17.3 – Strategy of Amateur Athlete to Reach Top 5% in CrossFit Open 2017

Find out my personal strategy for CrossFit Games Open workout 17.3 to reach top 5% worldwide!

CrossFit Games Open Workout 17.3 is …

Open 17.3

*Prior to 8:00, complete:
3 rounds of:
6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
6 squat snatches, (95 / 65 lb.)
Then, 3 rounds of:
7 chest-to-bar pull-ups
5 squat snatches (135 / 95 lb.)
*Prior to 12:00, 3 rounds of:
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
4 squat snatches (185 / 135 lb.)
*Prior to 16:00, 3 rounds of:
9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
3 squat snatches (225 / 155 lb.)
*Prior to 20:00, 3 rounds of:
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
2 squat snatches (245 / 175 lb.)
Prior to 24:00, 3 rounds of:
11 chest-to-bar pull-ups
1 squat snatch (265 / 185 lb.)

*If all reps are completed, time cap extends by 4 minutes.

Let me show you how I will approach 17.3 to get into top 5% worldwide!

What is good time to beat in 17.3?

According to WOD Time Calculator if you are aiming for good score (top 20%) it is possible to finish rounds of 95s and 135s in 7:29 that extends your time cap to 12:00 and according to WOD Time Calculator with that extended time cap you should be able to finish 2 rounds in round of 185s for total score of 96 reps. This score should be enough for top 20%.

As I want to reach top 5% I will aim for score 117 reps which is all 3 rounds of 95s, 135s and 185s cleared + first 9 C2B pull ups done in round of 225s and if I am lucky I will hit 1 rep with 225 as it is my current PR if I am not fatigued. I also think that there will be a lot of people who will finish with score of 117 and in my opinion these score will range somewhere from top 10% to top 5% and they will be spread only with tiebreaker.

My strategy to hit top 5% in workout 17.3

My goal for 17.3 is to finish all snatches with 185 and to do that I can’t allow C2B pull ups to fatigue my forearms as it will make snatches much harder and slower. If you will look at the workout snatches will take about 3-4 more times than C2B pull ups (except round of 95s), this means there is no reason to hurry on C2B pull ups and do them all unbroken, I am thinking about splitting all C2B pull ups into 2 sets even though they are in such small sets. This will help me save little energy, calm down heart rate and push little faster through the barbell. I think with that tactic I will be still able to clear round of 185s with about 1-2 minutes left on the clock.

Round of 95s

– 3 rounds with 95 lbs snatches should be pretty quick
– There is no need for 100% correct technique for snatches with 95 lbs, speed is priority
– At the announcement we saw Fraser going unbroken while Panchick and Sager going for singles on snatches, Fraser had slightly longer walk to the bar but singles on 95 lbs snatches were pretty quick, you just need to reset quickly on them
– I will probably go for all 6 reps unbroken on 95s snatches but I will break C2B pull ups to 3+3

Round of 135s

– This will be the worst round as your heart rate is already elevated and as 135 lbs is relatively easy to still move quickly
– I will switch to quick singles on 135s but this time I will focus on correct form on all of them
– And I will still break up the set on C2B pull ups to 4+3

Round of 185s

– And now it is finally time to cool down as snatches got much heavier, many people will hit new PRs on this weight
– Go for singles and make sure you won’t miss any snatch with 185, it is better to take 5 sec longer rest than correcting no rep
– There is still no need to rush on C2B pull ups, so go for set of 4+4 or even 3+3+2 if you will fatigued

Round of 225s

– Good job if you got there! Every rep in this round will move you a lot on the leaderboard
– Take long rest before each attempt (even 60-90 seconds), 100% focus on each rep and hit it!

Squat Snatch

– Unbroken in the round of 95s, quick singles in the round of 135s, don’t miss rep in the round of 185s and good luck on hitting few reps with 225
– Hook grip and straight back (even on 95s) all the time
– Focus more on correct form with heavier weights

C2B Pull Up

– You won’t win workout on them so don’t rush
– Take C2B pull ups as place where you can rest little
– Go for 2-3 small sets which will allow you to go quickly on the barbell

General tips

– Have all barbells you need prepared
– Tape your thumbs
– Focus on technique and don’t miss any rep
– Hit new PR on snatches!


17.3 is all about snatches, go quickly (unbroken) through round of 95s and then slow down, go for quick singles on all heavier weights. Approach C2B pull ups as movement where you can rest not as movement which will make you more fatigued. Splitting C2B pull ups into 2 sets will be good idea. And good luck if you get to weight which is 90% or more from your current PR!

Let me know if this strategy worked for you and don’t forget to return next week to find out strategy of next workout!

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