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Eight Hours Behind the Scenes at the 20.4 Announcement

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Today’s edition is powered by NormaTec.

Do you even recover, bro? We certainly hope so. Don’t just take our word for it. Kristin Holte, currently sitting in 2nd place in the Open says:

“I have to train hard, but I need to recover even harder! Recovery is one of the key factors for success as an athlete. The moment I finish my training, I start my recovery so I can be ready for my next session. My recovery includes stretching, sauna, plenty of food, and 30-50 minutes of NormaTec every day.” Score an extra $50 off with code “CHALKUP50”.


“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” — Maya Angelou

8 Hours Behind the 20.4 Curtain with Smith, Carroll and Sweeney


9:24 AM — 7 hours, 36 minutes until 20.4

Sean Woodland pulls into a driveway in Santa Clara, CA; Tommy Marquez is in the front seat. I hop into the back seat and we head out to Pleasant Hill, CA, the home of Diablo CrossFit. 

Last year, the gym played host to the 19.3 live announcement match-up between Lauren Fisher and Alessandra Pichelli.  Even with one live event under their belt, Diablo owner Craig Howard admitted they’ve still been planning for a month to execute this one-hour event. 

10:40 AM — 6 hours, 20 minutes until 20.4.

You walk into the gym and its already been transformed — railings are up, lined with sponsor banners and three Assault bikes stand in the middle of the workout stage to throw off would be prognosticators. Lighting is coming along. The DJ is testing levels and camera wires and getting tapped up.

To maximize preparation, Diablo canceled all classes today.

11:32 AM PT — 5 hours, 28 minutes until 20.4.

“I just hope it’s not heavy snatches,” Sean Sweeney says.

Sweeney and Jason Carroll are sitting opposite one another in Sweeney’s trailer with his fiancé Emmily Butz and a friend. The three slept in the parking lot last night after driving four hours from Fallon, NV. 

Carroll arrived earlier in the morning on a 60-minute flight up from Orange County. 

Continue reading…

Too Young To Drive, Cary’s On Track To Finish Top 20 Worldwide


“I am hoping for some really, really gross workouts. Those are my favorites!”

Emma Cary is clearly a rare bred and if you’ve never heard of the 15-year-old from Missouri, it’s fair to predict the teenager is on the fast track to becoming a household name in CrossFit.  

Cary’s performance in the 2020 Open so far: After 20.3, Emma Cary leaves seasoned athletes like Amanda Barnhart and Alessandra Pichelli in her wake, sitting 35th on the worldwide leaderboard.

  • In the last three weeks, she finished 12th, 9th and 187th.
  • In both 20.1 and 20.2, Cary edged out the likes of former champions in Katrin Davidsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir. Not bad for a teenager, not even old enough to obtain a driver’s license.  
  • Why she’s not scaling: Because of her birthday, Cary will compete in the 16-17 division which does not scale workouts.  
  • Watch a snippet of her 20.3 performance here.

“I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to challenge myself by being ranked on the individual leaderboard,” she told the Morning Chalk Up.

Continue reading…

Things To…


WATCH: Buttery Bros at 20.4 in Costume for a Halloween Massacre 
The Buttery Bros headed to Diablo CrossFit for the live announcement of 20.4 with Ben Smith, Jason Carroll, and Sean Sweeney. In true Halloween spirit, they showed up in skin tight, glitery costumes.


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EAT: The Best Homemade Healthy Green Bean Casserole
The holidays are right around the corner and everyone at Morning Chalk Up is stockpiling recipes for Turkey Day. This recipe for green bean casserole takes a classic and cleans it up a bit., with real mushrooms and onions.


Today’s edition of the Morning Chalk Up is powered by


Recover Well and Get $50 off a NormaTec

Do you even recover, bro? We certainly hope so. Don’t just take our word for it. Kristin Holte, currently sitting in 2nd place in the Open says:

“I have to train hard, but I need to recover even harder! Recovery is one of the key factors for success as an athlete. The moment I finish my training, I start my recovery so I can be ready for my next session. My recovery includes stretching, sauna, plenty of food, and 30-50 minutes of NormaTec every day.” Score an extra $50 off with code “CHALKUP50”.

Chalk Up Community

  • HELP FOR COACH JORDAN — Jordan Sims, head coach at KBC CrossFit in Fresno, CA recently lost his young son, Jaydon. The members of KBC CrossFit and the CrossFit community at large are running a GoFundMe campaign to help the Sims family during this time.
  • ADDING ARROWS — CrossFit Haywood is holding a fundraiser WOD for Brandon and Jenny Holloway, who are currently in the process of adopting a child. The event will take place on November 23, National Adoption Day. 

CHALK UP IN 2 MINUTES (a highlight reel around social media of CrossFit pros and average joes)

Happy third birthday to OC Athletix • Happy fifth birthday Chemical City CrossFit • Krissi Duff gets her first muscle-upEverette Holguin cleans 350 poundsVernon Neal snatches 250 pounds for two • Congratulations to Nathan on getting his first pistol in 20.4 • David Muniz and family ran a Tough Mudder in honor of their cousin, VictorBryan Santin PR’d his half-marathon time.

…and The Fittest of the Babes is actually the G.O.A.T.

20.4 Scores are Due Today — All registered athletes for the 2020 Open must submit their score for 20.4 today by 5:00 PM PT. 

— Watch Annie Thorisdottir do 20.4 in 12:54.

— This is the first time we’ve seen the pistol in the Open.

20.4 Leaderboard as of 5:00 PM PT Last Night:

1. Tony Facchini (16:30) | Candace Riffle (15:32)
2. Noah Ohlsen (16:41) | Olivia Kelly (16:18)
3. Jonathan Wall (17:08) | Janine Shillington (16:26)
4. Royce Dunne (17:16) | Kim Mullins (16:33)
5. Connor Schmitz (17:27) | Madeline Seibert (16:34)
6. Nick Urankar (17:42) | Emily Pursehouse (17:08)
7. Mike Wagner (17:50) | Alexandra Barnes (17:09)
8. Nick Bloch (18:00) | Mia Edgar (17:15 )
9. Angelo Brussich (18:03) | Dionne Gutierrez (17:18)
10. Tyler Erlandson (18:12) | Amanda Deller (17:41)

Dr. Kelly Starrett On The Open — Dr. Kelly Starrett, Co-Founder of San Francisco CrossFit and author of Becoming a Supple Leopard, recently wrote an Op-Ed for Morning Chalk Up, titled In Defense of the Open. 

— “You know what gets better during the Open? Everything. People eat better. They take care of their tissues. They sleep. They actually warm-up and cool down. They have to. You can’t really put out like that as a mortal person and not do it.  It highlights many behaviors that actually significantly impact the quality of our psycho-emotional motor selves, but fail to appreciate in the day to day training in which most of us engage.

— “It’s like Sober-October (people give up YHC/alcohol/etc for the month) but for your training self. It’s a reality check. Many of us have become quite consistent in our training efforts. But if we have a bad day, it really really don’t pay a cost for it. Why? We really aren’t training for something. We are engaged in good strength and conditioning but there is no real test.”


“The Pistol On Debut But The Real Separator In 20.4 Will Be The Barbell,” by Brittney Kleyn and Scott Henderson

It’s been a year of firsts in the 2020 CrossFit Open and 20.4 is no exception seeing the introduction of the single-leg or “pistol” squat.

The Separator: Usually when we see a new movement introduced for the first time – think the strict handstand push-up (19.3) or the bar muscle-up (16.3) – the ‘unknown’ can act as a major separator on the worldwide leaderboard.

Fun Fact: There are now only four movements that have been programmed in every CrossFit Open: double-unders, toes-to-bar, chest-to-bar (pending 20.5) and thrusters.

Maybe this year, it won’t be the case: The pistol is no simple movement. However, if we consider Castro’s craft of barbell loading, the heavier weights could be your ticket to bypassing thousands of other Open competitors in week 4.

What happened the last time: The squat clean ladder style of 19.2 was the last time we saw progressively heavier barbells pop up in the Open. Perhaps this gives us the most likely indication of how your position can improve with just one additional rep as the barbell weight increases in 20.4.

Progressing to the third barbell in 20.4 (185lbs for men – equivalent to the 2nd barbell in 19.2) could be worth 6,018 places on the worldwide leaderboard in 2020. For women, the heavier weight (115lbs in 19.2) could be worth around 2,428 positions. A subsequent rep at this weight is likely to pay 1,214 positions for women and 2,779 positions for men.


11/8: Veterans Day Bash 2019 (Lubbock, TX)
11/8 – 11/9: WOD for Warriors (Waite Park, MN)
11/8 – 11/10: The Kalis Games (Manila, Phillipines)
11/9: Patriot Challenge 3.0 (Longview, TX)
11/9: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Rochelle Park, NJ)
11/9: The Battle at Branded One (Las Vegas, NV)
11/9: Battle on the Airfield at Skyraider CrossFit (Riverside, CA)
11/9: The Goat Gauntlet (Hartford, CT)
11/9: The Bay Games (Huskisson, NSW AUS)
11/9: Third Annual Battle on the Airfield (Riverside, CA)
11/9: Sweat For Sweeney (Keene, NH) 
11/9 – 11/10: Fallout 2 Presented by Battleground Events (Long Beach, CA)
11/9: Emerald Coast Honor Games (Destin, FL)
11/16: Warrior Affiliate League Delta Force (City of Industry, CA)
11/16: O-Town Throwdown 2019 (Oconomowoc, WI)
11/16: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Blue Springs, MO)
11/16: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Clemmons, NC)
11/16: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Plainville, CT)
11/16: The Pain Cave SD (San Diego, CA)
11/16: 2019 Graveyard Games (Kenosha, WI)
11/16: Mid-Atlantic Masters Classic (Abingdon, MD)
11/16: 3rd Annual Bombs & Barbells (Pooler, GA)
11/16: Mama Said Knock You Out (Canton, CT)
11/16: Olson WOD (Hanford, CA)
11/16: CFP’s 6th annual Fall Brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
11/16: 4th Annual Battle of the Badges (St. Louis, MO)
11/16 – 11/17: 24 Hours of Heroes (London, ON)
11/17: Annual Ghetto Games (Plainville, MA)
11/17: Crews For Brews (Windsor, Ontario)
11/22: Sixth Annual Gobbler Gauntlet (Scottsdale, AZ)
11/23: Kettlebells for Balls (Newburyport, MA)
11/23: Keep Austin (Austin, TX)
11/23: CrossFit XLTs 6th Annual Turkey Bash (Chatham, IL)
11/23: Fitness for Ellie Fundraiser (Amherst, OH)
11/23: Rise of the South (Statesboro, GA)
11/23 – 11/24: South Loop Games (Chicago, IL)

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