Crossfit 18.1 Modification and Review

As I mentioned in the video On Sunday I completed 18.1 as prescribed for men and completed 328 repetitions.Each round consisted of 8 Toes to Bar (8 repetitions), 5 – 50 pound dumbbell hanging clean and jerks each arm (10 repetitions) and a 14 calorie row (14 repetitions). In the video I think I said snatches but that was incorrect. Feel free to go to and review the terminology and standards. In total each round consists of 32 repetitions. So, I completed 10 rounds and 8 Toes to Bar. It definitely elevated my heart rate and was really tough.The biggest obstacle was the nagging pain in my forearms. It wasn’t muscle failure but felt like more of a tendon issue and caused me to slow down a bit. I love pushing the pace, elevating my heart rate and driving my muscles to failure but I don’t want to do exercises repetitively that may cause me to harm tendons, ligaments or joints. I had a similar issue some time back due to performing a large volume of power cleans and muscle ups. It felt like early stages of tendinitis.

Tendinitis is most often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the affected area, or from a sudden more serious injury. So, I certainly do not want to develop a repetitive use injury like tendinitis when I can get the same benefit doing less aggressive movements and exercises. So, I modified the muscle up circuit and exercises minimizing stress on my tendons and getting the same fitness benefit, took it easy for a bit and allowed myself to recover.

Keeping that in mind I decided to make this video regarding 18.1 and offer an alternative so that participants can still do the same volume of work and move the stress elsewhere. There are several modifications provided by the CrossFit Community for the Toes to Bar so you can research that on your own. Rowing is rowing. Just slow down if you need too. For the clean and jerks it was suggested simply lower the weight. Personally, I did not want to lower the weight. My muscles and heart are strong enough to handle it. The issue for me is the tendons in my forearm.

So, instead of doing 5 – 50 pound snatches each arm for a total of 10 snatches per round. I elected to do 20 – 25/25 pound two arm overhead dumbbell presses each round for a total of 40 overhead presses total.

I consider the power cleans to have two actions or motions per repetition. Basically, in a the weight travels twice as far as an overhead dumbbell press. So, even though I lowered the weight by half for the dumbbell press I doubled the repetitions.
It is basically the same volume work:
50 pounds x 2 actions x 10 repetitions = 1000 pounds / set
25 pounds x 1 action x 40 repetitions = 1000 pounds / set

So, the modified round consisted of 8 Toes to Bar (8 repetitions), 20 – 25/25 pound dumbbell hanging clean and jerks each arm (10 repetitions) and a 14 calorie row (14 repetitions).

It took a bit longer per set primarily because my shoulders got smoked and I could not complete all 20 repetitions in a row after the 5th round. I had to take a slight break to allow my shoulders to recover. I ended up doing 306 repetitions. Basically, I lost a round. My forearms felt great and I believe my shoulders will get over it. I feel like I could push the pace on this workout and not experience abnormal pain or discomfort.

Have a great day!
Coach Tim Garrett

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