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CrossFit Open 18.2 – Tips, Tricks & How to Warm Up


CrossFit Open 18.2 – Tips, Tricks & How to Warm Up

Another CrossFit Open WOD with two point scoring opportunities, how awesome is that!?!?!?!!

18.2 is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 dumbbell squats followed by a max effort clean. You have 12 minutes to get both completed. If you don’t finish the couplet, you don’t get to attempt the clean.


This is a great test of sub maximal loaded movements performed at high speed combined with another test of strength (at Okie CrossFit we preach the importance of the Creatine Phosphate Battery). We were thrilled the first time they introduced this style of workout a few years ago, and are thrilled to se a speed / CP Battery test again.

For the metcon portion, this is another workout where we really need to avoid no reps! Make sure you understand the standards, and that you and you judge both are comfortable with what is expected.


Warm Up

Prior to the workout, you’ll want to make sure you are thoroughly warmed up. Here is a good example:

Blood Flow: 2 Rounds row 25 cal, bike 25 cal, 25′ bear crawl

Dynamic Warm up: 5 sets of 5 air, db squats, or goblet squats, 5 burpees (use new burpee standard each time), 5 broad jumps (simulate jumping over the bar), then 5,4,3,2,1 of straight leg deadlift, hang muscle/power clean, front squat, shoulder press, hang squat clean.

Mobility: a moderate intensity couch stretch (don’t overdo it), with some rolling out of the quads

18.2 Prep: 3 rounds – 5 dumbbell front rack squat,5 burpees over bar , 3 Touch and Go Cleans @50% 1RM, Rest 1 minute

18.2A Prep: Work up to a challenging (80-90%) squat clean or power clean. Spend no more than 10 minutes.  Most people will not hit a PR (if they have an accurate test recently), but by going through some ‘heavy’ reps before the workout, you’ll have a better idea of how it is going to go.  You need to load bar for 18.2 where your first lift should be super ‘easy’.

As a general rule, the shorter the workout, the more ‘warmed up’ you’ll want to be. Feel free to do more than the above to ensure that you are ready to hit it hard from the call of “3, 2, 1, GO”!

After warming up your clean, make sure you back the bar back to a load you know you can hit with little to no rest after the metcon.

Make sure you set the dumbbells close to the bar in a spot where you won’t be kicking them on the burpees because transitions will be key, especially in the earlier rounds. This style of rep scheme is great because it ‘self moderates’ for the beginning (it is almost hard to go ‘too fast’). That said, you can accidentally go too slow if you dilly dally between movements. Hustle on those transitions!

Half of the reps is in the first 7 rounds!

When you finish the 7th burpee over bar you’ll be at rep 56 of 110. This is important for pacing purposes. You should be feeling fairly good at this point because the next three rounds are going to the second half of the workout. If you are already ‘feeling it’ at this point, chances are that you went too fast. Slow down on the 8s so you can finish strong.

We will not be making an elaborate pacing chart for this one. It is too short to be watching the clock, and because it is ‘easy’ to pace the first rounds due to the increasing round nature, it isn’t necessary. Just keep in mind that you should be about halfway done with your time by the time you finish the 7s. That means that if you are at 2.5 minutes, you should be on track to finish around 5 minutes (assuming you didn’t go too fast). If you finish in 4 minutes, you should be able to finish around minute 8. Do not get discouraged if you are ‘behind schedule’ at this point. BUT you may need to rethink your clean strategy if you didn’t hit your target pace.

Dumbbell Squats

Make sure you stand all the way up before initiating the squat! Squat cleans or ‘squat curls’ will not be allowed.

Get those dbs in a good rack position. Most people will benefit by balancing the ‘heads’ of the dumbbells on the shoulders or as close to the spine as possible. By setting the dbs back, you’ll mimic more of a back squat and save the quads a bit for the cleans. Just remember that you must keep a hand on each dumbbell for the reps to count. You cannot balance them on the shoulders without touching them with your hands.

Getting the dbs into position quickly will be important for the first 3-4 rounds. If you have a complicated way of holding them, it will cost you time because of all the progressions.

Make sure you are hitting depth, but also hitting full extension! When you are moving fast on those earlier rounds (and especially if you have the dbs balanced far back), it will be easy to not open the hip completely at the top of the rep. Make sure you stand all the way up with an open hip before going back down all of the way.

Most people will benefit by trying to do these ‘unbroken’. By that we mean, resting with the dbs on the shoulders as opposed to setting them down. If you do have to put them down, try and only do it on the higher rep rounds and only put them down once per round.

Don’t ‘throw’ the dumbbells down at the end of each round! With having to pick them up at least 9 times, if you throw them down haphazardly, you’ll end up having to chase them down to collect them for the next set (costing you time).  ALSO – It’s a great way to get hurt or hurt someone else.  If you’re doing the WOD alone in your garage with equipment you paid for, throw them as much as you want.  Otherwise, treat the equipment and your ankles well.

Bar Facing Burpees

The biggest thing we can say about the burpees is KNOW THE NEW STANDARDS AND PRACTICE IT. If you don’t get some repetitions in ahead of time, you are almost guaranteed to mess them up.

You must face the bar before initiating the rep. This is in the standards! Before you place your hands on the floor, or kick your feet back, you must be facing the barbell.

If you are doing this ‘as Rx’, you’ll need to jump both feet back at the same time. This doesn’t need to be a huge jump. If you place your hands far out in front, you can shorten the length of the jump back.

Similarly, when you jump up it must be both feet at the same time. If you do a small jump, just enough to stand up, you should be fine.

There is also a 2 feet together jump, AND LAND when going over the barbell. In previous years, a two footed jumped was required, but not a two foot landing. This will be tough for judges to watch, but it is the standard! Make sure you are close to the bar and that you ‘bunny hop’ over it with both feet in unison. You CAN walk up to the bar before jumping, just make sure you stand up from the push up portion of the burpee before you walk up to the barbell to jump.

If this workout had more reps or had a lot of other shoulder stuff, I may recommend not using the arms much in the burpee. If you can move faster by using your arms a lot on the burpee, do it!

Max Effort Clean

As mentioned before, you’ll want to warm up to some significant loads before the workout to make sure you have an idea how it will feel and so you have all of your ‘gear’ prepped (belt, shoes, etc.). You should do loads heavier than your ‘opening’ weight.

Any type of clean is allowed (power, squat, split, muscle). Hang cleans are not. You may want to power or split clean the lighter loads because they are faster and because they use your quads a bit less.

Try to move around a bit as soon as possible after the metcon. It will help you recover a bit before your first attempt.  Moving your joints will help ‘flush’ your muscles and get them prepped for the cleans.

You’ll also want to focus on slow nasal breathing to help bring your heart rate down. Try breathing 5-10 seconds in, 3-5 second hold, 5-10 seconds out, 3-5 second hold.

That first rep should be ‘fast and light’. Hit it before you are fully recovered from the metcon. You’ll want to get some points on the board. It will ‘feel’ heavy, but remember that you will recover as time goes on. Do not let it feeling heavy discourage you. Depending on when you finish, the later attempts may feel lighter even though they are higher loads!

If possible, you will want to have your weights ready for the next rounds. Have a friend ready to help load the bar for you that knows your plan. Do not help them load the bar. You should be focusing on your breathing and getting psyched for your next rep!

As a general rule, for each minute before the 12 minute time cap, you’ll be able to make a decent attempt at a challenging clean. How close you get to your max will depend on your experience level and how much you clean. If you are more of a beginner, you may set a new PR. But if you are someone who lifts heavy, you may not have enough time to get close to your max. Be smart about your jumps and be flexible with that last load jump if the previous rep felt really heavy (or really light).