Moms of Steel Bring CrossFit to Netflix’s “Floor is Lava”

June 2, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Kelley Franceschi
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Three members of the CrossFit community are about to put their athletic skills on display in an entirely new way. The Moms of Steel – Kelley Franceschi, Rosanna Sansone, and Rebecca Bowman – competed on season two of Netflix’s “Floor is Lava”, which premiers today.

Remind me: Hosted by do-it-all TV personality Rutledge Wood, “Floor is Lava” is the adult version of the popular kids game. Teams of three have to navigate custom-built rooms by jumping or climbing from obstacle to obstacle while avoiding the “lava” that fills the room and makes every surface slick.

  • The teams of three have no idea what challenges await them before entering the room. They have to take everything in before coming up with a plan and executing.
  • Executives took the competition to another level for the second season by implementing a massive volcano that the competitors have to climb, as well as other massive obstacles.

“When you show up [to CrossFit], you don’t know what the workout’s gonna be. And we didn’t know what the room was gonna look like,” Sansone explained. “So we had to prepare for anything and everything. For me, I think the win was just getting there. I just felt really blessed that we were picked from so many applicants.”

The start of the process: The first season of “Floor is Lava” hit Netflix in 2020 and quickly became a success. The streaming platform greenlit a second season while viewers at home tried to decide whether they could make the cut.

  • “So I saw season one, and my daughter who was seven at the time, she was super excited,” Franceschi said. “And she was like, ‘Mom, you have to do that.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, if it comes on again, I’ll try’. A year later, they were auditioning for season two, and I was like, ‘Oh, I have the perfect team, like, the perfect team to go against the volcano.’”
  • Franceschi reached out about potentially competing on “Floor is Lava” and received a response within 24 hours. It turns out that the producers were very interested in putting together a team of CrossFit moms who balance their workouts, jobs, and family time.

The training: With the Moms of Steel set to take on “Floor is Lava,” there were some questions about training. How exactly does a team featuring a teacher, a nurse practitioner (emergency and pre-op), and the chief psychologist at a prison prepare for unknown obstacles that are covered in a slick fluid while still maintaining a balanced schedule?

  • The Moms of Steel didn’t have to make many major changes. They continued to do their CrossFit workouts while mixing in some parkour. Bowman also spent some time working with Franceschi on kipping while the entire group climbed cargo nets and tested their grip in other ways.
  • “There also were some high box jumps,” Bowman said. “At one point, there is a jump from a lower box to a high box that I had to do. And I made it first to the low box, but then the next high one, I would say would be the equivalent in CrossFit as like a 30-inch box jump.”

Teamwork is key: Conquering “Floor is Lava” is not a simple task. It tests physical skills as well as mental fortitude. The teams have to come up with a solid plan and execute while pushing through any fear or doubt. It’s very comparable to grueling Hero WODs or difficult team events.

  • “Everything goes by so fast,” Sansone added. “I mean, I think in terms of like your decision-making and what you have to do, and you have to rely on everybody else.
  • “So I think the most that I can say is when we’re doing Murph, we rely on each other to push ourselves or go an extra round or get back on that bar. That final mile run, I think, is super difficult after you’re getting off of everything else that you’ve done, and so relying on your teammates to be together and in it to win it is the most that we had to band together to get through the room.”

Why this matters: The CrossFit training method has many benefits, but one of the most important is the ability to conquer everyday tasks and prepare for any unexpected challenge. Taking three “CrossFit moms” out of their daily lives and putting them to the test on “Floor is Lava” is a perfect example of how those who use this training method can take on an entirely different competition without missing a beat.

  • “I would say, enjoy every moment, because it goes so quickly,” Bowman said. “Just for me, it was so much fun, but it went so fast. And I do feel the same way with CrossFit workouts. Whenever I finish a workout, I think, ‘That was fun.’ And I felt the same way with this obstacle course.”
  • “We just had the time of our lives,” Franceschi said. “I remember just us saying, ‘We just want to get into the room, and we want to go and do the room.’ Because not many times do you get a chance to play in a room that you could fall into lava.”  

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