The Fran workout is one of the hardest Crossfit workouts and one of the few options one has to simultaneously strengthen the muscular and cardiovascular systems in a very short time. This term arose from one of the most demanding CrossFit workouts, where some CrossFitters experience the so-called “Fran cough” after a particularly grueling workout. The Fran workout consists of a formidable combination of thrusters and pull-ups. Although an elite CrossFitter can complete it in less than three minutes, it takes many hours of training in the gym to reach this level.

A Fran workout often looks like this:

  • 45 pull-ups on single beam
  • 45 thrusters (semi-barbell and standing shoulder press) divided into groups of 21, 15, and 9 reps, in as fast a time as possible.

Beginners are expected to complete this workout in 10 minutes or more, and elite athletes in 3 minutes or less. Most intermediate trainees can expect to complete it between 10 minutes and 4:30. See what you can do to have the best possible time.


Break the reps 

If you are not advanced, “break” your reps. This might mean splitting the sets in half and doing 11 thrusters, followed by 10 thrusters (instead of 21), 11 pull-ups, 10 pull-ups (for 21), 8 thrusters, 7 thrusters of 15, and so on. Whatever your goals are, try to stick to this strategy as much as possible.

You may know about cellular respiration (catabolic process) and how muscles go from anaerobic to aerobic energy production. Muscles need oxygen to complete this workout. Prevent panting and shortness of breath by practicing breathing during movements. A key point is to learn how to breathe properly during thrusters. The half-sit is a movement that can make you tighten your abs, flex all your core stabilizing muscles, and tighten your face – don’t do it. Chill out. Breathe. Stay relaxed. Get into a rhythm.

Warm up first

Since this workout runs like a bullet, your heart should be pumping blood at an increased rate beforehand. Do a low-intensity workout before this to warm up your joints and muscles.

Practice pull-ups 

Proper execution allows you to transfer energy to your back, shoulders, and arms helping you perform a more efficient and faster series of pull-ups. Time is of the essence here, so moving quickly is key.

Also read: CrossFit DT: How to do it


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