Fran … Please!

I hate Fran but at least today went better (i.e. heavier and faster) than my last glimpse of her went. But circumstances are against me. I have yet to do a prescribed Fran; either novicity, or weakness, or injury has always prevented me when Fran comes around. One day I’ll be ready for Fran, but not today; today, kipping pull-ups were out, dead hangs were too slow, so I went with a red band.


Agility ladder. Mobility. GHD Sit-Ups (10); Sotts press (10); Squats (10); Push-Ups (20); Pull-Ups (15 x blue band).

Strength: Front Squat

Dynamic effort 60% of 5 RM x 12 x 2 @ 60s; I actually went with 67%; 105 lbs x 12 x 2 @ 60s.

Volume: 2,520.

WOD: Fran

Fran needs no introduction: 21-15-9, 95 lb Thrusters and Pull-Ups, for time.

Two weeks ago I did Franzilla, which is supposed to be heavier than Fran, but isn’t all Thrusters; I used 85 lbs (shoulder pain was worse then, I now remember) and the red band. My time was 10:15.

Back in March when I was recovering from surgery I did a shoulder press Fran w/ 60 lbs dumbells, in 7:25.

The closest I have come to doing an as Rx’d Fran was “Our Lady” about ten months ago. But in that 11 minute workout I fell short of the reps in Fran by 16.

Just over a year ago I did Fran with scaled weight (85) and no bands in 9:50.

This year, I did Fran with 95 lbs and red band in 9:57. I tried the first rep unassisted, and then did two more singles, trying to test whether I could kip, but I had to switch to a red band. That only cost me a few seconds.

This go around was stronger in terms of Thrusters; it was like 450 more pounds of Thruster volume with only 7 extra seconds of time; but I probably lost at least that many pounds off the assisted pull-ups. This isn’t a wash; it all around looks weaker to me, but honestly I just don’t know.

HTFU: Additional Volume

Push-Ups: besides x 20 in warm-up / 4 x 20 after work

Pull-Ups: besides warm-up blue band and Fran 6 sets of 4 dead hang pull-ups after work.

Food Update

I know yesterday I was all, like, I’m going to eat in the Zone for a week. Today I am not 100% behind the plan. But we’ll see.

I tried one day today and it was weird. For one thing, I don’t know if I can so easily make the switch from a fat-dominant diet to the more balanced “Zone” proportions.

Anyway, I’m still game, but like I said I get to have more fruit than usual and I’m using starches (potatoes, and tonight I had white rice).

On today’s meals I overshot carbs by a block or two and I overshot the fat by 7 blocks or so (i.e. I went 1.33x).

AM: BCAAs and JACK3D; L-Carnitine; POST-WOD: BCAAs, L-Glutamine; Chromium, D3, Cal-Mag, B-complex; probiotics

Breakfast (8:30 am): 2 whole eggs; 4 egg whites; touch of butter; 1 cup cooked dandilion greens; 1 tsp. butter; touch of cider vinegar; 1.5 orange (12 slices); 4 oz. white potato; 1 scoop whey powder; 1/2 cup hemp milk; 2/5 banana (47.00 pro 19.50 fat 65.00 cho)

Snack: 10:00 am: 8 almonds (2/5 oz); 3 oz. chicken; 1 apple med/large (23.00 pro 8.25 fat 29.00 cho)

Lunch: 12:00 pm: 12 almonds (3/5 oz); 7 oz. chicken; 1 banana; 1 coconut water; 1 pecan date roll (49.50 pro 17.25 fat 61.00 cho)

Dinner: 5:30 pm: 8 oz. grass fed ground beef fried with 1/2 tomato, 1/4 onion, garlic; added chicken fat (1.5 tsp); 1 cup white rice; 1 date; 1 tbsp. fish oil; 1 tsp. drippings from the pan. (49.00 pro 47.00 fat 80.00 cho)

Totals: 168.5 g pro (met target); 92g fat (17g over target, mostly from the fish oil and scraping the pan); 235g cho (this is basically on-target; 19g over): 2442 calories.

I would have been fine today without the date or the coconut water, apparently. Good to know. At this level of caloric intake I might lose a pound of fat or more this week. We’ll see.

One thing I will say about the canonical Zone diet, you feel like you’re getting plenty of protein to safeguard your muscles, and there’s no doubt that it supplies TONS of carbs for muscle recovery and brain fuel, so there’s very little risk of gluconeogenesis robbing your lean mass if you’re hypocaloric.

But it feels wrong to me. Going even one day “in the Zone” as I did today, is enough to remind me how much I love the Robb Wolf Rule: you can sub fat for carbs. And I’d rather. But for one week I’m going to try to shoot for these numbers.

By the way. I am aware that lots of CrossFitters use much lower protein prescriptions for their Zone diets; typical CrossFit men are eating just 16-18 blocks a day. I don’t like those numbers: 16 blocks is only 112g protein, and unless you move to 1.5x fat or 2x fat or higher, your totals come out to well under 2000 calories.

In my eating, I have found that I like to set my protein levels high, and carbs much lower. I really seem to thrive on about 24 blocks of protein / 65 blocks of fat / and 15 blocks of carbs. Or thereabouts.

Let me know what you think...