CrossFit Games Open 18.5 Strategy (for the regular athlete)

Posted by AMRAP Plusonesdottir on

First off, let me define "regular athlete". I wanted to say "casual" athlete but we all know there's nothing really casual about the CrossFit Open, so normal meaning you are like me - someone who loves the sport - not quite a Ricky Froning (that's the same as Rich but faster) but not exactly your first time in a box either. (I get it, its a big window). What I'm trying to say is we all breathe hard and breathe often, some just do more during their breathing than others.

So the vote for 18.5 open workout came in and CrossFit athletes around the world wanted to make sure they got the most bang for their buck. 7 minutes of 3-6-9-12-15-18-21.... thrusters and chest to bar. 

Hey look, after all of the previous open workouts I'm just stoked it's a workout that doesn't require me to scale in any way. As a matter of fact - this is one you can do right out of your garage if you are lucky enough to have that at your disposal (judge not included; traveling Open judges? maybe that's a thing someday).

So let's get to the workout. I know there are plenty of pundits out there with their 18.5 strategies all dialed in with expert opinions. Mine is not one of them (think regular athlete). Alas, I still have some things I would like to point out. Lets start out by the movement. 


No one is immune to breaking these up at some point. Whether it is at round 9 or at the round of 21 ( if you are able to go unbroken beyond 21 ask yourself 'Why am I reading this article) you will need to break them up. The question than becomes how do I break them up? Obviously we all have our strengths and weaknesses, but for the most part if you want to be able to rest at the top of your rep ( which seems to be a popular strategy) you must be consistent with your reps and be able to get comfortable in that overhead position. If you are like me and try to go all bonanza (faster pace) on the thrusters you can do so by dropping the bar for rest but try not to wait to long before picking up that bar again. Easier said than done right? Either way thrusters are one of those complex movements that will suck you dry if you don't reign them in properly. 

Chest to Bar:

Unlike the thruster there is no second option for rest. Unless you consider hanging from the bar lifelessly rest. Not recommended. The thing here is - and same with thrusters - you have to break , it's only a matter of when. A good rule of thumb is knowing when you will have to break and then breaking before the break gets you. Follow me here? If it were me , and it was, I would break them up into chunks. So when you get to the round of 9 reps maybe you do 5 and 4 or 6 and 3 or  3-3-3 etc. Luckily when it comes to 18.5 the penalty for breaking C2B is much less than with thrusters. Meaning it takes me a lot less time to get back on the pull-up bar then it would to pick up the thruster bar, so breaking your C2B is not the worst that can happen. 

The Set-Up:

Obviously you will have the barbell close to the pull-up bar. Figure out the closest placement to create the smoothest transition possible. If you're tripping on your barbell you're too close (expert opinion). For my warm-ups I have my go to program "100+ Warm-Up Routines" I like to choose from. Go with a lower body movement warm up and make sure it includes a few thrusters with the bar. 

Lastly anyone who says have fun during these 7 minutes of hell never went through 7 minutes of hell. So have fun before and after but during those 7 minutes make sure it hurts! 

Cheers to the 2018 CrossFit Games Open. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! 



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