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12 Questions With Mat Fraser

Morning Chalk Up

July 22   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games are now 12 days away, and we will have you covered for everything and anything you need to know.

In today’s edition:

  • Who are the 15 female rookies of Madison?
  • 12 questions with Mat Fraser: coaching, programming and retirement life
  • The Bottom Line talks to Kara Saunders and Travis Mayer about their NOBULL jerseys
  • Study dives into diet and supplement habits of CrossFit athletes
  • Veterans vs rookies at the Games: who wins?
  • Casey Acree will be pulling double duty at the Games

Note: The Morning Chalk Up will not be publishing the newsletter August 8-12, as we will be taking some much needed R&R, but we’ll be back in action the following week, so don’t go anywhere.

QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Less is only more where more is no good.” - Frank Lloyd Wright

  Meet the 15 New Women Headed to Madison  

Meet the 15 New Women Headed to Madison

As we gear up for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games, now less than two weeks away, many will be focused on the big names they have heard over and over again.

Kara Saunders is returning for her 10th Games and of course five-time champ Tia-Clair Toomey is returning to do what no one – man or woman – has done before and win a sixth title of Fittest on Earth. Some of those big names are also missing from the starting line at Madison this year with past champions Katrin Davidsdottir and Sam Briggs, and perennial fan favorite Sara Sigmundsdottir, among others, none of whom qualified to the final 40.

As the dust settles and the final names are added from the Last Chance Qualifier to the list there is a strong contingent of new women at the Games this year.

In fact, 15 of the total field of 40 women are rookies in 2022 that is 37.5% of the total field. Except for the 2019 season, this is the largest rookie field on the Women’s side since 2014.

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Team FITAID = Squad Goals

Team FITAID = Squad Goals

Team FITAID is rolling deep at the Games this year with 13 athletes competing across the divisions.

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A recipe for some serious fitness.

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Grab a case (or ten?) of FITAID today and save 20% with code “MCU20”.


In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Morning Chalk Up analyst Brian Friend about his composite power rankings for the 40 women who will be at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

Hot tips: The Games will be ending with the team competition, and CBS will be broadcasting the final day of competition. Maybe some pre-planning here? 🤔

Hot topic: Everyone’s favorite discussion topic is now formalized, CrossFit has announced the cut lines for the Games.

Zack is back: Clothing drop from UK CrossFitter Zack George is here and we are loving the oversized fit.

Another notch in the belt: TYR continues to take over the CrossFit landscape, as it will now be the official footwear partner for the Madrid Championship.

  12 Questions with Mat Fraser: Coaching Mal O’Brien, Programming, Family Future and His Training Regime in Retirement  


12 Questions with Mat Fraser: Coaching Mal O’Brien, Programming, Family Future and His Training Regime in Retirement

The Morning Chalk Up had the chance to catch up with the five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser at last weekend’s CanWest Games just outside of Vancouver, BC, a three-day event with 725 competitors that Fraser and his company HWPO programmed.

What was programming a three-day event for the first time like for you, and are you happy with how it went?

Fraser: “It’s such a process. It’s a lot more involved than I expected, because it’s not just, ‘Alright, here are the tests that we want.’ It’s what equipment is available. What stages are available. How many competitors? How is it scalable?”

“Everything came out perfectly. It was so much fun. The amount of positive feedback we have been getting from the athletes has been very encouraging.”

Are you planning on getting involved programming more competitions in the CrossFit space in the future (he’s also doing September’s Madrid Championships in Spain)

Fraser: “Yeah, that’s the goal. So this one was the test run.”

In a recent interview with USA Today, you said you were very selective with who you choose to work with. Why did you choose Mal O’Brien to work with?

Fraser: “I’m glad you brought this up. Who is not selective with who they spend their time with? You’re spending eight hours a day with someone. Are you just letting anyone into your house, anyone into your door? That quote got taken very out of context and I received some tongue lashings from it, and it was pretty shocking to me how people responded to it, because in my mind it’s not just an athlete’s potential. We work with several athletes, and if I’m spending this amount of time with somebody I want to make sure we get along, (that) we enjoy each other’s company, but then also I want to make sure that the athlete’s dedicated and willing to put in the time and effort, not just in the gym but doing the right things outside of the gym.”

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  12 Questions with Mat Fraser: Coaching Mal O’Brien, Programming, Family Future and His Training Regime in Retirement  

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  CrossFit Diet and Supplement Practices Get Deep Dive in Published Paper  

CrossFit Diet and Supplement Practices Get Deep Dive in Published Paper

Dietary practices and supplement usage among CrossFit athletes were the focus of a Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition article, which came out on July 4th from of The Department of Human Performance and Health at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

Remind me: In 2021, Morning Chalk Up encouraged readers to complete a survey to support the study, spearheaded by Matt Brisebois, PhD, CSCS, who attends a local CrossFit affiliate.

Over 2,500 complete responses were collected for evaluation, and the questionnaire was reviewed for clarity by a Registered Dietitian, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, three CrossFit coaches, and a retail nutrition store owner.

Why it matters: Conversations around the safety and/or effectiveness of the functional fitness methodology are no stranger to the world of academia, however the specificities around diet and supplementation across the CrossFit community have remained relatively unknown and uncategorized. However, this paper is certainly a jumping off point for closing that gap. Some notable insights include:

  • 60.1% of participants report practicing a particular diet; most frequently reported options include Macro Counting (18.6%), Intermittent Fasting (7.7%), and Paleo (6.1%)
  • The top three reasons for following a diet were to improve overall health (45.6%), decrease body fat (29.2%), and improve CrossFit performance (25.2%)
  • Protein powder, creatine and pre-workout were the most commonly consumed supplements, and participants reported consuming them to improve recovery (52.6%), improve overall health (51.4%), and increase muscle mass/strength (41.7%).

Go deeper: While we just briefly skimmed the surface of findings, there’s a wealth of information around how athletes commonly measure hydration, the correlation between CrossFit coaches and their health habits, results broken down by gender and age group, and more — click here for the full article.

  CrossFit Diet and Supplement Practices Get Deep Dive in Published Paper  

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  Competing and Coaching in Madison: Casey Acree Pulling Double Duties  

Competing and Coaching in Madison: Casey Acree Pulling Double Duties

In case competing at the CrossFit Games isn’t a daunting enough week on its own, Upper Extremity competitor Casey Acree will be trying to defend his title all the while coaching two other adaptive athletes at this summer’s CrossFit Games.

While that might sound stressful, 29-year-old Acree said he isn’t concerned.

“I did it last year, too. To me, the preparation is kind of the biggest thing, so there’s a lot of communication (with my athletes) leading up to the Games,” said Acree, who writes templated programs for adaptive athletes, and personally coaches a handful of others, through Underdogs Athletics.

“From my standpoint as an athlete I’m pretty laid back most of the time. I have a ton of competition experience, so I’m usually able to not really worry too much about myself,” he added.

And if it’s like last year, because the adaptive divisions are so small, their events are likely to be at the same time, making it seamless to prepare himself while simultaneously preparing his athletes, as they’ll all be in the warm-up area together preparing for the same event.

“There’s communication and I can let them go through a warm-up with me…and I can be discussing their strategy right there with them, so it’s fairly simple,” said Acree, who was born without his left arm below his elbow due to a congenital defect.

He added with a shrug: “And the recovery and the mental aspect of it is just kind of like a habit. It’s not really stressful for me.”

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  Joe Scali’s Workout of the Week  

Joe Scali’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by two-times Games athlete Joe Scali. The former Cornell University ice hockey player competed as an individual at the 2015 Games before teaming up with fellow Canadians at the 2019 Games on the PRO1 team that finished ninth. You might also recognize Scali from the Morning Chalk Up’s Instagram comments section as he’s known for his hilariously honest comments. He and his wife, Sharan own and run Semiahmoo Athletic Club in Surrey, British Columbia where he programs and coaches.

  • Joe Scali
    18-Minute AMRAP
    80/60 Cal Row
    60 Wall Balls (20/14 LBs)
    40 Deadlifts (185/135 LBs – 84/61 KGs or 35% of 1RM)
    20 Burpee Box Jumps (24/20 inches)
    Time Cap: 18 minutes

Scaling Options:

  • Rowing – Lower Cals to 60/45
  • Wall Balls – Lower weight to 14/10 or 12/8 LBs
  • Deadlifts – Lower weight to 135/95 LBs or lower reps to 20 and weight to 95/65 LBs
  • Burpee Box Jumps – Lower height to 20 inches. Lower reps to 10 and do step-ups and step downs.

Some advice from Joe: “My score was 1+187. Here is what I did and you should not do. Go full-send on rower first round, unbroken wallballs first round, big first set on deadlifts. I did 30 unbroken. When I got to the first round of burpees I was peeling myself off the ground. The second round was just trying to survive and damage control from going full send on the rower and trying to go unbroken for as long as possible. What you should do is break up reps early with short rest so you can move through the burpees at not sloth speed and you are able to move the rower faster in the second round.”

To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.



Properly Deep Clean Your Rower

And we don't mean wipe the seat. When was the last time you did a deep clean on one of the most used pieces of equipment in your gym? Here's how to clean the chain on your rower and extend its performance and life.




TYR's New Athlete Developed Apparel

Who knows what you need in workout gear? Elite level athletes. Gear up today in the ultimate workout apparel developed by top TYR athletes like Pat Vellner, Ellie Turner, and many more. Check out the link below to see what the all the hype is about.



Why You Need Cardio To Get Strong

"Don't run so much, you'll lose your gains," - Person who does not understand physiology. So, obviously, to increase strength, you need to do strength training. But to really maximize your potential, you need to do cardio work as well. Chris Hinshaw explains why.



A Free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and Extra Month's Membership

WHOOP measures your body's data over 100 times a second to provide personalized feedback on your recovery, strain, and sleep. Morning Chalk Up readers can get a free strap and an extra month's membership when you sign up at the link below.



Your Floppy Armed Snatches

What are your arms meant to do in the snatch? Well, nothing...then everything. If that wasn't quite enough explanation, check out this guide and learn exactly when your arms are meant to engage in your lift.

JOB BOARD Jobs from Gym Jobs

CrossFit Dartmouth | CrossFit Coach - 668a State Road, Dartmouth, MA

Rising Legends Academy of Fitness | Functional Fitness Coach AM, Noon & Flexible Floater - 153-163 New York 303, Valley Cottage, NY

OP CrossFit | CrossFit Coach and Personal Trainer - 1035 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX

CrossFit Arioch | CrossFit Coach (Dual Language / Spanish Speaker) - Elgin, IL

Power Plant CrossFit | Group Fitness Coach - Power Plant Fitness - Home of Power Plant CrossFit, Energy Parkway, Baltimore, MD

All Fit Orlando | Group Fitness Coach/Personal Trainer - 1902 Alden Road, Orlando, FL

Black Wolf CrossFit | CrossFit Coach at Black Wolf CrossFit - 508 West Crosstimbers Street, Houston, TX

The SHOP - Fitness + Performance | Full-Time Functional Training Coach - 244 Northwest 2nd Street, Corvallis, OR

CrossFit Leixlip | Fitness Coach (Part Time) - CrossFit Leixlip - CrossFit Leixlip, Mill Lane, St. Catherine's Park, Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland

CrossFit Barbending | CrossFit Level 1 Trainer or Higher - 3 Joanna Court, East Brunswick, NJ

Contender CrossFit Padre Island | CrossFit Coach (CFL2 Preferred) - Contender CrossFit Padre Island, South Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX

CrossFit Barbending | CrossFit Level 1 Trainer or Higher - 3 Joanna Court, East Brunswick, NJ

Ballston CrossFit | Manager and CrossFit Coach Arlington VA - 1110 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA

OpenBox Athletics | CrossFit Coach - Philadelphia, PA

Arrival Fitness | General Manager - Newark, NJ

Arrival Fitness | CrossFit Coach - Newark, NJ

Bear Mountain Strength and Fitness | CrossFit Coach - 2050 E Main St, Cortlandt, Cortlandt Manor, NY

CrossFit Maximus | CrossFit Trainer - Lexington, KY

Fox River Strength and Conditioning | Group Class Trainer - 11 John St, North Aurora, IL

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