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17.2 is done and dusted and it looks like bar muscle ups and toes to bar are now behind us. However, CrossFit HQ continues to keep us all on our toes with dumbbells used in the workout for a second time in a row. Can we expect dumbbell thrusters in 17.3? At 22.5 and 15kgs respectively, that would make for a very interesting and no doubt unpleasant experience!
I watched a lot of people take on 17.2 and was struck by the following:
• The stress of doing the Open is considerable and it really effects lots of people. It’s almost like they lose their minds once the clock start and go into some kind of bizarre fugue state. This is not conducive to a good score!
• Most people don’t have any plan of how they want to attack the workout. This is a major mistake.
• Lots of people have some kind of plan, but get so stressed out (as per point 1) that everything goes out of the window once the workout starts.
Most of us do the Open for fun and that is exactly the way it should be. The percentage of people who have a chance of making it to the next level is absolutely tiny. But that doesn’t mean for the rest of us that we don’t take it seriously or don’t want to improve every year. This is where having a proper realistic plan for each workout comes in.
No matter your level or ability, you must have a strategy for each workout. If you cannot string toes to bar together, don’t expect it to magically happen during the Open. It almost certainly won’t! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t post a decent score. You just need to be smart and know your limits. If you only have 1 toes to bar, a great strategy is to do 1 every 10-15 seconds and make sure you nail every rep. Nothing kills confidence like trying to string a bunch together and continually no-repping.
Knowing and understanding your capabilities is vital when it comes to implementing strategy. Let’s say that your max number of kipping pull ups is 10. A workout comes up and the first part is to do 30 pull ups.
A poor strategy would be to jump up on the bar and do a maximal set, ie 10 pull ups. Once you have reached a max number of reps, you need time to recover before continuing. Typically what we see is when somebody reaches a max number, they wait for a few seconds, jump back on the bar and are lucky if they can bang out 2 or 3 reps.
A much better approach for a metcon is to work well below your threshold but with shorter breaks. So in our example of pull ups, a good strategy would be to work with sets of 5 but with a maximum of about 10 seconds rest between sets.
We will know what awaits us for 17.3 in a couple of days. If you are not sure of how to approach the workout, take the time to speak to one of our coaches to discuss a strategy. Once you have your strategy in place, try to have a buddy standing by to help keep you on point amid the stress of competition.