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Froning teases retirement after 2022 Games

Morning Chalk Up

September 15   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • What do athletes think about the new season format?
  • The growing trend of grooming coaches from within.
  • Rich Froning teases retirement after 2022 Games.
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“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” - Arthur C. Clarke

  How Does 2021’s Qualifying Format Compare to Past Seasons?  

How Does 2021’s Qualifying Format Compare to Past Seasons?

CrossFit Home Office revealed in December 2020 that the season format would change yet again. No longer would athletes head to Sanctionals around the world with the goal of qualifying for the CrossFit Games. They would follow a similar format to the Regionals era, albeit with the introduction of a new stage: Quarterfinals.

Remind me: From 2011 until 2018, the athletes competed in the Open and then their respective Regionals with the goal of reaching the CrossFit Games. The format changed in 2019 and 2020 to give athletes the ability to punch their ticket to Madison by becoming a national champion in the Open or by winning Sanctioned events, such as the Dubai CrossFit Championship, the Rogue Invitational, and Wodapalooza.

  • The 2021 season followed a similar format to the Regionals era. The athletes started with a shortened version of the Open and then competed in the online Quarterfinals. The top athletes from this portion headed to Semifinals for one final weekend of competition before the CrossFit Games.
  • CrossFit also brought back the Last Chance Qualifier that originally debuted during the 2009 season, providing four athletes (two men, two women) with one final opportunity to head to Madison by completing four final online workouts.
  • What they’re saying: “I was happy with how the season qualification format played out. It obviously mirrored the old Regional format, which I thought was good for the community as it brought familiarity and was easier to follow,” said Cole Sager.
    • “I preferred the shorter Open and the Quarterfinals aspect this year, as opposed to the past Open structure. I felt that it made the Open more community-focused. I do think there is room for growth and improvement upon how the season is structured to find the fittest individuals and bring even more economic fairness to the field at large.”
    • Patrick Vellner: “I would consider the old Regionals format and the most recent format to be roughly the same since they qualify through a similar linear process. Both that and the Sanctionals system worked for different reasons.
    • “The current format is definitely easier to follow, but the Sanctional system, in my opinion, provided greater opportunities for athletes both financially and in terms of experience.”
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How Rich Froning Optimizes Breathing for Peak Performance

How Rich Froning Optimizes Breathing for Peak Performance

Optimizing breathing was a major factor of Froning’s success at this year’s Games. Froning’s method? Adding the AIRWAAV™ Performance Mouthpiece into his training.

“I’ve felt the most benefit in breathing during heart-rate-focused workouts like metabolic conditioning.”

The AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece is clinically proven to help you:

  • Increase Endurance: Reduces respiratory rate by 20%.
  • Increase Strength: Improves muscular endurance.
  • Recover Faster: Reduces cortisol by up to 50%.

Try the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece in your next WOD to breathe like a champ.


Reebok x National Geographic? If you’d have asked whether we saw this collaboration coming we would have told you ‘oh heck no’, Reebok has in fact partnered with Nat Geo to redesign several of their most iconic sneakers — the Nano X1 included — through the lens of the natural world, paying homage to different environments.

  • Drops on September 23. Reebok UNLOCKED members can start purchasing tomorrow.
  • Sneak Peak. 

Armen Hammer, a new father himself, is starting a new podcast about fatherhood and balancing roles in life.

Is Samuel Kwant going to PUMA? The 2020 second fittest man on earth tagged PUMA in an Instagram post while also wearing a pair running. PUMA’s first training-focused shoe, the FUSE, launched in early January 2021.

“I still don’t have a meniscus,” Scott Panchik revealed the results of a recent MRI on the newest episode of the CrossFit Games podcast featuring Danielle Brandon and Dave Castro.

Roman Khrennikov is confirmed to compete at Mayhem Desert Heat in December. Khrennikov will be joining Kristin Holte, Saxon Panchik, Andrea Nisler, and Haley Adams.

FIRST LOOK at the new Born Primitive Maternity Collection coming soon.

Jonne Koski, 6th at the CrossFit Games, had surgery on his left shoulder to fix a full supraspinatus tendon tear.

  • Koski: “Everything went as planned and the surgery was successful. I’m already feeling a lot better and the recovery has started well. It shouldn’t be too long until I’m back at the gym.”

Matilde Garnes, a CrossFit Games team qualifier from 2020, had successful knee surgery.

  How Does 2021’s Qualifying Format Compare to Past Seasons?  

Rich Froning Hints that 2022 Could be His Final CrossFit Games

We were able to sit down with the nine-time CrossFit Games Champion Rich Froning after the 22nd installment of “Train With Rich” and catch up with him and ask him about his future as an athlete and what else he has going on.

One big thing: Inevitably any discussions with Froning always leads to him being asked how much longer he plans on competing as a Games athlete.

  • “This might be the last one, it might not. I feel like right now, yeah probably the last one.”
  • This non-committed admission is the closest Froning has gone public with the possibility of him retiring from the sport in which he has been one of the biggest stars.
  • Froning has hinted at his desire to step away from Games competition throughout the last few years to spend more time with his family and to continue growing Mayhem.
  • “Kids are getting older,” said Froning. “Once I feel like I’m taking time away from them and the sports they are wanting to do or whatever it is, it’ll be time for me to ride off into the sunset…from a competition standpoint.”
  • After yet another dominant performance by him and the Mayhem Freedom team at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games, Froning has now collected a record nine “Fittest on Earth” titles in 11 trips, four as an individual and five on a team.
  • The 34-year old says currently and this past season was the healthiest he felt and that even if it is his final season he’s not going to disappear from the sport.

Mayhem Desert Heat: One way Froning plans to stay involved is helping organize and running more “athlete-friendly” competitions such as Mayhem Desert Heat in Ras Al Khaima in the United Arab Emirates this coming November 12-13.

  • The two-day competition features a respectable prize purse as well as a modest registration fee that will go towards providing things like transportation inside of the UAE, lodging, food and (potentially) some excursions.
Watch the Interview


Your Clicking Shoulders

Shoulders have more snap, crackle, and pop than your favorite protein cereal? While there may be no pain present, continuous snapping or clicking can cause wear and tear on the joints and tissues over time. Do these three stretches regularly to strengthen the joints and reduce the clicks.




The Softest Shirt For The Toughest Workouts

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Use The GHD To Improve Your Deadlift

Despite popular opinion, and programming, the GHD is not just for situps. This drill using a barbell and the GHD is a great way to strengthen your lower back, an area that doesn't get enough accessory strength focus, ready to add sounds pounds to your lifts.⁠



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Josh Bridges Last Training Session Before Fight Night

Go behind the scenes with Josh in his last session before flying off to Dubai for his big fight with Jacob Heppner. Who will win? We don't know. But Josh looks ready to go in this video.


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

  • 🤵👰 Happy anniversary Armen and Katie Amirian.
  • Brianny Terry deadlifts 589 pounds/267.5kg to unofficially break her own deadlift world record.
  • CrossFit Games teen athlete, Sophie Shaft, deadlifts 295 pounds/134kg.
  • 🤯 Holy mobility-moly: Bronislaw Olenkowicz reverse grip snatches 266 pounds/121kg.
  • Ashley Drabicki from Carpe Diem CrossFit in Traverse City, MI, deadlifts 320 pounds/145kg at 8.5 months pregnant.
  • Sharon Speyes from FortisFSC hits a lifetime deadlift PR of 251 pounds/114kg.
  • Kenya Clark from Tiered Training in Colorado Springs, CO, back squats 515 pounds.
3/1 - 3/31: Sit Ups For Pups (Everywhere, Anywhere Online)
3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (oceanside, ca)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
4/13: Queens of Oly East Tennessee (Bulls Gap, TN)
4/13: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20: Barbells For Bullies: Community Workout Savannah (Savnnah, Georgia, US)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Masiphumelele (Kommetjie, Cape Town, South Africa)
4/20: Festivus Games (Goderich, Canada)
4/20: Festivus Games (Clermont, FL)
4/20: Festivus Games @ The Gym – CrossFit Kilo (Cedar Falls, IA)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CBM Sirens (Caledonia, MS)
4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
4/20: Embrace the Challenge (Mentor, Ohio)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)
4/26 - 4/28: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/27: Cap Crown Throwdown (Gladstone, Australia)
4/28: 249 Spring Throwdown (Sittingbourne, Kent, England)

See all upcoming events

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