CrossFit Open Workout 18.5 Strategy Guide

CrossFit Open Workout 18.5 Strategy Guide

CrossFit Open Workout 18.5 Strategy Guide

Welcome to the week five preliminary strategy guide of the 2018 CrossFit Open. This CrossFit Open Workout 18.5 strategy guide is preliminary and not final. That being said, if you are tackling 18.5 soon, this guide will provide you with the information you need to succeed.

Our coaches, with pinpoint accuracy, predicted that the three workout choices would be repeats and that they would likely all include thrusters and chest to bar pull-ups.

The CrossFit Community was given three choices of workouts, and ultimately they choose 11.6.

CrossFit Open workout 18.5 (11.6) is…

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

The final workout was announced from CrossFit Reykjavík in Reykjavík, Iceland. Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir competed against each other and 2017 Games fourth-place finisher Sara Sigmundsdottir.

The event was over almost as soon as it began. The three champions came out of the gates fast for this short workout. They were neck and neck up until the five-minute mark of the workout when Annie Thorisdottir began to make some advances in the thrusters. She took fewer breaks and was able to cycle the barbell at a faster rate than her competitors. Annie Thorisdottir took first by a very narrow margin over the other two girls.


Sara Sigmundsdottir 170 Reps

Katrin Davidsdottir  177 Reps

Annie Thorisdottir 178 Reps

The Equipment needs for this workout are very basic, here’s what we recommend.


Protect your Hands – You should consider using some sort of hand protection in this workout. Any type of grips will do, but be sure to use a type of a grip you are familiar and comfortable with using. A rip could be disastrous, especially if you want to attempt this a second time.

Pull Up Bar – Obviously, you’re going to need a pull-up bar for this workout. Make sure you stick to the pull-up bar you are most comfortable and familiar with using.

Barbell – When selecting a barbell for this workout, be sure to select one that doesn’t have a center knurling. The knurling is the abrasive surface located on the barbell. If a knurling in present on your barbell it could cause some discomfort and even tear your skin because of the amount of volume of this workout.

Weightlifting Shoes – The weightlifting shoes are optional and our recommendation is based on whether or not the thruster is going to be the limitation for you. If thrusters are your weakness, weightlifting shoes could make the weight easier and conserve your energy for the rest of the workout.

Movement Standards

The movement standards below were taken directly from the CrossFit Games Website.


This is a standard barbell thruster in which the barbell moves from the bottom of a front squat to full lockout overhead. The bar starts on the ground. No racks allowed. The hip crease must clearly pass below the top of the knees in the bottom position. A full squat clean into the thruster is allowed when the bar is taken from the floor. If the barbell is dropped from overhead, it must settle on the ground before the athlete picks it up for the next repetition. Using a ball, box or another object to check for proper depth is not allowed. The barbell must come to a full lockout overhead, with the hips, knees and arms fully extended, and the bar directly over the middle of the athlete’s body.


This is a standard chest-to-bar pull-up. Dead hang, kipping or butterfly pull-ups are allowed as long as all the requirements are met. The arms must be fully extended at the bottom, with the feet off the ground. Overhand, underhand or mixed grip are all permitted. At the top, the chest must clearly come into contact with the bar below the collarbone. Athletes may wrap tape around the pull-up bar OR wear hand protection (gymnastics style grips, gloves, etc.), but they may not tape the bar AND wear hand protection.

The above movement standards were pulled directly from the CrossFit Movement Standards sheet for 18.4. Refer to this document for all questions about movement standards and rules.

Warm – Up

Remember, this is a preliminary guide. The warmup below is quite general and not very specific. For a more detailed warm-up be sure to download the full 18.4 Prep Guide tomorrow.

A) General Prep:

15 minutes @ 50%/EZ:

12 cal Assault Bike

8 Walking Lunges

8 Air Squats

12 Cal Assault Bike

8 Push Ups

8 Ring Rows

B) Dynamic Prep:

Ankle Mobility Work (Emphasis on range of motion and opening up the joints)

Wrist Mobility Work (Emphasis on range of motion and opening up the joints)


Lacrosse Ball; Pec & Lat (2 minutes / side) x 2 sets

Foam Roller; T Spine Extension (1 minute back and forth) x 2 sets


Glute Prep:

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift w/ Dumbbell in opposite hand; 5 / leg x 2 sets (slow and controlled)

Star Plank; 20-30 seconds / side x 2 sets (get that glute turned on)

C) CP Hit:

Build to a tough squat clean thruster in 8 minutes; 3 tough attempts (not a max)


Weighted Chest to Bar Pull Up; Build to a tough double in less than 8 minutes; couple tough sets

D) Specific Prep:

2-3 sets @ 85-90% (Increasing effort per set):

15 Cal Assault Bike

6-8 Thrusters @ 95#

6-8 Chest to Bar Pull-Ups

4-6 Thrusters @ 95#

4-6 Chest to Bar Pull-Ups

-rest/walk 3-4 min b/t sets-

1st set = Moderate Pace

2nd set = Game pace

3rd set = Slightly faster than ‘game’ pace

E) 18.5

F) Cooldown:

15-20 minute Assault Bike Cooldown (Flush legs / feel good before leaving)


Pull the Bar Down – When you are engaging in the thruster and reach the top of the movement, actively pull the bar down instead of letting it drop to your shoulders. This will increase the cycle rate of the thrusters

Pace this Workout Based on your ‘Fran’ Time – Your pacing in this workout depends on your Fran time. We will be releasing a full breakdown of specific strategies related to your time tomorrow in the complete CrossFit Open 18.5 strategy guide.

Break Up the Reps – Extended sets are not a good idea. Once you lose the efficiency in the movement, it’s gone for the rest of the workout. Break up the reps in a sustainable manner when you reach the longer rounds.

Breathing – Breathe is critical to your athletic performance, this workout is no different. When tackling the thrusters, breathe at the top and at the bottom of the movement. You also need to be breathing during the entirety of the chest-to-bar pull-up movement. Make a point of overemphasizing the way in which you breathe in and out during this workout.

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