Fran CrossFit Workout 2024 (My Secret Tips & Tricks For You)

The Fran CrossFit Workout is a thrilling and iconic benchmark in the CrossFit community, pushing athletes to showcase their fitness and performance in a high-intensity race against the clock. As a staple CrossFit workout of the day (WOD), Fran is deceptively simple yet brutally challenging, comprising a quick succession of thrusters and pull-ups that tests not just my raw strength, but also my technique and endurance.

all you need to know about fran crossfit benchmark workout in one infographic including structure and goal times of the wod

When I first face Fran, I’m looking at a rapid sequence of barbell thrusters followed by pull-ups, a classic combination that targets various muscle groups. I need to be strategic in executing each movement with precision, ensuring my form doesn’t break down as the intensity builds.

Step-by-Step Workout Structure

The Fran workout is a thrilling benchmark WOD that’s renowned for its intensity and capacity to gauge my progress. This WOD, often just called “Fran,” features a straightforward structure composed of thrusters and pull-ups.

The Fran Workout consists of:

  • Thrusters: A full-body compound exercise that’s like a front squat merged with a push press. I make sure to squat deep and extend in a single fluid motion while maintaining proper form.
  • Pull-Ups: This is all about upper body strength, requiring a solid grip and good technique to execute.

Here’s how I tackle the Fran:

  1. 21 Thrusters (95 lbs for men, 65 lbs for women)
  2. 21 Pull-ups
  3. 15 Thrusters
  4. 15 Pull-ups
  5. 9 Thrusters
  6. 9 Pull-ups

My Goal: Complete all repetitions FOR TIME and ideally “Unbroken” (doing all reps in each set without resting).

The Rep Scheme:

  • Total Reps: 45 Thrusters and 45 Pull-ups (90 reps total).
  • Rounds: 3 (21, 15, 9 reps per exercise).

As a beginner, I approached the Fran CrossFit Workout with scaled-down versions, reducing the weight or substituting challenging movements with easier ones. Now, as I advance, I push myself to maintain unbroken sets and improve my time.

Every time I perform the Fran CrossFit Workout, it’s an opportunity to measure how far I’ve come. It’s always exhilarating to hit a new personal record and witness my progress firsthand, knowing that I’m a step closer to achieving elite CrossFit athlete status.


Author at PlanetGains

Fran is not just a workout; it’s a testament to my growth and endurance. Let’s crush those reps!

Do you want to level up or down? Here are your options:

Equipment for the Fran CrossFit Workout

In tackling the electrifying Fran CrossFit workout, I find that having the right equipment is absolutely pivotal to not only accomplishing this challenge but also to revel in the thrill of it! Here’s the lineup of gear I tap into when I take on Fran:

  • Barbell: The cornerstone of Fran is the thruster. I grab my trusty barbell to perform this dynamic movement, which couples a front squat with an overhead press, demanding my commitment right from the front rack position.
  • Plates: Adding weight plates to my barbell allows me to scale the intensity. The weight isn’t set in stone; I adjust according to my current fitness level, ensuring I maintain proper form.
  • Pull-up Bar: Next up in the Fran showdown are pull-ups. A solid pull-up bar is all I need to challenge my upper body as I cycle through reps.

The simplicity of the equipment list is what makes Fran so beautifully brutal. Below is a quick checklist that I run through before starting:

No dumbbells or resistance bands needed; it’s just me, the barbell, the plates, and the pull-up bar. With these essentials, I’m all set to dive into the adrenaline-pumping universe of the Fran CrossFit Workout. Let’s do this!

Free PDF Workout Plans For You.

Are you in need of motivation? Here are some powerful workout plans with PDF downloads you can choose from:
Pamela Reif Workout Plan
30 Day Peloton Workout Plan
Beginner Calisthenics Workout Plan
Andy Galpin Workout Plan

Benefits of the Fran CrossFit Workout

The Fran CrossFit Workout is a powerhouse when it comes to ramping up my fitness regime. It’s specifically designed to enhance key physical attributes, and I find it incredibly effective at boosting not just my strength and endurance, but also my overall athletic performance.

Boosted Strength and Endurance

By tackling the Fran workout, I’ve noticed significant gains in my strength and endurance. The workout includes:

  • Thrusters: A combination of a front squat and push press, this move works multiple muscle groups, notably enhancing leg, core, and shoulder strength.
  • Pull-ups: These target my upper body, particularly my back, arms, and shoulders, contributing to fortified upper-body strength and grip endurance.

The sequence of 21-15-9 reps for each exercise forces me to push my limits, resulting in improved muscular endurance and the ability to sustain high-intensity efforts for a more extended period.

Improved Speed and Agility

Fran is also a sprint workout, meaning I’m always aiming to complete it as fast as possible, which trains my body to move quickly and with precision. Over time, I’ve observed:

  • Speed: My ability to complete each round has become faster, decreasing my overall workout time and pushing my cardiorespiratory system to new levels.
  • Agility: The transition from thrusters to pull-ups requires coordination and the ability to change movements efficiently, heightening my agility.

This workout challenges me to maintain a high intensity throughout, which has had a direct correlation with improvements in my speed and agility during other fitness activities.

Boat Interior Design woman in gym doing thrusters for fran WOD adn to stay fit
by Pinterest

Performing the Different Movements

When I dive into the famed Fran CrossFit workout, I focus on maintaining impeccable form with both thrusters and pull-ups. These movements are the heart of Fran, challenging my strength, coordination, and endurance all at once!

Thrusters combine a front squat with a push press. I initiate the movement with a barbell on my shoulders, squat down keeping my back straight, then power upwards extending my hips. At the top of the squat, I use that momentum to drive the barbell overhead into a push press. It’s essential to breathe rhythmically and keep a tight core throughout this compound movement.

Thruster Form Checklist:

  • Keep my heels on the ground.
  • Maintain a straight back during the squat.
  • Fully extend my arms at the top of the push press.

When transitioning to pull-ups, I’m faced with two main variations: strict and kipping. I use strict pull-ups to maximize strength gain, pulling myself up until my chin clears the bar without momentum. Kipping pull-ups, on the other hand, involve a swing that generates momentum for a more aerobic challenge.

Variations of Pull-Ups:

  • Strict Pull-Ups: Pure strength; no momentum.
  • Kipping Pull-Ups: Swing to aid the upward movement.

If I’m looking to scale down, I opt for banded pull-ups or even ring rows to build up my strength progressively. And for thrusters, using dumbbells can be a great way to focus on form and control, especially if I’m working around any limitations or injuries.

Boat Interior Design girls hanging on pull up bar doing kipping pull ups as a scaled version of the fran crossfit workout
by Pinterest

Scaling Options

I’m thrilled to share that the Fran CrossFit workout has versatile scaling options to accommodate everyone! Whether you’re new to CrossFit or a seasoned athlete, there’s a way to tailor Fran to your fitness level.

Options for Beginners

For those just starting out, it’s essential to modify Fran to match your current capabilities. Initially, the thrusters can be done with a lighter weight than the prescribed 95 pounds for men and 65 pounds for women. Beginners might opt for iron grip dumbbells or an empty barbell to practice form. If barbell thrusters are too daunting at first, wall balls are an alternative that still targets similar muscle groups.

When we talk about pull-ups, replacing them with ring rows or jumping pull-ups ensures you develop your upper body strength without becoming overwhelmed. Assisted pull-ups using a band can also be a great transition stage, allowing you to work on technique and build up to unassisted reps. My key piece of advice for beginners: focus on form, not speed.

Challenges for Advanced Athletes

For the advanced athletes seeking a challenge, there are several ways to up the ante in Fran. Adding more weight to the thrusters is the most straightforward method — going beyond the standard weight will certainly intensify the workout. However, adding weight is not the only strategy; you can also play with the scaling to make it tougher.

One method is to use a weighted vest for an extra dose of difficulty. And instead of standard pull-ups, why not try chest-to-bar pull-ups for a higher skill variant? When it comes to strategy, push for unbroken sets or minimize rest time between reps and sets. This way, you’ll keep your heart rate up and power through the workout with intensity.

Boat Interior Design outline of a guy performing pull ups for crossfit workout in his garage gym
by Pinterest

My Experience with the Fran CrossFit Workout

Embarking on the Fran WOD was like facing a Goliath in my personal journey of fitness. As a devotee of CrossFit, I faced the universally respected ‘Girl WOD’—Fran—with a blend of anticipation and reverence.

Initially, the workout seemed straightforward: a couplet consisting of thrusters and pull-ups. With the innocuous reps of 21-15-9, it appeared manageable. Yet, as many fellow athletes warned, Fran’s simplicity is vastly deceptive.

Upon completion, drenched in sweat and gasping for air, I realized the Fran CrossFit Workout is a test of not just physical prowess, but mental tenacity. It exposed my strengths and ruthlessly pointed out areas needing improvement.

My progression with Fran is a testament to my growth as a CrossFit athlete. From female and male athletes alike, it’s hailed as a milestone, a rite of passage. Amidst chalked hands and heavy breaths, I’ve witnessed incredible feats of stamina. Scores have been personal victories, whispering stories of grit over the clang of barbells.

Charting my progress:

  • First Attempt: Over 10 minutes, with my confidence wavering
  • Current Personal Best: Just under 5 minutes, a triumph not only in time but in mental fortitude

Fran taught me the essence of CrossFit—relentless improvement and community-driven success. It’s exhilirating to look back and see how far I’ve come, and how the collective encouragement pushes us all past previously conceived limits. Each clash with Fran sharpens my abilities and fortifies my resolve to face any challenge head-on.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fran CrossFit Workout

What is the RX weight for Fran?

The RX weight for the Fran CrossFit workout is 95 pounds (43 kg) for men and 65 pounds (29 kg) for women. This benchmark WOD consists of thrusters and pull-ups, challenging athletes with its intensity.

What is a good Fran score?

A good Fran score typically falls under 5 minutes. This demanding Fran CrossFit workout, known for its combination of thrusters and pull-ups, tests both strength and cardiovascular endurance, making a sub-5-minute finish a notable achievement.

How many kg is Fran CrossFit?

For the Fran CrossFit workout, the prescribed (RX) weights are approximately 43 kg for men and 29 kg for women. These weights apply to the thrusters, one of the two exercises that define this iconic benchmark WOD.

How do you get a good Fran time?

To achieve a good Fran time, focus on efficient thruster and pull-up techniques, minimize rest periods, and maintain a steady pace. Regularly practicing components of the Fran CrossFit workout can significantly improve performance and reduce completion time.

What is a respectable Fran time?

A respectable Fran time is generally considered to be around 6 to 8 minutes. Completing the Fran CrossFit workout within this range demonstrates solid proficiency in both the thrusters and pull-ups, reflecting good overall fitness and skill level.

What is the Fran workout for beginners?

For beginners, the Fran CrossFit workout can be scaled by reducing the weight of thrusters to a manageable load and modifying pull-ups to jumping or banded pull-ups. This approach allows newcomers to safely experience the workout’s challenges while building strength and skill.

Post your time for the Fran CrossFit Workout in the comments below. You can also try the Amanda CrossFit Workout or the Jackie WOD.

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