Who is Fran?
Fran – one of the Crossfit ladies, 21, 15, 9 reps of barbell thrusters and chin-ups. There is a specific weight for men and a specific weight for women, but I say just do whatever you can. By whatever you can I mean whatever weight you think you can complete ten thrusters (which is a front squat to shoulder press for those of you who were having visions of hips being thrust in the air, or somewhere). If you can actually finish 21 reps in one go without a break, the bar is too light, you need to add more weight.
A little Crossfit History
Check out the video below – it’s from 2006, that’s when I was first introduced to Crossfit and I thought it was really cool actually. I’d been doing weights for a while and a bit of boxing and kick-boxing for cardio (and sometimes wrestling on a good day), but I was looking for a bit more to do in the gym. Enter Crossfit style training. Coach Glassman started Crossfit in 2000 and by 2005 it was growing but still only had 13 affiliates, by 2012 it had grown to 3400 affiliates worldwide. Without boring you with too many details, Glassman had a background in gymnastics, he also did a lot of weightlifting and cycling with friends and so his multi-disciplinary approach was born. When he started training the Santa Cruz Police Department in 1995 he was looking for a type of training that would help them out on the street.
The short duration, high intensity, Crossfit workouts are meant to emulate being in competition or being in pursuit of a suspect out on the street. I like the idea, I like the randomization of workouts, I like the small group situation as being a motivator, I like the multi-disciplinary approach and I like Crossfit as training in preparedness for something else. What I don’t like about Crossfit, is what it has become. Currently Crossfit ‘athletes’ aren’t training to get fitter and stronger to go out into the world and do other stuff, they’re training to get better at Crossfit! It’s just a bit sad really.
A note about the Crossfit ladies
All the Crossfit workouts have names so that you can repeat them easily (and memorize your time like the rest of us memorize our 1RM bench press weight). They are not all female names, but the most famous one’s are. Chelsea, Angie, Barbara… you can look them up if you like. Glassman said (and I quote from the Boxmag), Fran leaves you crushed and exhausted and joked that “any workout that leaves you flat on your back, staring up at the sky, wondering what the hell happened, deserves a girl’s name.”
Should you give Fran a try?
Of course you should! It goes a little something like this: