Oct 27, 2017

While looking through my Instagram feed, I came across Pat Sherwood's post of the Linchpin CrossFit Test 1.  It looked interesting so I put it in and made sure that Trevor was going to be here as well. 

I have a love/mostly hate relationship with the signature CrossFit workout Fran.  If you dont know the workout, it is a simple, deceptively difficult but short workout that looks like this:



Thruster @ 95 lbs


This is often the first workout that introduces people to CrossFit and it has humbled more people than any other.  How hard could it be?  It looks pretty easy...right?  Actually, it is pretty easy but the idea is to do it as fast as possible.  Upon first try, athletes often come in around 10 minutes.  The elite can do it at or under 2 minutes.  When you pour on the intensity, this workout becomes one of the hardest things imaginable and takes anyone and everyone to a very dark place.  It exposes weakness immediately, it is easy to judge correct movement (your hip must be below your knee on every thruster, then complete lockout with head through the top, full lock out on bottom of the pullup and chin over the bar).  Athletes must show passable form for all reps, which means for those unfamiliar with these movements, you may have to do 35 thrusters to get 21 that count.

While 95 lbs is not that heavy for me, 45 reps as fast as possible makes it heavy.  Thrusters are a favorite for the ability to simply develop strength and conditioning, but also one of my least favorite in terms of comfortability.  They are not comfortable for me...at all.  They are, in fact, a weakness.

The Linchpin Test 1 workout looks like this:

Run 400

Fran @ 75 lbs

Run 400

Fran @ 75 lbs

Run 400

For time

This was attractive to me because of the reduced weight and the addition of the running.  So I put it in the rotation and we gave it a shot. 

Because of the Comptrain Masters workouts that I have been following, I have learned or paid more attention to pacing through all workouts.  Ben Bergeron does a fantastic job of discussing pacing in his descriptions.  I have listened and tried to keep a more even pace through workouts paying attention to the areas where I am most likely to be able to reduce time rather than just going 100% at first and dying off in the later rounds.

On this one, I decided that the run was probably the area that I could make or lose the most time.  In order to do well on the runs, I would need to pace the Fran sections.  On the first run, I went pretty fast but not so fast that I was really winded upon return to the bar.  I broke the work as follows:

Thruster- 11/10




Thruster- 5/4

Pullup- 9

Then I was able to run straight away from the bar and continue on the 400. 

2nd Fran

Thruster- 11/10

Pullup- 11/10

Thruster- 10/5

Pullup- 15


Pullup- 9

I felt good and took off straight to the 400 with no walking. 

My finish time was 15:29 and I was happy with it.  It was hard for me to believe that more rest and more breaks actually made me go faster through this whole workout.  This is a big lesson for me to not only learn, but learn through experience.  More rest=better performance.  Wow.

There are 12 of these Linchpin tests and some are light and fast like this one and others are heavy and would challenge my ability to do the workout at all.  I would like to try all 12 eventually.

Let me know if you tried this one and what you thought