17.4 takes the cake for being my favorite workout in the Open this year. No matter what Dave Castro throws at us for the next one, I’m sure it can’t beat this one for how much fun I had doing it…and how sore I am days later. Let’s just say I’ve been waddling around town the last few days… I love this WOD because it includes 2 of my favorite movements: rowing and wall balls. I know some (read: most) people really dislike wall balls and rowing, I promise that with the right attitude they are very approachable.
Want to know how to have a blast with 17.4? Read on!
Tips for Scaling 17.4:
- Work up to it
Deadlifting will tax your hamstrings but also your grip. Since 95 lbs. is not super light, save yourself a lot of pain by working up to the weight. If you can hit some reps at 95, calculate down so you know where you can start to comfortably get to 95 lbs. and finish out your 55 reps. (And if you can do 55 reps at 95 lbs.-way to go!)
This workout can really tax your breathing. The trick, especially through the wall balls, is to focus on keeping your breath as calm as possible. Know ahead of time when you’re going to breathe in and out within each movement. Rowing was my time to catch my breath by exhaling on the pull and inhaling when I came back in. I dictated the cadence of my breaths by my rowing speed, which helped me catch my breath and finish the WOD.
- Bite off smaller chunks
55 reps of anything can seem really intimidating, especially as your body becomes more and more fatigued. By breaking up each movement into sets of 10 reps, or 5 reps, you’re able to count up to a smaller number and push yourself through. If all else fails, just keep repeating “just one more” over and over until you hit 55.
- Power through
Hand release push ups can be super painful, especially since they were programmed at the very end of the WOD. Breaking them up into smaller sets helps, but at the end of the day its mind of matter and you will have to power through. Repeat after me: “Just one more, just one more…”
- Finish It
The 13 minute time cap seemed pretty daunting. In my case, I had just sat down at the rower when 13 minutes were up. In fact, many of my friends (who are much fitter than I am) weren’t able to finish within the time cap. I didn’t feel bad about it. Instead, I noted how many reps I had done within the 13 minutes and then proceeded to finish the workout. I knew I would have felt pretty bummed to not do the whole thing, so I did. Going the extra mile when you don’t have to is really meaningful, even if its just for you.
And be prepared to walk like a duck for a few days…this WOD is a killer.