Open 17.5 has to be the least surprising workout in the history of CrossFit. People have charted all movements incorporated into the Open Workouts since the dawn of man. Two movements that have been included in every Open, and had not yet been in 2017, were Thrusters and Double-Unders. So few were surprised when Open 17.5 movements were announced. The only mystery left remaining was the rep scheme.
There was a time when I dreaded Thrusters. Mostly that time was back in the day before there was a Scaled division in the Open. Then there are Double-Unders. Or most specifically, then there are not Double-Unders (and I have come to the conclusion that at this stage in my life, I am ambivalent about learning them). So by default, my workout was determined to be Scaled. Actually, I decided five weeks ago, that I would do Scaled for all 2017 Open workouts.
Open 17.5 Masters 60+ workout is…
- 10 Rounds – 40 Minute Time Cap
- 9 Thrusters 45/35
- 35 Single-Unders
In the eight waking hours I had, prior to 3-2-1 Go!, I thought about my strengths and weaknesses.
While I was pleased with only having to perform 45# Thrusters, I do not like the feel of an empty barbell. I have two issues, one is the position off the floor for the initial pull, and second is you cannot drop an empty bar.
For 55 pound lifts, I’ll often use a women’s bar, plus two 10# plates. I thought of using a Training Bar with a pair of 15# plates, but I’m not to keen on the cheese-grater knurling on the trainer bars.
A couple months ago I sprained my left ring finger performing Clean and Jerk at Barbell Club. So for the past 6 weeks, I’ve been loosely taping my three middle fingers on my left hand, to provide some added support during healing. This has worked well.
Recognizing that I had to perform 90 Thrusters I decided to tape up both hands in a similar fashion. This worked out well because when I came out from the locker room to do the workout, Dana, my partner for much of this Open, had set up a Trainer Bar next to the empty Men’s Bar.
I tried a few lifts with both bars. Though they weighed the same, the bumper plates on the Trainer Bar seemed to positively affect the balance and my center of gravity. The tape on my fingers offset the rough knurling of the bar. So I set aside the empty bar and used the trainer. It turned out to be a good move.
I’ve been in the gym doing CrossFit for almost five years. This is my fifth Open. It took me nearly a year to learn to jump rope. I have yet to master Double-Unders. Over the years, I have committed spare time after WODs trying to “get” double-unders, sometimes as long as a month. I still haven’t, and oftentimes these efforts have resulted in me also losing single-unders. I am at the point where I really don’t care about DU’s. My goal is fitness and good health. And the fact is I’d rather spend my time getting one more pound on my back squat that doing anything that resembles a cardio workout. But hey, that’s just me.
I had only seen elite Rx Athletes perform this workout on the Games live feed on Thursday evening. I had no idea what to expect with “normal” athletes. When the first heat began at noon, I was judging Dana, so my eyes were only on him, watching standards of performance, and counting off reps. He’s a young guy, perhaps half my age at the most. He was doing the same workout as me, but with 65 pounds. He finished in about 11 minutes. Dana is a strong athlete and I suspect next year he will be doing Rx.
Since the clock was running continuously, I jumped on the bar at 20:00. I went slow and steady on the Thrusters, getting the first rep on the initial clean. I liked the nine count. Mentally I kept counting to 10, so whenever I got waved off at 9, I felt like I was getting away with something.
Moving onto the rope, I was getting 10, 15 or 20 jumps, but eventually I’d trip up. Out of ten sets I may have had two or three unbroken sets.
My goal was to maintain a consistent pace, not breaking any sets of the Thrusters. I just kept moving, one rep after another, ignoring the clock. I was surprised when I began the ninth set of Thrusters, when Dana announced I only had two more rounds to finish.
Open 17.5 Results
When it was all done, I had finished in 13:25. I was delighted and as I am writing this on Saturday morning, I feel fine. No soreness, no pain. If I had done Rx I know I’d be a hurting puppy for days.
I shot these two featured photos of my friend Anh, at CrossFit Reach, when I went to cheer on my Barbell Club friends. Most were doing Rx. Though the workout looked awful, most of these athletes looked strong!
In a couple days I’ll write a postscript that will be an overview of my thoughts on the entire 2017 CrossFit Open Season. In the meantime, Get Defiant! Get Well!