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China’s “zero COVID” strategy strangling CrossFit

Morning Chalk Up

March 15   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Has the CrossFit Open entered a new era?
  • China’s “zero COVID” policy remains a serious issue for CrossFit in the country
  • Should CrossFit box owners still be grandfathering rates?
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“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” - Khalil Gibran

  Has the CrossFit Open Entered a New Era?  

Has the CrossFit Open Entered a New Era?

The 2022 Open has now come and gone, and with it many changes to what we are typically used to in terms of Open programming. This shouldn’t be entirely surprising as we are still in only the second year of a new format for the season as a whole, including the new Quarterfinals stage, and we are still learning how these pieces all fit together.

However, now that we’ve seen the full slate of workouts there are certain questions that feel like they need to be asked, all of which ultimately lead to the larger question of whether the 2022 Open programming suggests that the Open might not be what it once was.

Observable, measurable, repeatable

One of the foundational elements of CrossFit as a methodology was that Greg Glassman assigned definitions to terms that were previously undefined, and made a point to create a testing system that was observable, measurable, and repeatable; it’s why benchmark workouts were created. And, in the case of the Open, it’s been one of the tenants since the second year of Open workouts when the concept of a repeat workout was introduced in the form of 12.5 (and in every iteration of the Open since then) until this year. A repeat workout has been present and subsequently has been perhaps the best opportunity for us, as a community, to maintain this original, foundational part of what the CrossFit methodology is.

The repeat workout as a part of the Open is often one of the biggest topics of communication and excitement. But it’s also an integral part of being able to apply science to fitness with concrete examples of individuals and the community as a whole improving upon a previous version of itself. Its omission from the 2022 Open is a major deviation from what those who have been doing the Open for a long time look forward to, but it’s only the first of several things that are uniquely different about this Open than all previous years.

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The Open is over and here is our way too early unofficial leaderboard for 22.3 as of Monday at 5:30PM PT. Please note: these are unofficial scores and have not been verified by CrossFit.

  1. Tia-Clair Toomey (4:07) | Scott Tetlow (4:07)
  2. Mallory O’Brien (4:12) | Agustin Richelme (4:15)
  3. Kara Saunders (4:26) | Giorgos Karavis (4:22)
  4. Laura Horvath (4:39) | (4T) Cédric Lapointe (4:24)
  5. (5T) Marisa Flowers (4:40) | (4T) Colten Mertens (4:24)
  6. (5T) Kristi Eramo O’Connell (4:40) | Noah Ohlsen (4:27)
  7. (5T) Danielle Brandon (4:40) | (7T) Justin Medeiros (4:29)
  8. Haley Adams (4:44) | (7T) Jake Berman (4:29)
  9. Feeroozeh Saghafi (4:49) | (9T) Saxon Panchik (4:30)
  10. (10T) Rebecca Fuselier (4:50) | (9T) Will Carter (4:30)
  11. (10T) Anikha Greer (4:50)

An overall leaderboard is expected by the weekend, as registration for the Individual Quarterfinal will begin on Monday, March 21 with competition starting Thursday, March 24.

Mat Fraser is moving his HWPO training platform and they have a two-step process for helping users out with the switch.

Our very own Patrick Clark spoke to Khan Porter and it seems the Australian is loving Iceland so far. 😎

Yet another study has found that your chances of getting Alzheimer’s Disease later in life can be greatly reduced (by up to a third) if you stay fit and healthy.


China's "Zero COVID" Strategy Continues to Stifle CrossFit in Country

As the Western world continues to move on from COVID-19, dropping mandates and beginning to treat the virus as endemic, China finds itself in a precarious situation. The country’s “zero COVID” policy, in which outbreaks are stamped out at all costs, including locking down millions of people at a moment’s notice, now looks like a lost cause.

The strategy proved incredibly useful during the first part of the pandemic in 2020 as the world grappled with trying to slow down the spread of COVID. The Chinese Communist Party, in looking to differentiate itself from the US and the West, touted the strategy as a superior way to fight the virus, minimize deaths and keep healthcare services from breaking down.

Now three months into 2022 and it is clear China’s COVID strategy is doing more harm than good. The country remains unable to open up to the international world, as entering is almost impossible unless you are a Chinese national. Cities continue to be locked down at a moment’s notice to stamp out a low number of cases, and Hong Kong, a special administrative region, finds itself in the grips of an unprecedented wave of infections after staying relatively unscathed during 2022 due to incredibly tight restrictions and the world’s longest quarantine for arrivals.

The collateral damage is piling up, however there does appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Liang Kong, China’s CrossFit country manager, admitted COVID has presented unprecedented challenges for the mainland, however he remains optimistic moving forward.

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  Grandfathering Rates “Detrimental,” Say Business Mentors, Gym Owners  


Grandfathering Rates “Detrimental,” Say Business Mentors, Gym Owners

Grandfathering rates has been part of CrossFit affiliate culture since its inception, led by CrossFit founder Greg Glassman.

From the start, Glassman promised gym owners their affiliation fees would never increase, a promise that is still being honored today by CrossFit LLC, with the earliest affiliates still paying just $500 or $1,000 a year depending on what the going rate was at the time they opened their doors.

Early affiliates followed suit on a grassroots level, many of whom promised their members the same thing: a grandfathered rate at the gym that would never increase. After all, it seemed like a good idea, a way to reward loyalty and encourage client retention.

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  Grandfathering Rates “Detrimental,” Say Business Mentors, Gym Owners  

VIDEO: Khan Porter Feeling at Home, Physically and Mentally, in Iceland

Watch Now...


Your Ankle Mobility

Lack of mobility hindering the depth of your squat? Here are three exercises to add to your warm-up next time you have some squats programmed that are sure to get those ankles flexing.




Why Ankle Stability and Mobility Matter

The joints that pivot and rotate to allow you to walk, run, jump, squat, lunge, deadlift. When you think about all the movements, there’s one major joint that is involved in every single one.



Can The Fittest Judge On Earth Redeem Himself?

Justin Medeiros had a slight hiccup when counting reps on the Buttery Bros last Open attempt...he skipped an entire round. Now it's time to prove that champions never stay down as he returns to redeem himself on 22.3.



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Why 22.3 Produced Some Crazy Variance

Looking at some of the scores from 22.3 and not understanding how someone could possibly do that? Here's a breakdown of some of the science on energy that explains how one human could beat someone in a short workout by that much.


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

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Matt O’Keefe.
  • 🏋️‍♂️ Congratulations to this CrossFitter turned weightlifter, Ryan Grimsland from Hickory, NC on the 401 pound/182kg clean and jerk at 2022 University Nationals.
  • Congratulations Alicha Harris from Compound CrossFit in Chesapeake, VA on getting your first rx pull-ups in 22.3.
  • Congratulations Elizabeth Borchardt from Adventure Awaits CrossFit in Schofield, WI on getting your first muscle-up in 22.3.
  • 😳 Charlie Gains shocks gym goers with his insane bodyweight control.
3/1 - 3/31: Sit Ups For Pups (Everywhere, Anywhere Online)
3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (oceanside, ca)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
4/13: Queens of Oly East Tennessee (Bulls Gap, TN)
4/13: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20: Barbells For Bullies: Community Workout Savannah (Savnnah, Georgia, US)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Masiphumelele (Kommetjie, Cape Town, South Africa)
4/20: Festivus Games (Goderich, Canada)
4/20: Festivus Games (Clermont, FL)
4/20: Festivus Games @ The Gym – CrossFit Kilo (Cedar Falls, IA)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CBM Sirens (Caledonia, MS)
4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
4/20: Embrace the Challenge (Mentor, Ohio)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)

See all upcoming events

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