Tips for Crushing CrossFit Open WOD 17.5

This is a straight-up “engine” WOD designed to hurt, and hurt bad.

The CrossFit Open started February 23 with WOD 17.1, and this is the final WOD, 17.5. As with each prior Open WOD, I am providing immediate feedback and support for all of you who are interested in optimizing your performance in this final WOD.

As with the other videos, we shot this at my gym, Precision CrossFit, right after the WOD was announced. So you are getting the exact same advice and insight I give my gym’s athletes. I hope that following my advice will help you achieve the same high-caliber performance Team Precision is known for.

Open WOD 17.5

10 Rounds for Time:

  • 9 thrusters (men @ 95lbs., women @ 65 lbs.)
  • 35 double-unders

Additional scalings, movement standards, and more are available on the official CrossFit Open 2017 Workouts page.

How to Approach this WOD

No surprises here. Thrusters were pretty much a given, and a couplet was also to be expected. And we finally see double-unders.

This couplet is a basic, straight-up “engine” WOD. Even so, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of scoring well. Here’s what I recommend:

Pace Yourself on the First Five Rounds

Go fast, but keep it under control for five rounds. Then push the pedal to the metal. Use the rhythm of the thrusters to keep your breathing steady. On the double-unders, try to stay relaxed.

Unbroken Sets

The best strategy for a good score is to hit every set unbroken. If that’s not going to be manageable for you, then have a plan on where you are going to break the sets—don’t try and “feel” your way through. Have a plan.

Even capable, experienced athletes may fail to get every set unbroken because of the double-unders; it’s all too easy to miss one, especially if you get off your planned pace and try to rush. A missed double-under is not really a problem and won’t affect your score much, if you just step through and get back to it right away. Don’t get all up in your head about it if you miss.

Practice Good Housekeeping

There is a very real danger of losing time in transitions on this WOD. So it’s especially critical that you keep control of your equipment, particularly your rope. Set it down, untwisted and ready to go, at the end of each set. This is something you’ll what to rehearse before taking on this WOD. Have your house in order; know where your equipment is at all times and know that it’s ready to go. Dropping the rope to hurry back to thrusters is a bad plan.

Setting a Goal

Athletes aiming for Regionals should strive to get a score of 7:30 or better. Givein the realities of CrossFit competition these days, I am confident that seconds will matter at this elite level. So, a missed double-under or one unbroken thruster set might mean the difference between success and failure here.

For everyone else, because this is the last Open WOD for this year, you may feel it’s your last chance to test yourself. So you may be tempted to just go all-out, right out of the gate. That’s a huge mistake, in my opinion. If you are serious about doing your best, just review my suggestions above and be smart approaching this WOD. Be sure to practice the movements and the transitions.

Looking Forward

I hope my advice has helped you get the most out of these WODs, and maybe also helped you enjoy the Open a bit more. At Precision, we’ll be moving on to Regionals training, and I hope you’ll follow our efforts as we report on them. In the coming weeks, I’ll also be talking about what you can learn from your performance in this year’s Open, and how to use that to improve your programming for the coming year.

Good luck!

Don’t forget about fueling for the Open WODs:

Nutrition Planning: CrossFit Open Guidance