Crossfit Open 17.1 Strategy - Written by Jenn & Jared Astle

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2017 Crossfit Open 17.1 Strategy
Written By Jenn & Jared Astle


As everyone has been guessing, 17.1 has been crafted to be basic movements & very aerobic. For those who watched the announcement’s main events, you had a firsthand look at what impeccable engines are capable of.

For most competitive athletes, this 50#/35# DB snatch is considered to be fairly lightweight. However, these snatches, when paired with burpee box jump overs, are designed to spike your heart rate fairly rapidly. Your approach to this WOD needs to fall somewhere between - setting a pace to keep moving the entire time & gassing out too quickly, potentially doubling or even tripling the time you spend on burpee box jumps.

A few things to consider:

  1. No athlete will win 17.1 in the first round, so move with a purpose but no need to get anywhere near that red line. It should take you well under 2 minutes. Be disciplined and intentional this round.
  2. Either you love burpees or you don't. As many of you know, I'm not a huge fan, although if I had my choice, burpee box jump overs give the movement slightly more dimension. While normalizing the range of motion for super tall athletes (not having to burpee to a target or extend the hips on the box) and bottle necking everyone’s speed no matter your size over the box, its obvious why this variation of the burpee was chosen. Another positive to this movement, when compared to the standard burpee-over-bar or lateral burpee, is your breathing. The movement naturally allows for better opportunity to catch your breath while on your feet because you will spend more time in between pancaking your lungs between your bodyweight and the ground.
  3. The key to these burpees is moving with purpose. It is very easy, especially when gassed, to take extra steps and add wasted motion to your burpee, ultimately slowing down the movement. If you can manage to control your breathing and minimize extra movements (jumping your feet vs stepping) you can conserve seconds here with every successful burpee. Over the course of 75 reps, seconds add up!
  4. As far as the DB snatch, be mindful of the challenge Sam Briggs mentioned post 17.1 interview with Castro about both heads of the DB having to hit the ground at the same time for the rep to count. There may be value in switching hands on the down motion, however, just one no rep may strip that value away quickly. Also, experiment with your feet width, if you can widen your feet only an inch or more and shorten your range of motion, over the course of 150 snatch reps you will make a difference on your cycle time, and lower back fatigue (wider feet will allow for more upright DB snatch).
  5. As I said, this whole work out is VERY aerobic. There is NO reason that you should stop moving, EVER. Make your mantra down & up. Play with a way to keep your mind in check as you are counting. Its ONLY 5 rounds. Some athletes prefer to know they are ONLY doing 25 per arm max in that last set of 50 DB snatches. It can be advantageous to break the large number of reps into smaller more mentally accepting groups (counting 1,2,3,4,5, then 1,2,3,4,5, and so on). You need to know how to stay in that moment and know that each round and rep is one less that you have to do. When you reach 40 snatches you only have one round left to go.
  6. Lastly, I hope that at this point in the season you know what your sustainable pace is. Assume that you will be working straight for 15 min or less. But when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, that’s when it’s time to turn up the magic and go. That last set of burpees should be your fastest. I know you are tired, but it’s over after that.


IF this one isn't your jam, you have 4 more to go. It’s just another workout after all! Good Luck!

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