17.3 Tips and How to Prep

The 2017 CrossFit Open is underway and that means five weeks of worldwide competition designed to push you to the limit (see why the CrossFit Open matters). We want you to do the best you possibly can, all while staying healthy enough to train during the week.

Each Thursday we’ll be posting tips for warm-up, nutrition, and recovery to help you devise the best possible game plan to tackle the workout.  Time to smash those goals.

Workout: 17.3

Prior to 8:00 minutes, complete 3 rounds of: 6 chest-to-bar pull-ups, 6 squat snatches, 95/65
Then, 3 rounds of: 7 chest-to-bar pull-ups 5 squat snatches, 135/95
Prior to 12:00, complete 3 rounds of: 8 chest-to-bar pull-ups 4 squat snatches, 185/135
Prior to 16:00, complete 3 rounds of: 9 chest-to-bar pull-ups 3 squat snatches, 225/155
Prior to 20:00, complete 3 rounds of: 10 chest-to-bar pull-ups 2 squat snatches, 245/175
Prior to 24:00, complete 3 rounds of: 11 chest-to-bar pull-ups 1 squat snatch 265/185
*If all reps are completed, time cap extends by 4 minutes.

Warmup

You’re looking at two movements that require significant range of motion in chest to bar pullups and the squat snatch.  So, making sure that you have your body primed to go and your technique locked in from the start is key.

After getting your blood going, throw in a few sets of scap push-ups  to warm up your shoulders. Hit your thoracic spine with this opener to make sure you’re in a good position overhead. If hip mobility is an issue for you, do your favorite hip stretch. Be sure to hit those ankles, calves and whatever else tends to get tight on you. Each snatch has to be the full squat so you have to be sure to hit depth right away or you’re just wasting time.

Short on time? This one should take care of most mobility issues.

One or two small sets of strict pull-ups or band resisted –think two or three– will warm up your pulling muscles and should make kipping feel a lot easier. Mix in a few kip swings and practice the style of chest to bar you’re going to be using for the workout. (Kipping or butterfly). 

Approach

Don’t over-do the barbell warmup. You have a lot of work here and at least the first round should be easy enough for most people to get through and treat as a pseudo-warmup. You’re going to have a ton of adrenaline going and time to hit the big weights. There’s no need to work up to a heavy single or anything even remotely close to a max before beginning.  

Know your strengths. This one is going to be highly individualized, but most people will be limited by what they’re able to snatch under fatigue. The chest to bar will tire you out, the reps go up and you shouldn’t be going anywhere close to failure.  

If you’re more of a strength athlete, drop down from the bar, take small sets and use your grips. The time on the bar is designed to zap your energy for the big weights- don’t let it.

If you know you’re going to be struggling more when the snatches get to a certain weight, don’t rush. Make sure you take a few seconds after you come down off the pull-up bar. Catch your breath, get a great set up and lift. Stick to singles. Missed reps under heavy load will tax your central nervous system and waste a ton of time. Better to attempt singles and take purposeful 15-20 second breaks then to fail.

You can and should have your friends load the bar as the weight changes as it’s allowed within the rules and will save you valuable time and energy. Consider using multiple bars instead of changing the weight out if its easier (and you have the space/equipment to do so.) 

Nutrition

If you want to lift big, you have to eat big so make sure you’re getting in slow-digesting carbs within that 90 minute to two-hour window with lean protein (whether it’s chicken, beef or a protein shake.) If you aren’t used to carbs, make sure you drink extra water to avoid bloating.

Post-workout, try to get carbs and protein within that 30 minute window to help you recover faster. Either a mini-meal or a whey protein shake that also has fast-digesting carbs like this one. Shoot for a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein.

Recovery

Your shoulders and lats will be smoked so spend a few minutes in the simple twisted cross pose on the floor while you catch your breath. You can repeat our thoracic opener from the warm-up here or hang out in puppy dog pose for a few minutes as well.

Hopefully you wore your grips and your hands are in OK shape- this is one you can re-do if you aren’t feeling particularly strong with your snatches the first time around or went out a little too hard on the pull-up bar.