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Old 09-16-2008, 08:05 AM   #1
Grissim Connery
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Default Fran Strategies

5'9"
165 lbs
31" waiste
dunno BF%, but can see abs

Timed a fran yesterday at 7:45. I think my biggest problem is actually that my front squat is not as stable as i'd like, so i gotta work on that.
What strategies do you guys use to improve your times? on the 21's i forced myself to rest after every 7 reps. on the 15's every 5. on the 9 i do 5 and 4 thrusters, and the whole set of pullups.

Should i attempt to break the 21's into 2 sets (an 11 and a 10) first or should i attempt to break the 15 into 2 sets first (8 and a 7)? Would a logical progression be to get all 3 to 2 sets, and then gradually make each one just 1 set? some days i have hit a straight 21 set of pullups right after a good paced 21 thrusters, but then i'm so winded and take way to long to start my next set of thrusters. is this actually an effective approach? I feel that a consistant pace is the goal, just like running a mile.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:10 AM   #2
Steven Low
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7/7/7 (11/10)
5/5/5 (8/7)
3/3/3 (or 5/4)

Two schools of thought here though:
1. Go balls out
2. Pace yourself

Both have good benefits. Balls out allows better increases in lac threshold (not actually lac thresh though but better acid buffering + rates of anaerobic/aerobic pathways). Pace yourself allows more power and thus better work capacity. Do both on occasion. If you're aiming for like sub3 or sub4 you might want to scale down so you can do the first set continuously -- you'll get a more intense workout that leads to faster adaptations.


I'm not really a fan of gaming workouts though... although I might try it at the end of this year for 30 MUs. I want to try to beat the Fran record (aka sub2) with that workout.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:44 AM   #3
Steve Forman
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thats good stuff Steve,

I have a comment and sort of a question, I guess.... Wouldn't getting stronger at thrusters, press, push jerks and push press help out with not break setting the thrusters in Fran.

I worked on the strength for those exercises and found that my fran time decreased by almost 2 minutes because I didn't have to break set. I started using thruster's as part of my strength routine, along with the other moves mentioned. At times I have added 65lbs thrusters into a my warm up.

I had the same problem with an unbalanced front squat, that every time I exploded upward, I would become off balanced. This when away with the more front squats i did. I was incorporating front squats also into a warm up and on skills work.

Steve
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:48 AM   #4
Garrett Smith
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Get your absolute strength on your front squats, overhead presses, and weighted pull-ups stronger, then everything else will become easier (and thus less of a tax on your conditioning).

Getting plain stronger will get you better & faster results with these types of workouts more than pacing ever will.

See the "Donny Shankle & Grace" thread for more discussion on this subject.
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:21 PM   #5
Grissim Connery
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I read some of the Donny Shankle and Grace thread. Some good concepts there that i agree with. For example, i was crapping out with some kettlebell juggling a month ago. since then i haven't worked with kettlebells much because my college just updated all it's oly equipment. yesterday, i yanked out one kettlebell for some post workout fun, and i've never juggled so well in my whole life. all i've really done for the past month is gant grimes's hybrid approach and bounced in and out of the PM WOD's for oly drills. i think that all the focus on heavy snatches has made whipping around the kb's feel like nothing.

Thus i just thought of this (sorry if somebody's already suggested it): what about a heavy fran? for example 135 lb thruster and 1.5 pood weighted pullups for sets of 9-6-3? i feel like i've seen crossfit do this with 115lb before and maybe l-pullups or something.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:56 PM   #6
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Yep, I would suggest getting strength up very quickly if you want the REALLY fast improvements. If you're where you want/need to be strength-wise and need metcon the pacing/all out stuff is how you want to bring it up quickly.

Gant's stuff is good or a strength biased MEBB approach. PMenu should help as well. Whatever works..


Heavy Fran (already exists) is 15-12-9
135 lbs thrusters
+45 lbs weighted pullups

And yes, there's a vid:
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/C...avyFranWOD.wmv
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/C...avyFranWOD.mov

There's also a vid somewhere of Greg A doing it... very fast.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:09 PM   #7
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that looks legit. i'm gonna try it with the 9-6-3 rep scheme judging how hard that video looked. it'll fit better w/ the short metcons on the hybrid program.

is there any great long-term benefit from grabbing a weight with the foot on weighted pullups? i'd hate to feel like i was wussing out with a belt.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:19 PM   #8
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As far as pacing goes I think the most important thing is to minimize the rest between sets. With most exercises I think it's best to keep the reps low and take short rests as needed. Thrusters are a bit trickier because putting the bar down and picking it back up takes a lot of energy and holding the bar in the rack position isn't great rest either. I usually push a little harder through the thrusters because of this. I also try not to rest at all in transitions. I try to get at least a few reps in before resting.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:22 AM   #9
Alex Europa
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Great article about the potential long term effects of managing workouts by Jon Gilson of AgainFaster (W/F/S)

As for your question, how long have you been doing CrossFit? I wouldn't really sweat it too much. Don't overthink the WOD. Just do whatever feels best while you're in the moment. Some days, it might be better to break the sets in half or thirds, some days it might be better to go straight through at a slightly slower pace. That is one of the attributes that makes the guys like OPT, Speal, etc... so amazing: their awareness of their level of output and exertion. This is also a critical skill that translates directly to the real world. The only way to develop this skill is to practice and cultivate it. If you go into every WOD with a set plan, then there's a good chance that you're leaving a learning experience on the table.

As for your front squat, you should be working to improve your normal air squat until you can do a perfect, upright squat. This will greatly improve your technique on all squat related movements (i.e.: thrusters). Here's a great VIDEO (also from AgainFaster) for improving the squat (W/F/S).

- Alex
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:30 AM   #10
Grissim Connery
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yeah i've been doing a lot of third world squats throughout the day to get more comfy down there. yesterday i actually drilled some boxing on a bag while hanging out in a third world squat the whole time. i think my big probelm is actually an imbalance between my right and left leg. i can easily squat down with BS, FS, or OHS and sit on my calves with my heels still pushing on the floor, but for some reason my right leg feels funny whenever i try to move the load back up. thus i shift my weight over to my left leg normally. i was working a Kossacks for a while and these helped correct this issue a ton. Does anybody have a link to those "Clock Squats" or 360 squat or whatever in which you do like a Kossack but move around in a circle?
Typically i can hit a few pistols with my left leg fine, but my right leg has a lot of issues. it stems from an injury i had a few years ago. there's a little click in my knee that doesn't hurt but feels unsettling. i think this is why i started shifting my weight over to my left leg.

i've been crossfitting for about a year. before that i was doing something similar mainly involving just body weight circuits. this was to help me with grappling. i used to weigh 244 lbs when i was into bodybuilding. after i developed back issues, i decided being big is stupid. i avoided most weightlifting and dropped some mad weight. my last competition i weighed in at 158 lbs. anyways, i was messing around with the rings for a while, and then i finally became comfortable again with the concept of really heavy weightlifting. i associated it so much with my old back pain, but i was determined to come back at it with a refreshed mind. i came back to deadlifts first because they always felt ok. squatting and benching always aggravated my spine more than anything. i was glad to find that i really don't need to bench again. if i really need to ME, i just do 1 arm push ups and planche work.
As for squatting, this has been a slow process. i only did air squats for a long time. i have fun with FS and OHS, but BS makes me nervous. Whenever i don't concentrate, i can feel old spots in my back acting up.

here's my question. can i just focus on OHS and FS and only do BS seldomly? also, what about pistols? I feel that the focus of BS is really just for ME while the OHS and FS are more functional. if ME is the main benefit of BS, could i just stick to weighted pistols?
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