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James Newbury is Down but Not Out

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

What does 6x CrossFit Games Athlete Josh Bridges have to say about Macrostax? “I have always been an under-eater throughout my entire life…I took the time to figure out what I could change other than my training. Eating was something I didn’t know a ton about so I decided to let Macrostax dial in my specific needs.”

Let Macrostax dial YOU in with an exclusive 50% off that includes a FREE consult with a nutrition coach to get you started! Use code: “OPENPREP50” and save 50% on all plans!


“The purpose of life, as far as I can tell, is to find a mode of being that’s so meaningful that the fact that life is suffering is no longer relevant.” — Jordan Peterson

Down but Not Out, James Newbury Recovering from Accident


Fans of James Newbury held their collective breaths this weekend as the 5th fittest man from 2019 made a frightening revelation on his Instagram yesterday. The lengthy post – which included a photo of Newbury in the hospital and comes just days after he performed 20.3 during the live announcement – revealed that he spent his 29th birthday laid up in the hospital following a mountain bike accident. 

What happened: While coming around a corner on his mountain bike, Newbury’s front tire slid out on some loose rocks, causing him to fly over his handlebars as he locked out his brakes. Newbury’s head hit the base of a tree and the middle of his back hitting a protruding branch. 

The good news: He was wearing a helmet and will make a full recovery, which is most important. His recovery timeline also means that his 2020 Games season isn’t over yet.

The bad news: Newbury’s Open is over as he’ll be spending the next couple months resting and recovering from the list of injuries sustained during the accident. 

  • Fractured processes, boney pieces protruding from the vertebra, in his 2nd and 3rd thoracic vertebrae. Recovery is typically 4-6 weeks with a gradual return to activity over a few week period.
  • Fractures in his 7th and 8th rib, recovery is typically 6 weeks.
  • A gash in his left lung, that caused a leak in the lung. Recovery usually takes 6-8 weeks depending on severity. 

The good news: He was wearing a helmet and will make a full recovery, which is most important. HIs recovery timeline also means that his 2020 Games season isn’t over yet.

Continue reading…

How to Watch 20.4 + Expert Predictions


At the median point of the Open we finally got our repeat. Dave Castro continued the trend of breaking new ground in the Open by selecting a repeat workout and having it show up in a different week than it was originally programmed. Castro announced unceremoniously on his Instagram that 20.3=18.4, and the CrossFit world immediately turned their attention to the workout standards and the return of a controversial handstand pushup standard. 

On Halloween night the show returns to North America this week as a trio of Games veterans on the men’s side throwdown in California, while the Italian Showdown steps up to the plate to host their first Open announcement this season. For the second time this Open, Brazil will host an announcement with a two-part matchup made entirely of homegrown talent. After going 0-4 in week 1, editor-in-chief Justin LoFranco has been perfect in his predictions, going 5-0 the last two weeks to rally in epic fashion. 

Brandon Domingue: 5-4 (2-1 in week 3)
Tommy Marquez: 3-6 (1-2 in week 3)
Justin Lofranco: 5-4 (3-0 in week 3)

Ben Smith vs. Sean Sweeney vs. Jason Carroll Presented by Diablo CrossFit

  • Location: Diablo CrossFit  – Pleasant Hill, California, United States
  • Start time: Livestream will start at 4:50 PM PST.
  • How to watch: The livestream will be hosted on the Diablo CrossFit YouTube channel as well as the Games page. 
  • Background: This is the first three-person matchup of the Open and it’s a doozy. Three men who all finished in the top 40 at the Games last year, and each made it to the Games in a different fashion. Jason Carroll earned a spot through the Open, Sean Sweeney won a sanctioned event, and Ben Smith was the recipient of a wild card invite just a few weeks before the Games.

Justin LoFranco: Sean Sweeney

This pick could not be any more challenging. Each athlete represents vastly different competition styles that it almost depends on the type of workout we see. For Jason Carroll, this is his first time doing a live Open announcement. And while Smith’s experience makes him a safe choice, I’m still not seeing that killer instinct. Sweeney on the other hand, is having a career-best Open performance and he thrives on live environments. He thrived in the early capacity tests and his 5th place 20.3 (as of writing) time of 6:42 will likely maintain a very high spot on the leaderboard as other athletes’ scores trickle in. 

Continue reading…

Things To…


WATCH: The Buttery Bros do 20.3 Military Style
The Buttery Bros, Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers, met up with Chandler Smith and Noah Ohlsen at Fort Campbell, KY to take on 20.3 together before the U.S. Army put them through a boot camp course.


SUBSCRIBE TO: A Fresh Cup of Fitness
Morning Chalk Up’s Managing Editor, Jessica Danger, and Level Two coach Brittany Marsh have just launched A Fresh Cup of Fitness, a Morning Chalk Up podcast. Available on iTunes, Spotify, and Simplecast so you’ve got options, friends.


IMPROVE: Those Handstand Movements
Did 20.3 leave your Open score a bit upside down? Dr. Zach Long and gymnastics specialist Pamela Gagnon created three short four-week programs to help you master getting upside down no matter what your current skill level is. You only need a few minutes a day to crush your handstand goals while maintaining your current workout routine. Use the code “OPEN20” for 20% off.


EAT: Butternut Squash Bacon Spinach Quiche
Crustless low-carb butternut squash quiche made with only a few ingredients like roasted butternut squash, crispy bacon, spinach, eggs and cheddar cheese. Perfect for meal prep or serving during the holiday season!


Today’s edition of the Morning Chalk Up is fueled by


Eat Like Josh Bridges With Macrostax

What does 6x CrossFit Games Athlete Josh Bridges have to say about Macrostax? “I have always been an under-eater throughout my entire life…I took the time to figure out what I could change other than my training. Eating was something I didn’t know a ton about so I decided to let Macrostax dial in my specific needs.”

Let Macrostax dial YOU in with an exclusive 50% off that includes a FREE consult with a nutrition coach to get you started! Use code: “OPENPREP50” and save 50% on all plans!

Chalk Up Community

  • 30 HEROES IN 30 DAYS — Octane CrossFit in Phoenix, AZ is hosting 30 Heroes in 30 Days, starting October 31. Participants will complete 30 randomly picked hero WODs in thirty days, for $30. All proceeds raised will go to the Travis Manion Foundation, to support veterans and military families. 
  • BARBELLS FOR BOOBS ON CAMPUS — Over the weekend, Lander CrossFit and Student Life and Engagement at Lander University in SC, held their fifth annual Barbells For Boobs event on campus. Lander CrossFit raised $1,389 before the event with a goal of $3500 this year. 
  • BEN BERGERON DOUBLE SEMINAR — On December 7 and 8 in Austin, TX, Ben Bergeron is holding two seminars: Saturday is the High Level Coaching Seminar and Sunday is the Affiliate Seminar.

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

Blair Chapman cleans 360 pounds for a PR • Congratulations to Sebastian Paz on graduating with his Masters in Nursing • Wes Kitts power snatches 286 pounds for two • Dave Castro shared his thoughts on 20.3 • Nathan Cliffton back squats 420 pounds • Congratulations to Michael James Bouranis on his engagement • Corbin Welch gets a 260 pound snatch balance PR. 

…and something tells us this guy did just fine on 20.3.

20.3 Top Ten As Of 7:30 PM PT Last Night:

1. Austin Malleolo (5:48) | Annie Thorisdottir (5:21)
2. Mat Fraser (6:08) | Brooke Wells (5:21) (1T)
3. Lucas Parker (6:19) | Brandy Starrett (5:27)
4. Jeffrey Adler (6:23) | Kari Pearce (5:37)
5. Noah Ohlsen (6:24) | Kristine Best (5:39)
6. Brandon Flores (6:25) | Dani Speegle (5:39) (5T)
7. Rob Forte (6:25) | Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault (5:41)
8. Sean Sweeney (6:26) | Carolyne Prevost (5:58)
9. Lefteris Theofanidis (6:27) | Emelie Lundberg (6:00)
10. Nycolas Joyal 6:28) | Kristi Eramo O’Connell (6:01)

— WATCH: Jacob Heppner did 20.3 on his fists.

National Champ of Uruguay is Out — Santi Comba, the National Champion of Uruguay, has announced he is out of the running in the Open due to an injury.

— “Always forward! Last week I had a dorsal impingement, which leaves me outside the fight for the Open 2020 for Uruguay. I will try to continue in the Open, I don’t like to leave something I am so passionate about. I will continue to do my best and try the miracle of getting my pass to the Games through the Sanctionals that luckily are many this year.”

The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir Is 72 and Still a Beast — Bob Weir, founding member of the Grateful Dead, is seventy-two years old and fitter than most, thanks to his regular training routine

— “Bob Weir may be the former rhythm guitarist and co–lead singer of the Grateful Dead, which he founded at 16 years old (16!) with Jerry Garcia in San Francisco…He may currently be playing three-hour shows with his band Bob Weir and Wolf Bros and packing venues like Madison Square Garden this month alongside John Mayer and former Dead drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann in Dead & Company, but the essential thing about Bob Weir — the thing even some Deadheads might not fully grasp — is that he thinks of himself as a jock as much as a musician. Maybe more.” 

How to Get Enough Protein on a Plant Based Diet — Fuel Your Fitness released a helpful guide to getting enough protein on a plant-based diet, with a list of high protein vegan-friendly grocery items. 

— “When someone adopts a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle or has a goal purely of health and longevity, it’s normally a good idea to drop protein and increase carbs. As you can tell from the above, lots of the foods that have some protein content are carb-dominant so having an adequate amount of carbohydrates are essential.”


“Jacob Heppner Fist Pumps His Way Through 20.3: Will He Get Away With It?” by Brittney Kleyn, Morning Chalk Up 

Moments after the announcement of 20.3 — a revisit to 18.4 and with it the controversial HSPU standards —  all eyes (and social media taunts) were on the 6th Fittest Man on Earth, Jacob Heppner. Heppner made clear his plans Sunday to still complete the workout but doing handstand push-ups on his fists instead.

Flashback to 2018: This workout — moreover the standard of the handstand push-ups (HSPU) with the forearm measurement — was season-ending for Jacob Heppner in 2018.

The standard — and the length of Heppner’s forearms — made it near impossible for him to legally rep out his HSPUs in 2018. His 104 reps on this workout cost him an 22680th position worldwide and with it, a ticket to regionals.

Jacob Heppner: “You pay to play their game … It doesn’t matter how much I complain … They (CrossFit) make the rules and whether or not we agree with it, it’s their rules,” Heppner said in his recent Youtube video.

The big picture: Heppner opting to use his fists instead of on his palms presents an interesting debate on whether this type of movement will be accepted by HQ upon review. Heppner himself addresses that his score might be severely penalized if CrossFit chooses to employ the uncommon movement clause.

The uncommon movement clause states: “Any movement deemed uncommon, out of the ordinary or used to amend, shorten or change the accepted movement standard or range of motion, including line of action, of any event movement can and will be disallowed.”


10/29: Lift-a-Thon at Mid Mitten CrossFit (Lansing, MI)
11/2: Best of the Wurst (New Braunfels, TX)
11/2: Gangs of the Midatlantic Team Competition (Williamsburg , VA)
11/2: Second Annual 12-Hour WODathon (Houston, TX)
11/2: Coed Clash Competition (Oneonta, AL)
11/2 – 11/3: USAW Level 1 Training (Kansas City, MO)
11/8: Veterans Day Bash 2019 (Lubbock, TX)
11/8 – 11/9: WOD for Warriors (Waite Park, MN)
11/8 – 11/10: The Kalis Games (Manila, Phillipines)
11/9: Patriot Challenge 3.0 (Longview, TX)
11/9: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Rochelle Park, NJ)
11/9: The Battle at Branded One (Las Vegas, NV)
11/9: Battle on the Airfield at Skyraider CrossFit (Riverside, CA)
11/9: The Goat Gauntlet (Hartford, CT)
11/9: The Bay Games (Huskisson, NSW AUS)
11/9: Third Annual Battle on the Airfield (Riverside, CA)
11/9: Sweat For Sweeney (Keene, NH) 
11/9 – 11/10: Fallout 2 Presented by Battleground Events (Long Beach, CA)
11/9: Emerald Coast Honor Games (Destin, FL)
11/16: Warrior Affiliate League Delta Force (City of Industry, CA)
11/16: O-Town Throwdown 2019 (Oconomowoc, WI)
11/16: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Blue Springs, MO)
11/16: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Clemmons, NC)
11/16: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Plainville, CT)
11/16: The Pain Cave SD (San Diego, CA)
11/16: 2019 Graveyard Games (Kenosha, WI)
11/16: Mid-Atlantic Masters Classic (Abingdon, MD)
11/16: 3rd Annual Bombs & Barbells (Pooler, GA)
11/16: Mama Said Knock You Out (Canton, CT)
11/16: Olson WOD (Hanford, CA)
11/16: CFP’s 6th annual Fall Brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
11/16: 4th Annual Battle of the Badges (St. Louis, MO)
11/16 – 11/17: 24 Hours of Heroes (London, ON)
11/17: Annual Ghetto Games (Plainville, MA)
11/17: Crews For Brews (Windsor, Ontario)
11/22: Sixth Annual Gobbler Gauntlet (Scottsdale, AZ)
11/23: Kettlebells for Balls (Newburyport, MA)
11/23: Keep Austin (Austin, TX)
11/23: CrossFit XLTs 6th Annual Turkey Bash (Chatham, IL)
11/23: Fitness for Ellie Fundraiser (Amherst, OH)
11/23: Rise of the South (Statesboro, GA)
11/23 – 11/24: South Loop Games (Chicago, IL)

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