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Open Workout 17.4

Open Workout 17.4


AMRAP 13 Minutes:
55 Deadlifts
55 Wall Balls
55 Calorie Row
55 Handstand Push-Ups

Men's Rx: Deadlift 225 lb. and throw 20-lb. ball to 10-ft. target
Women's Rx: Deadlift 155 lb. and throw 14-lb. ball to 9-ft. target

Men's Scaled: Deadlift 135 lb., throw 20-lb. ball to 9-ft. target, and perform Hand-Release Push-Ups
Women's Scaled: Eeadlift 95 lb., throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target, and perform Hand-Release Push-Ups

Be sure to review the movement standards, especially for the HSPUs and Hand-Release Push-Ups. Remember to record all tiebreaker times.

Andre L. enters the 17.4 pain cave at last night's Friday Night Lights event

Tips for Open Workout 17.4

By David Osorio

Before we talk about strategy, it's important to mention that maintaining a neutral back position should be your #1 priority. The Open IS a competition, but if you're reading this, you're probably not going to Regionals, so take a chill pill and train smart. If the Rx'd loads (225/155) are simply out of your wheelhouse, then hit up the scaled version (135/95), which is going to be far more of a suckfest because you'll get much farther in the workout AND you won't feel like shit afterwards.

If you can maintain a good back position at the Rx'd weight but 55 reps at that load is going to be really challenging to get through, you'll have to consider what you want to get out of this workout. The workout is a 13:00 AMRAP and that should be PLENTY of time to get to the erg for most folks. If you're not sure you can make it out of or far beyond the Deadlifts, I would strongly consider the scaled option. Be realistic. As always, "know thyself."

For the Deadlifts, I recommend 4-8 sub-max sets, ideally with a decreasing rep scheme. Below are a few options to consider, but you should write a plan that makes sense for you. And have a back-up plan in case you get "punched in the face" by this workout.

4 Sets: 20-15-10-10
5 Sets: 12-12-11-10-10
6 Sets: 14-12-10-8-6-5
The "Everything is Fine" Plan: 5 x 11

Often people are going to have to end with smaller sets than they anticipated, so don't be surprised if your 2 sets of 10 become 4 sets of 5. Regardless, keep every set sub-maximal so you don't blow up and end up needing to take huge rests. On a related note, with high-rep workouts like this, there are going to be lots of breaks in your sets, so stay on task and focus on either how many breaths you take or how many seconds have passed. A rest period is NOT a time to "tune out." It's a shift where you begin to bias intentional deep breathing and a producive internal dialogue, really whatever makes you feel like you're in control of the workout and not the other way around. Perhaps you take 5-8 breaths or :10 of rest between each set.

Wall Balls
The rep pacing for the Deadlifts also applies to the Wall Balls. Keep your sets sub-maximal and manage your rest periods. As someone who really hates Wall Balls but has gotten considerably better at them, I recommend  focusing on consistency and breathing. Every single rep should feel similar to the last one both in how your squat is organized. Minimize spin on the ball and use your arms enough to accelerate the ball over the line. If the ball is spinning all over the place, if your feet are shuffling around, or if each rep feels a little different, you're going to have a much harder time finding a groove with this movement.

Because there's a throw and a catch, the variance in forces you're dealing with are greater than those of most other CrossFit exercises. Try to find your rhythm and tune into whats happening. Perhaps even more importantly: BREATH! The WHOLE time. A lot of people tend to hold their breath at least partially as they brace  to catch the ball or accellerate up to throw it. This makes you feel a little more stable but its going to catch up to you FAST.

You're going to walk over to that erg like a wounded animal, so (assuming you have time) I recommend getting on and starting to row at what feels like a 70% intensity pace, then gradually building up to 80% or so. If you're not used to thinking about calories per hour, This link will help you match 500m splits to the corresponding calorie output.

Again, make sure you're breathing. At this point in the workout, you really need to be aware of the clock. If you've got 1:00 left, you're going to have to make this the worst minute of your life. I like to tell myself, "Well I can hold my breath for over 2:00, so I can certainly 'feel' like I'm drowning for a minute. Remember, tie break times matter in this workout, so if you don't have Handstand Push-Ups, this is where your workout ends.

Handstand Push-Ups
Congratulations! You made it to the HSPUs. You're so elite! This is gonna be crunch time so you need to be aggressive but stay composed. It's not uncommon to feel a little punch drunk coming off the erg, so take a quick moment to organize yourself and shift your focus to the new movement while being aware of how much time you've got left. With the Open standards for HSPUs, LOTS of people are giving way silly no-reps because they're not taking the time to properly set up each rep. Pointing your toes "down" toward your face will elevate your heels and give you less potential for getting no-repped. You might even ask your judge to say "ok" when your heels are above the line before your first rep.

How you approach the reps is going to be completly based on how strong you are at this movement, but you need to start chopping away and taking the shortest rest periods you need. If you start missing reps, BACK off and take a breath. Don't kick up to that wall unless you're 100% confident you'll hit at least 1-2 reps.

Oh and have fun! Remember, it's ONLY 13:00. HOW BAD COULD IT BE?

How did 17.4 go for you? Tell us in the comments!

News and Notes

  • SCHEDULE CHANGE: Strong Fit has been moved to Sundays at 8am for the duration of the Open.
  • The final Look, Feel, Perform Better Challenge Info Session and Q&A is tomorrow at 12:00pm in the Annex. All participants, no matter where you're at with successes and failures of the challenge, are invited to attend the final meeting of this year's Challenge. We'll talk briefly about what to do after 12 weeks of dieting and what to do next, followed by an open Q&A.

What Comes After Tinder? NY Mag
Open Workout 17.4 Movement Standards CrossFit

Reader Comments (11)

Josh, I can't believe you made me search "Nicole Carroll's Tips for 17.4" on my own. Now my thumbs are fatigued for the workout.

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteph M

Not that The Captain didn't do a great write-up, I just like my #GirlSpo.

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteph M

9am with JB and MeLo

165 reps. Tiebreak time of 9:09. Tried a few hspu, but couldn't press out. Meant to do 5 sets of 11 on the deadlifts, but miscounted so I think it was 11-11-8-10-8-7. Wall balls 15-15-10-10-5. Row started out around 1250, but thought I should pull back a little. Settled around 1000 cal/hr.

Deadlifts, wall balls and rowing are all in my wheelhouse and hspu are non existent, so this went right how I expected. I was hopeful that I might continue the streak and get my first hspu in this workout, but want happening today.

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

17.4 at OG. So happy it's over! Got 173 reps.

My goal was to just get 1 rep more than last year, since I haven't gotten any better at deadlifts or wall balls!

Ended up getting off the rower at 11:56 and took 30 seconds to catch my breath. I somehow managed to get 8 unbroken HSPU, so i got 5 more reps than 16.4!

Deadlifts were still a weakness on this, but they did feel less miserable than last year. Little wins?

Sorry to all the people I was a grump to during the workout! I get self conscious when people cheer my name- it's not you, its me, haha <3 I just hate the attention. Thank you all for the support though!

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJenny M

1pm class

17.4, scaled

Was excited to try this one, went in with the goal to make it to the pushups. 179 reps. Tie breaks were 2:52, 5:59, 10:03

DLs were better than I expected, started knocking my knees a bit at the end though, wall balls were ok, despite me muttering "that's some f*ckin' bullshit" as I walked to the rower. Completely blew up on the rower. Even under duress I can usually keep it over 1000/hour but at my worst point was around 780 or something, sad. Was sick the entirety of last week with zero exercise past walking, so I don't think my lungs were up to it. Got off the thing feeling like I had a reasonable chance of puking, which was also sad. Proud that I can at least do fancy proper pushups now.

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKarina S

Blog lurker Steph M. emerges to roast the blog editor. :-)

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJosh S.


17.4 scaled, 191 reps

DO's blog helped me make the (right) choice to scale. I didn't really want to spend 13 min blowing my back on deadlifts. I'll be strong enough for all that soon enough :)

DLs were fine, wallballs at 10# instead of 14# were a (comparative) delight, and then I died/wasted heaps of time on the rower as usual. Push-ups went fast but got through 26.

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKate Tk

1pm w/Whit and Brett

165 Rx. 164 reps better than last year. Came in thinking I'd do 20ish reps at 225# then drop to scaled. The first 20 felt really solid, so just decided to commit to sets of 5 and grinded out all 55 in 5:16. Got to the wall with about a minute left, got close to 1 HSPU but just wasn't committed and crumpled to the floor. Huge improvement over last year where I PRd my 1RM DL at 225# then switched to scaled. Great time in the gym.

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBen S

17.4 at Blue Crab Crossfit yesterday! Finished with 213 reps with a 8:35 tiebreak, only 7 shy of completing the round!

Strategy will be different for everyone but this is how I did it:
-Deads: 8/7/5s, then 5 singles because I felt like it. Forced 3 breaths inbetween then straight back to it.
-wall balls: 5 sets of 11. Perfect. Forced 3 breaths inbetween as well. breaking it up had me feeling fresh for the row
-row pace 925 avg, I like to go 100 below my uncomfortable zone. Hold it there, and push it right at the end
-HSPU: biggest mistake were big sets in the beginning. I got super jazzed about my tiebreak and went for big sets of 10/7/5s, when I should've just stuck with consistent 5s every 20-25seconds instead. But oh well!

May hit it again Monday to see if I can get back to deadlift. We shall see

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterK HarpZ

way to go on 17.4, cfsbk! if you're ever visiting seattle, drop in to crossfit felix! found a super friendly crew here - coaches & community really welcoming (and organized and knowledgeable and all good things)

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commentervanessa

17.4 Rx'd 165 reps with an 11:57 tie break

DLs in sets of 5. I started with smaller sets than last year because I haven't been deadlifting. Finished in 2:47, 16s faster than last year. Not on purpose- it's just how it worked out.

WBs in sets of 5. Back was on fire and needed time to breath in between sets. Thumb has been bothering me so David suggested I wear my wraps which helped greatly. I don't think I got any no reps which is rare for me on WBs. Finished in 7 something.

Row was really slow. Notes last year said I held a pace of 750. Had trouble keeping a steady pace and fluctuated between 650-850. Finished one second faster than last year. Haha.

Didn't attempt HSPUs because of my shoulder. Pulling movements have been fine, pushing not so much. Wonder if I would've pushed harder on the row if I had planned to do HSPUs.

SO glad that is over!

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKLove

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