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Key takeaways from week one of Semifinals

Morning Chalk Up

May 23   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Key takeaways from week one of Semifinals
  • Darcy Leslie is an inspiration
  • WarriorWOD supports athletes with PTSD
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“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” - William Arthur Ward

  What We Can Take Away from 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Semifinals Week One  

What We Can Take Away from 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Semifinals Week One

The first weekend of Semifinals is complete, with five more competitions and two weekends left until we know who all is headed to Madison, WI this summer, to compete at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

This first weekend we witnessed athletes, both individuals and teams, from North America East and Africa take on a grueling set of tests. Since the Semifinal workouts will be the same across all competitions, we broke down takeaways from each event we can learn from after watching them perform.

Test 1 – Cardio bait, hand-over-hand test. 

  • The machines are important in this test, but the separator proved to be the hand-over-hand pull.
  • It took over two minutes for most athletes to complete the hand-over-hand pulls and what makes this the crux of the test, is that someone can be stopped in their tracks by the weight, regardless of their endurance capacity.
  • It may be wise to pace the cardio in a manner that allows athletes to attack the hand-over-hand pull each round and leave enough in the tank to push the final ski hard.

Test 2 – It’s all about the rings. 

  • The ring complex of 1 toe-to-ring, 1 muscle-up, 1 ring dip ended up being not so much of a complex since athletes were allowed to hop down between movements. But for those who did the complex unbroken it was taking roughly 41 seconds and paid off.
  • The ruck added an element to the muscle ups that either stopped the athlete in their tracks or wasn’t much of a bother at all. Proper breaks in-between reps is key if the athlete wants to avoid any no reps.
  • For some, getting to the burpees over the box was a challenge. But once the athlete is there it’s important to push until the time cap to get as many reps as possible.

Test 3 – Don’t go to failure, smooth is fast.  

  • This test is all about the bench press, as the dumbbells add an element of stability that exposes unilateral imbalances under fatigue.
  • Don’t forget that that athletes will have done 15 ring muscle ups, 15 ring dips and a whole bunch of burpees in a ruck the day before 55 reps of heavy dumbbell bench press.
  • They may have done Regional Linda in the 2018, but the only movements performed prior was rowing, double unders and running. This may be part of the reason we didn’t see a major bump in performance from five years ago.
  • Having a break-up strategy is key in this workout to prevent failed reps. In the case that an athlete hits failure, it’s important for competitors to not get caught up in the race of the moment. These dumbbells are heavy and attempting reps too soon after failure will only do more damage.

Test 4 – Have a plan and play the clock. 

  • The 800-meter run proved to be insignificant for most, as several male athletes snatched 300 pounds and multiple women hit 200 pounds.
  • There’s no benefit to running hard in Test 4, only fast enough to have enough time for quality attempts on the snatch.
  • Playing the clock and strategizing is key in this event. Jayson Hopper is the perfect example of this, hitting his final 305 pound snatch at the buzzer, which was good enough for an event win.

Test 5 – Don’t get a no rep and run fast. 

  • In order to be successful in this test, the snatches need to be touch-and-go and losing three seconds on a no rep can be the difference between several placements on the leaderboard.
  • Top scores came in around 3 minutes total for the test. With the snatches taking about 20 to 25 seconds, it means the top finishers were running close to a 5 minute per mile pace on the runner.
  • Athletes should pace the first 800m run and push it on the second one— just a one second difference could mean a placement.

Test 6 – Pirouettes and seated legless  

  • The seated legless rope climb standard proved to be an issue for some athletes, as some got no reps for not maintaining a legless seated position before getting their hands on or below a tape line.
  • The handstand pirouettes weren’t an issue for many athletes, many going unbroken, which was taking roughly 27 seconds.
  • The somewhat new movement of wall-facing handstand pushups wasn’t taxing for some athletes who went unbroken like Will Moorad. But for others a fast dismount and quick sets was key.

Test 7 – Grip strength and sprint 

  • The athlete needs to approach the bike at an aggressive pace.
  • It’s important  that athletes hop right onto the rings and go unbroken or that 6-minute time cap will creep up.
  • Try and get a solid grip on the sandbag to go unbroken on the carry and get right back to the bike. Remember this is the final workout of the weekend and athletes will be gassed, but their willingness to hurt will be key.

The bottom line: This series of tests is nothing to take light of. Athletes with a clear strategy in mind and who are prepared to make necessary adjustments on the field and execute are likely to prevail.

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💪 WIT Fitness will be the official sponsor of the 2023 Europe (Berlin) Semifinals Community Throwdown.

The HYROX World Championships are coming up. Watch it here on May 26, 2023.

Brent Fikowski is heading into the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games North America West Semifinal this week. Here is some behind-the-scenes action from when he competed at the 2022 Dubai Fitness Championships.

Available for pre-order now: Authentic athlete jerseys for qualifying 2023 CrossFit Games.

  Darcy Leslie Balances Owning A Gym, Family, and Playing Professional Women’s Football  


Darcy Leslie Balances Owning A Gym, Family, and Playing Professional Women’s Football

Collegiate athlete Darcy Leslie felt lost after she graduated from college. Her answer was a women’s tackle football league— a sport she hadn’t thought about since she was 12 years old.

Leslie went on to have an impressive 8-year career on the Chicago Force women’s tackle football team and was retired up until recently, when she had the opportunity to join the 2022 US Women’s National Football Team. Leslie credits CrossFit for keeping her in shape during that five year gap and she went on to win the Gold Medal with her team.

She is the owner of Hardware Strength & Conditioning and is currently playing for a semi-pro women’s football team named the Boston Renegades. She manages to commute to Boston for games and practices, run her gym, and be present for her family. A feat not possible without a strong community, said Leslie.

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  WarriorWOD Supports Veterans Suffering From PTSD With ‘1 Got Your 6’ Event  

WarriorWOD Supports Veterans Suffering From PTSD With ‘1 Got Your 6’ Event

From June 16-30, WarriorWOD will host a virtual competition, “I Got Your 6.” This event tasks teams of two with completing three military-themed workouts, and it raises crucial money that helps support veterans suffering from PTSD.

The details: I Got Your 6 features three workouts highlighting three of the special forces branches. “ODA” (Operational Detachment Alpha) represents the US Army Special Forces, “Raiders” represents the Marine Corps special operations forces, and “Frogmen” represents the Navy SEALs. There are only three workouts, so the Air Force PJs (pararescuemen) are not represented this year.

  • “I Got Your 6” will have male/male and female/female team options across the RX and Minimal Equipment divisions. The RX division will have barbells, fan bikes (Echo/Assault), wall balls, dumbbells, boxes, and jump ropes as the required equipment.
  • The partner workouts will play out in an “I go, you go” fashion as one athlete works at a time. The only exception is ODA, which has synchronized burpees over the barbell every two minutes.
  • The cost of entry for “I Got Your 6” is $100 per team of two athletes, and it includes a shirt for each competitor. 100 percent of the proceeds will go to support veterans suffering from PTSD.

The reason for the special forces theme is that these operators face the same mental health issues as everyone else in the military. WarriorWOD wanted to shine a light on that community and the things its members go through on a daily basis.

That being said, the participants don’t need to be fit enough to pass a special forces school in order to participate in “I Got Your 6.” They just need to be willing to put in some work alongside a teammate while thinking about those that have gone through extremely difficult situations.

  • “We wanted to make it challenging, regardless of which division you’re in,” Palmer said. “If you’re a CrossFitter, and you have the capacity to work at the RX level, we want to make sure that you are getting the same stimulus as if I was grandma with one dumbbell. I mean, everything in between the stimulus is what we wanted, not necessarily the challenge.”
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Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 😱 Congratulations to Chuang Sheng-Min from Taiwan on his silver medal in the Asian Weightlifting Championships, and this incredible snatch save at 340 pounds/154kg.
  • Graciano Rubio (The Wall Street Weightlifter), owner of CrossFit Valley View in Los Banos, CA, snatches 365 pounds/165.5kg.
  • 🤩 Congratulations to Ruan Conradie, owner of CrossFit Two Rivers in Roodepoort, South Africa, on winning his heat in Semifinals Linda at the 2023 REBEL Renegade Games, and giving his judge a high-five she’ll never forget.
  • 🏋🏽‍♂️ This 8-year-old weightlifter from Montreal, Canada is already learning flawless snatch technique with Coach Ciro Ibanez at Beyond Lifting.
  • Congratulations Justin Gehrt, GM of CrossFit Invictus Seattle, on his half marathon PR.
3/1 - 3/31: Sit Ups For Pups (Everywhere, Anywhere Online)
3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (oceanside, ca)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
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4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
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4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
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4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
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4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20: Barbells For Bullies: Community Workout Savannah (Savnnah, Georgia, US)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY)
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4/20: Festivus Games (Goderich, Canada)
4/20: Festivus Games (Clermont, FL)
4/20: Festivus Games @ The Gym – CrossFit Kilo (Cedar Falls, IA)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CBM Sirens (Caledonia, MS)
4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
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