In Athletes, CrossFit Games, Videos, Workouts

January 09, 2009

Video Article

Jason “Rhabdo” Kaplan gained recognition in the CrossFit community for his incredible Fran performances. First, there was the 2:08 Fran posted on the Affiliate Blog. Then there was the controversial 1:53 on the Main Site. Jason is also an aspiring 2009 CrossFit Games competitor.

In this part 2 from the Again Faster crew, Jason goes for a repeat performance, only this time with absolutely perfect range of motion in an attempt to silence his critics.

On Saturday, November 15, 2008, at CrossFit Monclair, the end of the first day of his first CrossFit seminar, he is put on the spot in front of dozens of CrossFitters and trainers. Pat Sherwood and Andrew Thompson are right there, judging every rep.

Three rounds, 21-15- and 9 reps, for time of:
95 pound Thruster

The Road to the 09 Games — Rhabdo Part 2: 8min 36sec

Free Download


81 Comments on “The Road to the 09 Games — Rhabdo Part 2”


wrote …

"Rhabdo"-That was incredibly inspiring, keep up the great work!


wrote …

I didn't read all of the comments regarding the sub-2:00 on the boards, but I considered it to be phenomenal! This too, was a valiant effort. He gave the best he had that day, while being judged, and STILL turned in an amazing effort. And to put it all on the line at a cert, on video, likely knowing that it was going to reach the masses? That is a true representation of this man's character. Great job Rhabdo. I look forward to seeing you compete in the Games this year!



Jeremy Stecker wrote …

Knowing the whole backstory and hearing the interview on Crossfit radio, this seemed to inspire me more than any other video I've seen. Jason is truly a man of passion and puts his heart into what he loves. Wow. Amazing video and nice work Jason, keep it up.


wrote …

Jason, your an inspiration, period.


Matthew Doane wrote …


Both efforts.


wrote …

I don't comment on these boards often but he had all of my respect already with his other fran performance but thnis!!!!!!! man I don't know what to say. the whole time he was going I was clapping and screaming at the computer as if i could push him on to a yet faster time again:):) Great job. you have all props from me brother. You are CROSSFIT!!!!!!!


wrote …

You know, when I saw the 1:56 Fran, I was in total disbelief because I know how hard it is, and I know that when I am going to my lowest time that my form goes a bit.

All I could think when folks were making their comments was, "What a bunch of homers....that was amazing!" I should have written on the boards.

I think that the point made about others in the community not speaking up supporting the effort was legit. We should cheer on performances like that. A perfect 2:57 Fran is awesome. To bust out a Fran like that at a L1 cert, being judged by the CFHQ trainers, in front of 100 plus people, is amazing.

If you haven't been to a cert and had thrusters and pull-ups cut from you when doing Fran, then you should shut up. Having had pull-ups cut by Andy Thompson personally I can tell you - it tightens your shot group.

After attending the L1 cert last August, I basically had to re-start my PR tracker because there are some things that you just can't learn from a video clip.

Awesome work Rhabdo.


wrote …

Rhabdo that is an AWSOME effort. Those pullups were so legit, especially those first 21, you were almost at your chest!! There's no doubt that you can kick ass at the games this year. good luck


wrote …

Way to go Jason, keep it up! You're the man!


wrote …

It doesn't bother me at all to see less than perfect form on a sub 3 minute Fran. Until someone does it WITH perfect form, we won't know if its even possible. Awesome job!


wrote …

Great job Rhabdo! Both of your nearly famous Fran performances have inspired me, so thank you for being willing to share with me and the rest of CrossFit! Best of luck at the games!


wrote …

I'm proud to say that I did comment on the board when you got the 1:53 Fran. I couldn't believe everyone was giving you such a hard time. I said it before, and I'll say it again "You owned that workout". Inspiring stuff! And way to handle the criticism in a classy way. You are a class act and a real ambassador of CF. Props to you!


wrote …

Operator Status: Earned


Robert Ellsworth wrote …

The content and construction of this, and all the other Again Faster produced videos that I have seen is fantastic. The excellence of Jason's work deserves such a well made film. Crossfit your workout, Crossfit your diet, Crossfit your job...


wrote …


Jason - that took courage. Your students must be in awe of you.

You are an awesome role model - keep doing your thing!

I am super impressed that you are one of the few top CF'ers who can crank out Fran in super quick time AND back it up as legit.

Looking forward to seeing you rock the Crossfit Games this year!


wrote …


I stood behind your intensity the first time and your form the second.

No more Fran. No More!

I look forward to seeing you at the games.



Joshua Dickey wrote …

When I saw you do your sub 2 min Fran that last time I was floored!! Even more so now that you showed the world the perfect sub 3 min Fran. You set a pretty high standard.

About those haters. they obviously dont know much about intensity, or crossfit for that matter and need to go to a lvl 1 cert.


wrote …

I second what many have said about this being done at a Cert. Jason, simply put wow. The Cert WOD's are their own animal, not like at home. For you to throw that up at your L1 is incredible. Way to push through and finish when you know you haven't performed at your peak.

Hold your head high, there are many of us who have been in Crossfit for years and the support is there. Perhaps we have grown to silent as the main site comment board has gotten so big. While the community is growing leaps and bounds that will inevitably lead to an influx of less quality, it's the danger of becoming almost trendy. I am ok with that, Crossfit is a philosophy you can carry it with you no matter where you are and no matter who has latched on. You embody that what it's core philosophy is; INTENSITY INTENSITY INTENSITY. It doesn't hurt you have a healthy dose of integrity to deal with the harsh critique.

Best of luck to you and keep pushing the envelope.


wrote …

Guts, brother! You have it. It doesn't matter what others say, they only judge you because they can't do it themselves. Keep on, keepin' on!! Good luck at going for the games.



wrote …

Rhabdo, you are the man!!!! Sub-3 minute perfect fran!! THAT GOT ME HYPED UP! No doubt you will do good at the games


wrote …

I agree with Jessica. That took a hell of a lot of guts, Jason. Even without all the pressure, that was an incredible result. This is one of the most inspirational videos I've seen on CF.


wrote …

Remember the quote about the "Man in the Arena" - don't listen to those miserable souls who know not the elation of victory nor the agony of defeat b/c they are cowards. You are a victor brother - saw both videos; nothing short of incredible excellence dude. Wish I was half the athlete you have publicly demonstrated to the entire world. Drive on!



wrote …


Anyone who has put forth strong effort in a fran and felt the unique pain and agony it elicits didn't really focus on what the form was like on the sub-2:00 fran, you attacked it at an unreal pace that would probably permanently cripple most of the folks had critical comments on the boards. Nice job, proud of you for both efforts.



Darren Coughlan wrote …

Great vid again!


Awesome performance. Not only was the performance impressive but your character aswell.
CrossFit is what we do, not who we are.

I'm glad that our community has more people like you with 'character', than the nay-sayers that doubted your sub 2min. Again this simple phrase tells it all;

"Actions speak louder than words"

Keep going!



wrote …

Awe-inspiring work both times, Jason, especially when you had the weight of the CrossFit world on your shoulders for the last Fran! Class act, too!


wrote …


I can't resist the need to post. Brother, that was awesome, just like your 1:53 effort. I don't know what I can say that hasn't been said. I think the greatest compliments came from the coaches on the video. You just don't have intensity, you have heart and integrity. Keep it up.



wrote …

I never post on these things, but I had to this time. Let me first just say that while this was certainly inspiring, the sub 2 minute video was just incredible. I read some of the negative comments on that post and just laughed. The intensity and the effort you put forth on that workout was absolutely insane. I would be embarrassed by attempting to criticize that. In the pursuit of true fitness, you've got to balance form and intensity and I think the sub 2 Fran you performed may have epitomized that balance. Having said that, this effort was almost equally inspiring. I don't think I've ever executed an entire Fran with perfect form like, and if I have, it was no where near that fast. Keep up the great work bro!


Trent Barnes wrote …

Wow! Way to lead by example Jason. In the Navy we live by the core values of honor, courage, and commitment. You managed to prove to the world that you possess all three in less than 3 minutes. Great job.



wrote …

I could tell you were bummed after reading comments from your sub 2min effort but dont be, I was completely impressed by both of your attempts and by the length of this comment wall, so were a ton of crossfitters. Keep up the awesome work, you inspire all of us!


wrote …

I think what inspires people to comment on this clip goes beyond Jason's superior effort on Fran (for the second time). It is his unwavering belief in his own abilities, his composure, his refinement, and his gentle manner in the face of skepticism that makes us all want to cheer him on. This clip captures the heart and soul of a true crossfit role model, and will surely continue to inspire us all.


wrote …

The video comes off as if he needs to prove himself, which sadly I dont think he does.

Great stuff.


wrote …

That was awesome to watch.

I commented on the main site when the sub 2 fran was posted that it was a ridiculously amazing effort, but also that I felt the form was off and couldn't be counted as a 100% genuine time, not meaning to take anything away from the effort (I was def not part of the brigade that just bagged the video). In so many videos we see, form is lost, and whilst intensity is critical, we share the belief that form is too.

Having watched that video, I am truly inspired. That was basically a perfect Fran and it was a joy to watch. I personally preferred watching that one than the sub 2 and appreciate it so much.

Well done on having the courage to put yourself out there to be watched and analysed again.

Cheers mate.


wrote …

Wonderful Job...All-In is what you are...the workouts, the community, the camaraderie, you get the big picture. I only hope after seeing that video, more crossfitters can see the big picture. BTW - The music was so perfect for that WOD!


Ian Carver wrote …

Nice work once again, Jason. To go up and do it again, under the scrutiny of the naysayers and the Level 1 Cert crowd is highly respectable. Both of your attempts were legit and you have a place at my table (and gym) any day. Below is my original post from the comments in November. I still stand by it and post it here again to reaffirm how I, as an athlete and trainer, viewed your efforts then and now. Solid work, brother!

"There is always going to be some argument on anyone's super, duper fast time and the form used to achieve it. It's a given, we are not all going to agree on the perfect movement. That being said, I think we need to look beyond some very minor flaws and take a look at the basis of physical capacity required to finish a WOD in a record breaking time, regardless of what it is.

If Jason were flailing around like a man being electrocuted and visibly quarter squatting and pushing the barbell out front w/bent elbows at the top, I would say "No Go". But, overall it wasn't that bad. There were a couple pull ups that were a tad short and I would like to see the ball gone (Jason, I know you can replicate it w/o the ball), but still even if I made him repeat the reps, the time would have been phenomenal.

What wow's me when I watch a video of anyone, Speal, OPT, Freddy C., Bionic, or anyone else, is how much effort is going into making that WOD tick by. I have done Fran in 2'43", and I know how much it truly hurts and what my final power and force output was. I also know I had a couple flaws in my fastest Fran. So, I put that in perspective and have to shake my head at how much power and force Jason just put out to do a very, clean, albeit maybe not technically perfect "perfect" Fran, and I have to appreciate it for what it really is. Folks, the numbers are friggin' unreal - we need to recognize that fact. Large loads, long distances, shortest time. The athletic and anaerobic capacities of Jason are well represented and have to be applauded here. Would a perfect pull up and perfect thruster have increased the average output numbers? Maybe, but only negligibly, not enough for me to lose sleep over.

Our measure of fitness is power output, it is a quantifiable entity to measure performance and adaptation. There is a definite time to make sure it is perfect, but there is another time for a bit of leeway when that output will not be so drastically affected by the little stuff.

Don't get me wrong for a second, I am a form Nazi with my clients. But when it comes to a dialed in, pipe-hitter going for a PR, I'm going to give them a little leeway, as long as it isn't on the cusp of injury, bad habits, or absolutely no gain coming from the crappy form. I have stopped clients, and even myself, from PR attempts when thinngs started to seriously crumble.

If you want to question someones form in a fast Fran, take a look at the old Josh Everett v. Greg Amundson Fran face off video. Coach is watching that one from the background and I'll be the first to say it, and I think the world of both Josh and Greg, that there were some funky thrusters in there. But, in recognition of what they are accomplishing fitness-wise, I can't take it away from them and apparently, neither can Coach. I can bet we can all nitpick almost any CF video posted for some flaws, regardless of the athlete who was doing them.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Jason could do a "Slow" 3 or sub-3 minute Fran with "perfect" form and that is what I go back to in my head. Could he do it right if he had to? If yes, then carry-on, soldier. If no, then blow the whistle and try anohter day.

If we are going to get down to brass tacks each and everytime a person posts a PR video, then we should agree ahead of time that some excusability is allowed. If we are going to be holding people to a strict standard, it should be as we dial them in on the WOD itself. The progression to proficiency in CrossFit is: Mechanical competency, Consistency, and then Intensity, in that order. Once the first two are met, the third comes into play and when it's go time, at speed and major fatigue, that intensity will have a slight bit of form variation. I'm okay with that. "

Enough said. You have put the argument to rest. Take care and keep up the awesome work!

Ian Carver
CrossFit Centurion


wrote …

That was awesome Jason. Like they said in the video, it was really gutsy to do it again. Hoping to see your performance at the Games.

Great job on both Frans.


wrote …

Jason, you are an inspiration. We have a motto at our police academy and it states "Integrity- you only have it once". I applaud you on both of your amazing efforts with Fran. I look forward to seeing you and the other amazing athletes at the games. And for all the nay sayers out there just shut up and put out. I am not even close to Jason's athletic performances, but I look at him and tell myself maybe someday if I work and put out as much as he has. Don't let your shortcomings reflect into negativity because of someone else's accomplishments. Let it inspire you instead. Nuff said---Tommy


wrote …

My brother, in daring to 'fail,' and possessing the courage to truly test your have set a great example for all of us. I think that in failing to recognize the audacity of your effort, the individuals who leveled unnecessarily harsh criticism of your first effort missed the point: Whether it was ‘sloppy’ or not, it’s all one great individual experiment of the body/mind connection – Who am I and what can I become? I suspect you’ll get there before the rest of us.


wrote …


You are an inspiration to many of us. Your 1:53 was very impressive and left many still gawking at the computer screen!

You answered the call once with castro's "who will be sub 2?" And when you were questioned for your efforts by fellow crossfitters ,even, you AGAIN answered the call.

More can be said for you as a person and for your humilty for being willing to hit it again, than whatever time you did or could have ended up with the 2nd time around!

"we are who we choose to be"

Keep pushin brother!

-Mr. Moody


wrote …

Exceptional effort! Pretty terrible that your initial success was taken away from you a bit though. Hope to compete with you at the games.

Bill Shiffler


wrote …

Amazing performance under amazing pressure by a super nice modest guy. For such a performer it's refreshing to see none of the macho BS coming from you. You have nothing to prove to any of us. 99% of us salute you and your drive, determination and ability. The last 1% are armchair critics, don't worry about them.


wrote …

Funny to read the comments today and compare to the comments posted on the "free" site where the sub 2 minute Fran video appeared. The "big free tent" takes all comers, so obviously there will be haters. Those truely dedicated to CF probably subscribe to the journal and those truely dedicated have the truely valued opinions. The haters make me laugh! Great job Rhabdo, keep pushing it hard.



wrote …

I agree your level of fitness is inspiring. I cannot believe anyone would find fault in a person with such dedication to his workouts. Combined with your humility you the type of person we should admire. I hope you continue to post your progress it is a joy too watch.


wrote …

Jason you are the man. I found that clip incredibly moving. You have absolutely nothing to prove and the fact that you felt you did upsets me. This mans performance is way above what the vast majority of cross fitters can accomplish.. Your "sloppy" 1:57 fran is a 1000x better then most people's sloppy 9+ minute fran.
Your an inspiration keep pushing the boundaries and i can only hope to push myself to the same limits you've shown are possible.


wrote …

sorry, i meant 1:53.


Kevin Wood wrote …

Wow! If there was ever an inspiring video, that is it!


wrote …

Well done Jason, well done.
Ruiner--Diablo CrossFit


wrote …


a perfect 1:53? I think Pat said it best that your intensity MORE than made up for any slop. Anyone leaving negative feedback on it needs to 1. step up and show what they have. 2. need to loook at what we are really all about at Crossfit. I watched your 1:53 when it was posted and was just in awe. This effort, though more technically correct in form, was no less awsome. You are a great Crossfit athlete. Keep pushing.

As Steve Prefontain said, "To give anything less than your best, is to sacrafice the gift." You are not sacraficing any gift.


wrote …

Fav xfit vid of all time. Simply amazing work Jason.


wrote …

Rhabdo, Great job with that FRAN. Good luck toward the 2009 games


Dan Cerrillo wrote …

Anyone who comments negatively to this or your last workout has only one thing to do. Post their own workout video.

Bottom line put up or shut up. If your going to comment negativly to someone elses effort you better be able to beat them.

Jason good form or bad form, your worst effort is still better than 95% of the people who do CrossFit. Keep up the good work.


wrote …

Wow Truly inspiring!
I enjoy any sport or activity when I see someone giving it there all putting it all out-there. That is one of the reason I love CrossFit. Jason you have heart! Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.


wrote …

Nice work, Rhab. The firebreathers at DCF never doubted your ability or fitness. Come train with us anytime, even though we'll likely finish behind you.


wrote …

Rhabdo, mate any of thoses efforts would have given me real Rabdo (and then add another 2 mins). Great job and slay em at the games!



wrote …

Jason - That was beyond courageous. So inspiring and more of an accomplishment to be willing to do that in that setting. You have pushed me to do Fran tomorrow AM when I wake up. Pat was right, a perfect sub-3 Fran is every bit as amazing as your sub 2 min Fran. Keep it up!


Joe Stephens wrote …

Rhabdo, i have been reading learning comparing this crossfit style of training to all other stlyes over the last 12 months, im a master personal trainer based in the uk and i have my own commercial gym. the last two videos that you put up has just answered all my questions about how im going to change everything both i and my members do in my gym. i will be following all your achievements so keep up the videos, that was amazing! train hard, play hard, be strong, be fast, be fit.
ps happy new year to all crossfitters!!
coach when you comming to the uk i want to do you cert's


wrote …

Hey Rhabdo, this is Adriana and Lance from CrossfitHardcore, you came and wodded with us a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't realized it was you until you left.
We just wanted to say amazing job on that first Fran, we really don't give a shit what people say, those who are all on your ass about form it's only because they're hating, I would love to see their Fran!!!!
We were at the Games this past year and even the top guys and girls lost their form over intensity so I think people should just shout their mouth, my philosophy is "if you can't do better just shut up"!!!!!
About the second Fran...too much pressure man, that was crazy even for people to ask you to do that, it had nothing to do with your ability.
When you worked out with us I think I've never seeing thrusters that fast in my life!! So keep it up and use the negativity as a fuel!!
Much respect


wrote …

Just wanted to thank you all for your thoughtful and motivating comments!


replied to comment from Lance Mosley

Thanks Lance, looking forward to visiting your box again with a healthy back!


wrote …

I doubt if any of the whinny bitch complainers could stand toe to toe with you.
Its all a mind game. A game that you have proven you can win many times.
Thanks for being a great example. There are more of us that appreciate and look up to you with respect, than there are pooh-pooh heads out there.
those who can't critisize those who can


wrote …

hey rhabdo, it's pnut from cfhardcore. i knew i recognized those thrusters! great work! forget the haters, good luck @ your qualifer.


wrote …


I was there and watched/counted every rep. It was legit. Gutsy move letting the cameras roll and performing in front of the entire Level 1 audience as well as the CFHQ trainers. You stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park. I wish you all the best at the games, bro.


wrote …

Question for Rhabdo. Which Fran felt the worse? Which Fran was the most painful, had you seeing most stars etc.? That could be some interesting insight for those of us trying to find that fine balance between form and intensity.

Inspiring work on both efforts!


wrote … other way to put it. Impressive. Might be the most perfect Fran I have seen.


wrote …

Great job Jason! I know from experience that doing a WOD during a Certification is both physically, mentally and emotionally very hard. I admire your warrior ethos and consider you a true "fire breather". Great work brother.

- Greg Amundson


replied to comment from David Laemers

I'd say the cert one was the hardest in my opinion because my nutrition was a little off, didn't eat much all day and was running on empty. My favorite one was my 2:08 with the messed up stop watch, that was the most enjoyable even though I had to collapse in the end. Thank you all again for your thoughtful comments, you all are too kind.


wrote …

When I saw the first video at 1:53 - I thought it was awesome, inspirational, and deserved major accolades.
I never knew there was a discussion going on. I am glad, because I probably would have wasted a lot of time on it.
Forget those fools! A bunch of "haters spittin vapor". I guess you graduated, so now you get WOD's for your spirit, to strengthen your resolve and your will to achieve. Your on your way, keep going, onward and upward.
Send more videos so I can keep getting inspired!


Blaine Ehrlich wrote …

CFHQ, AgainFaster, Guerilla Fitness & most of all Jason himself...

I can't thank you enough for such an inspirational display of what CrossFit is about. No matter how many times I watch that video I find myself cheering Jason on.

I'm glad to be part of a family of people who takes life not so serious & goes to, what feels like, the ends of the earth to complete a task (WOD). A family of friends, fathers, mothers, sisters & brothers where I pray the family reunions never end.

I also pray that we as Crossfitters continue to perform w/ the same intensity & honesty that Jason has.

Keep your head up brother!!



wrote …

I am new to Crossfit and I haven't seen the negative comments on Jason's first Fran but watching the performance he put together for his first Fran along with the rest of the exceptional athletes on are what inspired me to start Crossfit.

I want to thank Jason and everyone else for the effort and motivation they have given to Crossfit that inspires people like myself who are just starting out.

Great Job on both Fran performances.


Daniel Schmieding wrote …

Great work Jason, and great work Again Faster production staff in putting together such a quality, undeniable, emotional lens for us to look through.


Andrew Rape wrote …

Awesome job Rhabdo!


wrote …

Yea, people who criticize this time are just looking for a reason to knock someone down.

It's a fantastic display of conditioning and gives me another reason to train harder and harder.

VERY impressive performance.


wrote …

Beyond Inspiring!!!
Keeping Kicking A** and Taking Names!!!

-gayle in VA


wrote …

This is the single best piece I've ever seen in the CFJ. Thanks.


wrote …

Well done sir.
I don't view the cf boards but forums/vids/internet in general is full of keyboard warriors bashing peoples achievements. I wouldn't take it too personally. I'd literally fall off my seat if the views displayed in forums were unanimous in praise. It'll never happen. GL


wrote …

Jason you're the man brother. You're video was so inspiring to me. I just did my level 1 and I finished Fran over a minute slower than my PR so I know how hard that is. I can't believe you did that in under 3 minutes in front of trainers and a huge crowd at a cert...that take some serious balls and sick fitness. Hell yeah, don't listen to all the haters keep bringing it!


wrote …

Absolutely outstanding.

I know the mind battles you're talking about - pretty much of us do. Some days I'm not ready for the pain, some days I'm untouchable (but not 1:53 untouchable!).

You might be disappointed in the video but we aren't. It just proved even more what a class act and true Crossfit athlete you are. I have saved the video for motivation on the days I feel lazy or doubt my strength.



wrote …

Haters will hate. Haters on the internet will hate in the rudest fashion possible.

But you have a lot of respect here.


wrote …

you are a true inspiration bro...dont let anyone get you down.


wrote …

Don't EVER shake your head during something so spectacular EVER again!!! For you to get up in front of everyone and do that is truly inspiring Jason. The strength of not only your body but your mind and soul are what we've all had the opportunity to witness here, awesome job, you are truly an inspiration :)


wrote …

Usain Bolt 9.58 100m New World Record in Berlin...I don't belive?
Do it again,Usain, in my backyard?

Record is a one time job!


wrote …

I dont usually comment, but I thought I had to this time.
I saw your 1:53 video ages ago, unaware of the critics, great effort.
For me though, the best part of this video is when you shake your head after the pullups. You know you havnt gotten the same time, but you still keep going. I cant even count the number of times it has happened to me. Its what crossfit is, its what crossfit means to me. To keep going when you think you cant make it, or when your mind is trying to talk your body out of finishing.
Its comforting to me to see that everybody goes through that, and will help me out in my workouts.
Cheers brother, and sterling effort once again.
Michael Godfrey

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