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How to Turn a Crash Diet into a Lifestyle Change

Morning Chalk Up

February 9   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • How to make actual changes to your diet and stick to them according to nutrition coaches
  • CrossFit community the focus of new app Athena launched by former college football player
  • Get ready for Valentine’s Day with our gift guides for your swolemate
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“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” - James Stephens

  Beyond Six Weeks: Nutrition Coaches Talk Turning Crash Diets into Lifestyle Changes  

Beyond Six Weeks: Nutrition Coaches Talk Turning Crash Diets into Lifestyle Changes

From the Paleo Challenge to the Whole Life Challenge, short-term—often in the neighborhood of six weeks—challenges have been part of the CrossFit community since the early days.

But the latest school of thought says we have been doing it all wrong.

Case in point: Earlier this month, Training Think Tank’s Nutrition Coach Tracy Tucker wrote the article: 2023 Challenge: Do Not Do Another Nutrition Challenge.

The argument: The long and the short of it is that nutrition challenges generally have a start and end date and ultimately promote short, rather than long-term success. They’re generally based on depriving oneself of certain foods during the time of the challenge, before returning to what was, as there’s often nowhere to go after the challenge.

  • Further, as Broxterman pointed out, from a business standpoint, challenges might create but a small bump in business revenue for one month (often for a whole lot of work), and then just like the client, it’s return to what was for the business: zero nutrition revenue.

What to do Instead?

Tucker and Broxterman, the owner of Prosper Nutrition Coaching, say what works a whole lot better than the classic six-week nutrition challenge is developing an ongoing nutrition coaching program at your gym. It’s better for the client and better for the business, they say.

Four Keys to Building an Ongoing Nutrition Program

One-on-One Coaching

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of individualized coaching. I just haven’t seen enough group nutrition coaching programs to do it right to be a believer,” Tucker said. “I love the effort behind them and the intention to get people motivated, but I’m much more into helping coaches make an impact on their clients and deliver quality coaching.”

Broxterman, too, is a major proponent of one-on-one coaching, as it allows you to dig into the client’s mindset, relationship with food, and what might be holding them back, something that’s impossible to do in a group or six-week challenge type of environment, she explained.

In light of this, Broxterman teaches the coaches she trains how to be client-centric coaches that focus on motivational interviewing—meaning asking questions to help clients figure out their goals, motivators and obstacles in the context of their daily lives. Doing so, she said, makes a huge difference in helping the client feel both supported and in control of the direction of their journey, and ultimately more capable of making “small but steady, long-term” changes, she explained.

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The Open is coming!: The 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open is now just seven days away and Morning Chalk Up will have you covered. Keep an eye on our competition hub and social media for workout updates, leaderboard and coverage of all the madness and get some answers to big questions.

See it live: CrossFit has released tickets for the 23.1 Open event that will take place at the Caja Mágica Stadium 3 on Feb. 16. The main show will start at 21:00 CET (Noon PT, 3 p.m. ET,  8 p.m. GMT, 7 a.m. AEDT).

Fake it ’till you make it: Mat Fraser trying his hand at golf. We have to say that is a pretty good swing. 🏌🏻

Egg-cellent: Boston University looked at data on 2,300 adults and found eating at least five eggs a week was associated with lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and risk of type 2 diabetes. 🥚

  Former College Football Player Launches CrossFit Community App  

Former College Football Player Launches CrossFit Community App

The CrossFit community interacts on social media platforms, competitions, training camps, however there is no real dedicated space for just CrossFitters to discuss the latest sneakers or show off their most recent PR. Until now.

The mobile app Athena was launched by AJ Wolf and Max Roche after Wolf couldn’t find one exclusive space to connect with the fitness community. The app has over 10,000 users and 2,000 members in their CrossFit “community,” according to Wolf, who played football at Duke University and is well-versed in the weightlifting and fitness space generally. The app also has communities for weightlifting, cycling, meal prep, among others.

One of the most recent communities added to the app is the “CrossFit Open 2023,” which was launched within the app for those competing in the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open to connect with one another. Wolf and Roche launched their beta app in 2022 and their current Athena app in January.

  • “There are all these other industries that have their own social vertical platforms and it’s like why doesn’t one exist for health and fitness?,” said Wolf.
  • In terms of CrossFit specifically “everyone is just so passionate about what they do and there’s no single place for them to connect with each other and break into the younger generations as well.”
  • “We created a space where anyone participating in the Open can connect with each other and you can even filter when you’re searching for people to connect with just to people participating in the Open.”

When asked what people are mostly discussing on the platform, Wolf said, “I think number one people are just looking for general support and feedback. Fitness journeys can be very lonely and everyone has their own box, but outside of the box a lot of people are on their own.”

A two-time CrossFit Games qualifier and affiliate owner known by many, Elijah “EZ” Mohammad, is on the app and posts on a regular basis.

Another user is Daniel Nordwall. He’s been doing CrossFit for just a year and a half and joined Athena in January. He says his experience with the app has been positive thus far and hopes to see more users in the future.

“I think it could be successful because this app could be a great niche for those who love fitness and want to share ideas,” said Nordwall.

Wolf and Roche anticipate being at 20,000 users soon and have a goal of raising $2 million in seed funding in the next few months. Two of their inaugural investors are the CEOs of Cameo and Bare Performance Nutrition, also known as BPN supplements.

“What I think people are really using it [the app] for is just getting that community vibe that they don’t get anywhere else,” said Wolf.

“We’ve actually found that it’s very motivating not only for the people that are posting, but also for the rest of the community because they see that everyone else is grinding and working towards your goals.”

  Gift Guide for Your Swolemate: For Him  

Gift Guide for Your Swolemate: For Him

Wondering what to get your man for Valentine’s Day? We are making your life easier this year with some must-have men’s fitness products to show him just how much you care, and/or subtly improve his workout wardrobe.

Editor’s note: Some of these deals are exclusive to Morning Chalk Up. Order fast while supplies last to ensure delivery before Valentine’s Day.

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  Gift Guide for Your Swolemate: For Her  

Gift Guide for Your Swolemate: For Her

It’s the season of love, and what better way to show her that you care than getting her some of the best fitness products? We made you a nice little cheat sheet of all the things she’s secretly wanting (and not so secretly hinting at if she sends you this guide).

Editor’s note: Some of these deals are exclusive to Morning Chalk Up. Order fast while supplies last to ensure delivery before Valentine’s Day.

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Philly Cheesesteak Style Sandwiches

None have mastered the fine art of the cheesesteak quite like Philly has. But you can surely try with this recipe!



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Prove your love by snagging some YETI products for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Check out the new arctic purple collection, or grab one of the OG styles. And don’t worry, YETI has you covered with free expedited shipping so you can pretend you ordered it months ago.



These Three Wallball Tips

If you’re a shorter athlete, tell us what your least favorite exercise is! Just kidding, we already know it’s wallballs. Get better at wallballs so you don’t have to dread seeing them in the Open soon!


Share Your CrossFit Story


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

  • 🎂 Happy (belated) 80th birthday to Mike Brennan, a seven-year member of CrossFit Palm Harbor in Palm Harbor, FL.
  • Congratulations to CrossFit Games teen Kaiden Hogan on the 275 pound/124.7kg split jerk.
  • Congratulations Aron Parker from CrossFit Boynton Beach in Boynton Beach, FL on the 355 pound/161kg front squat PR.
  • JC and Megan from London’s WIT Fitness took on the wall-ball burpee partner challenge—now it’s your turn.
  • 76-year-old Lauren Bruzzone from Connecticut was featured on Good Morning America back in 2019 for her viral CrossFit videos, and we’re happy to report that, four years later, Bruzzone is as fit as ever.
  • #TBT: These original wooden jump boxes built in 2007 by Bill Henniger and Troy Taylor for Rogue’s CrossFit Columbus are still in use today.

Revival Fitness in Odenton, MD is hosting a fundraiser on behalf of two-year-old Sophia Cummins who is in need of a heart transplant. Sophia’s mother, Heather Cummins, is a member at Revival and has taken a leave of absence from work while her daughter is hospitalized and awaiting a new heart. A GoFundMe has been started to help ease Heather and her husband Andrew’s financial burden during this time.

10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/7: KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: Babes with Barbells (Huntington, WV)
10/7: 2023 KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: FitoberFest (Prairie Village, KS)
10/7: Pitness At The Mill (Canton, GA)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Crash Crucible (Spartanburg, SC)
10/14: 8th Annual Kilo CrushFest Competition (Hampton, VA)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: Triple Threat Terror 2023 (Forney, TX)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: T-Town Throwdown (Toledo, OH)
10/14: Babes and Barbells (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/14: Scream & Clean III (Danbury, CT)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Belleville (Bellevile, Canada)
10/14: Best Babes West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
10/14: Best Babes Columbus GA (Columbus, GA)
10/14: Best Babes Illinois (Byron, IL)
10/14: Best Babes Massachusetts (Beverly, MA)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Sedalia (Sedalia, MO)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/15: Kares CrossFit October Showdown (Georgetown, Guyana)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: 401 Fall Throwdown (Smithfield, RI)
10/21: Barbells For Bullies: Portland (Hillsboro, OR)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/27 - 10/28: Star City Fittest (Roanoke, VA)
10/28 - 10/29: The Ghostly Games (Fayetteville, GA)
10/28: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/3 - 11/4: Florida Grid League Championship (Orlando, FL)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/4 - 11/5: Oz Fest (Junction City, KS)
11/4: Barbell Babes Lorton (Lorton, VA)
11/4: Witch City Throwdown (Salem, MA)
11/4: Sunshine SmackDown (Bedford Hills, NY)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/10 - 11/11: Desert City Classic (Tempe, AZ)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/11 - 11/12: 24 Heroes Challenge (Fayetteville, NC)
11/11: Clearwater Beach Brawl (Clearwater, FL)
11/11: The Meadowlands Classic (Carlstadt, NJ)
11/11: Barbell Massacre 8 (Dahlonega, GA)
11/11: Freakin’ Gauntlet (Pembroke Pines, FL)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/18: Best Babes Dallas (Dallas, TX)
11/18: Best Babes Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
11/18: Best Babes Iowa (Mason City, IA)
11/18: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Haven, UT)
11/18: Teams Of The Midway: 2 Person Teams (Cary, IL)
11/18: Friendsgiving (Ambler, PA)
11/18: Turkey Bash (Chatham, IL)
12/2: Babes & Beasts WINTER GAMES 2023 (Port St. Lucie, FL)
12/2 - 12/3: Reindeer Rumble (Ocala, FL)
12/2: Battle at Bion (Tucson, AZ)

See all upcoming events

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