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CrossFit Gym Owner: “Smaller is better”

 
Morning Chalk Up

May 13
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Black Rifle Coffee Company

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Late last week the CanWest CrossFit Championship sent an email out to registered athletes letting them know that the event would be postponed until 2021; it’s the ninth official cancelation due to COVID-19, but in the email, organizers laid out more clearly than ever before, the financial reality Sanctional organizers face. Today:

  • The CanWest CrossFit Championship is canceled for 2020 and organizers hope to weather the financial storm.
  • Florida gym owners took to the Pinellas County courthouse sidewalk for air squats and pushups in an effort persuade local officials to allow gyms to reopen.
  • Once gyms do get the go-ahead to reopen, classes will be smaller, Emily Beers talks with gym owners about their plans.

Is your affiliate closing permanently? Please let us know.

Do you have story tips, PRs, out-of-the-box workouts? Hit us up at [email protected].

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

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“There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery.” – Enrico Fermi

 

Sanctional Cancelation Tally Hits Nine, CanWest CrossFit Championship Sheds Light on Financial Landscape for Hosts

  Sanctional Cancelation Tally Hits Nine, CanWest CrossFit Championship Sheds Light on Financial Landscape for Hosts  

The CanWest CrossFit Championship alerted registered athletes on Friday via email, that its Sanctioned event was officially canceled for the 2019-2020 season. It was originally scheduled to take place in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 5-7, but had already been postponed without announcing a new date. Nine Sanctionals have now been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One big thing: As with earlier cancelations, this puts the CanWest CrossFit Championship in a dire financial position. The email that CanWest organizers sent to competitors used some of the most direct language related to their financial position that we’ve seen from an event yet. It read “If 3 out of 10 people request an immediate refund, CanWest will go bankrupt and there will not be a 2021, or any future events.”

The financial picture: The email to competitors stated that while refunds will be offered, there are also several different options that can help them to stave off bankruptcy, including delaying the refund, bumping registration to 2021 and avoid re-qualifying, or finding a replacement athlete. CanWest has created a webpage with all of those details (they are also outlined below).

  •  From the email, “Our goal has always been to keep you as informed as possible. In keeping with that sentiment, we would like to fill you in on the reality of our current situation. The primary reason that we cannot offer refunds to every single Athlete is very simple: the event is almost entirely paid for and ready to go.”
  • “Most of these fees are completely non-refundable to us and are only transferable to the future event. This includes: the venue, which costs almost a third of Athlete registration, Volunteer and Athlete swag, travel and accommodation for the Volunteer event team, catering for volunteers, security, the CanWest App, equipment, signage, the CrossFit Sanctioning fee, and much more,” it continued.  
 

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“Exercising” Their Right to Protest, Gyms take on Local Governments

  “Exercising” Their Right to Protest, Gyms take on Local Governments  

One of the last places you would expect to see a group fitness class is on the sidewalk outside of a courthouse. That wasn’t the case in Clearwater, Florida on Monday morning as a group of 30 citizens took to the streets and sidewalks in front of the Pinellas County Courthouse to do push-ups and air squats.

However it wasn’t a class, instead, it was a protest organized by a Florida gym owner and attended by other industry owners, employees and members. In a growing trend across the United States, business owners have taken to organizing protests and creating petitions in an effort to get their local and state government agencies to allow them to open their doors to customers.

Fitness, a nonessential business?

As states start the recovery process from the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all have decided to use the “phases” model for reopening businesses and their economy. In most cases in the “phase” model, gyms and other forms of businesses that specialize in fitness are not in the first wave of openings.

That is the case in Florida, a state with over 41,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 1,700 deaths. Governor Ron DeSantis included barbershops, salons and restaurants in the initial phase on Monday, leading to the demonstration in front of the courthouse.

The protest was organized by Travis LaBazzo, CEO of Amped Fitness who did so in the hopes of bringing attention to fitness-related businesses as an essential part of the reopening process. These businesses, many of which have been shut down for over two months, have struggled during the pandemic due to social distancing regulations and “stay at home” orders.

The argument is that maintaining fitness is one of the best ways to combat the pandemic, and participating in activities at a gym is one of the main outlets for stress relief and mental health as well. This would make gyms just as essential as, if not more essential than some of the other businesses that have been allowed to take customers.

 

Gym Owners Unperturbed by Reducing Class Size

  Gym Owners Unperturbed by Reducing Class Size  

Though post-COVID-19 rules for running a gym are still unclear in many states and countries, what is becoming more and more clear is that the days of running group classes of 20 to 30 members might be a thing of the past.

In Texas, for example, Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that gyms can re-open on May 18, but they must operate at 25 percent capacity. And in Colorado, gyms are allowed to operate right now if they function as a personal training studio with no more than four people in the gym at once.

While keeping group class numbers low sounds like it has the ability to harm any small gym business, the overwhelming majority of owners we spoke with said they think small class sizes and semi-private training is better for everyone. In fact, 22 out of 25 gyms owners — who were asked whether keeping class sizes small would hurt their business — said no.

Abi Ann Reiland, the owner of CrossFit 8035 West in Grimes, Iowa was one of the few affiliate owners who expressed concern.

  • “We are a seven-year old affiliate and run a large facility. During a busy class we might have 20 to 30 people. We also have two or more coaches on the floor during these times. People really look forward to the energy and community our larger space and membership offers,” she said.
  • “So as much as I might enjoy coaching small classes, my overhead isn’t supported by small classes. I need the ability to have larger classes again, sooner than later,” she added.

Still, the vast majority said small classes are the way forward, pandemic or not.

  • “They are absolutely better, for the coach and the clients,” said Brendan Kelly, the owner of Stone Age Athletic Club in Evergreen Park, IL.
  • “Smaller is better,” echoed Bryan Stoneking, the owner of CrossFit School of Sweat in Temescal Valley, CA.
 

THINGS TO…

…TRAIN

At-Home Fitness with Margaux Alverez

Throughout the COVID-19 quarantine, Margaux Alverez has been offering up at-home workouts that require minimal or no equipment and little space. Check out this triplet with a 30-20-10 descending rep scheme.

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  Morning Chalk Up  

…HEAR

Annie and Katrin Talk about Motivation

In this conversation, Katrin Davidsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir discuss adversity and goal setting. Along the way, they also talk about how to create realistic expectations and remaining focused on what you can control.

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…GET

Your First Handstand Pushup

Brent Fikowski has designed a program that takes just 30 minutes, 3 days a week, for 6 weeks to get you your first kipping handstand pushup. If you’re nervous to get inverted or struggling to figure out the movement this program is for you.

  Morning Chalk Up  

…EAT

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Avocado

Check out this gorgeous summer strawberry spinach salad recipe. It’s topped with avocado, feta, red onion, toasted almonds, pistachios and drizzled with a flavorful strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. This salad is sweet, tangy, crunchy, creamy and the perfect lunch or easy side dish!

 

TRIVIA

Congratulations to Corey B., who was the first to correctly answer what was the last year the Games did not hold an organized Team competition separate from the Individual division. The correct answer was the 2008 CrossFit Games. The 2007 and 2008 Games Affiliate Cup competitions were determined by the combination of Individual’s places from the same affiliate.

  • Today’s question: Who set the most Regional Individual (female or male) Event world records?

Submit your answer.

 

HIGHLIGHTS…

  • Congratulations to Scott and Christin Panchik on their gender reveal.
  • Mallory Mae gets her first bar muscle-up.
  • Gabby McClelland deadlifts 315 pounds for 14.
  • Jamie Warr front squats 286 pounds for 5.
  • Katie Brockman does 2 front squats + 4 back squats at 155 pounds.
  • Hans Koellnberger back squats 400 pounds for 4 for a PR.
  • Cole Learn does an 18.5-inch deficit handstand pushup for a PR.
 

COMMUNITY

Fundraiser Roundup

Here are a few of the new fundraisers we’ve got our eyes on today:

 
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