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Can You Achieve Gains Through Fasting?

Morning Chalk Up

January 15   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • How two gym owners handled their experiences with COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • How fasted workouts affect your gains.
  • CrossFit Echo Park donates shoes to the homeless on Skid Row.
  • Cassidy Lance-McWherter programmed our first workout of the week challenge.

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

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“Do you know what excuses and answers have in common? If you look for them, you'll find them.” - Tim Felts

  How Two Gym Owners Handled COVID-19 Outbreaks 

How Two Gym Owners Handled COVID-19 Outbreaks

In late 2020, Dave Finlay faced every gym owner’s fear: a handful of members at his affiliate, CrossFit in the D, tested positive for COVID-19.

“It’s going to happen to all of us,” Finlay says, giving a step-by-step breakdown of his next steps:

  • Finlay jokes that he probably did everything “too correctly,” providing tests for their staff, contacting all members, and taking the week off to make sure no returning members showed symptoms.
  • “We shut the gym down ourselves, contacted everyone, did a thorough cleaning, and we gave everyone the week to say ‘Hey, you should go get tested,’” he said.

Nick Beal, owner of CrossFit Casco Bay and CrossFit Casco Bay Undaunted in Maine went through a similar situation when three members at CrossFit Undaunted tested positive for the virus.

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  • Mat Fraser’s limited edition HWPO Nike t-shirt sold out yesterday worldwide in less than five minutes.
  • Kara Saunders is now a featured virtual coach with Ultrahuman, a fitness app based fitness video platform that debuted this week at the Consumer Electronic’s Show in Las Vegas. Saunders is leading courses on body transformation for the “masterclass” of fitness app that just closed an $8 million funding round.
  • Mathew Fraser, Josh Bridges and Sevan Matossian’s yet-to-be-named podcast dropped another episode this week, discussing a wide range of topics from the sports they played growing up, to motorcycles and gun safety to Bridges career as a Navy SEAL.
    • Bridges on being a Navy SEAL: “I didn’t just want to earn my trident, I wanted to go do the job…there are bad people in the world, people who want to kill you just for who you are…I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
  • Owner of CrossFit Siloam Springs, Michael Spruell, took second place in the second annual USA Powerlifting Arkansas State Open Powerlifting Championships after lift 1,482 pounds total: recording a 540 pound squat, a 380 pound bench press and a 562 pound deadlift in the process.
  • Washington state gyms and fitness centers were allowed to partially re-open this week after an eight-week-long closure order. Phase one of re-opening allows appointment-only workouts and one customer per room or per 500 square feet.
  • Melissa Olsson, owner of Twenty Pound Hammer: “I understand asking us to shut down when COVID first hit and no one knew much about it, but once people learned more about it, the one-size-fits-all policy didn’t seem fair”
  • The second round of PAINKLLR’s Made of More Missions starts this Saturday and registration is open now. The six new interactive missions/workouts were created in partnership with U.S. Air Force Special Warfare and are based on real-life missions.
  • RP Strength founder, Nick Shaw, joined Kevin Torress on the Dad Bod WOD podcastto discuss all things nutrition. Learn why people fail at dieting, why dieting is so difficult and the strategies he laid out in his new book “Fit for Success.”
    • Shaw: “You don’t have to be super, super fancy with nutrition…stick to the basics.”
  • SpaceX Alum, Josh Clemente, launched Levels,a health start-up providing “users with a constant glucose monitor (CGM) patch that attaches painlessly to the arm and can do real-time metabolism tracking via an app.”
    • Clemente: “There are 100m+ American adults with pre-diabetes and 84% of them don’t know it. The CDC thinks 70% of those people will transition to Type 2 diabetes in the next 5-10 years if they don’t make some changes. How are they going to make changes if they’re not measuring anything?
  Fasting and What It Means for Your Gains 


Fasting and What It Means for Your Gains

Fasting is so hot right now. You can’t walk through the magazine aisle without seeing rows of health magazines promoting the benefits of intermittent fasting. Increased energy, mental clarity, more fat burning, better insulin sensitivity are all claims made by fasting advocates.

Before diving into the benefits or effects of fasting, it is prudent to understand what it means to be in a fasted state. Fasting is defined as willfully refraining from eating. In a physiological context, fasting refers to a metabolic state achieved after complete absorption of a meal. We generally assume people to be in a fasted state 8-12 hours after their last meal. Metabolic changes as a result of entering a fasted state start occurring 3-5 hours after a meal. We are all fasted when we wake up in the morning after not eating overnight. I am fasted as I write this article at 7:40 in the morning (to be clear that is not because of some mental clarity benefit, it is because my oatmeal is not done cooking).

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  CrossFit Echo Park Teams Up with ER Doc, Donates Dozens of Shoes to Skid Rows’ Homeless Population 

CrossFit Echo Park Teams Up with ER Doc, Donates Dozens of Shoes to Skid Rows’ Homeless Population

Three weeks ago, Los Angeles-based CrossFit Echo Park coach Angela Armijo approached Dr. Luke Palmisano, a doctor at Dignity Health California Hospital and long-time member of the gym, with an idea to collect “gently used” shoes and donate them to the hospital to give to homeless patients who frequently visit the emergency room.

  • Within a couple weeks, the community at CrossFit Echo Park had collected 43 pairs of shoes that are still in great shape, explained Palmisano, the Emergency Department Director at the hospital.
  • “We all have closets full of lightly used Metcons in perfectly good condition, and in our ER we have such a high percentage of homeless people who come in without shoes. For years we have been giving them hospital socks, so to be able to give shoes to them, everyone wins,” he said.

Some context: Dignity Health California Hospital, located in downtown LA, is the closest hospital to Skid Row, “one of the world’s most in-need populations,” Palmisano explained. It’s a population riddled with psychiatric disease, as well as drug and alcohol abuse.

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  Cassidy Lance-McWherter's Workout Of The Week 

Cassidy Lance-McWherter'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 comments section.

Today’s workout of the week is programmed by Cassidy Lance-McWherter.

  • 4 Sets of:
    • 10 Toes to Bar
    • 8 Dumbbell Box Step Overs
    • 15/10 cal on machine of choice
    • Rest 1 minute
  • Home Option
    • 4 Sets of:
      • 15 V-Ups or Leg Raises
      • 8 Dumbbell Box or Chair Step Ups
      • 200 m Run or 15 Burpees
      • Rest 1 minute
  • Time Cap: 16 minutes

Some advice from Cassidy: “It’s a quick one! Try to push the pace, but also know there are 3 more sets after 🙂 You got this! Have fun!”

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



Two Safer Ways to Overhead Press

Build your shoulders and protect your back at the same time with these two overhead press variations from T-Nation. Shoulder presses are tough for many athletes to do without back hyperextension. These two exercises take that out of the equation.




Become An Online Nutrition Coach

This week, Working Against Gravity opened up registration for the Nutrition Coach Certification and had the most sign-ups in the certification's history. Get your name on the list to learn how to transform lives, while working for yourself. Spots sell out every single launch — so don’t wait.



Your Back Squat Rack Mobility

If you struggle to get a solid grip on the bar during back squats, give this mobility test and these quick fixes from Squat University a try. Most likely the issue is pec inflexibility, after hitting the stretches, retest your rack position and see if it improves.



Your First Handstand Pushup

Struggling to get your first HSPU? This Train Your Weakness six-week program can help. If you're nervous about attempting your first HSPU or are struggling to figure out the movement, this program is for you.



The Best Almond Flour Pancakes

These fluffy almond flour pancakes are made with just five core ingredients: almond flour, your favorite dairy-free milk, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. They are gluten-free, low carb, and delicious, and they make the perfect, easy breakfast. Here's a tip: add blueberries or chocolate chips!


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.

12/9 - 12/11: Fall Series Throwdown (Desio, Italy)
12/17: The Midwest Championship (Warrensburg, MO)
1/15 - 1/31: Athens Throwdown Qualifiers (Athens, Greece)
1/21 - 1/22: Modena Challenge: Beginner and Master (Modena, Italy)

See all upcoming events

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