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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 07-30-2011, 03:24 PM   #1
Scott Lush
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Surest way to a Rx Fran?

Currently when I do Fran as Rx, I get through 9 thrusters then have to rest for about 10 seconds Then I do 5, 5, 2 reps....and so on, also with pullups - the first 21 reps are broken up as like 7, 7, 7. In other words I break it up a lot, have to rest a lot. Towards the final set of 9 I am doing single reps, then dropping the bar or falling off the pullup bar. It takes me about 15 minutes in total. Lots of standing around catching my breath.

Is there a consensus opinion about what I should do to get an Rx Fran unbroken?

For instance:

(1) Keep hacking away at Fran as Rx every few weeks, with my current way of doing lots of rest when breaking up sets, taking 15 minutes...next time 14:30, minutes...next time 14:00 etc. slowly improving

(2) Reduce weight to say 65# thrusters and pullup reps to say 16, 9, 6 so I can do it unbroken. Then next time I do Fran increase weight to say 70#, and more reps of pullups like 18, 12, 9....

My concern is that Fran is designed to be a say 8:00 workout. So shouldn't I follow #2 and scale back weight and reps to I do say 8:00 of Fran unbroken?

I mean if I do it now like #1 it is more a strength workout and I've reached failure during the first round of 21 :-)
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Surest way to a Rx Fran?

I wouldn't waste time repeating a single workout every few weeks--that's not very "CF" and isn't really the best way to get good at it. And again, it's one single workout.

What's your current 1RM thruster and press? How many deadhang pullups can you do? My guess is around 145lbs and 100lbs and 5 reps, respectively. Get those numbers up to 200lbs and 150lbs and 20+ by focusing on strength for awhile and your Fran time will magically decrease. And you'll be a lot all around stronger and fitter too.

Scale your metcons so they're still metcons, and do a dedicated strength program if you want to get stronger. There are plenty of strength programs that include 2-3 conditioning workouts per week.

Check out this blog post (WFS) for a good case study on how improving strength leads to better metcon performance.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:12 PM   #3
Scott Lush
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Re: Surest way to a Rx Fran?

Thanks Eric, your estimates are right on for my 1rm thruster and 5 deadhang pullups, except my 1rm press is 135#. But anyway, I definitely need more strength and will make that an emphasis.

Can you recommend a 1rm thruster, press and/or max # of deadhang pullups I should be able to do that would be a gating factor for me to do an Rx Fran?

For instance, once I can do a 1rm thruster of x (150#? 175#?) and 15 deadhang pullups I should stop scaling back Fran and do as Rx?

By the way it's sort of this way with me in all the named workouts -- I do them all at an intermediate level because I lack strength. So I need a stronger foundation in strength, makes sense.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:55 PM   #4
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Surest way to a Rx Fran?

Eh, there's no real gateway numbers...in theory a person could do Rx'd Fran with a 1RM thruster of 105lbs and only 3 deadhang pullups but it wouldn't be a smart idea for them to do so. Stronger is always better in pretty much any activity. When I run a class that's doing Fran, I generally tell people to scale to a weight where they can finish in 6 minutes or less. Any longer than that and they're probably spending too much time looking at the bar instead of working.

I've tracked my Fran numbers over the last 3 years and my time has gotten better in direct proportion with my 1RM front squat and thruster. Pullups have never really been an issue for me, and I could do all 21-15-9 pullups unbroken even when I went from 180lbs to 215lbs. What changed as I gained all that weight was my strength--I went from having to take several breaks per round of thrusters to being able to do them all unbroken.

Again, I can't say there's any hard and fast numbers, but 1RM thruster of 200+lbs and at least 15 deadhang pullups are good places to start though.

Just out of curiosity, where do you train in Boston? I'm going to be moving there in about 2 weeks.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:57 PM   #5
Pearse Shields
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Re: Surest way to a Rx Fran?

The best recommendation is to stop worrying about Fran, focus on getting strong, and then come back. Don't worry about programming specifically around that one workout. Just get stronger overall and it will be easier.

If you fixate yourself on something, you'll wind up limiting yourself overall.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:57 PM   #6
Dave Traeger
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Re: Surest way to a Rx Fran?

Why are you so hooked on just 1 of the billion workouts?
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:50 AM   #7
Don Yates
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Re: Surest way to a Rx Fran?

Im useless at Fran Scott. But after some sweet advice im now on 70s Big program and my strength numbers are rising. My knownledge within crossfit is shallow compared to most so ill just share my experiences ive had. With the 70s Big program im doing about 2 - 3 metcons a week at about 10 mins per metcon ( i think anymore is detrimental to your recovery and can affect the strength prog overall). Where i train AM early my time is limited so any skillwork such as double unders , muscle ups, HSPU anything else i do at a weekend. With regards to the metcons i think its still important to hit things that are prov a bit of a hurdle for you. Take Fran for example and the Thrusters every now and again you could mix that with another element ( im not saying all the time) and this could also help. Maybe alongside your strength something like 5 rounds run 400m + 5 Thrusters at 95lb (keeping it below 10mins). Remember my knowledge is limited and i could stand corrected but its just an idea and something i have started to involve in my programming.

Cheers

Don
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:58 PM   #8
Scott Lush
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Re: Surest way to a Rx Fran?

Thanks Eric, Pearse, Dave and Don for your advice.

Eric - I trained at Crossfit Boston. It's top notch because:

(1) They program strength for about half of class time (Deadlift, Squats or Presses) using (currently) the Wendler program, then add a short MetCon in the second half. Nearly everyone is reaching PRs each month for strength.

(2) They are obsessed with drilling in good form and maintaining high standards in the movements. Members are hardly ever injured or burnt out. There is constant feedback and coaching during movements.

(3) The affiliate owner has particular strength in Olympic lifting and is full of useful feedback.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:03 PM   #9
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Surest way to a Rx Fran?

Are you still at CF Boston? If so that programming sounds good for getting you better at Fran as well as about everything else.

If you're not still there, I'd recommend following their programming wherever you're currently training. Sounds like smart stuff.
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