Denny and I tackled Heavy Fran Plus the other night. Basically you do Fran, side effects then at 4 minutes, you begin 15-12-9 Thruster 115/75, Chest to Bar. It’s the 2 WODs smashed together. We both attacked with similar plans – do a “chill” Fran in under 4 minutes, but likely not under 3, then get into the real tough stuff, the 115 Thruster/C2B combo after Fran.
My main observation was one of intensity. Intensity is the number one factor in determining results in fitness. Intensity should be placed on a pedestal. We basically test WODs to see how close we can get to a perfect response of intensity – to do the right amount of weight and movement that allows the athlete to keep moving. The is an equation for this, Force x Distance / Time. The crazy thing is, when you add to one aspect of a WOD, adding weight, or Force, we often see the time increase. When time increases, the intensity takes a dump.
Anecdotally, that’s what Denny and I experienced on Heavy Fran Plus. Even though this WOD was bigger and meaner looking, Fran is harder, probably by a lot. If you can do it even close to unbroken, Fran hurts. You have to move a relatively heavy weight (95 thruster and your bodyweight on the pull-up), you have to move it a relatively long distance, and you have to do it quickly. If you are fit, the whole thing is over in 4 minutes or less, and you are laying in a pile for minutes afterward – sometimes longer.
Denny and I both planned early breaks on Fran, breaking up the 21s and 15s to keep the dreaded lactic acid monster. We used different strategies, but experience has taught to be smart and keep the redline just a hair away. We did a very good job of pacing and being ready to attack part 2 of the WOD. Once we got into part 2, we held on just enough to work in good sets and push our pace and abilities.
Do we really get fitter this way? By that, I mean being cautious, knowing your pace so well. I mean, I guess we do, cause we’re working hard. But when we allow the time to expand, the intensity takes a dive. Shortly after the WOD, Denny and I both agreed to try it again, to see where we could shave off time. I have never said this after Fran – “Let’s do it again real soon.” It’s just too damn memorable – the lung burn, the flamed out grip, your blood turning to battery acid.
Think about this as you scale or pursue fitness. We usually give you scaling options or strategies to best attack WODs. Sometimes, we even provide heavy options. But remember that heavy isn’t always better. Anything that allows that T (time) to expand is causing your intensity to be…less intense.
Workout of the Day
Squat Clean into Thruster
Take 20 minutes to build to a heavy single of this lift
3 Squat Clean and Jerk 185/115
15 Box Jumps 24/20