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Bridges Burns It Down, Pichelli Builds It Up

Morning Chalk Up

August 7


Happy Friday and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. In today’s installment of “My Favorite Moment from the Games,” Tommy Marquez brings us back to 2013, and the first time Dave Castro programmed legless rope climbs with a shortened climbing rope. The rig and the set-up for the event provided the perfect backdrop for an athletic spectacle. Josh Bridges and Allessandra Pichelli provided just that.

We’ve been loving all the quote suggestions, story tips and PRs. Keep them rolling in at [email protected].

If you or your gym are getting back to holding local events, let us know.



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“Traps are the new abs.” – Scott Sparks (Co-Owner of CrossFit 219, Munster, IN)


July 26, 2013: Bridges Burns It Down, Pichelli Builds It Up

  July 26, 2013: Bridges Burns It Down, Pichelli Builds It Up  

Setting the Scene: It’s dusk on a warm Friday evening at the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA. The programming of the 2013 CrossFit Games so far was an eclectic array of five tests that included a half-marathon row, the first and only event ever in a pool, and a burden run event that sprawled across the entire compound and introduced a devastating new implement known as “the Pig.” When fans poured into the tennis stadium for the final event that evening they were treated to an assemblage of rope and steel never before seen at the CrossFit Games. Eleven competition lanes filled with 44 barbells, and a massive, floor-spanning rig. The tennis stadium had been transformed into a fitness jungle with 110 shortened climbing ropes hanging ominously across the competition floor as yet another programming twist awaited.

But first, some back story: Josh Bridges became an instant superstar in 2011, finishing 2nd behind only Rich Froning in his rookie season at the Games after years of throwing up impressive scores on “dot com.” Unfortunately Bridges missed 2012 due to a combination of his job in the Navy, and a knee injury that resulted in surgery. Coming into the Games in 2013 Bridges was on a short list of potential threats to Froning’s throne but the previous four events weren’t kind to him — he entered the event in 18th place after a 42nd, 17th, 15th, and 39th respectively. “Initially I thought I was pumped it was legless, I figured being lighter it would help out. No one had really been practicing legless (rope climbs) at that point.”

Alessandra Pichelli was a quiet, soft spoken rookie who stood on the affiliate cup podium the year prior with Diablo CrossFit, and 2013 was her time to shine in the individual competition. She dominated the Northern California Regional, and through five events was sitting in 3rd place on the heels of established veterans Sam Briggs, and Christy Adkins (then Phillips). This was a massive breakthrough opportunity for Pichelli — in the previous three heats no woman had managed to finish the workout under the time cap with most burning out quickly on the rope climbs.


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Athena Perez Builds Scaled Nation CrossFit, An Online Bridge to “Regular CrossFit”

  Athena Perez Builds Scaled Nation CrossFit, An Online Bridge to “Regular CrossFit”  

After losing 225 pounds and writing a book about it, Athena Perez has become more committed than ever to helping those who need CrossFit the most to feel comfortable walking into a gym.

  • Perez is in the process of building Scaled Nation CrossFit, with the intention of offering fitness to those who might feel intimidated to join a regular CrossFit gym.
  • “I want it to be a place that bridges the gap to help people who are overweight take the first step. For some, it might be a permanent solution, but for others it can be a springboard to get them started, a place to help them build the courage and confidence to join a box near them,” added Perez, whose book Lifting the Wait has already sold more than 10,000 copies since it was released in July.

One big thing: Though her initial intention was to offer small, in-person classes of just two or three, Perez has recently decided to turn her affiliate into a purely online experience.

  • “Many people who are obese or overweight are scared to join a gym,” Perez explained, so she decided that providing remote classes, where they can workout from home, is the best way to get them started on their fitness journey. Secondly, Perez has a following all around the world, so remote classes seemed like the most practical way to reach the demographic of people she wants to connect with.
  • “Originally, I just wanted to build a small gym, but the response from people was overwhelming so this seemed like the better way to go,” added Perez. She is hoping to begin classes from her garage gym at the end of the summer.

CrossFit Games Update: Catching Up with Khan Porter

  CrossFit Games Update: Catching Up with Khan Porter  



Highlights from CrossFit’s First Scholarship Weekend

CrossFit partnered with local nonprofit, the Atlanta Leadership Club, to offer a free Level 1 Certificate Course for local youth in the community. The mission of the CrossFit Scholarship is to spark meaningful health-care changes in underrepresented and underserved communities by providing foundational health and fitness education through free access to the L-1.

  Morning Chalk Up  



Become The Best Lifter In Your Box

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 (Offer ends 8/10)

  Morning Chalk Up  


Working in Before Working Out

Meditation can sometimes be intimidating, but this Brute Strength blog post suggests that we should reframe it in our minds as “breath-work” or taking time out. It’s as simple as sitting still for a few minutes and focusing on your breath. It can even help you prepare mentally for a tough workout. Learn more now.

  Morning Chalk Up  


40% Off Reebok Gear

Through August 28 Reebok is having a site-wide sale. Shop now and use the code “BTSEXCLUSIVE” to pick up Reebok gear at up to 40% off including the Nano 9. (Some items are excluded)

  Morning Chalk Up  


Salted PB&J Ice Cream Pie

Ok, ok, this is probably not that easy to fit into your macros, but sometimes that’s not what it’s about. This recipe includes peanut butter, jelly and buttery crackers in a no-churn ice cream pie form! That’s pretty much that all we need to hear to be sold on this one!



Congratulations to Sergio H., who was the first to correctly answer since 2009 how many times has an Individual won all the events on the last day of the CrossFit Games. The correct answer was two times – Rich Froning at the CFG13 and CFG14. Sergio increases his total of being the first to answer the Trivia question correctly, now eight times.

  • Today’s question: Which year did all of the Regional Events for Individuals and Teams not include a barbell?

Submit your answer.



  • Josh Maxwell gets 40 unbroken heavy double unders.
  • Patrick Linehan power snatches 165 pounds for a PR.
  • Ally Greenwell clean and jerks 85 pounds.
  • Mike Cioe does a clean and jerk complex at 265 pounds.
  • Sigurdur Hafsteinn bench presses 440 pounds for a PR.
  • Ryan Forgotch does a clean + press complex at 225 pounds.
  • Hunter Lee power cleans 275 pounds for a 20 pound PR.


Two Good Reads

Two great pieces appeared in the South China Morning Post recently. The first one, “Weathering Coronavirus and the Greg Glassman CrossFit Scandal — How Hong Kong Gym Typhoon is Responding to Crisis” provides a global insight into some of the issues we’ve been tracking closely stateside. The second, “UK Country Manager Ollie Mansbridge Takes Road Through Rugby to Affiliate Owmner and Stength in Depth,” profiles the official CrossFit rep and his thoughts on new owner, Eric Roza. Here are a couple of key take aways form each:

“How Hong Kong Gym Typhoon is Responding to Crisis,” By Mark Agnew

  • Typhoon Co-owner, Dave Baker on dealing with the pandemic: “The virus has really kept us on our toes. Because the policy changes are so rapid, it doesn’t give us a lot of time to think through the decisions we need to make to accommodate our membership. We’re always thinking about the members first and foremost.”
  • On dealing with the changing regulations: “At this point, I can’t complain. We all recognize that the government’s decisions are based on science. It’s encouraging how quickly the population is responding to policies. There’s no doubt, none of us are hiding from the fact that gyms are a high risk area.”
  • On members returning after lockdown: “It’s encouraging to see that we had a huge rebound after the first lockdown. They came back in droves. People were dying to get their hands on a barbell and burn off some of that anxiety.”

UK Country Manager Ollie Mansbridge,” By Patrick Blannerhassett 

  • Mansbridge on the attraction of CrossFit: “It just felt natural, the stuff in Men’s Health never really resonated with me. So CrossFit just made complete sense … I am an intrinsically competitive person. Even when we did conditioning for rugby, I would always try to win the conditioning. I always felt liked that got the most out of me.”
  • On the recent strife: “What Greg said and did was not a representation of CrossFit and affiliate owners were in a very tricky spot. It was very difficult and very challenging. All while we’ve got a pandemic going on and that just added to the environment. People were at home, people weren’t working, people were more active online. It was just a real Pandora’s Box and toxic mix.”
  • On Eric Roza:“It felt like when Eric was announced, the whole fire went out in a way. People, obviously, still have some doubts about CrossFit and they still want to see some change, but I think on the whole people think Eric couldn’t have been a better appointment.”
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