18.1 – Warm-Up and Strategy to get to TOP 5% in CrossFit Open 2018

CrossFit Open 18.1

20 Min AMRAP of
8 toes-to-bars
10 dumbbell hang clean and jerks 50/35 lbs
14 / 12-cal. row

Good score to beat for 18.1 RX
Good score to beat for
Beginner athlete: 5 rounds and 13reps (Top 80%)
Average athlete: 8 rounds and 4reps (Top 20-50%)
Advanced athlete: 10 rounds and 26reps (Top 5%)
Elite athlete: 13 rounds and 17reps (Top 1%)
Regional athlete: 14 rounds and 20reps (Top 0.01%)

Scale if slower than: 3 rounds and 25 reps

CrossFit Games Open 18.1

Here we go again! This year starts with one of the longest AMRAPs that have ever been in the Open. The 18.1 looks like a classic CrossFit workout, but there is one unfamiliar movement, the single dumbbell hang power clean.

The strategy for the 18.1 is to don’t burn out on TTB, get smoothly through dumbbell hang power cleans and push the pace on the rower.

Good score to beat for the Open 18.1

According to the data from the WOD Time Calculator good score to beat for top 5% is 10 rounds + 26 reps (346 reps). This means that all your rounds should be faster than 2 minutes. Check the table below to find the pace for each round based on the total rounds.

In my opinion top 5% may require almost 12 rounds but we will see when there are more results on the Games site.

Already done 18.1? Use this handy calculator to find out how many people you have beaten!

Total rounds (reps) Split per 1 round
5 rounds (160/150) 4:00 per round
8 rounds (256/240) 2:30 per round
9 rounds (288/270) 2:13 per round
10 rounds(320/300) 2:00 per round
11 rounds (352/330) 1:49 per round
12 rounds (384/360) 1:40 per round
13 rounds (416/390) 1:32 per round
14 rounds (448/420) 1:26 per round

18.1 Warm-Up

The 18.1 is a long workout, this means that you don’t need a long warm-up.

Start with a simple triplet of sit ups, push ups and calories row. Do it slowly, don’t rush, the goal is to get ready and use the muscles that you will use in the workout. If 3×15 is a lot for you go for 3×10.

Next prepare for movements that will be in the workout, try a few toes to bars, a few hang power cleans and a few jerks. Do only about 3-4 of each and focus on the technique.

1) Go slowly

3 Rounds of
15 Sit Ups
15 Push Ups
15 Calories Row

2) Practice movements

5 Rounds, only a few reps of each
Toes to Bars
Dumbbell Hang Power Cleans
Dumbbell Jerks

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CrossFit Open 18.1 Strategy to get to TOP 5%

As I mentioned earlier, to get to the top 5%, you will need to get 10 or more rounds which means you have to keep the pace faster than 2:00 per round.

To get the best score possible, there are a few things that you have to watch. At first, don’t try to be as fast as Samantha. If you don’t aim for the Regionals, it’s not worth to do all TTB unbroken and switch hand overhead on hang cleans. Our goal is to don’t burn out on TTB, get through the hang cleans with correct technique and be fast on the rower.

Toes to Bars

Toes to bars are the only part of the workout where you will rest. Split TTB to 2 sets of 4 or to 3 and 5. The goal is to start first set of TTB right when you are finished on the rower, jump down and rest a little before completing the set.

Splitting TTB will allow you to get through them smoothly even in later rounds as you won’t burn out and your heart rate will calm down a little after the row.

Hang Clean and Jerks

Don’t forget that according to the official rules you have to switch the hand after 5 reps. This means that there is not much strategy to talk about as it is exactly what you will do.

So, switch the hands after 5 reps, there is no need to change the hands in the air when the dumbbell is coming down as you aim for ~2:00/round, try to switch at the waist or switch the hands at the ground if the movement is hard for you.

Also, make sure you are using your back muscles, and hips (power clean) instead of muscle cleaning as muscle cleans will tax your forearms. The same applies for a jerk, do push jerk/press instead of the strict press.


The workout will be won and lost on the rower as the row will take the longest time, in some rounds you will row for 50% of the round.

I could just tell you to go as fast as you can on the rower, but that’s not a good idea. You need to keep about the same pace no matter what round are you in. I think that about 1100-1300 cal/hr for guys will be enough. You can even try to hold 1300-1500 cal/hr if you are good on the rower but make sure you are able to keep that pace even after 10 rounds!


There will be a lot of transitions and 1-2 seconds longer transitions will make a difference! Let’s say you are going for 10 rounds and there are 3 movements, this means there are over 30 transitions, and if each transition takes extra 2 seconds then you have lost over 60 seconds doing nothing.

Make sure to position the dumbbells and row near the rig. Also, try not to use much chalk, use it only if necessary. It’s better to jump to the first set of TTB right from the rower then chalk hands and finish the second set.


Don’t forget that the 18.1 is a very long workout! You have to start slowly and make sure your first round is about the same fast as your last round.

Also, don’t slow down in the middle of the WOD, always try to push a pace when you find out that you are slowing down. To keep the consistent pace try to watch the calories/hour on the rower or count the breaths during transitions and rest inside the sets.