Last week’s WOD, 18.3, was a big slice of humble pie for most athletes. Especially for beginners that haven’t mastered technical movements like double unders or muscle ups. But that’s what the Open is all about: getting you out of your comfort zone! This week is no different. We have a new challenge ahead of us. Let’s move on to our CrossFit® Open 18.4 Complete Strategy Guide.
Wait, before we do, I have to just say… TOLD YA!
I’ve been predicting Handstand Walks would show up in the Open for a couple years now - woohoo!
However, don’t freak out quite yet. You have to get a LOT of work done in 18.4 before you earn the right to walk on your hands.
CrossFit® Open 18.4: The Workout
Rx (For Time, 9 Min Cap, 21-15-9)
- Deadlifts (225/155)
- Deadlifts (315/205)
- Handstand Walk (50’)
Scaled (For Time, 9 Min Cap, 21-15-9)
- Deadlifts (135/95)
- Deadlifts (185/135)
- Bear Crawl (50’)
Masters (For Time, 9 Min Cap, 21-15-9)
- Deadlifts (*/*)
- HSPU / HRPU / Push Press *
- Deadlifts (*/*)
- HSW / HSPU* (50’)
** Dependant on age group. For a complete standards guide, please visit games.crossfit.com/workouts/open/2018/4
CrossFit® Open 18.4 - Strategy:
- Pacing is dependent on your abilities for the second part of the WOD.
- If there’s absolutely no way that you’ll be lifting the 315/205 barbell after Diane is done, then try your best to hit a new Diane PR in order to help your tiebreak score.
- If you have a reasonable shot at making it deep into the second part of the WOD, smooth and steady will win the race. Don’t crush Diane and then crash and burn afterwards
- Scaling is suggested for many athletes. These weights are big and intimidating. Please consider your safety first.
- If you have nagging back/neck injuries - scale it. It’s easy to get caught up in the rah-rah atmosphere this time of year. Be realistic about your ability and act accordingly. In the past I’ve suggested that many athletes should go “RX’d” at all costs, but for this one I’m only suggesting RX if you’re able to move the deadlift and HSPU safely and effectively.
CrossFit® Open 18.4 - Mindset:
- Deadlifts and HSPUs are two movements where it’s really easy to take long breaks.
- Don’t salsa dance with the bar. Don’t hang your head in defeat during the HSPUs. Your mindset throughout should be, “just one more rep”.
- Break up sets from rep number one.
CrossFit® Open 18.4 - Movements (RX):
- Use a staggered grip. It shocks me how few people use this technique for gripping the bar. Check out our video and try it for yourself.
- Don’t go unbroken! Singles are perfectly fine for most people who are simply trying to get through Diane.
- If you are doing unbroken sets, try a “negative split” each roundlike 8-7-6 / 6-5-4 / 5-4
- Keep your neck neutral, it should be a straight line from the crown of your head to your butt. Keep your eyes on the floor a few feet in front of you throughout.
- New standards are a game changer, you REALLY need to pay attention to your hand width. If you go too wide, you won't be able to reach.
- Don’t make these 4 mistakes!
- Heels Up. Heels Up. HEELS UP. PLEASE KEEP YOUR HEELS UP!
- If you let your core/glutes relax, it could hurt your reach.
- Start with your heels above the line. Don’t waste energy pushing up into your first rep. Get upside down with arms locked out and heels up!
- Check out our full HSPU tutorial playlist
- Most people will not make it here, so don't stress too much about it. People who do make it here will probably have a proficient HSW.
- Avoid the “line fault”. It’s very easy to mess this up and totally throw off your momentum. Take extra care to start with hands, fingers, etc. completely behind the line.
- The standards are a little sloppy, you could do some ugly, fake, sprint-on-hands-and-fall-every-5-feet-thing if you are incapable of doing true HSW… but I'll personally judge you 😉
- Your core will be smoked, take your time to make things count.
- We have a TON of handstand walking suggestions and tips. Check out this playlist to get them all!
Push Press (MASTERS 55+ ONLY)
- Be sure to “touch and go” your reps for maximum efficiency.
CrossFit® Open 18.4 - Movements (SCALED)
Hand Release Push-ups
- Avoid the “snake” - think about “butt first” as you start pressing from the floor. This will help you stay in a solid plank position
- DO NOT rest at the top of your reps. Rest on the floor!
- Standards don’t mention keeping your feet on the ground, so see if you like the “hand-and-feet-release” version that I show in the video. This can help utilize your legs and core to snap into your push-ups.
- Avoid “line faults” when you get started, this is a silly mistake and easily avoided with some thought. Be sure to keep your butt up.
- Try crawling with wide feet and relatively straight legs. I found in practice that this was MUCH easier than my normal version of bear crawling. Regardless, practice several techniques and see what your body likes best.
- Don’t forget to breathe, this is an awkward position and it’s easy to forget.
CrossFit® Open 18.4 - Gear:
A belt is suggested for the deadlifts in order to save your core. If using a belt, find a velcro strap instead of a buckle. This will allow you to loosen the belt really quickly before hopping on the wall for HSPUs.
If you feel a sense of security using Wrist Wraps for HSPU’s, go for it. For simplicity and distraction avoidance, WODprep prefers less gear. If you can go without, even better!
Additional Resources From WODprep:
- How to do Handstand Walks
- Handstand Walk Progression
- Detailed Handstand Walk Tutorial
- Top Handstand Walking Drills
Before You Leave:
Thanks for reading our CrossFit® Open 18.4 Complete Strategy Guide. We look forward to seeing you again next week for the final showdown. Before you go, we ask that you do three things:
- Leave a comment after hitting 18.4 - 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 😉
- Please share our CrossFit® Open 18.4 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.
- 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!
FREE GEAR GIVEAWAY. We’re randomly selecting a handful of athletes and shipping them free gear. Here’s how to enter:
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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.