10 tips for 17.3 - If you read this, the bar will be lighter...

Just kiddinnnnng... Look, I really can't help you there. At least not in a few quick thoughts that for the record comes from a brain dump within minutes of the conclusion of the announcement. 17.3 is a lot of things, and honestly, whether it's heavy or not is more dependent on you than what's written.  

There's a couple of checkpoints in this workout. Most people call them time caps, but let's stay positive, and think pole position, not final destination. (If you got that reference you're old like me) The first big consideration of this workout is the algorithm you will need to decipher, and remember. I think the hardest part will be remembering the reps, sets, and various time caps. So please study. No, like really study. It will be imperative to your success to not only pace yourself, but know where you're at in space, and this will require you to be very aware of the various rounds. 

The next big "elephant in the room" is the time domain here. It’s the long-con. If you don't know what a long-con is, it is a long-term patient investment with a distant payout. This example is just a tad more legal. What this means is A) if you’re good, you gotta go the distance, and not trip up in the early stages B) you need to know your limitations. Some of you the early bars are maximal, this plays into strategy. For some the later bars are maximal, and this plays as well. For others, it’s about the pull ups, and this also plays. You gotta know where your current limitations are because that will decide your pace. C) Set yourself up for success early.

Let’s freely assume were all making it out of the first rounds. If you're not, you're probably not reading this for tips on how to get to Regionals. The issue at hand here is 107,000+ people watch the "boys" go at it live, and they my friends are what we call “curve breakers!” Chase their pace, and you're going to need a friend to resuscitate you. Unless you're capable, then you, like the rookies need no advice either. This is for the rest of us. The ones who are good enough to be a danger to ourselves. Yeah you. So now that we've defined our audience....

You've got 8 minutes to get through the first rounds. These rounds are vital, and deceptive. There is a lot of work, but also a lot of time. The general notion will likely get it over with, to get a head start. This will handicap you. I will suggest even going 3's in the first round. Take the time now. There’s little value that carrying a 180bpm heart rate into the second round just to have a few extra minutes. In fact, there’s a lot of considerations. So, like each other week, here’s our tips of the week: 

  1. Break early, work late. We’re not going to catch Fraser, and honestly that would hurt to try, so let’s agree to pace this together. Friends? In all honesty trust me, it will pay off. 
  2. Fast athletes who lack raw strength, you're going to want to utilize your stretch reflex. While I’ll recommend singles from the beginning for strong and aerobic, the faster and less strong, take bigger sets in the snatch. Others take singles. Simply because you strong guys will get to the heavier bar if you can keep your motor running. For you fast guys, getting to those later bars isn't going to go well anyway, but overcoming the static bar for every rep is going to burn you out more than doubles and triples at the lighter bars. 
  3. Use your thumbs, you have them for a reason. Save your hands, keep your grip, and be safe. Did you count the number of reps it is in this workout yet???
  4. DON'T MISS A REP! Duh, right? Well if I don't at least remind you, you're likely going to get excited and blow at least one rep. Focus, and then focus longer. Don't rush a rep. Both the snatch and Pull up aren't savable reps. Which means a lot of work, and time to make them up.
  5. Set your bars up early. Or grab some friends if you don't have multiples. Don't get into this workout and realize that changing your own plates sucks. No really, don't do it. 
  6. Practice! Feel the rounds and how the combo feels. Get a concept for how fast you can do round 1 and the round with your heaviest bar. Depending on what that is for you, will dictate your pace through each round. Do not get capped, because you forgot the workout either. 
  7. Work like Sager, not like Fraser! Ok ok, Fraser won. I’m talking about work commute, set your workspace up close and clean. 
  8. Chest to bar considerations.
    1. Focus on Contact on the way down, not up! 
    2. Keep your hands on top of the bar, not hanging below. This will let your wrist be the primary joint, not your over extended sternum. 
    3. Eyes neutral, this keeps the spine in alignment and keeps you from convulsing at the bar. 
    4. Longer levers work more efficiently. Focus on length of the body, not trying to kick yourself in the back of the head. 
    5. Last draw big circles, not straight lines. Get behind the bar, come down at it. 
  9. Snatch Considerations:
    1. Too late. I’m just kidding. But let’s be honest you all snatch all the time, you know where your number is. 
    2. Keep the bar close. Both in the rep, but also between reps. Don't walk away. 
    3. You must squat snatch, you cannot power snatch and then overhead squat. So, you better get some practice in if this is you, and you've been blanking every time your coach has tried helping you. 
    4. Hook Grip. I’m sad I even had to say that. Just do it please, or I heard god kills a kitten. 
  10. Run your own race. There will be so many disparities from person to person. Pullups, snatches, engines, etc. Stay focused only on you. 

There is so much to such a seemingly simple couplet. The good news is, it’s just CrossFit. Yeah, it’s heavy, yeah, your chest must contact the pull up bar, yeah, and yeah, it’s long. These are all awesome things. This a chance to prove yourself better. To defy your own odds, and to PR. Step up. I love this time of year. The energy is palpable. So, lace up kids, it’s time for you to hit a new PR and most importantly do it in front of the crowd or friends in your gym!! 

Go be great! 

-Tony