Tim’s Take: CrossFit Open 17.1

24 Feb

By Coach Tim Lawrence.

The first WOD of the 2017 Open is a pure test of capacity. Containing nothing technically difficult or a weight that you might fail on, it’s a great test of just how hard you are prepared to push yourself.

Here are some tips on how best to approach the workout so that you can maximise your performance.

Don’t be fooled by the performances of the top athletes, such as Sam Briggs, with a time of 10:14, and Rich Froning, apparently getting 8:56.  For most of us, 17.1 is going to be a 15 to 20 minute workout. This means that pacing it accordingly is vital. Almost everyone who has done the workout in today’s earlier classes has found the burpee box jump overs the toughest part. I suggest that you find a steady, purposeful pace to avoid a real spike in heart rate. I would also suggest that you ‘step in’ from the bottom of the burpee, which is an easier movement than springing up. There is no requirement to reach full extension on the box, so stay low and don’t waste energy by standing tall.

For the alternating dumbbell snatches:

1. The workout contains 150 dumbbell snatches. Try and be disciplined about keeping the chest up and avoid slumping over, as this will take a toll on the lower back. Use the hips as much as possible to move the weight. At the bottom, touch the dumbbell on the floor between your feet, rather than in front of your toes, again, this will help to protect the lower back.

2. Try and switch hands as you bring the DB down from overhead, rather than place it on the floor and then change hands. This is a lot more efficient and removes the temptation to take some rest each time the dumbbell is on the floor.

3. Aim to do the sets of 10 and 20 unbroken. Keep the breaks in the set of 30 to a minimum, ideally two sets of 15. The set of 40 is likely to be the toughest part of the workout. Think about four sets of 10 and fight hard to hold yourself to this. Once on the set of 50, you will know that the finish line is in sight which should make it easier. However you break the snatches up, allow yourself only a short break, a couple of deep breaths and pick up the dumbbell again.

Be efficient in your transitions between the two movements. As soon as you have finished a set of snatches, go straight into the burpee box jump overs, don’t stand and rest. Even if you are moving slowly, that’s better than doing nothing. Similarly, once through the burpee box jump overs, force yourself to pick up the dumbbell immediately.

Finally, enjoy it! Push yourself, give it your best shot and be happy with your performance.

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