CrossFit® Open 18.3 – The Complete Strategy Guide (Scaled, Masters, and Rx)

Written By Ben  |  Open 

If 18.3 was a day of the week, it would be Wednesday. If 18.3 was a song, it would be Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer. If 18.3 was an animal, it would be a … OK I’m getting carried away here. 

Let’s jump into our Complete Strategy Guide for CrossFit® Open 18.3. 

By now you’ve hopefully settled into the Open season routine. Tune into the live announcment just in time to hear Dave Castro explain the WOD as if it was Newton’s 4th law. Watch some of the best in the world compete head to head. Go to bed wondering how in the world you’re going to make it through the WOD. Read WODprep's strategy guide, watch our YouTube videos, build some confidence. Crush the Open WOD (multiple times if absolutely necessary). Recover. Repeat.

Warning: This blog post is very link/video intensive. WODprep's goal is to help as many people as possible go “Rx” on this workout... so the double unders and ring muscle ups are the #1 and #2 most important factors here followed by BMU's as a distant #3. For all scaled/masters athletes, you can apply the same strategies to your own situation.   Also: Be sure to scroll all the way down and check out our 'fault fixer' videos for RMU, DU's, and BMU's.

Coaches Note:

For anyone going RX’d, you must identify your “choke point”.

This means: If you can hardly get double unders, then a majority of your workout will be spent doing double unders. DO NOT worry about the bar muscle ups because odds are, you’ll never get there.

If you’re going to fly through the double unders, but have only done a few ring muscle ups in your life, then again - don’t focus on the bar muscle ups, as you’ll be spending 95% of the workout trying to get through the 12 ring muscle up reps. Not saying you shouldn't dream - we just want to be realistic and focus on the biggest factor influencing your personal score.

Moral of the story: Figure out where you might get stuck and do your best to maximize your chances of getting through that choke point.

CrossFit® Open 18.3 - The Workout:


2 RFT: 14 Min Cap

  • 100 DU
  • 20 OHS (115/80)
  • 100 DU
  • 12 RMU
  • 100 DU
  • 20 DB Snatch (50/35)
  • 100 DU
  • 12 BMU


2 RFT: 14 Min Cap

  • 100 SU
  • 20 OHS (45/35)
  • 100 SU
  • 12 Chin Over Bar Pull Ups
  • 100 SU
  • 20 DB Snatch (35/20)
  • 100 SU
  • 12 Chin Over Bar Pull Ups


2 RFT: 14 Min Cap

  • 100 DU
  • 20 OHS (*/*)
  • 100 DU
  • 12 RMU/C2B pull-ups*
  • 100 DU
  • 20 DB Snatch (*/*)
  • 100 DU
  • 12 BMU/C2B pull-ups*

*Dependent on age group

For a complete standards guide, please visit

CrossFit® Open 18.3 - Strategy:

  1. Don’t come out too hot. Your shoulders will be on fire if you go too hard for too long too early in the WOD. Chances are, you'll need them fresh to get some muscle ups done.
  2. Set the bar low for yourself and celebrate small wins. If you’ve never done 100 DU unbroken before, today’s not the day to try. If your best set ever is 50 unbroken, then set a goal for a few sets of about 35. Keep your confidence up and don't get frustrated if you trip more than you want.
  3. There’s no shame in singles for any of the gymnastic movements. If you can get one RMU/BMU at a time, we still encourage you to Rx this WOD! Never done a muscle up before, but you think you're close....? Keep reading 🙂
  4. The difference between 0 Ring Muscle Ups and 1 will be TENS OF THOUSANDS of places on the leaderboard. So if you think you can get at least one - go for it (safely of course).


Fault Fixers: Beat your sticking point!

As a special thanks for reading this guide, we’ve decided to share some videos from our paid coaching courses. If you didn’t know, we have paid accessory programming and video coaching for Double Unders, Ring Muscle Ups, and Bar Muscle Ups (and several other movements). We hope that you can use these specially selected videos to improve your score, but if you’d like to support WODprep and get the full courses, we 100% guarantee that they’ll help you improve.

*The below videos have never been released to the public, and they're only available inside of our 8-week paid coaching courses. These from our “Fault Fixer” series, where we break down the most common movement mistakes and show you exactly how to fix them.*

(Ring) Muscle Up Madness - Fault Fixer Video:

Bar Muscle Up Mastery - Fault Fixer Video:

Double Unders Unleashed - Fault Fixer Video:

CrossFit® Open 18.3 - Mindset:

  • Highly technical movements have a subtle way of exposing even the best athletes. Control your mind. Don’t let your failed grip, rope trip, or misstep put your mind on tilt. 
  • Relax. You might try to speed through a stronger movement to make up for time lost on a weak movement. Approach every movement as a new task that needs to be chipped away at, 1 rep at a time. Keep breathing.

CrossFit® Open 18.3 - Movements:

Double Unders

  • Keep your cool. There are 800 DUs in this WOD (hypothetically). Going unbroken the whole way through would be somewhat of a miracle. If you trip, gather yourself and just start again! 
  • Don’t get frustrated, don’t get in your own head. Chip away. 
  • Breathing is key, listen to the rope.

Overhead Squat

  • Keep it smooth, slow, and steady. Avoid resting with the bar overhead. Drop the bar if you have to. 
  • Pull the bar back, start with your butt back, and lock your shoulders out to stay balanced through the squat.

Ring Muscle Ups

  • Don’t go to failure - singles are going to be smart for most people.
  • If you’re going to break, try to make it a negative split: 7/5, 5/4/3. 4,3,3,2. 
  • Use boxes to drop into reps if possible.

DB Snatch

  • There’s no shame in placing the DB down to switch hands. This isn't where the workout is won.
  • Be sure you’re keeping your opposite hand off of your leg - don’t get no repped.

Bar Muscle Ups

  • Singles here will save your hands as well as your stamina.
  • Just like RMU’s, use the box drop-in method, or the hollow hop-in method. 

CrossFit® Open 18.3 - Gear

  • Taped rings: If you are looking for your first muscle up and will be utilizing the false grip, then taping the rings will help a TON for extra grip and pulling power. I wouldn’t use this if you’ll be doing multiple kipping reps, but will work great for singles.
  • Taped bar: Whether it’s BMU (Rx) or pull-ups (scaled), a taped bar will help you hold onto the bar much easier. BE CAREFUL though, this can cause your hands to rip really easily.
  • Gymnastic grips: You CANNOT use gymnastic grips if you tape the bar (according to the rules), so if you choose gymnastic grips, make sure your bar isn’t taped. I’d only use grips if it’s something you are already used to.

Additional Resources From WODprep:

Before You Leave:

Thanks for reading our CrossFit® Open 18.3 Complete Strategy Guide. We look forward to seeing you again next week. Before you go, we ask that you do three things:

  1. Leave a comment after hitting 18.3 - 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 18.3 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.

  • Just finished the WOD. Was taken by surprise by how heavy the OHS was. We usually Rx at 95 in my gym, but still wasn’t expecting to have to clean the bar and then back rack it.

    Im good (self-proclaimed) at DU but had to break 2 times each set. Usually around the 40 and 70 mark.

    Using a box to “drop in” to MUs was a GAME CHANGER for me. Made it so much easier.

    I was dropping the DB from
    Overhead and let it get away from me every rep. Terrible strategy, but in the moment I was basically hoping the DB disappeared into the floor because I didn’t want to do another rep. Hook grip helped. So did dipping under.

    • Thanks for sharing, Sunny. Good to hear the drop-in technique worked well on those muscle ups. Hope your story can help a couple others dial in their movements and crush this one!

    • I’m going to say that this might be considered “uncommon”. However if you really need help with the OHS, you could always change into lifters if you think it will help THAT much. My guess is that this would be a big time waste, though. Try them with your normal shoes and see what happens!

      • I’m using lifting shoes for the OHS as that is my weakness. I was planning to remove them & go socks only after the OHS 2nd round because of the extra weight of the shoes. I’m good on all the other movements. What is your opinion on this strategy, Ben?

      • Coaches said no go. Not legal. I went without them and did just fine, and 115 is on the heavier side. I think it did force me to warm up better and get loose, especially the ankles.

        Ben, watched your overhead squat video, the butt back tip REALLY helped! Thanks as always!

  • I’ve never overhead squatted 80lbs. My 1RM is 70lbs. I am proficiant at dubs though. Would probably be able to finish the first 100 within 2 minutes. Do you think I should still go RX and just spend the rest of the time trying to get at least 1 OHS? Or should I scale?

    • I’d go RX! My guess is that you can do more than you think with your OHS. Try cleaning the barbell to your shoulders, pressing to your back, then get your hands in a strong OHS position and push press the bar from behind the neck. You might surprise yourself and knock out several reps!

      • Just wanted to get back to you on my results. I did go RX as you suggested, and yes, I was able to do all OHS. It took a while, but not as long as I thought it would… Finally got stuck at ring muscle ups! But super proud of myself nevertheless! #theopenmakesyoustronger

    • This is me exactly! I did the workout scaled Friday and it was so easy. I may try again on Monday and do it RX. But my max is 70 too

    • Find a good breathing pattern and stick to it. Don’t try to be the world’s fastest, but stay in your rhythm and remember to use your legs!

  • Great tips, thank you Ben! For the women’s OHS, do you recommend that we use a 45# bar or can we use a 33# bar, even if that only gets us to 78#? In the workout description, it says the minimum acceptable weight in kilograms is 15kg (35#) but technically a 15kg bar is 33# and not 35# like they have in the notes.

    • 15kg bar is generally accepted as 35lbs in the CrossFit world (even though it’s really 33lbs) You’ll be fine using that, Beth!

  • Tried Scaled on Friday, spent 12 minutes trying to get that bloody pull-up. I was really close, at least I felt I was, any tips on getting closer to the bar?

    I liked the idea of ‘stepping into’ the swing like you demonstrated for 18.1 and the TTB; would a similar strategy work for pull-ups?

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