(pictured above – Dave Castro explaining 17.3)
“Castro Cares About Work Capacity”
Come on, Dave. Couldn’t you have just read the scorecard and been ok with it?? Why all the confusion?
Anyway, 17.3 is not as complicated as TDC tried to make it out to be. It’s actually a very straight forward couplet of chest to bar pull ups and squat snatches (yes, we will continue to call them squat snatches, because that’s what they are. Don’t believe me? Read here —> Squat Snatch).
The tricky part about this workout is trying to manage muscle fatigue and heart rate while not moving so slowly that you get caught by those pesky time caps. Here’s what the scorecard will look like for this workout.
Basically, you’ve got 8 minutes to do the first 2 lines, then 4 minutes to complete each line after that. MUCH more simple when looked at that way.
I’m not going to do a full blown strategy output for this blog post. There’s a really great one from my friend Jacob at TZ Strength. Read that here —> 17.3 Strategy.
I really just want to talk about why this workout is so awesome.
In today’s modern competitive CrossFit world, so many people have fallen in love with the strength training, the sprint metcons, and blasting 1RM snatches on Instagram. Yes, high intensity sprint metcons are important, and yes, lifting heavy is extremely important for your fitness. What get’s lost in all of this is one of the core components of CrossFit – WORK CAPACITY. Work capacity meaning, how much work can you get done in X amount of time? The tail end of CrossFit’s definition is, after all, “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.”
What does that mean? It means we need to train to move large loads for long distances quickly. It means we must continually improve our work capacity, or our ability to do work for longer. We want you to be able to help your friends on moving day without being the one that needs a break. We want you to outplay your kids. We want you to be the fittest on your kickball team. We want you to be a functional human being. We want you to USE this fitness in your everyday life! This workout is a strong reminder that work capacity is of the utmost importance… a reminder of the methodology and WHY we do CrossFit.
With 17.3, Castro is here to remind you that work capacity is important. VERY important (just like EVERY year).
If you want to get to that heavy barbell that you oh so dearly want to lift, you’re going to have to earn it by proving you have the ability to get through the gauntlet of work that he has bestowed upon you. Let’s do some numbers real fast. By the time you reach the 185/135 barbell (a decent weight), you will have already done 72 total reps in under 8 minutes (39 pull ups and 33 squat snatches). If you want to reach that 225/155 barbell (oh NOW we’re talking… that’s heavy!), you will have performed 108 reps in under 12 minutes (63 pull ups and 45 squat snatches). This goes on until the very end, where you will have performed 216 total reps in under 24 minutes (153 freaking chest to bar pull ups, and 63 squat snatches getting all the way up to 265/185 pounds).
HOLY CRAP THAT’S A LOT OF FITNESS. Sure hope all the big lifts on Instagram are backed up by some big work capacity! (Note: I’m a big culprit in regards to this. I like posting my 1RM maxes but can easily talk myself out of a long metcon. This post is some motivation for ME to increase my work capacity as well!)
While it’s always fun to work up to 1 rep maxes and sexy snatch PRs, we still have to remember that CrossFit is constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity with the goal of increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. We don’t want to be the person that can only lift. We want to be the person that can lift, run, throw, WORK, for extended amounts of time. We want to be the work horse all. damn. day.
Castro doesn’t care about your one rep max. Castro cares about your work capacity.
10 down, 21 to go.