If you’re looking for a new way to test your strength and endurance, try this work out called the “Flynn-Fran” that incorporates the use of the double kettlebell clean and press. A friend of mine showed me this to ask for my opinion of it and it looks pretty killer.
What is the Flynn-Fran?
The “Flynn-Fran” is a workout made by Patrick Flynn of ChroniclesofStrength.com that is variation on the Crossfit “Fran” workout. The traditional “Fran” workout consists of three rounds of barbell thrusters and kipping pull-ups. The first round consists of 21 reps of each, the second round is 15 reps of each, and the last round is 9 reps of each. What makes this workout different from the traditional version of “Fran” is the replacement of barbell thrusters with the double kettlebell clean and press; and strict dead-hang pull-ups replacing the kipping pull-ups that Crossfit likes to focus on.
There’s a lot of debate in the fitness world about Crossfit regarding whether or not it’s a good training paradigm. One of the main points of the debate is that Crossfit encourages bad exercise form, and the kipping pull-up gets a lack of flack for that. A lot of trainers have a problem with the movement because it’s not very functional. For the most part, they’re right, it really doesn’t compare to strict dead hang pull-ups if strength is your goal, but in Crossfit strength isn’t really the goal; time is. This variation, however, replaces kipping pull-ups for dead hang. That alone is going to make this a much harder circuit to complete. The momentum that makes the kipping pull-up typically so accessible has been eliminated entirely.
The double kettlebell clean and press replacement for barbell thrusters also do the same thing–take away the momentum. Instead of being able to use momentum to push the barbell above your head, you now have to rely mostly on shoulder strength. Also, the use of kettlebells makes it harder than using a barbell because you have to use extra muscles to stabilize the weight. So, although a lot of the leg has been taken out of this movement, it’s been replaced with a more taxing workout on the upper body.
I think this is a great variation. I really like Crossfit, but partly that’s the competitive side of me coming out. I love the strength and conditioning element of it, but I wish it was more structured. Adding momentum to some of their movements does makes it more accessible to a lot of people, there’s also a part of me that cringes when I see kipping pull-ups. Just reminds me of a lot of a flopping fish.
If you are used to doing traditional Frans and want to try something new, check your ego at the door before trying this. I would start with about half the weight you would do on a traditional Fran.
Jatae Jeter is a fitness trainer located on the central coast of California. After dropping 120lbs, she specialized in training for fat loss for several years before making it a passion to pursue more holistic approaches to improving health and physical/mental performance.
I like the idea of the Flynn-Fran, I’ll have to give it a go. I agree about the lack of structure in crossfit but that’s only if you take it at face value. When you scratch a bit deeper you find that the higher level guys use crossfit around a structured, more traditional program. For instance, the elite guys push heavy weight. You only get there one way, and it’s not through 95lb thrusters 😉 Thanks for the Flynn-Fran tip.