FRAN Strategy and Tips — A Comprehensive Guide

In this video Jenny Borda, DPT along with Jeff & Maria Binek go over the famous CrossFit Benchmark workout Fran. In this video we discuss Fran Strategies, Tips on the movements and set-up hacks.

“Fran”: 21-15-9:

Thrusters (95/65)


1. Go Sub-6:

If you’re not under 6:00 when completing Fran, you are not achieving the stimulus or intensity the workout is designed to have. Scaling the Pull-ups or Thruster weight to an appropriate level to allow yourself to move FAST and transition smoothly, with minimal breaks is key. Standard Scales: Pull-ups: Jumping Pull-up Strict with Band Kipping with Band Strict Kipping Butterfly Chest to Bar Thruster Scales: Front Squats 21 Front Squats + 21 Push Press Thrusters (empty bar, 75/55, 95/65, 115/75, 135/95)

2. Thruster Tips:

Squat Clean to get into a good position. This is a non-negotiable for this workout, practice it and warm it up.

Open Hands on Thrusters to relax the grips and biceps to reduce fatigue during pull-ups.

Breathe at the top of the Thruster Rep and maintain a consistent pace until you can go unbroken.

3. Pull-up Tips:

For more Pull-up Progression Videos go here:…

Maintaining Kipping efficiency and body control throughout the 21 and 15 sets in Fran is extremely important. Don’t get GOOEY!

Break up into slightly smaller sets than you might think a good rule of thumb is to divide your max set by 3 (standard) or 4 (to be safe) and use that as your sets.

Minimize time between sets to a 7-10second countdown clock, use this time to quickly get chalk, but stay on the countdown clock!

We recommend using Bear Komplex Grips:

You MUST be able to do an Unbroken Fran with a classic kipping pull-up before even THINKING about Butterfly pull-ups for this workout.

4. Transitions:

Ensure you SET and PUSH the bar down into the ground, keeping it tight to your pull-up station.

DO NOT let it bounce away from you or roll around.

Immediately get your hands onto the Barbell after your last pull-up set.

NEVER get chalk going to the barbell!!! Never take a break between movements.

Chalk only during a planned set break up.


Ride a ‘dangerous line’ of red-lining this workout and trust yourself. It might feel better than you think if you try to push the pace to a new PR.

And if you don’t, that’s fine too, a part of getting better at this workout is failing and going out to fast (but that is way better than over-pacing it!)

As always, you can check out our other tip videos here:…

Bonus: Training for Fran:

Here are three workouts that will build your Fran Capacity:

1) EMOM20:

a) 10 Thrusters (work on hands, and breathing)

b) 3 sets of 3-5 Kipping Pull-ups (working on efficiency)

**This workout will build your FORM and Efficiency for Fran**

2) 5 Frans:

Complete 5 rounds of 21-15-9:

Thrusters (15-45lb empty bar)

Jumping Pull-ups

Rest 2mins between each Fran

**This will ramp up your pace and teach you to go as fast as you can, and feel that really high HR, then rest and go again! Great way to build your engine for Fran.

3) Max Endurance:

Complete 3 sets of:

Max Thrusters (95/65 or appropriate weight to get 30+)

rest 3mins

Max Pull-ups in 1min

Rest 1min

**This will build both confidence and higher rep ranges above and beyond the demands of the workout**

Check out our Dublin, Ohio Gym Benchmark CrossFit Class or Remote Coaching for work on Functional Bodybuilding with a Friendship Coach. 

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