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Getting Ready for the Dubai Fitness Championship

Morning Chalk Up

November 30   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Make WODs Great Again’s John Wooley takes on a new role
  • Handstand pushups and how an athlete can train a weakness
  • Who will win the women’s division at the Dubai Fitness Championship?
  • Masters Fitness Collective organizer responds to payout complaints
  • Podium picks for the men and women in Dubai
  • Morning Chalk Up is the official media partner for the Dubai Fitness Championship
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“A good beginning makes a good end.” - Louis L'Amour

  Doctor, Affiliate Owner and Make WODs Great Again Creator Go All In on CrossFit Box  

Doctor, Affiliate Owner and Make WODs Great Again Creator Go All In on CrossFit Box

You may know John Wooley by his more popular identity — the man behind the CrossFit meme account Make WODs Great Again, with 376k followers on Instagram. And while he’s planning to keep churning out funny, all-too-relatable content, alongside continuing to host a couple of podcasts, he’s got a new venture he’s embarking on; this time with two partners, to serve the functional fitness community on an even deeper, more personal level.

Jennifer Pishk founded Chagrin Falls CrossFit almost exactly eight years ago (Dec. 2, 2014) in the same area she grew up in, and as of November, she now shares ownership of the affiliate with Wooley and longtime friend, gym member, physician and champion for the CrossFit Health program, Dr. Tom McCoy.

Wooley has incorporated philanthropy efforts into his endeavors since starting the meme page about four years ago, “and I like the charity work, but I’ve always wanted to make kind of a bigger impact with a lasting impact,” he said. “I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that potentially owning an affiliate or being a part of an affiliate was on my radar, but I’ve never had a good opportunity for it.”

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In case you missed it: Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil brought on sports analyst Joey Adduci and emcee Bella Martin to reveal their podium picks for the elite men’s field for the Dubai Fitness Championship, which goes this weekend.

Get some: To spice up your holiday season, we have 12 straight days of fun fitness giveaways to get you in the festive spirit. From Thursday, Dec. 1 to Monday, Dec. 12 we’ll be drawing a lucky winner daily to receive a special prize pack from one of our partners. Rx Members get 10 extra entries using code RXFORLIFE

Another one: Yet another amazing team has been confirmed for the TYR Wodapalooza, this time its Christine Kolenbrander, Alexis Raptis and Fee Saghafi.

Interesting listen: Inside the mind of Katrin Davidsdottir on the Invictus Mindset podcast.

  Laura Horvath and the Handstand Pushup Paradox  


Laura Horvath and the Handstand Pushup Paradox

Laura Horvath is fit. She is committed. She is one of the best women we’ve ever seen in our sport. And, she is not good at handstand push-ups.

When this movement appears in a strict form of any kind we can assume a close to last place finish. When this movement is not present at the CrossFit Games, it is safe to assume she will give anyone a run for their money to take the title “The Fittest on Earth.”

  • So what gives? Does she train them? Isn’t her coach Ben Smith? Didn’t Ben Smith win the Games in 2015 and isn’t he considered one of the fittest dudes to ever do it? Isn’t she a full-time athlete? Hasn’t she been at a high level since 2018? Why is this chink in her armor so glaring? Why hasn’t it changed?
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  Laura Horvath and the Handstand Pushup Paradox  

Dubai Fitness Championship | Women's Podium Picks

We’re just a few days away from the kick-off to the Dubai Fitness Championship and Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil brought on sports analyst Joey Adduci and emcee Bella Martin to reveal their podium picks for the elite women’s field. Once the competition starts on Friday, December 1, make sure to check back here for Kalil’s daily recap shows and updates with some of the athletes competing. Link to the leaderboard.

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  Masters Fitness Collective Responds to Athlete Comments About Low Payouts  

Masters Fitness Collective Responds to Athlete Comments About Low Payouts

The premier annual event for masters athletes,the Masters Fitness Collective (MFC), took place October 21-23, where approximately 500 athletes across 16 divisions threw down in Fort Wayne, IN. Shortly following the competition, Morning Chalk Up started receiving messages from athletes in regards to payouts received.

  • In the elite divisions, first place received $300, second place got $200, and third place, $100
  • For the teams, first place in the elite divisions was awarded $500
  • For RX divisions, they received a prize pack with a variety of items, including something from each of the 30-plus on-site vendors

One elite athlete who finished on the podium, and wishes to remain anonymous, told Morning Chalk Up they do not plan on returning to the event, “mostly due to feeling misled payment-wise, as well as the competition, flights, (and) hotel being way too expensive for what it was.”

  • “Having to fill out a 1099 on top of it was just insulting as well. The cost of competing was more than the payout, never mind travel expenses and such.”
  • They added: “One of the workouts got cut in half on the final day because of how poorly coordinated the timing of workouts were each day.”
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  Dubai Fitness Championship: Podium Picks  

Dubai Fitness Championship: Podium Picks

The 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship is set to kick off this weekend, celebrating the competition’s 10th anniversary. The event will feature a mix of big names, up-and-coming athletes, along with new competitors looking to make a name for themself.

The programming has yet to be released, but looking at past performance and the trends in programming typically seen at Dubai, here are our podium picks and dark horses for this weekend.


  1. Jamie Simmonds: Five-time CrossFit Games veteran and 2019 podium finisher, Simmonds is the most experienced competitor in the women’s field, bringing a wide range of strengths to one of the most diversely programmed offseason events. She is among the best in the world at high volume gymnastics and anything featuring a classic couplet or triplet.
  2. Lena Richter: Back-to-back runner up in the team division, Richter has been a crucial part of CrossFit Oslo’s consistent success over the last couple of years. If she’s able to execute and manage the demands of individual competition, she definitely has the physical fitness to fight for a podium spot at Dubai.
  3. Matilde Garnes: After her recent 14th place finish at the Rogue Invitational, Garnes showcased the breadth of her fitness, taking fourth in the trail run and second in the ring muscle up, hill run and goblet squat workout. Garnes did something similar at the 2022 CrossFit Games, where she finished 19th overall. She finished 10th in Shuttle to Overhead “A” and fifth in Shuttle to Overhead “B,” which tested fitness on completely opposite sides of the spectrum. Anytime an athlete displays such a wide range of strengths, it makes them a major threat to the rest of the field.
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  Morning Chalk Up Announced as Official Media Partner for Dubai Fitness Championship  

Morning Chalk Up Announced as Official Media Partner for Dubai Fitness Championship

Earlier this month, Morning Chalk Up announced a series of Partner Events. With this structure, we’ll be bringing you more in-depth coverage across a broader range of competitions in the off-season.

Newly added to the list is the Dubai Fitness Championship, taking place December 2-4, 2022 at the Coca-Cola Arena in the United Arab Emirates. As the official media partner, we’ll bring you live updates from the floor including exclusive stories, interviews, competition updates and more.

Stay tuned for updates as the action draws closer this weekend. And to inquire about becoming a Morning Chalk Up Partner Event, send us a note.



The Hope in the Desert WOD

In the Palestinian city of Jericho, there is no safe place for girls or women to participate in sports or exercise. Hope in the Desert’s mission is to change that. Sign up for their free WOD now and to show your support (and maybe grab one of their sweet Hope in the Desert t-shirts or tanks as well.)




How Much Sleep Do I Actually Need?

Different people gives us different answers, but we all want to know... exactly how much sleep do I actually NEED? Beam got to the bottom of this age-old question with Sleep Expert and Beam Partner Dr. Carleara Weiss.



Five Excuses to Delete From Your Vocabulary

The holidays are coming, and one of the gifts Santa gives a lot of us is… excuses. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, to stop using these post-holiday excuses and get back into a routine!



A New Hybrid Leather Belt

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Can You Spot This Coaching Fault?

Calling all coaches, watch this video released by CrossFit and let us know if you get the answer right. Extra gold stars for you if you do!


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a highlight or tag us in your video @morningchalkup.

  • 🎂 Happy birthday to extra good boy, Maximus Ohlsen.
  • 🇦🇹 Congratulations Sandra from CrossFit Rawsome in Salzburg, Austria on the snatch PR.
  • CrossFit Games team athlete Mikaela Norman took first place at HYROX Hamburg and set a new world record in the Women’s Pro division with her time of one hour and 45 seconds.
  • On This Day in 2016, Lazar Djukic took home his first “real” paycheck as a CrossFit athlete, winning first place in Serbia’s Belgrade Throwdown.
    • Djukic told the Morning Chalk Up it was a $1,000 payout, “I was on top of the world. 😂”
  • Congratulations to 66-year-old Jim Peeper from Grand Ledge, MI on his first place finish in Zelos Games Workout 1 (Men’s 60+ division).
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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