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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.

10/1: Lansing’s Strongest 2022 (Lansing, MI)
10/1 - 10/2: Fittest in the Fall (Indianapolis, IN)
10/1: Guava Games (Tampa, FL)
10/1: Masters Mayhem (Kilgore, TX)
10/1: WODtoberfest 2022 (Saint Clairsville, OH)
10/1: Battle of the Vikings (Frederick, MD)
10/1: North Dallas Rumble (Dallas, TX)
10/1: Warrior Games 2022 (Suffield, CT)
10/1 - 10/2: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/1: West Town Throwdown (Chicago, IL)
10/1: Legends of the Falls 2022 (Gadsden, AL)
10/2 - 10/16: CHLKDUP Box League – Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN)
10/2: The IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: Battle in the Berg (Newberg, OR)
10/7 - 10/8: Koda Iron Games (Lafayette, CO)
10/8: Mayhem & Massacre @ Infinite Fitness & Health (Wharton, NJ)
10/8 - 10/9: Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival (MACC FEST) (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Fall Brawl at CrossFit Lehigh Valley (Allentown, PA)
10/8 - 10/9: MACC FEST (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Rua Rumble II (Frankfort, IL)
10/8: Nightmare On Wod Street (Spring Lake, MI)
10/8: The X Games (Brooklawn, NJ)
10/14 - 10/16: 3F Throwdown (Poreč, Croatia)
10/15: Ragin Games 2022 (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/15: PAINKLLR Nashville (Nashville, TN)
10/15: Ragin Games (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: 7th Annual Kilo Crushfest (Hampton, VA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Omaha (Gretna, NE)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Dallas (Dallas, Texas)
10/15: Diamond K Classic (Birmingham, AL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Belleville (Belleville, Canada)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx San Diego (Alpine, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Iowa (Des Miones, IA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Southern Illinois (Highland Robinson, IL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Newport News (Newport News, VA)
10/15: Mid Atlantic Masters Classic (Abingdon, MD)
10/15: Bridgetown Throwdown (City of Industry, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Richmond (Richmond, Canada)
10/21 - 10/23: Battledrome Championship (Milan, Italy)
10/22: 8th Annual Crossfit Pittsfield Fall Brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Doomsday 2022 (Palm Springs, CA)
10/22: The Humble Games Fall Throwdown (Hanover, MD)
10/22: Goblin Gauntlet – CrossFit Sandy (Sandy, UT)
10/22: 8th annual fall brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Festivals Games – CrossFit 906 Ishpeming, MI (Ishpeming, MI)
10/22 - 10/23: Rep It Out (Sheffield, England)
10/22: Clash at the Creek 2022 (Knoxville, TN)
10/22: Festivus Games – Teams @ Crossfit Clan (Parsippany, NJ)
10/22: Ironclad (League City, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games (Waukesha, WI)
10/22: Scream and Clean 2 (Danbury, CT)
10/22: SE TEX Masters Fall Classic 2022 (Cypress, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games Pairs – Same-Sex or Mixed-Sex (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Black and Brewed (Huntsville, AL)
10/22: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Dreamland Games 3 (same sex pairs) (Portsmouth, OH)
10/22: 2022 Arsenal Throwdown (Pittsburgh, PA)
10/29 - 10/30: Chi-Town Throwdown (Elmhurst, IL)
10/29 - 10/30: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/29: Heartland Games (Kearney, NE)
10/29 - 10/30: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Black Hive West (Jacksonville, FL)
10/30 - 11/20: CHLKDUP Box League – Nashville (Nashville, TN)
11/1 - 11/21: MFLH X FFTF Partner Series Online Qualifier (New York, NY)
11/5 - 11/6: Reignited Games (Wilmington, NC)
11/5: Fall’s Fittest Partner Throwdown (Amherst, OH)
11/5: Best of the Wurst (New Braunfels, TX)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Salt Lake, UT)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
11/12: CrossFit Exodus Throwdown (Bridgeport, TX)
11/19: Babes & Beasts TURF Games 2022 (Port Saint Lucie, FL)
11/19: Cactus Classic 2022 (Phoenix, AZ)

See all upcoming events

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