CrossFit® Open 18.5 – The Complete Strategy Guide (Scaled, Masters, and Rx)

Written By Ben  |  Open 

The end is here: a bittersweet moment. This CrossFit® Open season was a doozy. We saw new movements like Single Arm DB Hang Clean & Jerks, DB Squats, and Handstand Walks. We saw new standards on an old movement: Handstand Pushups. We even saw both forms of muscle ups (ring and bar) in the same WOD!

But the fun didn’t stop there. For 18.5, Dave Castro did something else we’ve never seen before. He let the CrossFit® community vote for the final Open WOD. 18.5 is...11.6.

Before we go any further…. this week is really freakin’ special.

You have a chance to win even more free WOD Nation Gear AND support a great cause. Here's how:

From now until the end of the 18.5 submission window, WODprep will be matching 100% of the donations made to “Kings Of Grit”. Not only will contributors help spread the love of CrossFit®, it will also give people a chance to win tons of free workout gear. 🙂

(more details below…)

CrossFit® Open 18.5: The Workout




  • Thrusters (100/65)
  • C2B Pull-ups




  • Thrusters (65/45)
  • Jumping Chin Over Bar Pull-ups




  • Thrusters *
  • C2B / COB Pull-ups *

*Dependent on age group

For a complete standards guide, please visit

CrossFit® Open 18.5 - Strategy:

  • Smooth & steady - break pull-ups sooner than you think you need to. 
    • 7 minutes isn’t a long time, but it will feel like a lifetime if you come out too hot.
  • Eliminate slow transitions by placing your bar close to the pull-up rig. 
  • When you get to the bar, pick it up. Don’t just stand there, bust a move!
  • Leave enough in the tank for the last two minutes, then step on it.

CrossFit® Open 18.5 - Mindset:

  • Don’t get carried away because this is last Open WOD of the season. 
  • Treat this like you’ve been treating the last 4 weeks. Stay focused and don’t get ahead of yourself.
  • Start slower than you want to, finish at 100% effort. Do not sprint from the start!

CrossFit® Open 18.5 - Movements (RX):


Chest to Bar Pull-ups

  • Singles are OK (especially if your max is less than 5 unbroken)
  • Use the “box drop-in” if you’re worried about not being able to do C2B.
  • If hitting bigger sets, try “negative splits” so that your rep scheme gets easier. Personally, I wouldn’t do more than 6 reps unbroken at any point in this WOD (example = round of 12 I would do 5/4/3, round of 15 would be 6/5/4 ).
  • Keep in mind that you’re allowed to use a overhand, underhand, or mixed grip - so if you’re going for your first C2B, it’s worth testing out different grips to see what feels most comfortable.

Jumping Chin-over-Bar (scaled)

  • Legs, legs, legs! Try to use your arms as little as possible during the jumping pull-ups, as they will be smoked from the thrusters!

CrossFit® Open 18.5 - Gear:

Gymnastic Grips:

  • Note: You can only use gymnastic grips if your bar is not taped.
    If you’re going to do less than 30 total pull ups (round of 12), skip the grips. They might bunch up and end up being an uncomfortable distraction for Thrusters. 

Knee Sleeves

  • Would be helpful for Thrusters if you’ve worn them in the past. Not a big deal at all, though. 

Olympic Lifting Shoes

  • For anyone with less than stellar ankle mobility, Oly’s can make a slight difference, and they shouldn’t really affect the pull-ups. If you’re convinced that heavier shoes are hurting your pull-up performance…. then you need more practice 😉

Additional Resources From WODprep: 

Before You Leave: 

I’m not sure about you, but I’m excited for the Open season to be over. It was fun while it lasted, but now the real work begins. For 99.9% of us, our proverbial CrossFit® New Year begins this Tuesday, March 27th, 2018. Most of us won’t be going to Regionals, so we’ll have to wait a full year to participate in this worldwide competition again.

Coming off the Open, we have a better idea of where our weaknesses lie. Now we can make a game plan to tackle our areas of opportunity over the next couple months. So if you’re struggling with any of the movements listed below, please make sure to grab a free guide to start your “CrossFIt® New Year” season off on the right foot!

Free WODprep Movement Guides:

Thanks for reading our CrossFit® Open 18.5 Complete Strategy Guide. 

Before you go, we ask that you do three things:

  1. Leave a comment after hitting 18.5 - What were your takeaways? What was easy? What was hard? If you had to do it again, how would you do it differently? Please be specific and long-winded 😉
  2. Please share our CrossFit® Open 18.5 Complete Strategy Guide with a friend (sharing is caring). If you aren’t signed up for our Open emails (which contain bonus tips like a specific warm-up video) - you can sign up here.
  3. To aid with your recovery and support the WODprep team, grab yourself a WODprep Massage Ball Set. They are 18% off during the Open Season only!

Disclaimer: WODprep is not affiliated with CrossFit® We are an independent group of functional fitness athletes trying to help people like us perform better in their WODs and everyday lives.

  • While I’m sad the Open is over, I’m so happy that we can end the season with a BANG. We are honored to support such a great organization like Kings of Grit ( )

    Remember, CrossFit isn’t just about proving your own fitness. It has the power to change lives and create new lifelong habits!

    Spread the love.

  • THANKS for all the effort you go through to give us these mails and video’s really appreciate it…. it does HELP!!!

  • Thank you Ben, love this forum. You have helped me this year to improve my confidence and go RX for every workout. Still haven’t mastered DU but I did 100DU in 18.3. I was able to get 8 HSPU in 18.4 and using the drop in method and reverse grip was successful in getting to the round of 12 RX Chest to Bar Pullups in 18.5! Thank your for recommending King of Grits charity, I love supporting good causes!

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