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18.2 Recap: Fire and a Footwear Conundrum

In the second week of the Open we were asked to suffer, and suffer we did.


Director of the Crossfit Games, Dave Castro, could not be more accurate than when he posted a picture of burning embers last Wednesday in his weekly hint as to the next Open workout in the series. Indeed, 18.2 set muscles on fire and reduced legs to cinder.


The second installment of the 2018 Open series had athletes complete a 1-10 ascending ladder of dumbbell squats and bar-facing burpees. The 12 minute given time-cap to complete the couplet however seemed generous, and for good reason. In addition to the squats and burpees Castro introduced 18.2a, a one-rep max clean completed in the time athletes had remaining after finishing 18.2.


The two part workout examined strength under fatigue – something rarely tested in typical programming – and provided something for everyone. Larger, more powerful athletes had to get through the demanding metcon portion of the workout before unleashing on the barbell while leaner, perhaps better conditioned, athletes had to post a heavy enough clean in 18.2a for their quicker 18.2 times to elevate them on the leaderboard.

The top athletes were able to complete 18.2 well under 5 minutes, giving them sufficient time to regain their breath before moving on to 18.2a. Some, including Patrick Vellner even chose to change into their lifters for the second part of the workout, expending valuable time in doing so.


While those fit enough to complete 18.2 before the halfway point of the time cap had the luxury of being able to change shoes, for the majority of us 18.2 and 18.2a posed a footwear conundrum. The first part of the workout suited a lighter, more agile shoe that would not feel cumberson on the burpees. In contrast however, 18.2a called for an out-and-out lifter that could provide stability under the heavy barbell.


Athletes completing 18.2 above the 7-minute mark were pressed for time if they wanted to hit several clean attempts, so a footwear change may have not been possible. They thus had to choose one: a lighter, more flexible shoe, like the F-LITE 235, or a sturdier, specialist lifter, like the FASTLIFT BOA 400.


Each has their merits in this workout: the sticky sole compound and lightweight construction of the F-LITE 235 would aid traction and minimise additional weight carried in the burpees but the raised heel and security provided by the BOA system in the  FASTLIFT BOA 400 would help to hit strong positions in the clean.

Neither footwear strategy appeared to win over the other in 18.2 but picking a shoe that played complimented personal strengths and helped mellow weaknesses seemed the best tactic. For those however with a hybrid shoe in their arsenal, such as the F-LITE 275, this was certainly the day to get it out. Combining elements of a lifter and more standard trainer, the hybrid is a useful addition to any fitness enthusiasts collection for when workouts such as this come up!


Be sure to let us know what style of shoe you chose for 18.2/2a and what you chose for the next Open workouts.

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