On Friday, we introduced you to a lovely lady named “Fran.” And now it’s time to explain her—what she means to us and what she should mean to you. First, however, we’d like to show you a few videos. Please watch all of them. Check your volume and read the headings before opening.
This is Jason “Rhabdo” Kaplan. Jason holds the fastest “Fran” in the world. This is intensity.
This is Adam “Big Daddy” Lambert performing “Fran” as prescribed, in full fire fighter regalia—including a finite air supply. Don’t miss the older gentleman in the middle of the video yelling at the videographer—sound familiar? In our opinion, Adam’s effort is one of the most impressive expressions of intensity we’ve ever seen. This is the best example of real-world application of our training.
This is just for fun. The video takes a little while to get moving, so please be patient.
We have completed “Fran” at least a dozen times, with PVC pipe, 45-lbs., 65-lbs., 85-lbs., 95-lbs.; John tried “Fat Fran” once with 135-lb. thrusters and 45-lb. weighted pull-ups. The first time we finished this workout as prescribed, it took 14 minutes for John and 18 minutes for Melody. That was years ago, and now we’re working for sub three-minute and sub four-minutes, respectively. The point is, with a maximum effort, this workout is perfect and difficult no matter the load or substitution. We love and fear this workout for its unflinching judgment on athletic capacity.
The after-effects of “Fran” are always the same—lung burn, lactic acid overload (hydrogen ion concentration), etc. In fact, they’re similar to the after-effects of most high intensity workouts. Yet the rewards of this type of training are great, as we’ve espoused repeatedly. They are both physical and mental, and take some time and consistency to realize. It also seems reasonable that if we know before the clock starts how we will feel when it stops, we should take every opportunity to feel those training effects with the highest score or fastest time (rather than the alternative). This is where the reward is achieved.
We can say with confidence that our first “Fran” times felt just like our best. The improvements we see—the adaptations you have felt/will feel in the metrics associated with intensity (low body fat, increased lean muscle, improved strength, etc.)—are worth the effort.
Again, a fantastic job to all this week. We could not be more proud.