18.4 Recap: The Upside-down

Time called: Thoughts on the 2018 Open Competition

March 27, 2018 Comments (0) All Posts, Tips & Inspiration

18.5 Recap: A familiar end

It’s done. 18.5 calls time on the 2018 Open and boy was it a finale!

In yet another Open first, the choice of this year’s final installment of the competition was given to the community: repeat 11.6, 13.5 or 14.2…

A repeat was certainly due this year.  After all the introductions in the first 4 workouts, an opportunity to see improvements, compete against yourself and return to a familiar format was welcome. That said the choice of workouts was cruel.

Pull-ups and thrusters were notable absentees in workouts 18.1 to 18.4 so it was to be expected that they would appear in some combination in 18.5. Indeed 11.6 and 13.5 were comprised solely of those 2 movements. 14.2 offered a let-off for those who dread the thruster but the overhead squat substitution provided no escape for the legs.

After a live vote, 11.6 was the choice: a 7-minute ladder of thrusters and chest-to-bar pull-ups, ascending in multiples of 3.  

An adaptation of probably the most famous Crossfit workout ‘Fran’, 11.6, while relatively short in its time cap, was devastating on both the lungs and the body. In all reality there wasn’t much advice that could be offered in this workout other then hold on and breath through the top of the thrusters!

First to betray us were the arms. After only a few rounds of the couplet, the pulling and pushing of the two movements generated enough lactic to make even the Hulk’s arms feel like jelly. The legs followed soon after.

While the lateral movement in this workout was minimal (limited to the transition from the bars to the ring) you did have an important choice to make with your shoes.

Athletes who struggle with the thruster (or squatting in general) might have chosen a lifter in 18.5/11.6. The raised heel would have certainly made hitting the standard of hips below knee more attainable by compensating for ankle mobility and altering the angle of the shin. That said however, many lifters are heavy – seriously heavy.

A heavy shoe would have been punishing on the pull-up portion of the workout so those capable of thrusters in lighter shoes should have steered clear of their lifters.

Our lifting shoe, the Fastlift BOA 400, is one of the lightest available, making it a sound choice for those who struggle with squatting movements but don’t want to be held back on gymnastics and plyometrics movements in the same WOD. The flexible forefoot even allows wearers to do box jumps and double-unders in them with comfort – after all it is a shoe designed for functional fitness and not weight lifting alone. Perhaps it’s the shoe for next time 11.6/18.5 rolls around!


If making the thruster standard doesn’t phase you then a light, dependable shoe like our F-LITE 260 or 235 was for you. The power feel in the F-LITE 235 maximises power transfer on movements like the thruster, reducing energy wasted. If you want a little more protection and breathability however the F-LITE 260 KNIT was for you – the knitted upper providing a great membrane through which to lose excess heat.


Whatever your footwear choice in 18.5, or all the Open workouts for that matter, we hope we’ve given you some advice for the future!

We’ll be posting a review of the Open soon where we’ll wrap up all the highlights and controversies of next year so stay tuned for a piece on our thoughts on the entire competition!

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