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Cole Sager Discusses His New Role

Morning Chalk Up

July 7   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Cole Sager is preparing for his tenth CrossFit Games and his new role at Comptrain
  • Every year we see new faces in the top ten at the Games, below are some of our picks for 2023
  • The 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games cut schedule has been announced
  • David Shorunke on his tough road back to the Games
  • And, Mikaela Norman’s Workout of the Week

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“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” - Roy T. Bennett

  ‘Honored’ Cole Sager Prepares for New Role at CompTrain  

‘Honored’ Cole Sager Prepares for New Role at CompTrain

Cole Sager is about to take on a new challenge. He will replace Ben Bergeron as the head coach at CompTrain, and he will embrace the opportunity to positively affect the community.

One big thing: The proverbial transfer of power will take place shortly after Sager competes in his 10th(!) consecutive NOBULL CrossFit Games. Bergeron will hand over the reins to CompTrain on Monday, August 7, and Sager will focus on helping his fellow athletes prepare to take on one of the most grueling schedules in sports.

A smooth transition is key for Sager and CompTrain. He already has Bergeron’s blessing, but ensuring that there are no hiccups is key considering how quickly athletes go from the offseason to preparing for the Rogue Invitational, Wodapalooza, and the CrossFit Open.

  • “I have been doing this a long time, so I understand how quickly the season starts back up again,” Sager said. “By the time people get partway through August, they start to get an itch. By the time August ends, people are ready to hop back in the gym.”
  • “Athletes who maybe didn’t qualify, that thought they should qualify, they think they can qualify, if you keep them waiting ‘til September 1, they’re just chomping at the bit.”
  • “So we understand that in the month of August, you don’t really have that much downtime. So we really need to be on top of it, on top of things, and be prepared for when August rolls around, specifically when September 1 rolls around. Because when September 1 rolls around, it’s kind of like the turning of a page into a new season.”

This prep work has been ongoing for Sager and Bergeron. They have had numerous discussions in-person and over the phone. Interestingly enough, it has provided some “freshness” to Sager’s morning routine that focused on training and family. He compared it to a fresh bowl of fruit and a hot cup of coffee in the morning.

  • “I have had to be careful in not letting too much of the thinking for the next season sneak into my mind, but in that, it has allowed for a level of mental escape from training.”
  • “I do training, I analyze training, I look at training from a coaching perspective. Now I get to have those conversations, and it’s kind of pulled me away from the trenches of obsessing over Games training.”

A smart approach: While Sager trains in his garage, he has extensive experience in a team environment. He played running back and linebacker for Burlington-Edison High School, and he rushed for 1,084 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior. He then played for the University of Washington before turning his attention to the world of CrossFit.

Since becoming one of the most consistent athletes in the sport, Sager has worked in a different team environment. He has become a key part of CompTrain while working alongside other perennial Games athletes. This will only benefit him as he transitions into his role as a coach, as will his knowledge about mentally preparing for a long season.

  • “It’s not so much that I can do the best X’s and O’s on the board,” Sager said. “Honestly, programming is kind of a dime a dozen. Anybody can come up with some hard workouts and be in a metabolic condition, but the structure as a whole season and weathering everything that comes through, there’s a lot a lot of mental preparedness that you have to have.”
  • “And I think that’s one of the biggest assets that I have as a coach is being able to speak to that from firsthand experience. And that’s something that I’m very excited to share all of the things that I’ve learned over the years in a deep manner, from firsthand experience. I think will be will be really fun to pass along.”

The next steps: Moving from a CrossFit Games athlete to a head coach of a standout training camp is no small feat. Fortunately for Sager, he has experience with the athletes in CompTrain, and they have given him grace while watching him prepare for this transition.

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👟 👟 🏃‍♂️TYR Sport, the title sponsor of TYR Wodapalooza in Miami, has released some new kicks in it’s line-up of functional fitness and lifting shoes. Yesterday they launched the Techknit runner and today are launching the Tempo runner.

R.A.D is moving into running. Check back to their website for updates.

The ELFIT CrossFit Championship‘s online qualifier begins in two weeks, 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.

ICYMI: Games veterans Pat Vellner and Arielle Loewen balance family, work, training AND meal prep.

  Six Potential First-Time Top-Ten Finishers at the 2023 CrossFit Games  


Six Potential First-Time Top-Ten Finishers at the 2023 CrossFit Games

To finish in the top ten at the CrossFit Games is something all competitive Crossfitters strive for, as it means you have officially proven yourself to be in an elite group, even among the elite.

Every year the top ten is full of athletes we expect to be there as well as athletes who surprise us, but sometimes it’s impossible to know who will show up when it counts.

This year we are going to try and predict some of these surprise athletes by giving our top six picks (three men, three women) of athletes that could potentially finish in the top ten at the CrossFit Games for the first time in their career.

Let’s begin with the women who we think have the best shot:

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  CrossFit Announces Cut Schedule for 2023 Games  

CrossFit Announces Cut Schedule for 2023 Games

In an email sent out to athletes this week, details were revealed regarding athlete support gear allowed, and the schedule for the 2023 CrossFit Games, including a plan for athlete cuts.

The details: After the end of competition on Friday, August 4, the top 30 teams and the top 30 men and women will advance. Then, at the close of competition on Saturday, August 5, the top 20 teams and the top 20 men and women will advance.

One big thing: This shouldn’t come as a surprise to athletes and fans of the sport, as cuts have come to be commonplace at the Games. Out of 17 Games, 11 have instituted cuts, and the cut to 30 has occurred four times.

Remind me: The CrossFit Games began cuts to the field in 2009 and it became a common component of the competition. For six years, this format was consistent, and then 2015 began four years of no cuts: 40 men and women began competition on day one, and 40 men and women ended competition on day five. In 2019 the cuts were extremely deep, culling the field from 141 men and 129 women down to 10.

  • Regarding last year’s cut to 30Bozman noted that “rather than cut away tests or change the nature of some of those tests, we decided that we would rather trim away some of the field at that point so that the test can still be robust.”

One can assume that the same sentiment remains for 2023.

The bottom line: Athletes who fall below the cutline will retain access to the event so they can choose to remain and cheer for their fellow competitors. While Saturday and Sunday will see a smaller field of competitors, fans will be cheering on the very best of the best.

  “A Tougher Journey Makes a Tougher Person:” David Shorunke on Returning to the CrossFit Games  

“A Tougher Journey Makes a Tougher Person:” David Shorunke on Returning to the CrossFit Games

It’s been a while since David Shorunke’s name appeared on a CrossFit Games leaderboard. Three years, to be exact. It’s been even longer since his first appearance at the Games on the team side in 2016.

And in those years, Shorunke hasn’t had the smoothest relationship with the sport. He’s suffered from a recurring knee injury–one that instigated his withdrawal from the 2020 CrossFit Games–and struggled to align himself with the past values of the company.

But watching the UK athlete at the European Semifinal, no one would know the bumpy road it took him to get there. It’s clear that Shorunke has turned challenges into resilience and is not just ready to compete but to enjoy the journey.

His story: We all know what went down in 2020, the first year Shorunke qualified for the Games as an individual athlete. The world shut down due to COVID, and CrossFit was struggling with the “nonsense,” as Shorunke calls it, of Greg Glassman.

  • “It just kind of destroyed the process and the journey of qualifying for the Games… it ended up being months of questioning, ‘Are the Games on? If they are, what’s the format? Do I even want to take part, effectively affiliating myself with this company that doesn’t share the same values as I do?’” Shorunke said.
  • “Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. CrossFit has gone through the steps to resolve the issue, and it’s now a company I’m very happy to affiliate myself with,” he added.
  • “But the ongoing effect… soured the whole experience.”

That, combined with the knee injury that had plagued Shorunke throughout his career, made him want to step away from the sport.

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  Mikaela Norman’s Workout of the Week  

Mikaela Norman’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by Mikaela Norman. The Swedish Games veteran took 16th at the 2022 CrossFit Games on team CrossFit Nordic Original. This season she made the switch to HYROX, the CrossFit-adjacent functional fitness race. Norman currently holds the world record in the sport.

Complete for time:

  • 10K Bike Erg

Every 4 Minutes on the Minute:

  • 400m Run
  • 20 Wall Balls 20/14 pounds

No timecap

  • Notes: Athletes will start on the bike, every four minutes they complete a 400m run, followed by 20 wall balls to target before returning to the bike. The workout ends when the athlete has completed 10k on the bike erg.

Scaling Options: Athletes can easily modify this workout on all three components: the target distances can be shortened and load/repetitions can be lessened.

Advice from Mikaela:  “Find your “steady state” on the bike and a hard but controlled effort on the run and wall balls. Find the tempo you can hold to minimize rest periods (“rest takes time”)! Good luck!”

You can now complete the Morning Chalk Up Workout of the Week in the WOD Proof app!

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

  Review of the Week: No Days Wasted  

Review of the Week: No Days Wasted

If you indulge in a few alcoholic beverages, are you hurting the next day? Yeah, me too.

That’s why anything that says it will help with a hangover, I am all in for. NoDays Wasted® has a large line of products, dedicated to the exact name of their company: making sure you are feeling your best so that you don’t waste any time laying in bed or wishing the day away.

So here we go: I went out on the town and then took NoDays Wasted®’s DHM Detox Recovery Blend and the Hydration Replenisher. Here are my key takeaways.

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

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Jamie Simmonds and Dave Lipson (Thursday).
  • 😱 12-year-old Canadian weightlifter Emily Ibanez snatches 165.3 pounds/75kg for two reps.
  • Congratulations to the Morning Chalk Up’s own Austin Heaton on the 319 pound/145kg clean and jerk PR.
  • 🍺 Customers at Go Brewing, a new non-alcoholic craft beer brewery in Naperville, IL, complete “beer push-ups” as part of a community event.
  • CrossFit Waitakere in Auckland, New Zealand hosted Matatoa, “the largest Maori CrossFit competition” in existence, last weekend.

On Sunday, July 30th, CGX CrossFit in Bargersville, IN is hosting a memorial fundraiser WOD in honor of Indiana State Police Trooper, Aaron Smith, who was killed on duty on June 28th.

  • Smith was a member of the gym with his wife, Megan.
  • Proceeds will go to the family for funeral arrangements.
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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