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Five Lingering Travel Questions for Semifinals

Morning Chalk Up

April 14   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Five lingering thoughts concerning traveling to Semifinals
  • Individual Semifinals First Take by CrossFit analyst Brian Friend
  • Brute Strength coach Nick Fowler talks trip to Ukraine
  • Breaking down the Power Rankings for the elite women
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“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” - Havelock Ellis

  Five Lingering Thoughts about Traveling for 2022 Semifinals  

Five Lingering Thoughts about Traveling for 2022 Semifinals

The Semifinals landscape for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games is quickly taking shape, however, as everyone knows, the world we live in now is a messy, complicated place as the great globalization experiment seems to be at an all time low.

COVID-19 travel restrictions linger in virtually every country, and an ongoing war in Ukraine has pitted NATO countries against Russia and its president Vladimir Putin.

Remind me: As we described yesterday, after Quarterfinals, qualifying athletes were asked to note if they had any travel restrictions. On April 11, individual athletes were emailed invitations to their assigned Semifinal event.

  • The rulebook provides some insight regarding the seeding process in section 4.03:
  • “For North America and Europe, CrossFit will seed and place the athletes in a Semifinal before invitations are sent. CrossFit will make every effort to ensure the seeding process will be fair and equitable. Quarterfinals ranking distribution and the geographical location of athletes will be the primary determining factors for competition seeding in North America and Europe.”

On our minds: There are several thoughts when it comes to simply getting athletes to their assigned Semifinal around the world, and we have five of them which are lingering.

We reached out to CrossFit, asking them if they had a support network set up to help athletes who will have to travel abroad for their respective Semifinal, and if COVID restrictions were taken into account when assigning athletes to competitions, however, we did not receive a response by the time of publication.

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In case you missed it, Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Patrick Clark and former team Games athlete Dex Hopkins about if anyone can beat CrossFit Mayhem Freedom a run for their money at the CrossFit Games. Hopkins said anything can happen, even if the chances are slim:

  • “I think it’s always a possibility.”

Okay, Kelsey Kiel‘s mom is pretty damn cool. 😎

Arnold Schwarzenegger explains why he employs a suicide grip for bench press, a grip which is a hot topic among CrossFitters for a variety of movements:

  • “It is called the suicide grip for a reason,” he said. “Only do this if you have a spotter with you, and make sure you have a real spotter, not someone looking at their Instagram while you unrack the weight.”

Shane Orr rocking the mullet. Yay or nay CrossFit peeps? 🤔

  Individual Semifinal Seedings: Big Picture First Takes  


Individual Semifinal Seedings: Big Picture First Takes

The first round of Semifinal invitations has been sent out, and while only one of the ten fields is already full with 30 athletes (South American Men), there is a lot we can take notice of with the other, mostly full rosters.

North America

It only makes sense to start in North America, where 40% of the Semifinals will take place. Due to that, there is a lot to analyze and observe about the biggest question in the room, which is how were the athletes seeded anyway?

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  Brute Strength Coach Nick Fowler Shares Two-Week Experience in War Torn Ukraine  

Brute Strength Coach Nick Fowler Shares Two-Week Experience in War Torn Ukraine

Like most coaches with a roster of CrossFit Games athletes to their name, Brute Strength Coach Nick Fowler spent March preparing his athletes for Quarterfinals, the only difference is Fowler did so from Ukraine.

On top of being a full-time coach, Fowler is also involved with August Mission, a non-profit that is 100 percent funded by private donations, dedicated to help recover, resettle and assist refugees.

Remind me: Fowler, the director of Strength and Conditioning at Brute Strength has a long coaching resume. He’s currently coaching CrossFit elites Spencer Panchik, Roman Khrennikov and Anthony Davis, and has also coached various other Games athletes in the past, including Kara Saunders, Brent Fikowski and now retired Jacob Heppner.

But Fowler’s biggest claim to fame might just be that he coached the 2017 Affiliate Cup Champions—Wasatch CrossFit—the only team that has ever been able to beat Rich Froning’s CrossFit Mayhem Freedom since Froning switched from individual to team competition in 2015.

So what led Fowler to drop everything and head to a war zone to help refugees? We caught up with him to find out.

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  Brute Strength Coach Nick Fowler Shares Two-Week Experience in War Torn Ukraine  

VIDEO: Power Ranking Breakdown: What’s The Story With 2-6 On The Women’s Side?

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  15-Plus Years in, Pat and Taz Barber Still Committed to “Old School CrossFit,” Now with RPM Training  

15-Plus Years in, Pat and Taz Barber Still Committed to “Old School CrossFit,” Now with RPM Training

Born and raised in CrossFit’s heartland, Santa Cruz, CA, Pat Barber stumbled across the training methodology 18 years ago when he was just a teenager.

A couple years into his journey at CrossFit Santa Cruz, Pat remembers seeing a poster about a BBQ and a CrossFit competition in Aromas, CA, an event that was open to anyone who wanted to compete. The competition was, of course, the first-ever CrossFit Games.

Barber didn’t make the trek to Aromas that year, but he went on to compete at the second Games in 2008, as well as in 2009 and 2011, and then returned with a team in 2014 and 2015.

On the other side of the world, Taz Barber found CrossFit in 2007 and went on to open the first affiliate in New Zealand—CrossFit New Zealand in Auckland—in 2008.

A year later, Taz won her region’s qualification competition and made the journey to the United States to compete at the 2009 Games.

“She needed a place to train, so she trained in my heart,” Pat joked, describing how he and Taz met when she showed up at his gym to train leading up to the 2009 Games.

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Some Quarterfinal Mayhem

So we all know how the story ended, but the journey is just as important as the outcome. With qualification on the line, a team member to introduce, and some stomach how Mayhem pulled it all together to win the quarterfinals.




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Four Ways to Decompress Your Spine

Whether it's from 100 deadlifts for time, or sitting at a desk too long, back pain ain't no fun. Here are four ways to decompress your spine from a hanging position to provide some temporary relief and get you back on your feet.



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Some Healthier PB Easter Eggs

These peanut butter Easter eggs are super simple and are made with only four ingredients. These eggs are lower in carbs and sugar than the store bought versions but still have all the glorious peanut butter goodness you deserve.


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

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Armen Hammer.
  • Congratulations Mike Sandone from PhaseLine CrossFit in Champaign, IL on pulling 545 pound/247kg deadlifts for 3 reps.
  • Congratulations Cameron Reid from Atlanta, GA on the push press PR of 210 pounds/95kg for 3 reps.
  • Congratulations Tiffany Beaupré from Aspire Athletic Performance in Westford, MA on the 220 pound/100kg high hang clean.
  • Weightlifter Maddie Staniszewski from Vero Beach, FL jerks 273 pounds/124kg off the blocks.
  • Former Games athlete Sean Sweeney *nearly* gets a single-arm strict pull-up. Think you can do it?

Someone please tell this gym goer the flat bench was on the equipment list for the Other Total, not bar muscle-ups.

9/22 - 9/24: Beach Brawl (Pensacola Beach, FL)
9/23 - 9/24: Madrid Fitness Challenge (San Lorenzo del Escorial, Madrid, Spain)
9/23: Ladies of Power: Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
9/23: Warrior Games 2023 (Suffield, CT)
9/23: Thrive Throwdown (Lynchburg, VA)
9/23: Warrior Games 2023 (Suffield, CT)
9/23: The Gulf Coast Games (Pinellas Park, FL)
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)

See all upcoming events

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