“Sack of Potatoes Fran”

May 23, 2019 | 0 comments

There aren’t many workouts you can do which will hit you harder (and faster) than “Fran”.

It was written Eons ago by a teenage Greg Glassman, as he experimented on himself in his garage like some kind of mad CrossFitting scientist.

Veteran CrossFitters will tell you about a certain queasiness they experience just upon hearing her name mentioned. “FRAN” is a girl who will leave you breathless (and possibly revisiting your breakfast in partially digested form)

This doosie only takes 4-8 minutes, so warm up well for it with a good bout of cardio and plenty of stretching.

Here’s how you can simulate the stimulus of this legendary workout at home with nothing more than a chair and a sack of potatoes.

Please note the correct form and range of motion for both exercises here:

Important Notes:

  1. The chair is there to help you keep your balance. Squat by sitting your hips back and keeping the weight towards your heels. NEVER do squats with the weight on the toes. Violation of this principle will result in excessive sheer force on the knees (not a good thing)
  2. Touch the chair with your butt and stand back up. Keep your quads active and torso upright as you touch. Do not by any means collapse onto the chair. Doing the squat correctly will protect your back, and help you develop great strength and control.
  3. The Repetition ends with the sack directly over the base of your neck and the shoulders shrugged into the ears. Don’t cut this one short by not finishing all the way up!
  4. On the Row, make sure that you are solidly supported through your Right Hand and Left Leg (for the Left Arm Row), and through the Left hand and Right Leg (for the Right Arm Row). Experiment with this until you find a position which feels stable and secure.
  5. The Row is done in two stages. Stage one: starting with a straight arm and flat back, pull the potatoes up into your ribs. Stage two: Continue to pull the elbow back and up until you feel a strong engagement of the lats. Keep your back flat throughout.

The scheme:

In a controlled and careful fashion, you will perform 21 Thrusters.

Then without any break, it’s on to 21 Rows with your Left arm, and 21 with your Right.

You will immediately go on to a round of 15 more Thrusters, followed by 15 Rows on each side,

Lastly, you will complete the workout with 9 Thrusters and the 9 final Rows per side.

Final Instructions: At no point in time should you rush through any of these exercises. Perform them deliberately, paying attention to correct form and full range of motion.

THAT BEING SAID, there are no breaks in Fran! If the rep scheme is overwhelming, then scale the workout by performing 15, then 12, then 9 of each instead of 21-15-9. This workout calls for continuous movement!!! Set a stopwatch and let’s see how long it takes you!


Congratulations! Working out at home is a huge step to improving your quality of life and feeling better!

 Of course, there is no substitute for in-person professional coaching or the camaraderie of working out at a Box. Take the next step by booking a free No-Sweat Intro at https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=13876588

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