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Why is Open Registration So Low?

Morning Chalk Up

February 12   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • One month out, the 2021 CrossFit Open registration numbers are lagging.
  • Chris Schmulbach’s training has been reinvigorated by the new CrossFit Open adaptive divisions.
  • Meredith Root takes on DNA designer diets in her weekly nutrition column.
  • Plus, Noah Ohlsen’s workout of the week.

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“First we make our habits. Then, our habits make us.” - John Dryden

  Open Registration Lags, But Improvement From 2020 Within Reach  

Open Registration Lags, But Improvement From 2020 Within Reach

The 2021 CrossFit Games Open is officially less than a month away and the number on everyone’s minds is the final tally of registered athletes.

Open registration has typically been the gold standard metric for interest and participation in the sport and the declining numbers over the past two seasons are a pressing trend that the new leadership group has publicly stated they hope to reverse in a big way.

The Morning Chalk Up’s calculation places registration at 65,782 athletes as of Wednesday night. Despite a massive, pandemic shaped obstacle, CrossFit has made important steps to improve inclusivity and open avenues of competition for a wider swath of athletes.

  • CrossFit added 16 adaptive athlete divisions (eight each for male and female) for the 2021 Open making it the first time that adaptive athletes will be able to formally compete in the kick off to the season under proper classification since the Open’s inception.
  • A “foundations,” and “at-home,” division of the Open was also added to provide more scaling options and versions of the Open that could be accessible to newer athletes and competitors still limited by the pandemic restrictions.
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Gym Owners: the Open is coming!

Gym Owners: the Open is coming!

When it’s done right, the Open can help you strengthen your community and grow your membership. But who has time to organize and plan a three-week event? To help you out, the team at Zen Planner, UpLaunch, and SugarWOD created the ultimate guide to running a successful Open at your gym.

Our free guide will give you tips for getting people to sign up, advice on how to prepare your gym and manage the competition, a weekly Open checklist, and pre-written emails, texts, and social posts to promote the Open to leads, members, and former members.

Click here to get your free guide!

  Chris Schmulbach, Reinvigorated by the New CrossFit Open Adaptive Divisions  

Chris Schmulbach, Reinvigorated by the New CrossFit Open Adaptive Divisions

On Christmas morning 2014, Chris Schulmach woke up with a tingling sensation in his lower right lip.

  • “At the time I thought it may have been a cold or an infected tooth. A year went by and things were only getting worse. The numbness began to travel up the right side of my body,” he said.
  • “I started losing my hearing, was fatigued all the time, and almost always had severe migraines. Finally my wife and I decided I should go to a specialist and find out what was going on.”

Some backstory: Chris Schmulbach spent 12 years as a professional Motocross and Supercross Racer. He opened his first Crossfit Affiliate in 2012 and had intentions of qualifying for the top 200 in his Masters division.

  • “Within 30 minutes of leaving the imaging center I received a phone call that I will forever remember.” Schmulbach recalls. “I had acoustic neuroma, a rare benign tumor that develops slowly in the ear canal near the brainstem. Mine was one of the largest they had ever seen.”
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  DNA Designer Diets, What the Science Says  


DNA Designer Diets, What the Science Says

If there is one single advancement in science that has had the most profound impact on our understanding of human health, it has to be the sequencing of the human genome that was completed in 2003.

It provides a veritable treasure trove of health data that helps us understand what markers predict certain diseases and conditions and has revolutionized medicine and human research.

Not surprisingly, there has been an increased interest in nutrigenomics, which is defined as the integration of genomic science with nutrition and when possible, other lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.

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  Noah Ohlsen's Workout of the Week  

Noah Ohlsen's Workout of the Week

Every Friday, we’re bringing you an exclusive workout challenge programmed by a CrossFit Games athlete or coach that you can take on at home or the gym. You can post your times or scores in the comment section.

Today’s workout of the week is programmed by Noah Ohlsen

For time:
100 ft Handstand walk
20 Ring Muscle Ups (open with a max unbroken set)
Rest 3 min
90 Second Assault Bike
50 ft Double Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunge (50/35)
8 Squat Snatches (135/95)
2 Squat Snatches (80% of your 1RM)
Rest 3 min
90 Second Assault Bike
10 Double Dumbbell Box Step Ups (50/35 and 24/20) *dbs by sides
8 Hang Squat Cleans (155/105)
2 Squat Clean and Jerks (80% of your 1RM)

Some advice from Noah: “Fast walk, big sets. Singles on the barbell aside from the hang cleans. Trust that you’ll make the lifts, even when your legs are blown up!”

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



A 100-Minute Rowing Challenge

This one will test your mental and physical toughness. In this video, Shane Farmer from Dark Horse Rowing leads you through a difficult 100-minute rowing workout and provides some great instruction along the way. Are you up for a challenge?




Two Free Weeks of SugarWOD

You know that post-sweat glow? When morale is at an all-time high and the energy inside your box is absolutely contagious. At SugarWOD, we're big fans of it, too. That's why we bottled it up for athletes and coaches everywhere. With robust programming tools and fun mobile apps, your community can be stronger than ever—together.



A Chest Collapse in the Front Squat

One of the most common reasons an athlete's chest collapses in the ascent of a front squat is because they failed to establish a solid position at the bottom. In this video from Squat University, Dr. Aaron Horschig addresses ankle mobility and excessive hip hinging as a way to shore up your bottom position and stay upright throughout the entire squat.



The Open Starts In Less Than A Month

Do you struggle with double-unders, snatches, handstand push-ups, bar muscle-ups or ring muscle-ups? If so, start chipping away at your weaknesses with Brent Fikowski's Train Your Weakness programs. Each program is built to be added into your current training and will have you slaying your weaknesses in less than six weeks.



Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup with Mini Turkey Meatballs

This deliciously creamy orzo tomato soup with protein-packed mini turkey meatballs is simmered in a flavorful coconut milk tomato broth. It's satisfying, healthy and perfect on a cold winter day. Plus, it's filled with spinach and carrots and you can top it off with a touch of basil pesto!


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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