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Bioenergetic Analysis and Fatigue Assessment During the Fran Workout in Experienced Crossfitters

Manoel Rios, Rodrigo Zacca, Rui Azevedo, Pedro Fonseca, David B. Pyne, Victor Machado Reis, Daniel Moreira-Gonçalves, and Ricardo J. Fernandes

Aim: To quantify the physiological demands and impact of muscle function t of the Fran workout, one of the most popular CrossFit benchmarks. Methods: Twenty experienced CrossFitters—16 male: 29 (6) years old and 4 female: 26 (5) years old— performed 3 rounds (with 30-s rests in between) of 21–21, 15–15, and 9–9 front squats to overhead press plus pull-up repetitions. Oxygen uptake and heart rate were measured at baseline, during the workout, and in the recovery period. Rating of perceived exertion, blood lactate, and glucose concentrations were assessed at rest, during the intervals, and in the recovery period. Muscular fatigue was also monitored at rest and at 5 minutes, 30 minutes, and 24 hours postexercise. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was performed to compare time points. Results: Aerobic (52%–29%) and anaerobic alactic (30%–23%) energy contributions decreased and the anaerobic lactic contribution increased (18%–48%) across the 3 rounds of the Fran workout. Countermovement jump height decreased by 8% (−12 to −3) mean change (95% CI), flight duration by 14% (−19 to −7), maximum velocity by 3% (−5 to −0.1), peak force 4% (−7 to −0.1), and physical performance (plank prone 47% [−54 to −38]) were observed. Conclusions: It appears that the Fran workout is a physically demanding activity that recruits energy from both aerobic and anaerobic systems. This severe-intensity workout evokes substantial postexercise fatigue and corresponding reduction in muscle function.