CrossFit Open Workout 18.4: Tips & Strategies

The 2018 CrossFit Open is upon us! With only 2 weeks left, take a look at the strategy guides for 18.1, 18.2 and 18.2a, and 18.3. Check back next week for 18.5!

For those of you living under a fitness rock, the CrossFit Open is the annual online competition that is the first step for qualifying for the 2018 CrossFit Games.

Athletes must complete each of the 5 workouts between Thursday evening and Monday night. You can learn more about the CrossFit Open and CrossFit games here.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 18.4 CrossFit Open workout. Before you dive in, check this out; 4 Tips To Dominate The CrossFit Open guide.

This week’s guide features 2 prep tips and 3 strategy pieces for a workout that will truly separate the big dogs from the athletes who still need to put in some work.

This is the biggest test of strength and skill we’ve seen so far through 4 weeks of the 2018 CrossFit Open.

Good luck!

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Workout- CrossFit Open 18.4

CrossFit Open workout 18.4 is “Diane” combined

This workout incorporates 3 different movements with deadlifts that increase in weight. CrossFit Open workout 18.4 is as follows:

  • 21 deadlifts, 225lbs
  • 21 handstand push-ups
  • 15 deadlifts, 225lbs
  • 15 handstand push-ups
  • 9 deadlifts, 225lbs
  • 9 handstand push-ups
  • 21 deadlifts, 315lb
  • 50-ft handstand walk
  • 15 deadlifts, 315lbs
  • 50 ft handstand walk
  • 9 deadlifts, 315lbs
  • 50-ft handstand walk

*9 minute time cap.

Movement Standards

Take note:

Must establish a footline on the handstand push-up with your judge.

You must measure the distance from your elbow to fist, then use half that distance as your line for handstand pushups


You can find all the scaled requirements here.

Preparing For CrossFit Open Workout 18.4

Here are 2 things you can do to prepare yourself for CrossFit Open workout 18.4:

#1. Is this workout “Diane” for you, or is it 18.4?

With a shorter cap than any other workout yet in the 2018 CrossFit Open, the clock is against you if you struggle with handstand push-ups.

Similar to CrossFit Open 18.3, it is better for you as an athlete to acknowledge your skill set and be realistic about where you might finish. If you’ve never completed Diane RX’d before, then that can be your new goal.

Mentally preparing yourself this way will help you pace the workout appropriately.

That said, if your HSPU are solid, think about how you’ll do with the high rep deadlifts at 315lbs and handstand walks.

#2. Use tape to measure everything.

Even if you have to go buy a $5 roll of tape from the store, it will be worth it to have clearly established lines for the handstand push-ups and handstand walks.

Using chalk is fine, but if you aren’t liberal with your application, it could wear off or the lines could be tough to see with all the other athletes at your box performing the workout, too.

Also, read the movement standards in full for 18.4. They are more in-depth than some of the others this year and you don’t want to disqualify your score.

3 Tips To Max Out Your CrossFit Open 18.4 and 18.4 Score

Here are 3 tips for maxing out your score on CrossFit Open workout 18.4.

Tip #1: Get even 5ft on the handstand walk.

Just like last week, thousands of people are going to be stymied by the skill it takes to perform a handstand walk.

If your deadlifts are solid, and you know you’ll get through Diane with some time to spare, getting the first 5 feet scored for your handstand walks should be your goal.

Because many people can’t perform handstand walks at all, even scoring a distance of 5 feet will likely separate you between 2,000-5,000 spots on the leaderboard.

Tip #2: Break up the 21 and 15 sets of deadlifts.

Not just on the 315lb deadlifts, either. Unless you deadlift 500lbs+ for reps, you’ll be better served breaking up the deadlifts and keeping your heart rate down in between sets.

Anyone that has done Diane before will tell you the kick up out of the bottom of the handstand gets more difficult as your legs fatigue from the deadlifts.

If you’re going to get stuck breaking up handstand push-ups anyway, you might as well take small breaks so you can generate more power on your kick up.

For the 21s, you might go 11,10 or 7, 7, 7 on the 315lbs. For the 15s, go 8,7 or 5, 5, 5.

Tip #3: Don’t fail on the handstand push-ups in the first round.

Especially if you’re a bigger athlete, pacing the handstand push-ups is going to be your best bet for finishing or scoring well on 18.4. Accumulate small sets of 3-4 if you have to.

The worst thing you can do is bust out a max set of 15 on round 1. Maybe that’s a PR, but you’ll be stuck doing singles for the rest of the round and wasting time. It might also fry your shoulders enough that the next round you are stuck doing sets of 3-4 anyway.

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18.4 Live Annoucement

We’ll have you covered with a strategy guide for all 5 CrossFit Open workouts. Tune in next week for the final 2018 CrossFit Open workout guide covering 18.5.

Good luck on CrossFit Open workout 18.4!