The Crossfit Open is a wonderful opportunity for fitness-minded folks everywhere to try their hand at some challenging workouts. Since 2015 Dave Castro, the evil genius behind the Crossfit Games, has been programming scaled down versions of the weekly workouts to allow more people to take part.

As a complete Crossfit newbie during the Open in 2015 I was excited to even be able to approach the otherwise-intimidating workouts I had seen some of my favorite athletes perform on TV. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still find the the Scaled WODs extremely difficult and even modify them down further.

For the next 5 weeks I’ll be taking you through some tips to Scale the 2017 Crossfit Open.

Tips for Scaling 17.1:

  1. Don’t go in too hot
    15 burpees may not seem too bad, but when you couple them with box jump-overs (or even step ups) it can get real intense, real quick. Don’t rush from the start on the first round or you’ll regret it come latter rounds.
  2. Use your core
    It can be really tempting to just blast through the snatches and compromise your posture on the push-up part of the burpee. It might “feel” easier to have your core loosey goosey through these movements, but you’ll have a greater chance of injuring yourself.
  3. Don’t underestimate your ability
    I definitely thought I would have to scale down the dumbbell to 15 pounds, for no good reason at all. Once I got into the workout I realized that 20 pounds felt just right: challenging but not too much so that I might injure myself. It was great to have that 15 pound dumbbell there for security, but it felt great not to have to use it.
  4. Know your number
    At some point in this workout the game is going to become all mental. The burpees will start sucking more than usual, you’ll be breathing fire, and you’ll think that the 6  minutes you have remaining are going to take longer than eternity. At the point just work towards whatever “your number” is. For me, that number was finishing the set. I  knew I could finish the round of 40 dumbbell snatches so I focussed on that. And guess what? I got through it faster than I thought I could. Next came the burpees: with about 30 seconds left I wanted to finish 3. So that is what I focused on and I did it. Focusing on my number helped me push through the pain.
  5. Know your limit
    I truly believe that Crossfit is for everyBODY, and that anyone who wants to should be able to participate in the Open workout, even if its your first day trying Crossfit. Don’t be afraid to scale your workout down…way down. If where you’re at is a 10 pound dumbbell and a 2-step aerobic block, thats GREAT! Get after it! If it ends up being too easy you can always do the workout again in the future and track your growth. That’s what Crossfit is all about.

Workout 17.1

For time: 10 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
20 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
30 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
40 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
50 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs

Women use 20-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, step-ups OK
Time cap: 20 minutes

How did you get after 17.1? We’re keeping it #prettyreal over here, so post your results and questions in the comments.