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Another Major Athlete Retires

Morning Chalk Up

March 9   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • The Open is upon — what to expect in week one.
  • The 2021 Games prize purse is billed as the “biggest ever,” but does that mean athletes will earn more this year?
  • If 21.1 is a repeat, what will it be? The Morning Chalk Up team made some guesses.
  • Katie Michaud found strength in CrossFit as she battled breast cancer during the pandemic.
  • Do you know someone who has done an exceptional job embodying and capturing the essence of the CrossFit community? Find out how you can nominate them for a Morning Chalk Up Community Choice Award.

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.” - Anthony Robbins

  What to Expect Going Into CrossFit Open Week One  

What to Expect Going Into CrossFit Open Week One

A brand new CrossFit Games season is about to kick off this Thursday in Santa Cruz, CA with the first live Open announcement and one, or maybe two workouts for week 1 of competition.

Format: Similar to previous years, Open workouts will be announced on Thursday evenings at 5:00 PM PT and scores will be due by Monday at 5:00 PM PT.

  • Where to watch: The announcements will be live-streamed on the CrossFit Games’ YouTube channel.

What movements should I expect? To give more athletes affected by the pandemic a chance to still RX workouts, CrossFit released a paired down equipment list that still offers a lot of options for going into the pain cave.

  • Tommy Marquez summarizes what he thinks are the likeliest possibilities for a repeated workout given the equipment list. (PREMIUM)
  • REMINDER: Wall space (translation: handstand push-ups or wall sits if you’re Jacob Heppner) was recently added to the equipment list.
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  • BREAKING: Late last night, five-time CrossFit Games athlete Jacob Heppner announced he’s retiring from the sport of CrossFit. “I’m done specifically competing in the sport of CrossFit”
    • Why now? In short: “There are some things I’ve always wanted to do in this sport – commentate, run camps, deliver products to coaches that will change their businesses, give back the community that has given so much to me, and all these things require time … and as we all know time is unfortunately… finite.”
  • There are only two days left until the live announcement of CrossFit Open workout 21.1. Set a reminder now.
  • The CrossFit Games announced that Derek Forrest would become the newest member of the CrossFit Media Team. Forrest is an ABC sports anchor and reporter in Cleveland, OH where he covers the Indians, Browns and Cavaliers.
  • Tia-Clair Toomey and Shane Orr, discussed issues with the new Semifinals qualification process this week, and the requirement that athletes must compete in an event in the country of their citizenship (meaning despite her US residence, Toomey will be required to travel to Australia and compete at the Torian Pro).
    • Toomey: “We will have to do a two-week quarantine which will cost a minimum of $4000. We will not have a whole lot of room to work out and keep our fitness levels up, so we have to think about that as well. We will have to take a number of COVID tests. Getting into the country is a bit of a mission. We actually have to do a world round trip just to be able to enter, because going from the US to Australia is really difficult right now.”
  • The Atlas Games, one of the four North American Semifinal events in 2021, is giving away 50 Open registration codes. Today is the last day to enter.
  • Robbin Stalma, Event Director for the CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown, one of two Semifinal events to be held in Europe in 2021, appeared on the Chalking Fitness podcast this week. During the interview, he talked about what athletes can expect, and how the Lowlands Throwdown will keep the community at the center of the event.
  • In honor of International Women’s Day, Born Primitive asked the community to nominate strong, inspirational women as part of the “1000 Heroes Project.” The nominees each received a limited edition Born Primitive sports bra and were highlighted in this video
  • New Burpee World Record: Nick Anapolasky, the owner of CrossFit PSC in Kitchener, Ontario broke the Guiness World Record for “most chest to ground burpees in an hour” with 879. The previous record was 870. Anapolasky averaged almost 15 burpees per minute or one every four seconds for an hour.
  Fewer Earning Opportunities in New Season, Games Athletes Say  


Fewer Earning Opportunities in New Season, Games Athletes Say

CrossFit’s recent announcement that incoming Games title sponsor NOBULL will fund the largest prize purse in the history of the sport was welcome news for those hoping to usher in a new era of greater financial viability — a pain point that’s frustrated many in competitive CrossFit for years.

In prize payouts alone, only a small handful of athletes crest six-figures a year, a majority of which comes from one event: the annual CrossFit Games.

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  The Open Repeat, Revisted -- Staff Picks  

The Open Repeat, Revisted -- Staff Picks

In less than 72 hours the 2021 CrossFit Games Open will finally be underway.

Late last month we discussed the likelihood of particular workouts being repeated during this year’s Open, continuing a decades long trend of the community getting a second crack at one of Dave Castro’s tests.

The Open equipment list was recently amended to include wall space, which opens the door for a variety of new potential movements and subsequently more workouts that could also be repeated.

Repeat revisited: With the new equipment list in mind, some of the Morning Chalk Up staff took a second pass at potential repeat workouts, this time imagining a scenario in which 21.1 is a repeat. Of course, we have no idea if 21.1 will be a repeat (or if a repeat is in the cards this year at all), but if it were to happen the first week, here are our predictions.

Brian Friend: 20.1 – 10 rounds for time: 8 ground-to-overhead, 10 bar-facing burpees.

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  A Global Pandemic and Breast Cancer: Katie Michaud Turns to CrossFit for Comfort  

A Global Pandemic and Breast Cancer: Katie Michaud Turns to CrossFit for Comfort

The day the world shut down because of COVID-19 in March 2020, Katie Michaud was in the cereal aisle of the grocery store in Rollinsford, NH buying supplies for her parents when her phone rang. It was her doctor. “You’ve got breast cancer,” he said

  • “I dropped my groceries and I think I kind of blacked out. I went to my car and drove to my parents.’ I was just crying and crying,” said Michaud, a 10-year CrossFit veteran, of that “awful moment” exactly one year ago.
  • Michaud’s doctor was as surprised by the biopsy results as Michaud was. “Originally, they thought it was just some hardened breastmilk…and I have no family history of breast cancer,” said Michaud, now 35, who’s husband Matt Michaud owns Everproven CrossFit in Dover, NH.

What happened next: Michaud took a medical leave from her career as an occupational therapist and underwent surgery to remove the cancerous tissue, followed by 12 weeks of chemotherapy and another six weeks of radiation. CrossFit was her saving grace, she explained.

Continue Reading...
  A Global Pandemic and Breast Cancer: Katie Michaud Turns to CrossFit for Comfort  

Nominate a Friend, Coach or Athlete for the Chalk Up Community Choice Awards

To celebrate the global CrossFit community during this year’s Open, we have created the Chalk Up Community Choice Awards to recognize one male and one female athlete — nominated by you — who embodies the spirit of the CrossFit community. Maybe they have a story of extraordinary resilience or have made considerable contributions to their local community. Whoever that person is, whatever their story, we want to hear it.

  • Prizes: Each male and female athlete will receive a feature story on, a $250 Reebok shopping spree and an actual trophy engraved with their names.
Nominate Someone Today...


A Goblet Squat Warm-Up for Increased Mobility

One of our favorite warm-ups to promote a good quality deep squat is the goblet squat. By holding a weight (a plate or kettlebell around 20-30 pounds) in front of your body, it offsets your bodyweight allowing even the most stiff/tight athletes to sink deep into a good stretch. By improving ankle mobility, you can achieve a deeper squat with a more upright chest.




Sustainable Gear, Like the Banks Short From Vuori

The ultimate in versatility, the Banks Shorts are made from four to five recycled plastic bottles each to take you from land to sea and beyond. It’s an athletic short built with a scalloped leg for your most universal performance item.



Your Squat Problems

If you struggle to feel comfortable in a deep squat or if you shift from side to side, give the Faber test a try to see if the issue is hip mobility. A significant difference in this test means you'll be moving poorly in movements like the squat, deadlift, clean or snatch. Learn more in the video from Squat University, including how to begin correcting hip imbalances.



Pasta with Lentils and Mushrooms

Why boil pasta then toss it with sauce when you could cook it directly in the sauce? This recipe features lentils, browned mushrooms, tomato paste, and other ingredients that get a head start before pasta joins the party; as the noodles cook, they absorb the tomato-rich broth while releasing the starches that eventually form a creamy sauce.


Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

3/25: No Weak Links (Marcy, NY)
3/25 - 3/26: Beach Brawl – Spring (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/25 - 3/26: Costa Dorada Fitness Challenge (Tamarit, Tarragona, Spain)
3/30 - 4/8: Nine27 Athletics Spring Showdown (Online, Virtual)
4/1: 2023 Cougars & Cradle Robbers Throwdown (Salem, MA)
4/1 - 4/2: The SuperTotal 2023 (Bridgeport, PA)
4/1 - 4/2: Seadog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, FL)
4/1: CFR Crunchathon (Cincinnati, OH)
4/2: CFC Clash (Tallahassee, FL)
4/6 - 4/9: The Crown (Mallorca, Spain)
4/12 - 4/30: Courage to Rise Against Sexual Assault (Online, )
4/15: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Newmarket Central (Newmarket, Ontario)
4/15: Spring Fever Competition (Shelton, CT)
4/15: Teams Of The Midway: MMFF (Cary, IL)
4/15 - 4/16: Butchers Battles (Copenhagen, Denmark)
4/15: Big Impact Games Throwdown (Rockford, IL)
4/15: Battle for the Mountain 8 (Dawsonville, GA)
4/15: Best Babes Riverbend (Godfrey, IL)
4/15: The Main Thing (Teams of 4: FFMM) (Cullman, AL)
4/15: WOD Wars Fitness Festival (Dunedin, FL)
4/15: Best Babes Canada: Greater Montreal (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC)
4/15: Best Babes Gilbert (Gilbert, AZ)
4/15: Best Babes Partner Comp: Woodland (Woodland, CA)
4/15: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyenne, WY)
4/15: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, OH)
4/16: Warrior Affiliate League – Deuces Wild (La Habra, CA)
4/21 - 4/23: Bayside Classic (Daphne, AL)
4/22: AMRAP4Autism (Forked River, NJ)
4/22: Festivus Games Teams of 3 (Canandaigua, NY)
4/22: The Festivus Games (Rio Rancho, NM)
4/22: Festivus Games (Canandaigua, NY)
4/22: Festivus Games (Gainesville, GA)
4/22: Festivus @ CrossFit Loop (Castle Rock, CO)
4/22: Festivus Games – Teams and Individual @ Crossfit Unbreakable (Parsippany, NJ)
4/22: Spring Thaw Throwdown (Cumming, Georgia)
4/22 - 4/23: Benidorm Fitness Challenge (Benidorm, Alicante, Spain)
4/22: Festivus Games – Individuals and 3-Person Same Sex Teams (Savannah, GA)
4/22: Festivus Games (Willmar, MN)
4/29: Battle of the Elements (Ocala, FL)
4/29: CHLKDUP Classic (Nashville, TN)
4/29 - 4/30: Battle at the Lab (Clarksville, TN)
4/29: 2023 Spring Fling Olympic Weightlifting Meet (Chapel Hill, NC)
4/29: Warrior Slam IV (Waldwick, NJ)
4/29: CrossFit Waldwick – Warrior Slam IV (Waldwick, NJ)
5/6: Northwest Arkansas Basement Brawl (Fayetteville, AR)
5/6: O-Town Throwdown (Oconomowoc, WI)
5/6: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
5/6: Fight for the Fittest TEAM (Ronkonkoma, NY)
5/6: Cynchro De Mayo Throwdown (Lapeer, MI)
5/6: Rep Your Box (Seattle, WA)
5/6: Code 3 Clash (Eagle, ID)
5/7: Spring Fling (Medina, OH)
5/13 - 5/14: Hold Fast Competition Team Challenge (Parabiago, Italy)
5/20: Girls Gone RX Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)
5/20: Girls Gone Rx San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
5/20: Best Babes Northern Virginia (Vienna, VA)
5/20: Girls Gone Rx Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)
5/20: Girls Gone Rx Central Florida (Ocala, FL)
5/20: Girls Gone Rx Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)
5/20: Best Babes Arkansas (Little Rock, AR)
5/20: Limitless: All Female Competition (Batavia, OH)
5/20: Mayhem & Massacre (Winston-Salem, NC)

See all upcoming events

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