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Australian Rookie James Douglas Prepares for the Games

Morning Chalk Up

July 14   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • METCON Rush helps athletes extend competitive season
  • Jake Douglas leans on family and hard work in his rookie year
  • Bien Schwalm has a message for anyone hesitant to start CrossFit: “Just dive in and do it!”
  • Review of the Week: The LSKD Elixir Collection
  • And, Andre Houdet’s Workout of the Week

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“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” - Mark Twain

  METCON Rush Keeps Competition Alive for Quarterfinals and Semifinals Athletes  

METCON Rush Keeps Competition Alive for Quarterfinals and Semifinals Athletes

The end of the Quarterfinals and Semifinals serve as a dividing point for athletes in CrossFit. Some move on to the next stage of the season while others have traditionally turned their attention to offseason training.

For some, this is no longer the case thanks to the rise of METCON Rush.

One big thing: Created by CrossFit 301 Elite’s Tim Kellinger, METCON Rush started as an in-house competition geared more toward Tough Mudder-style events. However, the situation changed during the third year of the event. Rain forced Kellinger to switch the event to his affiliate, which ultimately was a blessing in disguise.

  • “The feedback from all the participants was they liked it being closer quarters and the atmosphere a little more energized,” Kellinger said.
  • The decision was made for the fourth year to move METCON Rush into more of a traditional CrossFit competition, but this created the need for more space.
  • Kellinger was able to work out a deal with Hagerstown Community College in Maryland. This facility has become the home of the competition as it has continued to grow over the years and attract more athletes.

Now in its eighth year, METCON Rush is a CrossFit-licensed event that takes place at Hagerstown Community College on August 26-27. It features support from the Maryland Army National Guard, TYR, Lululemon, and multiple other companies, as well as $13,000 in cash and more than $5,000 in prizes.

  • “We’ve got people coming from all over this year for individuals,” Kellinger said. “It’s amped up really on the individual side as far as bringing people all over the States and definitely taken on its own little – which is what I intended for it to be – its own little life.”
  • “It’s like post-Semifinals, ‘You didn’t make the CrossFit Games. What do you got next?’ And that’s what I wanted this Elite Individual division to be.”

METCON Rush has five main divisions for 2023 – RX Teams, Scaled Teams, Masters Teams (35-44), Masters Teams (45+), and Elite Individuals.

  • There are 17 elite individual female athletes and 16 elite individual male athletes that have been announced so far. Some examples of the female division include Callista Lang (21st in North America East), Samantha Pugh (22nd in NA East), Rachel Fricker (56th in NA East), and Karis Demi (42nd in NA East).
  • The men’s division includes such examples as Luke Burns (51st in NA East), Wes Peters (29th in NA East Teams), Mitch Griffith (52nd in NA East), Raymond Romanick (148th in NA East Quarterfinals), and Joe Pierro (15th in NA East Teams).

Kellinger: “We cap the event to make sure that there’s a lot of runway as far as what those athletes experience. We don’t want to have an overwhelming amount of athletes that come out so that we can provide adequate judging, adequate tests.”

  • “We’ve allowed for a certain number to come in and that allows for us to give the best athletes the best experience. And then obviously for our staff not to feel overwhelmed by being working 24/7 the entire time. That way we can shift people in and out and have it be an enjoyable time for everyone.”

METCON Rush began as a grassroots event, but it has grown with more athletes submitting their information in hopes of securing a spot. For example, the winning team in 2022 was from Mexico.

This growth has led to Kellinger putting emphasis on legitimizing the competition. Becoming a CrossFit-licensed event was one step, but he also focused on the quality of the judges.

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The countdown is on! The ELFIT CrossFit Championship‘s online qualifier begins in less than a week, on July 19, with the announcement of OQ 23.1 and 23.2. This year the Crossfit-licensed event is being programmed by new Technical partner, Underdogs Athletics.

The Rogue Q is back! The Q is for athletes who have not been formally invited to compete in the CrossFit competition at the Rogue Invitational. Athletes can earn a spot to compete through the online qualifier running August 25-28. More details coming soon.

And, Rogue is introducing the C! The C is an online community event being held in addition to The Q. It is being programmed with Street Parking for all skill levels and is open to everyone. More details coming soon.

ICYMI: How your affiliate can weather the slow summer months and develop new revenue streams.

  Jake Douglas: Fueled by Family and Hard Work  


Jake Douglas: Fueled by Family and Hard Work

If you watched any of the 2023 CrossFit Oceania Semifinals, I don’t have to tell you twice which Douglas had the best moment in front of the crowd.

No, it wasn’t Jake, who massacred Semifinals Linda and then later went on to snatch 310 lbs. It was his 5-year-old daughter Frankie who joined Jake for his post-event interview with Kayla Banfield, delighting in seeing herself on the big screen and saying how proud she was of her dad.

Father of two, Jake Douglas, has had a long road getting here, but come August, he will compete in his first CrossFit Games, no doubt ready to make daughter Frankie, two-year-old son Johnny, and partner Ellen proud.

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  From Social Media “Stalker” to Devout CrossFit Member: How Bien Schwalm Overcame her Fears and Finally Took the Plunge  

From Social Media “Stalker” to Devout CrossFit Member: How Bien Schwalm Overcame her Fears and Finally Took the Plunge

For an entire year, Bien Schwalm followed Free Will CrossFit’s social media, checking in almost daily.

She read all their posts celebrating the Member of the Month, wishing people a happy birthday, and she knew all about the gym’s Committed Club reserved for those with consistent attendance.

  • “I remember reading everyone’s story, and I was like, ‘I want to do that,’” said Schwalm, now 46, of how she “stalked the gym” in Emmaus, PA for a whole year.

She wanted to join, but she was too scared, too intimidated, too unsure of herself. At one point, she did sign-up for an introductory day, but “couldn’t find the confidence to do it,” she explained. So she backed out and went back to following along on social media.

At the time, at 5-foot-3, Schwalm weighed 260 pounds, and her mental health was suffering. And considering her image of someone who went to a CrossFit gym was a lean, healthy woman in her 20s “without barriers in terms of her physique,” Schwalm just “didn’t think CrossFit was feasible.”

Things only got worse for Schwalm, a registered nurse, when the COVID pandemic hit.

  • “Being a nurse through COVID was terrible,” said Schwalm, who worked in hospice care through the pandemic.

Not only was she suffering from a certain degree of depression, but she gained even more weight and ended up in the emergency room with a blood clot and had to undergo an emergency thrombectomy.

  • “That got me to a very low place emotionally,” she said. In fact, it catalyzed her to start making some changes to become healthier.

But she was still too scared to go to the gym, because she thought she needed to lose weight before she started CrossFit.

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  Review of the Week: Elixir with Pockets Collection by LSKD  

Review of the Week: Elixir with Pockets Collection by LSKD

LSKD burst onto the CrossFit scene when trend-setting athletes like Khan Porter started repping the brand. LSKD is known for their active wear with a streetwear aesthetic. I first gave their products a try at Wodapalooza, mainly because I loved their oversized unisex tees because they are lightweight and so soft.

When I saw the Elixir collection I knew that I needed to give their shorts and new sports bra a try! Don’t worry ladies, this is a review from a woman who has big boobs and massive quads so you know I put these products to the TEST. Here are my key takeaways from working out in the Elixir with pockets collection.

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  Andre Houdet’s Workout of the Week  

Andre Houdet’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by Andre Houdet. The Dane is a four-time Games athlete and the current captain of team No Short Cuts CrossFit. Houdet and his team won the Team division in the Europe Semifinal in 2023, beating CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue by 12 points.

Andre Houdet

12-Minute AMRAP

2 rounds of:

  • 50-Foot Double KB Front Rack Walking Lunges
  • 8 Ring Muscle Ups


2 rounds of:

  • 50-foot Handstand Walk
  • 8 Double KB Hang Clean and Jerk
  • Load: 2×53/35 pounds | 24/16kg

Scaling Options: The workout can be adjusted by using lighter KBs, lessening the ring muscle up volume, or subsisting bar muscle ups, pull-ups, or a combination pull-ups and ring dips. Athletes unable to handstand walk can substitute four wall walks per round.

Advice from Andre: “Find one cue that you can focus on during each movement. This will help you get in the zone for the workout and move the focus away from how hard it is to how you should execute each exercise. Test one round of each segment at the speed you want to go at in the workout in order for you to get an idea of how many rounds you will be able to accumulate. With that in mind you can make approximate target splits and get an idea of the total volume you will be accumulating. This information should allow you to navigate the workout better and in the end give you a better result.”

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



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Three Banded Exercises for Knee Pain

If you are looking for a solution for knee pain, try these three banded exercises.


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9/29 - 10/1: MACC FEST (Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival) (West Friendship, MD)
9/29 - 9/30: Iron Anchor Throwdown (Batavia, OH)
9/29 - 10/1: 2023 Masters Fitness Championship (Fort Wayne, IN)
9/30 - 10/1: Sango Games 2023 (Clarksville, TN)
9/30: 15th Anniversary and Birthday Brawl (York, PA)
9/30: Barbell Brawl VIII (Kennett Square, PA)
9/30: No Weak Links: Cuff Links (Marcy, NY)
9/30 - 10/1: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Babes with Barbells (Huntington, WV)
10/7: KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: Pitness At The Mill (Canton, GA)
10/7: 2023 KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: FitoberFest (Prairie Village, KS)
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)
10/13 - 10/15: Crash Crucible (Spartanburg, SC)
10/14: T-Town Throwdown (Toledo, OH)
10/14: Triple Threat Terror 2023 (Forney, TX)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: Babes and Barbells (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/14: Scream & Clean III (Danbury, CT)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Belleville (Bellevile, Canada)
10/14: Best Babes West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
10/14: Best Babes Columbus GA (Columbus, GA)
10/14: Best Babes Illinois (Byron, IL)
10/14: 8th Annual Kilo CrushFest Competition (Hampton, VA)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Sedalia (Sedalia, MO)
10/14: Best Babes Massachusetts (Beverly, MA)
10/15: Kares CrossFit October Showdown (Georgetown, Guyana)
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)
10/21: Barbells For Bullies: Portland (Hillsboro, OR)
10/21: 401 Fall Throwdown (Smithfield, RI)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/27 - 10/28: Star City Fittest (Roanoke, VA)
10/28 - 10/29: The Ghostly Games (Fayetteville, GA)
10/28: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/3 - 11/4: Florida Grid League Championship (Orlando, FL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/4: Sunshine SmackDown (Bedford Hills, NY)
11/4: Witch City Throwdown (Salem, MA)
11/4: Barbell Babes Lorton (Lorton, VA)
11/11: Freakin’ Gauntlet (Pembroke Pines, FL)
11/11: The Meadowlands Classic (Carlstadt, NJ)
11/11: Barbell Massacre 8 (Dahlonega, GA)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/18: Best Babes Dallas (Dallas, TX)
11/18: Best Babes Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
11/18: Best Babes Iowa (Mason City, IA)
11/18: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Haven, UT)
11/18: Teams Of The Midway: 2 Person Teams (Cary, IL)
11/18: Friendsgiving (Ambler, PA)
11/18: Turkey Bash (Chatham, IL)

See all upcoming events

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