CrossFit Open 17.2: Scaled and Proud

Holy glutes, we’re already done with two workouts of the Open! Missed 17.1? Catch my recap here, but today it’s time to talk about 17.2! Here’s what the workout looked like as prescribed:

The weighted lunges and power cleans required dumbbells–50-lb for men and 35-lb for women. Because muscle ups are a pretty advanced skill, the scaled version modified to pull-ups and subbed hanging knee raises for toes-to-bar. 

Initial thoughts

As usual, after the announcement there were a lot of complaints about this workout—dumbbells, again?! Why are there pull-ups in the scaled workout? It’s not fair…wah, wah, wah. I appreciate the competitive chit chat surrounding the Open, but guess what? The workouts aren’t meant to be doable for everyone, whether they’re Rx or not. There is always a way to scale the movements…that’s the beauty of CrossFit.

For 17.2, I found myself somewhere between Rx and Scaled and opted for scaled. I do have toes-to-bar so I could have completed 2 rounds + 50-ft of lunging Rx and used the rest of the time to “attempt a muscle up”.  But would that have been smart (for me)? Nope…and let’s talk about why. 

It’s true that any Rx score (no matter how low) ranks higher on the leaderboard than a scaled score. So I could have done just 1 rep of that Rx workout and ranked higher than the 12 minutes of scaled work I put in. But here’s the thing—if you’re getting swept up in how scaling a workout will impact your spot on the leaderboard, you’ve got CrossFit all wrong. The majority of us are not going to the Games and as such, we should be focusing more on the long haul by being smart about our movement. 

Admittedly, it’s easy to get caught up in the madness of the Open with everyone talking about that leaderboard and where they rank. I too like seeing how I fall among other athletes of my age and capabilities in both my region and around the world. It’s fun to compare and it’s exciting to move up in rank through the years. But it’s more fun to be able to move my body in a healthy way and make progress over time. Scaling has a purpose and it’s not just to hold people back.  

Let’s go straight to the source and check out what has to say about scaling:

It’s also important to understand why we scale CrossFit work- outs: CrossFit workouts are scaled to preserve the intended stimuli despite athlete limitations such as experience, injury, illness or range of motion.

A properly scaled workout safely maximizes relative intensity (load, speed, range of motion) to continue developing increased work capacity despite limitations. A long-term goal of scaling is creating the ability to perform workouts “as prescribed.”

Long story short, opting to do this workout as prescribed by doing 7 or 8 minutes of work and then wasting the remaining 5-ish minutes not doing a muscle-up is not the intention of the workout. Choosing to scale mimics the intensity of the workout while helping improve the skills needed to eventually attempt it as prescribed.

the workout

Boyfriend and I headed back to do this workout during Friday Night Lights at the gym and he went first. I like going in separate heats so that I can cheer him on and he can yell at me during my workout. 😉 Despite not working out a ton in the last few months, he did great in this workout and ended up with 5 muscle ups. So proud of him!

When the clock started for my workout, I got moving fairly quickly with the lunges. I broke up the knee raises early on to save my grip/hands from hanging on that pull up bar.  It was definitely surprising how quickly my forearms started tightening up! The scaled weight for lunges and power cleans was 20-lb so those were awkward, but not terribly heavy. I finished the first four rounds just under 11 minutes and used the last minute to get through 50-ft of the lunges and 10 of the 16 reps of hanging knee raises.

The WOD was definitely taxing on my grip and I had to break up the pull-ups into almost all singles, dropping down between each rep. Considering I haven’t been working on pull-ups lately, I’m pretty stoked I was able to get through 32 of them in the workout! My hands are pretty beat up though, so you know I turned to my fave w.o.d.welder for healing. 

final thoughts

The lunges left my buns sore for days, but this workout was middle-of-the-road for me. Not terrible, but not really “fun” either! It was a good reminder that I want to focus more on improving my pull-ups and other gymnastics movements.  I’ve definitely been prioritizing strength in the past few months, so maybe it’s time to set some new goals!

What are your thoughts on scaling vs. going Rx in workouts? Did you do 17.2? What did you think?

CrossFit Open 17.1: #NotMyWorkout

Good morning, friends! I want to start by saying THANK YOU for the positive feedback on my body image post last week. As I mentioned there, it’s CrossFit Open season and today I’m recapping the first of the 5 workouts. If you’re not into the sport of fitness, please feel free to skip these posts each Monday and come back for yummy recipes and nutrition talk the other days of the week.

So, 17.1 was announced Thursday and looked a little something like this:

Initial Thoughts

My first thought was burpee box jump overs?! Eek! and my second was Hey! I can do this one Rx! I’ve recently been psyching myself out when I see box jumps in WODs, but physically I can do them. The dumbbell snatches are a new movement for the Open, but not all that surprising after the CrossFit HQ announcement that dumbbells would be required for the Open this year. I practiced a few movements with them in the last few weeks–snatches being my favorite—so despite the 35-lb dumbbell being a tad heavy for me, I felt okay about it. 

the workout

Just like last year, I decided to take on this WOD during “Friday Night Lights” at our gym, so there would be plenty of others suffering through it with me and cheering me on. I had a little anxiety but was definitely excited to start the Open season with an Rx on the board! With twenty minutes of work ahead of me (I didn’t anticipate finishing under the time cap), the plan was to just keep moving.  3, 2,1…I started by focusing on one rep at a time. Things quickly fell apart after the first round of burpee box jump overs (aka 25 reps in), when I got a horrible pain in my stomach.  

Hi, I’m a sports dietitian who made a rookie mistake when it came to fueling for my workout.  My normal morning pre-workout fuel is either a little cereal or a fruit squeeze pack, so on the way to the gym I grabbed the closest thing I could find–a MunkPack. I am a huge fan of MunkPacks, but in hindsight it was not the best choice for me right before this workout. Stomach cramping/nausea + throwing myself on the ground for burpees = not a good combo.

Between reps, I tried to explain the situation to Boyfriend who was my judge, but he kept pushing me to breathe and push through.  <—this would’ve been awesome and much appreciated if I was just feeling WOD pain, not stomach pain. I stopped to clutch my stomach a few times, wasting valuable time, even turning toward the chalk bucket thinking I was going to throw up.  I have never been sick during a CrossFit workout, so I knew my issue was food related vs. WOD problems.

I contemplated quitting the workout altogether a few times, but ultimately decided to just keep moving and do what I could do. It was miserable and I was mentally beating myself up the entire time. I just couldn’t give it my all and I was getting discouraged as the girls on either side of me starting leaving me in their dust. I did the snatches 1 or 2 at a time and as soon as the 20 minute mark hit, I ran outside actually hoping to throw up. It didn’t happen and my final score was 160 reps. so I finished the 15 burpee box jump overs after the round of 40 snatches. 

Final Thoughts

As weird as this sounds, I wish I was able to truly feel the pain of pushing myself in this workout. It seemed to be miserable for everyone who did it, and believe me, I was miserable…but in my heart I felt that I was capable of a better score. The good news is I still did the workout Rx, which I’m proud of.

Luckily, I was able to soothe my self-pity with some adorable baby snuggles post-workout. I don’t have any pics to share from during the WOD (just picture me bent over, trying not to vom), just this one after I was done and cheering everyone else on.  It turns out, baby snuggles are the cure for feeling bad for yourself after a disappointing WOD. 

I contemplated redoing the workout on Sunday, but in the end decided it’s not worth it.  I was still pretty sore and I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. It just wasn’t my workout. The world keeps on turning and I’m sure we’ll have another brutal one coming at us this week with the 17.2 announcement. I’m just hoping we won’t see dumbbell movements in all of the workouts.  Check back next Monday to see how it goes and follow me over on Instagram in the meantime!

Tell me—How did 17.1 go for you? Have you ever gotten sick during a workout? Any predictions for 17.2?