March 7, 2017
17.2 Workout Analysis
By Jonathan Kinnick of Beyond the Whiteboard
Behind the numbers of 17.2.
Behind the numbers of 17.2.

Week 2 of the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Open brought us a 12-minute AMRAP of 50-foot weighted walking lunges, 16 toes-to-bars (T2B) / bar muscle-ups (BMUs) and 8 dumbbell power cleans.

This is our second time seeing BMUs in the Open, the first being 16.3. But this year was a bit different. You had to put in a lot of work just to get there. In 16.3, you only had to complete 10 snatches at 75/55 lb. to get a chance at the BMUs. In contrast, you had to perform 78 reps of 17.2 in order to have a chance at the BMUs.

After 150 feet of lunges, 32 T2B, and 16 power cleans, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to get a BMU even if you are able to get one when you’re fresh. This aspect actually makes 17.2 a little more similar to 12.4 and 13.3 where you had to complete 150 wall-ball shots and 90 double-unders before the muscle-ups.

Even though it was harder to get to the BMUs, we still saw over 100,000 athletes across all divisions get at least one. This included over 20,000 women, 208 of which were 14-15-year-olds and 179 of which were 50-54-year-olds.

Bar Muscle-ups and Pull-ups

For the Individual Men, 66 percent overall were able to perform at least one BMU. This is a huge number compared to the 22 percent of Individual Women who were able to do the same.

Although the focus of this workout is on BMUs, we can’t overlook how difficult it is just to get your first pull-up. In the Scaled Division for the women, we saw a substantial amount of the competitors (17 percent) unable to perform 1 pull-up. On the men’s side, the pull-ups didn’t appear to be a big blocker with only 2 percent scoring 78 or less reps in the Scaled Division.


Distributions and Percentiles

The vast majority of athletes (84 percent) finished the workout during Rounds 3 and 4, so we focused our attention there. For the men, we see three large concentrations of results.

The first is right before the BMUs during the lunges in Round 3, where everyone who couldn’t do BMUs got stuck. The second is during the first round of BMUs, where 16 reps in succession proved no easy task. The third concentration is during the second round of BMUs. This is where fatigue really set in and grip and pulling strength started to give out, even for athletes who are competent at the BMU.

For the women, the BMUs were a huge obstacle, with the largest concentration by far happening immediately before the first BMU. We also see, to a much smaller extent, a cluster of results in the first and second round of BMU.

The following chart is a breakdown of percentile by section of the workout. You can see what percentile you would fall into based on finishing all the reps of a particular section.



In the next chart, we broke down the percentiles rep-by-rep for the BMUs. Since this was the section that most athletes got stuck on, even 1 extra rep could have a huge impact on percentile as well as overall ranking. As an example, 4 BMUs on Round 3 would put an athlete in the 70th percentile for women, and 12 reps would put an athlete in the 80th. Just 8 reps represented a 10 percentile difference!


Finally we have our full percentile table for all divisions. Find your division and you can estimate where your score would have put you among your peers. If you were one of the many who were part of #team78reps, you can see the relevant tiebreak times in green below.

We’ve also included the Rx’d vs. Scaled percentages for each division, to give you an idea of how difficult the Rx’d workout was for the various divisions. At the top, we see a big difference between Individual Men (84 percent Rx’d) and Women (59 percent Rx’d).

Looking at the Masters divisions that did BMUs (35-54), we see the Rx’d percentage gradually decline as the ages increase.



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