Open Athletes - if you haven't already, please watch the 17.1 standards video below, and read the workout details here on the CrossFit Games website.  This will ensure that everyone is on the same page with movement standards and expectations prior to every athlete starting their workout/heat.  Thank you.   

As we've covered previously in this post here, we'll be running the Open Workout ("17.1") during rolling heats in all of our Saturday morning classes.  If you're officially entered in the Open please sign-up for class in advance and plan on doing the workout and judging another athlete while in the gym (no, you do not have to be a certified judge who has taken the judges course... that is only required if you're judging an aspiring Regionals or Masters Qualifier athlete).  The warm-up will be self-directed and written on the board in AR North, along with all of the equipment needed to get ready to rock.  Please plan on showing up 10-15 minutes early for class if possible, so that you can sign-up for a heat time when you arrive and get yourself situated for warming-up.     

17.1 brings us a movement we've not yet seen in the Open until now (but one we saw coming for a while): the one-arm dumbbell snatch.  Luckily for those of us at Arena Ready it's a movement that we do often enough for most of our athletes to feel comfortable approaching this workout.  And since we pull from the floor and barbell snatch a ton, many of you have the strength and mechanics required to do quite well.

Nearly all of our athletes (with the exception of a few outliers) will fall into one of a few categories...


Category 1: Dumbbell snatch 50/35 lbs?! Yeah right. 

This category will likely be comprised of newer athletes, who have not yet had a lot of time with, or exposure to, snatch variations (let alone the dumbbell type).  If you're officially entered in the Open and 50/35 lbs is just not going to happen safely, then scale to the 35/20 lbs listed in the scaled version of 17.1. and then seek the help of a coach or experienced athlete on site to help you confirm some good, solid reps.  Once you've got that down in warm-ups you can think about moving through the workout at a bit of a "jogging" pace for about 80% of the duration, and then speeding-up a bit for the remaining 20% of the time if you feel good and are still moving well (we'll tell you if you're not). 

If even just ONE rep (or several) at 50/35 lbs can be performed safely then you have the option of spending as much time as needed (up to 20 minutes!) getting as far along in the Rx workout sequence as you can with good mechanics and movement (e.g. you're being safe & smart while trying really, really, really hard to put that DB over your head).  Remember that even an Rx score of 1 rep ranks higher than every Scaled score in the world, so if you can safely fight for that one good rep it may be a battle worth fighting.  If you're not officially entered in the Open then ask a coach on site to help you decide on a reasonable dumbbell weight for scaling the workout appropriately - it doesn't necessarily need to be one of the exact weights listed by CrossFit HQ for the Open (the same logic applies for height of the box if not officially entered in the Open).


Category 2: I can snatch 50/35 lbs but I don't think I can finish this workout in 20 minutes.

If you're in this category (the majority of folks around the world participating in the Open will be there with you) and have been an athlete at Arena Ready for any extended period of time, you're probably somewhere in the spectrum of Gray-to-Red level scaling (depending on the day and the specific workout).  If you're more on the Red-level side of things then either the snatches may feel light to you but the burpees are your nightmare, or the snatches are a little heavy for you but the burpees are your jam.  Either way, for most here the goal is to get as far along in the sequence as possible before hitting the 20-minute cap, which means you need to have a pacing strategy mapped out that is reasonable and sustainable based on your current level of fitness.  

If you came in to Arena Ready for class on Friday then you already have some pacing data to play with in mapping out your game plan - remember that the burpees are always 15 reps at a time, but the snatches ascend in 10-20-30-40-50 rep fashion... meaning that A) the total work is 2:1 snatches to burpees; and B) at the end of the 30-rep round of snatches you're only 40% done with the dumbbell.  So you need to give yourself the opportunity to get to the round of 40 (and/or the round of 50) with enough gas in the tank to approach the snatches with solid effort and technique.  Moving steady and moving well in the 40s and 50s will push you ahead of many others who are sloppy and floppy at that point because they paced incorrectly in the first half of the workout thinking they were farther along than they actually were - don't make that mistake.  If you didn't come in to class on Friday then I suggest doing some abbreviated version of the pacing exercise listed in Friday's WOD blog during your warm-up on Saturday (come in a little early so you can build-in the time to do it).  


Category 3: I got this, and I want to finish this damn thing under the time cap.

If you generally do workouts at Rx/Black level consistently - or you're a bit of what I like to call a "Red level sandbagger" - then you're likely in this category.  The basic strategy framework listed above for Category 2 applies here too, so be honest with yourself in mapping-out a sustainable pace that will get you to your goal finishing time.  Make sure to build-in some expected "slow down" time margin due to accumulated fatigue - if you do so and end up being slightly ahead of pace in the 40s and 50s (I was when I tested the workout on Thursday night) then you'll feel great about it and be able to step on the gas pedal a little toward the end of the workout.  For you this workout really starts on the back half of the 40s (reps 21 - 40) and the gut check happens on that set of 50 - so set yourself up to be feeling strong and confident when you get there... play your game and hold to your pacing, remembering that there are no style points for being in the lead at the end of rep-rounds 20 and 30 on the dumbbell.

For this group the style of burpee box jump over and dumbbell snatch will matter most, since the majority of you have preferred ways of doing each of the two movements.  I showed everyone in my Friday classes the way I did every BBJO rep in the workout (which feels the "easiest" and most "natural" to me over the course of 75 fatigued reps) and that may work for you as well... but maybe it won't.  So test a few different ways of turning, stepping down, jumping down, popping up from the burpee, etc to see what's most comfortable for you... remember that it doesn't have to be the absolute fastest way to do them, it has to be the most easy to sustain and replicate over time for you (since wasted movement, extra steps, and generally flailing costs time and energy).  For the snatch you'll need to know if you like a straighter leg, more back-intensive DB "muscle" snatch, or a "squatty-er" lower hip start-positioned DB snatch - it will depend on your strengths, your anatomical proportions, and the style of BBJO you're doing (I basically went with using my back on the snatches and my legs on the BBJO).     


The universal MUSTS for ALL CATEGORIES.      

1) Don't drop the dumbbell.  Just don't do it.  You could break your foot or toe, and you could break the dumbbell.  And it just really makes things harder anyway - if you're dropping the DB and then chasing it around you not only look like a tool, but it also means you're going far past your own ability to hold any kind of sustainable pace.

2) Be smart and move well.  You know what that means, I don't have to explain that one to you.  The weights will be here tomorrow... will you be?    

3) For the LOVE OF ALL THAT WE HAVE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT SNATCHING AND LIFTING ANYTHING HEAVY please start every rep with the object as close to your center of base as possible... in the case of the dumbbell that means in-between your feet.  Don't make the mistake of pulling it from the floor with it starting in front of you.  It's not a barbell.  You don't have to worry about clearing your knees.  So make it easier on yourself and use physics to your advantage for the 150 times you're going to pick that thing up.  

4) Cheer for your fellow athletes, and be a good judge.  We do things the right way at Arena Ready - with integrity and to the standards of the competition.  Our movement is clean, our technique is admirable, our effort is 100%, and our members know the difference between intent and accomplishment (e.g. giving your fellow athlete a respectful but deserved no-rep when they're working their ass off but simply didn't accomplish a valid rep).  The spirit of the Open is amazing - there's nothing like the energy and positive family vibe of these 5 weeks.  Many of your buddies will do things they never thought possible, some will fall short of what they wanted and be frustrated for a bit, and others will have experiences on both sides.  But in the end this is our community, and our AR family, and we support each other in success and in failure... knowing that we're all just trying to get better every day.


WOD for 02-25-17:

"Open Workout 17.1"

For Time (With a 20 Minute Cap):

10 One-Arm Dumbbell Snatches, alternating @ 50/35 lbs

15 Burpee Box Jump Overs @ 24/20 in

20 One-Arm Dumbbell Snatches, alternating 

15 Burpee Box Jump Overs 

30 One-Arm Dumbbell Snatches, alternating 

15 Burpee Box Jump Overs 

40 One-Arm Dumbbell Snatches, alternating 

15 Burpee Box Jump Overs 

50 One-Arm Dumbbell Snatches, alternating 

15 Burpee Box Jump Overs 


*The 17.1 Scaled Workout follows the same sequence but uses 35/20 pound dumbbells and 20/20 inch box (step-ups are allowed in the scaled division).