Crossfit 18.2 Strategy and Pro Tips

CrossFit UNLEASHED - Long Island City, New York | Dutch Kills, Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria, Gym
CrossFit 3-3-18
March 3, 2018
CrossFit 3-6-18
March 5, 2018

CrossFit UNLEASHED - Long Island City, New York | Dutch Kills, Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria, Gym

18.2 is…

12 minutes to complete 18.2 and 18.2a:



Dumbbell Squats

Rx’d: 50#x2 / 35#x2

Scaled: 35#x2 / 20#x2

Bar-facing Burpees



1 Rep Max Clean


18.2 is an all-out sprint. The best thing you can do to strategize for this one is to make sure you’re hitting the movement standards and to position the dumbbells in such a way that you’re not struggling too badly to keep them on your shoulders for the duration of each set.

Dumbbell positioning:

  • Holding the dumbbells so that one head is resting on your shoulder while the handle runs perpendicular to your collarbone most closely mimics the front rack position that we use in the front squat and clean, and might feel the most natural. A limiting factor to using this position is arm strength, as the dumbbell head that is not in contact with your shoulder needs to be actively supported by pressing up with a straight wrist stacked over the elbow.
  • Holding the dumbbells vertically is an appropriate option for those who have good mobility in the front rack position, but are limited in their ability to actively support the dumbbell in the standard front rack position described above. Using this option, the dumbbell weight is stacked vertically so that all of the weight is supported by the shoulders, and the hands are used to maintain the dumbbell’s balance.
  • A third option, for those who are still working on their front rack mobility, is to place one head of each dumbbell on the shoulders with the handles running parallel to your collarbones. This places one head of each dumbbell near the base of your neck and allows you to hold the heads as you would hold a kettlebell when performing a goblet squat.

Which position is right for you? Whichever one allows you to be the most efficient! If you have good front rack mobility and can maintain a vertical torso in the squat, play around with each of these positions and pick the one that feels the most comfortable. If your torso tends to lean forward in the squat, you’ll want to pick a position that doesn’t add too much extra forward-leaning weight, and the vertical dumbbells may be the way to go.

Before you begin the workout, put a weight on the barbell that you plan on using for your first clean when working up to the 1 rep max. This will prevent you from wasting time adding or removing plates when you transition from 18.2 to 18.2a. Also give yourself an honest assessment: will you be able to finish 18.2 quickly, and with enough time to change shoes while getting in a few quality clean attempts? Then you have the option of switching from cross-trainers to lifters in between workouts. Do you think you’ll be rushing to get off 1 or 2 good cleans at the end? It might be worth it to wear the lifters all the way through.

A few notes on standards:

  • Your squats must start from a standing position – so no, unfortunately you can’t squat clean the first rep.
  • Don’t short your squats! The open standard is that for a rep to count the hip crease must go below the knee, not parallel to or above. Hopefully this is the standard you’ve been holding yourself to all year long. If not, make the change before you do the workout, or you’ll be hearing the phrase “No rep!” much more than you’d like to.
  • Burpees are a movement we do all the time, but we often cut these short as well. In order for a burpee to count, your thighs and chest must make contact with the ground. A common fault in the burpee is for the athlete’s thighs and stomach to contact the ground without the chest ever doing so; this is a no rep! Chest to deck, or it didn’t happen.
  • Speaking of burpees, we have a new set of Rx standards. You cannot step your feet back, forward, or over the bar when performing the burpee. You must perform a two-footed takeoff to: jump your feet back as you bring your chest and thighs to the floor, jump your feet forward to the outside of your hands, and jump over the barbell.
  • In 18.2a, the clean can be any style: squat clean, power clean, or even split clean. The clean must come from the floor, and cannot be brought to a hang position before initiating the movement.

After a longer, more strategic, paced workout last week, this will be an exciting workout to do and watch. Expect athletes to put up some crazy fast times as they go as hard as they possibly can to sprint through 18.2 and then throw around some heavy weights afterwards in 18.2a.

3, 2, 1…Go!