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James Sprague On How CrossFit Turned His Life Around

Morning Chalk Up

December 16   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Helping guys with athletic builds find clothes that fit
  • James Sprague on his journey from overweight and depressed to CrossFit’s elite
  • The rise of the Legends Championship for masters athletes
  • Adaptive and age ground preview for TYR Wodapalooza
  • Sophie Shaft’s Workout of the Week
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“Nothing can have value without being an object of utility.” - Karl Marx

  Shredded & Threaded On a Mission to Help Fitness Enthusiasts Build Their Wardrobes  

Shredded & Threaded On a Mission to Help Fitness Enthusiasts Build Their Wardrobes

There is a common problem among athletes, CrossFitters, and fitness enthusiasts. It’s difficult to find clothes that fit, especially for those with bigger legs. Enter Shredded & Threaded, a company that helps men – and women in the future – with athletic builds find clothes for any occasion.

One big thing: The man behind Shredded & Threaded is Andrew Veneziano, a Boston-based realtor and L2-Level CrossFit Trainer. Veneziano grew up playing hockey, so he struggled to find game-day fits that would accommodate his athletic build and bigger legs.

  • This issue of finding clothes continued into adulthood as Veneziano discovered CrossFit and began putting in even more work. It reached a tipping point. A salesperson told Veneziano that maybe he should work out less due to the size of his legs.
  • “I said, ‘Absolutely not. There’s no way. My body is going to do what it does,’” Veneziano explained. “‘I enjoy working out. It’s like my Zen time, it’s my time with my friends, it’s healthy for me, it’s good for me, and I love doing it. And I’m not going to regulate how much I work out or how my body changes so I can fit into clothes. There’s got to be a better way.’”

Veneziano hated fashion for much of his life. Once he had this interaction at the clothing store, he needed to change his approach. He had to seek out clothing brands that would fit his body, or he needed to build relationships with tailors. This process eventually led to a passion for fashion and an appreciation for outfits that would stand the test of time.

One important detail: “Athletic build” is technically someone that is of average height whose chest is at least eight inches bigger than their waist. However, there are numerous other types of athletic builds that have the same problems with clothes.

  • An Olympic rower will have a different body type than a former NFL lineman, but they are both athletic. Similarly, an everyday person who does CrossFit five times a week can also have an athletic build.
  • The purpose of Shredded & Threaded is to accommodate those from an athletic background, as well as those that may just be starting to make changes so that they can lose weight or build muscle.

Multiple services: Shredded & Threaded has been around since late 2019, but it has evolved over time as Veneziano has examined ways that he can help people with similar issues. Now he offers multiple services based on what his clients need.

  • The Event and Trip Consultation can help take the stress away from important occasions. Need a suit for a wedding or business trip? Veneziano can help find the right option or options based on each specific need.
  • The Personal Shopping Service is for those that need to shake up their wardrobe. Veneziano will discuss the needs of his client, and then he will set aside options at the store based on a variety of factors. There are multiple tiers based on the budgets of each client.
  • Finally, there is the Closet Audit. This service is for those that have tons of clothing options but don’t know how to put them together. Veneziano helps determine which items work the best together while building a more cohesive wardrobe.

“The closet audit is a great place to start,” Veneziano explained. “I don’t want to go shopping for someone, have them get a bunch of clothes if they [don’t] need it. And then it’s like, ‘How do I put this together in a wardrobe?’ So that’s the thing. I want it to be cohesive, easy, and simple.

“I know some people who like the uniform thing, they have a lot of the same thing. you hear like the Mark Zuckerbergs, like, oh, it’s a black t-shirt and jeans. They don’t have to think about it. Well, if you build a cohesive wardrobe from the start – yeah, it’s going to take some thought in the beginning. But again, if you can build that modern wardrobe I was talking about where you can go from day to evening, casual to formal, and you can mix and match, then you really don’t have to think about it.”

Less can be more: Working with a stylist could immediately create concerns about expanded clothing budgets. Veneziano wants to shut that line of thinking down. Yes, there may be new purchases, but he isn’t going to recommend buying a new suit for every day of the week. He will focus on ways to fit each specific client and their body type.

  • “I wear a suit 90% of the time when I’m in meetings or with clients,” Veneziano said. “So like, three-four days a week, I’m in a suit. I only own a few because you can mix and match shirts, you can mix and match ties.
  • “You have like three suits, six shirts, and like four ties, you’re gonna get a ton of different outfits and different combinations from that.”
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In case you missed it: Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil talks to Jason Grubb about winning his Legends Championship division in nail-biting fashion.

Drug violation update: CrossFit HQ has noted that Stephen Wallace, a member of Team Blues City CrossFit Gold, the seventh-place team at the Syndicate Crown has received a four-year sanction.

Get your tickets: TYR Wodapalooza has released more details on their ticket pricing for the upcoming event in Miami. 😎

Interesting read: A recent study has shown that increased protein intake may prevent weight regain after a diet.

  From Overweight and Depressed to CrossFit’s Elite for James Sprague  


From Overweight and Depressed to CrossFit’s Elite for James Sprague

James Sprague was overweight, lacking passion, and in a dark place in his life when he decided to flip the switch after a nudge from his father to try CrossFit. And it sure stuck.

Sprague, 20, is a newcomer to the individual elite world of CrossFit, but made a recent splash placing third in the Zelos Games and second behind Chandler Smith at the CanWest Games over the summer. The Washington state native is on a mission to make the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games as a male individual and has relocated his life to Naples, Florida to train under Matt Torres, who is also a coach for Dalin Pepper, Emma Cary, and Danielle Brandon, and is the head coach of Brute Strength HQ.

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  From Overweight and Depressed to CrossFit’s Elite for James Sprague  

Creating a Premier Masters Competition with Legends Championship Competition Directors

From 36 athletes to more than 300 athletes. The Legends Championship has grown over the last several years and become the premier off-season competition for Masters athletes all over. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil catches up with Rory McKernan and the competition directors Joe Linton and Bob Jennings, to recap their first year hosting inside Mayhem.

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  2023 TYR Wodapalooza: Age Group and Adaptive Divisions Preview  

2023 TYR Wodapalooza: Age Group and Adaptive Divisions Preview

Miami’s CrossFit showcase, the TYR Wodapalooza, is set to kick off the 2023 season with a bang, and we’ve got loads of preview coverage coming for you next week, but let’s not forget the age ground and adaptive divisions. Here’s a preview to get you started and set for the Jan. 12-15 competition.


The name of the game this year in the teenage division is a new wave. Mallory O’Brien, Emma Cary, Olivia Kerstetter, and other notable standouts have stolen the teenage spotlight for years, but with their tenure in the division over, a new age of young athletes is stepping up. Wodapalooza will be the first glimpse into what could be the next era of elite CrossFitters.

  • Out of 40 available spots, 14 (not including invitations) are taken by CrossFit Games athletes. These top-level athletes will have a chance to continue their streak of success into 2023, but there is much room for younger and less experienced athletes to make their breakout performances.

Names to Watch

  • Claire Truax will be hard to miss in the 16-18 Girls division as she tries to secure the top spot in her final teenage competition. At just 18-years-old, Truax already has elite individual experience competing at MACC in the spring. The competition took place the same weekend as her high school graduation, and she placed 11th overall.
  • Miley and Delaney Wade, sisters from Knoxville, Tennessee, have made a splash in their respective divisions over the past year and will now come together on the competition floor for the first time. Miley, who will compete in the 13-15 division, handily won the 14-15 Girls division at the Pit Teen Throwdown in September. Delaney, who will compete in the 16-18 division, became one of the first athletes to compete at the CrossFit Games with Type 1 Diabetes in 2021 and landed on the podium last year at Wodapalooza.
  • As the lone Games athlete in the 13-15 Boys field, Yezo Cunha may have a fast track to a podium spot. He placed ninth at the Games this summer with his highest finish in Rinse n’ Repeat. However, Wodapalooza veterans Kulani Subiono and Kalen Gutierrez were just above the cut line to qualify for the Games and will give Cunha a run for his money in Miami.
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  Sophie Shaft’s Workout of the Week  

Sophie Shaft’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by Misfit athlete, Sophie Shaft. She is a four-time CrossFit Games teen athlete, placing third at the 2022 CrossFit Games in the 16-17 Girls division. Shaft also has a history of competing in American Ninja Warrior competitions, appearing in the 13th season of American Ninja Warrior. Shaft is gearing up for her first season in the Individual division for the 2023 season and currently lives in Michigan with her parents and little sister, and is also passionate about musical theater.

Sophie Shaft

Every 2:00 for 20:00 (10 rounds):

  • 5 Bar Muscle-ups
  • 15/12 Cals C2 Bike
  • 60 Double Unders

Scaling options: Athletes can reduce the reps per round (for example: 3 BMU, 12/10 Cals, 40 Double Unders). If athletes are working toward the higher skill movements, they can scale the BMU to chest-to-bar or regular pull-ups, and double-unders to single-unders.

Some advice from Sophie: “Staying as consistent as possible will get you through. Push transitions as fast as possible. No time to stand around! You should get around 15-20 seconds of rest per round.”

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

  LIFEAID’s CrossFit Games Athletes Talk Holiday Cheats (Sort Of)  

LIFEAID’s CrossFit Games Athletes Talk Holiday Cheats (Sort Of)

Sometimes CrossFit Games athletes seem superhuman.

And, well, they kind of are. At least they can do things most ordinary CrossFit enthusiasts can only dream of.

But when it comes to Christmas, we like to think that Games athletes like Jeff Adler, Emma Lawson and Gabriela Migala are just like us. They must spend lazy Christmas mornings in their pajamas, sipping coffee spiked with Baileys, and then follow it up with a shortbread cookie takedown with rum and eggnog, right? All before noon.

Or do they?

We caught up with FITAID athletes to find out whether they’re like the rest of us on Christmas or not.

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12 Gift Ideas for the CrossFit Lover in Your Life

Christmas is getting closer each day… have you done your holiday shopping yet? Thinking of gift ideas can delay our shopping, but use our guide to get some ideas for the fitness fanatic in your life. We make it easy, so you don’t have to leave your couch to get them the best gifts!




The Ultimate Christmas Gift: His New Favorite Shorts

Are you looking for a gift for the male fitness lover in your life? Look no further than the Unbroken Short from TYR. With Hydrosphere™ Fabric and maximum flexibility, these shorts are designed to keep up with every athlete. He'll love the mix of comfort and style, so wrap them up under the tree!



Dairy-Free Spinach Artichoke Dip

If you are dairy free and wondering what you can bring to eat at a holiday party this year, here is a great recipe for you! Simple to make and very tasty, without any dairy!



That Tomahawk Steak You Never Get at the Restaurant

Are you ready to finally get that steak you never actually order when you’re at that fancy steakhouse? For a limited time, new Butcher Box members will receive a FREE Tomahawk Steak. Not only will you get your free steak, you’ll also get high quality, 100% grass fed meat delivered right to your door!



This Video on Comparing Yourself to Your Old Self

If you’ve ever thought “I could have done that in my prime” then this video is for you. Learn about compartmentalizing your workout history and how to celebrate the wins… even if they aren’t what you used to celebrate.

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

CrossFit D10 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia is hosting a memorial WOD this Saturday, December 17 to honor one of their founders, Terri Jackson, that passed away from cancer last week at age 51. The WOD kicks off the gym’s Legacy for a Legend campaign to help the remaining owners keep the doors open and focus on serving their members in 2023.

  • Keely Wadden, CrossFit D10 Owner: “When we lost Terri, I decided to throw in the towel. I just didn’t think it could be done without her. Until I spoke to her family. We decided that the best way to honor our legend was to keep D10 and our community going.”
12/9 - 12/10: Space Coast Classic (West Melbourne, FL)
12/9: Wodamania (Singer Island Riviera Beach, FL)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)

See all upcoming events

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