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A CrossFit Open Without Rowing

Morning Chalk Up

January 21   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Coaches’ comment: No rowing in the Open?
  • Battle Cancer provides support and opportunities for athletes after cancer treatment.
  • New CrossFit Games moms adjust to motherhood.

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“You're never a loser until you quit trying.” - Mike Ditka

  The Relevance of Rowing in the Open 

The Relevance of Rowing in the Open

Rowing first appeared in the Open in 2013 and has been a mainstay every year since; until this season.

The Open is already typically short of monostructural movements because running, biking, swimming, and skiing have never made an appearance. In terms of the strict definitions that distinguish weightlifting, gymnastics, and monostructural movements, that only leaves rowing and double unders as tested monostructural movements.

  • Omitting rowing this year means double unders are the only representation for monostructural movements, prompting the question of whether the absence of rowing this year creates any problems in terms of the breadth and depth of the test.

What they’re saying:

  • Shane Farmer, Dark Horse Rowing: “I think the biggest part of having rowing in the Open is that it provides the monostructural suck factor because it’s intended to expose a skill weakness. If you are reasonably good at rowing you can move faster than others who may not have the skill or technique down; so there’s a skill exposure piece.
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  • Sam Briggs just dropped her six-week CrossFit Open prep e-book designed to help athletes build their cardio capacity to crush the Open. 
  • MUST READ: Two Brain Business just released its “State of the Industry” report, a data-driven study of fitness business, created with fitness coaches and gym owners. Available as a free download.
  • Now hiring: CompTrain is hiring multiple positions, including data scientist, head coach, head of business development and sales, head of operations, and social engagement specialist.
  • ICYMI:  The Washington Times published an OpEd by gym owner Travis Hanson calling on Congress to provide targeted relief to gyms:
    • Hanson: “Our members of Congress must prioritize local gyms and fitness facilities in the next round of stimulus proposals because gyms provide essential services to millions of people and help keep Americans healthy. It has never been more important to maintain a strong immune system, and community gyms play a critical role in ensuring just that. It is imperative that our leaders in Washington recognize the significant need for direct, industry-specific relief for local gyms.”
  • Onnit Fitness has kettlebells and odd objects back in stock.
  • MUST WATCH: Can CrossFit conquer China?
  Battle Cancer Program Provides Fitness Support to Post-Cancer Athletes 

Battle Cancer Program Provides Fitness Support to Post-Cancer Athletes

On January 18, Scott and Freya Britton of the Battle Cancer movement launched the Battle Cancer Program, a global, free, 12-week strength and fitness support program designed for those in post-cancer treatment.

Remind me: Battle Cancer, a movement created to raise money and awareness for cancer charities, was started in 2017. The movement, built on one-day competitions, launched fundraising for the Battle Cancer Program in 2020.

The program: The Battle Cancer Program offers a strength and fitness course, both online and in-person at some of the top gyms in the UK and US, for post-cancer athletes.

  • The recently-launched program is based on research from the MOVE Forward initiative, a 10-week study of the impact of CrossFit on the “fitness and quality of life with teenage and young adult cancer survivors,” as well as consultation from Dr. Colin Robertson, a specialist in pre and rehabilitation from disease with two-decades of experience in cancer care and sport and Executive Director of the Underground Training Station Foundation.
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  CrossFit Games Moms Adjust to Motherhood, Seek Balance 


CrossFit Games Moms Adjust to Motherhood, Seek Balance

When four-time CrossFit Games athlete Valerie Voboril became pregnant in 2011, she was one of the only elite CrossFit females to become a mother. A support network of the fittest moms on earth just didn’t exist, Voboril explained.

  • “I wasn’t brave enough to reach out to women like Annie Sakamoto. I think I maybe reached out to (2009 CrossFit Games champion) Tanya Wagner, but there just weren’t the same resources out there for competitive CrossFit athletes, and we weren’t talking and checking in with each other about what we were experiencing,” said Voboril, the only woman in history to reach the podium at the CrossFit Games after having a baby, a feat she achieved in 2013.
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  CrossFit Games Moms Adjust to Motherhood, Seek Balance 

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  CrossFit Games Moms Adjust to Motherhood, Seek Balance 

Win a Reebok Nano X1 Athlete Locker

Reebok is giving away one Nano X1 athlete locker exclusively for Morning Chalk Up readers. Inside:

  • Reebok locker
  • Two pairs of Nano X1s 
  • One shoe bag
  • One sweat towel 
  • One jump rope
  • One duffle bag
  • One exercise band 

Winners will be announced this Saturday in the newsletter intro. 

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