Reebok CrossFit Open 18.2 Strategy Guide

Second week of the Open!  After completing 18.1 and getting a feel for the Open competition, it’s time to put your training and conditioning to work in these next two workouts. This week is an interesting workout, or should we say workouts, and is a little different than anything we have seen before.  Not only does it have a movement that we have never seen before, dumbbell squats, but also throws a variation by having multiple workouts with a common time cap.  This weeks workouts are:

Workout 18.2

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps for time of:
Dumbbell squats
Bar-facing burpees

Men use 50-lb. dumbbells

Women use 35-lb. dumbbells

Workout 18.2a

1-rep-max clean

Time cap: 12 minutes to complete 18.2 AND 18.2a

Prepare with a good warmup:
First and foremost, look to prime your body for the movements and get your heart rate up.

The goal of this workout is to get through the first part of the workout as fast as you can.  Not only is this workout scored on the time that it takes for you to complete it, but finishing early also means that you will have move time for 18.2a.  Now trying to finish as quick as possible doesn’t mean to go all out and crash.  As we saw from the games athletes, this workout can be completed unbroken in under 5 min, but only if you are at that elite level.  For most of the rest of us, this is going to take a bit longer and we aren’t going to have 8 minutes to recover and go for that max effort clean.  Just like last week, this is a workout that needs to be paced, such that we can keep moving the whole time.

Starting with the dumbbell squats, the biggest goal is to not put them down and use this time to regulate your breath.  Make sure each rep counts and that you are below parallel with full hip extension at the top.  You don’t want any no reps.  Also, putting the dumbbells down is going to be a big waste in effort to pick them up again and clean them to your shoulder.  If you need to rest, take a quick pause at the top, get a breath and get back into it.  Try not to take long pauses on the squats.  A key thing to come in and work on before the workout is how you are going to hold the dumbbells during the squats.  The only requirement is that the dumbbells must rest on the shoulders.  Take this time to find a grip that will allow you to relax your arms as much as possible and focus this part of the workout on your legs.

As for the burpees, unfortunately, we are all familiar with burpees and there aren’t a lot of secrets, especially with this years new standards.  This year we must jump back with both feet and then bring both feet forward at the same time.  Stepping back or forward is no longer allowed for RX standards.  However, there are still a couple things to think about.  There is no requirement that you need to stand all the way up, and you shouldn’t.  Try to stay as efficient as possible by finishing the burpee and jumping right over the bar. Also, as you jump, the most efficient it is do a 180 degree turn and set yourself up for the next burpee.  Once again, find a pace on the burpees that is good for you and you can keep up the whole time.  For some, it is best to take a quick rest while at the bottom.  Others find this hard to breathe.  Either way, if you have to take a break, make it short and try and keep moving.  Remember, the faster you finish the more rest you have before the cleans.

There are a lot of transitions, so it’s important to set up your barbell and dumbbell close together and make sure you are efficient between the two movements.

On to the cleans.  Hopefully we have all made it to the clean and there is enough time that we can take a quick breather before the time runs out.  This is where setting up the initial weight is going to be important and depends on your skill level.  If you are a higher level athlete and are fairly certain that you will have plenty of time for the cleans and a little rest before you start, set your initial weight a little higher and work up from there.  The challenge is to try and get your heart rate down as much as possible before you start, but still have time to do as many reps as possible.  For those of us that might finish with less than a minute left, have your bar setup with something that you know you will be able to do even if you are fatigued.  The best thing about this workout is that you can have two people to change out your weights, so if you finish earlier that you thought, you can always have them put more weight on as you slow your heart rate.  It will be a little more difficult to have them rip the weight off as time is expiring.  The worst thing would be to get all the way through the workout and then not get an 18.2a score because you had to much weight on the bar.

As always, have fun and push hard.  This is a workout will challenge athletes at all levels.