The Fran WOD is one of our favorite CrossFit girls. She’s quick, she’s nasty and she’s effective.
Although many of the CrossFit girls are known for their brutality, Fran in particular is known for making even the most fit athletes feel a little pukey. However, she’s a class favorite and many people love playing around with different variations of the Fran WOD.
Some gyms celebrate “Franuary” and do different variations of the Fran WOD each week whereas others simply mix it up in hopes of shaving a few seconds off their time. Regardless, Fran is somewhere between a force to be reckoned with and a WOD to be celebrated — I guess it depends on exactly how much you like thrusters.
There are literally hundreds of variations of the Fran WOD. Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular.
The Original Fran WOD
21-15-9 Thrusters (95/65 pounds) Pull Ups
15 Fran Variations to Try
This version of Fran eliminates thrusters altogether. Before you sing the hallelujah chorus, remember that the thrusters are instead replaced with burpees. We’re honestly not sure what’s worse.
Burpees Pull Ups
This WOD may be worse than the original Fran. It combines the barbarity of two CrossFit girls — Elizabeth and Fran. In addition to the heavy thrusters and pull ups, athletes will also see heavy squat cleans, ring dips and a run.
The squat clean weight varies from box to box — some people keep the same weight as the thrusters while others do a heavier weight and either change bars for thrusters or match the thrusters to the squat clean weight — yikes!
Squat Cleans Ring Dips Thrusters Pull Ups With a 400 meter run at the end of each round
If you hate regular Fran, you’re reaaaaaally going to hate Fat Fran. She’s not any nicer and as the name implies, she’s a whole lot heavier.
Some boxes sub out weighted pull ups for chest to bar pull ups instead.
There are two different ways to do Fractured Fran. Although it may seem easier upon first glance, stay weary. Many athletes say that dragging the Fran WOD out, even for the sake of taking a break, can make it worse.
Frantasy Land is nowhere near as fun as it sounds. In fact, it’s not fun at all unless you have a sadistic streak — which admittedly, every CrossFitter does.
Thrusters (95/65 pounds) Pull Ups
Thrusters (115/85 pounds) Chest to Bar Pull Ups
Thrusters (135/95 pounds) Bar Muscle Ups
Compared to Frantasy Land, Heavy Fran seems like a walk in the park — that is until you realize that not only are the thrusters heavier, but the pull ups are weighted as well.
Thrusters (135/95 pounds) Pull Ups (45/30 pounds)
If you’re unfamiliar with Kalsu, it’s another absolutely ruthless WOD involving a LOT of thrusters. The key difference? Burpees, on the minute, every minute. It’s like 14.5/16.5 all over again, but with pull ups. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to get a little pukey with this one!
Thrusters Pull Ups With 5 Burpees EMOM
This variation of the Fran WOD is straight forward enough. Instead of doing thrusters with a barbell, grab two kettlebells. The prescribed weight is different from box to box, but for our purposes, we’re listing it with weights as close to the original Fran as possible.
Kettlebell Thrusters (2 x 53/2 x 35 pounds) Pull Ups
In case you didn’t notice, Narf is Fran spelled backwards, making it pretty easy to figure out what this variation is.
Pull Ups Thrusters
Run Fran Run
There are about a MILLION variations of just this Fran variation alone. Some people start and end with a longer run like 800 meters. Some coaches program less thrusters and pull ups to incorporate more running interspersed throughout the workout. Some add in sprints when transitioning from movement to movement. Of course, anyone who wants to add more cardio to Fran probably just wants to watch the world burn anyway.
Here’s a basic variation of Run Fran Run that many boxes use.
21 Thrusters 21 Pull Ups Run 400 Meters 15 Thrusters 15 Pull Ups Run 400 Meters 9 Thrusters 9 Pull Ups Run 400 Meters
The only thing worse than a regular thruster? Probably a thruster with a sandbag in my honest opinion. But, if dying while trying to grip a shape-shifting bag is your sort of thing, then you’re in the right place!
Sandbag Thrusters (100/75 pounds) Pull Ups
Strung Out Backwards and Upside Down Fran
I guess on the bright side, a long run gives you a big break from thrusters? Try to look at the bright side with this one, everyone.
Run 1200 meters 9 thrusters 9 pull ups Run 800 meters 15 thrusters 15 pull ups Run 400 meters 21 thrusters 21 pull ups
In case Fran wasn’t enough of a leg workout for you, throw in some rowing — you know, just in case. Some boxes also offer scaled versions with 300 or 400 meters rows instead.
If 500 isn’t quite challenging enough, some programming calls for 750 meters between each set of movements or even 1000 meters. May the quad gods be with you.
Different athletes do Wet Fran a few different ways depending on their access to equipment. Some stories involved putting pull up bars in the pool or fastening them to the side of the pool. However, the main theme in this variation is getting your swim on when transitioning between movements.
21 thrusters Swim 100 meters 21 Pulls Out of the Pull (Pull your bodyweight completely out of the pool, stand up to full extension and jump back in) Swim 100 meters 15 thrusters Swim 100 meters 15 Pulls Out of the Pool Swim 100 meters 9 Thrusters Swim 100 meters 9 Pulls Out of the Pool