• Erik

CrossFit Open 18.3

If 18.1 was about endurance, and 18.2 and 18.2a were about speed and strength, 18.3 is all skill. This is truly the WOD that draws the line in the standings. I was driving along 134 when 18.3 was announced, but I could hear the cries of anguish from there. Don’t fret, however. Even if you don’t have muscle ups or still struggle with double unders, you can still attack this workout: DOUBLE UNDERS

If you can consistently break out 50+ unbroken double unders (or even a consistent single-double-single-double rhythm) without breaking a sweat, then I don’t know why you’re still reading this section. You already have a plan! However, if you can’t rely on hitting 20+ double unders on command, plan on keeping your sets small. Consider 10-20 at a time with short 5-second breaks between. You’ll get through 5 sets of 20 faster than starting with a max effort set of 40, but then needing a full minute to catch your breath.


20 reps at this weight may seem heavy, but ask yourself this: if it were front squats instead, would you be as intimidated? Overhead squats are all about coordination and balance. You already know you can handle the weight. Just focus on sitting back and getting full depth. (Our brains like trick us into thinking we’re squatting lower than we actually are with overhead squats.) The real question is to go unbroken or not? If you can do all 5 rounds of Nancy unbroken at Rx weight, it may be worth giving it a shot here. Remember: every additional set you need to do requires another snatch (or snatch balance if you bring it to the back rack position to rest). MUSCLE UPS

Every Open, the standings have what I call the Muscle Up Line. It’s what separates those who have muscle ups vs those who don’t. For those below the Muscle Up Line, your strategy is to get to this point as fast as you can. Consider the workout a for-time chipper of double unders, overhead squats, and double unders again. Use the remaining time for MU skill work. You never know, the adrenaline of the Open may help you get your first muscle up--that’s how I got mine! If you’re still on the path to your first ring muscle up, practice with the false grip. It may be uncomfortable, but it also makes muscle ups much easier.


For athletes skilled enough to reach this point, this should be the least daunting movement of the WOD. Your goal is to get through them unbroken or, at the very least, in sets of 10.

Last but not least, know 18.3 for what it is: a test of patience. Even top tier athletes lose their double under rhythm once in a while, but losing your cool only leads to more failed reps. Just take deep breaths and stay focused. You’ll do that much better than those who let frustration get the best of them.

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