Tips & Tricks: Open 17.1

Last year, every week of the Open, I wrote a “Tips and Tricks” post with my thoughts, strategy, and some tips from experts out there in the internets. Of course everyone has their opinions, and many people are more qualified and educated than me on the sport of fitness, so I’m not sure my post really has any purpose now.  I’m your average crazy-about-crossfit gal and I don’t claim to be an expert. 

I’ve thought about this a lot since the last Open, and I think I will continue to write a weekly Open post like last year, even if it only benefits me.  Feel free to comment below if you like these posts, or find them irrelevant now.

As I was suspended midair while slipping on the ice this morning on my morning dog walk, all I could think about was “must not break body before doing the 2017 Open!” Luckily I managed to catch myself and maybe only slightly tweaked a glute in the process.

I’m going to need my body to be the healthiest and strongest it can be to survive, judging by Dave Castro’s 17.1 announcement last night. My initial reaction, which I think I proclaimed to Meg, was “I’m pumped!

Now that I’ve had some time to mull over the workout in my mind and build up some anxiety, I’m officially nervous. As Dave was announcing the workout in his very slow way, I thought it might be a 12 minute time cap or something shorter.  But of course, he aims to humble us all and so why the hell not start off the 2017 Open with a “for time” 20 minute time-capped WOD?  And she’s a spicy one!


I’m pretty sure everyone in the CrossFit world assumed 17.1 would have a dumbbell (DB) component since Castro hinted so heavily about them. Snatches seemed likely.  I wasn’t so sure what the other part of the WOD would be.  Burpees – and over-the-box ones at that! – are sure to wind us quickly.

My strategy for 17.1 is steady as she goes.  I’m getting over a pretty dreadful head cold (perfect timing, I know) so keeping my breathing under control will be essential.  Although my box typically doesn’t program DB snatches, I did them occasionally at my prior gym and prefer them to barbell snatches.

Part of my crossfit strategy (always, not just the Open) is:

  1. Know what you’re good at.
  2. Know when to breath.

Happily, I’m passably skilled at both DB snatches and burpees.  I realize that both elements will have me breathing fire quickly, so I’m aiming to break up the DB snatches into sets of 10, and just keep moving when it comes to the burpee box jump-overs. For me, the burpees are the breathing component where hopefully I can keep my heartrate in check.  [Don’t quote me on that.]

I’ll pleased if I beat the time cap.  How’s that for a goal?

Expert advice on the Open:

  • My coach Eric Barber writes a post each week on the Open with movement advice and a warm-up.  It’s a mix of science, math, and pure magic.  Here are his wise 17.1 words.  In two words: “KEEP MOVING!”
  • Opposite to my strategy, this article advises to “worry more about the burpees.”
  • This blog post emphasizes treating 17.1 like a long run rather than a sprint, sufficiently warming up and cooling down your lower back, and has some good analysis of the pros from the announcement.
  • If you have some time on your hands, this video by Again Faster could help you with your DB snatch technique.

hunger games crossfit

CrossFit Sunalta is hosting the Open this year on Sundays, intramural team-style.  I’m a co-captain for the team Sunalta Strong. Our team is a little smaller than the others, but we’ve got some big hitters so I’m pumped to see how the Open plays out!

I’ll be back with a recap early next week.  See you then!

What do you think of 17.1?  Do you have a strategy?


6 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks: Open 17.1

  1. Pingback: 17.1 Accomplished | Peanut Butter Kait

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