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Bron Goes All In on CrossFit

Morning Chalk Up

March 27   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Bronislaw Olenkowicz joins Underdogs Athletics for the 2023 season
  • Check out this new course for athletes who want to train through their pregnancies
  • Team Quarterfinals starts this week and we have all the info you need
  • And, how does red light therapy work?
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“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” - Steve Jobs

  “I believe this is my first season as a CrossFit athlete,”: Bronislaw Olenkowicz Joins Justin Cotler’s Underdogs Athletics and Starts Comeback Season  

“I believe this is my first season as a CrossFit athlete,”: Bronislaw Olenkowicz Joins Justin Cotler’s Underdogs Athletics and Starts Comeback Season

Bronislaw Olenkowicz, known as Bron, has been a mainstay in the “OMG did you see that lift” side of Instagram for years. Few may remember though that he made a Games appearance in 2019.

Olenkowicz just had an impressive performance in Quarterfinals where he currently sits in 21st place worldwide and 11th in Europe.

The 34-year-old athlete resides in a small town in Poland and characterizes 2023 as the first year season he gets to perform as an athlete. He hopes to make the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games, with the help of his coach Justin Cotler. Olenkowicz has gone from cherry picking workouts and writing his own training to training under Cotler, the owner and head coach of Underdogs Athletics.

  • “I believe this is my first season as a CrossFit athlete,” said Olenkowicz.
  •  “I will do my best in every event. And you know we cannot be sure of everything. But I can train really hard and if I keep up all the good work with Just it’s possible.”
  • “So it’s a matter of time, luck, and love of things, and I will be prepared. But I really believe that this is possible.”

The training camp is known to produce some monster athletes including Ricky Garard, Bethany Shadburne, and Kari Pearce.

Olenkowicz says he trains remotely and gets coaching from Cotler virtually. Even though it is virtual, Olenkowicz says being regimented with Cotler’s programming and coaching are what has made him so successful thus far this season.

Remind me: Olenkowicz made the Games in 2019 where he placed 42nd. He made Quarterfinals in 2021 and 2022, but only made it to Semifinals in 2021 where he placed 10th, according to his CrossFit HQ athlete profile.

  • “By the end of last year I decided to go for the full season like an athlete, and I was looking for a coach who is experienced in coaching athletes who have performed at the Games level and going for the podium,” said Olenkowicz.
  • He adds, Cotler was at the top of his list when he went out looking for a coach and “I was really happy that he liked the idea and he decided to help me on my journey for this season.”
  • Olenkowicz says he’s doubled the time he’s able to train and while his strength background is very strong his focus has been on conditioning and aerobic capacity.
  • While under Cotler, “I’ve been working on my engine the most and I lift weights at much less volume.”

The 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open and Quarterfinals were a good series of tests for Olenkowicz, who says he trains out of CrossFit Strong House. The time difference was difficult for him to get strategy notes from Cotler, but the two made it work.

  • “I provided whatever strategic insight I could with the time change. Obviously, some of our athletes who are here in Vegas were able to do some of the workouts prior to him doing them so I had some insight on some of the strategies and things,” said Cotler.
  • “But really, and truly, I think we have to give him the majority of the credit. I mean, he’s putting in the work. He’s obviously dedicated himself to this season. And I’m very proud of the progress that he’s made in a very short period of time.”
  • “I think I forced him to confront the things that he didn’t want to do in training. I think ultimately when you program for yourself it’s very easy to program around weaknesses. It’s very easy to program the things that you like to do in the gym. But at the end of the day, if you want to be a successful athlete you’ve got to attack your weaknesses.”
  • “And I think that was one of the big things he said to me in our initial conversation was that he just wasn’t doing a great job of holding himself accountable and attacking the things that he needed to attack.”

Since this is the first season Olenkowicz says he’s able to give his full-time attention to training, he really doesn’t see it so much as a comeback season as “let’s say the first time season when I am prepared properly, like I should have years ago, but right now I have time for this,” he said.

  • “I have the room for this, I have the support for this, and it makes me really happy,” he added.

The bottom line: Olenkowicz is a force to be reckoned with and someone to watch as we advance to Semifinal competition.

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2023 CrossFit Games Leaderboards (updated, Crossfit’s deadline to finalize the leaderboard is March 27)

  • North America East
    1. Dallin Pepper (42) | Mallory O’Brien (16)
    2. Jeffrey Adler (45) | Brooke Wells (45)
    3. Samuel Cournoyer (55) | Emma Cary (47)
    4. Noah Ohlsen (69) | Anikha Greer (57)
    5. Spencer Panchik (104) | Emma Lawson (58)
  • North America West
    1. Justin Medeiros (9) | Arielle Loewen (29)
    2. Patrick Vellner (15) | Alex Gazan (42)
    3. Cole Greashaber (51) | Rebecca Fuselier (73)
    4. Nick Mathew (62) | Kelly Baker (81)
    5. Mitchel Stevenson (64) | Emily Rolfe (89)
  • Europe
    1. Fabian Beneito (76) | Laura Horvath (30)
    2. Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson (89) | Gabriela Migala (46)
    3. Victor Hoffer (91) | Emma Tall (58)
    4. Lazar Djukic (100) | Manon Angonese (62)
    5. Harry Lightfoot (142) | Thuridur Helgadottir (69)
  • Oceania
    1. Ricky Garard (28) | Katelin Van Zyl (26)
    2. Jay Crouch (36) | Jamie Simmonds (32)
    3. William Kearney (112) | Briony Challis (53)
    4.  Jake Douglas  (120) | Ellie Turner  (56)
    5. John Champion (129) | Georgia Pryor (68)
  • Asia 
    1. Morteza Sedaghat (58) | Dawon Jung (13)
    2. Andrei Fedotov (74) | Seher Kaya (20)
    3. Eren Kim (74) | Kamlia Takeyeva (22)
    4. Ruslan Miftakhov (85) | Shahad Budebs (46)
    5. Arthur Semenov (88) | Minjeong Kim (59)
  • South America
    1. Guilherme Malheiros (37) | Victoria Campos (29)
    2. Benjamin Gutierrez (70) | Sasha Nievas (31)
    3. Augustin Richelme (115) | Carolina Martinez (45)
    4. Gustavo Errico (116) | Amanda Fusuma (53)
    5. Vitor Caetano (123) | Luiza Marques (55)
  • Africa
    1. Kealan Henry (37) | Christina Livaditakis (30)
    2. Darren Zurnamer (39) | Mariska Smit (42)
    3. Michael Van Tonder (51) | Gemma Rader (43)
    4. Callum Deeble (51) | Tanha Bouffe (55)
    5. Daniel Griesel (65) | Georgia Ayres (60)
  • Reminder: The top-60 men and women will qualify for Semifinals in the North American East, North American West, and Europe regions, the top-30 men and women will qualify out of Oceania, South America, Asia, and Africa.
  • See the Morning Chalk Up’s full Quarterfinals leaderboards, and find all the details about qualifying for the next stage of the 2023 CrossFit Games season.
  New Course Designed Specifically for Pregnant CrossFit Athletes Now Live  


New Course Designed Specifically for Pregnant CrossFit Athletes Now Live

While the general population is still under the misconception that working out, let alone working out with intensity, during pregnancy is dangerous, CrossFit women tend to take the opposite approach: They treat pregnancy like a WOD and they want to continue training as usual to be as strong as they possibly can so they can “crush childbirth.”

You can’t just “grin and bear it…You can’t crush childbirth,” explained Dr. Christina Clark, a long-time CrossFit athlete and a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic health.

Continue Reading...
  2023 CrossFit Games Team Quarterfinals: Eligibility, Important Dates, and Advancing to Semifinals  

2023 CrossFit Games Team Quarterfinals: Eligibility, Important Dates, and Advancing to Semifinals

The 2023 CrossFit Games season is well underway, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. As the Individual leaderboards are finalized, the Team and Age-Group Quarterfinals are about to begin. We have scoured the CrossFit Games website and 2023 CrossFit Games Rulebook to bring Morning Chalk Up readers this comprehensive guide to all things Team Quarterfinals.

Note: This is strictly a resource, any questions regarding invitations, eligibility, or otherwise should be sent to [email protected].

In this article:

Continue Reading...
  How Does Kineon’s Red Light Therapy Device Work? The Science Behind The Tool Elite CrossFitters Swear By  

How Does Kineon’s Red Light Therapy Device Work? The Science Behind The Tool Elite CrossFitters Swear By

The majority of CrossFit enthusiasts can probably recall the moment Brooke Wells went to snatch 190 pounds during the 2021 CrossFit Games and her elbow collapsed, leaving her yelping in pain and audible gasps from the crowd.

Fast forward and Wells is back on the competition field, but it isn’t without a number of tools such as the MOVE+ by Kineon that have aided in her recovery. She is one of several elite CrossFitters to back the red light therapy device that is making waves as of late.

  • Wells told Kineon in an interview she’s had tendonitis since 2016, but after dislocating her elbow at the Games she knew she needed to take care of things more preemptively.
  • “Coming back from that, it’s made me really realize that I need to take care of injuries or nagging little things from the moment it starts so that it doesn’t get to that point,” said Wells, who has been using the MOVE+ for her elbow and other spots that are giving her trouble.
  • “Using this device and enhancing my recovery so much is going to be a game changer in the sport,” she added.
Continue Reading...
  How Does Kineon’s Red Light Therapy Device Work? The Science Behind The Tool Elite CrossFitters Swear By  

Sit Ups for Pups

Shoutout to the current leading gym (as of Friday) CrossFit Stealth with 71,103 and individual Aulbrey with 5,795 reps  Only a few more days left in March to accumulate as many sit-ups as possible for awareness of euthanasia in shelters. Anyone can do their part by doing their sit-ups, and/or donating to Barbells for Bullies! Finish strong!

Sit-Ups for Pups: Pupdate.


Nutrient Timing

Does it matter when you eat based on your workouts? Or do you eat whenever you get hungry? Let’s talk about it.




Mess is a Monster That Will Eat You Alive

Mess will slow you down, stress you out, and eat away at your best efforts. The gym bags from Haven help you be the hero with unrivaled organization and a god-mode view on all your gear for lighting-speed access. So get organized.



Five Easy Ways to Add Protein to Your Diet

Wondering how to hit your protein numbers for your macros? Use these easy ways to get some extra protein in and make your nutrition coach very happy.



FREE Chicken Nuggets for a Year and $100 Off

For a limited time, when you sign up for Butcher Box as a new member, you’ll not only get high quality, 100% grass fed meat, you’ll also get FREE chicken nuggets for a year with $100. Yes, you read that right. A whole year. But you better act now before it’s too late!



Tall Snatches

Snatches are one of the most highly technical movements in CrossFit. This drill can help you warm up, work on your speed under the bar, and also help improve your catch position for your snatches.


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 🎂 Happy belated 21st birthday to CrossFit Invictus team athlete, Devyn Kim.
  • 🎉 Congratulations to Samantha from Ocean State CrossFit North in Smithfield, RI on her first ring muscle-up.
  • Kaiden Hogan is making moves in his final year of CrossFit Games teen eligibility.
  • Adam Klink stood up 20 reps of 325-pound/147.4kg back squats on his journey of preparing for a second attempt at the Leadville 100 ultramarathon in Colorado.
  • 🍼 CrossFit Mojo in Madison, WI hosted a baby WOD, with wall-ball bellies and all, to celebrate the pregnancy of one of their own, Morgan Ogle.
12/9 - 12/10: Space Coast Classic (West Melbourne, FL)
12/9: Wodamania (Singer Island Riviera Beach, FL)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)

See all upcoming events

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