Morning Chalk Up

Saudi Arabian CrossFit as a Female

September 28, 2017 BY Morning Chalk Up
Saudi Arabian CrossFit as a Female
Photo Credit: Gulf News

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. As hard as it is to believe, our team currently sits in 15th place in Southern California in the Team Series. Who would have thought?!

Today’s edition is sponsored by Athex, the training tool athletes need to improve their fitness and connect with the community. Looking for the perfect way to record all your WODs and track your progress with friends? Download the free Athex iOS app and start logging and building your community today.

P.S. We hope your Thursday is going a little better than this.


“Winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.” — Vince Lombardi 



This has been a solid week for empowering Saudi Arabian women and Amal Baatia is who we’re raising our glass to today. She’s the first Saudi female CrossFit coach — not first CrossFit coach in Saudi Arabia, nor first female CrossFit coach in Saudi Arabia, but first female Saudi Arabian CrossFit coach.
There’s a distinction and it’s important.

Oh and the mother of two used to be a big time investment banker but gave that up to promote CrossFit in Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia is ruled under Shariah law, which basically puts a female’s independence on par with the Taliban and ISIS. To say they’re restrictive would be an understatement; women cannot travel abroad, work or undergo some medical procedures without the consent of their male “guardian,” among a host of other rules. They aren’t even allowed PE at school.

Get this, the King just announced on Tuesday that the kingdom would finally allow women to drive. Tuesday, as in like a couple days ago. Granted, it won’t go into effect until June, but progress is progress, right?

So you can see how a sport that literally empowers women to hold their heads higher, carry her own groceries or suitcases might — how do we put this — go against the social grain.


Amal tried CrossFit for the first time in Dubai in early 2014 with some friends. After one sip of the CrossFit Kool-Aid she was hooked. When she returned to Saudi Arabia she learned as much as possible about the sport and traveled abroad to get her L1 and L2.

Amal has totally changed the game as Saudi Arabia’s first female CrossFit coach and is now determined to show other Saudi women how empowering physical strength and ability can really be.

“Being strong and healthy is the most amazing feeling that any woman can have,” she told Emirates Woman. “That feeling comes every time you can rely on yourself, when you can carry all your heavy shopping bags from the supermarket or lift your own overloaded luggage at the airport.”

Talk about women supporting other women. Hell yeah, Amal. Who run da world?



ROUNDUP — Jeff Evans’ goal is to hit a 600 pound back squat and 500 pound front squat by the end of 2017. Dave Lipson — AKA Camille Leblanc-Bazinet’shubby — squats 415 pounds for a 20 rep max. Melissa Doss finally gets her boot offFLASHBACK to June 12 when she broke her ankle after falling from the peg board and was unable to compete with CrossFit Maximus at the CrossFit Games. Colleen Fotsch cycles some hang power cleans at 210 poundsMattie Rogers is not satisfied being stronger than most humans, she also needs to put our gymnastics to total shame.

Footwear News profiles 15 female athletes that are changing the way people look at fitness…#2 Camille Leblanc-Bazinet: “Sport taught me about losing, being patient, determination and discipline. It taught me life lessons I didn’t get from other things. It also taught me to value myself by my effort and what I bring to the table, and all of that transferred to other areas of my life.”

TEAM SERIES — Week 2 WODs are finally out and you’ve got until Monday, October 2 at 5 PM Pacific to tackle these four WODs and submit your scores. Seriously though, these looks like a ton of fun!

FUN FACT — Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir’s Team Series team is the first team to have two back-to-back CrossFit Games champions. We want to see Fraser team up with Froning #ForReelzTho.

THOROWBACK THURSDAY — Mattie Rogers, 4 years ago when she was only 17-years-old, hitting a 123 pound clean and jerk PR.


WATCH: The Hardest Part is Just Walking in the Door
Stephanie had just given birth to her fourth child when she lost her sister to cancer. On top of that she found out she had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder which was causing Stephanie all sorts of physical ailments. It’s safe to say she was in a dark place. After her and her husband decided to give it a try, everything started changing.

EAT: Loaded Breakfast Fries
These Loaded Breakfast Fries are essentially all our breakfast dreams come true. With crispy seasoned fries, sausage, avocado, onions, egg, and a cilantro hollandaise sauce, this breakfast bowl is a great way to get a tasty, fun meal on the table.

BUY: Train. Recover. Drink Wine.
It’s the end of the season, and you can pick up any of Margaux Alvarez’s vino-inspired tanks and tees for 15% off with code “HARVEST17.” And if you didn’t already know, she owns a vineyard and it’s pretty darn good.


STORY SERIES: How has CrossFit helped you achieve a goal?

“At age 47, I was in the worst shape of my life. I was the heaviest I had ever been, and struggled to run even 200 meters. As a nurse, I knew I had to make a decision to avoid being like the patients I cared for. I started CrossFit with a goal of being in better shape by the time I turned 50. I am happy to report that because of CrossFit, by my 50th birthday I was 70 pounds lighter, went from a size 18 to size 4, rode in a 160 mile bike ride, and am able to perform many of the WODs at Rx!!” — Cindy Cervini, CrossFit Tritown in Monroe, CT

Share Your Story.


This Saturday, CrossFit Lake Effect in Holland, MI is hosting a Row Raiser, a team marathon rowing competition to raise money for local Special Olympics.


“The Babymakers” by Brittney Saline, CrossFit Games

They call themselves “The Babymakers.” Abrie Sellers and Sarah Brown of Thomasville CrossFit in Thomasville, Georgia, are among thousands of athletes who completed the first four workouts of the 2017 CrossFit Team Series this weekend. But their team is unique: at the start of Week 1, Brown, 38, was just 13 weeks postpartum after delivering a healthy baby girl, Zoey. Sellers, 33, had just hit the 25-week mark of her own pregnancy.

“With our mama forces combined, we make one badass female team!” reads the duo’s bio.

Sellers and Brown have been friends since early 2011; at the time, they were co-workers at an investment firm in Thomasville. Sellers was the first to start CrossFit later that year, training in her garage with her husband, Nicholas Sellers. The couple opened Thomasville CrossFit in 2012, and Brown became a member in 2013.


Brought to You by Athlete Daily — Having trouble engaging your lats on pull-ups? Many athletes power their pull-ups with their deltoids and biceps, causing the lats to be underworked. If you wakeup the next day after after a high volume pull-up WOD and your biceps are sore, then you know this is you. Try this banded exercise to fix that strength imbalance, practice your form or work towards your first strict pull-up.

Chalk Up Calendar CHALK UP Calendar

9/20 – 10/2: CrossFit Games Team Series (Online)
9/29 – 10/7: WOD Godz Online Qualifier (Online)
9/30: Caffeine & Kilos Invitational (Elk Grove, CA)
9/30 – 10/1: Do More Charity Challenge (Front Range CF, Denver, CO)
10/7 – 10/8: MIA Classic VII (CrossFit Soul, Miami, FL)
10/20: Wodapalooza Team Online Challenge (Online)
10/21 – 22: 2017 Fortius Weightlifting Halloween Open (San Diego, CA)
10/21 – 22: Cascade Classic (Seattle, WA)
11/4Team SuperFit (San Diego, CA)
11/18: New WODs On The Block (Various Locations in US)
11/30: CrossFit Liftoff (Online)