Erin Cianciolo vs Fran

March 3, 2009 4:00 PM

Posted in Regionals »
49 Comments » on this entry

CFAlexandriaErinFran_th.jpgEnlarge image

Erin Cianciolo is a mother of three, has been training at from CrossFit Alexandria in Virginia for about a year and a half, and prior to CrossFit, Erin had no real athletic background.

Still, as you can see in the video, Erin is a stellar athlete and will be going to the Mid Atlantic qualifiers. This video shows her taking on Fran in 3:12. She also has a 7:44 Helen, 26 Rounds of Cindy, a 22:19 5K, and a 215lb Back Squat (at a body weight of 105lbs).

Erin Cianciolo 3:12 Fran ... [wmv] [mov]

49 comments on this entry.

1. Zach M wrote...

March 3, 2009 5:35 PM

Wow. The fact that she has a smokin Fran time and a smokin body give me two great reasons to be thankful that I'll be competing in the male division at the Mid-Atlantic Qualifiers.

2. Greg/M2 wrote...

March 3, 2009 7:59 PM

Outstanding! Good form to. All that and a mom of three, wow, you have my respect.

3. CraigH wrote...

March 3, 2009 8:22 PM

More and more I hear about these former "non-athletes" who discover their amazing abilities later in life! We have a couple 40+ firebreathing women at DCF that literally just started athletics. How many potential Olympic athletes have been missed by our school athletic systems? Erin, still young, is awesome and will be a force to be reckoned with. Cool stuff.

4. Tom wrote...

March 3, 2009 9:48 PM

5. James wrote...

March 4, 2009 3:53 AM

There aren't as many elite crossfit women as elite men, so it's good to see the women catching up. At one point there were only a handful of hardcore girls who could have won the Games.

Maybe a sub-3 Fran coming soon Erin?

March 4, 2009 4:20 AM

Great job and well done Erin! Mid Atlantic Qualifier is going to be a flippin awesome show! Mother of three? Only got infected with the CF bug 18 months ago? Good on ya girl! Keep it up...look forward to seeing you there!

Accept the Challenge, Train Hard and Push Through "IT"!

7. Mary Ady wrote...

March 4, 2009 4:44 AM

erin, this is absoluetely amazing. you should be so proud of this accomplishment!

8. Tamara H wrote...

March 4, 2009 4:59 AM

I'm going to have to hate on this athlete a little. She looks about 5' because her squat is right at parallel and she's not locking out and pushing her head through when overhead. I would definetly say Caitys' 3:30 fran is more impressive. She's 5'9" and putting a lot more work out. I wonder what Erins' grace time is? All in all though 3:12 good job!

9. Luna wrote...

March 4, 2009 6:02 AM

Interesting comment about how many "potential athletes slip through our school athletic systems". Probably very true. Amazing time Erin. Ive only been doing crossfit for about 7 weeks (Fran a few days ago at 7:51) Makes me want to try go and set a new PR.

10. Steve C wrote...

March 4, 2009 6:05 AM

great job. very inspiring.

11. laura wrote...

March 4, 2009 6:25 AM

Amazing. I can not even do 1 pull up. (like most American woman)

12. David wrote...

March 4, 2009 6:40 AM

let's not kid ourselves. Being physically fit is very different from being an olympic-level athlete. Although olympic athletes are also very fit, being an athlete requires a lot of intangibles: coordination, foot quickness, and years of sport-specific training. Crossfit trains a person to be wonderfully fit, but cannot make that person into an athlete. I know our schools do a poor job of teaching physical education, but I would argue that we're not missing a ton of olympic athletes.

13. Dan K. wrote...

March 4, 2009 8:17 AM

Hey, Tony B.! Erin's my vote for cover model for that "Women of CrossFit" calendar you told us about at Filfest.

And I agree with other comments about these "non-athletes" who discover CrossFit... In some ways, these stories are more impressive than those of some of our most elite competitors, since there is such a radical change.

Going from non-athleticism to very fit -- such as Erin's performance -- is a remarkable transformation in quality of life, not just CrossFit times and scores. The sense of well-being, mental toughness, and general physical competence truly transforms the lives of these folks, especially those in their 40s and 50s.

I'm not knocking our top men and women, just noting that the biggest transformations and some of the most interesting and inspiring stories are coming from these former "non-athletes. That's especially true when, for these folks, the transformation affects their spouses and children.

For example, for me, coming from a non-athletic background and getting fit made an enormous difference in my daughter's attitude toward fitness for which I feel truly grateful. Since you let her videotape me at the Aromas cert, she's been very aware of her own fitness and fitness in our society. She works out in our garage gym with the rest of the tribe and will enjoy the advantages CrossFit delivers throughout her life. Because I discovered CrossFit, she's spared the life of watching TV, playing video games, and eating junk like so many of her peers.

I don't know many families have been transformed by CrossFit, but I'll bet Erin's family thinks differently about fitness now.

14. NewnanJustin wrote...

March 4, 2009 8:21 AM

This was a great showing..... I drank the KoolAid about 5 months ago and have been so inspired by the videos and articles.. CrossFit is an amazing program, its athletes are amazing, and I can't wait to go to my first Cert.
I can't say enough about how cool it is that a mother of 3 is in the gym killing it and has only just begun. GREAT STUFF, Keep it up.

15. Alvaro wrote...

March 4, 2009 8:37 AM

16. johnnycarbs wrote...

March 4, 2009 8:37 AM

I think 'MIMMS' wrote that song just 4 u Erin . . . . WOW ! That was SICK ! ! ! !

17. silverback wrote...

March 4, 2009 9:52 AM

Very impressive!!!! Good luck this year Erin. This following is not directed towards this performance but rather an observation on "Fran" in general. Most performances that have been posted have a "questionable" ROM with squats. If hips do not have to get below the knees, then what is the requirement? If they do need to break parallel, then the ball is sometimes a roadblock for shorter athletes. Why are we using a ball anyway? Also, they are making chest to bar pull-ups the standard, correct? If that is the case and you are preparing for the Games, wouldn't it make sense to get that ROM?

18. Vaughn wrote...

March 4, 2009 10:12 AM

Awesome. My Fran is still above 5 minutes and I am a fitness freak from way back. My wife is 47 and looks 27. Where I am sure Erin and my wife have me beat is discipline regarding what goes in their bodies. My wife has NEVER smoked, drank or did drugs in any manner and she only drinks water. Still, I have to admit, in the sport of fitness, Erin would KILL her.

19. Susannah wrote...

March 4, 2009 10:55 AM

I agree w/ Tamara H.
But maybe thats just because I can relate to 5'9 165lbs frame more...

I trained for the Olympics for about 8 years (got second at Olympic Trials in '08) and from what I've seen, it has so much more to do w/ committment and personal drive from the athlete. Everyone has physical limitations (injury, disease, and talent) but some choose not to let those limitations stop them. Crossfit provides such a great environment because it gives everyone at all levels the opportunity to excel.

20. CrossFit Lions wrote...

March 4, 2009 11:00 AM

Awesome performance...and good lord you are hot...I know we should only comment on performance gains and range and such but the truth is the truth. I hate watching great videos like this and then have to read people who are hating on it. If CrossFit HQ is going to post a video and call it a known record than yes we should all bring on the critic but if they are just posting a potential Games competitor than lets just appreciate what she did...which by the way kills my best Fran time.

The Pie
CrossFit Lions

21. Teresa wrote...

March 4, 2009 11:45 AM

Erin, I just watched the video and I am exhausted! You look fantastic.

22. Sean wrote...

March 4, 2009 11:46 AM

Right on, Erin!
You keep on rockin' it lady!

Let the haters hate - and don't sweat it.

Come on folks - we all know 65# thrusters are going to be difficult for a 105# lady... and pull ups are going to be difficult for a 165# lady.

CrossFit exploits all weaknesses.

'nuf said?


23. kt replied to comment from Tamara H...

March 4, 2009 1:12 PM

I have been doing CrossFit for almost a year and am proud to say I'm a member of CrossFit Alexandria.

Every now and then I read some posting by someone on the CrossFit main site, such as Tamara above, that really infuriates me. Why the hate? Go ahead, Tamara, and cherry pick every small detail about Erin, or anyone else's, moves. Would you do that if you and her were doing a workout together? Come on, is that was CrossFit is about? I participated in the Mid-Atlantic Hopper at CF BWI in October - the support and teamwork shown there, by affiliate members from all over - that is what CrossFit is supposed to be about. CrossFit does exploit all weaknesses, and there are some workouts that are easier for some than for others - hey, that's life. You just work as hard as you can and keep driving on.

24. kt wrote...

March 4, 2009 1:15 PM

p.s. great job, erin.

25. CraigH wrote...

March 4, 2009 1:52 PM

David, in one sentence you say, "being an athlete requires a lot of intangibles: coordination, foot quickness, and years of sport-specific training" (to which I agree). You then concede that "our schools do a poor job of teaching physical education."

Our Olympic level athletes are mostly the byproducts of our school athletic programs until they are targeted for sport specific training. If our schools are failing, then isn't it highly likely that some potential Olympic athletes are missed?

March 4, 2009 2:20 PM

I couldn't disagree more. Put a elite crossfitter against elite athletes in anything but their sport, and see what happens. The winner would qualify as an ahtlete would they not?

27. Katrina Burton wrote...

March 4, 2009 2:35 PM

Careful Joshua... I think it depends on the sport that the elite athlete has trained. Maybe I'm biased, but I think an elite gymnast has the advantage.

And to everyone else, complaining about form critic... If we're looking at a performance posted on the GAMES section of the CrossFit page and it states that athlete is attempting to qualify I think it's fair to judge whether the reps are not performed to standard. If a video of mine ever makes it on to main page, games page, affiliate page, etc I would want to know if people thought my ROM was questionable.

If you are cheating the ROM then who knows if you would get close to the same time or you would have taken way longer. Look at all the Fran times from last year's Games with the C2B standard on pullups that no one was practicing, full lockout overhead with the ears completely hidden on the thrusters, and hip crease BELOW the knee... If Speal finished that WOD in 3:01 and OPT in 3:51, then it MUST be more difficult/slower to complete a WOD with strict ROM rules when they both had 2 min times before.

Congrats Erin on the effort. Good luck at your qualifiers!

28. Katrina Burton wrote...

March 4, 2009 2:36 PM

And is it just me or does Erin look a bit like Sandra Bullock?

29. Ryan Brown wrote...

March 4, 2009 3:12 PM

I'd like to reply to those who are disappointed to see the criticism of movement ROM and the like on these videos that get posted.

I've commented videos before and pointed out flaws in technique. I don't do it because I'm a "hater". I don't think any members of our community post those comments for any reason other than to maintain the standard of Crossfit. If we start congratulating people on sub-standard efforts, this fitness revolution will lose it's credibility fast. I understand that we should applaud awe-inspiring efforts like Erin's. I also understand that with proper intensity, technique will (and should) suffer some. That said, we should all strive to make every repetition perfect and be willing to call each other out when it's not. If you are featured in one of these videos you'd be best served by not taking it personally and trying to focus on those weak points next time around.

Great job, Erin! You're a strong, beautiful woman.

30. Chuck Carswell wrote...

March 4, 2009 5:39 PM

Nice performance, sister!

31. Tamara wrote...

March 4, 2009 6:48 PM

Just to clarify there are a few Tamara's and the original post did not come from Tamara @ Crossfit Oakland. There has been a lot of talk about criticism given on videos recently. I am not opposed to it, especially when there is a need for improvement. Our team got hammered due to some of these issues in the video posted for the Diablo Rumble. We work hard every day trying to uphold the strict standards that our trainer/owner Mike Minium sets for us. When you get tired or are pushing hard you may not always be able to tell when you are falling short of the standards. Some people clearly know better, others just need to be reminded. This is why a lot of coaches will tell you to rest before this breakdown happens.

Crossfitters should be giving constructive feedback. Give ideas and solutions that will help improvement, don't just point out what people are doing wrong. The standards are set so that people can get the complete benefit of the exercise when doing the full range of motion. Paying attention to your form will help to achieve that goal in a safe and efficient manner. If you are not executing the movements with full range of motion, then you are doing yourself an injustice.

32. Ryan J replied to comment from Tamara H...

March 4, 2009 7:01 PM

Isn't it interesting that no one is knocking her technique, just bitching about her height? How about the fact that she's 105 pounds and that the weight she's pushing is a much higher percentage of her body weight?

Not as impressive as Caity Matters performance? Uncalled for. Really. Nobody's even talking about her technique, because it's good. Why are people bringing up previous performances with limited ROM as if that had anything to do with this performance? So now it's not impressive because she's not 5' 9" I guess. You notice how most of the haters are chicks? Could it have anything to do with her being good looking?

33. silverback wrote...

March 4, 2009 8:19 PM

Katrina, Well said. CrossFit upholds standards and to be constructive in offering that we stay to those standards is ALSO what CrossFit is all about. ROM is huge!!! Who can deny that? Inches will make a workout completely different. No, I don't agree that we should sacrifice ROM for intensity! It is a requirement for intensity and when a workout leaves no doubt that every rep was good, that is beautiful. The comments certainly weren't "hating". These arguments go through the same spin cycle everytime.

34. grambo wrote...

March 4, 2009 9:23 PM

A lot of Fran videos do not have ears visible on the thrusters. I think using the ball is a mistake (people tend to bounce off it when they get tired -- no reason for it, learn what the bottom feels like).

Anyway this video is amazing, love the performance, especially for someone 18 months in at that stage of their life without the athletic background.

To the first Tamara whining about height, how about you whine about her doing 62% of BW thrusters in Fran? For me (205# male) that would be ~127lbs, aka heavy fran. For Caity, I believe she is 165lbs? So 65# is 39% BW. Big difference, and of course the pull-ups would be harder for Caity (as they are for me). That's the whole point of CF.

35. Susannah wrote...

March 5, 2009 5:55 AM

36. Angela wrote...

March 5, 2009 9:31 AM

OMG Girl!!! You are my idol! Please be my trainer. I have immense respect for anyone disciplined enough to reach a goal like this...not to mention you have 3 kids!! You inspire many. Let's be friends!! It was fun meeting you at the bowling alley with Mary. You are beautiful!

37. susannah wrote...

March 5, 2009 10:31 AM

My last comment didn't post.
I wanted to clarify, I wasn't hating or whining. I apologize if I came off like that. Erin is a stellar athlete in every way shape and form. I was just noticing the differences.
Its actually really cool to see so many different body types excel in crossfit.

P.S. On another note...who is going to be the rock star that pushes for Crossfit as PE in public schools?

38. Fareed wrote...

March 5, 2009 2:01 PM


39. Sheila wrote...

March 5, 2009 2:19 PM

I have personally competed in WODS with Erin at CrossFit Alexandria. We call her PhemBot. Let me tell you, when you come to the box, you look for PhemBot's time (out of the men women) as the time to beat. I am thrilled she is headed to the games this year. BEWARE!! She is tough, strong, fast and COMPETITIVE!!

March 5, 2009 10:01 PM

>>Put a elite crossfitter against elite athletes in anything but their sport, and see what happens. The winner would qualify as an ahtlete would they not?

Honestly, Josh, what do you think would happen? Enjoy this for what it is, but don't get carried away. Alex Rodriguez, Lebron James, Reggie Bush? Get real.

41. hendo8 wrote...

March 6, 2009 3:07 PM

typical cianciolo doin work. all day auntie :)

and gdluck at qualifiers

42. ryan wrote...

March 6, 2009 5:22 PM

March 8, 2009 5:05 PM

Thanks for the "be careful" warning, but I would still put my money on khalip's dead vs. and elite gymnast's dead. i'm not talking average crossfitter, i'm talking elite. Take the top 3 from the games and put them against a handful of elite gymnast and just as Glassman said in his interview with Sevan, he was blowing the other gymnast away when he combined other componets. I have a great respect and admiration for gymnast and agree they have an advantage which is why Crossfit is so heavily gymnastic based. Khalipa, Pat or OPT may not beat a gymnast on the rings but i would be willing to bet they could out run and out lift them.
Being Careful,

March 8, 2009 5:11 PM

being real, a good friend of mine trains Maglio, and I can out lift him, out gymnast him etc. Mag's can swing a bat and run a ball down better than me all day. I promise you Khalipa can out lift and climb lebron; again, anything other than their sport. I can't out swim Phelps, but I can hang with him in a football game. i train a pro boxer who is a supreme athlete, but the beauty of crossfit is because he specifically trains for boxing, there are general things where i can beat him. think about your responses.

much love homie.

March 8, 2009 5:13 PM

not to mention a rod's special little helper. that's a low blow but all in good fun.

46. Joshua Hunnicutt wrote...

March 8, 2009 5:14 PM

erin, you are amazing. chest to bar, a$$ to dyanamax ball. way to work. f'g amazing.

47. Nicole wrote...

March 10, 2009 4:51 AM

48. louie giglio replied to comment from Zach M...

April 28, 2009 1:59 PM

Does anyone know if she has a sister?

49. Tyller wrote...

August 12, 2009 1:08 PM

Mom i am so polud of you!