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

Find out my personal strategy for CrossFit Games Open workout 17.2 to reach top 5% worldwide!

CrossFit Games Open Workout 17.2 is …

Open 17.2

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 toes-to-bars
8 power cleans
Then, 2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 bar muscle-ups
8 power cleans
Etc., alternating between toes-to-bars and bar muscle-ups every 2 rounds.

Men use 50-lb. dumbbells

Let me show you how I will approach 17.2 to get into top 5% worldwide!

What is good time to beat in 17.2?

According to WOD Time Calculator good score to beat for 17.2 is 93 reps which is 15 Bar Muscle Ups in the 3rd round and that should be enough for top 20% athletes. As I want to reach top 5% I will aim for slightly better score of at least 120 reps which is 8 Bar Muscle Ups in the 4th round.

My strategy to hit top 5% in workout 17.2

My goal for 17.2 is to do as many bar muscle ups I can and hopefully get into 5th round.

Oh, dumbbells again but this time they are not hero of the WOD! To get as far as you can (to get as many bar muscle ups you can do) you will need to think ahead. It looks like 17.2 will be won or lost on these 32 muscle ups (16 in 3th round and 16 in 4th round). Let me show you how I will approach all 4 movements to get as far as I can and to save just enough energy for all these bar muscle ups.

Goal of all movements will be to save forearms as they will be heavy taxed during all the movements and you want to avoid fatigued forearms before these large sets of bar muscle ups.

Dumbbell Weighted Walking Lunges

– New movement! I bet 99% of people never done this before with dumbbells.
– Don’t forget that dumbbells must be at the shoulders and rear head of the dumbbell must be slightly behind center of the athlete’s body.
– Goal will be to find right spot for the dumbbells where they will feel lighter. I think it will be slightly back on the shoulder and with higher elbows.
– Go unbroken! They will be hard but you can afford to fatigue your legs and little higher heart rate as you will slow down on TTBs.
– Go for 2 sets of 25+25 feet only if movement is very hard for you and you have to fight for every rep.

Toes To Bars

– Goal for toes to bars is to recover and save as much energy (forearm fatigue) as you can before getting to bar muscle ups.
– Also you have just finished all lunges unbroken, your heart rate is up, your arms hurt and you need place to recover. Toes to bars will help you with that recovery.
– I will personally go for 4 sets of 4 reps with just quick rest (3-4 seconds) between sets.
– I think that going for unbroken toes to bars or larger sets of 8+8 will cost you a lot and you won’t be able to hit so many bar muscle ups.

Dumbbell Power Cleans

– There are only 8 of them but it will be best idea to split them into smaller sets as we decided to save as much energy for bar muscle ups as we can.
– Every time think ahead and make use of last 1-2 reps as you don’t need to do extra power clean before going to lunges.
– There are few rep schemes I can think of:
– Go for sets of 4-3-1 with quick rest in between if you feel your forearms are already fatigued.
– Go for 6-2 with longer rest before 2s as you will continue straight to lunges from that set.

Bar Muscle Ups

– It’s 3rd round, you finally got there and fight for reps begin!
– As you saved enough energy and your forearms aren’t pumped you should be able to string larger sets together.
– In first set go for about 33-50% of your max reps on bar muscle ups.
– In next sets go for 20-33% of your max reps on bar muscle ups.
– I will probably do bar muscle ups in the sets of 6-4-3-3 or 4-4-4-4.
– If you love bar muscle ups you can even go for something like 8-5-3.
– If you are new to bar muscle ups go for more smaller sets like 4-3-3-2-2-2 or even 8×2.
– That are all reps for first round or for second round if you have enough time left.
– If your time is running out (1 minute left) just go for as many reps as you can in 1-2 sets.


17.2 is all about avoiding fatigued forearms and saving enough energy for bar muscle ups. Try to be smart and think ahead. Go quick on lunges even if they hurt a lot and slow down on toes to bars and power cleans. If you are aiming for top 5% your fight begins on bar muscle ups, be smart on them! Do 1 large sets followed by few small sets. And congrats if you made it past 4th round!

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

Updated: How I Did?

My score for RXd version is 141 reps (4 rounds + 5 reps). It is slightly better than I excepted :).

I have done all walking lunges unbroken even though they were really hard in later rounds. I was also raising elbows on dumbbells a lot and in later rounds my dumbbells were parallel to the ground while touching my head, toes to bars were in sets of 4, power cleans were 6+2 and in later rounds I switched to 7+1. On bar muscle ups I went for 5-4-3-2-2 in both rounds, I only failed last rep in second round but I have corrected it immediately. With less than minute left I have done all power cleans unbroken and went for last 25 feet of lunges. I am pretty happy about my score as it is better than I excepted and I think doing small sets really paid off as I was able to finish all 32 bar muscle ups.

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