Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Meet Fran

I'd like to elaborate a little bit on yesterday's post. Going back today (after a day of complete perfection eating/exercise wise) and re-reading it, my head is clear, and I realized I failed to mention my 5 rep max deadlift PR in addition to my new Fran PR. First off, what in the heck, or who in the heck is Fran? Honestly, I don't know who she is, but I can tell you the workout that is named after her is a complete bitch. Its quick, (like, the best people in the world finish the workout in 2 minutes) but it is SO. FREAKIN. HARD.

The rep scheme is 21-15-9. The movements are 65# thrusters (front squat into an immediate OH press) and pull-ups. So, you do 21 thrusters, 21 pull-ups, then 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups etc. I've done this workout a total of 4 times now, and the limiting factor for me is the pull-ups. Before yesterday, I had always subbed jumping pull-ups and while that was ok, doing banded pull-ups is a whole different story. Yesterday I used the thick band, and as usual did the thrusters at 65#. Then, I moved as fast as I possibly could.

I had the whole day to mentally prepare for Fran, and also I was welcoming the sort of "punishment" for my weekend of bad choices. I did my usual 16 hour fast, consuming only water and BCAA's in the morning, and headed to the gym at noon for my fasted workout. We started off the workout with establishing our 5 rep max deadlift. The most amount of weight you can deadlift 5 times without letting go of the bar or pausing at the bottom for more than 2 seconds. I looked back through my journal to see if we had tested this before, and I could only find results for a 3 rep max. My last 3 rep max was 215, so I definitely wanted to get above 200 for my 5 rep max. I stopped at 205. I was pretty happy with that, not to mention a little light headed after setting the bar down for good. I like ending sessions like that feeling like I have a little left in the tank, so that the next time we test, I remember that I could have given a touch more, and that seems to give me confidence to try for more weight. In a few weeks I'll be testing my 1 rep max deadlift, and I would LOVE to hit over 250#. 265# or 275# would be a dream.

We cleaned up our stations after deadlifts and set up for Fran. I loaded up my bar with 65#, got my band ready by staking out a spot on the pull-up bar, and then the nerves hit. Why, after 1.75 years do I still get gut wrenching nerves before some workouts? I just want the workout to go well. That's all I'm thinking, and somehow that puts tremendous pressure on me. I wanted to beat my previous time. I wanted to push myself. 3-2-1-GO. The 21 thrusters went up like nothing. (note to self, always do heavy deadlifts prior to thrusters). The 21 pull-ups went by ok- the sucky thing about the place I'm in now, is that I'm strong enough to do strict pull-ups with the black band, but I haven't got my kip technique down to use the smaller band yet. So, I'm like stuck inbetween. Essentially I did this workout with strict-pull ups which are way harder. The 15 thrusters were rough, and I had to break them down into groups of 5. The 15 pull-ups were equally rough. I was at 4 minutes, and I was gassed. I forced myself to grab the bar and attempt the last 9 thrusters unbroken, but only made it to seven. I hammered out the last two, jumped up onto the box and struggled to get my foot into the band. It just wasn't working. Trainer saw my struggle and came over to help. That cost precious seconds. I finished my 9 pull-ups pretty quick, in time to see the clock say 6:43. I was the first person done, and I was SO happy that I beat my previous time doing a harder (banded pull-ups) movement. The next time I do Fran, it will be with the smaller band, and I expect my time to increase. BUT, that is ok. One day, I'll be doing the whole workout as it was written- no band for my pull-ups, just me, and I already have the 65# thruster DOWN.

Arriving back at the office, I felt so good. That gym sessions was pretty much the epitome of a perfect workout to end a fast (heavy weights, fast), not to mention, it was a great fasted workout, meaning I didn't feel like I was bonking. I had plenty of energy. Afterwards I ate my perfect largest meal of the day consisting of lots of protein, a little natural fat, and a ton of cauliflower. Seriously, how amazing is it that I can recover from a weekend of shit in one day just by fasting, working out, and eating properly? I used to think that it took me weeks to shake a few days of bad behaviour. I guess for someone like me, the quick recovery is somewhat of a blessing and curse because now I'll just tell myself eating bad is ok since the down time is drastically reduced. NO! That is the dangerous thinking. I have goals. I have things I want to do.

Today has been yet another stellar day, with perfect fasting/eating/exercise. Our workout today was A-MAH-ZING. When I first saw it written, I was skeptical. It was one of those tricky ones, where it looks kinda short, but then takes like 23 minutes. At the same time, I knew I wanted to do it at the prescribed weight for girls, so I was ready for it to take as long as it needed to. I looked at the 6am class times to get an idea of how long of a workout it was, and they were around 16, 17 minutes- not prescribed. I figured it would be a 18 minute or so workout for me. NOPE! Finished in 15:21. I was beat. Again, it was an amazing fasted workout where I had a ton of energy and I felt super strong. One of the movements in the workout was my nemisis- hang power cleans. The weight was 95#. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do all 3 rounds of 15 at that weight, but I was going to try. Sure enough, I nailed each and every one. It seems like not that long ago, a 95# hang clean was not in my repertoire. After today, I'm sure that I have hang cleans at 115# in me for a few reps.

I was the only person in the 8 person class today that did the workout as written, with all the recommended weights, and I didn't finish last! I have no idea what has gotten into me. I followed up today's workout with a crapton of cauliflower, broccoli salad, peas, and pork loin. My forearms are still so smoked, 2 hours after completing the workout. Tomorrow is looking like a rest day. Hooray for being back on the horse and galloping off into the sunset. Eff-you standard American diet, 45 minutes or more of cardio, and eating frequent small meals!!!

1 comment:

  1. Way to go! FRAN is tough, I've seen it done on YouTube and I commend you for getting it done.