March 9, 2017
Nicole Carroll's Tips for Open Workout 17.3

STIMULUS: Heavy and Technical  

Overall this workout comes down to managing the snatches.


The standout factor here is that we are making huge jumps in weight. For every 3 rounds we complete, the snatch weight increases by 30, 40 or even 50 lb.!

How do we deal with this?

First, warm up well! Take yourself through a good general warm-up, and then steadily build to the heaviest load you think you will be successful with during the workout. For me this is 135 lb., so I made sure to hit at least one at 135 lb. before the workout started.

Remember these must be full squat snatches. You have to get down to full depth in one smooth motion. A power snatch, pause and lower, or a power snatch followed by an overhead squat will not be allowed for most divisions. The very best thing you can do to ensure you consistently hit this standard in the workout is to warm up using the correct movement pattern!

As the weight gets heavier, snatches punish poor technique. Focus on hitting your positions with every rep, even when the load is light. This will “grease the groove” nicely for moving well when you get to the heavier loads.

Take your time after the pull-ups to compose yourself before your first heavy lift. Don’t be afraid to take 30-60 seconds if needed. You’re going from a weight that is manageable to one that is barely manageable. It. Will. Feel. Heavy. Be smart, and take the time to settle and focus in order to set yourself up for success in that first heavy lift.

For 5-6 min., I kept missing rep after rep at 135 lb. If I do the workout again and keep missing reps when I have a good deal of time on the clock, I’d actually try loading the previous bar to the heaviest weight I’m confident I can hit. Then I’d take a jump or two from there to build back up to 135 lb. The stunner here is that big jump in load, so although it will eat time and add reps that will not count, in the end, this strategy could ultimately lead to better success than if you just keep trying and failing at a given load.


You do not have to wait for the time cap to move on in this workout, which means you can bank time for later rounds. Try to get through the rounds with manageable loads more quickly to give yourself some extra time for the load(s) with which you think you may struggle.


Use the style you are most comfortable with. This not a good time to try something new! Whether you use a butterfly kip or a regular kip, you will be fine. Even fast singles will work. Bottom line: This is not a pull-up workout. It is a snatch workout. 


Every single one of us will come up against a load we are intimidated by, struggle with, or miss a bunch of reps at. It is OK … this workout is designed to do this to you.

All you need to focus on is meeting this challenge with happiness (“I love this!”) and audacity (I’ve f@!$ing got this!). Understand that even if you miss a lift, every courageous attempt in the face of possible failure is you getting stronger–physically and mentally.

No matter where your workout will end, step up to that bar, smile to yourself, then grab that weight and give it every damn thing you’ve got!

Have fun, and good luck!