Quick Tips For CrossFit Open WOD 18.3

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This year’s CrossFit Open kicked off on February 22, with WOD 18.1 and will continue through to March 26, ending with WOD 18.5. As each Open WOD is announced, I will be providing you with the same briefing I give the athletes at my gym, Precision CrossFit. This immediate feedback will arm you with valuable strategies and tips to help you make the most of your efforts and score your best possible performance in these WODs.

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As I have always said, aiming for success in the Open is not just for top-tier athletes. It’s also a great way to build benchmarks and goals into your year-round training. Even if you are not going to go on to higher levels of competition, completing the Open WODs each year gives you performance data you can use to chart your progress and evaluate your programming going forward.

So, now we get to Week Three. Some of you will feel this WOD is like a slap in the face, but it shouldn’t be. Weeks One and Two were for everyone. Those first two workouts let everyone who signed up get a score and be a part of the action. But this week things get serious and the reality of CrossFit competition comes at you full force.

That shouldn’t stop you from continuing or from trying your best, it just means it’s time to set your expectations. If you are not Regionals-caliber, you’ve got to look at this WOD, and maybe the next two, in a different light. These may be WODs you can’t finish. There may be movements you have to scale. These WODs may just look impossible. But that’s okay. Do them. Try your best. Just know that your score is a measure of how you are doing, and your place on the leaderboard is relative to others at your level. You probably won’t be anywhere near the top of the leaderboard, but you can still give it your all and continue to use these WODs to test your CrossFit level, evaluate your fitness training, push yourself, and, with luck, expand your limits.

Open WOD 18.3

2 rounds for time of:

  • 100 double-unders
  • 20 overhead squats
  • 100 double-unders
  • 12 ring muscle-ups
  • 100 double-unders
  • 20 dumbbell snatches
  • 100 double-unders
  • 12 bar muscle-ups

Time cap: 14 minutes

Men perform 115-lb. OHS, 50-lb. DB snatches; women perform 80-lb. OHS, 35-lb. DB snatches. Additional scalings, movement standards, and more are available on the official CrossFit Open 18.3 page.

How to Approach WOD 18.3

I hate to say I told you so, but… I did. This was definitely the week to expect Chipper WOD, and for CrossFit HQ to raise the skill level. On top of that, this is a WOD that even top athletes will struggle just to complete. So, with this WOD, you will really test how well you’ve been programming and training this past year because, folks, this is where the real Open begins.

First, for well-trained athletes, this may be much less of a muscle-up workout and much more of a double-under workout. The total number of double-unders is higher than you’ll find in most well-programmed workouts, and the toll on shoulders and calves could be crushing. The total number of muscle-ups, on the other hand, is not really that significant for well-trained athletes. So, you know that, in addition to everything else, you absolutely have to pay close attention to mobility for calves on this one.

Next, about those shoulders… Well, first you know they’re going to hurt, and hurt bad. With this set of movements, and these volumes, there is simply no way to not have your shoulders taxed to the max. I strongly recommend that you try and relax through the double-unders; it’s just about the only place you can try.

Also on the WOD, we see again that simple housekeeping — getting your area set up well and ensuring the smoothest possible transitions — can make a big difference. So, do all you can to minimize transition times. Set up your workout area for maximum efficiency and the quickest possible transitions. Every unnecessary step and re-positioning is like a stumble down the leaderboard. Try also to minimize broken sets on this WOD. The fewer times you break a set, the the less time you’ve wasted and the better your score will be. In particular, you’ve got to get the overhead squats done unbroken; setting the bar down and having to re-snatch is simply too much time wasted. If you haven’t yet this year, be sure to review my prep info for last year’s Open. There’s a ton of tips and ideas in there to help you with this and upcoming WODs.

It’s hard to make much of a plan for the other movements. You’ll obviously aim for unbroken sets of double-unders, but it’s likely you’ll miss, especially in the later sets. Keep your cool and simply step thorough and get back to work. Remember: It’s not a break.

Elsewhere, you’ll have to do your best to monitor yourself and avoid missed attempts at muscle-ups. A missed attempt is virtually just as taxing as a good rep, yet gets you nothing but time lost and energy wasted — not to mention it kills morale. For the dumbbell snatches, do all you can to make efficient changes from one side to the other, and, again, try not to put them down until the set is finished.

This WOD is programmed for serious, high-level athletes. For everyone else, just try to make it as far along as you can in the time you’ve got. And always try to get to the double-unders. With even a few seconds, you can score a lot of points with double-unders — far more than with any other movement in this WOD.

Last, remember that even if you are not a high-level athlete, your performance on this WOD will give you even more data to assess your training and make adjustments going forward, and keep in mind that these high-level workouts are good an opportunity to push your boundaries and expand your limits . So, take a look at this week’s athlete briefing and give it all you’ve got!

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