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?

10 Minute Get-A-Grip! Workout

A big thank you to w.o.d.welder for teaming up with me on this workout and blog post. As always, all content and opinions are my own. 

Happy Monday! I’m so excited to start this week off by sharing an awesome workout with you all. By now you know that I have retired my running shoes temporarily and am a full on CrossFit junkie. I did still run a 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, which just goes to show that CrossFit is a great way to keep in running shape without having to pound the pavement.  Anyway, what I love so much about CrossFit is the variety of movement and the intensity. Some of the CrossFit benchmark WODs are less than 5 minutes long and will kick your butt! 

CrossFit can be intense but it’s also highly effective and efficient.  The workout I developed for y’all follows those guidelines perfectly.  It’s just 10 minutes long, but will leave you out of breath with your lungs and forearms burning.  Appropriately named “Get A Grip!”, here’s what the workout looks like:


A clock is set for 10 minutes and the goal is to cycle through the three movements until the time is up.  This can be done in a gym or your garage gym–you’ll just need a pull-up bar, barbell and a kettle bell.  As with all CrossFit workouts, the weights and movements can be scaled back appropriately.  Feel free to decrease the load on the weights or scale down to knees-to-chest instead of toes-to-bar as needed.  wodwelderwod

Here’s how you do this griptastic workout: 

Set a timer for 10 minutes. Begin by performing 5 toes-to-bar.


Once you finish the five toes-to-bar, move immediately to the barbell for 10 deadlifts.


After that, pick up your kettle bell and starting swinging for 15 reps.  


Once all three movements are complete, head back to the pull-up bar for 5 more toes-to-bar.  Repeat the sequence until 10 minutes is up. Be sure to keep track of how many rounds you complete.  My model boyfriend finished 5 rounds plus 5 toes-to-bar and 4 deadlifts in the ten minute cap!  I’m still working on stringing together my toes-to-bar so I was happy with just finishing 4 full rounds. 

Workout Tips:

  • Remember to breathe. Ten minutes isn’t terribly long, but it can seem longer when you’re struggling to catch your breath!
  • Strategically place your equipment.  Don’t waste time walking from the pull up bar to your barbell, etc.
  • Focus on one movement at a time.  There’s no sense in stressing over the kettle bell swings when you’re still on your toes-to-bar.
  • Just keep moving! Pace yourself and do one rep at a time until it’s over.  I promise, it’ll be fun!

Of course when the workout is over, your forearms are burning and your calluses have started to form, I suggest reaching for w.o.d.welder hand cream.  I just stocked up with a Hero Jar, which is 16 ounces (!) of the magical moisturizer.   I’ve written about my w.o.d.welder love many times before and I do buy this stuff on my own dime—so trust me when I say it works!  


The Hands as Rx cream is also great as we head into the cooler, dry winter weather, because it keeps hands from drying out while also healing those rips and tears from tough days in the gym.

Happy sweating!

P.S. Thank you to boyfriend for being my model and guinea pig and to my home box CrossFit Smithtown for letting me use their space for this workout. 

Disclaimer: While I am a Certified Personal Trainer, I recommend always consulting with your physician before participating in any exercise regimen. Please understand that when participating in any exercise, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this workout, you do so at your own risk and assume all risk of injury to yourself.