CrossFit Open 17.5: The Best for Last

CrossFit Open 17.5: The Best for Last

So here we are, wrapping up the 2017 CrossFit Open with a recap of 17.5.  Heading to Nashville to celebrate Ashley’s birthday Friday morning meant I had to either do the workout Thursday evening right after the official announcement OR wait until Monday evening right before the submission deadline.  I chose Thursday evening to get it over with! Here’s what Dave Castro threw at us for the last workout of this year’s Open:

Initial Thoughts

It was probably a good thing that I didn’t have much time to think between the announcement and completing the WOD myself. I watched the Open announcement with some members at the gym and even tried to wrangle someone (anyone) to do it with me that night. Seeing Katrin and Sara (top CrossFit athletes) complete the workout in 8:xx minutes meant I knew I was in for at least a 16-24 minute workout, as I always double or triple elite times/scores!

Thrusters always suck, and 90 reps is A LOT…but 65 pounds is doable for me now and I knew I would break them up early. On top of that, I was honestly excited to finally see double unders! I have been working so hard on them and am finally able to string about 30-40 together during workouts, so I was pumped about them being in 17.5. 

The Workout

Coach Alex judged me for this workout and was on top of me to keep moving the entire time. I broke the thrusters up into sets of 3 immediately and it was the perfect strategy for me. I could have started earlier rounds with 5 and 4, but probably would have blown up in the later rounds.  

For double unders, I went in with a plan to do 20 then take a quick break and finish with the last 15.  Some rounds that worked out, some it didn’t.  Overall, the double unders felt great and I was able to string together big chunks before tripping or needing to rest. 

During the workout, I tried to not look at the clock. I knew I had a good pace going in the earlier rounds and at one point Alex told me I was on track to finish around 16 minutes. Those thrusters caught up to me in the last few rounds though and I needed much more rest between my sets of 3. I was just tired and didn’t want to pick that bar up anymore. Coach told me to push for an unbroken set of thrusters in round 10, but I just couldn’t muster it and kept at 3 sets of 3. 

After dropping the barbell after the 90th thruster, I grabbed my rope to bang out the final set of double unders. The 16 minute mark had come and gone, but my DU felt so good in that last round.  I strung together 34 before tripping up! THIRTY FOUR. Just one rep short of finishing. Coach immediately yelled “one more!” and I quickly reset to finish the WOD in 17:23.  

Final Thoughts

Having been one of the first people to complete this workout, I had no idea how my score would measure up, but I knew I had done the very best that I could have. I was thrilled to be done, both with those 10 rounds and the 2017 Open in general. Mostly I was excited to have killed it with my double unders!

It turns out that the average score for Rx women was 20:54, which means I did pretty dang well. This one was easily my favorite workout of the entire Open and the one I’m most proud of. While there is always more to improve upon, I’m excited about all of my CrossFit and strength progress this year.  Bring on all the double under WODs! πŸ˜‰

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 CrossFit.com 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 β€œas 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. πŸ˜‰ 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?