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Dubai Fitness Championship Men’s Podium Picks and Dark Horses

Morning Chalk Up

December 7   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Check out our men’s podium picks and dark horses for the 2023 Dubai Fitness Championship
  • EC Synkowski’s social media nutrition myths to avoid
  • Matilde Garnes and Colin Bosshard win 2023 iF3 World Championships

Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Check out our Holiday Gift Guide.

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“Success is how high you bounce back after you hit bottom.” - General George Patton

  2023 Dubai Fitness Championship: Men’s Podium Picks and Dark Horses  

2023 Dubai Fitness Championship: Men’s Podium Picks and Dark Horses

Now that the full list of athletes competing at the 2023 Dubai Fitness Championship has been announced, we can finally review the leaderboard and rank the athletes in terms of podium picks and dark horse picks.

For quick reference, the athletes listed under the Podium Picks section are our choices of athletes who we think will be contending for a spot on the podium. Since there will be more than three names on the list, not all athletes listed in this section of course will be able to land on the podium.

Athletes listed in the Dark Horses section are athletes who we expect to potentially perform well and perhaps better than many in the community believe. These athletes could be fighting for a top-five or top-ten finish.

Let’s begin.

Podium Picks

Roman Khrennikov and Ricky Garard: At first glance, it looks like the title in this competition will depend on who wins the battle between these two men. The last time these two faced each other was at the 2022 Games where Khrennikov ended up finishing in second, and Garard third.

Since many of their main competitors are either competing at FitFest in the UK or are simply skipping this event, it’s a very high probability that Khrennikov and Garard take first and second.

If we had to guess, we would say Khrennikov wins it all, and Garard in second not far behind, especially since Khrennikov won it back in 2021 with Garard in third.

Lazar Djukic: The other man we strongly predict to fill in the last spot on the podium is none other than the elder Djukic brother, who finished second in 2021, but ended the 2022 event in 12th place. A poor finish for him.

Djukic is coming off his third straight CrossFit Games finish inside the top 10 overall and we expect him to carry that momentum into Dubai.

Moritz Fiebig: If someone were to steal that spot from Djukic it would likely be last year’s silver medalist Moritz Fiebig, who actually tied for first place overall with Fabian Beneito, but unfortunately lost the tie-break.

Fabian Beneito: Speaking of Fabian Beneito, can he repeat as champion or did he get lucky last year thanks to the absence of many of the sport’s top athletes?

  • Beneito missed out on qualifying for this year’s Games by just six total points at the European Semifinals, so with a chip on his shoulder and plenty of rest, we’ll see if he can go back to back on the podium.

One more: The last person we want to include here is Chandler Smith, who is coming off of his second career top-ten finish at the Games. He can hang with any of the guys listed above and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him steal third place.

Dark Horse Picks

  • Uldis Upenieks: Although he’s been to the Games for four of the past five years, many people still don’t know who is, but he has a great chance to break into the top five here, especially if there’s a good amount of running or high rep gymnastics.
  • Luka Djukic: Last year Luka finished seventh overall, higher than his brother Lazar, who finished 12th. Now that a few of the men in front of him last year are absent, he may be able to have an even better placing if he stays consistent.
  • Alex Kotoulas: Kotoulas had a great year in Dubai last year as he jumped from 11th in 2021 to fifth in 2022. He also was only 20 points away from Jonne Koski in fourth. Since Kotoulas has yet to make the Games, he can focus all of his training on events like this, and he could cause problems for Upenieks and Djukic.
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The Progrm mAsh: Learn the history of John Singleton’s The Progrm mAsh, the new competition format that the Filthy150 will use this January.

  • Registration for this event, happening January 26-27, 2024 in Louth, Ireland  at the DKIT Sports Arena is open now.

TYR Wodapalooza continues to announce competitors in its elite divisions and announced that details for TYR WZA SoCal will be released on January 17.

  • And, if you missed it, check out our conversation with Director of Competition Joaquin Pérez Borrego about programming for the Miami event. 

 Association of Fitness Judges: Announced this week, the Association of Fitness Judges has been formed to propose solutions and provide resources for judges, competitions, and training camps.

ICYMI: CrossFit announced the locations of the 2024 CrossFit Games Semifinals.

  Don’t Fall for These Three Nutrition Myths on Social Media  


Don’t Fall for These Three Nutrition Myths on Social Media

If you’re tired of being bombarded with conflicting information about health and nutrition while scrolling through your Instagram or TikTok feed, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of confusion out there, primarily due to influencers and companies who have incentives to — let’s say — confuse things.

I recently published an episode of my podcast The Consistency Project that unpacked six myths people often ask me about.

Here are three of the ones we covered that are particularly prevalent and stubborn:

Continue Reading...
  Games Veteran Matilde Garnes Wins 2023 iF3 World Championship  

Games Veteran Matilde Garnes Wins 2023 iF3 World Championship

In late November just outside of Oslo, Norway, competitors battled through six tests of functional fitness to crown the 2023 iF3 World Champions. The event was live-streamed by Staylive November 24-26, 2023, and featured 153 athletes from 25 countries. Norway, being the host country, had the largest contingent of athletes, followed by Sweden. Six athletes represented the United States.

Remind me: A non-profit, independent international governing body for functional fitness as a competitive sport, the International Functional Fitness Federation, (iF3), strives to provide leadership, structure and resources as it promotes functional fitness and its growth throughout the world.

  • It is iF3’s mission to one day see functional fitness included in the Olympic Games.

The details: With the Masters and Junior World Champions already crowned earlier this fall in Vancouver, Canada, it was time for Individuals, Juniors 19-20, and Teams to take center stage. The athletes competing qualified in different ways, depending on their countries’ stipulations and processes, most of whom held live qualifying events.

The iF3 provides a combination of standardization and creativity with programming. Every championship event for individuals includes six categories of tests: Endurance, Strength, Bodyweight, Skill, Mixed, and Power. This year there were seven scored events, with the skill test being a two-parter. Within those parameters is where the creativity lies, from high-skilled movements like pirouettes into backward handstand walking to unique equipment like the Y bells. All the while maintaining a well-rounded event that pushed athletes to new heights.

IF3 President Gretchen Kittleberger shared her insight on this year’s championships.

  • “The event was our best World Championships yet. The Norwegian Federation were wonderful hosts and really raised the bar on event quality,” she said.
  • “The athletes, as always, were phenomenal. The level of competition just gets better and better every year,” continued Kittleberger.
Continue Reading...
  Games Veteran Matilde Garnes Wins 2023 iF3 World Championship  

Morning Chalk Up's Holiday Gift Guide

Stuck on what to gift the CrossFit lover in your life this holiday season? Look no further! Surprise them with gear that elevates every workout. And guess what? You deserve the gift of peak performance too! Treat them (or yourself) to the latest in fitness essentials – from performance-enhancing gear to recovery essentials, we’ve curated the ultimate gift guide to make every workout merry and bright.

What are you waiting for? Start gifting!


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Inov-8’s 25 Days of Giveaways

A free competition to win prizes every day in the lead up to Christmas? Yes, this is snow joke, they are running their first ever advent calendar competition and yule be a grumpy grinch to miss out. Oh, and wait – there’s myrrh, they'll have a special Christmas day grand draw too.



What to Eat Before and After your CrossFit Workout

Learning exactly what to eat and when can drastically help with not only performance but also recovery. Read this article for advice on specific foods and time frames surrounding your workout.



Born Primitive Joggers

You can never have too many cozy clothes this time of year, and Born Primitive is having a flash sale on their ever-popular joggers. Grab a pair, or two or three.



Develop Upper Back Mobility

Do you miss heavy front squats and cleans, your back rounding under heavy loads? Try this drill to strengthen thoracic spine extendors and develop a more mobile upper back. It could also be used as a specific warm up before you grab out your barbell.


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