Front Squat Land (Franzilla)

Strength: Front Squat

Front Squat 12 x 2 x 115 lbs @ 30s. 115 lbs is about 74% of my current 5 RM, which put me above the target 70% but I was happy to do it. I’ve been working the front squat repeatedly lately.

WOD: Franzilla

WOD was “Franzilla” (21 front squats, 21 pull-ups, 15 push-press, 15 pull-ups, 9 thrusters, 9 pull-ups). Rx’d weight: 75-80% of Thruster 5 RM. My chosen weight: 85 lbs. The Rx would have been 100. I’ve done the wod previously at 110. For pull-ups, I used mostly “strict” form but decided to use assistance with the red band. Time: 10:15.

I am embarrassed to compare this result to previous Fran and Franzilla times from a year ago. It is not favorable. Last October I did Franzilla w/ 110 and no bands (going 70% of my then ONE rep push-press max of 145… today that’s my 5 rep max… today as Rx’d I should have done the same, and would have, if my left shoulder wasn’t fracked up). And the band-assists on the pull-ups are about the same issue.

Anyway, I was kind of bummed by the juxtaposition of Franzilla with the strength progression on Front Squat. I disagreed with the Rx, which for me and other guys would basically make the Rx’d weight too close to the Rx’d work sets in the Front Squat. (A couple of guys did the WOD at the same weight as the work sets.) This makes zero sense to me; what the frack is the point of doing 24 highly controlled reps in 12 work sets if you’re going to turn around and do 21 reps in a max effort for speed situation?

So, I loaded up with 85, to make it a different kind of test of mettle, and because my shoulder is bugging me and I knew the push-presses and thrusters were thus going to be a limiting factor. Plus I thought I’d go fast.

But I see now that I thought wrong. I didn’t go fast, especially on the pull-ups, and I failed even to beat my Fran at 85 time from last November, while using a stupid red band (compared to no bands) so the whole just looks like a total fail to me. A total fail, that is, with the possible exception of my final set of 9 thrusters at 85, which was super fast and stellar. More like those please.


This fracking left shoulder thing is bumming me out. The whole thing is bumming me out. HTFU indeed. I am stronger than I was a year ago… that’s verified on paper and in iron. But I am not harder… or faster. Too many injured tissues. Not enough sleep. (That is the major difference between me a year ago and me today). I gotta work on that.

Additional volume on push-ups and pull ups. These numbers include sets during the warm up.

Push-Ups: 10, 14, 12 (all at CFA); 12 (before work); 12 (after work).

Pull-ups, w/ red band: 8, 8, 8 (all at CFA); 8, 8 (after dinner). I’ll be pushing the red-band pull-ups towards sets of 12 by two weeks from today. The last sets of 8 felt very doable. I’m going to hazard a guess that, in spite of lackluster speed and performance today, I am regaining capacity in the dead hang, which is the whole point. I think it is not unreasonable to hope for that elusive, sometimes on, sometimes off goal of mine — work sets of 10 dead hang pull-ups — by January.

Mobility work: watched, not to say did, everything Rx’d in Mobility WOD #6 (internal shoulder rotation using a post) and #72 (high hurdle hip opener and, surprise, internal shoulder rotation). That and a few minutes in deep squat, plus thoracic and lumbar rolling, shoulder and forearm lacrosse balls, and IT band rolling. (15 minutes total)

Ice: while reading, some ice on the left shoulder and the left knee.


  1. Shoulder pain is extremely debilitating for most of the movements you did today. To see this workout as a failure is to willfully misunderstand your present situation.

  2. Thanks for the brutal honesty Yoke. You’re right of course.

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