Workout 17.3 – my CrossFit Open experience

Ok. So this has been the TOUGHEST recap to write, not because there was nothing to say, mostly because I’m still not entirely sure if 17.3 ACTUALLY happened. 😂 Let me explain.

Perhaps because last week’s workout challenged me in so many ways, I found myself approaching 17.3 with a much calmer mindset, and just feeling ready for anything. I made sure I’d eaten well; drank enough water; and took my time warming up and mobilising. In other words, I prepped right.

Workout 17.3
Prior to 8:00, complete:
3 rounds of:
6 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups
6 squat snatches, 35 lb.
Then, 3 rounds of:
7 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups
5 squat snatches, 55 lb.
*Prior to 12:00, complete 3 rounds of:
8 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups
4 squat snatches, 65 lb.
*Prior to 16:00, complete 3 rounds of:
9 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups
3 squat snatches, 75 lb.
*Prior to 20:00, complete 3 rounds of:
10 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups
2 squat snatches, 95 lb.
Prior to 24:00, complete 3 rounds of:
11 jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups
1 squat snatch, 105 lb.
*If all reps are completed, time cap extends by 4 minutes.
Note: Squat snatches or power snatches with overhead squats permitted.

The Snatch is a tough movement for me – aside from its physical complexity, I have to work hard to overcome my natural tendency to over analyse, and therefore overthink the movement. So given that 17.3 was a Squat Snatch – a more complex movement again, I had zero expectations for my performance. That’s not to say that I’d resigned myself to fail, quite the opposite actually – I was ready to go all in and surprise myself.

A little history on my lifting performance … previously my heaviest Snatch was 25kg, and my heaviest Overhead Squat was 12.5kg. As Squat Snatch isn’t a natural movement for me, I broke my 17.3 lifts into a Power Snatch and an Overhead Squat. Even though this took more time, I knew this would give me a much better chance of making my lifts AND getting to depth.

crossfit open, crossfit open 2017, 17.3, squat snatch, pull-ups

Photo courtesy my lovely Mr (Lee).

The first three rounds felt great – it was a lighter weight than I normally Snatch (15kg) for reps, so that meant I was able to get through these pretty quickly. The next three rounds were slower – I think I felt every kilo of that weight jump to 25kg. I knew my body was fatiguing, but did my best to keep moving even though it meant breaking up the reps. I couldn’t believe how taxing the Jumping Pull-ups were between the lifts. They were brutal. I’m talking lung-burning, no oxygen, dry mouth awfulness. 😯

I made it through the first 6 rounds in under 8 minutes, so that bought me an additional 4 minutes of work time to get through the next 3 rounds. However, even though the Snatch reps were going down, the weight was going up. The next 3 rounds jumped to 30kg, but at the time I didn’t think about this … sometimes it’s best not to be TOO aware of what you’re attempting to lift above your head. This was one of those moments.

In my head I was repeating a lot of my coach’s training cues, almost like a mantra – ‘Just walk up to the bar and lift it…’, ‘Don’t pull too soon’, ‘Move your feet’, ‘Be aggressive’, ‘Drop under and stand it up … easy’ … With my failed reps starting to add up, I took some time to rest and regroup. The failed reps weren’t bothering me at all – it sounds clichéd to say, but they honestly felt like they were presenting me with opportunities.

And then kinda like magic, somehow it happened. I found that bar floating up, felt myself dropping under, locking out and standing up. For some reason I just knew that once I got that bar overhead, the squat would be fine (& it was). Getting one rep down has never felt sweeter. I guess if there’s ever a right time to FINALLY connect the mechanics of the Snatch, during the Open would have to come pretty damn close to perfect.

My coach (hey Lisa) has always talked about this incredible moment that happens when you ‘get’ the Snatch – the bar will float up so effortlessly that you’ll almost wonder if it’s still above you. That’s absolutely how it felt. It was like I had an out-of-body experience; as if it was someone else who did 17.3 and I haven’t quite found my way back to me yet. lol. Who was that person who did that? I have to keep reminding myself, ‘Hey dude, I think that was you’. 😊

After getting that first rep I heard Coach Lisa say, ‘And now do that again’. lol. And I did, again and again. I think in the end I went on to complete four reps at that weight … it might have taken me four minutes to get them, but never have four reps of anything made me feel quite so proud.

I owe so much to my awesome coaches Lisa and Lance, my incredibly supportive husband Lee, and the great community that is CrossFit 4504 – thanks for keeping me fighting through 17.3, and feeling as if you’re always in my corner. ❤️