17.5 Open Workout Tips From Talayna Fortunato

Posted by Talayna Fortunato on


I didn't make the above banner... but I had to laugh when I saw it because it's just about how I feel about this workout.  Or almost any workout without gymnastics in it, but we're all doing it so let's talk about how! 

If you can handle the weight well and you're proficient at double-unders this workout is all about engine.  Very similar to 14.1 (which was 11.1 ;)  Not many people will plow through this thing without breaks.  I want your methodology for this one to be, YOU DECIDE WHEN TO BREAK... DON'T LET THE WORKOUT DECIDE FOR YOU.

That said, this will also be about listening to your body and having a plan B if you start to redline.  You will want to stay below your aerobic threshold.  If you start to feel no difference between a 5 sec. break and a 30 sec. break, it's too late!  You don't want to get to that point until the last round or two.  The below graph shows every time you go over aerobic threshold how long it takes you to recover again.  The farther you go over it, the farther the graph will dip down below too. 

Ideas for breaking by athlete type
  • Only stronger athletes (meaning unbroken thrusters on Fran) with a good engine can try going unbroken on the thrusters.  Try taking rest on the transitions to bring your breathing rate back down.
  • Athletes with a good engine that the weight might get heavy for, should consider breaking the thrusters before they start effecting their double-unders.  Start with 5/4, if that's getting too hard go to 3/3/3, but try to be disciplined on your breaks.   
  • Athletes who feel that both movements will affect them should pace the thrusters with planned rests from the beginning.  As for double-unders...


  • If you're very proficient at double-unders you can plan your breaks (not let the workout plan them for you) with something like 25/10.  If you tend to trip often on double-unders anyway, I would use those trips as your built in rest.  
  • Only athletes who are exceptional at double-unders should try to do them all unbroken.  Even Sara ran out of them at the end of this one. 
  • If you are very improficient (that's a word right?) at double-unders then wear pants and a shirt.  Just trust me on this one...

  • If you're having a hard time deciding to break double-unders or thrusters more consider this: when you break a thruster, you have to pick the bar back up and that's a lot of time.  When you break a double-under, you don't have to put the rope down and it's quicker.
  •  If you have a Momentum Speed Rope, they're great because they're smooth, fast and come in three different handle sizes. If not, use a rope you're comfortable with. Don't try a new one.
  • 350 is a lot of jumping... warm up your calves and ankles well!!!
  • Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and think about spinning the rope from the wrists and a flick of the elbow.  
  • Keep your feet closer together to avoid tripping. 
  • The best way to tie your rope in a knot is to throw it down after each round.  It's the same science as putting headphones in your pocket!  Place the rope down NEATLY and EXACTLY the same EVERY ROUND.  Here is a chart to identify your rope if you don't...


  • Slow is smooth and smooth is fast!  You don't want to sprint them.
  • Let yourself start descending into the squat as the bar is coming to your shoulders and use the momentum from your hips to propel the bar back over head.  The opposite of this would be front squat stop + strict press stop every rep and way more taxing! 
  • Weightlifting shoes would be easier for the thrusters, but there are WAY more double-unders and since the thrusters are light I would definitely not recommend them.
  • If you take a brief pause between reps, pause with the bar overhead, not in the front rack.  It's much easier to breath with the bar overhead. 

Really make sure you are good and warmed up for this one.  Hit some higher intensity (90%) and short duration (10-20sec.) sprints on the bike with full recovery (1-2min.) and get your body processing lactic acid before you start.  Also, I wouldn't recommend eating a large meal very close beforehand!  That food is going to be bouncing around a lot!  

If you know who this clown is, congratulations, you're a CrossFit veteran!  I myself have never met Pukie the Clown during a workout yet and I don't want to on this one.  He would definitely kill my time! 

Finally, plan something good to reward yourself with when you're done.  You just completed the hardest CrossFit Games Open season to date!  That, in and of itself, is a great accomplishment.  Sorry we don't have thousands of participation medals for everyone, but the satisfaction of doing it is what we love anyway or we wouldn't be here.

 Now go get 'em guys and enjoy your weekend! 

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