My crossfit journey started in July 2014. Since then I’ve completed countless wods, but not many serious competitions. This year I decided to enter the open.
The crossfit open is a 5-week, 5-workout competition that crossfit athletes all over the world can enter. The workouts are announced on Thursdays and athletes have until Monday to submit their scores. Workouts are completed in the presence of a certified judge who ensures you follow the rules (and in my case, counted my reps out loud for me).
17.1, the first workout of the series, was a couplet: single arm snatches and burpee box jump-overs:
In my years of being a crossfit athlete, I’ve done countless wods. I start most days doing a wod before going to work. None of them felt like this: heart racing, dry mouth, nerves out of control. I started off strong – 10 snatches and 15 burpee box jumps? No problem. The snatches were unbroken and I jumped right from my burpees onto the box, no step in between.
Follow it up with 20 snatches and 15 more burpee box jumps? You got it. This isn’t so bad, right?
Then came the round of 30 snatches. My back was tightening up, my throat was on fire. I was really starting to feel it – which was evident by the amount of times I dropped the dumbbell, and the step I started taking between the burpee and box jump. This is where my time really started to slide.
I caught myself struggling to get full extension on the snatches and made a conscious effort to catch the dumbbell standing straight up. There were also a few times my non-lifting arm started to rest on my leg during the snatches, which would’ve been a “no-rep”. I felt it happening mid-rep and dropped the dumbbell completely so as not to waste any more time/work.
I was more than 18 minutes in when I started my last 15 burpee box jump-overs. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it under the 20-minute time cap – and you can see from the faces in the picture that the spectators were skeptical too (the ones not looking at me are looking at the clock).
One of my coaches saw I was fading and put on my favorite song (Project T) while one of my other coaches cheered like crazy beside me. I ended up finishing with 4 seconds to spare: 19:56. The energy in the room around me played a huge part in helping me to the finish. I struggled hard and ultimately was hoping for a better time, but I’m happy that I finished. I feel accomplished and ready for the next workout!
So what are my words of advice for those who haven’t done 17.1 yet?
- HYDRATE. This is taxing cardio, you’re going to need all the water you can get leading up to (and following) this wod.
- Keep your shoulders above your hips when you bend down on the snatches. It’ll save your lower back in the long run.
- Start off taking the burpee box jump-overs slower than you think you should. It’s easy to burn out on them when you’re moving quickly.
- Turn mid-air when getting off the box and fall right to the ground into your burpee. Don’t waste time stepping around/setting up between each rep.
- Keep a number of snatches to hit unbroken in your head. This was a miss for me – I should’ve set the goal of doing 10 unbroken each round. I didn’t keep this in mind and dropped the dumbbell more times than I should’ve, wasting a lot of time.
- Don’t stand to full extension on the box. The completion of the movement is getting OVER the box to the other side. Standing up on the box is unneccessary and will slow you down.
Did you do 17.1? How’d you do? What advice do you have?