17.4 Open Workout Tips from Talayna Fortunato

Posted by Talayna Fortunato on

So we're getting close to the end of the Open now and we knew there has to be a repeat workout and a chipper coming at some point. Well, here they both are! Remember these girls (Wells and Castro) did it at altitude too! I got to do that once in 2013 and it was terrible! This workout is somewhat like chippers in past years that ended in muscle-ups in that there's a lot of work on the front end but the crux, aka what really matters, is the gymnastics at the end. 

First of all, if you did this workout last year, go look at your score.  If you have a video of it, watch it.  If you wrote anything about it, go read it.  If not, just try to remember what your strategy was.  If that strategy was good then try to improve upon it!  If there was a point where your strategy went off the rails, then modify to fix that part. 

No one is going to need to break the row, and even though most people will break the deadlifts and wall balls, not many will burn out on them to the point where they're in any danger of failing a rep. The Handstand Push-Ups, on the other hand, can get to small sets and even singles very quickly, making them the separator.  This may lead to a few wall staring contests!

Thoughts on each movement:


  • Warm up the posterior chain well. 
  • The first rep is always the hardest, so while breaks aren't a bad thing, a bunch of 2's and 3's aren't a good idea. This doesn't mean do a set of 20, then all 4's either. Be smart and honest about your capabilities. 
  • Stay tight on the descent and use the energy of the ground and your stretch reflex to help you back up. 
  • Use a mixed grip if you don't already. 
  • Think about using a quick release belt on this one so you can rip it off before heading to the wall balls. This Setwear Belt has a boa dial quick release.

Wall Balls

  • You'll probably think you're going to feel like a baby deer here and fail a wall ball, but the muscle groups go from a pull to a push, so don't take too long.  Just pick it up and go; you'll be surprised after a couple of reps how you settle in. 
  • Again, larger sets (i.e. >5) are best, but if you know you're going to end up with sets of 10 or less than it's best to start with them and take very short breaks. 
  • Stand far enough from the wall that you aren't getting hit with the ball or air balling. 
  • If you have any doubt on the perfect way to hold the ball at the bottom... here ya go!


  • Not a lot to say here. It's more of your recovery period but you still want to get thru it in a reasonable time so no sandbagging! 
  • Set the damper slightly lower than when you're rowing for meters. The fly wheel will spin easier and get more calories between strokes. (I think it's science or something).

Handstand Push-Ups

  • Get straight to the wall and start! This workout goes pull, push, pull, push. You may be tired, but not in the muscle group that's coming next, so you should be able to start right into the reps even if you don't think so at first. 
  • Once your first set starts to slow, it's time to come down. No going to failure! The sets should be speedy with slight breaks. No resting in a handstand - that's wasted energy. 
  • Kip! If you don't know how, learn! If you do know, how be sure to use your hips. This means no short kipping with just a knee bend. Let your hips curl off the wall so your low back touches and you have a better loading mechanism to explode up with.
  • If you're having trouble getting above the line, bring your hands in, and try to extend taller. Not arching the back or letting your butt hit the wall at the top of the handstand will help too.  

You should really only need a quick release belt for this workout. Maybe Goat Tape on your thumbs and the wall, and ok the floor too!  Make sure you understand where to place the tape lines this year.  I think this WOD will be climatic one at the end.  Get ready to cheer on Handstand Push-Ups and after this, we only have one more workout to celebrate all this fitness during the 2017 Open, so embrace your opportunity.  Some would love to have it! 

Older Post Newer Post



Leave a comment