Your Coffee is ready.

CrossFit Couple Find Foodie Love with Blog

Morning Chalk Up

April 22   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • CrossFit couple find foodie love together
  • Cortisol: how much is good, and how much is too much?
  • Kate Gordon’s Workout of the Week
  • The first take on the Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal seeding
  • Burpess for Ukraine continues fundraising for war-torn country
  • Breakdown of Age Group Quarterfinals Programming
  • The 2022 CrossFit Age Group Quarterfinal and Occupational Games Test Descriptions are out
QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Better remain silent, better not even think, if you are not prepared to act.” - Annie Besant

  Eat, CrossFit, Love: Couple Shares Fitness and Foodie Journey  

Eat, CrossFit, Love: Couple Shares Fitness and Foodie Journey

Agnes and Michael Ricatto met in 2017 while the two were both working for Nike, and you could say it was love at first workout.

“Michael was visiting Barcelona from the Netherlands and wanted to check out Nike’s latest retail and consumer experience concept space that I was managing,” said Agnes.

“It so happened that she was also coaching a Boot Camp on the beach later that evening, which I decided to join,” said Michael.

That evening the two were part of a group dinner, and then continued to connect long distance through Whatsapp and Facetime. Two years later, Michael proposed at the very same spot he locked eyes with Agnes in Barcelona, and as they say, the rest is history.

Michael, who is from Southern California, had been doing CrossFit since he moved to Amsterdam in 2016, and quite quickly, it became part of the couple’s routine. He said Agnes, who grew up in Germany, was keen but (as most of us are) quite green at the start.

“She was the typical first timer, looking at the board and it might as well have been written in another language,” he said. But now, “Vondelgym (the CrossFit box the two go to in Amsterdam) has become our second, sometimes even first home.”

About three years into their CrossFit journey together, in October of 2021, the newly wedded Ricattos were invited by friends to join in a new fitness competition coming to the Netherlands— HYROX.

“They asked us if we were interested a week prior to the event. We had no idea what we signed up for or what we were getting ourselves into,” said Michael. The two would soon find out that competitive fitness was exactly what they wanted to be getting into. In their most recent competition together, the Ricatto’s placed first in the 30-39 Mixed Doubles Team division of the 2022 European HYROX Championships, and are now preparing to compete in the World Championships in Las Vegas next month.

Of course the two had more in common than CrossFit it turns out, which included creating and indulging in high-quality food.

“I enjoyed giving my mom a hand in the kitchen, “said Michael, “only slightly incentivized by the privilege of licking the spatula after her famous cookie batter was complete.”

“I had been helping my Polish mother and grandmother make their traditional recipes since I was a little girl,” added Agnes.

Originally, Michael had launched #CattosKitchen to share his culinary creations with friends on various social media platforms. “The hashtag really became a thing when I moved to Amsterdam and friends were always asking, ‘What is Catto’s Kitchen?’ and, ‘When do I get to try Catto’s Kitchen?”

By 2017 Agnes had joined the venture, which then was fully launched as a website, blog and social media pages that quickly gained an international following as a place for readers to find recipes and inspiration for macro-friendly munching that tastes good and can also fuel a grueling CrossFit WOD.

Catto’s Kitchen remains a passion project while Agnes runs her own nutrition and lifestyle coaching business, The Palmtree Lifestyle, and Michael is the Director of Marketing for Hyperice, Inc., which many CrossFit athletes recognize by the self-massaging Hypervolt.

But Michael said he has his eyes wide open for what the future could hold:

“One day, we would love to expand out into other areas, and create solutions to people’s problems,” he said. “That could be a physical space or just changing the way people think about food, fitness, and their health journey.”

However something remains clear, they’re going to need a bigger workspace.

“One thing is for sure, in five to ten years, we will have a bigger kitchen.”

SPONSORED INOV-8_1650544849
The FLY Shoe Keeping Scott Panchik In The Game

The FLY Shoe Keeping Scott Panchik In The Game

“The inov-8 F-LITE FLY G 295 has been my shoe of choice for coaching and wearing throughout the day. I have noticed my knees and feet have both felt better, this has allowed me to get back into training faster, along with being more recovered for the next day.”

Scott Panchik, inov-8 athlete

Built for all your cardio workouts, the inov-8 F-LITE FLY G 295 has:

  • G-FLY+ foam for faster, explosive and more responsive running.
  • Lightweight and cushioned soles for more comfortable cardio.
  • Superior stability and support for bodyweight movements.

Discover more about the inov-8 F-LITE FLY G 295.


2022 Age Group Quarterfinals/Occupational Games

  • Age Group Quarterfinals/Occupational Games Event 1:
    3 Rounds for time:
    20 Toes-to-Bars
    20 Alternating Dumbbell Snatches
    50-lb. dumbbell / 70-lb. dumbbell
    Time cap: 10 minutesWorkout Variations:
    Teenagers 16-17, Masters, 35-54, Occupational Games
    50-lb. dumbbell / 70-lb. dumbbell
    Teenagers 14-15, Masters 55+
    35-lb. dumbbell / 50-lb. dumbbell
  • Age Group Quarterfinals/Occupational Games Event 2:
    For time:
    50 Overhead Squats
    40 Bar-Facing Burpees
    40 Back-Rack Walking Lunges
    30 Bar-Facing Burpees
    30 Cleans
    20 Bar-Facing Burpees
    20 Single-Leg Squats
    10 Muscle-Ups
    65-lb. barbell / 95-lb. barbell

    Time cap: 20 minutes

    Workout Variations:
    Teenagers 16-17, Masters, 35-54, Occupational Games
    65-lb. barbell / 95-lb. barbell
    Teenagers 14-15
    45-lb. barbell / 65-lb. barbell
    Masters 55+
    45-lb. barbell, 35-lb. dumbbell for weighted step-ups, 20-in. box
    55-lb. barbell, 50-lb. dumbbell for weighted step-ups, 24-in. box

Here are a few more Speed Reads:

In case you missed it, Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to analysts Brian Friend and Patrick Clark about their thoughts on the initial seeding for the Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge.

Kyle Kasperbauer, who made 10 appearances at the CrossFit Games, is calling it a career:

  • “After much deliberation with my beautiful wife @mkasperbauer5 and those very close to me, I will be retiring from @crossfitgames competition. More to come on this, but for now it’s time for a change and I’m excited and fully charged for that change!”

Calling all Masters athletes! Want to keep competing beyond The Granite Games? The winner of each community Masters Division gets an invite to compete at the Masters Fitness Collective in Fort Wayne on October 21-23. 🙋🏼

The Occupational Games start today, and the top three in each division will receive free entry into a Level 1 or Level 2 CrossFit Training Course. Registration for the Occupational Games is open to the top 10% of men and top 10% of women in their occupations after the CrossFit Open. The competition begins Thursday, April 21.

  • Occupational Divisions (Active-duty military, Military veterans, Law-enforcement officers, Firefighters, First responders, Medical professions, Educators, College students)
  The Cortisol Connection: Can You Be Too Stressed to Make Progress?  


The Cortisol Connection: Can You Be Too Stressed to Make Progress?

Let’s talk about cortisol. While we have discussed cortisol in the context of competing and training, we have not discussed it in the context of fat loss.

Cortisol is a key hormone in the human body, and it controls our response to stress. It is the subject of immense fascination, discussion, and confusion within the fitness and nutrition industry. It is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys. It is loosely correlated to our circadian rhythm, but outside stressors like exercise, fasting, waking, work and relationship stress also cause us to release cortisol.

When you want to run fast, lift heavy, flight or flee – high cortisol is a good thing.

Even in times of low stress, your body will produce cortisol to help with energy regulation and substrate mobilization. In times of high stress, cortisol helps your body become more efficient at accessing and producing glucose from protein (muscle). It also mobilizes fat stores and helps fat cells produce energy.

Continue Reading...
  Kate Gordon’s Workout of the Week  

Kate Gordon’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by two-time Games athlete Kate Gordon. The native of New Zealand is also a member of the CrossFit Seminar Staff as well as runs the popular Instagram page @crossfitterwithsign. Gordon’s workout is courtesy of CFK Programming, her own individual, affiliate and nutrition programming for all athletes.

  • Kate Gordon
    Five Rounds For Time:
    20 Kettlebell Deadlifts (2x 53/35 LBs – 24/16 KGs)
    60 Double unders
    30m Farmers Carry (2x 53/35 LBs – 24/16 KGs)

Time Cap: 20 Minutes

Scaling Options:

  • Reduce weight as needed
  • Scale double unders to 100 single unders per round
  • Try doing 60 seconds of double under attempts

Some advice from Kate: “​​Do not strategize, go out hard and hang on. Push yourself to do one more rep when you think you are done and take one more step when you want to rest. Your mantra for today is ‘go before you want to,’ repeat that to yourself and remind yourself that you have to push to get better. The grip endurance will force you to break up the work at some point, keep an eye on the clock and do not walk away from your KB’s while you rest. Using grips will help you avoid the need to chalk up excessively.”

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

  Kate Gordon’s Workout of the Week  

VIDEO: First Take on Fittest in Cape Town Semifinal Seeding

Watch Now...
  Burpees for Ukraine Raises $8,500 as CrossFit Community Continues Push to Help War-Torn Country  

Burpees for Ukraine Raises $8,500 as CrossFit Community Continues Push to Help War-Torn Country

Though he has no direct connections to the country, when Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February, Nicholas Worley, a member of CrossFit Asphodel in Hong Kong, felt compelled to help in any small way he could.

His answer was to launch a fundraiser, Burpees for Ukraine to raise money for Doctors Without Borders in Ukraine.

The result: Worley’s fundraiser, which ran March 11 to April 16, raised $8,500 and had CrossFit athletes from all over the world doing burpees, including at gyms in the United States, to CrossFit Latvia, CrossFit Asohodel in Hong Kong, CrossFit Tooting in the UK and CrossFit Tempered Ormeau in Australia.

A number of CrossFit’s communities have been helping the Ukrainian people after Russia’s unprovoked invasion led by president Vladimir Putin. This includes Ukraine Unbroken and Brute Strength coach Nick Fowler. The war has also partially galvanized the CrossFit community as to whether CrossFit should be pulling Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing. Ukrainian athletes who currently live in the US have also shared their experiences of watching the horrors taking place in their country and how their family members back home are coping.

It was “brilliant, as different stories came through. People doing burpees in hotel quarantine, having their kids get involved,” Worley said.

“When I was doing my 500 burpees during a class, the coach and crew at CrossFit Tempered Ormeau were cheering me on and then spontaneously all jumped in to help push me through the last ones together,” he continued.

The top two-person team from Hong Kong—Chris Lee and Tyler Botha—raised $3,419 between the two of them, and because the number of burpees they had to do equalled the amount of money they raised, it took them five-and-a-half hours to complete their burpees on the final day of the fundraiser, Worley explained.

The big picture: Though $8,500 is but a drop in the bucket, efforts like Worley’s are another example of how the CrossFit community is “one of the most passionate and supportive groups in the world,” he said.

“To me, CrossFit means supporting and lifting each other up as a community. This is true during a workout (and) in a situation like this when an entire country needs help, so it was wonderful to see people from all over the world and of different ages participate and to get messages of support, donations and sponsors from all over the globe,” Worley said.

He added: “Hopefully this will also get others motivated to try and figure out their own ways to help raise funds or other events for charities in Ukraine as every little helps.”

  Burpees for Ukraine Raises $8,500 as CrossFit Community Continues Push to Help War-Torn Country  

VIDEO: First Take: Age Group Quarterfinals Programming Breakdown

Watch Now...


The Last Episode of Spartan Games Season Two

A secret challenge is revealed in the final episode of the Spartan Games which tests the athletes' marksmanship, strength, and endurance. Drained from a week-long onslaught of grueling challenges, one final event determines the season's two champions.




Iceland's Secret Sauce - Unbroken RTR

Experience real time recovery between exercises with less soreness the next day. Used by Sara Sigmundsdottir and BKG, Unbroken's aminos, B12, Zinc, and Selenium formula helps you get fast recovery, increased endurance, and immunity boost. It's natural, with no caffeine, and tested by Informed Sport.



What To Do When You Tweak Your Back

We’ve all been there. That lift didn’t go right and after you rack the weight you can tell that your low back just isn’t normal. Instead of the outdated advice to “just rest”, focus on this instead and speed up your recovery.



Treat Yo' Self to A New Massager

Whether it's been a long week or not...everyone deserves a little rest and relaxation over the weekend. Check out the full range of Theragun products (the wave roller is our favorite) and add a little percussion to your screaming joints and muscles.



Meal Prep Chicken Burrito Bowls

Simple, delicious, and one pan to wash? Sign us up now. These chicken burrito bowls use one baking sheet for cooking succulent salsa chicken, spicy peppers, and other goodies that slide right into your Tupperware for next week's lunches.


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

  • 🎉 Happy 3-year anniversary to Empire Fitness. 
  • 😏 This is the reaction we all hope for when posting a PR. Featuring CrossFit Invictus team member Joshua Al-chamaa with a 335 sound/152kg power clean.
  • Congratulations Jordan Noe from Naples, FL on the 265 pound/120kg clean + front squat complex.
  • Congratulations Christopher Wilder from CrossFit Off the Green in Lebanon, NH on the 250 pound/113kg squat clean.
  • Congratulations Belle Headlee from Redline CrossFit in Waukee, IA on the 230 pound/104kg back squat PR.
  • 💪 3-year-old Skjeie Marcelli from Superior, WI is strong and she knows it.
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/7: KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: Babes with Barbells (Huntington, WV)
10/7: 2023 KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: FitoberFest (Prairie Village, KS)
10/7: Pitness At The Mill (Canton, GA)
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: 8th Annual Kilo CrushFest Competition (Hampton, VA)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: Triple Threat Terror 2023 (Forney, TX)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: T-Town Throwdown (Toledo, OH)
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: Best Babes Massachusetts (Beverly, MA)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Sedalia (Sedalia, MO)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
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: 401 Fall Throwdown (Smithfield, RI)
10/21: Barbells For Bullies: Portland (Hillsboro, OR)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
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: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/4 - 11/5: Oz Fest (Junction City, KS)
11/4: Barbell Babes Lorton (Lorton, VA)
11/4: Witch City Throwdown (Salem, MA)
11/4: Sunshine SmackDown (Bedford Hills, NY)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/10 - 11/11: Desert City Classic (Tempe, AZ)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/11 - 11/12: 24 Heroes Challenge (Fayetteville, NC)
11/11: Clearwater Beach Brawl (Clearwater, FL)
11/11: The Meadowlands Classic (Carlstadt, NJ)
11/11: Barbell Massacre 8 (Dahlonega, GA)
11/11: Freakin’ Gauntlet (Pembroke Pines, FL)
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)
12/2: Babes & Beasts WINTER GAMES 2023 (Port St. Lucie, FL)
12/2 - 12/3: Reindeer Rumble (Ocala, FL)
12/2: Battle at Bion (Tucson, AZ)

See all upcoming events

Your Coffee is ready.