18.2 CrossFit® Open Workout Tips From Top Athletes and Coaches

And just like that, we’re in the second week of the 2018 CrossFit® Open. This week’s Open workout 18.2 entails two areas of fitness to test an athlete’s physical capacities: Muscular endurance and maximal strength. Last night, we got to see 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games third place finisher Patrick Vellner take on fourth place Noah Ohlsen in an epic showdown.

Check out the workout below. We recommend reading through it a few times to get a full understanding of what this workout entails.


Start: As always, athletes start on a 3, 2, 1 countdown before beginning the workout.

18.2: An ascending couplet ladder from 1 to 10 reps each of the following movements:

  • Dumbbell Squats (with two dumbbells)
  • Bar-Facing-Burpees

18.2A: 1 Rep Max Barbell Clean

This workout is for time with a 12 minute time cap. After completing 18.2, athletes have the remainder of the 12 minute time cap to find a 1 rep max clean. Men use 50 pound dumbbells, women use 35 pound dumbbells. Athletes who don’t complete 18.2 under the 12 minute cap will receive a zero on 18.2A.

Movement Standards

This workout entails two separate workouts (18.2 and 18.2a) and the movement standards should be fully understood before beginning the workout. Below we’ve included CrossFit’s descriptive video and movement standard notes below to make it easier to understand.

Notes On 18.2 and 18.2a Movement Standards


  • Dumbbell squats begin at the top and athletes may muscle clean into the squat.
  • At the bottom, the hip crease must go below parallel to count as a rep, along with full hip and knee extension at the top of the squat to complete a rep.
  • Burpees must be performed facing the barbell in a perpendicular position.
  • Jumps over the barbell must be performed with both feet and an athletes must land with both feet (plates must be standard-height bumper plates).
  • Unless scaled, athletes may not step forward or back, and both feet must jump back simultaneously during the burpee.


  • All cleans begin with the barbell on the ground.
  • Power, squat, and split cleans are all permitted, but hang clean are not, and reps are complete when an athlete stands fully up with the weight.

Both workouts are scored separately, but in the event of a tie in weight on workout 18.2a, then the tiebreak will be an athlete’s time of completion on 18.2.

CrossFit Open Workout 18.2 Tips

1. Nicole Carroll – Mental Prep and Warm-Up

Nicole Carroll points out that this workout is a little bit more stressful on an athlete’s mentality due to the ascending portion, then the maximal strength aspect. She recommends warming-up with a clean weight that you plan to open with, and keeping in mind that it’s going to feel heavier than your warm-up due to fatigue.

2. Craig Richey – Find Your Pace

CrossFit athlete Craig Richey also pointed out that this workout is going to be a huge mental battle and require a lot of grit. One of his main tips was to find a pace that allows you to perform 18.2 fast, but not require a ton of rest time moving into the clean portion. Performing a few practice rounds wouldn’t be a bad idea before taking this one on.

3. Brooke Ence – Dumbbell Placement and Movement Standards

CrossFit athlete Brooke Ence points out that understanding the movements standards fully will be a huge make or break for a lot of athletes. She advises athletes to figure out the dumbbell placement on the shoulder for the squats that stresses the shoulder the least, as this can help save energy for workout 18.2a.

4. Cole Sager – Transitions and Lifters

CrossFit athlete Cole Sager emphasized on the importance of fast transitions in 18.2. He points out that really nailing transitions between the faster rounds of 1-7 can be a huge make or break for your time.

Also, he mentions that if you’re going to switch into lifting shoes for 18.2a, then record your first clean before doing so because this can help you log a score while giving you a quick rest.

5. Brute Strength – Open With 75% On the Cleans

Brute Strength coaches Nick Fowler and Adrian Conway advise opening up with a clean that is roughly a 75% 1-RM attempt for you. They point out that competitive athletes (sub 5-minutes in 18.2) will have about 4-5 attempts, so this weight is a good starting point to avoid overloading the system too fast.

Open Workout 18.2 Takeaways

All of the videos above offered slightly different takes to find successes for the two Open workouts 18.2 and 18.2a. Things that seem to be of the most importance are completely a strong mentality, understanding the standards, quick transitions, and your opening weight on the 1-RM clean.

While every video offered slightly different takes, there was one consistent piece of advice and that was to approach the workout with a tough mentality.

Feature image from @crossfitgames Instagram page.