Workout of the Day:
Warm up to a heavy(ish) set of three and then a lighter set of five to prepare you for:
Rounds of 21, 15 and 9 reps for time of:
95/65 lb. Thrusters
(Compare performance with 06/08/09.)

Thrusters are fun when you're strong!
Thrusters are fun when you're strong!

Written by Michele Vieux

As defined by Webster’s, Foodways are the eating habits and culinary practices of a people, region, or historical period. Powerful but often subtle ways in which food has shaped, and shapes, our lives socially, economically, politically, mentally, nutritionally and morally.

I guess in the CrossFit world, this has two significances.

Many CrossFitters adhere to either the Zone or Paleo Diets or a combination of the two. It is not solely those in the CrossFit community that follow this culinary lifestyle but it is a common thread among many CrossFitters. If you have been CrossFitting for more than three months, you have probably had at least some exposure to Zone and Paleo (or at least vaguely know what I am talking about). You have probably also come to realize that diet (fuel) can have both positive and negative effects on performance, health and overall well-being.

Your culinary history is the second significance.

The food you grew up with, the tastes and smells you know and love, go back to for comfort, and crave (your foodway) is the other piece. Anthropologists, folklorists, sociologists, historians, and food scholars often use the term to describe the study of why we eat what we eat and what it means. The term foodways, therefore, looks at food consumption on a deeper than concrete level and is inclusive of – yet goes beyond – sustenance, recipes and/or taste. (Harris, Patricia, David Lyon and Sue McLaughlin (2005), The Meaning of Food, CT: The Globe Pequot Press.)

This shouldn’t be used as an excuse to gorge out on pasta and ice cream but sometimes, we can’t help what we know/eat/love. Comfort foods, the things we grew up with, became accustomed to and base memories on are important in our lives and shouldn’t be completely neglected and forgotten.

I’ve found that those who are the most gung-ho when starting a new diet (way of eating for life) tend to fall off the wagon or “cheat” more if they try to completely deprive themselves of the things they know and love.

I personally follow the 80/20 rule. Zone 80 percent of the time and leave the other 20 for comfort foods, drinks with friends, or that slice of birthday cake.  I try to limit the unfavorable intake to one or two meals on one particular day of the week.

I have friends that use the Friday at 5PM to Sunday at Noon rule. And I have one client who eats a square of chocolate before bed every night because his mom used to give him chocolate when he was a “good boy” – he is now 57 years old.

When you are in your 80 percent time, try substituting “favorable” items for the processed ones. One of my favorites is to substitute spaghetti squash for pasta in Italian, Thai and Chinese recipes.

Okay. So these types of substitutions are plenty easy when you are shopping and cooking for yourself, you say. But what about when you go out to eat? No excuses here either. Nearly every restaurant these days, from fast food to fancy-pants, has healthier options and substitutions. Take the In-n-Out Double (*Double), protein style, grilled onion, mustard instead, add pickle for example. That’s about a 4-block, Paleo(ish) burger and you still have room for a few carbs of choice.

Basically, if you want it to make it work, you can. No excuses. There are easy ways to make it work and you can still enjoy your favorites on occasion.

What are your favorite favorable substitutions?

*Cheese eliminated due to high saturated fat content. So sad.

  • richard

    Oh God, my favorite WOD!!

  • Boozebag

    I always need a little something sweet after dinner. I used to make us a lovely bowl of berries, with creamsicle dip, and crushed cocoa roasted almonds. Unfortunately stinking Paleo says I can no longer have creamsicle dip (so so sad), instead while at the farmer’s market this weekend I picked up some fresh passionfruit. When you slice open a passionfruit there is a very sweet pulp with seeds inside (both edible and VERY delicious). So our dessert tonight consisted of fresh plums, blueberries, and passionfruit (all from the lovely farmers market) with cocoa roasted almonds. I still miss my creamsicle dip but the passionfruit is a darn good substitute!

  • Julia Child

    mmmm, double double protein style….that is my comfort food.

  • biscuit

    For the dessert junkies, we made a fantastic Paleo friendly cobbler this weekend: peaches, blueberries and black berries; crust made of sliced almonds, almond meal, coconut flour, and a dash of honey and coconut milk…so money.

  • Cynthia

    Jen Martin: Great job today on your first rx’d Fran!!! Way to kill it!

    You guys all did awesome today. I get so excited watching all of you and the intensity that you bring at 6 a.m. Thanks for making my mornings so much fun!

  • Justin C

    first time with fran my time 6:33…95 lbs.

  • courtland

    Fran presents many challenges, but I pose general questions. I think that I might be able to do this wod as prescribed, but also I think it would take me quite a long time. At what point does one scale in order to be able to finish the workout in a reasonable time.

    I did read one main CF board entry that suggested sticking with the Rx’d weight if you could handle 5 solid thrusters in a row. Any feedback on that calculation or other methods that have worked for anyone?

    All comments/suggestions welcomed.

  • POS

    Congrats Jen Martin! Justin that is a great job for your first Rx’r Fran nice work. My kingdom for a weighted pull up. Heavy Fran in an abysmal 10:48.

  • richard


    I am always reminded of something I read on the main site (can’t remember where) and something our coaches always say to us: If you have to scale the WOD, then do so because you don’t want to sacrifice the intensity of the workout. you want to be able to move as much as possible with as much intensity as possible in a rep scheme like 21-15-9 for fran. if you are doing the Rx’d weight and it takes 15-20mins, then you should scale. maybe 15-12-9 with 95# or use 75# and go 21-15-9. Main thing is to keep up the intensity. I can’t do “Grace” as Rx’d (i could, but it would take 45mins and where’s the benefit?) so I scale to 105 or 115. Once you get used to the movement, gradually go up in weight. My Fran progression looked something like this over the last several months:

    1st Fran: 15:10. was new to crossfit and didn’t know my fitness level, let alone how to properly do a thruster.
    2nd: 9:30. been at it a while, still shaky but progressing.
    3rd: 6:36. seeing dramatic results, did other WODs with heavy thrusters.
    4th: 6:00. my PR right now.

    Whatever you decide, you know that no one is going to point and laugh. I myself have a hard time sometimes not doing the WOD as rx’d because I feel like i can move more weight than i really can. but it takes time and dedication. think intensity and you can’t go wrong.

  • courtland

    Richard, thanks for the comment and suggestion. I think it reflects the CF philosophy and I will try to modify my workout this evening so that I get through it but at a pace/time that balances form, technique and intensity. Nice improvement on your own progression. Take care.

  • Miles

    My first Fran! Thank you, may I have another.

  • Brent

    did one i saw from a mainsite video.
    10 135# thrusters
    50 double-unders
    8 thrusters
    40 du
    6 thrusters
    30 du
    4 thrusters
    20 du
    2 thrusters
    10 du

    took me 10:05. a little disappointed after watching speal do it under 4. still working on the DUs. only set of 8 thrusters broken. all DUs broken.

  • Brent

    check out the picture on the mainsite. nice pic of Katie mac