Eric Roza doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Two days before the start of the 2020 Games, the new CrossFit CEO completed the first event of the competition — Friendly Fran. The official workout consists of 21 thrusters (85lbs for women and 115lbs for men) and 21 chest-to-bar pull-ups performed for time.
This event is a remix of the original Fran, which is done with the same moves but for a rep scheme of 21-15-9 and with lighter weight (65lbs for women and 95lbs for men); traditionally, Fran hasn’t required chest-to-bar pull-ups, either. To offset the increased rep count, and prevent potential injury, the 53-year-old Roza opted to use 95lbs. You can check out the video here:
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“I’ve been thinking about this a lot, losing some sleep over it, in fact. The key thing I need to keep in mind is that the workout may be called Fran, it may be a couplet of thrusters and pull-ups, and it may start with 21’s, but this workout is not Fran,” Roza says in the YouTube video posted by the CrossFit Games.
“When I think about whether to scale or not, I’m thinking about two things: what is the stimulus that I’m looking for and also keeping myself safe.”
Lowering the weight hurt his ego, Roza admitted, but it was probably a smart move. After all, this tougher Fran will have the athlete log 126 reps instead of the usual 90 — and with 20 extra pounds for both men and women. Roza managed a time of 8:43. Not too shabby for a man who also manages an international organization.
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This year’s Games are different from any other. 2020 Games athletes will have to compete virtually during stage one, and so CrossFit had to, in Roza’s words, “standardized on equipment.” As a result, the events utilize more basic equipment like barbells, pull-up bars, jump ropes, and rowers — tools that most people probably have access to. That means almost anyone can get in on the action and try their hand at an official Games workouts.
“We have this incredibly unique sport that just spans all segments of society — no matter what people’s abilities, no matter where they live, no matter their socioeconomic status,” Roza says. “I think it’s so cool that our Games workouts this year are the kind of thing where everyone can be doing them, and I really encourage you to jump in and do this workout.”
Featured image from the CrossFit Games YouTube Channel