Noah Ohlsen Breaks Fran Record, Remains Awesome
On today’s episode of how awesome Noah Ohlsen is, the nine-time CrossFit Games athlete has potentially set a new unofficial record for one of the sport’s most notoriously tough benchmark workouts.
While filming the TYR Wodapalooza Online Qualifier team workout videos on August 19th at Downtown Strength and Conditioning in Miami, FL, Ohlsen ended up doing the full Fran workout, even though he admits he was not in the best mental or physical state that day.
- “I remember saying something along the lines of ‘Ah, I’m kind of tired, I’m not sure I want to do this, and then everyone started egging me on, saying ‘You can do it, just do it!’
Ohlsen was accompanied during the shoot by the likes of Travis Mayer (who took on the 150 wall balls in Karen) and Emma Cary, and Ohlsen explained when filming the workouts, athletes can either do the whole thing, or just a few snippets that can be spliced together for the video.
- “So I was like, ‘Alright, screw it, what’s the worst that could happen, I don’t PR it.’ So I decided to just really go for it, and just put the pedal to the metal.”
Ohlsen ended with a time of 1:49, which bests his previous time of 1:57, which, according to research done by the Morning Chalk Up, is the new unofficial world record (on video).
Remind me: One of the original six benchmark workouts, Fran has taken the soul of many a CrossFitter as it mixes mid- to lightweight barbell thrusters with just enough pull-ups that you either have to break into smaller sets, or get the infamous “Fran cough” after going unbroken, or many times end up with both.
For someone new to CrossFit, completing Fran as it’s written (Rx) is a major milestone.
Doing Fran in under five minutes means that some dedicated time has been put in. A time under three minutes is largely reserved for the “Fittest in the Box”. Finally, the top elite athletes are typically around 2:30 – 2 minutes.
- Five-time Fittest Man on Earth Mat Fraser has a listed Fran time of 2:07.
Ohlsen said even though he was hesitant going into it, after a few moments, he was ready to rock.
- “Once I had committed to it, and properly warmed up I was able to get myself to a place where I was pretty fired up to do my best. And in the video, you can hear they created a really cool environment on the spot. Everyone was yelling and screaming and cheering me on so that really got me fired up as well.”
Dylan Malitsky of Loud & Live — the company that puts on Wodapalooza – was on hand and said it was a pretty cool thing to witness, given Ohlsen had actually done Fran earlier that week, and Malitsky said he may have helped talked him into it during an interview portion of the video they filmed beforehand.
- “I asked him if there was any part of him that wanted to do it and he was like, ‘Ahhhhhhhhh, okay’ … We all cheered when he said yes and it was a really special moment for all the people who were in the gym and got to watch him tackle that.”
Ohlsen said at the end of the day, he said he may have caught lightning in a bottle with a perfect mix of readiness and nonchalance when it comes to such a short but devastating workout.
- “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but at this point in time, Fran isn’t really intimidating to me anymore … I mean it’s not going to hurt until it’s over, so just put the pedal to the medal, go unbroken on everything, and that’s really all you can do.”