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Dave Castro Sheds More Light on 2021 and Beyond

Morning Chalk Up

December 29   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • The Rogue Invitational is heading to Austin, TX.
  • Castro sheds additional light on the 2021 season.
  • New York Supreme Court rules in favor of Athletes Unleashed.
  • CrossFit Cleveland finds strong revenue stream in nutrition coaching.

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

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“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” - Shauna Niequist


  • 72 days until the 2021 CrossFit Open. 
  • Speaking of which…all eyes need to be on 17-year-old Mal O’Brien who has set five major PRs since August 28. O’Brien originally sat out the 2020 season altogether to recover but won the stand-in replacement for the teen CrossFit Games at the Pit Fitness Ranch in September. She’s stated her goal is to qualify as an individual this season.
  • FIRST LOOK via Wall Street Journal “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding,” a new book by biological anthropologist and professor at Harvard, Daniel Lieberman, calls out CrossFit in all but name only: “I’ve done some CrossFit workouts, they’re great. I’m not anti-CrossFit. But there’s this CrossFit mystique that your inner primal macho ripped hunter-gatherer ancestor is who you were meant to be. If that gets you happy, that’s fine, all power to you, but you don’t have to make the rest of us feel bad for not doing these intense crazy workouts. They’re not necessary.” The book is out on January 5.
  • Former NBA all-star and Reebok athlete Baron Davis and Percy Miller are eyeing an acquisition of Reebok for around $2.4 billion. Its current owner Adidas has been looking to offload the brand since late October.
  • BEAST goodr is now the official sunglass partner of USA Weightlifting for 2021. The sunglass company was also an official sponsor of the 2018 CrossFit Games.
  • Must watch — “The Hold,” a documentary short film, recounts the story of Katrin Davidsdottir’s epic 2:54.54 handstand hold on day two of 2020 CrossFit Games’ first stage qualifier. The win cemented Davidsdottir’s finals invitation, paving the way to her eventual Spirit of the Games Award, and a second-place spot on the podium.
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  “Deep In the Heart of Texas,” Rogue Announces Details for 2021 Invitational  

“Deep In the Heart of Texas,” Rogue Announces Details for 2021 Invitational

A Rogue Invitational Instagram post on Monday, announced that the competition will move to the Lone Star State sometime in October within the greater Austin area. Further details, including specific dates and venues will be announced at a later time.

One big thing: The announcement by Rogue puts to rest any speculations as to whether or not the event would become one of the ten semifinals that will act as qualifiers for the 2021 CrossFit Games. It also answers the question of how some of the past Sanctional events would operate within the new season format released by CrossFit Director of Sport Dave Castro and HQ two weeks ago.

The details: With the Games set for the final week of July and the Rogue Invitational occurring in October, the event will almost certainly act independently from the Games.

Continue Reading...
  Expanded Opportunities for Age Group Athletes and a “Covid-Proof” Season, Castro Sheds More Light on 2021 and Beyond  

Expanded Opportunities for Age Group Athletes and a “Covid-Proof” Season, Castro Sheds More Light on 2021 and Beyond

There’s still a few days left in 2020, but 2021 is already shaping up to be a big improvement.

Following the initial 2021 CrossFit Games season structure announcement by CrossFit HQ, General Manager of Sport Dave Castro joined the Talking Elite Fitness podcast to discuss the 2021 season, revealing some additional details not included in the original announcement and expanding upon others.

One big thing: Castro revealed some details involving the qualifying numbers and process for the Age Group Divisions that will certainly have masters and teenage athletes around the globe smiling in preparation for 2021.

  • The qualifying numbers for the AGOQ will increase in 2021, and although Castro wouldn’t give a final number, he did say it would likely be percentage based, and be a significant increase from the 200 athletes worldwide that currently qualify in each division.
Continue Reading...
  Court Rules New York Gyms’ 25% Capacity Restriction “Arbitrary and Capricious,” Allows Athletes Unleashed Full Reopening  

Court Rules New York Gyms’ 25% Capacity Restriction “Arbitrary and Capricious,” Allows Athletes Unleashed Full Reopening

In a preliminary injunction on Wednesday, December 23, New York State Supreme Court Judge Honorable Paul B. Wojtaszek ruled in favor of Athletes Unleashed, a gym based in Orchard Park, NY, allowing them to reopen at 100 percent capacity, while continuing to follow social distancing rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The details: Paul Cambria, the attorney representing Athletes Unleashed, argued that the mandate telling gyms to operate at 25 percent capacity was “arbitrary and capricious.”

  • “The judge said there was a lack of data that showed gyms are a problem, and that places that have higher rates of transmission than gyms are 100 percent open,” Robby Dinero, the owner of Athletes Unleashed, told the Morning Chalk Up.
  • “The data they pulled was that gyms are responsible for 0.06 percent of (COVID-19) infections, meanwhile places like Walmart are 0.61, so 10 times more likely to spread the virus than us. And yet we were at 25 percent capacity, and Walmart and liquor stores are at 100 percent capacity. This has nothing to do with protecting people, and the judge saw that,” Dinero continued.
Continue Reading...
  CrossFit Cleveland’s Nutrition Program 10% of Gym's 2020 Revenue. Here’s How They Did It  


CrossFit Cleveland’s Nutrition Program 10% of Gym's 2020 Revenue. Here’s How They Did It

For 12 years, Bill and Staci Russell, the owners of CrossFit Cleveland in Rocky River, OH, reiterated to their clients the importance of nutrition being the foundation of health. They often hosted nutrition seminars and clinics and provided nutrition resources, but they lacked a structured program and had a hard time helping their clients make lasting nutrition changes.

  •  “Nutrition has always been our foundation, but we never knew how to integrate it into our business. We didn’t know how to properly deliver what we know and do ourselves to our clients for them to see real results,” Bill said.
  • “I would give them a package on nutrition and tell them to let me know when they’re ready to dig into their nutrition,” said Staci, a Precision Nutrition Level 1 coach.
  • “We were the poster child of what not to do when it comes to developing a nutrition coaching program,” Bill added.
Continue Reading...


The Sticky Point in Your Squat

Most of us have a common sticky point in our heavier squats -- in the bottom, around parallel or above parallel. The good news is its pretty easy to diagnose the problems or deficiencies and this article from T-Nation offers up a ton of accessory exercises to fix them.




Five Ways Most Diets Fail

If you’ve tried every meal and diet plan known to man and still can’t stick with it, join Nutrition Coach EC Synkowski of OptimizeMe Nutrition TODAY, Dec 29, at 4:00 PM ET for a FREE training. You'll also learn the fail-safe ways to fix those broken habits for 2021.



A 20-Minute Rowing Leg Blaster

Looking for a short workout to really fire up your lower body? Give this mountain climber leg blast workout from Dark Horse rowing a try. Can you increase your stroke rate across all 20 minutes?



The 2021 Open with Brent Fikowski's Help

Are you struggling with double unders, snatches, handstand push-ups, bar muscle-ups and ring muscle-ups? If so, start chipping away at your weaknesses with Brent Fikowski. Each Train Your Weakness program only takes a few minutes to complete each week and will have you crushing your weaknesses in less than six weeks.



A CrossFit Insider Try the Apple Fitness Plus App

Michael Dalton, a long-time CrossFit media producer, has a new YouTube show called Maximum Effort - Fitness Reviews. In this episode, he gives the new Apple Fitness Plus app a try and hilarity ensues.


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.


Our community round-up today features two inspirational stories and a fundraiser for a long-time affiliate owner from Santa Cruz, CA:

  • U.S. Army Captain, Carey DuVal Tests Prosthetic Hand: Prosthetic clinic, biodesigns, inc., has partnered with WheelWOD Games qualifier, Capt. Carey DuVal to test the new BrainRobotics myoelectric prosthetic hand. The prosthesis is designed to be more affordable and accessible. And, it has received a lot of news coverage so far — learn more.
  • CrossFit HWPO: In the small town of Te Aroha, on the North Island of New Zealand (population 4000), the only CrossFit box in town, CrossFit HWPO was set to close just before the end of 2020. That was until the only other CrossFit coach in the area, Jillian O’Neill and her husband decided to take it over. Although it’s not a long term solution, the pair made sure that the local community could still WOD and are looking for possible new buyers in 2021.
  • Fundraiser for Kelvin Nivens: In August, CrossFit Kel-Core in Santa Cruz, CA closed it’s doors due to the financial torment of 2020. After shifting to an online programming system for clients, former affiliate owner Kelvin Nivens, a survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2012, has been diagnosed with cancer again. His daughter, Niana Nivens, has started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the medical bills. Learn more and donate now.
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