For the final week of the Reebok CrossFit Games Open, we were given the opportunity to “pick our poison.” We had our choice between three previous Open workouts: 11.6/12.5, 13.5, and 14.2. The 7-minute AMRAP of ascending-rep thrusters and chest-to-bar pull-ups was the lesser of the evils according to the majority of the 300,000+ who made up the voting community. This gave us the first “three-peat” in Open history. It also kept the streak of always finishing the Open with thrusters alive.
We last saw this workout in the 2012 Open, and a lot has changed in the CrossFit community since then. Are we fitter as a community than we were in 2012? This is a tough question because, although the top athletes continue to improve, this effect is tempered by the huge influx of newer CrossFit athletes who haven’t had the opportunity to make the same leaps as the seasoned athletes—yet.
Overall, the 2018 Open had five times as many participants as 2012. The best athletes in 2018 are significantly fitter than the best of 2012. The top Rx’d score for men this year was 198 reps (that’s hitting 6 of the 24 chest-to-bar pull-ups), compared to 163 reps in 2012. The top Rx’d score for women was a mind-blowing 201 reps (9 of the 24 chest-to-bar pull-ups), compared to 173 reps in 2012.
18.5 by the Numbers
Among competitors aged 18-34, 89 percent of men and 63 percent of women attempted the Rx’d version of 18.5, compared to 82 percent and 59 percent last week, respectively.
The chest-to-bar pull-ups served as a slight roadblock for some athletes, but an impressive 88 percent of Rx’d women and 99 percent of Rx’d men performed at least 10 chest-to-bar pull-ups during 18.5.
This week, being in the 50th percentile for the Rx’d workout meant completing 88 reps for the men (13 of the 15 chest-to-bar pull-ups) and 75 reps for the women (15 of the 15 thrusters). You had to get into the round of 21 to really get ahead of the pack. Getting in the 95th percentile for the Rx’d workout required 135 reps for the men (9 of the 21 thrusters) and 124 reps for the women (16 of the 18 chest-to-bar pull-ups).
There was a little bump at 3 thrusters for Rx’d women, indicating that a small percentage of athletes without chest-to-bar pull-ups still opted to do the Rx’d workout. If you look closely, you can see that on each round after the first, significantly more women got held up by the pull-ups compared to the thrusters. This suggests that for most women, the chest-to-bar pull-ups were more challenging. On the men’s side, the distributions are much smoother and seem to indicate that chest-to-bar pull-ups weren’t as big of a factor for them.
Below are the percentile tables for all divisions on 18.5. You can see the breakdown of what reps you had to get to achieve a particular percentile for your division. For example, for Masters Men 35-39, a score of 110 reps would put you in the 90th percentile.
On the left side of the table, you can see the percentage of athletes who did the Rx’d and Scaled versions of the workout in each division. The percentile tables are calculated by comparing each division and version of the workout. This differs from the percentiles you’ll see in the CrossFit Games app, which shows you your overall percentile in your division against both Rx’d and Scaled competitors.
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Cover image: Courtesy of Emily Andres