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Eating Raw Meat is Not Ancestral

Morning Chalk Up

March 25   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • How has Quarterfinals improved from last year?
  • There’s nothing ancestral about eating raw meat
  • Madison McElhaney on switching from MMA to CrossFit
  • Breaking down the Quarterfinal programming
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“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” - Victor Hugo

  Why Quarterfinals in 2022 is Vastly Improved from 2021 

Why Quarterfinals in 2022 is Vastly Improved from 2021

As we talked about following the conclusion of Open programming, year two of the current CrossFit Games season format should be able to help everyone reframe their perspective about what to expect from each stage of competition. In the case of the Open, we can summarize by saying we can expect fewer tests, more accessibility, and a general focus on capacity. Now, looking at this year’s Quarterfinals programming we can make similar generalizations about what’s happening in this stage of the season.

Similar in appearance, but different in design: Some of the workouts, in particular workouts 1, 4, and 5 from this year’s Quarterfinals have a strong resemblance to their counterparts from the 2021 test. However, in each case there are notable differences that highlight a change in thought process for Quarterfinals.

Workout 1: 

Last year the first workout included two different handstand push-up variations, a double dumbbell movement (hang power cleans), and double unders. This year the first workout has three different handstand push-up variations and three different double dumbbell movements. However, because of the placement of the strict handstand push-up (a very challenging movement for some) at the end of the workout this year, rather than as the very first reps of the workout last year, it makes it more appealing for more Quarterfinal qualifiers to sign up because they can most likely do a majority of this workout before running into something they aren’t sure they can do.

Workout 5: 

Similarly to the first workout, there is an overlap of the exact same movement from 2021 workout 5 to 2022 workout 5. Specifically the burpee box jump overs and a barbell snatch at 185/135 lbs. (This year there is also the addition of a rower). The major difference is once again that the limiter (the moderately heavy barbell) was the first part of the 2021 workout, and this year those are at the end. Everyone will be able to race through the row and burpee box jump overs before getting to a barbell that could be difficult to snatch for either one, or up to ten, reps.

Workout 4: 

For the second year in a row a max lift of some kind is being tested as part of the Quarterfinal test. Once again, we see an improvement in how strength is being tested though. Last year with the four rep max front squat it was a very specific lift that was tested. And if you happened to struggle with the lift that was chosen, it is likely that hundreds or thousands of people that you might beat on the other four tests, could beat you on this, and that because of the volume of participation (thousands of people in some continents), that score could single handedly bump you from a Semifinal qualification spot.

This year, because the strength test is threefold (Clean, Bench Press, Overhead Squat) it demands a more versatile strength set, and is less likely to reward the percentage of people that might do well at any one of these on their own, but will do slightly less well when they are all grouped together.

Note: It is not bad to have a max lift tested in a 5 or 7 event competition. But when the pool of participation is larger, it skews the results far more significantly than nearly anything else that could be programmed. Particularly with the Open/Quarterfinal scoring system that is being used.

Running in an online competition: We speculated that there could potentially be shuttle runs in the Quarterfinals this year and they have shown up. It has long been a contrast in programming between early stages of the season (the Open, Quarterfinals now, and even Regionals in the early years) which lacked running at all, and the CrossFit Games which test running (by quantity of appearances throughout the Games) more than any other movement. (It is not uncommon to see running show up 4-6 times in a single year at the Games).

Additionally, shuttle runs are more fatiguing and intricate in a metcon than most who don’t often do them realize. It’s a bit different than running continuously in one direction, and in particular with a sizable number of them in the middle part of this workout, it will certainly slow people down.

Diversity of time caps: After the Open saw a pretty restricted time cap distribution (10-15 minutes), the Quarterfinals sees something a little more diverse. On paper it looks like 7:00, 15:00, 15:00, 25:00, and 30:00. However, the 30 minute cap is the heavy lifting, and therefore is really an extremely short amount of time under tension for each lift (or even all three combined). The 7:00 time cap is nice and hits a nearly anaerobic threshold for the top athletes. The two 15 minute time cap windows are great because that is the range (8-15 minutes) a majority of CrossFit workouts fall in anyway. And finally, the 25:00 cap in workout 3 allows us to have at least one semi-long event prior to the Semis.

The big picture: Seeing the totality of the Open and Quarterfinal programming should be more reassuring for the community than only seeing the Open workouts. Yes, there are things that could be improved. But keep in mind that the entire season layout is different, and therefore, expectations about what is being tested, and how it’s being tested, at each stage need to shift to accommodate the new model. In the case of the 2022 Quarterfinals, the programming this year is both high level enough to select an appropriate group of athletes for Semifinals, and accommodating enough for everyone who qualified to enjoy at least part of each workout.

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CrossFit Quarterfinals 2022

  • CrossFit Quarterfinals Test 1:
    • For time:
      50 dumbbell walking lunges
      30 handstand push-ups
      40 front-rack walking lunges
      20 deficit handstand push-ups
      30 overhead walking lunges
      10 strict handstand push-ups2 50-lb. dumbbells, 3.5 inch deficit / 2 35-lb. dumbbells, 2 inch deficit
      Time cap: 15 min.
  • CrossFit Quarterfinals Test 2:
    • 3 rounds for time:30 alternating single-leg squats
      30 GHD sit-ups
      10 muscle-ups
      Time cap: 15 min.
  • See all five workouts with full descriptions at the Morning Chalk Up.
  • Score submissions are due in three separate blocks.
    • The scores for tests 1 and 2 are due by 12:00 PM PT on Friday, March 25.
    • The scores for tests 3 and 4 are due by 12:00 PM PT on Saturday, March 26.
    • The final score for test 5 is due by 12:00 PM PT on Sunday, March 27.
  • Here are the floor plans for all five workouts and the updated equipment list.
  • Review these videos to be sure to set up your floor plan correctly: Test 1 Floor Plan Demo | Test 2 Floor Plan Demo | Test 3 Floor Plan Demo | Test 4 Floor Plan Demo | Test 5 Floor Plan Demo.
  • The Quarterfinals leaderboard will be updated after each submission deadline at the Morning Chalk Up.
  • Official invitations for the Team and Age Group Quarterfinals will be sent out in the coming weeks.

Here are a few more speed reads:

NOCCO has launched a new flavor – Blood Orange.🥤

Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Spencer Panchik about why he’s breaking out onto his own and his goals for the season and its singular – the CrossFit Games. Oh yeah, also, he’s the latest Born Primitive athlete.

  • “When I train with Saxon and Scott, sometimes you’re just going head to head and it’s just excruciating after a long time and learning to be able to do that without burning that candle low.”
Emma Cary is withdrawing from the CrossFit Games season due to a nagging back injury:
  • “But far more than the sadness I feel right now, I’m excited. Now I have 500 days to pour my everything into training for the 2023 CrossFit Games and a lot of opportunities to get even more resilient, tough, and smart.”
  • “These past three months have been the hardest time of my life, but with trials come the exact lessons I need to reach my full potential in this sport.”
  There is Nothing Ancestral about Eating Raw Meat 


There is Nothing Ancestral about Eating Raw Meat

Raw meat is all the rage right now, being touted as the way to eat if you want to put back what the modern world left out. And social media is full of videos of fitness gurus eating raw beef, liver, brain, testicles, blood, you name it. All in the name of superior ancestral health.

But here’s the thing… We are not evolved to eat raw meat. In fact, cooking our food may have contributed in a major way to the evolution of our species.

Humans have been cooking their food for about 1.5 million years, give or take a few thousand depending on which anthropologist you ask.

Continue Reading...
  MMA to CrossFit: Madison McElhaney Wants a Taste of the Games 

MMA to CrossFit: Madison McElhaney Wants a Taste of the Games

Madison McElhaney knows she has an “all or nothing” personality.

  • “Oh yeah totally,” said the 30-year-old. The Torrence, CA native said she got the drive from her father, and it is most definitely a double-edged sword. “That’s one part about my personality I wouldn’t change though, I’ll stay up 70 hours to get the job done if that is what it takes.”

McElhaney wasted little time in finding an outlet to pour herself into right from childhood. Her parents put her in gymnastics at the age of three and by the age of 12 she was competing at an elite level and so committed to it her mom and dad tried to get her to stop.

  • “My parents begged me to stop my whole life because it’s really hard on your body, you’re always injured and can’t do much schoolwork. But I loved it, I would always walk around on my hands before I started gymnastics, so they put me in it for fun, but I always wanted to go hard.”
Continue Reading...
  MMA to CrossFit: Madison McElhaney Wants a Taste of the Games 

FIRST TAKE: Breaking Down Quarterfinals Programming | The Bottom Line

Watch Now...
  Underdogs' Justin Cotler's Workout of the Week 

Underdogs' Justin Cotler's Workout of the Week

Every Friday, we’re bringing you an exclusive workout challenge programmed by a CrossFit Games athlete or coach that you can take on at home or the gym. You can post your times or scores in the comment section.

Today’s workout is programmed by Justin Cotler, Founder and Head Coach of Underdogs Athletics. Cotler has created a workout called “Josephine Marie” in support of the newborn daughter of a family member of his wife Ashley. Josephine has been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a rare and life threatening genetic condition that over the last two years has seen breakthrough treatments for the condition.

The Underdogs crew and Cotlers have set up a GoFundMe to help the family of Josephine on medical and travel costs.

  • “Josephine Marie”
    3 Rounds For Time
    12 Power Cleans (135/95 LBs)
    22 Burpee Box Jump-overs (24/20)
    Time Cap: 12 Minutes

Scaling options:

  • Power Cleans at 175/75 LBs
  • Burpee Step-overs or Burpees

Some advice from Justin: “​​This workout is dedicated to my wife’s cousin’s daughter, Josephine Marie Sbai who was born on 3/12/2022, with a rare and serious genetic condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Life expectancy for an infant with Type-1 SMA, which Josephine has, is less than 2 years. My only ask for this workout is that you push hard. Make it hurt. And remember that hurt is only a fraction of what Josephine and her family are feeling, and be grateful we get to do this workout in her honor.”

To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.



The Stripper Pose

A common error in the snatch or clean is a failure to have the hip, bar, and shoulders rise at the same time - AKA ‘The Stripper Pose.’ Watch this quick explanation to fix your form and generate more power in your lifts.




Unlock Your Maximum Potential During the Quarterfinals

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How To Use Your Headrest

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Tuna Melt Stuffed Peppers

Flavorful low-carb tuna stuffed peppers mixed with veggies, greek yogurt, and buffalo sauce all topped with layers of melted cheese These easy tuna stuffed bell peppers make the perfect lunch paired with your favorite sides, r even a protein-packed post-workout snack.


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

  • Tactic Nutrition’s Meredith Root shows the power of mindset (…or stubbornness?) in this snatch complex.
  • Congratulations to Mia Nightingale from CrossFit Maven in Rochester, MI on the 235 pound/106.5kg clean PR.
  • Jung Da Won from the Republic of Korea stands up a 305 pound/138kg back squat.
  • Congratulations to Jordan Ingalsbe from CrossFit Tough as Nails in Oviedo, FL on her first bar muscle-up as a neuro adaptive athlete.
  • Congratulations Morgan Wallace from CrossFit Laminin in Vestavia Hills, AL on the 150 pound/68kg clean and jerk PR.

🎈 Think we’ll see balloon popping for time at this year’s Semifinals?

1/28 - 1/29: Qualifiche Campionato Italiano Sthenathlon Blor (Milano, Italy)
1/28: Masters Of The Midway (Cary, IL)
1/28: Bloodline Brawl (Fort Myers, FL)
1/28: Sunshine CrossFit ALS Fundraiser (Bedford Hills, NY)
1/28: Bloodline Brawl VII (Teams of 3!) (Fort Myers, FL)
1/28: Masters Of The Midway: Individual (Cary, IL)
2/4 - 2/5: Modena Challenge: Intermediate and Rx (Modena, Italy)
2/4: Valentine’s Day Massacre (Tucson, AZ)
2/4: The 2023 Winter Classic (Danbury, CT)
2/4: GOAT Youth/Teen Fitness Competition: Individual, Age Groups 10-17 (Olyphant, PA)
2/10 - 2/12: Fittest if the Coast Championship (Charleston, SC)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash (co-ed pairs) (Staten Island, NY)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/11: Valentine’s Day Crush (North Hollywood, CA)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash at THRIVE CrossFit 103 (Staten Island, NY)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/12: The 2023 RCF Winter War (Londonderry, NH)
2/18: Moultrie South Georgia Classic (Norman Park, GA)
3/1 - 3/31: Barbells For Bullies: Sit Ups For Pups (Online Event, United States)
3/18 - 3/19: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, Canada)
3/25 - 3/26: Costa Dorada Fitness Challenge (Tamarit, Tarragona, Spain)
3/25: No Weak Links (Marcy, NY)

See all upcoming events

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