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How Travis Mayer Won Quarterfinals

Morning Chalk Up

April 30   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Travis Mayer learns from past experiences, wins 2021 CrossFit Games Quarterfinals.
  • Meredith Root on what happens when an athlete “bonks” during a workout.
  • Guest post: The British are coming — UK athletes make a statement in Open and Quarterfinals.
  • TJ Webb is the second of our Chalk Up Community Choice Award winners.
  • And, Patrick Vellner’s Workout of the Week.
  • Hot off the press! Commemorate the 2020 CrossFit Games season with a Morning Chalk Up limited edition print newspaper. On sale now.

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

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“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” - George Bernard Shaw

  Mental Toughness and Past Lessons Lead to Travis Mayer’s Quarterfinals Win  

Mental Toughness and Past Lessons Lead to Travis Mayer’s Quarterfinals Win

The 2021 CrossFit Quarterfinals came to an end in April with Travis Mayer sitting atop the leaderboard. He took the top spot from Scott Panchik by two points and booked a trip to the Semifinals. Mayer is one step closer to returning to the CrossFit Games and achieving his goal of standing on the podium.

Remind me: Mayer first appeared at the CrossFit Games in 2013, joining a stacked field of competitors in Carson and finishing 18th overall. He competed at the Games five more times (2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 Stage 1) and posted a best finish of 10th in 2016. Mayer has remained one of CrossFit’s most consistent competitors while working with Max El-Hag at United Performance in Alpharetta, GA.

  • “Over the years, you start to evolve as a dad, as a gym owner, as an athlete,” Mayer said about his consistency. “I think everything comes full circle and then me and Max’s relationship will grow. We’ve figured out some different approaches on how to combine more coaches throughout the organization, to actually write the program so you’re getting a different variety from each of them.”
  • “Then you have Noah (Ohlsen) and some of the other athletes that are pretty much here full-time to train and prep for the Semis. We are all getting that extra 1% better by pushing each other just a little bit more on each workout. Things he’s better at helps me push a bit deeper to improve and vice versa.”
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  What Happens When You Bonk?  


What Happens When You Bonk?

Exercise for long enough, and you are bound to experience a bonk.

It’s particularly common in endurance events where calorie intake leading into a race is vital. If you are lucky enough to experience this in a gym and not on a run, you can typically just stop your workout and grab a bite to eat. Either way, understanding the cause of this unfortunate physiological phenomenon.

You cannot talk about bonking without talking about glucose. Specifically glycogen, which is the stored version of glucose in the body. Glycogen comes in two forms, proglycogen and macroglycogen. Proglycogen is fast acting and depends highly on the carbohydrates we eat. Macroglycogen is formed in the body using glucose units from other substrates and is made and used only after proglycogen is depleted. This is why “bonking” tends to be a phased experience. There is an initial bonk followed by a recovery and then the second and more potent bonk.

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  The Brits Are Coming; A UK Perspective on the 2021 CrossFit Open  

The Brits Are Coming; A UK Perspective on the 2021 CrossFit Open

The UK’s capital is the home of Europe’s first CrossFit box, CrossFit London and it’s safe to say that the country has long-contributed and competed on the global and European scene at the highest levels of the sport of CrossFit. The “Engine from England” Sam Briggs is an established household name, while Steve Fawcett and Phil Hesketh competed individually in 2015, and Elliot Simmonds (2018, 2019), David Shronke (2020) and Zack George (2020) have all earned individual Games berths in more recent years.

Taking a closer look at the European Open leaderboard with a specific focus on the UK shows that, to borrow a phrase from the much-loved past Sanctionals event, there is plenty of Strength in Depth!

While the global Open sign-up surpassed 2020 numbers, sign-up in the UK remained much below these levels in 2021; no doubt largely due to the continued government constraints in response to COVID-19, to the extent that all gyms remained closed throughout the Open and had been since at least the beginning of January.

Despite the lower sign-up numbers, UK representation remains the most significant contributor to the European Open roster for the 2021 season, with over 10,000 athletes bringing ~20% to the continent.

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  TJ Webb Survives Multiple Gunshot Wounds, Wins Chalk Up Community Choice Award  

TJ Webb Survives Multiple Gunshot Wounds, Wins Chalk Up Community Choice Award

To celebrate the start of the Open in March, we created the Chalk Up Community Choice Awards to honor one man and one woman that embody the spirit of the CrossFit Community. After receiving so many inspirational stories, the staff landed on two community members. TJ Webb of CrossFit Lewes is the male honoree after surviving multiple gunshot wounds sustained in the line of duty and inspiring his fellow CrossFitters with mental toughness during his recovery.

The details: Webb is an officer with the Milford Police Department in Delaware. He is assigned to the Violent Fugitive Task Force with the US Marshal Service. In December 2010, they attempted to apprehend an individual wanted for three attempted homicides. They exchanged gunfire with the individual, resulting in Webb sustaining severe injuries.

  • “Five rounds struck me in my body,” Webb explained. “My injuries were: femur, both my hands and wrists were broken. One round went through my left shoulder and two rounds went through my right arm. Another round ricocheted from my body armor and landed in my face.”
  • “When I woke up on the way to the hospital from the injury I knew — without knowing what my injuries were yet — I knew that they were pretty, pretty severe and things were going to be a little different.”
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  Patrick Vellner's Workout of the Week  

Patrick Vellner's Workout of the Week

Every Friday, we’re bringing you an exclusive workout challenge programmed by a CrossFit Games athlete or coach that you can take on at home or the gym. You can post your times or scores in the comment section.

Today’s workout of the week is programmed by Patrick Vellner.

For Time:
4 Rounds For Time:
20 Thrusters (95/65 lbs or 43/30kg)
12 Double DB Step Overs (50/35 lbs or 22/15kg) at 24/20”
4 Rope Climbs (15’)
Time Cap: 18 Minutes

Some advice from Patrick: “Move smooth and don’t be frantic. Do big sets of thrusters then be steady and chip away on the box and rope. Plan to have the gas for a strong push in the last round.”

To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.



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Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

5/20 - 5/21: Tough As Nails (Lubbock, TX)
5/21: Luminate The Day (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21: Hollister Showdown (Hollister, CA)
5/21: Barbells & Beers (Berkeley Heights, NJ)
5/21 - 5/22: The Halo Games (Seattle, WA)
5/21: North East Hungergames (East Windsor, CT)
5/21: Mayhem in the Mountains (Colorado Springs, CO)
5/21: SlaughterFest 2022 (Salem, OR)
5/21: Masters Of The Midway: Individual (Cary, IL)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Delaware (Middletown, Delaware)
5/21: Code 3 Clash (Eagle, ID)
5/21: Spring Splash 2022 (Fuquay Varina, NC)
5/21: Luminate the Day (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21: Big Impact Games – CrossFit Fox Valley – Regional Qualifier (Kaukauna, WI)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx South Dakota (Rapid City, SD)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Arkansas (Little Rock, AR)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Eau Claire (Eau Clare, WI)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx SoCal (Van Nuys, CA)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Louisiana (West Elmwood, LA)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Atlanta (Roswell, GA)
5/21: PAINKLLR Venice Beach (Venice Beach, CA)
5/21: Reload Athletics Spring Throwdown (Watertown, CT)
5/26 - 5/27: Gold Star Murph 2022 (Southern Pines, NC)
6/3 - 6/5: Northern California Classic (Sacramento, CA)
6/3 - 6/5: Atlantic Coast Classic (Daytona Beach, FL)
6/4 - 6/5: Whiplash: The Welsh Open 2022 (Same Sex Pairs) (Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom)
6/4: Love’Em or Leave’Em 10 (Saugus, MA)
6/4 - 6/5: Tandemonium (Palmer, AK)
6/4: Goose Games (Chicago, IL)
6/4: Average Joe’s Competition (Sheridan, WY)
6/11: Costa Rica Riptide Rowathon (Mokena, IL)
6/11: Hi Temp Games (Albany, GA)
6/11: Kanna Fest (Ambler, PA)
6/11: Battle on Bridge Street III (Phoenixville, PA)
6/11: Mind Games (Okemos, MI)
6/18: Back Lot Bout – RX, Intermediate, Scaled (Saint Charles, MI)
6/18: Oz Fest 2022 (Junction City, KS)
6/18: Beat The Heat 2022 (Hays, KS)
6/18: Atlanta Masters Classic (Snellville, GA)
6/18: Wodmania (Urbana, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: Best of the West (Rock Springs, WY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, CA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: The Heat 5.0- Co-ed Partner Competition (Marysville, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: The Garrison City Gauntlet (Dover, NH)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/18 - 6/19: The CS&F Summer Classic (Cumming, GA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, NC)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Tennessee (Mc Minnville, TN)
6/18 - 6/19: Emerald Coast Throwdown (Pensacola, FL)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/24 - 6/27: I Got Your Six (Charleston, SC)
6/25 - 6/26: BILT Summer Classic (Welland, CA)
6/25: Independence Games VIII at The Pit Fitness Ranch (Three Rivers, MI)
6/25: Northwest Arkansas Basement Brawl (Fayetteville, AR)
6/25: Summer Bash 2022 (Zanesville, OH)
6/25: Ocean State Summer Threesome (Smithfield, RI)
6/25: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Muster Station (Sanford, FL)
7/9: Rex Rumble at CrossFit zoo (Ocala, FL)
7/9 - 7/10: Rex Rumble 11 Double Down (Ocala, FL)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Fayetteville (Spring Lake, NC)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx West Texas (Snyder, YX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx South Sound (Puyallup, WA)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)
7/17: Warrior Affiliate League Summer Classic (Whittier, CA)

See all upcoming events

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