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14 Women Making Waves in CrossFit

Morning Chalk Up

November 10   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • 14 women making waves in CrossFit that you absolutely need to know.
  • The PFAA makes first set of recommendations to the CrossFit Games for apparel and equipment standardization.
  • Why Annie Thorisdottir’s career is almost impressive as Toomey’s.
  • STUDY: Injury rates of other sports compared to CrossFit.
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“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” - William James


14 Women Making Waves in CrossFit

While the sport of CrossFit has been largely egalitarian since its inception, with female athletes getting as much notoriety, prize money, and fan following as their male counterparts since day 1, the same cannot be said of the staff in the greater fitness industry, which has long been dominated by men.

While high-profile businesswomen like Nicole Carroll, Juliet Starrett, Nicole Biscuiti, Michele Letendre, Adee Cazayoux and Sammy Moniz have received the majority of attention for their leading roles across the industry, here are fourteen women making waves in CrossFit that you absolutely need to know.

  1. Ari Hurst
  2. Mackenzie Bloom 
  3. Kristen Chandler
  4. Tefy Escudero
  5. Kristen Fortin
  6. EC Synkowski
  7. Kandace Hudspeth
  8. Mariah Moore
  9. Christine Bald
  10. Darina Dunne
  11. Preslie Hirsch
  12. Lindsey Locke
  13. Arianna Sisto
  14. Georgia Smith
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DUE TODAY at 11:59 PM ET, Wodapalooza team of 3 qualifier submissions.

🔖 Bookmark this page…The definitive list of CrossFit community podcasts.

Morning Chalk Up founder Justin LoFranco discusses mindset, failure, hardship, how CrossFit prepared him to climb the tallest mountain in North America and facing fear with Mindset RX’d.

MUST READ profile on Amy Bream, the adaptive Games athlete who captured national attention for her inspiring performance at the 2021 CrossFit Games, refusing to quit even after failing multiple reps.

  • “The first time Bream touched a barbell was in 2019, when the boxing club introduced strength classes for the first time.”
  • “And as the 2021 Open approached, Houstine introduced Bream to the possibility of competing in CrossFit because of the introduction of the adaptive divisions. The first reaction that came to her head was just to laugh. She had never done a proper CrossFit workout, let alone heard of the Open.”
  • Bream: “I only trained with non-adaptive (athletes), and there are certain movements I’ll adjust, but 85 to 90% of the time, my reps are the same … the movement is the same,” Bream said. “It’s not about adapting to make it fair, it’s about learning your capacity and what you’re capable of.”

Stats de jure: Shoulder injury rates in recreational sports and fitness published in a new paper in the National Library of Medicine (Stats are injury rate per 1000 hours):

  • Swimming – 1
  • Walking – 1.2
  • Cycling – 2
  • CrossFit – 2.4
  • Triathlon (pre-season) – 2.5
  • Running long distance, Elite weightlifting, gym training, gymnastics, running (overall), triathlon (competitor season), Tennis, and Women’s soccer (practice) – range from 2.5 to 5.2
  • Soccer – 7.8
  • Basketball – 9.1
  • Men’s spring football (practice) – 9.6

Bjornsson v. Hall raises the stakes. Both fighters have agreed to give $200,000 each to a charity of the winner’s choosing in a yet to be scheduled boxing match between the two former World’s Strongest Man champions. BarBend indicated the even is likely to be scheduled for early 2022.

  The PFAA Breaks Their Silence, Announces Equipment, Apparel Recommendations for CrossFit Games 

The PFAA Breaks Their Silence, Announces Equipment, Apparel Recommendations for CrossFit Games

“What’s going on with the PFAA?”

It is a question heard frequently regarding the Professional Fitness Athletes Association (PFAA) since their inception in July of last year. The recent announcement of the 2022 CrossFit Games season schedule renewed discussion around the non-profit and what role they might have moving forward.

After a year-long hiatus on social media they finally broke their silence, announcing on a new blog post a thorough document provided by the PFAA interim executive committee to CrossFit regarding personal attire and equipment for competition.

  • The 11 page document, covers suggested regulations and requirements around clothing and shoe types, as well as support equipment including knee sleeves, belts, and additional attire such as swimwear, adhesive materials, and electronic wearables.
  • The document includes diagrams and reference photos, as well as written references from best practices established by adjacent organizations and sports including the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), International Powerlifting Federation, USA Swimming, and the International Functional Fitness Federation (IF3).

The blog post published on November 4 stated that the document was intentionally “exhaustive so that a condensed version could be finalized from it,” and that the executive committee confirmed that the 2022 rulebook was being finalized while using the provided document along with other sources.

The PFAA wasn’t done though, and the following day on November 5, another blog posted to the website provided data and findings for suggested gymnastics rings and pull-up bar heights for athletes competing at Semifinals and the Games.

  • Per the blog: “The PFAA’s Interim Executive Committee collected data from 62 athletes who competed at the 2021 CrossFit Semi Finals to help competition organizers choose appropriate heights for their gymnastic rings and pull-up bars.”
  • “The data was collected between September and October of 2021 and added to a spreadsheet, detailed findings and recommendations have been added into a text document. For the privacy of the athlete’s who participated the names have been removed from the spreadsheet. Both documents have been emailed to CrossFit Inc and Loud & Live Sports.”

The findings provided in the summary suggested standardized heights for pull-up bars based on male and female heights, as well as options that would satisfy both divisions if adjustments could not be made between heats. Additionally, multiple viable options for ring heights were made to include differences between Semifinals and Games based on athlete height and adjustment options.

  • The ring and pull-up bar height topic is a salient one in the interest of fairness, considering the standardized heights for pull-up bars and rings have often put taller athletes, particularly in the men’s division, at a disadvantage due to the standardized heights not allowing taller athletes like Brent Fikowski to safely perform the full mechanics of the accepted gymnastics movements without obstruction.

Remind me: These types of topics fall in line with the purpose of the PFAA, as described during their initial statement of goals from their formation last season. Their stated goals include:

  • Work on projects that will safeguard the health & safety of athletes at competitions.
  • Create guidelines for competitions to operate consistently, fairly and adhere to the highest standards.
  • Improve communication between event organizers and athletes.
  • Directly cooperate with companies and individuals outside the PFAA to give input on shaping the competition season.
  • Work to establish what is in the best interest of current athletes, while also ensuring the growth of competitions for future athletes.

So what’s next for the PFAA? 

In talking with PFAA organizers, administrative efforts will be at the forefront, with the PFAA finalizing bylaws and articles of incorporation, determining criteria for eligibility and contacting potential members, electing a new board of directors, and creating goals for the upcoming competition season.

  • The PFAA isn’t alone in this process either, and have received guidance and help from Steptoe and Johnson, a prestigious Washington D.C. based international law firm, whose current and former attorneys include more than two dozen high level government officials.

Worth noting: In addition to providing these resources for CrossFit LLC, the PFAA has made all documents and findings publicly available to any event organizer or organization with the hopes of creating consistency of standards between events.

  Why Annie Thorisdottir’s Career is (Almost) as Impressive as Tia-Clair Toomey’s 


Why Annie Thorisdottir’s Career is (Almost) as Impressive as Tia-Clair Toomey’s

If anyone was still questioning whether, even after 13 years in the sport, that 32 year-old, six-time CrossFit Games podium finisher Annie Thorisdottir, is really fitter than she has ever been, last month’s Rogue Invitational in Austin, TX single-handedly crushed the doubters.

After giving birth to her baby girl Freyja in the summer of 2020, Thorisdottir wasn’t quite sure whether or not she’d even compete in 2021. Considering her difficult birth and serious case of pregnancy-induced diastasis recti that weakened her core considerably for months, even qualifying to the CrossFit Games last season seemed like a tall task. But not only did Thorisdottir qualify for the Games, she finished on the podium in third place.

Three months later at the recent Rogue Invitational, Thorisdottir was hands down more impressive than she was in Madison, WI last summer, where she finished 336 points behind five-time Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey.

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  • Roman Khrennikov hits a 352 pound/160kg clean and jerk.
  • Sophie Shaft, who finished 5th in the girls 16-17 division, hits a 250 pound/113kg clean PR.
  • Congratulations Giovanni Ocampo from CrossFit Cobalt in West Babylon, NY on the 335 pounds/151kg 3RM split jerk PR.
  • Congratulations Sarah Boltz from The Crossfit Squad in West Palm Beach, FL on the 200 pound/91kg split jerk PR during the Wodapalooza qualifier.
  • Congratulations Justin Gilmour from Aubrey, TX on the 415 pound/184kg back squat PR.
  • Congratulations Kenya Clark from CrossFit NCS in Colorado Springs, CO on the 645 pound/293kg 2RM deadlift PR.
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