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From 400 Pounds to Wodapalooza

Morning Chalk Up

February 18


Good morning and welcome the Morning Chalk Up. The Norwegian CrossFit Championship wrapped up on Sunday, but earlier in the week our Editor-in-Chief, Justin LoFranco sat down with Kristin Holte to discuss the Sanctional and her plans for the season as she recovers from wrist surgery. And, Jason Wiese weighed in at 397 pounds, but now he’s ready to take on Wodapalooza, Emily Beers has his story. Today:

  • Kristin Holte on her 2020 season.
  • Emily Beers on Jason Wiese’s major transformation, from almost 400 pounds to Wodapalooza.
  • Games Tickets are on sale 
  • The Compress and Shock Foundation will celebrate the Fourth Annual National CPR and AED Education Day on May 16.

What did we miss? Hit us up at [email protected].



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“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” — Abraham Maslow

Holte Healing Up to Take on Rogue, CrossFit Games

 Holte Healing Up to Take on Rogue, CrossFit Games 

It hasn’t been the ideal 2020 CrossFit Games season for the reigning second “Fittest Woman on Earth” Kristin Holte. The season started on a positive note as she repeated as the Norwegian national champion, finishing third overall for the second-straight season in the CrossFit Games Worldwide Open to secure her 2020 Games invitation. After an impressive second-place finish at the Filthy 150 in November, Holte had surgery on her wrist in January.

Justin LoFranco was able to sit down and interview Holte in Gol this past weekend at the Norwegian CrossFit Championship. Here are a few highlights from that interview:

On Norway hosting a Sanctional: “I think it’s really awesome. I’m a proud Norwegian, so I just think it’s cool to have it up in the mountains so you can see typical Norway with the snow, our very good weather and they get to run outside. I think it’s really cool to show people how Norway is. It’s very beautiful.”

On how her life has changed since her runner-up finish at the 2019 Games: “Not much to be honest. Early on my goal was to be on the podium and to win the CrossFit Games. Yes, I still want to be on top but as I’ve gotten older I’ve seen that I just love training. I love the everyday struggle, the hard work, going to the gym, workout, having fun with my friends. Going to the Games and performing there is a bonus.”

On her recovery from her surgery: “It’s been five weeks now. It’s going really well. The recovery is going as planned. In a couple of weeks, I should be able to do most of the movements again. It should be fine this season.”

The full interview includes how Norwegians change when they are active, the epic running event at the Norwegian CrossFit Championship and her schedule for the rest of the season.

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From 400 Pounds to Wodapalooza

 From 400 Pounds to Wodapalooza 

Jason Wiese isn’t sure how much he weighed at his heaviest.

“I know I saw 397 pounds. I have no idea if that was the highest point or not,” said the 30-year-old Wiese.

Unlike many people who make lifestyle transformations, and who can pinpoint the exact moment when everything changed, Wiese doesn’t remember a specific event that prompted him.

“I don’t have an aha moment story, you know, like where I was sleeping one night and woke up scared and decided I needed to change my life,” said the six-foot-four Wiese.  

There wasn’t a specific moment, but there had been years of moments that slowly built up to a place where he lived with a constant lingering fear that wouldn’t go away.

“I lived with this fear of dying of a heart attack by the age of 35,” Wiese said. “And I guess eventually I just got tired worrying about whether I could make it through a hike with my friends. I’d always get so out of breath….I just didn’t want this to be the thing that controls me anymore. Didn’t want it to be the thing that holds me back.”

Small Steps

Some manage to change their diets and lifestyles overnight, this wasn’t the case for Wiese.

“I just decided to start taking small steps. First, I had to get over my fear of ‘what will people think of me’ in the gym, and just start doing it,” he said.

Wiese started out by doing some exercises his wife Nicole Wiese found on YouTube. Then he hired a personal trainer and later went to the YMCA and a Globo gym. He also started eating a bit healthier and managed to get down to 330 pounds in the following months.

Though he was happy with his progress, Wiese still wanted more. That’s when he found Together We Rise CrossFit in Indianapolis, Ind. It was the summer of 2018.

What spoke to Wiese right away was the concept of having goals beyond just weight loss, which is exactly what CrossFit gave him. It’s what had been missing, he explained.

Setting and Achieving Goals through CrossFit

CrossFit helped him realize the value of both action-based and tangible fitness goals, and that they were more fun to chase than just a number on the scale.

“I don’t want to be skinny or thin. I want to be strong. I want to be more flexible. I want better endurance. I want to be able to lift 200 pounds over my head. Those are my goals now,” he said. “I don’t want to be measured by the scale. My self-worth isn’t on the scale.”

Having these types of performance-based goals also made it a whole lot easier for Wiese to take care of the other things in his life, like his nutrition and sleep and recovery.

For Wiese, this meant shifting his relationship with food and following a diet that fuels him to be able to perform his best. He turned to counting his macronutrients for this, which he said has been incredibly useful.

“I understand now what I need to eat for my body to survive and thrive,” he said.


Simple snacks on-the-go

Simple snacks on-the-go

LÄRABAR is a delicious gluten-free blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts, and spices. Made from whole food, each bar contains no more than 9 ingredients — minimally processed, and as close to their natural state as possible.

Interested in carrying LÄRABAR in your gym? Sign up for the wholesale program and receive a free countertop display rack with your first order by using promo code “CHALKUP” at checkout.


CrossFit Games Tickets Go On Sale Today

 CrossFit Games Tickets Go On Sale Today 

Tickets for the 2020 CrossFit Games went on sale today for the public. The Games will take place at the Alliant Energy Center on July 29-Aug. 2 in Madison, Wisconsin.

There are two types of ticket packages on sale on Ticketmaster for the Games.

  • The Festival Only Package is $99 and provides access to all five days of the Games. That access is for all competition events, with the exception of individual and team events inside the Coliseum.
  • The Festival + Coliseum Packages range from $225 to $550 and provide access to all five days of the Games including a reserved seat inside the Coliseum.

The CrossFit Games website has further information on ticket packages, Coliseum seating chart, venue layout, kids tickets, campground information and VIP packages.




How to Do Double Unders

In this vlog, Kristi Eramo O’Connell helps you learn double unders and gives you some achievable end goals. Remember to stay calm and if you get flustered, it’s ok to take a break and come back another day!

 Morning Chalk Up 



WAG Nutrition Coaching

Lose weight, gain muscle, enhance performance and feel better than ever through the power of WAG’s customized, one-on-one nutrition coaching. Your WAG coach will create a completely individualized nutrition plan for you and hold you accountable to that plan every step of your journey.

Is a Group Fitness Model a Flawed Delivery System?


Is a Group Fitness Model a Flawed Delivery System?

On the Open Gym podcast, sponsored by Ice Age Meals, Patrick Cummings interviews Marcus Filly. He once drank the CrossFit kool-aid, co-owning a gym & competing at the Games. Then he began questioning why the fitness he was delivered looked different from his own and whether there was a better way.

Listen on Spotify    Listen on Apple Podcasts    More Listening Options...


Charred Kale with Citrus and Green Tahini

Love the health benefits of kale, but don’t love the texture? Here’s a solution: give it a good sear in a nearly dry skillet, then I douse it in sweet-tart rice vinegar, creamy tahini, and bright cilantro. Then, add some citrus and top it with toasted sesame seeds and crispy shallots.



  • Happy 3rd Anniversary Corinne and Mike Cook.
  • Sebastian Riella cleans 245 pounds, only four months post-ACL surgery.
  • Ryan Silk back squats 405 pounds for 4.
  • Adaptive Athlete Chris Stoutenburg does 30 clean and press at 85 pounds.
  • Bronislaw Olenkowicz clean and jerks 352 pounds.


The Compress and Shock Foundation Offers Free AED and CPR Training

On Saturday, May 16, celebrate the Fourth Annual National CPR and AED Education Day with the Compress and Shock Foundation.

  • What is it: A free hour-long CPR and AED training session to all participants ages 13 and up.  This is a great opportunity for coaches and box members, as well as family and friends, to get trained in critical life-saving practices. 
  • What’s the deal: Anyone who attends a training session on May 16 is eligible to purchase a reduced-cost AED from Rescue One.
  • How do I sign up: Please email the Compress and Shock Foundation by April 15 at [email protected]  for more information about hosting this training.

The bottom line: Take an hour and learn how to save a life. And get a reduced-price AED.



+ Submit an Event

2/22: Battle of the Lake IV (Denver, NC)
2/22: Battle of the Fittest VII (New York, NY)
2/22 – 1/22: Shake N Bake Throwdown (San Antonio, TX)
2/22: Masters of Fitness 2020 (Cape Coral, FL)
2/22: Granite Games Spring Throwdown (Snyder, TX)
2/22: The Do More Charity Challenge (Castle Rock, CO)
2/22: HYROX Dallas (Dallas, TX)
2/22: GRIT Strength Challenge (Ocala, FL)
2/28 – 3/1: True Strength Camp (Vancouver, WA)
2/28 – 2/29: CrossFit West Richland’s One Ton Challenge (West Richland, WA)
2/28: Community WOD for Trevor (Fuquay-Varina, NC)
2/29: On Track Team Challenge II (Olathe, KS)
2/29 – 3/1: Gi’s and Janes (Jackson, MS)
2/29: 151 Marion Mad Hatter (Marion, IA)
2/29: 2nd Annual Heartbreakers Competition (Fort Sill, OK)
2/29 – 3/1: War of the WODs Team Event (Greensboro, NC)
2/29: No Millennials Mash- Up (King of Prussia, PA)
2/29: True Paw Throwdown (Annapolis, MD)
2/29: Steel Rail Shootout 2020 (McComb, MS)
2/29: Operation O’Dowd (Lakewood, NJ)
2/29: On In The Gong 3 (Wollongong, Australia)
2/29: Raven’s Pursuit Twisted 5k, Row-for-a-purpose (Greensboro, NC)
2/29: Leap Year Competition (Stilwell, KS)
2/29: Red River Riot (Moorhead, MN)
3/7: NO BOYS ALLOWED (Plymouth, MI)
3/7: No Boys Allowed (Wyoming, MI)
3/7: The Burpee Mile (San Diego, CA)
3/7: Victory Games (Columbia, MO)
3/7: Granite Games Spring Throwdown (Paramus, NJ)
3/7: Swolemate Showdown at Outlier Crossfit (San Diego, CA)
3/7: Spring Granite Games Throwdown (Hollister, CA)
3/7: No Boys Allowed (Grand Rapids, MI)
3/7: Showdown in the Valley (Clemson, SC)
3/7: Indy Iron Games (Indianapolis, IN)
3/7: Granite Games Spring Throwdown (Klamath Falls, OR)
3/7: sheSTRONG (Collingwood, Canada)
3/7: Kids Buddy Brawl (Valdosta, GA)
3/7 – 3/8: Fittest of the Coast (Charleston, SC)
3/14 – 3/15: Sector Games 6 (Manati, Puerto Rico)
3/14: Going HAM TxFit Games 2020 (Southlake, TX)
3/14 – 3/15: The Tactical Games (Burnet, TX)
3/14: Granite Games Spring Throwdown (Lancaster, OH)
3/14 – 3/15: WOD GODZ III (Shreveport, LA)
3/21: Pot O’Gold Throwdown (San Antonio, TX)
3/21: GRID 6 SCII (Columbia, SC)
3/21: Slingin Iron “Spring Fling” (Walker, LA)
3/21: WOD FOR OOCH (Toronto, Canada)
3/21: The Cheru Challenge (Denver, CO)
3/21: Battle of the Beast “Shamrock Showdown” a Strongman Event (Hudson, NY)
3/21 – 3/22: Rumble by the River (Columbus, GA)

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