Crossfit Open 18.3 Strategy

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2018 Reebok CrossFit Open 18.3 Strategies
Let’s call it “Death by Double-Unders”


Directly from the Crossfit Games website:

This workout begins with the barbell and dumbbell on the floor, and the athlete standing tall with a jump rope in hand. After the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete will have 14 minutes (time cap) to complete:

2 Rounds for Time:

100 x Double-Unders

20 x OHS

100 x Double-Unders

12 x ring muscle-ups

100 x Double-Unders

20 x dumbbell snatches

100 x Double-Unders

12 x bar muscle-ups

Men perform 115-lb. OHS, 50-lb. DB snatches


This workout is over when the athlete completes all the required work prior to 14 minutes or the 14-minute time cap expires. The athlete’s score is the time it takes to complete the workout, or the number of repetitions completed up to the cutoff time.

Big Picture:

18.3 is a muscle fatigue workout that forces you to be controlled at an elevated heart rate. Below are the leader’s splits during the Neal Maddox & Kyle Kasperbauer Live Announcement as well as American Gainz Athlete, Bethany Shadburne, and Houston’s own Games Veteran, Travis Williams.


Maddox vs. Kasperbauer:

Round 1:

100 x Double-Unders - 00:50

20 x OHS - 01:23

100 x Double-Unders - 02:23

12 x ring muscle-ups - 03:20 (broke @ 7 reps)

100 x Double-Unders - 04:34

20 x dumbbell snatches - 05:27

100 x Double-Unders - 09:29

12 x bar muscle-ups - 07:47 (broke @ 6 reps)


Round 2:

100 x Double-Unders - 09:29

20 x OHS - 10:15

100 x Double-Unders - 12:12

12 x ring muscle-ups 13:41 (broke @ 4-6-8-10 reps)


Bethany Shadburne & Travis Williams

Round 1:

100 x Double-Unders :54

20 x OHS 1:33

100 x Double-Unders 2:37

12 x ring muscle-ups 3:27 UB Travis / 3:50 Bethany (Broke Once)

100 x Double-Unders 4:37 Travis / 5:00 Bethany

20 x dumbbell snatches 5:35 Travis / 6:10 Bethany

100 x Double-Unders 6:45 Travis / 7:17 Bethany

12 x bar muscle-ups 7:44 Travis / 8:30 Bethany


Round 2:

100 x Double-Unders 8:56 Travis / 10:08 Bethany

20 x OHS 10:00 Travis / 11:03 Bethany

100 x Double-Unders 11:10 Travis / 12:30 Bethany

12 x Ring Muscle Ups (Broke @ 7) 12:32 Travis

100 x Double-Unders 13:50 Travis


Based on the data above, we just don’t see an athlete finishing this workout. These athletes tonight are among the fittest in the sport and even they were several minutes away from coming close. If you saw Travis, he didn’t break on anything the first round and got off the bar MUs @ ~ 07:45. Plus, to complete Round 1 under 7 minutes is one thing, however to finish the 2nd round holding the same flawless pace would be pure fantasy.  However, there's always some athlete out there that can go UB on all movements and perform 100 dubs under 40 seconds, so there's still a chance.

To gauge your score or establish your target reps for this workout, we think the leaderboard come Monday will look something like this:

Elite Men: > 696 Reps Men (Finishing on DU’s after RMU)

Elite Women: > 690 Women (Working through 1/2 the RMU on the 2nd round)

Regional Contention (top 50 in the region): > 684 Reps for Men & Women

Top 1,000 Men should get to the DUs after the 2nd round of OHS.


Table for reference:

Finishing Round 1: 464 Reps

Finishing 100 x Dubs: 564 Reps

Finishing 20   x OHS: 584 Reps

Finishing 100 x Dubs:  684 Reps

Finishing 12   x Ring Mus: 696 Reps (Kasperbauer & Bethany 693 reps)

Finishing 100 x Dubs: 796 Reps (Neal Maddox 720 Reps)

Finishing 20   x DB snatch 816 Reps (Travis Williams 801 Reps)

Finishing 100 x Dubs: 916 Reps

Finishing 12   x Bar Mus 928 Reps

Beyond this, it will be too much of a guess to determine how athletes within each Region have progressed with muscle ups. But we imagine a ton of athletes, that were until now able to compete in the Rx division, may find racing 200 double-unders and performing 20 OHS as fast as possible all so you can spend the rest of the permitted time staring at a couple of rings, to be a bit dull.

It's extremely difficult to gauge the women in the region. At this point, some of the fittest in the top hundred may or may not have a high volume of ring mu in their bag of tricks.  The Ring Mu is the main concern for 90% of us, Men & Women - just facts.  A ton of people will really begin their all-out sprint to gain reps the second they finish their 1st round of 12 ring Mu's.


If your trying to determine whether to go Rx or Scaled, optimistically the Scaled division is an all-out engine workout, where the Rx Division allows all kinds of PRs to be reached whether it’s the number of double-unders or getting your 1st muscle up.  Might as well go for it!!!

General Strategy

So, this workout is all about settling into a heart rate that allows minimal breaks in your double under strategy. It is all about the double-unders - easily 4-6 minutes is spent on DUs for a single round IF you are efficient. Notice how we said, “double under strategy”, as if there were more options than attempting to go UB for each set!

For the clear majority of us, planning to break DU’s is by far the smartest decision we can make. This is especially true if your Ring Muscle Ups get sketchy when your heart rate is elevated. Pushing to go unbroken on DU’s when you’re too fatigued to work smoothly through muscle ups is not an ideal approach to take on this workout.

However, starting out slowly and ensuring minimal time is spent on the rings may be a great strategy for heavier athletes or athletes less confident in their gymnastics abilities. We do recommend this if you don’t have a fresh unbroken set of Muscle Ups of at least 9.

If fresh, you can stick 10-15 UB Muscle ups, consider breaking like Neal and Kyle did, into 2 sets on Round 1 of the RMU.

If you have ~30 UB muscle ups like a Travis Williams, well 12 reps even fatigued then becomes manageable.

The good thing about double-unders, is that most people break naturally when they need to.  When you are so beat down that you can't string these together, you need to reset, breath, and try to stay as relaxed as possible.  Double-unders are a lot like running or swimming. Find that absolute dead man pace that keeps the reps coming while you're hanging out in the pain cave.

Lastly, it’s important to shoot for a realistic target.  Most of competitive men will get through the last round of Ring Muscle ups. After that, it’s going to be a straight fight to gain as many reps as possible to differentiate your score.  As for women, the biggest differentiator is going to be ring mu on that second round.  If you can get through 1/2 of them, you are among the most elite.


OHS - RMU - DB Snatches - BMU

As far as the other movements, it’s not about heavy loads or super high volume. These other movements only hurt because of your double-under execution. These movements, paired with this rep scheme, seem very appealing and even easily conquered. However, all these movements will just compound on the burn caused from all the double-unders, so get mentally prepared to feel it.

One way to think about this is to treat each of these movements in terms of the acid build up one would feel if trying to bite off the movement entirely UB. Well, if you can’t recover from 20 OHS unbroken from the time you drop the bar and pick up the jump rope, chances are your double-unders are about to suffer with several unplanned breaks. It’s important to note that double-unders will not allow you to recover, so take your time before picking up the rope if you had to red line to get there.

Whatever time you didn't take breaking on OHS at least once (assuming you are not a top 50 athlete), times that time by ~5 and that's the time you will spend looking at the rings to pay for you red lining the OHS.


It pays to be efficient when there are 400 reps of a single movement per round. This said, the key to double-undering fatigue is to stay relaxed and fall into a rhythm. If you feel your midline breaking, knees coming up, big arm circles, you may be red lining. So, don’t red line. Plan your breaks and breath.

Ok well tonight was a blast! We loved being at the announcement and supporting our Houston community!!! We will keep this page as up to date with the latest strategies and tips the community discovers between tonight and the 18.3 submission deadline. Until then, best of luck and try to hit this one hard the first time to avoid an unnecessary repeat. GOOD LUCK!!!


~ American GAINZ Nutrition

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