After waking up on Friday morning I didn’t have a clue what to expect. There was talk of a 16.1 repeat but with the dumbbell and also a 17.1 repeat with the new burpee and dumbbell standards. How wrong was everyone?

First thoughts

Castro did it again. 18.1 wasn’t anything which anyone was expecting. For one it included a new movement (the hang dumbbell clean and jerk) and was paired with two other traditionally grippy elements – toes to bar and rowing. With the gripyness in this workout came nerves for me. I haven’t been able to condition my grip in the buildup to the Open due to a shoulder injury. However, I was feeling good and wanted to attack this one from the start under the Friday night lights at Form Leeds.

18.1 is:

20-minute AMRAP

–    8 toes to bar

–    10 hang dumbbell squat snatch (5+5) @ 22.5kg

–    14/12 calorie row

Photo 23-02-2018, 21 47 58
Working through the hang dumbbell clean and jerk

My strategy

I knew it was going to be grippy so I decided to go two sets of 4 on the toes to bar, but then ensured that I went unbroken on the hang cleans. The Open is a long 5-weeks, so looking after your hands is vital. I prefer to use the material 2-fingered Jawgrips, but you may have your own preference. I also knew my calories per hour on the rower would drop at some point so I gave myself the target of 1300 minimum, but 1400 for the duration.

My equipment was close together to avoid wasting time on transitions. In total I did 37 transitions and so saving one second per transition could be the difference between an average and decent score.

After my warm up I figured out that starting with your dominant arm on the dumbbell hang cleans was the way to go after your set of toes to bar. This way your forearm pump is being dealt with by your stronger arm and your less dominant arm gets time to rest.

To start and finish strong was important, as this is what I’m good at. My plan was to go out hard, re-evaluate after three rounds, hold on and then pull the pin after round 10 and finish strong.

If you’re going to rest do it on the rower not between toes to bar or dumbbell hang clean sets. Move through these quickly, as this is where the most time is saved in transitions.

The workout

It started off well with a 1:20 round (maybe a little too fast) but this set me up and put me ahead of the pace I wanted to achieve. I knew this pace would inevitably drop after round 3, but was happy to push early on. After round 4 the workout turned into a blur through to round 10 when I picked up the pace. It got mentally tough really quick and this workout doesn’t only test physical fitness but also what’s between your ears. It’s mentally draining. I stuck to my strategy and it paid off. However, that said, my rowing dropped off through rounds 7-9, but the monitor didn’t dip below 1300.

On round 10 I gave it my all and managed the last two rounds in 2:50 to ensure I managed 12 rounds.

Photo 23-02-2018, 21 59 01
Man down! Kev thinks it’s funny…

To conclude

I don’t yet know whether to do it again. But the plan is on Monday to go head-to-head against Rhi Pearson at the Kitbox equipment shoot in Manchester. It will be a fun workout to do against Rhi and hopefully we can recover in time to put two more serious scores forward. The atmosphere at Form Leeds was electric and so it will be hard to replicate this, but I’m sure the team will do their best!

If you haven’t done it yet, stay mentally strong between minutes 10 and 15. Enjoy yourself, it’s three simple movements, don’t overthink it and have fun.





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