18.2 – Warm-Up and Strategy to get to TOP 5% in CrossFit Open 2018

02 Mar 2018

CrossFit Open 18.2 + 18.2A

12 min Time cap
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps for time of:
Dumbbell squats 50/35 lbs
Bar-facing burpees
+ Find 1RM clean

Good time to beat for 18.2 + 18.2A RX
Beginner athlete: 10min 41sec + 175/100 lbs (Top 80%)
Average athlete: 8min 54sec (Top 20-50%) + 255/155 lbs (Top 20%), 215/125 lbs (Top 50%)
Advanced athlete: 7min 7sec + 300/185 lbs (Top 5%)
Elite athlete: 5min 20sec + 335/215 lbs (Top 1%)
Regional athlete: 4min 38sec + 345/225 lbs (Top 0.01%)</p>

Time cap: 12min

CrossFit Games Open 18.2 and 18.2A

After a few years, we finally see 1 RM again. This year it is going to be much harder, the workout is much more intense, and you will have a hard time if your squat clean is better than a power clean.

The strategy for the 18.2 is to get quickly through reps 1-6 (first 21 reps of each), keep slightly slower but consistent pace through reps 7-9 (next 24 reps) and push at the last 10 reps.

Good score to beat for the Open 18.2

According to the data from the WOD Time Calculator good score to beat for top 5% is 7:07 + 300/185 lbs . That’s just 15.5 reps per a minute, see a table below for complete reps per minute breakdown.

Calculator is not perfect especially for the less popular movements, in my opinion the top 5% may require slightly faster time of 5:40-6:00 but we will see if it correct when there are more results on the Games site.

18.2 Required reps per minute breakdown

Goal time Reps per 1 minute
1 min 110 reps
2 min 55 reps
3 min 36.6 reps
4 min 27.5 reps
5 min 22 reps
6 min 18.3 reps
7 min 15.7 reps
8 min 13.8 reps
9 min 12.2 reps
10 min 11 reps
11 min 10 reps
12 min 9.2 reps

18.2 Warm-Up

The 18.2 is a short burst workout that slightly longer than Fran or Diane with 1 RM clean after you finish it. This means that you have to focus on warm-up a lot. If you have seen the announcement, you probably know how Noah Ohlsen ended on 1 RM without a proper warm-up.

Start with a simple triplet of air squats, Russian kettlebell swings, and burpees. Do it slowly, don’t rush. The goal is to get body ready for heavier cleans and to get used to movements from the couplet.

Next warm-up for heavy cleans. Do a clean version that you are better at (squat clean vs power clean). Go for singles and work to up to about 90% of your 1 RM with a longer longer rest in between reps. Also try a few dumbbell squats between the reps to get used to the movement, play with a position of dumbbells and elbows.

1) Go slowly

3 Rounds of
15 Air Squats
10 Russian KB Swings 1.5/1 pood
5 Burpees

2) Practice movements

– Work your way up to 90% of 1 RM (power or squat) clean
– Do a few dumbbell squats and bar facing burpees in between
– Work on technique and positions

CrossFit Open 18.2 Strategy to get to TOP 5%

To get to the top 5% you will need to finish the first part in about 6:00-7:00 and lift about 300/185 lbs in the second part. I won’t tell you how to hit to 300 lbs if you have never lifted it before but I can tell you how to get the heaviest lift possible.

18.2: For Time 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

We can separate the WOD into 3 parts.

The first part consists of reps 1-2-3-4-5-6 (first 21 reps). You are doing this part fresh and full of energy, and there are a lot of transitions. The goal is to do movements quickly and switch between the movements as fast as you can when you finish this part you are one with 38% of the 18.2.

The next part is the middle part with reps 7-8-9 (next 24 reps). Your body is getting tired, and there are only a few transitions. The goal for this part is to stay consistent, slow down a little and don’t rush. The last thing you want is to stop moving. It is always better to move slowly than just stand. This part consists of another 44% reps for a total of 82% of total reps of 18.2.

And the last part is the last 10 reps (still total of 18% reps of 18.2). The workout is for time, and you need to finish just 10 squats and 10 burpees, now it is time to push the pace and sprint to the finish. Go fast and don’t stop, you won’t suffer for more than 1 minute at this point!

Double Dumbbell Squats

This is a new movement, and there are multiple ways how you can hold the dumbbells. It is only required to have dumbbells on the shoulders but you don’t need to maintain a grip. You hold dumbbells like Ohlsen and Velner during the announcement in the classic front rack position, you can try to put elbows more up especially for 2nd part of the workout like some guys during 17.2 or you can try what Nicole Caroll has done during her demo with dumbbells placed on the shoulder just balancing them with her hands.

In my opinion, the best thing is to do a classic position for the first part (1-6) and then move elbows higher when you are getting fatigued. The soft weightlifting belt may also help but don’t tighten it too much as you will breathe a lot.

Unbroken or not? I think you should go unbroken as the reps are really low. Split the reps only during the second part if the dumbbell squats are hard for you.

Also, don’t forget that you have to stand straight before doing a squat as the rep beginning from the top, with knees and hips extended and dumbbells on the shoulders. This means that squat clean is not allowed.

Bar Facing Burpees

Don’t forget that there is a new burpee standard for RX: “Unless the athlete is performing the workout scaled, he or she may NOT step backward or forward one foot at a time when lowering and raising to and from the ground.”

Thanks to the standard there is not much tactic on the burpees as you are moving or not. I would suggest you what I already said earlier. Go quick in the first part (1-6), slow down for the second part (7-9) and sprint through last 10 reps. By the way, it is better to keep moving slowly than rush and take a rest in between.


Correct placement of the equipment may help save you valuable seconds. Place the dumbbells just next to loaded barbell plates, you don’t even need to have them face the same way as the barbell (like during announcement) but you can rotate them by 90° to have a slightly faster transition during the first part. Also don’t drop the dumbbells from the shoulders as you don’t want to look for them after burpees.

18.2A: 1 RM Clean

If you followed this guide, you should have about 5-6 minute left for the 1 RM clean. The choice of the clean is up to you as you can do power, squat or even split clean but don’t forget that hang clean is not permitted.

I am sorry to tell you that, but not many of you will hit 1 RM PR during 18.2A. Do the first lift after about 60-90 seconds after finishing 18.2 with about 85-90% of 1RM. It should be the weight that you have already lifted during the warm-up and that you are confident about. Do another 2 lifts with ~60 seconds rest in between, add weight and try to get close to 100% of 1 RM. For example 90% -> 94% -> 97%. You should still have time for about 1 more try. Now it is time to hit your true 1 RM or try to improve it.

The percentage of the tries would be slightly lower (1-2% lower) if you are doing squat cleans as the legs are tired from the 18.2.

My Score

I have just returned from the gym with time of 6:14 and 125 kg (~275 lbs) power clean.

It was hard to keep the pace on the burpees. The rounds 1-5 were easy and then it started to hurt. The squats were just uncomfortable but not hard, I just had to persuade myself to pick up the dumbbells, I pushed hard in the last round.

My power clean is stronger than squat clean so I have warmed up to up to 110 kg (my PR was 120 kg). In the workout I had almost 6 minutes for 1RM, I hit my first try after about 90 seconds rest, started with 110 kg and then continued every ~60 seconds with 115 kg, 120 kg, 125 kg and 127.5 kg. I missed only 127.5 kg but anyway 125 kg was a 5 kg PR!


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