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CrossFit Makes a Case for Community

Morning Chalk Up

June 17

Born Primitive

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The Rogue Invitational was exactly what the community needed following months of lockdown without any live competition, our analysts Tommy Marquez and Patrick Clark point out some key takeaways below. And, in our newest frontline worker spotlight, nurse practitioner Katie Herold delivers babies during a global pandemic. Today:

  • Four key takeaways from the Rogue Invitational.
  • A worldwide poll indicates that gym members are hesitant to return, but the trend at CrossFit boxes is the opposite.
  • Meet a CrossFitting, NICU Nurse Practitioner from Northern Virginia.

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“There is no success without struggle.” – Patrick Vellner


Four Takeaways From the Rogue Invitational

  Four Takeaways From the Rogue Invitational  

And just like that, it’s over. The first major competition in over three months came into our lives over the weekend and entertained us all (over 1 million combined views on the Rogue Fitness YouTube Channel). It was a huge logistical undertaking that showcased why Rogue continues to lead the way when it comes to broadcasting and holding fitness events.

Our analysts Tommy Marquez and Patrick Clark give their top takeaways from the 2020 Rogue Invitational.

Tommy’s Takes

Number 1 is Number 2: It’s hard to walk away from Patrick Vellner’s win and not think of him as the 2nd best CrossFitter in the world on the men’s side behind Mat Fraser. We’re not taking away ANYTHING from Noah Ohlsen and his magical run at the CrossFit Games last year where he rightfully earned the silver medal and his spot on the podium, but take a look at Vellner’s live competition performances since he burst onto the scene in 2016.

Between Regionals, Sanctionals (for argument’s sake we’ll include this weekend), and the Games, Vellner’s notched 11 podiums, including an East Regional championship, three Sanctional wins, and three podiums at the CrossFit Games. This season he’s won Wodapalooza, Rogue, and finished second in Dubai. The Games last year stands as a glaring outlier, but Vellner is clearly the next in line behind Fraser.

Toomey lives for game day: This seems fairly obvious at the moment, but go back and watch the 2016 Games documentary, and try to convince us that the Tia-Clair Toomey in that film is the same person we just watched crush a 270 pound clean and jerk just for kicks at the Rogue Invitational. The defeated, self-doubting 2016 version of Toomey pales in comparison to her future self — who during the moments with the highest stakes, carries herself with fearlessness and aplomb that has elevated her to three consecutive CrossFit Games titles and G.O.A.T status on the women’s side.


Get Your $100 Thank You Gift From Your Gym

Born Primitive
Get Your $100 Thank You Gift From Your Gym

Thank you to every gym member in America who kept their membership active in the month of May. Your loyalty is valued by Born Primitive and our partners at O2, Puori, and Bear KompleX to the tune of $100 across our four brands.

If you workout at a gym that participated in our Community Coalition, make sure to redeem your $100 #stayformay gift voucher before they expire.

Ask your gym owner for your gift voucher, and use it on our websites by June 25.


Worldwide Poll Suggests Gymgoers Won’t Return Post COVID-19, But CrossFit Makes a Case for Community

  Worldwide Poll Suggests Gymgoers Won't Return Post COVID-19, But CrossFit Makes a Case for Community  

CrossFit affiliates have been reporting good retention of members post-pandemic, but a new study has revealed other gyms and franchises aren’t having the same retention.

Even in light of the current state of the brand, CrossFit gym owners — whether they’ve chosen to disaffiliate or not — haven’t reported a significant loss in the membership base despite the uncertain post-COVID-climate, some have even reported taking on significant numbers of new members.

But the research predicted otherwise: Athletic gear review and data analytics site, RunRepeat surveyed 10,824 gym goers internationally and found a startling 47 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t return once gyms reopen.

  • That number was even higher looking at just those surveyed in the United States at 50.16 percent.
  • 52 percent of females said they wouldn’t be returning, compared with 45 percent of men.

A few key points: Respondents were from 116 countries with the majority from the USA, UK and Australia.

  • The first question of the survey asked whether respondents were active gym members, those who answered “no” had their responses disregarded: “We wanted to make sure we were only getting responses specifically from gym members for the most accurate results,” study author Nick Risso told the Morning Chalk Up.

Broken down by state: In America, Georgia was the state least likely to see members returning once their gyms reopened (71 percent),  followed by Maryland (63 percent) and New Jersey (58 percent.)


Frontline Worker Spotlight: Delivering Babies Amidst a Pandemic with Katie Herold

  Frontline Worker Spotlight: Delivering Babies Amidst a Pandemic with Katie Herold  

When COVID-19 hit, Katie Herold didn’t think her job as a nurse practitioner in the neonatal ICU at Inova Fairfax Hospital in VA would be all that different. After all, she cares for newborn babies in the NICU, who would be very unlikely to be COVID patients.

But when pregnant moms without symptoms started testing positive for COVID, things got real for Herold and her hospital team.

  • “In the beginning, there was so much stress. There were moms who were asymptomatic and testing positive, and other moms started developing COVID symptoms three days after giving birth” said Herold, who was a nurse for 18 years before becoming a nurse practitioner three years ago.

Then anxiety would kick in, as Herold retraced her steps in her mind, wondering whether she had her PPE on properly during the delivery, who she had touched, and whether she had been exposed or would expose someone else.

  • “I’d be looking back thinking things like, ‘Oh no, I only had a surgical mask on during that delivery,’” said the 42-year-old.

An even bigger challenge, she said, has been figuring out how to comfort the mothers during this time.

  • “These moms have all these questions. ‘Is my baby affected?’ ‘Is my baby going to test positive?’ There are a lot of unknowns, and especially in the beginning, we didn’t have enough information or data to give these people. It has been really hard,” she said.

In many cases, giving birth in the last three months has meant not having a support system around during labor and after giving birth.




Tempo Reps with Dan Bailey

Check out this Clang and Bang workout with CrossFit Games veteran Dan Bailey that focuses on tempo training and time under tension. In this workout, you complete ten rounds of three different movements for three reps each, but you move at a pace of three-seconds on each, the concentric and eccentric.

  Morning Chalk Up  


The Nano 9 For $78

Through June 22 Reebok is having a site-wide sale. Shop now and use the code “DADGRAD40” to pick up Reebok gear at up to 40% off including the Nano 9.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Sean and Tommy Discuss Steps CrossFit HQ Needs to Make

In this special Monday edition of “Friyay Q&A,” find out how the Talking Elite Fitness hosts’ experiences working at CrossFit HQ match up against the revelations made by Andy Stumpf in his podcast last week, and what steps Sean and Tommy believe CrossFit HQ needs to make to prove it’s moving in the right direction.

  Morning Chalk Up  



60% Off Your Favorite Recovery Drink From O2

If you qualified for the $100 #stayformay gift card, use your code site-wide on for $25 off and get a case of O2 for 60% off our normal price! Codes expire on June 25.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

These healthy chocolate zucchini muffins are made with whole wheat flour and no butter or refined sugars (besides chocolate chips). They’re naturally sweetened with banana and honey or maple syrup for an insanely delicious, perfectly moist breakfast treat or dessert!



Congratulations to Nathan M., who was the first to correctly answer who is the only athlete to stand on all three Games’ Podiums (Individual, Team, Age Group). The correct answer was Kyle Kasperbauer. 2010 – 2nd Place Team, 2012 – 3rd Place Individual, 2017 and 2018 – 1st Place Masters 35-39.

  • Today’s question: Which two venues hosted the most Regionals?

Submit your answer.





Community Round-Up

Here’s a quick round-up of some fundraisers and online competitions we are watching right now.

  • 30+ Miles for the NAACP: Athlete Will Wallace had a thought: “We can’t run away from these problems anymore, but I want to run to support them.” He pledged to run more than 30 miles as a fundraiser and asked friends and others to donate per mile or a lump sum. On June 13, he took off and ran 32 miles in 6 hours around Sparta, KY. In the process, he raised $15,688 for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
  • Barbells for Bullies x VETWOD: VETWOD and Barbells for Bullies have joined forces to create “Sit Rep 2020,” an online CrossFit competition to raise money and awareness for organizations that pull shelter dogs and train them to be therapy or service animals at no cost to the veteran. The virtual event takes place June 13-June 27. Sit Rep is also a platform to bring awareness to the situations that challenge veterans and pit-bull type dogs. Sadly, we lose one active soldier a day due to war, but we lose an average of 20 veterans a day to suicide. It’s also estimated that over 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in the US each year, over half of them being pit-bull type dogs. Both of these numbers are unacceptable. Check out the promo video and learn more. Registration is still open!
  • Revenge Competition: This new online competition platform allows you to join up and challenge your friends to a workout in order to work your way up the levels of the tournament. As your level increases, as does the difficulty of the workouts. Scores are entered into the app and to maintain fairness if an athlete flags an opponent’s score, admins manually review the workout video. Learn more and enter.
  • Community Fitness Pittsfield: Formerly CrossFit Pittsfield, the community gym in Pittsfield, MA has pledged to donate it’s 2020 affiliation fee to the Berkshire County NAACP Branch. Berkshire Money Management will match their donation (which totaled more than their annual affiliate dues) for a total of $10,000.
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