Crossfit 18.5 Strategy and Pro Tips

CrossFit UNLEASHED - Long Island City, New York | Dutch Kills, Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria, Gym
CrossFit 18.4 Recap
March 22, 2018
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March 25, 2018

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

18.5 is…

7 minute AMRAP


3 Thrusters 100#/65#
3 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
6 Thrusters 100#/65#
6 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
9 Thrusters 100#/65#
9 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
12 Thrusters 100#/65#
12 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
15 Thrusters 100#/65#
15 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
18 Thrusters 100#/65#
18 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups


3 Thrusters 65#/45#
3 Jumping Pull-ups
6 Thrusters 65#/45#
6 Jumping Pull-ups
9 Thrusters 65#/45#
9 Jumping Pull-ups
12 Thrusters 65#/45#
12 Jumping Pull-ups
15 Thrusters 65#/45#
15 Jumping Pull-ups

We finally have our repeat, and our thrusters, just in time for the end of the open. 18.5 is 11.6, and we have nobody to blame for this one but ourselves, as the CrossFit community got to vote on the final workout, deciding from three possible choices. Let’s get to it!

The dreaded thruster is slightly heavier than the typical Rx’d standard, but those extra five pounds can make a huge difference if your technique is off. Just like in a front squat, you’ll need to keep the barbell positioned firmly on your shoulders so that it doesn’t drag your center of gravity forward. Keep those heels planted firmly in the ground, and once you stand about ¾ of the way up, add a little extra “pop” from your hip – think of it as a push press, where hip drive propels the bar upward and your shoulders only do that last little bit of work needed to lock out your arms overhead.

For the chest-to-bar pull-ups, make sure you’re meeting the standard and that your chest gets up to (and touches) the pull-up bar. You can use any grip you want, and you can do strict, kipping, or butterfly variations. Your most efficient option, though it is also the most technically challenging, is the butterfly. Most of us will kip our way through these – an important detail to remember is to make sure you’re pushing the bar away from you at the top in order to avoid dangling on the bar in between reps. Strict chest-to-bars should only be used as a last resort, as these are going to be the most fatiguing to your upper back, which will make maintaining good form on the thrusters that much harder.

Unless you’re confident in your ability to go unbroken through a set, breaking these up into 3s or 5s with short rest in between is a great option. It’ll give you a quick chance to catch your breath while also keeping you moving and avoiding a prolonged struggle with any single rep.

A few notes on standards:

• Your hip crease must go below your knee on each thruster, and the movement ends when your hips, knees, and arms are fully extended, with the barbell over the middle of the body. Note: you do not have to “poke your head through” at the top in order to reach the standard, but the bar must be clearly stacked over your shoulders, hips, and mid-foot.
• Your chest must touch the pull-up bar in order for each chest-to-bar pull up to count – again, they’re called chest-to-bar, not chest-near-bar. Any grip style is permitted, so if you need a little extra help from your biceps to make sure you’re reaching the standard, don’t be afraid to try an underhand or mixed grip.

The good news: there are no dumbbell thrusters in this year’s Open! The bad news: barbell thrusters still suck. Don’t let them get in your head. This is your last chance to prove how much fitter you’ve gotten over the last year. Take advantage of it. Your mentality is going to play just as big a role in this workout as your physical capacity, so go into this one with a positive mindset and be willing to push through the pain for the last time in the 2018 CrossFit Open.

3, 2, 1…GO!