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How Margaux Alvarez Set Herself Up For Post-CrossFit Success

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Today’s edition is powered by O2.

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Luck? I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work — and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.” — Lucille Ball

Making the Games pay. How Margaux Alvarez set up her future after CrossFit.


“Don’t give up your day job”.

This idiom is especially true for CrossFit Games athletes. Despite being some of the fittest athletes on the planet, on par with world record holders and Olympians, they are fairly low on the pay scale compared to other sports.

The smartest athletes understood that their time in the spotlight would be relatively short-lived — coupled with the perpetual risk of injury — those athletes used the opportunity to set themselves up for success in the future. Becca Voigt, Lindsey Valenzuela, Scott Panchik, Emily Bridgers, Jason Khalipa, Stacie Tovar, and Ben Smith all started gyms and various companies to prepare for the inevitable future where athletics wasn’t going to make ends meet, and they all started relatively early in their careers.

For six-time Games athlete Margaux Alvarez, it was in 2015.

After placing 9th at the CrossFit Games, Alvarez looked out over the land she owns in Utah and the grapes they had planted four years earlier.

“It would really be great to share this with people,” she told her fiance and coach Alex Cardenas. As much as wine was a passion of Alvarez’s, she was building the foundations of her future life after the CrossFit Games.

The next year, Alvarez took a few small loans and the money she had earned through her athletic sponsorships, and they committed to a making their first custom wine using their own grapes.

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How to Watch CrossFit Strength in Depth

Another weekend of sanctioned event action kicks off in a few days, as CrossFit Strength in Depth will play host to two days of competition February 23 -24 at the ExCel London.

Individuals and teams will be tasked with tackling seven events over the course of two days, and in the end, one woman, one man, and one team will be crowned champions and earn themselves an invite to the 2019 CrossFit Games.

The competition runs concurrent with the first week of the CrossFIt Games Open, so just in case you’re too busy planning repeats of 19.1 to make it out to the event, here’s how you can catch all of the action going down in “the smoke.”

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Coffee Break Conversations


What to tell Bae the next time they make dinner…

Tastes like sweet, sweet redemption. Shape Magazine, which just last week ran an interview in which Jillian Michaels bashes CrossFit, has apparently changed their mind and now wants you to have a totally badass CrossFit gym in your garage. 

And once you have that garage gym going…

Invite all your friends over to break it in. And make sure you download Challenge Me so you can top that garage gym off with just enough competitive spirit to beat all your friends times. I mean, it’s your house, friend. 

Things To…


WATCH: Inside Elite Fitness, Episode 1

Tommy Marquez and Sean Woodland just launched Episode 1 of Inside Elite Fitness, your source for news, analysis and athlete interviews from the most experienced commentators in the sport of CrossFit. Episode 1 breaks down the CrossFit Games season so far, including the path to Games qualification through Sanctionals and the Open.



HEAR: Craig Howard of CrossFit Diablo on the Open 

Craig Howard, owner of CrossFit Diablo in Pleasant Hill, CA joined Box Pro Magazine to offer his advice on how to handle two Opens this year from an affiliate owners perspective, how to keep members engaged through all five weeks of the Open, and his tips as an athlete, coach and business owner.



GET: Working Against Gravity in Your Gym 

Working Against Gravity, who has helped 40 affiliate gyms bring one-on-one nutrition coaching to their members, is now accepting 25 more gyms to join their team. If you or your affiliate is interested, reach out to get one of your coaches trained with the same curriculum used for 30+ WAG coaches.



EAT: Fluffy Vegan Pancakes 

This is the best recipe for fluffy vegan pancakes on the Internet. You have options to make them thin or thick and you can add in whatever kind of extras your pancake loving heart desires. These vegan pancakes will be your new family favorite.



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Chalk Up Community

  • PRO-TIP: ENGAGING YOUR LATS — If you or your athletes struggle to engage their lats on pull-ups, then consider this activation drill from Athlete Daily, which uses a band and a PVC pipe. 
  • NEW LOCATION — Crow Peak CrossFit opened their new location in Spearfish, SD. They are holding a grand opening on Saturday. 
  • LOU’S LIGHT — Kaylee and Josh Jaeger, owners of CrossFit 701 in Fargo, ND recently lost their newborn son, Little Lou. Over the weekend, members of CrossFit 701 held a fundraiser in his honor. 
  • TRAIN WITH RICH FRONING — The next Train with Rich event at CrossFit Mayhem is March 15 – 17. All skill levels welcome.

CHALK UP IN 2 MINUTES (a highlight reel around social media of CrossFit pros and average joes)

Kelsey front squats 225 pounds for a PR • Jane Erbacher gets a 300 pound deadlift PR • Jared Fleming back squats 441 poundsJordan Weichers gets a 144 pound snatch PR • Dre Strohm jerks 345 pounds from the blocks • Ascent Protein
is giving away two USAW MembershipsChase Long back squats 365 pounds for ten • Bonnie Schroeder deadlifts 341 pounds • CrossFit released an Affiliate Owner’s Guide to the 2019 Open.

…and maybe, jussssssst maybe, Dave Castro released a warm and cozy 19.1 hint after all. Check the shirt. Sneaky sneaky Dave. 

If you only have seven minutes today…then listen to Talking Elite Fitness with Tommy Marquez and Sean Woodland discussing the state of play in CrossFit right now. The segment starts at around the 8:00 minute mark and here’s a quick excerpt: 

— “It’s an Op-Ed. Some of this is opinion, whether it’s supported by facts or not, and some of Jeff Cain’s article was very well written, and if you’re behind the cause and the direction that they’re moving right now, that this solidifies a lot of of the thoughts. The problem is, it should have come six months ago along with the email and everything else, so it was maybe a day late and a dollar short.”

— “You might not agree with this Op-Ed and what’s in there, but had it come earlier you would have been able to wrap your head around it as you go through it.”

— “I don’t think anyone has a problem with that health message. I don’t think anyone does. But I think the problem is, you took away everything else that the community loved, and this is all they’re seeing. And that’s the problem. I don’t think it’s the problem that you’re doing that, it’s that you’re doing that at the exclusion of so much other stuff.”

…this is the Op-Ed they’re referring to. 

READ THIS — Armen Hammer, writing for the Morning Chalk Up, sits down with Patrick Vellner, the second fittest man on Earth, to discuss the CrossFit Open, which kicks off in a little more than 24 hours. 

— “It’s just comforting knowing I have a spot locked up. I won’t have to stress as much for redos or things like that.” Read the full interview.

The U.S. Army’s Warrior Fitness Team — More than 350 soldiers from units across the Army applied for the competitive team, and 25 were invited to Fort Knox for tryouts. Of those 25, the U.S. Army selected 15 soldier-athletes to be the first members of the new Warrior Fitness Team, the latest addition to the line-up of outreach programs developed to support the U.S. Army’s recruiting effort. 

Hold My Calls — Make sure you’re free tomorrow at 5:00 PM PT to catch Armen Amirian of ArmenHammer TV and Justin LoFranco, Morning Chalk Up Founder and Editor-in-Chief, for Episode 11 of On the Minute live on our Facebook page.

Mark Your Calendars — Rogue announced the dates of the Rogue Invitational online qualifiers yesterday: April 3 – 8. Full workout details will be released on April 3.

…But I thought this was an Invitational? It is. On top of the athletes already invited, the final competition spots will be filled via an online qualifier.

LIFEAID Coming Soon to a Grocery Store Near You — LIFEAID will soon be in Walmart, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Sprouts stores. Co-founder Aaron Hinde said this will be the first year where brick-and-mortar exceeds online business for LIFEAID.

— “We really want to piggyback off of what we’ve done with FitAid and building the name within the Crossfit and functional fitness space,” LIFEAID Vice President of Sales, Dan Leja, said. “It’s not gimmicky or anything like that. We’re truly passionate about the offerings that we have and we want to portray that in a professional manner.”

Advice for Affiliate Owners from Jeff Giosi — Jeff Giosi and his wife Sarah own CrossFit Morgantown in Morgantown, WV. Jeff has some words of wisdom for affiliate owners just entering the space. “Not everyone was born to be a dreamer and I think that in the time that we live in, a lot of people think they are supposed to be the guy, the boss. Everyone wants to own or start something.”

— “I think the advice I would give is plan and make sure it’s your purpose, not just your passion. The thing about passion is that it is a feeling. It comes and goes. If you start something because you’re passionate about it, are you going to be passionate about it when your back is up against the wall and you’re trying to make rent? If it’s your purpose, you’re going to figure it out.”



“After Speaking Out, Margaux Alvarez Terminated from L1 Seminar Staff,” by Justin LoFranco, Morning Chalk Up 

In an email blast sent out on Friday with the subject line, “Why I’m not doing the Open,” Margaux Alvarez said, “the owner of CF doesn’t really care about us competing in CF, so [instead] I will continue to spread the word of CF Methodology through seminars.”

The email got the six-time CrossFit Games athlete fired today, the Morning Chalk Up has learned. Alvarez, a CFL3 instructor, has been a Seminar staffer for five-and-a-half years.

Alvarez was unable to comment due to restrictions under a nondisclosure agreement signed by the former CrossFit employee. However, we were able to get ahold of Alex Cardenas, Alvarez’s fiance and coach, who was willing to speak on the record.

“It is an unfortunate decision, one that probably could have been discussed for clarity as I have read Coach [Glassman] publicly state his concerns about the Games while laying off a lot of his staff,” Cardenas said. “Margaux in no way was trying to dissuade anyone from participating in the Open, and has always been a supporter of people’s goals but she should also have a right to communicate in her own personal email thread the reasons she was not competing in the Open this year.”

CrossFit, Inc. declined to comment for this story.

Alvarez, who finished 137th worldwide in the Open and won the South Regional last year, finished 22nd at the 2018 CrossFit Games in her sixth appearance. After the Rogue Invitational, Alvarez will be stepping away from competitive CrossFit to focus on her wine business and compete in American Ninja Warrior.

Alvarez also used her notoriety as an early supporter of Glassman’s refocus towards health.



2/17 – 3/2: RFA Games Online Qualifiers (online)

2/21: Open Announcement 19.1 (Online)

2/23: Amicus Ambush: Mixed Teams (Dickinson, ND)

2/28: Open Announcement 19.2 (Online)

2/23 – 2/24: Strength in Depth (London, England)

3/7: Open Announcement 19.3 (Online) 

3/14: Open Announcement 19.4 (Online)

3/21: Open Announcement 19.5 (Online)

3/24: The Rockwell Championships Series Team Qualifiers (Online)

3/30: Coffland Hero WOD (Forest Hill, MD)

4/6: Feed, Clothe, Love and Lift (Amarillo, TX) 

4/6: Metcon Meltdown 2019 (Flemington, NJ)

4/12 – 4/14: Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge (Washington, D.C.)

4/13: Requisite Fitness Masters Classic (Philadelphia, PA)

4/20: The Wodfather VII 2019 (Keller, TX)

4/27: Coffland Hero WOD (Tampa, FL)

4/27: The CrossFit Explode Individual Classic (West Chester, PA)

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