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2023 CrossFit Games Preview: Women’s Masters Division

Morning Chalk Up

July 21   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Brent Fikowski joins team TYR Sport
  • Rogan Dean fights through adversity and has his eye set on a 2023 Games podium
  • CrossFit Games title sponsor NOBULL receives major investment from beverage mogul, Mike Repole
  • Who to watch in the 2023 CrossFit Games Women’s Masters Division
  • Review of the Week: Zonli Cooling Comforter
  • And, Nick Mathew’s Workout of the Week

The countdown is on: There are only 11 days until the 2023 CrossFit Games begin in Madison, WI.

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“Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” - Liane Cardes

  Brent Fikowski Joins TYR Sport Team  

Brent Fikowski Joins TYR Sport Team

Seven-time CrossFit Games athlete and two-time podium finisher Brent Fikowski is the latest athlete to join the TYR Sport team.

Remind me: TYR has been around since 1985, predominantly as an elite swimming brand, but in 2021 they started moving aggressively into the CrossFit space.

  • This included developing a line of high-performance training apparel and training footwear for CrossFit athletes before quickly going after some of the top names in the sport, signing four-time podium finisher Pat Vellner, and 11-time Games competitor Annie Thorisdottir last season, among other Games athletes.
  • TYR also became the title sponsor of the prestigious TYR Wodapalooza competition last season, a title they continue to hold today.

What Fikowski is saying: Of course Fikowski, known as a meticulous, cerebral athlete, vetted all of TYR’s apparel and footwear before becoming a TYR ambassador, and they passed with flying colors.

  • “There have been companies that have reached out to me for potential partnerships with a product that I don’t believe in, and I had said no, but the TYR products, I do believe in…I love the apparel. I love the shoes,” he said.

That being said, his ultimate decision to sign with TYR went way beyond the fact that they make nice clothes.

One of Fikowski’s hopes is to continue to professionalize the sport of CrossFit, which includes building the sport’s fan base and building more professional athletes. And he truly feels that TYR can help take the sport to the next level, he explained.

  • TYR is “actively working to make the sport better, to make it bigger, to be involved at a smaller level and on a massive level at the same time, and I wanted to be a part of that,” Fikowski said of why he chose to leave Reebok for TYR.

And while TYR might still be relatively new to CrossFit, their track record in sports dates back nearly 40 years, and there’s something reassuring about that, explained Fikowski, who was a competitive swimmer as a kid and remembers the TYR brand from his swimming days.

TYR sponsored swimmers he idolized as a child, which makes being a TYR athlete even more meaningful to him today.  Most of all, though, their longevity gives Fikowski the confidence that TYR is here to stay.

  • “They’re not coming in making a splash and burning up and disappearing. They’re certainly in this for the long haul,” he said.

The big picture: Fikowski will compete in his eighth Games in a week and a half and he admits he isn’t sure how many more years of competition he has left in him. Every year, he and his wife discuss it and every year Fikowski says, “one more year,” he said. But for now he’s focused on the here and now and he couldn’t be more confident in where he is heading into this year’s Games.

  • “I have set new PRs in lifts, I have set PRs in gymnastics. I have set PRs in monostructural (workouts in the last two weeks). All my stuff is still getting better,” Fikowski said. “I’m excited to make a run at the top spot.”

And he’s confident in the shoes he will be wearing when he attempts to do so.
“I wouldn’t take the deal (with TYR) if I didn’t think I could win wearing them,” he said.

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The first two ELFIT CrossFit Championship Online Qualifier workouts have been released. Here they are:

  • EQ23.1 (Scores should be submitted through Competition Corner. The deadline is Monday, July 24 at 11:00 PM [GMT+3])
    • Complete as many rounds as possible in 18 minutes of:
      10 Shuttle Runs
      20 Toes-to-Bar
      30 Wall Balls 20/10 pounds, 10-foot target for both men and women
  • EQ23.2 (Scores should be submitted through Competition Corner. The deadline is Monday, July 24 at 11:00 PM [GMT+3])
    • For time:
      40/30 Calorie Row
      30 Bar-Facing Burpees
      20 Snatches 60/42.5kg, 132/94 pounds
      10 Ring Muscle-Ups
      Time Cap: 8 Minutes
  • Make sure to register now! Send all questions here.

🏃‍♂ 🏃‍♂️ Cross-Country 5K at the Games: On Wednesday, CrossFit announced that all divisions at the Games will be tested with cross-country 5K at the 2023 CrossFit Games. The Individual, Team, Age Group and Adaptive athletes will all run, the Lower-Extremity athletes will complete a 5K SkiErg.

 ⌚︎⌚︎ G-Shock and CrossFit announced an exclusive partnership yesterday. G-Shock is now “The Official Watch of the NOBULL CrossFit Games.” To celebrate the launch of the partnership, G-Shock and CrossFit are holding a giveaway where you can win a free Level 1 CrossFit course, a G-Shock GBDH2000 and a CrossFit swag bag. Enter now.

🤔 🤨 🧐 Rich Froning teased a possible return to team competition during the Fresh Coast Games in Muskegon, MI.

ICYMI: The next installment of our spectator’s guide series dropped yesterday: Five places to grab a beer in Madison.

  Adversity to Games Athlete: Rogan Dean is Hungry to Stand on Top of the Podium  


Adversity to Games Athlete: Rogan Dean is Hungry to Stand on Top of the Podium

In only his second season, Oceania’s Rogan Dean finished second at the 2022 NoBull CrossFit Games in the Lower Extremity Division.

Dean has been an elite athlete for most of his life. Before discovering CrossFit, he was a semi-professional rugby player living and playing in Brisbane, Australia until the rugby season was canceled in 2020 due to COVID. It was in this same year, that Dean’s life changed forever, as he shares:

  • “On a Sunday (in August 2020)… I was about 2 or 3 minutes from my house (when a car) T-boned me on the motorbike.”
  • “I remember thinking to myself that I got out of that pretty lucky, and when I looked down I noticed that my left foot had been crushed and severed at the ankle.”
  • “I was lucky that in the car behind me… was a paramedic on her way to work… She rushed over and had everything under control and had an ambulance coming and they raced me off to hospital.”
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  NOBULL Receives Major Investment From Beverage Mogul Mike Repole  

NOBULL Receives Major Investment From Beverage Mogul Mike Repole

The Morning Chalk Up learned today that beverage industry mogul, Mike Repole announced that his investment firm, Impact Capital, would be purchasing a majority stake in NOBULL.

One big thing: This is significant for the brand, which has experienced a number of turbulent shifts over the past several months. This purchase not only brings further legitimacy to the brand but has also presented the opportunity of a possible IPO.

Remind me: Founded by former Reebok executives, Marcus Wilson and Michael Schaeffer, in 2015, NOBULL has grown to be one of the largest footwear brands in the sport of fitness and has even expanded its reach into other major sports such as the NFL and the PGA Tour.

  • In March of 2021, NOBULL and CrossFit announced a 3-year deal not only as the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games but also the Official Footwear and Apparel Sponsor of CrossFit as well.
  • In the last several months, the Crossfit Games premiere sponsor, NOBULL has undergone a number of changes, including laying off a significant portion of their staff just before the first week of Semifinals, as well as the resignation of their long-time CMO, Todd Meleney this past May.
  • While these changes have left many fans questioning the future of NOBULL, today’s announcement places NOBULL back into a position of strength in the market.

The details: While the full scope of the deal has yet to be disclosed, in an interview with CNBC, Repole has revealed that this investment will be his largest to date.

  • The 54-year-old billionaire is perhaps best known for co-founding Glaceau, the brand that created the popular drink Vitaminwater.
  • He’s also known for turning BODYARMOR into a household name.
  • Both brands were sold to Coca-Cola for close to $10 billion.
  • Repole’s experience in turning brands into household names could not only help to propel NOBULL forward into a billion-dollar brand but could also help to take the company public in an IPO, as Repole revealed in an interview with CNBC.
  • “If we want to build this big multi-billion platform … taking this public I think is going to be the best way to go about it,” he said.

What they’re saying: Speaking with CNBC, Repole revealed that he has been passionate about the brand and has seen its potential for a while.

  • He initially reached out to the brand’s founders over a year ago and while his initial offer went ignored, he continued to be persistent, eventually earning himself a conversation about two months ago.
  • “I’ve always been a huge fan of NOBULL and their ‘no b.s.’ mentality, but I’m more impressed with Marcus and Michael’s vision, the passionate fanbase, and the multi-billion dollar potential of the brand,” said Repole in a quote to Morning Chalk Up.
  • “I’m excited to join the team and look forward to the journey ahead as we partner to accelerate the momentum,” he continued.

For founders Wilson and Schaeffer, this unparalleled opportunity is one that aligns perfectly with their vision for the brand.

  • “Michael and I launched NOBULL in 2015 with the shared pursuit to be better every day,” says Marcus Wilson, NOBULL Co-Founder.
  • “Fast forward to today, and we continue to share that collective pursuit of better with our growing community, who have helped NOBULL grow into a recognizable brand,” he continued.
  • “We’re proud of how far we’ve come, and we know this is just the beginning. We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Mike Repole as a like-minded partner who will help us reach a new pinnacle in our brand’s history,” Wilson concluded.

The bottom line: This investment is a major business opportunity for NOBULL. An investor like Repole not only brings in opportunities for financial growth but also other business elements, such as operational excellence.

Beyond the brand of NOBULL itself, this also provides an incredible opportunity for the brand of CrossFit to grow substantially alongside its title sponsor.

An investment as large as this provides legitimacy not only to NOBULL as a brand but also to CrossFit as a sport and the industry that CrossFit has created, especially around apparel. While the deal is still in its infancy, it presents an exciting time for both NOBULL and the CrossFit ecosystem as a whole.

  2023 CrossFit Games Preview: Women’s Masters Divisions  

2023 CrossFit Games Preview: Women’s Masters Divisions

Just like last year, seventy athletes across seven masters divisions will be fighting for podium finishes at the upcoming 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games in Madison, WI.

For some, it will be their first time competing on the biggest stage of the sport, while others—like Kelly Friel and Susan Clark—will be looking to defend their title, and others still—like former individual athlete Stacie Tovar—are familiar with the Games atmosphere, but will be competing in the age-group division for the first time.

Let’s take a look at some of the close battles we expect to see in Madison.

Women’s 35-39 Division

The women’s 35-39 division could very much come down to two former individual stars, 36-year-old Chyna Cho and 38-year-old Stacie Tovar.

Cho, a six-time individual Games athlete, was third overall in the division last season and competed as an individual at this year’s North America West Semifinals, while Tovar competed at the Games eight times as an individual between 2009 and 2017 before stepping away from high-level competition.

The break from elite competition, a break that included having two babies, didn’t seem to hurt Tovar. She placed third at this season’s Age Group Semifinals and recently told the Morning Chalk Up that not only is competing as a masters athlete less pressure than competing as an individual, but she’s also having more fun than ever in the gym right now.

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  Review of the Week: Zonli Cooling Comforter  

Review of the Week: Zonli Cooling Comforter

Are you a night sweater? Same. My dream is to bundle up and still be at the perfect temperature. Instead if I put my covers on in the summer I wake up sweating. That’s why the term “cooling comforter” appealed to me immediately.

Zonli Home is known for their weighted blankets, cooling blankets and heated blankets. As it’s regularly 90+ degrees in South Carolina during this time of year, I snagged the Z-Magic Cooling Comforter and have been sleeping with it for two weeks now. Here are my key takeaways.

It works. I was very skeptical. I took it out of the packaging and from the first touch was shocked. The chillmax™ fiber is cool to the touch right away. Where normally we kick covers OFF to feel cooler, with this one you’ll be cooler with it on. I had to look it up after sleeping with it for a few days, their lab boasts a 0.48 cooling value, therefore it is the coolest blanket so far in 2023. I haven’t woken up sweating or with no covers on since I kicked them off since starting to sleep with the Z-Magic comforter.

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  Nick Mathew’s Workout of the Week  

Nick Mathew’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by 2022 CrossFit Games Rookie of the Year, Nick Mathew. He is also the Head Coach and General Manager of CrossFit Minnetonka, and a Built For Athletes ambassador. Mathew will be taking the competition floor in Madison for the second in just about two years.

Nick Mathew

For Time:

3 Rounds

  • 21 Wall Balls 20/14 pounds, 11/10-foot target
  • 15 Chest-to-Bars
  • 9 Burpee Box Jump Overs 24/20-inch

-rest 2:00-

1 Round

  • 63 Wallballs 20/14 pounds, 11/10-foot target
  • 45 Chest-to-Bars
  • 27 Burpee Box Jump Overs 24/20-inch

Scaling Options: Athletes can adjust the wall ball target to 10/9-feet and the chest-to-bar to chin-over-bar pull-ups. Further modifications can involve using bands to assist the pull-ups, dropping the wall ball weight, or lessening the rep scheme to 18-12-6 and 54-36-18.

Advice from Nick: “Aim for the wall balls to be completed in bigger descending sets to avoid standing around looking at the ball–be sure to scale the weight accordingly.

Pull-up capacity is determined by the individual but aim to complete section one in 1-3 sets, and then a consistent rep scheme that chips away through section two.

My best advice on burpees is to stick to a cadence each rep where you don’t need to stop. No speeding up or slowing down, just a smooth pace to finish.”

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



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Full Send Fitness in Appleton, WI is hosting the second annual Dominic Hall Hero WOD on August 28th. T-shirts are available for purchase until August 10th.

10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)

See all upcoming events

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