How to Prepare for 17.2


Maybe you have heard the phrase that you get 80 percent of the results from 20 percent of the work. This is pretty accurate.

As an example, I performed 17.1 with a finishing time of 16:28, almost seven minutes off the best score. I have no illusions of advancing to another level this year, but next year I will be a masters athlete and that is where my focus has shifted for myself.

Anyway, over the past year, I have only been training four to five days a week in simple sessions, typically hitting the same training as my athletes do and usually missing the strength portions. I know I am not in competition shape but I am still in pretty good shape, and I am training half as often as I was a little over a year ago. I am still getting good, sustainable results from less work, but that work I do is all killer, no filler. It’s hard, it’s challenging, and I bring as much intensity to those sessions as possible.

  • What does this have to do with you and your recovery?
  • How many times did you do 17.1? Why?
  • Did you do it more than twice in one day? Why?
  • What did you do to balance this? What was your recovery strategy?

If you watch the CrossFit Games, it starts on a Wednesday, and at the end of that day the leaderboard is completely different then it will be on Sunday night. Look at the Open leaderboard right now. How many of the top names are Games athletes? About half of the top 15 athletes are recognizable names.

Who are these outliers? It is a single workout. It is a workout that is designed to entice you. It’s hard work but it’s simple. It requires little skill. A dumbbell snatch is really just picking it up and putting it down, and almost every fitness person has heard of a burpee. This was a simple test to execute that requires a low barrier of entry. This will allow athletes who have lower skill levels to access those higher level spots. That doesn’t mean they are not well rounded, but most likely their names will drop a little when the weights or gymnastics work comes in.

Much like the Games, this isn’t a sprint. The rookies come out guns blazing and cannot sustain. The same thing is happening right now with 17.1. Some people are destroyed from that work. The memes…so many memes


There is still 80 percent of this competition left. There are more than 340,000 people competing in this competition, which is awesome, but only 0.2 percent make it to Regionals. That means 99.8 percent of us will not and this is where our competition lies. You should be doing your best to perform during the offseason, rather than figuring out how many times you could do this workout.

What should you do with 17.2 coming up tonight?

  • How is your mental game?
  • Can you handle the pain cave?
  • Do you utilize positive self-talk?

Do you know how to mentally prepare yourself for a workout that has elements with which you struggle or an element you cannot perform?

Visualize your success, be realistic in your expectations, focus on your breathing.

You need to have faith in yourself that you can be better, that you will improve, and that you will be successful.

img_9550The thing that will allow you to most easily get a better score on 17.2 is your ability to handle discomfort. It’s the place where you stop in a normal workout, that’s where you need to go a little longer. The place where you stop and grab chalk, you need to hold on and dig out a few more. The place where you towel off, grab water, tie your shoe, adjust your belt, fix your knee sleeves, adjust your wrist wraps, move around that achy body part, those are excuses that waste time.

I know this because I have done every one of them. We all try to self-justify resting but none of us need as much rest as we think.

We need to be better able to handle discomfort. Do we stop because we need to or because we want to? If we need the better score, then we need to keep moving and keep practicing being uncomfortable on a daily basis.

How is your sleep?

  • Did you spend a couple hours last night leader boarding scores?
  • How did that help you?

It just gave you anxiety. Comparison is the thief of joy. You now have four opportunities to do better, to excel, to improve. Get sleep tonight.

Do not do the workout tonight, if you can. Then, wait a day, see how some top Games athletes do and plan accordingly. Look at some strategies that people put online. There are tons of people who provide Open strategies every week and most of them are good. Watch a few, then formulate your plan from there. Above all, listen to your coach – you know the person who watches you every day and knows your weaknesses and strengths. Hopefully, they keep it real with you instead of inflating your ego in order to pad their checkbook.

How is your hydration?

  • Is your blood mostly coffee?
  • Are you chronically dehydrated?

Most of you do not need more stimulants or pre-workouts. You need more water.

People were asking me about what I thought of Dave Castro’s second hint. As a coach, I enjoy the reveal of programming as much as I enjoy making the workouts and seeing the athletes excel and achieve.

img_9552It is awesome to hear people’s thoughts. What did the hint of 17.1 mean? Nothing.

17.2 showed Koi fish, koi… coy… decoy… bok choi….. burpees and bok choi…. we are going to have to eat bok choi and seven minutes of burpees. It doesn’t matter, stop stressing, relax, and have fun.

You are doing this for you more than anyone else. Have fun with it, do your best, and learn about yourself as an athlete and a person. We are here to all be better and to improve. If everyone around you continues to get more fit, then you will continue to get more fit. Do not wish for others to do worse. Instead, just do better. Do not pray for a lighter load; work for a stronger back.

Quick Tips For 17.2:




Enter the pain cave

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