I have kept track of all of my Fran times over the past 6 years. From my first attempt at Larrakeyah Navy Base gym, where I completed the WOD on a squat rack while next to me guys where sitting on benches looking in mirrors checking the form of their bycep curls as I gasped for air and struggled through the Thrusters. That day I finished in 10:30 and it killed me. Then just the other week at Daylesford CrossFit finishing in 4:49 and it still killed me. Along my CrossFit journey my time has been up and down, but gradually improved until now where I sit anywhere between 4:00 to 5:00 minutes. Here are some tips I have found to improve that time and lessons I have learnt along the way.
My World Record Fran time was completed in 3:40 on 26th of October 2017. Six months before that my Fran time was 6:47. I was four weeks out from my wedding date and had been on the zone diet for two months with my fiance. We where trying to look our best for the wedding and had been weighing and measuring our food. I remember how easy the workout felt and how I could not believe my time. I had never weighed and measured my food before, I have always eaten pretty healthy and followed the concepts of the Zone Diet but never weighed my food. Since that 3:40 time I have not be anywhere near it and have not stuck to weighing and measuring my food as I did. So tip 1 is get on the zone.
Coach Glassman on, Optimizing your performance with the zone diet.
Matt Chan, The Zone diet for competitors, part 1
There is no doubt the butterfly kip is a lot faster than the regular gymnastic keep. The gymnastic kip is a universal movement that will help you with many other movements, toe’s to Bar, chest to bar, muscle ups, rope climbs and any other hanging movement. but is a way slower movement. Now I do not recommend that you forget the gymnastic kip and go straight to a butterfly, you should definitely master the gymnastic kip first then move to butterfly.
This link to progressions by Carl Paoli, points out the dirfrence in movement between the Gymnastic Kip and the Butterfly.
Fran is gonna be hard every dam time, but if you wanna go faster you need to be willing to enter a very dark place each time you do it. The 15’s are the hardest and it is where most people lose time. You need to have the attitude that you are going to give everything you have on the 15’s and then hopefully the 9’s, well its only 9 reps so bring it home.
The thruster is a very simple movement, you squat the bar and then you press it above your head, not much to it. But if the weight of the bar is on your hands the hole time, your forearms are going to get fatigued and the pull ups are going to be way harder. If your torso leans forward in the squat, the bar path is going to be off and you will waist energy. You need rock solid technique if you want a faster time. remember technique, consistency and then intensity
Importance of technique
If you are only training twice a week progress is going to be slow and you will most likely plateau and see no progress. If you feel like your time is not getting any faster and you have tried tips 1 to 4 then the problem may lie in lack of consistency. Talk to your coach, try something new, shake things up a bit and get that consistency in your training.
I hope this helps. In another 11 weeks we will retest Fran at Daylesford CrossFit and I am sure if you only achieve just one of these tips you will see a faster time.