17.2 Open Workout Tips from Talayna Fortunato

17.2 Open Workout Tips from Talayna Fortunato


Ok so we know 17.2, but my ? is what in the heck does a Koi fish have to do with this WOD?

The only thing I can think of, is this workout is obviously about grip and by the end of it, you will feel like you have fins like this guy and not hands, just staring up at the bar with your mouth open?!  I'm gonna go with that!  Now on to some strategy!


This is the first open workout we've seen in a while where you have to clearly break way before you're capacity from the start.  Even the little 5'2" girls during the announcement broke early and said they should have broken it up even more.  Let's start at the beginning though...


Dumbbell Lunges 

  • Time under tension is what you want to consider here, so try and make them quick and controlled.
  • It helped me on 16.1 with the lunges to try and lunge 8 steps every time.  It gave my mind something to focus on, and it kept me from fumbling around and taking an extra half step on some rounds.  Find your correct step length and try to stick to it.  
  • Put the dumbbells down briefly on the turn around.  Shake out the forearms, grab them again and go back. 
  • You have to keep your hands on the handles the whole time, but the more you can unload the dumbbells on your shoulders, the better!  This will also be dependent upon the dumbbells you have and your anatomy, but play around with quick transitioning from the clean to having them upright on your shoulders or with one head of the dumbbell resting on your back and see which one you like.  Just try not to Vulcan death grip them.



  • If this is a light weight for you, try and go 7, set them down to shake your grip, then one more and start lunging.  If it's heavy, then break it up more, ex. 4/3/1 or 3/2/2/1.  Just don't do 8 and then set them down, you've got to pick them up again anyway! 
  • Muscle cleans are faster, but more taxing on your arms.  Try to engage the hips and legs to help you and dip on the catch, if you need to.  Your legs and glutes will be far less taxed than your arms, assuming you didn't do 17.1 four times!
  • If you can hook grip the dumbbell go for it!  That's a little less work for the forearms. 

Toes to Bar

  • The name of the game here is break early and break often!  How early?  Earlier than you think you need to!  Here's a guide, Sam Briggs: 16, Regionals athletes: 8/8, the gymnast dude in your 5:30pm class: 6/5/5, a person with a max set of 10: 4/4/4/4, and everyone else: triples, doubles, and singles.  You're going to need your grip for the bar muscle ups!
  • Don't Vulcan death grip the bar either.  Let tension off just a little until you become weighted at the bottom of the swing again. 
  • It will also help preserve your grip if you can put your thumb around the bar.
  • I realize many will be doing the scaled options, but the premise is the same for partitioning the reps.

Bar Muscle-Ups

  • If you've never done a bar muscle-up before, but you're going to get one today, you better pace the first part of the workout quite a bit more.  You want to get to this part fresh enough for a PR! 
  • If you have bar muscle-ups, I can give you a fancy rep scheme or some scientific break down, but by the time you get here, you're probably going to have to go by feel.  Just don't start with too large of a set! 
  • Meaning, as soon as you struggle on a muscle-up, unless there are only 10 seconds left on the clock, get down.  A struggled rep is way more fatiguing than a smooth one, and a failed rep takes even longer to recover from. 
  • If you are stringing them together, take a pause at the top of the rep to breathe and relax your arms for a second.  Then go into the next one.  
  • Again placing your thumb around the bar will be less taxing on your grip and safer!

I just love these guys!  All of their muscle-ups would be no reps though, you're only allowed to use your hands to help you up!  No glide kips, either this year, guys. 


Low Hanging Fruit

  • Put a block of chalk right by where you'll be standing at the rig for easy access.
  • If you've tried it before and it helps, tape the bar!  Just don't tell your gym owner I was the one who told you to do it, and take it down as soon as you're done! 
  • Consider knee sleeves for the lunges.  You'll be less likely to think about banging your knees up during them. 
  • Hand care!  If you shave, pumice stone, file, grind, or bite your calluses (ewww!) make sure you get that done before you tackle this.  Especially if you think you might do it twice.  The thinner your calluses are, the less likely they are to rip off.
  •  Also consider some hand care for afterwards...
    • If you're used to grips, this would be a great time to wear them!  If you aren't, I don't think I would try them for the first time.  You might be ripping them off mid workout like Rory did.  They are a good tool in the future, though!

    • Definitely don't need lifters on this one.  Unless you like ankle weights.  Then you might as well wear a weighted vest too!  Rx+! 
    • The biggest thing to warm up for this is your lats and grip.  I, personally, will do light rowing.  Then some dynamic stretching for the forearm flexors (this means I don't hold the stretch, I just move in and out of it).  And I'll use some voodoo/compression floss on my forearms and elbows.  Here's a nice video explaining how to use them.  And if you want to take time to loosen up your forearms the day before, this one is even better by Smashwerx. 

    Honestly, this workout comes down to who is good at bar muscle-ups.  Most people will get to them in a comparable amount of time and then separate themselves from there.  If your hands hold up, it's also an easily repeatable workout, hopefully not due to a 2 day extension either!  The best part is you may not be able to hold your beer without fear of dropping it after this, but you most likely won't feel like death like last week!  

    Good luck guys and tag me @talaynaf #TipsFromTalayna if this helped you!


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    • Talayna Fortunato
    Comments 3
    • Robin

      Any helpful hints on jumping C2B? Theres’ got to be a technique tip the I’ve missed somewhere. #Geezersneedhelp

    • Vornio

      This was actually really helpful. Thanks for the tips!

    • mIssy

      Just an FYI. . . So those little whiskers on the sides of the koi are called “barbels” – and they have a “pair”. That is my best guess on the Castro hint. Thanks for the tips!

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