I'm ok with that.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:02 PM   #6
Steve Liberati
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Re: Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

It's a strength thing. As your CrossFit Total increases, so will your Fran time. Try devoting one day a week to heavy squats, deads, and presses. Run a search on the Starting Strength program pioneered by Coach Rippetoe incorporting the slow lifts with the WOD's.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:30 PM   #7
Shane Skowron
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Re: Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

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Originally Posted by Steve Liberati View Post
It's a strength thing. As your CrossFit Total increases, so will your Fran time. Try devoting one day a week to heavy squats, deads, and presses. Run a search on the Starting Strength program pioneered by Coach Rippetoe incorporting the slow lifts with the WOD's.
This makes sense that as my CFT improves, so will my Fran. But my CFT is 575# at a 145# bodyweight. According to the FAQ that makes me a little under intermediate. Does that mean my Fran should be a little under average too?

I should also mention that prior to this past January I have had zero experience with heavy lifting, not even 95#. I'm 19 so there's time to improve but I just expected that all my WODs would be roughly the same.

Jared thanks for your story -- it sounds similar to mine.

Last edited by Shane Skowron : 03-12-2008 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:36 AM   #8
Bill Patton
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Re: Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

This type of question drove me to build on of the features in logsitall that is sort of popular. You can click on the 'details' link (name) on any standings report - then from there you can visit their online public logbook so you can see the entire collection of workouts that others are doing that have scores that you are interested in. My thinking was that this would be a good way to learn from the community of users. PM or email me with q's if you are interested.

-bill patton
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:31 AM   #9
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

Shane,

I have similar Fran issues. I'm an older CF'er (all too soon to be 49) with a 6:49 Fran after 2.5 yrs following the WOD. I'm also a relatively small guy (5'-9"; 155#), but that doesn't seem to hold back AFT.

A big issue here, I believe, is that Fran is one of the shortest, highest intensity WOD's. In CrossFit-speak, it generates one of the highest power outputs of any WOD. Similar are Diane, Grace, and Elizabeth, although for me these are more strength-limited. These are the types of WOD's that I struggle with.

Much of the effort for these is in the glycolitic energy pathway, as opposed to the longer WOD's like Angie, Murph, etc. (primarily oxidative), and the more strength-limited WOD's (at least for me) like 30 MU's for time.

The glycolitic pathway is a very uncomfortable place to be. I think if you want to improve in these type's of WOD's, do them more often. Maybe even add short ones onto the end of a longer WOD (do a piece of Fran, an 8 round tabata of something, etc.).
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:42 AM   #10
Matt Thomas
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Re: Why is my Fran so bad compared to my other WOD scores?

Do more front squats. Having to fight real hard for stabilization on the thrusters will burn you out and kill your time. Get good at some heavy front squats and you'll blast through them.
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