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Let the Girls Have a Heavy Barbell, Too

Good morning and welcome to the weekend edition of the Morning Chalk Up. This is Justin LoFranco, your Editor-in-Chief, to bring you a quick wrap-up of the major news items throughout the week.

Today’s edition is brought to you by the Wodapalooza Online Challenge & Qualifier.

Last weekend of the Open, and it’s time to start thinking about the next big thing.

The WZA Team Qualifier starts December 6 – 16 and gives the best chance to earn a spot to compete in sunny Miami this February, with 400+ team of 4 (MMFF) spots up for grabs.

The best part? Your team can qualify from anywhere in the world. You don’t need to be from the same gym, state, or country to compete. #DreamTeam

Sign up this week, and use code “WZA_MCU_DreamTeam” at check-out for $5 off registration.


“I’m going to get in there and drive that race car.” — Marston Sawyer

Let the Girls Play with The Heavy Barbells (OPINION)

Was the women’s weight too light in 20.4? I’m honestly not sure what the right answer is here. For years, the guys at my gym have been telling me that the prescribed girls’ weights for workouts have historically been “too light,” and I’ve always just chalked it up to the thought that, well, I’m just strong. Now, I’m not so sure.

I’m not gonna lie, I always wish for heavier weights in workouts, just because that is a true strength of mine. But this most recent Open workout, 20.4, was the first time I really noticed how big the difference was between the men’s and women’s prescribed weights. A 315 pound clean and jerk is no joke, for even the strongest guys in CrossFit.

But I’m not sure it’s the same conversation at 205 pounds for most of the top women. 

Personally, I didn’t think twice about clean and jerking 205 pounds at the end of that workout. But when I considered what would I have felt like if I had to lift… say 220 pounds or 225 pounds at the end of that workout — I realized it would have been a totally different game. I would have been a little scared approaching the bar for that lift and that’s how I think a lot of the men felt staring down 315.

It’s worth noting that traditionally in benchmark barbell workouts, women’s weights are programmed at right around 70% of the men’s’ prescribed weight.

Diane is 225 pound deadlifts for men and 155 pound deadlifts for women. Grace is 135 pound clean and jerks and 95 pounds for women.

Even previous Open workouts like 13.4, 16.4, and 17.3 kept the same 70% weight ratio. Specifically in the case of 17.3 — an ascending ladder of snatches from 95/65 to 265/185 — the ratio remained the same throughout. While men snatched 225 women were prescribed 155.

For 20.4 however, things were different.

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CrossFit Open 20.5 Workout Description and Strategies
Morning Chalk Up

This is the final week of the 2020 Open and with a “Choose Your Own Adventure” twist at that. Make sure you give it everything you got, know the standards, and have a strategy.  

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The CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town Postponed Amid Venue Dispute
Tommy Marquez

Earlier this week, CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town announced via Instagram that they would be postponing their 2020 sanctioned event indefinitely thanks to a scheduling issue involving the events venue, the city of Cape Town, and a charity tennis match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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Lapointe, Christophel Win Major Penalty Appeals in 20.1 and 20.2
Tommy Marquez

Two major penalties have been reversed or adjusted following an athlete appeal. Following review, penalties for Tyler Christophel were reversed, while Cedric Lapointe’s major penalty was adjusted to a minor penalty. More importantly, both athletes had their hopes of a CrossFit Games qualification reinstated, and both now sit in a qualifying position after four weeks of the Open.

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Week 5 Leaderboarding and How the Top 10 Games Athletes are Faring
Justin LoFranco

Going into the fifth and final week of the CrossFit Open, the race for the final few qualifying spots is narrowing to a close. As that ever present blue line for the top 20 shifts each week depending on how many national champions are currently in the top 20, athletes scramble to stay at the top of the eaderboard.

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Kettlebell Kitchen Shuts Doors
Justin LoFranco

Kettlebell Kitchen, the New York based meal delivery service, sent an email out to customers Thursday morning announcing that they’re shutting down all of their kitchens and ending their meal delivery service. In their final message to customers, Kettlebell Kitchen directed their customers to Territory Foods, another meal delivery company.

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Wodapalooza Doubles Champion’s Purse, Matching Dubai and Rogue
Brittney Kleyn

Earlier this week, Wodapalooza announced an impressive prize purse increase for the 2020 Sanctional, doubling the champion’s check to $50,000 and with it upping the capacity for athlete earnings this season. This brings Wodapalooza on par with the Rouge Invitational and Dubai Fitness Championship.

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This week is the last week of the tenth CrossFit Open. It’s the first time we’ve not seen chest-to-bar pull-ups and the first time we’ve seen a choice in the rep scheme. Here is everything you need to knock 20.5 out of the park this weekend.

1. A few fun facts about 20.5. 

2. Make a strategy. There is a lot of math!

3. Eight National Champion races to watch. 

4. Cheer loudly for all those first time muscle-uppers.

5. In between doing and re-doing. 20.5, check out the heavy hitters at Torian Pro this weekend. 

6. Celebrate finishing the Open.

Oh and let’s not forget…

Meet Miles: The Man Who First Saw The Potential In The Fittest Woman On Earth (Brittney Kleyn/Morning Chalk Up)

Fighting Cancer and Castro: How the CrossFit Open is Helping Ann Runkle Ritchie Battle Cancer (Jessica Danger/Morning Chalk Up)

Low-fat or low-carb? Major Study Concludes: It Doesn’t Matter for Weight Loss (Michael Hull/Examine)

Muscle Soreness: What Is It and What Can I Do About It? (Dr. Andrew Cheng, D.C./

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