17.5 Tips and How to Prep

The 2017 CrossFit Open is in its fifth and final week and 17.5 will push you to the limit. If you made it this far, congrats! (Bonus points if you’ve been healthy and focused enough to train during the week, too.)

While this is a simple, brutal CrossFit couplet there’s still some things you can do to make sure you’re ready to perform your best. Consider this a cram sheet for that final exam.

Workout 17.5

10 rounds for time of:
9 thrusters (95/65)
35 double-unders

Scaled: 35 single-unders, Men use 65-lb thrusters, females use 45-lb

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Warm up

This is a lot of reps for both movements, so you make sure your prime your feet/calves/ankles for all those  double unders.

For the squats, address any extra mobility needs you may have for hips and shoulders and then hit some more active stuff.

Three rounds of: 10 cossack squats (each side), 5 scap push-up, 3 empty barbell thrusters and 10 single unders. (We just want to get the jumps going here.)

Add some weight to the thrusters after that. (Most of you should be able to get to the prescribed weight in max two sets.) Now, work in a couple mini sets of 5 thrusters and 10 double unders to get a feel for the workout, the transitions, where you want your rope, etc.

If you’re one of those people who prefers to do a few reps at a heavier weight to make the barbell feel lighter, do that here.


This workout is all about pace. Too fast and you’ll spend way too much time bent over taking breaks. You’d be better off going too slow, at least for the first four or five rounds and then kicking it into an extra gear.

Try to go unbroken on the thrusters with a steady and deliberate pace! Steady does not mean blazing. Breathe at the top of the movement (not with the barbell in the front rack) and try to keep your heart rate down as much as possible.

You have to be honest with yourself- if you aren’t good at thrusters or the thruster weight is 70 percent or more of what you think you can do as a heavy single, break it up into manageable sets. Two sets of five or 4, 3, 3 with minimal rest in between sets are good ideas.

No matter what rep scheme you do with the thrusters, use your legs. Focus on driving the weight off of you with your legs so that you don’t smoke your shoulders for the double unders. As you get tired, take a few seconds when you put the barbell down to collect your breath.

Running over to the rope and missing is much more taxing than taking a few seconds to reset and get into a groove.

Like the thrusters, you ideally want your double unders to be unbroken. Keep your elbows close to your body, take small jumps and RELAX.

We aren’t going to sugarcoat this: this WOD will take you to a dark place.

It’s just light enough to make you keep going and just long enough to crush your soul. This is a mental test as much as a physical one. Keep your breath steady, focus and chip away.

Don’t let the reps and rounds overwhelm you- just focus on each round and staying within yourself for at least the first half of the workout.

Recover during the Open. Use Code ATHDAILY10 to save.


 By now, you know the drill: hit 25g of protein and 35-50 g of carbs before working out, with a good mix of fast and slow digesting carbs. If you like shakes, we recommend this one for having a good ratio. If you like cookies, make these!  (Read more on sports nutrition here.)

Post-workout, ideally you would do the same but the Open is over so if you want to splurge, go for it! You’ve definitely earned those donuts, beers or a nap.


This is going to crush your legs and you probably won’t want to do much but lay down. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get some blood flow by walking a 400m cool down lap, hop on the bike for a few minutes to flush your legs, or even go for a recovery swim the next day.

Pair that with some shoulder stretching and give yourself some much needed down time. You made it through the Open!