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

CrossFit Open 18.4

21-15-9 reps of:

Deadlifts, 225 lb. / 155 lb.
Handstand push-ups
21-15-9 reps of:
Deadlifts, 315 lb. / 205 lb.
50-ft. handstand walk after each set

Good score to beat for
Beginner athlete: 95 reps (Diane + 5 reps)
Average athlete: 107 reps (Diane + 17 reps)
Advanced athlete: 124 reps (Diane + 34 reps)
Elite athlete: 153 reps (Diane + 63 reps)
Regional athlete: 8:37

CrossFit Games Open 18.4

You have to know how to do handstand walks if you want to get to the top 5%. Also, there will be a similar situation like last week with muscle ups. Many people will get stuck on the handstand walks (111 reps) and some on 315/205 lbs deadlifts (90 reps). By the way, learn 5-foot handstand walk over the weekend if you you can get through 21 deadlifts in the second round!

Open 18.4 warm up

The 18.4 is a shorter workout with heavy movements, so it is better to focus on the warm up.

Start with a simple triplet of bear crawls, wall climbs and kettlebell swings. Continue with about 20 min long practice of HSPU, handstand walks and some deadlifts.

1) Warm up triplet of

3 Rounds of
50-ft. Bear Crawl
3 Wall Climbs
15 Russian Kettlebell Swings 1.5/1 pood

2) 20 min practice of

Kipping HSPUs (practice new standard)
Handstand walks
Small sets of deadlifts (you can go over 315/205 lbs)

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Open 18.4 strategy to get to top 5%

To get to top 5% in Open 18.4, you will need to get as far as you can in the round of 15 deadlifts with 315/205 lbs and maybe even need to finish the second handstand walks. I think that about 10-12 deadlifts should be enough for the top 5%.

The strategy for 18.4 is to go about 1 min slower than your Diane PR and split deadlifts more than you think to save as much energy as you can for 315/205 lbs barbell. Make sure you don’t get stuck on HSPU, do them unbroken only if you are HSPU ninja.


Bouncing during deadlifts is not allowed (your arms must be straight all the time) but you can do deadlifts quickly and use more bouncy plates and floor to your advantage.

Make sure that your deadlifts are quick even when you are doing small sets of a few reps. You don’t need to speed up the reps, just don’t brake the bar much during the negative part of the movement. Quick negative part of the deadlift combined with bouncy plates and the floor will make your deadlifts much easier.

Deadlifts 225/155 lbs

Split deadlifts more than you think, the goal is to save the lower back for sets of 21 and 15 deadlifts with 315/205 lbs.
I would recommend going for sets of 6+5+5+5, 6+5+4 and 5+4 or even split to 4+4+4+3+3+3, 4+4+4+3 and 4+3+2.

This will help you to go much faster through heavier deadlifts, and you should easily catch up the lost time.


There is a new standard on HSPU, it is similar to the last year, but after watching Panchik during the announcement, it looks like you need to be really fully extended to get a rep. Just make sure that all your reps will count.

You can use exactly the same rep scheme as for deadlifts (6+5+5+4, 6+5+4 and 5+4). By the way, you don’t need to stand up and go away from the wall between the sets, just stay on your knees, shake arms and get back to the handstand.

Do HSPUs unbroken only if you are great at HSPU, you are lighter weight, and you will get stuck on the deadlifts.

Deadlifts 315/205 lbs

You already probably know what to do, split deadlifts more than you want. You may feel fresh during first 10 reps, but the fatigue will kick in sooner than you except.

Go for multiple sets do 7 sets of 3, 5 sets of 3 and 3 sets of 3 or do the singles. Multiple sets will help you to bounce the bar little against the ground (don’t forget that bouncing is not allowed but doing deadlifts quickly is OK) while singles will let you skip all negative reps of deadlifts which may save your back more.

Handstand walk

There is not much strategy involved if you are great on handstand walks. Do 25+25 feet or 15+10+15+10 feet, always make sure you can get through the set distance unbroken because no reps will take away a lot of precious time.
It is also better to do multiple sets of a smaller distance if you need longer rest before trying longer distance.

On the other hand, if you have a problem with handstand walks or you just can’t do handstand walk efficiently when you are fatigued then you should try to do 10 sets of 5 feet. This should get you through them relatively quickly compared to the resting a lot before longer distances and/or getting no repped. Try to use a little momentum when kicking to the handstand walk, get through the 5 feet, get back to your feet, reposition and repeat. Make sure to practice that before trying it in the WOD, it may help to save you a lot of time!