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Hollye Henderson fights the good fight in Jackson, MS

Morning Chalk Up

May 12   |   POWERED BY


Good morning, happy early Mother’s Day and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Chad Vanags has a stage four lung cancer diagnosis, but CrossFit is helping him fight it
  • Just Keep Moving: Level Three CrossFit Trainer, Joey Adduci offers some crucial advice
  • Semifinals athlete Hollye Henderson is grounded in Mississippi
  • Plus, Kiefer Lammi’s workout of the week
  • Review of the Week: Strong Coffee
QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.” - Art Buchwald

  Stage Four Lung Cancer Led Chad Vanags to CrossFit, Fulfilling Big Life Goals  

Stage Four Lung Cancer Led Chad Vanags to CrossFit, Fulfilling Big Life Goals

Chad Vanags got a knock on his door at completely the wrong time. Only a week after learning he had stage four lung cancer, a representative for a CrossFit gym named Persistence Culture came to his door in the hopes of gaining a new member. Instead they found Vanags—angry, upset, and depressed.

Persistence Culture, which has three CrossFit affiliates, came knocking on Vanags door in August 2022. When Sean McFatridge, the chief revenue officer, happened upon Vanags’ door he begrudgingly told him of his illness and shut the door. 45 minutes later and McFatridge came back.

  • “I open it and he goes, ‘Man, I can’t stop thinking about what you said and honestly, we just want to help there’s no expectations here. Do you need meals, do you need childcare? Do you need anything?’ And I just looked and I get emotional just thinking about it,” said Vanags.
  • “Because it was a pretty amazing thing to do to be declined something and then not know a person from Adam and just walk back to my house and be like, ‘Look, man, I don’t know you but I’m here to help you’.”
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Why The SkiErg Is Danielle Brandon's Secret Weapon

Why The SkiErg Is Danielle Brandon's Secret Weapon

“Dude, the SkiErg is awesome. I used to have more of a love/hate relationship, but it’s trended more towards love lately. It helps me warm up or cool down for heavy shoulder days, or it helps to increase my aerobic capacity when I have conditioning pieces on it,” says Brandon.

“The more I’ve messed with it, the more I have found what works for me and the more efficient I have become. Hoping it shows up this year in the season so I can show my improvement.”

If you want your own secret weapon, buy it direct from Concept2.


Not sure what to get your mom or wife for Mother’s Day? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our Shopping Guide for Fit Mamas.

The TYR Wodapalooza dates are live now. See you in Miami–January 11-14, 2024 at Bayfront Park!!

🚨🚨🚨 Flash Sale!: We are doing a bit of spring cleaning at the Morning Chalk Up, and right now all apparel and patches are on sale. While supplies last.

ICYMI: Trenna Gessell may be the youngest Games athlete ever.

Check out the final two Individual Semifinal workouts.

  Just Keep Moving: Consistency for the Long Game  

Just Keep Moving: Consistency for the Long Game

This is not an article advocating low intensity exercise, but rather a case against maximum effort training. Don’t be confused, I’m not talking about the maximum effort method of the conjugate system, but rather how “high intensity training” has been translated by coaches and athletes to mean “maximum effort training.”

Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, consistency is the bedrock that all performance is built upon. The higher the intensity something is, the more difficult it will be to sustain day-after-day. Thoughtfully constructed programming can help mitigate this, but learning to adjust training intensity on a daily/weekly basis is a skill that can (and should) be learned by anyone with hopes to be training into the later years of their life.

Intensity is relative 

Each individual has varying psychological and physiological limitations. Swedish researcher Gunnar Borg invented the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale in the 1960s to help measure the intensity of exercise. This subjective tool is useful because each person has a radically different perception of pain and effort.

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  Semifinals Athlete, Gym Owner Hollye Henderson Dedicated to Fighting the Statistics in Jackson, Mississippi  


Semifinals Athlete, Gym Owner Hollye Henderson Dedicated to Fighting the Statistics in Jackson, Mississippi

Having grown up in Mississippi, Hollye Henderson is somewhat unphased by the challenges those living in Jackson face.

Not only is Mississippi notoriously the state with the highest Type-2 diabetes and obesity rates in the country—40 percent of its population considered obese—crime rates are also a big concern, and for the second straight year, in 2022, Jackson experienced more homicides per capita than any other major US state.

  • “It’s definitely getting to a point where people are starting to feel more and more unsafe,” said Henderson, the owner of CrossFit JXN in Jackson.
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  Kiefer Lammi’s Workout of the Week  

Kiefer Lammi’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by Kiefer Lammi, the assistant head coach at Underdogs Athletics in Las Vegas, NV. He also co-hosts the Gym Class Heroes podcast with Morning Chalk Up alum, Preslie Hirsh.

Five Rounds for Time:

  • 500m Row
  • 30 GHD SIt-ups
  • 15 DB Box Step-Overs  (2 x 50/35 pounds, 24/20 inch box)
  • Time Cap: 28:00

Scaling Options:

Five Rounds for Time:

  • 500m Row
  • 20 GHDs
  • 10 Box Step Overs (2 x 50/35 pounds, 24/20 inch box)


Five Rounds for Time:

  • 500m Row
  • 30 V-Ups
  • 15 Box Step Overs (2×35/20s)
Continue Reading...
  Review of the Week: Strong Coffee  

Review of the Week: Strong Coffee

Strong Coffee Company burst onto the scene (quite literally, look at their Instagram) with their instant coffees that include nutrients and protein so you still get the boost of caffeine, but less of the guilt from dumping a bucket of creamer into your coffee.

The guys at Strong Coffee proudly told me that if I had their coffee, traditional coffee would no longer cut it. So I had to put it to the test. I drank Strong Coffee for two weeks, here are my key takeaways.

Continue Reading...


Sign Up For a May Girls Gone Rx Event

Calling all the ladies: want to raise money for breast cancer survivors AND get a great workout with your gal pals? May 20th Girls Gone Rx is hosting competitions all over the country to raise money for their charity Compete for a Cure. Get your best babes together and register!




An Exclusive Offer for CrossFit Affiliates to Uplevel Your Business

Wodify is officially a part of the CrossFit Affiliate Partner Network! They saved the best offer for the community that helped make Wodify what it is today. Upgrade your CRM to their Customer Retention Platform (CRP) today in order to improve your coach & athlete experience by integrating with the most modern fitness technology!



Zodiacs for CrossFit

The stars have aligned because Make WODs Great Again created a list of CrossFit zodiac signs and it’s guaranteed to make you giggle.



Stronger with Strong Coffee

Make your caffeine addiction a healthy one with Strong Coffee. They make your coffee easy in a premixed powder that includes instant organic coffee, grass-fed collagen protein, and MCT oil powder to fuel your mind and body for hours so you can spend more time and energy on the important things in life. Use code “MORNINGCHALKUP” for 15% off! No brewing. No blending. No bullsh*t.



This Video On Why Mental Health Matters

May is Mental Health Awareness month and CrossFit Obsession in Arizona shared a video of Renee (one of their members) talking about her story of resilience and healing from abuse through fitness. If you need motivation today, watch this video.


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

  • 🍼 Congratulations to Tyler and Jesse Friedl, owners of CrossFit Backland in Downers Grove, IL, who are expecting their first child in September.
  • Alec Smith is one of the few CrossFitters happy to see handstand pirouettes enter competitive programming.
  • Emma Lawson can hang! Watch the 2023 Rookie of the Year take on calisthenics in this video with popular Canadian influencer “Little T Fitness”.
  • Masters athlete Frank Radosta and his kids tackle an outdoor training session together.
  • 🤯  Lucy Saltmarsh from CrossFit Resurgens in Atlanta, GA double box jumps from her knees to 30-inch boxes with three weight plates stacked on top.
  • This ball catch challenge tests core strength, shoulder stability, and coordination. How many reps can you get?

CrossFit Krypton in Chesapeake, VA is hosting a free split jerk clinic this Saturday, May 13th at 11:30AM.

  • Address: 105 Bruton Ct, Chesapeake, VA 23322
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 Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
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: 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)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)

See all upcoming events

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