Quick Tips For CrossFit Open WOD 18.5

If this is it for your functional fitness competitive output this year then give it all you’ve got. Use pacing and singles to finish the Open like a boss.

This year’s CrossFit Open kicked off on February 22, with WOD 18.1 and is ending with WOD 18.5. As each Open WOD has been announced, I have provided you with the same briefing I give the athletes at my gym, Precision CrossFit. This immediate feedback was intended to arm you with valuable strategies and tips to help you make the most of your efforts and score your best possible performance in these WODs. Today, I’m not only going to tell you, I’m going to show you.

As I have always said, aiming for success in the Open is not just for top-tier athletes. It’s also a tremendous opportunity to build benchmarks and goals into your year-round training. Even if you never go on to high-level competition, completing the Open WODs each year gives you performance data you can use to chart your progress and evaluate your programming going forward.

Back in 2012, my performance on this WOD earned me a spot at Regionals. Now, six years later, that same score will come nowhere close to earning a spot at Regionals. Plus, six years older, I can only hope to match my previous score.

Unlike the last two weeks, where we had WODs programmed for top-level athletes, this WOD is for every CrossFitter. And the choice of WOD was left to a community vote.

The message here is clear: CrossFit, and the Open is for everyone. It’s a chance to not only benchmark your performance but to share in something uniquely challenging with your friends and your own box’s community. And this week I, along with all my coaches, will do the WOD to give the 2018 Open a proper send-off.

As I’ve said, I have no expectation of going to Regionals this year. I’m just out to try my best. By really giving it my all, I will be confident that my score is a solid benchmark going forward, and, in my case, I’ll have a chance to show my gym’s members what I and my coaches are capable of, and something more. When folks get together and do pretty much anything that requires them to give it their all, it becomes something special. Yes, this is a workout. Sure, it’s a demonstration. But it’s also a celebration.

In the CrossFit world, celebrating community means WODs, cheering, loud music, and probably a lot of friendly smack talk. My coaches and I will give it our all to celebrate. You should too.

Open WOD 18.4

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:

  • 3 thrusters
  • 3 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 6 thrusters
  • 6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 9 thrusters
  • 9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 12 thrusters
  • 12 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 15 thrusters
  • 15 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 18 thrusters
  • 18 chest-to-bar pull-ups

This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 18, go on to 21. If you complete 21, go on to 24, etc.

Men use 100 lb. Women use 65 lb. Additional scalings, movement standards, and more are available on the official CrossFit Open 18.5 page.

How to Approach WOD 18.5

To Finish this year’s Open, CrossFit HQ let the community choose. There were no easy WODs to choose from, but the choices ensured that this finale will be both familiar and fun.

With this seven-minute WOD, we’ll end the 2018 Open with something all-too-familiar: another Fran variation. With the simple-yet-devastating couplet of thrusters and pull-ups, CrossFit HQ has offered a WOD that everyone can immediately understand and plan for.

Of course, there are a few things to be mindful of:

First, there’s pacing. Heading into this WOD hard and fast will make you feel like a badass when you finish the 12s in a few minutes. Then…. you’ll tank. Listen, seven minutes is a long time. Pace yourself carefully. You can be aggressive, but you can’t be reckless.

To pace yourself effectively, you’ll need to consider several things. First, the thrusters. These, you’ll want to break up carefully when the sets get a little bigger. Early on, go unbroken. But pay attention as the sets get larger and make sure you don’t drop the bar with one or two reps to go. Then there’s your rest. Don’t take each drop of the bar or transition as a break. Be conscientious about your breaks and don’t waste even moments when breaking up sets or making transitions. Break the sets into as few unbroken segments

Like every WOD that matters, simple housekeeping — getting your area set up well and ensuring the smoothest possible transitions — can make all the difference. Do all you can to minimize transition times. Set up your workout area for maximum efficiency and the quickest possible transitions. Simply keeping your barbell as close to the pull-up bar as possible can earn you extra reps. Remember, every unnecessary step and re-positioning cuts into your time. For those of you doing well on the in the rankings, each misstep can be a stumble down the leaderboard. If you haven’t already this year, be sure to review my prep info for last year’s Open. There’s a bunch of tips and ideas in there to help you with this and upcoming WODs.

Last, there are chest-to-bar pull-ups. This is the most important movement to pace and to break up into optimal sets. If your pull-ups are not strong, break the sets early. And do not overlook the value of singles. At my gym, Precision CrossFit, we’ve had great success with singles on chest-to-bar pull-ups and other gymnastic movements. For a more in-depth discussion of this, see The Final Four: Bodyweight Movements For The CrossFit Open.

Overall, you’ve got to pace yourself but do so smartly. These movements and this format are very familiar. Because of this, you should be able to not only come up with a good game plan but also accurately monitor yourself along the way and pace yourself for optimal performance.

So, take a look at my video. Then, get out there, have some fun, and push yourself. Hard. Closeout this year’s Open with your best effort yet.

Here are all our previous tips for the 2018 CrossFit Open WODs: