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CrossFit Announces Major Changes to 2023 Season 

Morning Chalk Up

October 12   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • CrossFit drops three semifinals in 2023 season overhaul
  • Sam Cournoyer on lessons from CrossFit Mayhem Freedom as he returns to individual field
  • CrossFit breaks new ground with first Latin American affiliate summit
  • How to make members feel like they’re getting an individualized experience in a big class setting
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“The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.” - John Burroughs

  BREAKING: CrossFit Announces New Season Structure with Major Changes, Dropping Three Semifinals in the Process  

BREAKING: CrossFit Announces New Season Structure with Major Changes, Dropping Three Semifinals in the Process

CrossFit has announced a new structure for the 2023 CrossFit Games season with some major changes to a number of portions of the overall competition.

The biggest change is regarding the Semifinals, as CrossFit will now be programming all the events for the individuals and teams, and they will operate all Semifinals in North America (two) and Europe (one), while partnering with organizers in Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. This means instead of 10 Semifinals, there will now be seven, and there will be no Last Chance Qualifier.

The CrossFit Games will also be a six-day competition (August 1-6) however CrossFit’s General Manager of Sport, Justin Bergh said specific details as to the individual breakdowns for specific divisions will come at a later day.

One big thing: Bergh said in an exclusive interview with Morning Chalk Up before the announcement that the goal was to get these changes out “as early as possible so that athletes could prepare for their entire year in advance, we have a tonne of people who love this sport and commit their lives to it.”

  • “The general idea is we are announcing this first wave of information and then we will add detail to this as we go,” said Bergh, who noted these changes will ultimately be the “bedrock” for a more consistent season structure moving forward and into the future for the sport.

The details: The biggest changes are in the North American and European regions. While the previous two years of Semifinals have seen four events in North America and two in Europe, now there will be two and one. The fields will be stronger, but the total number of Games spots allocated to these regions will remain the same.

  • That means, in these events the field will include 60 individuals and 38 teams.
  • In addition, CrossFit is taking over the programming for all seven Semifinals. Similar to the Regionals years, all athletes will complete the same exact tests.
  • The Last Chance Qualifier is gone. Instead, the final Games-qualifying spots “will be allocated from the Semifinals according to a ranking system based on the strength of the field.”
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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to colleague and founder Justin LoFranco and Matt O’Keefe, the chief executive officer of HWPO, as to which brand they think rules the CrossFit landscape.

Jersey for charity: Brent Fikowski is selling his 2022 CrossFit Games jerseys and shorts (signed) on eBay and all money will be donated to these two charities: 92 Hands (which helps to improve the social and economic strength of women in Uganda) and August Mission (which provides aid and support to help assist Ukrainian refugees).

WZA update: Samsung will be the official timing partner and data wearable of TYR Wodapalooza 2023. ⏱

Keep on walking: A new study, published in CNN, breaks down some new magic numbers for how many steps people should be taking each day to help with weight management.

  Sam Cournoyer Returns to Individual with Top-10 Mindset  


Sam Cournoyer Returns to Individual with Top-10 Mindset

Only two months ago, Sam Cournoyer stood atop the CrossFit Games podium alongside Mayhem Freedom teammates Taylor Williamson, Andrea Nisler, and Rich Froning, Jr. Together, the team earned a sixth team title for Mayhem Freedom which was Froning’s tenth overall.

Now that the flashing lights and screaming fans are long gone, Cournoyer is back in his garage gym in Quebec, Montreal preparing for December’s Dubai Fitness Championship, where the 26-year-old will make his official return as an individual athlete.

The original plan was to debut at the Rogue Invitational at the end of this month, but Cournoyer’s online qualifier video was rejected when he failed to weigh the barbell and weight plates on camera, as submission requirements instructed— a detail that Games veteran Travis Mayer also admitted to missing.

“That was really hard but, you know, live and learn I guess.” The disappointment did come with a silver lining; it gave the Canadian some unexpected time off with his new wife and their two kids (Sam and Dominic were officially married on August 20th of this year), which he treasures more than ever after spending a year away from family and friends while training in Cookeville, TN.

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  First Ever Latin American Affiliate Summit Held in Ecuador  

First Ever Latin American Affiliate Summit Held in Ecuador

Last weekend, a group of CrossFit executives, directors and team leads held the first ever Latin American Affiliate in Brazil.

One big thing: Prior to the pandemic, Brazil hosted the second largest number of CrossFit affiliates, after the United States. The pandemic wreaked havoc on the affiliate landscape there, but this summit gestures toward an increased investment by CrossFit HQ in the Latin American affiliate community.

Who attended: The entourage included new CrossFit CEO Don Faul, as well as:

  • Gary Gaines, General Manager of Affiliates and International
  • Daniel Chaffey, International Director for CrossFit
  • Ricardo Prudente, Country Manager for Brazil and Latin America Regional Manager
  • Tefy Escudero, CrossFit’s Mexico Country Manager
  • Marta Jurado, Assistant Country Manager for Latin America
  • Dave Castro, Advisor to the CEO for Affiliates

The schedule of events: The team from CrossFit participated in several workouts and spent time at both Nativo CrossFit and Mirador CrossFit:

  • The goal of this gathering was “to support the effort of the affiliates in Latin America in the fight against chronic diseases and sedentarism.”
  • There were approximately 100 local gym owners and members in attendance.

What they’re saying: It was “incredible,” according to Gaines:

  • “First time we’ve been to a market outside of Brazil in South America. Attendees were very emotional in a good way. Themes were similar to Brazil–localization of products, pricing consideration for license fee and courses because of exchange rate volatility and marketing and storytelling produced by locals in their language.”
  • “The level of passion was off the charts, making me very optimistic about the future. We’ve got a lot of work to do but am confident we can support and support quickly so we can all work towards our common goals of reaching millions more.”
  How to Make Individuals Feel Seen and Heard in a Group Class Setting  

How to Make Individuals Feel Seen and Heard in a Group Class Setting

It goes without saying that coaches are crucial to the success of a CrossFit community. While you can certainly achieve world-class fitness without one, it’s undoubtedly more efficient, and dare we say, a lot more fun, to do it with a great leader in your corner.

As the Director of Coach Development and Education at Invictus in San Diego, CA, Kirsten Ahrendt coaches the coaches, as well as several classes per week at the affiliate to keep her skills sharp. In a crowded class or busy gym setting, it’s easy for members to get lost in the shuffle and feel like the general group fitness program is a little too, well, general. How can you make sure everyone feels seen, attended to and coached individually?

“Know your members as humans before you know them as athletes; that’s the foundational principle of coaching at Invictus. If we’re going to deliver value to our members as coaches beyond the 60 minutes, we have to know them as humans, because we’re not just trying to make great athletes, especially in our GPP (general physical preparedness) program,” Ahrendt said.

“I believe that group fitness is this insanely powerful tool that can shift human existence, human health and large swathes of community — so coaches really need to elevate their game. You can make somebody feel like they got value by checking in with them, following up on something that they told you a week ago, two weeks ago, a month ago, (or) asking about what else is going on in their life. When somebody tells you they have an injury, proactively seek them out the next time they’re in class.”

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Six Different Squat Variations

Whether you're looking to fix a specific fault in your movement or just want to switch things up because life needs to be interesting, this list has something for you. Check out these six different variations you can throw into your training straight away.




Make Offseason Gains with a New Invictus Weightlifting Cycle

The offseason is the best time to work on increasing your overall strength. Invictus Weightlifting is releasing a new 11 week Olympic weightlifting cycle starting on October 17th, with both a three or five day option to help you get ready to crush PRs and the Open.



Rogue Invitational Legends Happy Hour

Have you always dreamed about having a beer with your favorite legendary athlete? Dreams really do come true!



You Can Save 25% on Brianna Battle’s Pregnancy and Postpartum Course

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Cinnamon Apple Bread

Ready for your kitchen to smell like an apple orchard? This cinnamon apple bread is guilt-free fall baking at it's finest.


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

  • 🎂 Happy belated birthday, Jorge Fernandez.
  • Speaking of Jorge Fernandez, the Games team athlete completed a devil’s press with two 100 pound/45kg dumbbells.
  • 😱 Deanna from CrossFit Dwala in Marietta, GA does a 50-inch box jump.
  • Allison Weiss from CrossFit Invictus in San Diego, CA back squats 245 pounds/111kg.
  • Games athlete Nick Mathew back squats 505 pounds/229kg for two reps.
  • Not CrossFit, Still Cool: USA Gymnastics’ Micah Miner from Glen Carbon, IL completed a triple back double mini pass during an elite nationals performance.

2021 Fittest Blind Woman on Earth Kim Dekeyrel is programming a Finding the Light fundraiser WOD during the month of October for Blindness Awareness Month.

  • All donations are welcome, suggested amount is $10.
  • Proceeds will go to the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
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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