She’s back!

SCHEDULING ANNOUNCEMENT: Starting Monday, October 3rd, we’re adding a 4:30-5:30pm WOD class to the schedule, Monday-Friday. Also, don’t forget that today is the first day of the weekday lunchtime class schedule splitting into two lunchtime classes: noon-1pm and 1pm-2pm.

Monday 110926

“Fran” (compare to 110911)
21-15-9 reps of:
Thrusters 95#/65# (Post Elements 65#/43#)

Running at altitude / Running on empty
The politics of yellow: Butter vs. margarine
Forgetting to quit
Cognitive biases in sports: The irrationality of coaches, commentators, and fans

Black Box member Ralph sent me a great story (and photos) of how he spent his 9/11 weekend. Enjoy:

Here is how I spent my 9/11 weekend. The GoRuck Challenge is what I joined Black Box for.

Have you ever had that feeling where you are so nervous, you can’t look anyone in the eye? Have you ever been so excited that you can’t sleep because your eyes refuse to stay closed for more than 5 minutes? Ever known, deep down inside, that over the course of the next couple of hours, you are going to view yourself (and life) in a completely different light? It was Saturday at 6:00 PM, September 10, 2011. I was on my way to the temporary GORUCK Headquarters on 385 Broadway and I felt all of that. At the same time.

After arriving, I was told by a few teammates our 8PM class has been split up and merged with other classes. I would have to choose between stepping out at 10PM or at midnight. The handful of guys and gals I met the previous night during the GRHQ Ruckoff decided on midnight… so that was the time I settled on. The next four hours were spent BS’ing around with the people at Headquarters, securing the bricks in my rucksack, snacking on some food, drinking a lot of water, and power naps. I remember a friend of mine spotting Jason with a bottle of Monster energy, a Starbucks double shot, and a 5 hour energy bottle. When asked about it, all he did was nod and reply with, “yeah, that’s right… this is to checkmate all you mother eff’ers.” We couldn’t help but laugh. This was going to be a fun night.

Everyone was assembled outside of GRHQ in two sticks (single file lines). At midnight, we started moving, with Indian Runs. Within minutes we were chastised for not being a team, which meant being demoted to bear crawls. Our Cadre hated our pace, so we were demoted one more time… to inchworms. What are inchworms? Inchworms are where you get down on the ground and put your legs on the shoulders of the person behind you, who is also on the ground… then everyone does a push-up. Your brick-filled rucksack is on your back (it is NEVER allowed to touch the ground) and a few of us already have some “coupons.”

I couldn’t tell you how long we were on the ground, pushing ourselves UP whenever commanded and DOWN whenever Jason felt he wanted to see his beautiful creation come crashing back down to the very clean (I’m lying) NYC concrete… but it felt like forever. “It seems like you’re learning, you’ve been promoted to bear crawls.” Bears are awesome. I love them. I could watch shows on bears any day of the week. Humans aren’t meant to walk like bears. Bear crawls suck. We spent the next hour or so bear crawling around NYU campus and Washington Square Park. Whenever we heard “GO,” two teammates from the back of the lines would have to get up and sprint to the front, and then continue moving while random, drunk New Yorkers would just stop and stare at what was going on. We spent some time getting reacquainted with inchworms, then back to bear crawls, but I digress…

After an hour or so we moved up to walking lunges, but by this time we lost our talking privileges. We needed to find a way to have the entire team lunge at the same time, and continue the Indian sprints whenever we heard “GO” from our Cadre without saying a word. We must have lapped the park a good fifty times before Jason was satisfied and allowed us a few minutes to hydrate, refuel, and relieve ourselves. Want an idea of how we felt? Try doing as many walking lunges as you possibly can until you absolutely cannot do another one. Then do 200 more. It was glorious!
Once the break was over we were back in two sticks, finally getting ready to Indian Run around lower Manhattan. Looking back, I wish I could have seen the looks on the faces of the New Yorkers we passed that night. It was the morning of 9/11, here you had a group of 41 men and women all equipped with rucksacks, gloves, headlamps (turned off of course… there were snipers around), a hose, a “bitch” bag, and a kettlebell moving throughout the city doing very conspicuous things. Some of the things I heard were priceless.
Somewhere along the line we were told to look to our right. Across the street we saw Class 062, carrying an immense log the same direction we were headed. I know it might be hard to understand, but seeing that log, and knowing that we were about start our own carry felt great. Granted, I would grow to absolutely despise that bitch of a log later, but at that exact moment, I was uplifted. Taking that log away from 062 and carrying it the opposite direction while they chanted “sixty-three, sixty-three, sixty-three” was one of the most inspiring moments of the weekend.
We had to carry that log all the way back to its “resting place” in Brooklyn, at the East River. Remember that uplifting feeling I mentioned earlier? Yeah, all gone. It took us 4 hours and change to finally reach the river and put that log down. The sun had already risen by the time we made it to the East River.
“I want you all to turn around and look at what’s in front of you.” We did. What we saw was the hallowed NYC skyline. I cannot put into words the emotions I felt while looking at the city I’ve lived in my entire life, my New York. I remember that day like it was yesterday and will never forget the men and women who were lost… ever.
We then locked arms, and stepped into the East River, sat down, and began doing flutter kicks. Then we did some more. Once we came together as a team, Jason asked us to turn around and face him.

“We are only halfway done now. This is where the real test begins. Welcome to the GORUCK Challenge.”

I’ve sat in front of this computer for the past hour and a half, trying to put into words what I felt during the final stage of our Challenge, but for the life of me… I can’t. I can’t tell you how I felt crossing Manhattan Bridge with a teammate on my shoulders. I can’t tell you how I felt chanting “U S A, U S A, U S A” while making our way through Manhattan. I can’t tell you how we all felt when every single one of us made it to the statue of George Washington at Union Square. I can’t truly explain the tears, the laughs, the smiles, the hugs… I can’t. It really is impossible. This weekend was unforgettable in every sense of the word. We started with 41, and finished with 41, as a team… together. Thank you for the experience. I will remember each and every one of you.

We are now GORUCK Tough.

* * * * *
Here’s what’s on tap for Tuesday’s WOD classes:

5 rounds for time:

100 meters walking lunges 30 in-place lunges (15 each leg)
15 handstand push-ups


  • Sam G

    Didn’t Fran come up like two weeks ago?

  • Folks:

    Let me know if these Mobility WOD links start getting annoying, but they’re such a direct hit for some of these WODs it’s hard not to share…

    This has some simple suggestions for getting the most out of your thrusters, and simultaneously improving your overall shoulder position. There’s a couple of other Fran vids on there as well…one where Starrett calls Fran “going to the dentist…for time.” – Agreed.

    • Dickie

      I can only speak for myself, but I read almost everything you post.

    • Jenny and Cashew

      me too Reis!

      • Jenny A


    • Cashew

      sorry, i responded for both jenny and i haha

      • Jenny A

        glad you did, Cassie. everything Reis posts is golden. esp the jokes

    • You 6:15 kids are the greatest… 🙂

      • Dickie

        We’re like the Brady Bunch kids – freakishly chipper all the time.

        • Cashew

          here’s the story..of a lovely lady..and a man named brady


          that’s the way we all became the brady bunch..the brady bunch!

      • woman

        aw i miss you guys. i’m out of commission again this week. 🙁 i can still cheer you on!

    • To join the chorus, please keep these coming, Reis!

  • Why? This makes no sense. Please explain.

  • Zoe

    Whoever is coaching the 3pm class… would it be ok to come in and do the WOD from Sunday then? I wanted to do it but couldn’t make it in, and I could use a little break from Fran again.

  • Kate J

    Huh. My Fran today: 5:10, 33#, Jumping pull ups. My Fran on Sept 12: 7:00, 27#, Jumping Pull ups.

    • Kawasaki-san

      Nice job Kate!

  • Hari

    What you are implicitly suggesting is that the WOD’s should not be truly random, but should follow at least a partially predictive format that “makes sense;” that once a WOD appears, you should be able to assume it will not appear again for at least a certain period of time.

    That assumption is wrong.

    • So what you’re saying, is the programing that we currently employ is “truly random”?

  • david

    dammm i missed Fran!

  • Kawasaki-san

    6:54, 45#, first 15 pull-ups from a dead-hang, used a band thereafter

    • Dickie

      Nicely done!

  • Jason E

    7:17 75lbs – black band pull ups

  • Jenny A

    8:12 @55#

    First time doing Fran w/ weight above 43# and w/ unassisted pullups. Great work, 6:15 crew!

    • Cashew

      Jenny, do you remember the last time we did Fran, not most recently, but the time where you and I both used 43# and a band to help? I can’t remember how long ago that was. I SERIOUSLY need to write stuff now.

      • Jenny A

        Yep, that was 6/14/11

      • Dickie

        Just get a BTWB account.

        • Ryan

          Is there a way to get a Beyond the whiteboard account invite from the gym? I went to sign up and it requested it.

    • Dickie

      Nice job, Jenny!

  • Sean M

    most people’s Fran times were greatly improved even from 2 weeks ago.

  • Kevin

    Not Sean .

  • Kevin

    That was me not Sean.

    • Sean M

      I thought I had just outsourced my posting…

  • Manny

    6:43 rx

    mobilized for half an hour and got a PR by 10 seconds! knee starting to feel better.

  • Jun 14 – 12:38 (2.5″ band & jumping)
    Sep 01 – 7:49 (45# & 2.5″ band)
    Sep 12 – 8:02 (85# & jumping)
    Today – 6:57 (95# & jumping)

    95# was definitely heavy on the hips…tough to come out of the squat with enough power to save my shoulders from doing a lot of the work. I attribute 90% of my huge time improvement to Jamie F’s coaching. What a mensch he is…

    • Meagan

      Reis, you are my hero. Seriously. I need to start working out with you, maybe your consistency and kick-ass-ness will rub off?

      • Bring it Meagan…you know where & when. The more the merrier…

    • Jamie F.

      All you Reis!

    • woman

      daaaaaaaaaaaamn, nicely done, reis!

  • Meagan

    5:57 – 45# and jumping pull ups.

  • Cashew

    June 14 – 5:40 something with 43# and a thin blue band

    Today – 11:06, 55# and REAL pull-ups as Jenny says..

    Lots of room for improvement

    • Dickie


  • Nick W.

    Fran: 6:25 Rx’d. Not my best showing today. I think my shoulders/back were still toasted from Saturdays pullup/HSPU marathon and rowing yesterday. Also, doing Fran on your 4th day in a row is probably not the smartest. I can never say no to Fran though!

  • Jamie F.

    6:50 as RX’d. 8 second PR from early September. Reis, Will, Kevin…you are all excellent at yelling at me! Thanks for the moto!

  • Jeff B.

    Great work on the PR’s guys!

    4:36 Rx. Not a PR but happy.

    Aaron, thanks for sticking around for timing/encouragement.

  • Kameron

    6:10 – 85#.

    Two weeks ago I used 95# and tore my hand open 10 pull ups into the round of 15. Jumped them the rest of the way and finished in 7 mins and change, which I felt like was too slow.

    Felt pretty good today though. Think I’ll try Rx again next time Franny is in town. Nice work 6:15!

  • “Fran again?” Yes, kids, this was intentional.

    First, it fits perfectly in our periodization: we needed a sub-10′ WOD with an equal balance of pushing, pulling, and leg movements. (Which, in turn, falls into the current local peak of volume of overhead pressing movements – hence the thrusters on top of the three-way presses, the HSPUs, etc, in recent and upcoming days. Like the stretch of lots of squats, and the subsequent stretch of lots of pullups, this too shall pass.)

    But, second, and equally importantly, this gives you all a chance to practice and learn.

    Part of the improvement on a WOD comes from changes to your hardware. On Fran, that includes positive shifts over time in everything from muscular hypertrophy and vascularization to VO2 max. And, indeed, those factors are unlikely to hugely change over just three weeks.

    But an equally important portion of improvement comes from upgrading your software. You become neurologically more efficient – recruiting muscle fibers in better synch, for example. And you (hopefully) get smarter. Learning that you can hop on the pullup bar immediately after the last thruster saves precious seconds. So does learning that you’ll pick the bar up again for another thruster set faster if you always rest with your hands on the bar.

    And, in short, if you want to learn – improving your software at a conscious andsubconcious level – you have to repeat bouts within a short enough time frame that you still remember the last bout. At three months, you remember your time on your last Fran. At three weeks, you remember how you partitioned sets, what worked and what didn’t. And hopefully, you can come up with a smarter plan – and a new PR – as a result.

    • keller


  • Michael N

    First time with Fran

    6:57 – 65# and green band

  • Adam H

    So wait…Hari says it’s random and we shouldn’t expect it to make sense but Josh disagrees…who should I believe?

    • mike n.

      Sounds like we need Court to break the tie.

    • Hari

      There is nothing inconsistent with Josh’s position and mine.

      I was in part responding to to the comment that it “makes no sense” for Fran to appear today. My point was that such comments imply that for the WOD’s to “make sense” it is necessary that there be some minimum time before any one of them reappear; and that this assumption is incorrect.

      What Josh and I are both saying is that a minimum or maximum time between WOD’s is neither necessary nor sufficient for the overall programming to make sense.

      • Jason W

        Whoa, T-I-E, y’all. Take It Easy. It’s not like we programmed fran like this:

        or, even worse, three times back-to-back-to-back with 2 minutes of rest in between like the last event of the the Games.

        • Adam H

          I’m pretty much about to start a fight over this, especially since I didn’t even come for the last Fran

          • LOL.

            Please, everyone, let’s make these blog comments less like a fight and more like a cocktail party!

            Hugs to everyone.

  • John

    Fran from a few weeks ago : 10:35 @ 85lb
    Fran today: 9:39 @ 95lb (RX)

    Very Happy. I’ll sleep well tonight .

    • That is damn fantastic work John…well done!

    • Dickie

      nice job!

  • Hey Ralph:

    I just read your story about GoRuck. Very cool experience…must feel amazing…congratulations. If you haven’t yet you should check out the 10-part series on SealFit in the Crossfit Journal. A dozen or so top Crossfitters went to Kokoro Camp to do a week of SealFit training. They take the GoRuck concept and amplify it, over the course of a week. Looks about as intense as anything a human can experience…Rob Orlando takes his Rhabdo with a smile, and Kristan Clever is reduced to tears when she can’t bring herself to quit…but the pain is too heavy to continue…chilling stuff.


    (subscription required for videos)

  • Jason L.

    Clean and Jerk 1.1.1 @ 225#

    3 rounds for time:
    15 thrusters, 95#
    15 pullups

    Way worse than Fran…

  • Zoe

    9:12 Rx, down from 9:58 last time we did it. Didn’t want to do this WOD today, but definitely glad I did now.

    • Annie

      Nice job Zoe!! I couldnt do it today, was nervous and didnt have the courage 🙂

  • Sam G

    Pwr clean 5 x 3 x 155

    Ring dips

    15-10-10 will bumb down to 12 x 3 next time 15 burnt my chest out quick

    Clean and jerk 155 x 3 at the end, felt good.

    Farmers carry with a 1 pood bell and 1.5 pood for about 100 meters and back, I wish I owned a matching pair of bells 🙁

  • Ryan

    here is what BTWB says:

    Is your affiliate on the site?
    If so, you might want to contact them and ask them send you an invitation to create your account. If you create your account without an invitation you will not be added to your gym until you ask to ‘join’ it from their gym page.

    Can I have an invite?

    • Ryan: you can join from the CFNYC page. Otherwise, email me {josh at crossfitnyc com}.

      And, all: we just blew through another account level on BTWB; upgrading as fast as I can, but, until then, we can’t approve new additions.

      That, programming actually on BTWB, and a new version of this site should all be up by end of week.

  • Courtney

    4:59, 55#

    First time sub-5:00!

  • Jordan

    PR 7:33 Rx’d at 95#. This is only the 2nd time I’ve done FRAN Rx’d…cut 2 mins, 30 seconds off my previous time.

    • Steve Slo

      That’s awesome.

  • drake

    7:12, Rx.

    Nice job, Brad T.

  • Eric

    Great job Jordan!

    This was one of those days where I actually feel improvement:

    6:43 Rxed (PR).

    Last time was 7:41 Rxed.

  • mike n.

    9:01 rx’d. Left shoulder went on thruster 19. Hopefully in two weeks I’ll be able to get redemption.

  • Akash


  • Steve Slo

    Thin blue band

    I cut 2 seconds off of my time from 2 weeks ago… A small victory.

  • Hari

    6:19 (75 lbs)

  • Josh R

    7:37 @ 65#. That’s 1:15 faster than last time, and a new PR.

  • Steph

    Seriously. I would have shaved more than 2 mins off my time and had a new PR if we didn’t have a 10 min cut off at the 6:30 class! Not happy b/c I’ve done Fran scaled tons, unloaded, and trying to get my time down Rx’d now. 🙁

    10:00 Rx’d @65 # (got 5 thrusters in last round and cap cut off) 🙁

    Last RX’d Fran time was 13:00 and change.

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