17.5 – Strategy of Amateur Athlete to Reach Top 5% in CrossFit Open 2017


Find out my personal strategy for CrossFit Games Open workout 17.5 to reach top 5% worldwide!

CrossFit Games Open Workout 17.5 is …

Open 17.5

10 rounds for time of:
9 thrusters
35 double-undersMen use 95 lb.
Women use 65 lb.

I don’t believe it is already last week of CrossFit Games Open! Last workouts are always rough and 17.5 will be no exception.

Let me show you how I will approach 17.5 to get into top 5% worldwide!

What is the good time to beat in 17.5?

According to WOD Time Calculator, good time to beat is 12:01 and that should be enough for top 20% athletes. As I want to reach top 5%, I will aim for the time around 10:00.

We already saw Dottirs and know that holding about 40-45 seconds per round is possible if you are Games or Regionals level athlete who aims for top 1%. To achieve that you will have to do all thrusters unbroken in a quick pace and don’t fail on double unders.

But for other 99% of the athletes average of 60 seconds per rounds should be enough to get into top 5% worldwide in the CrossFit Games Open.

My strategy to hit top 5% in workout 17.5

Correct 17.5 strategy is all about pacing these thrusters. For most of us going unbroken in all 10 rounds won’t get us our best time. Why? Fatigued shoulders, too high heart rate and longer rest in later rounds.


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Thrusters

– Go unbroken only if you love thrusters and you know that you don’t need rest before getting back to the bar
– Or go unbroken only if you know that you will fail a lot on DUs (+5 fails per round)
– Always squat clean your first thruster
– Goal is to save shoulders so use legs a lot when pushing bar overhead
– I will personally go for 5+4 thrusters from first round, but you can even consider going for 4+3+2 if you have weak thrusters
– How? Get to bar right after last double under, do few thrusters, drop it from top, 2-3 breaths and get back to the bar
– Why? If you choose to go for 2-3 smaller sets, you can pick up the barbell immediately without resting after DUs as you know you got only small set to do
– Smaller sets won’t peak up your heart rate so much
– Your shoulders (which you need for DUs) won’t be so fatigued which will allow you to fail less on DUs
– If you are still not convinced about smaller sets then consider this I was able to go under 10:00 in 16.5 with sets of 4-7 reps

Double Unders

– Place your rope parallel to the barbell, this will allow you to have quicker transition times
– Go for as quick transition as possible if you know that you will be able to do all sets unbroken
– If you fail your double unders get back to the rope as quickly as possible
– Borrow spare rope from friend and have it ready in case something happen to your rope during WOD
– Goal is to fail as less as possible, ideal scenario is you will do all sets unbroken
– Rest for few seconds before starting DUs if you are not very efficient at DUs to make sure you won’t fail your sets
– If you keep failing think about basic cues “jump higher,” “rotate faster,” “elbows touching the body” and “hands in front of the body”

Other tips

– This WOD should be easy to repeat
– Always think about 1 round, don’t think about that you have X more rounds ahead of you
– If you really can’t get your time under 10:00 consider alternating between 9 Thrusters and 35 DUs every 30 sec, running clock may push you harder than you think

Conclusions

17.5 is all about being smart on thrusters as you need to do all DUs unbroken if you want to get a good time. Save your shoulders and lower your heart rate by doing thrusters in 2-3 sets.

Let me know if this strategy worked for you! See you next year!


17.4 – Strategy of Amateur Athlete to Reach Top 5% in CrossFit Open 2017


Find out my personal strategy for CrossFit Games Open workout 17.4 to reach top 5% worldwide!

CrossFit Games Open Workout 17.4 is …

Open 17.4

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts
55 wall-ball shots
55-calorie row
55 handstand push-ups

Men deadlift 225 lb. and throw 20-lb. ball to 10-ft. target
Women deadlift 155 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

As usual we got our repeat workout and this time it’s my favourite 16.4 from last year. In 2016 I hit score of 228 reps (1 rounds + 8 reps) and I hope I can improve this year! If you want to read my last year’s guide check it here or continue reading to find out my updated 17.4 strategy.

Let me show you how I will approach 17.4 to get into top 5% worldwide and to improve my score by at least few reps!

What is good score to beat in 17.4?

According to WOD Time Calculator good score to beat is 1 round and 10 reps and that should be enough for top 2-4% athletes – this time WOD Time Calculator gives pretty hard time to beat! As I want to beat my old self from last year I will aim for similar score or better but I hope I will get to at least 20-30 deadlifts in 2nd round.

As this workout is repeat we also have some data from last year from BTWB. Last year top 20% required 20 HSPU and top 5% required 40 HSPU but I think this year these numbers will be only slightly higher. In my opinion it will be something like 30 HSPU for top 20% and almost finished HSPUs for top 5%.

My strategy to hit top 5% in workout 17.4

My strategy for 17.4 will be very similar to one from last year. I will just try to improve the things that I have done wrong like not using belt or staying too long in my HSPU position.

Correct 17.4 strategy is all about going for many small sets. Last year this worked for me as wonder. Small sets will allow you to move consistently through all the movement without having to stop because you won’t be too fatigued. Find out below how I will attack each movement:

Deadlifts

– Use plates that bounce
– Go for quick small sets like 10 quick touch and go sets of 6,6,6,6,6,5,5,5,5,5 (I have done it last year and it worked well!)
– Use belt! (I haven’t done that last year and I will use it this year)
– Don’t go for 1 large set and few small sets (e.g. 30+10+10+5) as it will tax your lower back and slow down your pace on other movements

Wall-Ball Shots

– Last year I have done this crazy rep scheme of 12-6-10-5-12-10 and it was the best thing I could do in this workout
– As you are doing many sets on the wall balls try to shorten rest as much as you can
– In this rep scheme you alternate between high/low reps which will allow you to calm down your HR while keep moving on through the workout (I also hate huge sets of wall balls)
Don’t hold hands up, pull them back near your face
– Go for large set of wall balls only if you are tall athlete or if you love wall balls

Row (calories)

– Going for small sets on deadlift and wall balls will allow you to move quicker on the rower
– Set pace that hurts but is still maintainable, it is worth to hold at least +1200 kcal/hr
– Last year I was able to hold 1300-1350 kcal/hr
– Don’t stop or slow down! It’s only 55 calories which can be easily done under 3:00

View post on imgur.com

Handstand Push Ups

– This workout can be win or lost there, if you check again data from last year 5 HSPU = top 50% while 55 HSPU = top 2%, so don’t forget that every rep counts
– From what I remember from last year first two sets of HSPU were the hardest as I needed to calm down after rower
– This year I will probably start slowly at about 10-20% off my max HSPU reps and increase reps with each set until I hit about 30% of my max HSPU set
– Rep scheme will look something like that 10%-20%-30%-30%-…-30% of max HSPU reps (for me it will be something like 3-6-9-9-…-9)
– Also kip all the time! Don’t do strict HSPUs
– Don’t rest on your head (as I did last year), it is much better to do fewer reps and return back on your kneels (it will help you save shoulders)

Deadlifts (2nd round)

– It depends on how much time you got left
– If you have over 2-3 minutes be smart and go for smaller sets
– If you have under 2 minutes go nuts and hit as much as you can
– Last year I had 30 seconds left and these 8 deadlifts I have done were freaking hard

Conclusions

Go for smaller sets with quick rest. Start slowly on the rower (+1200 kcal/hr) and hold that pace until end, don’t slow down. Do as many HSPUs as possible as WOD is won/lost there.

Let me know if this strategy worked for you and don’t forget to return next week to find out strategy of next workout!


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17.3 – Strategy of Amateur Athlete to Reach Top 5% in CrossFit Open 2017


Find out my personal strategy for CrossFit Games Open workout 17.3 to reach top 5% worldwide!

CrossFit Games Open Workout 17.3 is …

Open 17.3

*Prior to 8:00, complete:
3 rounds of:
6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
6 squat snatches, (95 / 65 lb.)
Then, 3 rounds of:
7 chest-to-bar pull-ups
5 squat snatches (135 / 95 lb.)
*Prior to 12:00, 3 rounds of:
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
4 squat snatches (185 / 135 lb.)
*Prior to 16:00, 3 rounds of:
9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
3 squat snatches (225 / 155 lb.)
*Prior to 20:00, 3 rounds of:
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
2 squat snatches (245 / 175 lb.)
Prior to 24:00, 3 rounds of:
11 chest-to-bar pull-ups
1 squat snatch (265 / 185 lb.)

*If all reps are completed, time cap extends by 4 minutes.

Let me show you how I will approach 17.3 to get into top 5% worldwide!

What is good time to beat in 17.3?

According to WOD Time Calculator if you are aiming for good score (top 20%) it is possible to finish rounds of 95s and 135s in 7:29 that extends your time cap to 12:00 and according to WOD Time Calculator with that extended time cap you should be able to finish 2 rounds in round of 185s for total score of 96 reps. This score should be enough for top 20%.

As I want to reach top 5% I will aim for score 117 reps which is all 3 rounds of 95s, 135s and 185s cleared + first 9 C2B pull ups done in round of 225s and if I am lucky I will hit 1 rep with 225 as it is my current PR if I am not fatigued. I also think that there will be a lot of people who will finish with score of 117 and in my opinion these score will range somewhere from top 10% to top 5% and they will be spread only with tiebreaker.

My strategy to hit top 5% in workout 17.3

My goal for 17.3 is to finish all snatches with 185 and to do that I can’t allow C2B pull ups to fatigue my forearms as it will make snatches much harder and slower. If you will look at the workout snatches will take about 3-4 more times than C2B pull ups (except round of 95s), this means there is no reason to hurry on C2B pull ups and do them all unbroken, I am thinking about splitting all C2B pull ups into 2 sets even though they are in such small sets. This will help me save little energy, calm down heart rate and push little faster through the barbell. I think with that tactic I will be still able to clear round of 185s with about 1-2 minutes left on the clock.

Round of 95s

– 3 rounds with 95 lbs snatches should be pretty quick
– There is no need for 100% correct technique for snatches with 95 lbs, speed is priority
– At the announcement we saw Fraser going unbroken while Panchick and Sager going for singles on snatches, Fraser had slightly longer walk to the bar but singles on 95 lbs snatches were pretty quick, you just need to reset quickly on them
– I will probably go for all 6 reps unbroken on 95s snatches but I will break C2B pull ups to 3+3

Round of 135s

– This will be the worst round as your heart rate is already elevated and as 135 lbs is relatively easy to still move quickly
– I will switch to quick singles on 135s but this time I will focus on correct form on all of them
– And I will still break up the set on C2B pull ups to 4+3

Round of 185s

– And now it is finally time to cool down as snatches got much heavier, many people will hit new PRs on this weight
– Go for singles and make sure you won’t miss any snatch with 185, it is better to take 5 sec longer rest than correcting no rep
– There is still no need to rush on C2B pull ups, so go for set of 4+4 or even 3+3+2 if you will fatigued

Round of 225s

– Good job if you got there! Every rep in this round will move you a lot on the leaderboard
– Take long rest before each attempt (even 60-90 seconds), 100% focus on each rep and hit it!

Squat Snatch

– Unbroken in the round of 95s, quick singles in the round of 135s, don’t miss rep in the round of 185s and good luck on hitting few reps with 225
– Hook grip and straight back (even on 95s) all the time
– Focus more on correct form with heavier weights

C2B Pull Up

– You won’t win workout on them so don’t rush
– Take C2B pull ups as place where you can rest little
– Go for 2-3 small sets which will allow you to go quickly on the barbell

General tips

– Have all barbells you need prepared
– Tape your thumbs
– Focus on technique and don’t miss any rep
– Hit new PR on snatches!

Conclusions

17.3 is all about snatches, go quickly (unbroken) through round of 95s and then slow down, go for quick singles on all heavier weights. Approach C2B pull ups as movement where you can rest not as movement which will make you more fatigued. Splitting C2B pull ups into 2 sets will be good idea. And good luck if you get to weight which is 90% or more from your current PR!

Let me know if this strategy worked for you and don’t forget to return next week to find out strategy of next workout!


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17.2 – Strategy of Amateur Athlete to Reach Top 5% in CrossFit Open 2017


Find out my personal strategy for CrossFit Games Open workout 17.2 to reach top 5% worldwide!

CrossFit Games Open Workout 17.2 is …

Open 17.2

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 toes-to-bars
8 power cleans
Then, 2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 bar muscle-ups
8 power cleans
Etc., alternating between toes-to-bars and bar muscle-ups every 2 rounds.

Men use 50-lb. dumbbells

Let me show you how I will approach 17.2 to get into top 5% worldwide!

What is good time to beat in 17.2?

According to WOD Time Calculator good score to beat for 17.2 is 93 reps which is 15 Bar Muscle Ups in the 3rd round and that should be enough for top 20% athletes. As I want to reach top 5% I will aim for slightly better score of at least 120 reps which is 8 Bar Muscle Ups in the 4th round.

My strategy to hit top 5% in workout 17.2

My goal for 17.2 is to do as many bar muscle ups I can and hopefully get into 5th round.

Oh, dumbbells again but this time they are not hero of the WOD! To get as far as you can (to get as many bar muscle ups you can do) you will need to think ahead. It looks like 17.2 will be won or lost on these 32 muscle ups (16 in 3th round and 16 in 4th round). Let me show you how I will approach all 4 movements to get as far as I can and to save just enough energy for all these bar muscle ups.

Goal of all movements will be to save forearms as they will be heavy taxed during all the movements and you want to avoid fatigued forearms before these large sets of bar muscle ups.

Dumbbell Weighted Walking Lunges

– New movement! I bet 99% of people never done this before with dumbbells.
– Don’t forget that dumbbells must be at the shoulders and rear head of the dumbbell must be slightly behind center of the athlete’s body.
– Goal will be to find right spot for the dumbbells where they will feel lighter. I think it will be slightly back on the shoulder and with higher elbows.
– Go unbroken! They will be hard but you can afford to fatigue your legs and little higher heart rate as you will slow down on TTBs.
– Go for 2 sets of 25+25 feet only if movement is very hard for you and you have to fight for every rep.

Toes To Bars

– Goal for toes to bars is to recover and save as much energy (forearm fatigue) as you can before getting to bar muscle ups.
– Also you have just finished all lunges unbroken, your heart rate is up, your arms hurt and you need place to recover. Toes to bars will help you with that recovery.
– I will personally go for 4 sets of 4 reps with just quick rest (3-4 seconds) between sets.
– I think that going for unbroken toes to bars or larger sets of 8+8 will cost you a lot and you won’t be able to hit so many bar muscle ups.

Dumbbell Power Cleans

– There are only 8 of them but it will be best idea to split them into smaller sets as we decided to save as much energy for bar muscle ups as we can.
– Every time think ahead and make use of last 1-2 reps as you don’t need to do extra power clean before going to lunges.
– There are few rep schemes I can think of:
– Go for sets of 4-3-1 with quick rest in between if you feel your forearms are already fatigued.
– Go for 6-2 with longer rest before 2s as you will continue straight to lunges from that set.

Bar Muscle Ups

– It’s 3rd round, you finally got there and fight for reps begin!
– As you saved enough energy and your forearms aren’t pumped you should be able to string larger sets together.
– In first set go for about 33-50% of your max reps on bar muscle ups.
– In next sets go for 20-33% of your max reps on bar muscle ups.
– I will probably do bar muscle ups in the sets of 6-4-3-3 or 4-4-4-4.
– If you love bar muscle ups you can even go for something like 8-5-3.
– If you are new to bar muscle ups go for more smaller sets like 4-3-3-2-2-2 or even 8×2.
– That are all reps for first round or for second round if you have enough time left.
– If your time is running out (1 minute left) just go for as many reps as you can in 1-2 sets.

Conclusions

17.2 is all about avoiding fatigued forearms and saving enough energy for bar muscle ups. Try to be smart and think ahead. Go quick on lunges even if they hurt a lot and slow down on toes to bars and power cleans. If you are aiming for top 5% your fight begins on bar muscle ups, be smart on them! Do 1 large sets followed by few small sets. And congrats if you made it past 4th round!

Let me know if this strategy worked for you and don’t forget to return next week to find out strategy of next workout!

Updated: How I Did?

My score for RXd version is 141 reps (4 rounds + 5 reps). It is slightly better than I excepted :).

I have done all walking lunges unbroken even though they were really hard in later rounds. I was also raising elbows on dumbbells a lot and in later rounds my dumbbells were parallel to the ground while touching my head, toes to bars were in sets of 4, power cleans were 6+2 and in later rounds I switched to 7+1. On bar muscle ups I went for 5-4-3-2-2 in both rounds, I only failed last rep in second round but I have corrected it immediately. With less than minute left I have done all power cleans unbroken and went for last 25 feet of lunges. I am pretty happy about my score as it is better than I excepted and I think doing small sets really paid off as I was able to finish all 32 bar muscle ups.


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17.1 – Strategy of Amateur Athlete to Reach Top 5% in CrossFit Open 2017


Find out my personal strategy for CrossFit Games Open workout 17.1 to reach top 5% worldwide!

CrossFit Games Open Workout 17.1 is …

Open 17.1

For time:
10 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
20 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
30 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
40 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
50 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs

Men use 50-lb. dumbbell and 24-in. box

Time cap: 20 minutes

CrossFit Games Open 2017 is finally here! And it is time to improve last year scores.

I am not 100% sure if I can improve my last year scores as I ended up in top 1.3% worldwide (I didn’t excepted so good result) and I also switched from training 5-6 times per week to only 3-4 times per week. New job and less free time doesn’t allow me to workout as much as I did before but I am still doing CrossFit on weekly basis to improve my overall fitness and stay healthy.

I hope that this year I will be able to finish in top 5% worldwide and maybe beat my last year result.

Let me show you how I will approach 17.1 to get into top 5% worldwide!

What is good time to beat in 17.1?

According to WOD Time Calculator good time to beat is 16:32 and that should be enough for top 20% athletes. As I want to reach top 5% I will aim for slightly better time of 14:00 or faster.

My strategy to hit top 5% in workout 17.1

I was so afraid of dumbbells but at the end Dave gave us dumbbell snatches which is my only favourite movement with the dumbbells!

Correct 17.1 strategy is all about pacing, you should have same pace throughout the workout. There is no reason to start fast and slow down after each round because it will make your overall time worse. Only time when you should push the pace is for last ~20 dumbbell snatches and 15 burpee box jump overs.

Dumbbell snatches

– They have to be alternating!
– If you are strong enough do muscle snatches as weight is relatively light and power snatch will slow you a lot.
– Steady pace, don’t rush! This applies especially to sets of 30,40 and 50.

Burpee Box Jump Overs

– You have to face the box and use two-foot take off.
– But there are no requirements on how you have to move on the top and how you have to get down.
– Don’t stand tall on top of the box as it is extra movement you can easily avoid.
– Stepping down will be also better as you want slower pace so you don’t need to slow down in later rounds.
– Step up from bottom position of burpees (check Vellner vs Fikowski), there is no need to jump them and rush.
– Don’t forget there are only 15 of them in each round, start with burpees immediately after last snatch.
– Go nuts in the last round! You can shave off about 15-30 seconds if you do last 15 burpees as quickly as possible.

Conclusions

17.1 is all about pacing, start slowly and hold that pace until end without resting between movements. Muscle snatches! Step down from the box! Push the pace during last ~20 snatches and during last set of burpees! I bet you will easily beat 15 minute mark if you have aerobic capacity for that!

Let me know if this strategy worked for you and don’t forget to return next week to find out strategy of next workout!


And don’t forget to check out my new Travel WODs App!