Read the latest Morning Chalk Up articles on BarBend
Your Coffee is ready.

Get Road Trip Ready with the Starretts and Ready State

Morning Chalk Up

July 12   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Julie Hougard Nielsen talks about her transition to Team Division
  • Kelly and Juliet Starrett discuss staying mobile and flexible during long summer road trips
  • Lauren Fisher and Grown Strong offer their fourth annual summertime mindset makeover challenge
  • We got organized with a Haven Athletic Bag

Nominate your gym for affiliate of the month! Send us a note and tell us why we should feature your box.

QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” - Jenny Han

  Changing the Conversation with Herself: Julie Hougard Nielsen Talks about her Transition to Team Division with No Shortcuts CrossFit  

Changing the Conversation with Herself: Julie Hougard Nielsen Talks about her Transition to Team Division with No Shortcuts CrossFit

When Dr. Julie Hougard Nielsen stepped onto the competition floor at the European Semifinals, the 34-year-old Danish athlete knew she had something to prove. Not just to the massive stadium packed with hundreds of fans, but also to her team.

One big thing: Despite spending the past several years competing individually, including an Individual Games appearance in 2019 and two Individual Semifinal appearances in 2021 and 2022, Nielsen had never taken the competition floor with a team. But watching her out on the floor with her fellow team members of CrossFit No Shortcuts, you would never know.

The rookie European team might be new to the team division, but not to the sport of fitness, and over the course of the weekend, they combined their individual strengths to work as one and take first place overall after six tests, never finishing a single test outside the top ten.

For Nielsen, her experience in the team division at the European Semifinal was a learning experience and one that she hoped would continue to build her team for the upcoming CrossFit Games.

  • “Coming into the European Semifinal, we were a new team, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We hadn’t done an actual competition together before,” said Nielsen, noting that while they had competed once together in Madrid earlier that year, team captain Houdet was not there to join them, which changed the dynamic quite a bit.
  • “I think we learned a lot from this experience, being in this format and size of the competition [as well as] communicating under pressure when the competition intensity is there,” she continued.

The team has come a long way from last year when Houdet called up Nielsen and her fellow team members to build a team to represent CrossFit No Shortcuts.

  • Since their initial phone call, Nielsen has not only moved in with Houdet in Denmark but has also worked harder than ever to become the fittest version of herself.
  • “I have the expectation of going to the Games as a fitter version than I’ve ever been,” Nielsen said.

In 2019, Nielsen qualified for the CrossFit Games as an individual while studying for her med-school exams. But despite the incredible amount of work that went into accomplishing such a feat in 2019, Nielsen still believes that this has been the hardest season for her yet.

  • “For me individually, the team thing has definitely been a harder training season. Not just upping the volume, but also being aware of where three people are at and where I need to be,” Nielsen said.
  • “The mental part of being in comparison to people and feeling sometimes like you can be the weakest link or that you’ve had a bad day and how that impacts your team members [is also difficult],” Nielsen added.
  • “When you train alone, who’s going to notice if you take a break or slow down,” said Nielsen explaining that she feels a lot more pressure on herself when working with her teammates.
  • “I find this insecurity has been quite a surprise for me, but also a healthy thing to try to assess and to turn around and try to work on,” she concluded.
Continue Reading...
They Took Over Europe, Now They're Here for the US: Meet Picsil, the Best Accessories Brand in the World

They Took Over Europe, Now They're Here for the US: Meet Picsil, the Best Accessories Brand in the World

Picsil has been the best known name in Europe for a decade, and now they’ve set their sights on the US and Canada. Picsil is determined to show what they are capable of in this part of the world.

Their all-star roster consists of Roman Khrennikov, BKG, Gabi Migala, Jeff Adler and Lazar Djukic (just to name a few).

There is a reason these elite athletes only trust Picsil gear for their toughest tests. As the sport of CrossFit has evolved, so has Picsil’s products, that’s why their motto is:

Commit. Endure. Adapt.

Picsil is offering an exclusive limited time code for Morning Chalk Up readers. Use code “MCU” for 30% off your purchase!


The countdown is on! The ELFIT CrossFit Championship‘s online qualifier begins in a week, on July 19, with the announcement of OQ 23.1 and 23.2. This year the Crossfit-licensed event is being programmed by new Technical partner, Underdogs Athletics.

🚨 🚨New Programming Track! Underdogs Athletics will begin offering HYROX training starting July 15, but the presale begins today. Learn more!

Check out this interview that Brute Strength Head Coach, Matt Torres did with competitors turned best friends, and 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games qualifiers, James Sprague and Dallin Pepper.

👟 👟 👟New Shoe Drop: The TYR x Operation Underground Railroad CXT-1 Trainer was released yesterday! All net proceeds from the shoe will go directly to the organization’s mission to fight human trafficking.

ICYMI: Fifteen-year affiliate, Annie Sakamoto’s CrossFit Santa Cruz Central moves across town after building owner sells to neighbor.

  Road Trip Ready, Thanks to The Ready State  


Road Trip Ready, Thanks to The Ready State

Whether it’s a five hour drive to Yellowstone National Park, a ten hour drive to Bryce Canyon or even a 23 hour drive to Madison, WI to watch the CrossFit Games, we’re all familiar with that pain of extended sitting, without moving, in an overly packed vehicle.

Summer travel, excursions and exploration are all worth the tight hips and back, but there are ways to decrease the discomfort that could be limiting the fun once your destination is reached.

Enter Kelly and Juliet Starrett.

Continue Reading...
  Lauren Fisher Offers Free Mindset Makeover Challenge  

Lauren Fisher Offers Free Mindset Makeover Challenge

Four-time individual and three-time team CrossFit Games athlete Lauren Fisher has learned through a decade of competing at the highest level of her sport that it’s not just about physical fitness. Mindset matters, too. A lot.

It matters, not just for performance, but also when it comes to accepting and embracing who you are and where you’re at on your fitness journey, Fisher explained.

  • “Becoming the strongest version of yourself starts from within, both mentally and emotionally…Much of our self-criticism stems from our own minds, and by working on our mindset, we can show kindness and appreciation to our external bodies,” she said.

This is why Fisher’s company Grown Strong—a programming company aimed at helping women gain strength—is offering the Mindset Makeover Challenge for the fourth straight year this summer.

The details: Grow Strong’s free Mindset Makeover Challenge starts on July 17 and is designed for women who “want to revamp their relationship with their fitness journey and overall well-being,” Fisher said, adding that the goal is to help women “break free from mental barriers, gain clarity and experience personal growth.”

  • The challenge involves doing both an ab workout and journaling for 30 days, as journaling is something Fisher said has helped her “immensely,” while strengthening your core can have “a positive impact on various aspects of your training,” Fisher explained.
  • Further, the challenge provides participants with a range of tools and exercises, video demos, mindset tips, recipes and a 30-day free access to all Grown Strong programming and the Grown Strong community.

The big picture: To Fisher, this isn’t just another fitness challenge. It’s an opportunity to reset your body and mind, and “invitation to rediscover your true potential,” she said.

Continue Reading...
  I Got Organized with a Haven Athletic Bag  

I Got Organized with a Haven Athletic Bag

Does your gym bag smell like hot garbage? Yeah, mine did too. It’s so easy to throw all of your sweaty stuff into your gym bag and keep it in one smelly location without thinking about it until the next time you go to put on stinky wrist wraps or your still wet grips (sorry for the visual). My bag was a stinky disorganized blob that I fished through daily to find that one stray knee sleeve.

Enter Haven Athletic: they’re on a mission to help their customers avoid gym bag chaos and provide organization for your workout gear. I got my hands on a duffel and a backpack and have been using them for a month now, and here are my key takeaways.

Continue Reading...


The Protein and Fat Balancing Act

Struggling to get enough protein, but not go over your fat goal? Use this list from Working Against Gravity to help you stay within your fat goals.



The Reasonably Priced Vitamins You Need

Wondering what kind of vitamins you should actually be taking? OLLY knows what you should be taking depends on what you need. That’s why they make vitamins based on your goals. From reducing stress, supporting healthy skin and nails, or strengthening your joints: there’s an OLLY vitamin for that. Buy now and get 20% off any ultra strength softgels using code “SUMMER23”.



Handstand Push-Up Scaling Progression

Tired of stacking ab mats under your head for workouts? Try these HSPU scaling progressions to feel like you are actually working towards getting your first handstand push-up.



Soft (Like, Next Level Soft) Joggers

Athleisure is on a whole new level with Vuori’s DreamKnit™ Joggers. You’ll live in your joggers (and don’t forget a matching hoodie) once you put on their softest, dreamiest fabric. Get your hands on a pair today!



This Post for Your Friends Who are Intimidated By CrossFit

Do you have friends who have expressed interest in coming to workout with you, but are intimidated by CrossFit? We all remember what we thought before we tried it for the first time! Share this post with them to help them see from other resources that the gym is a safe space.


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

This Saturday, July 15th, Stronger Together Fitness in North Little Rock, AR is hosting the 7th annual SO Row Fundraiser in support of Special Olympics Arkansas. Teams of 6 will have 20 minutes to row max meters.

  • The event is scheduled to run from 9am to noon at the New Life Church student building.
  • Donations accepted at the door.
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)
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: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/25 - 5/12: Raised by Grace (Virtual, )
4/26 - 4/28: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/27: Cap Crown Throwdown (Gladstone, Australia)
4/28: 249 Spring Throwdown (Sittingbourne, Kent, England)
5/4: Masters Equalizer Co-Ed Team of 4 Comp (Oceanport, United States)
5/4: The Battle on Bedford (Lynchburg, VA)
5/4: CHLKDUP Classic (Nashville, TN)
5/4 - 5/5: Pavia Spring Challenge ’24 (Pavia, Italy)
5/4 - 5/5: Italian Bulls Games (Lido di Ostia, Italy)
5/4: Team Challenge Texas (San Antonio, Texas)
5/4: The Strong and Courageous (Cullman, Alabama)
5/11 - 5/12: Finest City Weightlifting Open – Presented by The Strength Tank (San Diego, CA)
5/11: True Fitness Trials (Cherry Hill, NJ)
5/11: Queens of Oly Hawaii (Wailuku, Hawaii)
5/11: Queens of Oly Hudson (Hudson, NY)
5/11: Queens of Oly Philadelphia (West Chester, Philadelphia)
5/18: Luminate the Day (Nonprofit comp for Windy Willow Foundation) (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/18: Thrive Throwdown (Lynchburg, VA)
5/18: Imperial CrossFit’s Spring Fit Fest (Kent, WA)
5/18 - 5/19: The Rainhill Spring Trials (Manchester, UK)
5/18: Girls Gone Rx Chicago (Alsip, Illinois)
5/18: Girls Gone Rx Wilmington (Wilmington, North Carolina)
5/18: Girls Gone Rx San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas)
5/18: Girls Gone RX Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)
5/18: Code 3 Clash (Eagle, ID)
5/27 - 6/9: Turun Tuomiopäivä 2024 Qualifiers (Turku, Finland)
5/31 - 6/2: The Atlantic Coast Classic (Daytona Beach, Florida)
6/1: NOVA Throwdown 2024 (Sterling, VA)
6/7 - 6/8: SISU SUMMER THROWDOWN (Exceslior, Minnesota)
6/8: The Barbell Beatdown (Odessa, Florida)
6/8: Battle of The Ages (Birmingham, AL)
6/8 - 6/9: Trident Battle (Nettuno, Italy)
6/8 - 6/9: Power Monkey Gymnastics and Weightlifting course (Collingwood, Canada)
6/8: The Gauntlet (Nashville, Tennessee)
6/8: Gauntlet XIV (Portsmouth, OH)
6/8: The Rural Stampede (Gunnedah, New South Wales)

See all upcoming events

Your Coffee is ready.