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Don Faul Talks Future of CrossFit

Morning Chalk Up

February 6   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • CrossFit’s global push continues as Brazil, France and Spain look to be key expansion areas
  • Talking CrossFit with new artificial intelligence program Chat GPT
  • Don Faul explains grand ambitions for CrossFit moving forward
  • Morning Chalk Up readers help with academic study on impact of Covid on fitness routines
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“Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar.” - William Wordsworth

  CrossFit to Broadcast Open in French, Portuguese and Spanish as New Global Push Emerges  

CrossFit to Broadcast Open in French, Portuguese and Spanish as New Global Push Emerges

CrossFit will broadcast all three 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Live Open announcements in French, Portuguese and Spanish as the company hints at a new global expansion push.

Headquarters said the broadcasting of 23.1, 23.2, and 23.3, which kicks off Feb. 16 live at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain is part of a larger plan to help grow the sport globally into new territories outside of the sport’s stronghold of North America.

  • “Foreign-language broadcasting is important for us because while CrossFit may have been created in the United States, it truly has a global reach,” said Daniel Chaffey, Director of International GYM Operations at CrossFit. “More and more participants in the CrossFit Open are coming from countries outside of the U.S. and we expect this trend to continue.”

Hungary’s Laura Horvath, Poland’s Gabriela Migala, Serbia’s Lazar Djukic, and Iceland’s Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson will compete head-to-head just moments after Test 23.1 is revealed during the live broadcast, which begins at 9 pm CT.

CrossFit’s push outside of the US and Canada has been one that has garnered mixed reactions in the past, however Open registration numbers point to the company and sport’s potential expansion outside of North America.

As of last week, according to numbers released by CrossFit, the box with the most Open registrants is currently Superforce CrossFit in Brazil, which has a number of locations within the southern portion of the country below Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Of the top ten boxes in the world, Brazil has three, Spain has one (CrossFit Full with 203 registrants), Puerto Rico has two (CrossFit Human Performance A.S. with 176 and Jibaros CrossFit with 152), France has one (CrossFit 571 with 157) and the US has the remaining three.

Before the pandemic, Brazil was seen as one of the fastest growing countries in terms of CrossFit, and now looks to be reemerging once again post-pandemic under a new economic climate. The country has a number of promising athletes as well on the elite level including Guilherme Malheiros, who came 10th at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games and Victoria Campos, who came 33rd.

France has long been a CrossFit stronghold, as it has the most CrossFit boxes outside of the US, however country manager Julian Festor did concede there is a bit of a divide between headquarters and the country, partially due to geography and language. The same issue seems to be a small sticking point for CrossFit enthusiasts in Spain according to its country manager, Natalia Diez, as translation of materials to Spanish remains a big hurdle there.

One big thing: CrossFit’s potential to expand in North America may have already hit its peak given current data, however globally the sport could have untapped potential on a number of continents and in countries with fitness enthusiasts, however do not speak English, or speak English as a first language. Headquarters seems to understand getting people to watch in their native tongue is key:

  • “Multi-language coverage will help us engage with more athletes in regions where we see participation in CrossFit growing rapidly,” said Justin Bergh, General Manager of Sport. “English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish broadcasts give us unique opportunities to encourage more viewers across the world to find a CrossFit gym near them.”
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Awesome: Operation Homefront Heroes: A Born Primitive Heroes Project is inviting deployed military service members to nominate spouses to receive a free pair of Born Primitive’s ultra-soft men’s or women’s joggers.

Also awesome: Battle Cancer’s Program Level 1 Certification, delivered by CAWS is now available.

Very cool: Justin Medeiros gives us a quick tour of the Shred Shed 2.0 and it could possibly be the coolest home gym we have ever seen.

Local love: Great piece about Bedford Hills Sunshine CrossFit crushing workouts for ALS charity the Live Like Lou Foundation.

More local love: The Kares CrossFit Caribbean Championships is now scheduled for April 15-16 and will take place in Guyana.

  What Does Chat GPT Think of CrossFit?  


What Does Chat GPT Think of CrossFit?

As artificial intelligence starts to take over every facet of our lives, one has to wonder, what do the robots think about CrossFit? Morning Chalk Up took the opportunity to use the highly publicized ChatGPT about CrossFit, and ask it some of the burning questions we all have about the sport, its methodology and if it is, in fact, dying.

Continue Reading...
  What Does Chat GPT Think of CrossFit?  

CrossFit CEO Don Faul: "I think 30 million people is just the start"

Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with CrossFit CEO, Don Faul, to discuss his vision for 2023, some exciting new announcements in the works when it comes to coaches and affiliates, and how the CrossFit media and outside media are an essential role for the growth of CrossFit.

Watch Now...
  COVID Impact on Morning Chalk Up Readers Fitness Routines Published in Academic Study  

COVID Impact on Morning Chalk Up Readers Fitness Routines Published in Academic Study

In May 2020, researchers, Dr. Cara Obocock from the University of Notre Dame and Dr. Katie Rose Hejtmanek from Brooklyn College at the City University of New York, reached out to the Morning Chalk Up and its readers, asking them to participate in a study on the impact of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders on their exercise routines and impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.

Obocock is a former powerlifter, while Hejtmanek is an avid CrossFitter.

One big thing: It will be no surprise to Morning Chalk Up readers that the results revealed that while not being able to go to gyms, fitness centers and CrossFit boxes negatively affected individuals’ physical and mental health.

  • However, and this is the key finding, athletes who were part of a “formal fitness community,” for example, a CrossFit box, fared significantly better than individuals who were involved in less formal fitness communities, working out alone in a globo gym, for example.

Some details: Obocock and Hejtmanek found that formal communities, like CrossFit boxes, found ways to maintain community engagement by shifting to online classes and loaning out gym equipment.

  • More importantly, CrossFit affiliate owners and coaches tapped into the legacy of CrossFit–preparing for the unknown and unknowable–to keep their communities engaged and active

Learn more: The first article,“Missing the Gym: COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders and Formal Fitness Communities” was published in Anthropology Now in August 2022.

The bottom line: While CrossFitters definitely experienced these things anecdotally in 2020, this academic study provides insights and data grounded in scientific study. And, as always, we at the Morning Chalk Up and the researchers themselves appreciate your participation and passion for this community.

  COVID Impact on Morning Chalk Up Readers Fitness Routines Published in Academic Study  

Morning Chalk Up has partnered with Girls Gone Rx to support their charity “Compete for a Cure” for these strong women t-shirts. 100% of shirt proceeds go to this charity. Celebrate all the strong women in your life and grab a tee!

Girls Gone Rx.


Why You Pee When You Lift Heavy

Alright ladies, let’s talk about the thing we all avoid. Peeing during heavy lifts. Why does this happen and how can you fix it? Watch this video from Squat U.




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This Coaching Cue

If you’re a coach, then you know there are only so many ways to explain how to position your feet on a squat. That’s why you need to steal this cue.



Free Wings for LIFE

Yes, this is for real. When you sign up for Butcher Box as a new subscriber, you will get free chicken wings included in every box FOR LIFE. That’s a lot of chicken wings. Take advantage of this offer while it lasts!



This Recipe for Better Toes to Bar

Want to improve your toes to bar? Then you need to watch this video and start practicing before the Open!


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

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Paige Powers.
  • Feeling stagnant? Ben Sondgeroth from Babylon CrossFit in Babylon, NY says signing up for a competition was just the push he needed.
  • Congratulations to Stella Wexler from CrossFit DBP in Ocala, FL on her 95 pound/43kg back squat PR.
  • Masters athlete Eva Thornton from South Africa shows off two new burpee variations in this AMRAP workout.

On February 1st, firefighter-paramedic Ethan Wilson was found unconscious in the ocean. He was rushed to the ICU and is alive, but sustained serious injuries. His condition is currently unknown. Ethan and his wife, Ashley, have a two-month old son, and are both members of CrossFit 386 in Port Orange, FL. Friends and family created a GoFundMe for those that wish to contribute.

12/16: Masters Mania 6 (Oklahoma City, OK)
1/13 - 1/14: The 615 Throwdown (Nashville, TN)
1/14: Battle Cancer Miami (Miami, FL)
1/20 - 1/21: Masters N Minors II (Beachwood, OH)
1/20: FrostFit Team Challenge (Colorado Springs, CO)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)
1/27: GOAT Youth Fitness Competition (Olyphant, PA)

See all upcoming events

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