The Story of Fran

By Greg Glassman

In Exercises, Videos

December 24, 2009

Video Article

“If a hurricane that wreaks havoc on a whole town can be Fran, so can a workout.”

In this video shot at several CrossFit 101 seminars, Coach Greg Glassman talks about the birth of one of CrossFit’s best-known and most challenging workouts: Fran.

As a young athlete, Coach believed training with weights would help him become a better gymnast. When three sets of eight lateral raises with a Ted Williams weightlifting set didn’t replicate the feeling produced by a two-minute routine on the rings or parallel bars, Coach had to get creative. After coming up with and self-testing a workout involving three rounds of 21, 15 and 9 thrusters and pull-ups, Coach promptly threw up—but he knew he had found something that would make him better at his sport.

From there, Coach invited a friend to try the workout (with similar results), and a few decades later the WOD is still challenging CrossFitters around the world.

6min 46sec

Additional reading: SWAT vs. Fran by Brian Jolda, published June 1, 2008.

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9 Comments on “The Story of Fran”


wrote …

Freakin hilarious shit. Awsome always great to get a Glassman video


Daniel Schmieding wrote …


One ring man to another, did you find certain reps / sets beneficial to strengthening ring movements? I'll laugh and nod my head in understanding if the answer is "constantly varied..."

Great story, not the first time I've heard it from you, and hope it's not the last. You're always welcome here at my box in Sonoma County.


wrote …

Darn Coach I was hoping for some old video of you doing Fran, maybe next time.

Merry xmas.


replied to comment from Jake Trahan

lol sorry about the typo stuff i was just in a hurry to be first on the comments



wrote …

That was an awesome story! My first "Fran" was done a few months ago with some old Sears sand weights that could barely fit on the bar to get to prescribed weight, they fell off mid wod, my 3 year old looking at me like i was nuts grabbing the video camera to take pictures while it was filming, my form was terrible as I've only really used dumbells to train, took me like 6 minutes! Someday I'll release the video of it! But only when it can be acompanied by a sub 3min performance! Second attempt was 50secs off so hopefully soon!


wrote …

Veejay, agreed.

I'd love to see an early Glassman workout. Or even a video (if they exist) of some of the firebreathers' first time through Fran. I imagine 'current' Spealler/Mikko/Eva/Greg/etc would destroy the time they got the first time through, but it would be neat to see the improvement. Or even just to know who's pre-CF training was the best? Ok I'm fully bad, neat story though.


wrote …

I lived in New Bern, NC in the Summer/ Fall of 1996...
Bertha was the setup, and in my humble opinion, THE
hurricane of the year.

Fran only cleaned up afterwards. Count your blessings
that the 'B' workout is named Barbara instead of Bertha.

The crowd's laughter at the dog's eating the vomit
vice oohing and aahing is telling. Very much like
the old Crossfit I remember.


wrote …

this is one of glassmans best so far


wrote …

Good stuff!!!

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