Crossfit Open 17.2 Strategy - Written by Jenn & Jared Astle

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 2017 Crossfit Open 17.2 Strategy

Written By Jenn & Jared Astle


For those who thought the dumbbell was behind us, it’s time to dig deep mentally because here we go again.  However, this workout for the majority of athletes contains a completely different failure mechanism when compared to 17.1.  I personally really like the way this workout is structured, as it bottle necks at a high skill gymnastics movement that challenges the aerobically fit with the addition of muscle fatigue & technicality.  If 17.2 looks anything like 17.1 to you, please take it from me, despite the dumbbell commonality, these workouts couldn’t be more different from each other.


Your First Bar Muscle Up?

In the case you are competing in the Rx division this year and you don’t quite have bar muscle ups developed in your skill set, ask a coach, phone a friend, use your last life line to do everything you can to possibly develop them this week.  As a coach, helping an athlete earn their first muscle up is a magical feeling shared between athlete and coach that will find its way into story after story, so what better week to learn, than the second week of the 2017 Crossfit Open.  To all the coaches out there: I challenge you to find at least one athlete who doesn’t quite have this skill set, and make magic happen!  


Now, if you are proficient at the bar muscle up, let’s discuss strategic preparation.  My after thoughts after completing this workout, if you will: 



First, map out how you will be doing your lunges.  Know your steps so that you don't get stuck at the very end with a tiny half step lunge -- that’s super frustrating, and happened a few times for me.  The lunges are your rest, to slow down your heart rate, so it should be methodical stepping and moving with a purpose.  Performing your lunges unbroken is the most efficient way. Setting them down to have to waste energy on yet another clean isn't optimal.  Try and commit to walking through the lunges versus adding a second every step or two having your feet planted together between steps.  Lastly, keep your elbows high and get into a comfortable position with the dumbbell and just go to work.  This part is over before you know it! 



The failure mechanism in this workout is obviously your grip.  It’s all about conserving enough grip strength to get through the 32 bar muscle ups and back to obtaining easier reps.  Yes, the first few sets are toes to bar, but you can't afford to come out guns blazing and then have little left for rounds 3-4. There is ZERO need to do all 16 toes to bar unbroken in the beginning, save that energy for your 5th and 6th round, to empty out the tank.  I recommend short sets followed by quick breaks on T2B to disrupt your time under tension. 15-20% of your max T2B set is a good starting place.


Bar Muscle Up 

If you can breeze through all 16 muscle ups under grip fatigue with no uncertainties, more power to you, but realistically, most athletes including myself need a disciplined game plan when approaching a set of 16 muscle ups.  I can’t emphasize enough on this, but know your red line capacity.  Don't get close to it at all.  Small sets with quick breaks allow you to stay moving more consistently, rather than trying to take a big set too early in the game and resting 15-20 seconds before jumping back onto the bar.  That rest time is where the short breaks competitor is going to pass you up.  


Dumbbell Cleans

The cleans are few, and really should be quick sets accounting for a very little percentage of the overall workout.  Despite quick, this doesn’t mean sacrificing positon; I highly recommend performing your proper clean mechanics. If you start to rush and pull early with your arms, your biceps will feel it, especially after the muscle ups.  Save them where you can.  If you happen to be at that point where you need to rest with the dumbbells on the ground before getting into your lunges, avoid doing that extra clean before your lunges and put the dumbbells down after the 7th rep.  The 8th rep will simply be obtaining your front rack position for the lunges.


In closing, this whole work out is over before you know it.....For most of us its way shorter and less damaging than 17.1. However, please take care of your hands, ripping will likely make a redo or even 17.3 extremely unpleasant knowing a barbell is coming.   TAKE CARE OF YOUR HANDS!  Good luck!!!

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