2017 Crossfit Open 17.5 Strategy
Written By Jenn & Jared Astle
How bad do you want it?
17.5 is all about exploring the depths of the pain cave and willing yourself to move when you most likely won't want to. This is a classic 5th week open workout, nothing fancy, just guts and go.
10 rounds is a lot of rounds and this workout is much longer than the fittest on earth would have you believe during the live announcement. Attacking this as a 7 minute workout will expose a severe underestimation on your approach. Just plan on your legs to stop working and slowly becoming anchors; a great example was Sara Sigmundsdóttir’s last round during the live announcement, she executed perfectly and left nothing on the table, however imagine if the unset of that failure took place in round 6.
Compartmentalize the work to not get overwhelmed with the reps ahead, and JUST WORK. Let your judge know how you would like to hear how many reps remain or what round you are on and when. It’s not uncommon for a judge to throw you off mentally by communicating the workout progress differently than how you would like to process it.
Every wasted movement will be the difference in this workout, I would not recommend adding any unnecessary movements including; chalk marks to count rounds, drinking for your water bottle, wiping hands with towel, unnecessary set up routine, etc.…
The Transition Matters:
Transitions are huge on this workout, there are 20 of them and they need to be quick. This means, take a single inefficiency during the transition whether it’s an extra step, extra jump, untangling of your rope, and multiply the impact in wasted time by 20!
When short & sweet becomes hot & spicy really quick, expect by round 3 a mental battle beginning to take place - shoulders, shoulders, shoulders. For the proficient double under-er, 35 will take about 28 seconds. As fatigue sets in the risk for tripping up will become higher. Staying calm and controlled during this time can save you precious seconds. A trip-up can cost you 5 seconds or more, and will allow that person next to you to gain easy reps on you. Stay composed, you’ll want to make sure you are breathing and keep your shoulders relaxed so they don't blow up in the early rounds. But let’s not lie to ourselves, this workout isn’t about pace, it’s about timing the onset of pain correctly.
9 light thrusters 95lbs/65lbs. When you transition from the rope to the bar, move with a purpose. Don't let the bar control you. Squat clean thruster that first one. The 9 repetitions will be over before you know it. For speed on these light suckers you have to be aware of the bar path to make sure you aren't wasting energy fighting the weight pulling you forward and be efficient to use your hips as much as you can. If you noticed Rory during the live announcement, he was locked and resting at the top every rep during the middle rounds, I recommend you pop locked at the top and pull down immediately; you will not fail a thruster at this weight, know this, and believe!!!
If you are going for top scores here to close out your 2017 open season, breaking is not an option for you on the 9 thrusters; you have to fight for it. The person who can stay controlled enough to not trip up on their dubs and embrace the suck will raise victorious. Being tiny statured will help too. Its physics, if you are 4 foot, you just have to move the bar a shorter distance. Case closed. Try to shrink, forget about pain, and don't stop till it’s over!