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A Print Newspaper for CrossFitters?

Morning Chalk Up

April 1   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • No joke, we printed a newspaper.
  • The Atlas Games and German Throwdown are going virtual for 2021 and another Semifinal event was added to the season.
  • The Affiliate Cup is back this year and so are some familiar teams missing from the leaderboard over the last two years.
  • Which athletes in the Open top 50 have the best chance to become a Games rookie in 2021?

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

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“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” - John Wooden

  The Morning Chalk Up Printed a Newspaper  

The Morning Chalk Up Printed a Newspaper

This is not an April Fool’s joke.

We seriously printed an old fashioned, ink-based, broadsheet, hot off the press, paperboy delivered, reading with your coffee, lining the New York subway style newspaper.

The old school paper. The real thing. The kind of thing most of us grew up reading.

Why? Because no one’s ever printed a newspaper just about CrossFit before. And because we wanted to put together a commemorative, limited edition print to catalogue the entire 2020 CrossFit Games season with all its changes, COVID closures, course corrections and historic wins.

So we spent the last several months designing something just for this community — for the never late AM-ers working out at sunrise to the overcomers of illness, pain, disease and defeat. Just for this community.

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  • Questions about Quarterfinals? This infographic from the CrossFit Games includes the registration fee, competition dates, equipment list, and cut lines for Semifinals broken down by continent.  
  • The Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge announced another change in venues. It will now take place at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Located on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Thompson-Boling Arena is home to the University of Tennessee’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Volleyball programs.
  • Patrick Vellner and Brent Fikowski brought #Openhumiliation back for 21.3 and 21.4 and split the workouts with one win each. They both drank a “dinner smoothie” as punishment.
  • Teen athlete Sophie Shaft, who currently sits in 226th worldwide in the Open and sixth overall in the Girls 16-17 division, shared pictures from the filming of American Ninja Warrior. She will compete on the show this season.
  • The Bergener Strength Courses (Weightlifting Level 1 and 2) announced new dates and locations for 2021.
  • Annie Sakamoto and Ron Ortiz are on the Conquer Athlete podcast this week. They talk about what it takes to compete as masters athletes at a high level.
    • Sakamoto: “Your training is only as good as your recovery and I definitely feel that more and more as I get older. If you’re not recovered…your training isn’t worth it.”
  Breaking: CrossFit Announces Atlas Games and German Throwdown to Be Virtual, Catchall Virtual Semifinal Added to Season  

Breaking: CrossFit Announces Atlas Games and German Throwdown to Be Virtual, Catchall Virtual Semifinal Added to Season

On Wednesday, the CrossFit Games announced that due to COVID-related travel restrictions and potential regulations surrounding live sporting events and other large gatherings, the Atlas Games and the German Throwdown would transition to virtual events hosted by CrossFit.

CrossFit also announced the addition of a Catchall Virtual Semifinal, which will take place in Week Four (June 18-20). This is event will allow athletes who are unable to travel to their assigned Semifinal due to COVID restrictions a chance to compete prior to the Last-Chance Qualifier.

Remind me: The Atlas Games and the German Throwdown are two of the ten (now 11) Semifinals scheduled to take place in the 2021 season.

  • The Atlas Games was originally scheduled to take place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on June 18-20. In the 2020 season, the Atlas Games suffered a heart-breaking cancellation as the event was shut down by the provincial government just prior to its start. Athletes and equipment were all ready to go.
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  The Affiliate Cup Returns: Which Teams Top Open Leaderboard?  

The Affiliate Cup Returns: Which Teams Top Open Leaderboard?

One important change to the 2021 CrossFit Games has been the return of the Affiliate Cup. Not only does the Affiliate Cup bring the CrossFit affiliate community back together, it also brings some notable affiliate teams back.

In a field that spent the last two years being dominated by super teams, the return of affiliate-based teams to the CrossFit Games has brought a needed refresh to the competition space.

Remind me: For the past two years, teams have qualified for the CrossFit Games through Sanctionals. In 2019 and 2020, teams could be composed of any four athletes with no requirement to be from the same affiliate.

  • With the return of the affiliate cup, athletes are required to train and compete out of the same affiliate, as well as live within 100 miles of said affiliate in order to be on the same team.
  • Athletes are also only allowed to be part of one team, whereas in 2019 and 2020, they could switch between teams mid-season.
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  Which Top-50 Athletes Have the Best Chance to Become Games Rookies?  

Which Top-50 Athletes Have the Best Chance to Become Games Rookies?

As expected, at the conclusion of the 2021 Open, the first page of the worldwide leaderboard is heavily populated by athletes one would expect to see.

  • But sifting through the Tia-Clair Toomeys and Pat Vellners of the world also reveals 27 athletes on the men’s side and 20 on the women’s side in the top 50 who haven’t yet competed at the CrossFit Games as an individual.
  • Some of them are athletes who have become somewhat familiar in recent weeks, such as teenage stars Emma Cary and Mallory O’Brien, but others are relatively unknown, leading to the question: Who in the top 50 in the Open has the best chance of qualifying to the Games?

Here’s what we’re thinking:

The Men: 

Cedric Lapointe: Twelfth overall, Lapointe qualified for the Games last year until the global pandemic caused CrossFit LLC to reduce the number of qualifiers. Beyond online competitions, Lapointe proved himself without a doubt last season when he placed fourth in a jam-packed field at Filthy 150 in Dublin, Ireland.

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This Pre-Warm Up Activation from Dr. Kelley Starrett

We could all use work staying conscious and aware of our foot positioning during lifting sessions. Next time you're warming up try this activation drill from Dr. Kelley Starrett to increase your body awareness, ankle strength, and mobility.




Caffeine and Kilos' New Decaf Blend

We never thought it’d happen, but they finally did it. Organic. Ethically sourced. Crafted with care. Hand-picked in the mountains of Costa Rica, this single-origin blend has the sweetness of honey and the depth of dark chocolate. Your favorite beans, without the caffeine. Because you're already woke.



The Best Exercises to Fix your Shoulder Pain for Good

Between wall walks, toes to bar, thrusters, and muscle-ups, you may have some sore shoulders this week. Barbell Physio has put together this comprehensive guide on fixing shoulder pain in CrossFit. They identify the six most common causes and provide the exact exercises to help strengthen and fix the issue.



50% Off Select Reebok Collections

This is not an April Fool's joke. Reebok is running a flash sale on select shoes for today only. Grab yourself a new pair of runners or lifters for half price. Use code “NOJOKE” at checkout.



A Morning Chalk Up Limited Edition Newspaper

Your favorite online newsletter just got physical, like an in-print, old-school newspaper style. Get your hands on the limited edition Morning Chalk Up newspaper commemorating the 2020 CrossFit Games season. Only a limited number of copies available so don’t miss out.


Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

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