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Mal O’Brien and Saxon Panchik talk winning the Open -RX

Morning Chalk Up

March 18   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up premium subscriber edition.

In today’s edition:

  • Mal O’Brien and Saxon Panchik talk about winning their first Open titles
  • Seven takeaways from Open workout 22.3
  • CrossFit has announced the largest prize purse in history
  • How to turn yourself into a plant-based powerhouse
  • Five takeaways from the men’s Open elite division moving forward
  • What is the impact of CrossFit programming two Semifinal workouts?
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  Breaking: Mal O'Brien and Saxon Panchik win the 2022 CrossFit Open  

Breaking: Mal O'Brien and Saxon Panchik win the 2022 CrossFit Open

Mal O’Brien and Saxon Panchik have been officially announced as the winners of the 2022 CrossFit Open.

One big thing: Both O’Brien and Panchik switched coaches this season, with O’Brien now training under five-time Fittest Man on Earth Mat Fraser at HWPO and Panchik at PRVN Fitness in Nashville, TN.

O’Brien, who won CrossFit’s Rookie of the Year last season after she placed seventh at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games, has become the youngest Open winner in history at age 18. She admitted at a post-Open press conference Thursday that her coaching change this season was challenging at first.

  • “Basically we have been focusing on quality, which is something I think I struggled with last year. I was still new and I’m young, so it’s just like I want to do as much as I can and I just wanna keep working out all day and there was not a lot of strategy behind it,” O’Brien said of her approach last year.
  • “Something Mat (Fraser) has done for me is to look at the big picture, and we’re really focusing on longevity, so right now I’m training to have the longest and (most) successful career I can, so quality over quantity is basically our main focus right now…It was super hard at first, but I have gotten into my groove, so (I’m) very happy about that,” she added.
  • And any doubts O’Brien might have had about her new coach’s less is more approach were certainly put to rest with her recent Open win, an accomplishment she said was never her goal, “but that’s just how it played out.”
  • This is also how she said she is going to continue to approach the 2022 season: with a “no expectations, just taking things day-by-day” strategy.

Panchik now has bragging rights among his siblings Scott and Spencer, becoming the sixth different men’s Open champion ever. The four-time Games athlete and reigning fifth Fittest Man on Earth has long been on the cusp of breaking away from the shadow of his older brother, and this win could signal this could be the year.

His decision to retest 22.2 with his new team less than 24-hours after participating in the live announcement was key in him winning this year’s Open.

  • “When I went through that workout I executed everything perfectly that I had in my head and then when I finished the workout I thought, ‘Okay you left a lot on the table.’ So as soon as I got back that night I thought of the idea of doing it the next morning. And I talked to my coach and said, ‘Hey I didn’t feel like I hit my full potential on that workout and if you approve I’d like to just try it again and push that boundary and see where I can go and he agreed.’”

Panchik added this win is definitely the culmination of a long journey for him that started when he was young, and he is happy he knows he can now compete with the best of the best.

  • “It means the world to me, I got into this sport when I was 12 years old and I used to compare myself to the females of the sport when I was young, going with all the female’s weight. And obviously as I progressed through the sport I got over to the men’s weights.”
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Countdown: Individual Quarterfinals are just a week away and will take place March 24-27.

Reminder: The CrossFit Games ticket Affiliate Presale goes live on March 24 and will last until March 27. Affiliates that had 12 or more athletes sign up for the 2022 Open will get early access to the ticketing website, Ticketmaster, where they’ll be able to purchase up to eight Festival + Coliseum Packages and an unlimited number of Festival-Only Packages.

In case you missed it, Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke with Sean Woodland and Annie Sakamoto about what they loved and didn’t love about the Open this year.

Reebok has announced the launch of the Nano X2, the latest iteration of the award-winning Nano franchise. Now this is a shoe.(check this link after 8am ET.) 🏋🏼‍♀️

Congratulations to the Week 3 Winners of the #morningchalkup Leaderboard Giveaway, who will each receive a $100 gift card to JUNK Brands. Please claim your prize by Friday, March 25 by sending us a DM or emailing [email protected].

  • Top Male: Kyle Achman (5:45)
  • Top Female*: Leah Støren (5:51) *top time of eligible scores
  • Female Raffle Winner: Rachel Coviello from CrossFit Millburn in Millburn, NJ
  • Male Raffle Winner: Shane Norris from CrossFit Knightdale in Knightdale, NC
  Seven Takeaways From Open Workout 22.3  

Seven Takeaways From Open Workout 22.3

And just like that the 2022 CrossFit Open is done. Three weeks, three workouts, all came to a conclusion this past Monday with workout 22.3. Here are seven takeaways as we move on to Quarterfinals, the next stage of the 2022 season.

1. Saxon Panchik’s do-over leads to Open title

When Panchik finished 22.2 in 8:26 during the Open live announcement most would have thought that would be his final score. That seemed to be the general consensus among the top athletes in the sport. One-and-done almost became a rallying cry for the elites as the importance of the Open for them has waned. Little did Panchik know that when he arrived at CrossFit East Nashville to redo the workout with his PRVN teammates the next day that his decision would help him win his first Open title.

He improved his time significantly, finishing in 7:47 which was good enough for 13th worldwide, an improvement of 65 spots from where he would have finished if he didn’t retest.

His 9th place in 22.3 helped him secure a three point win over Matt Poulin in one of the closest races in Open history. His average placement was 8.3 which is the sixth best for a men’s Open winner.

Continue Reading...
  Breaking: CrossFit Expands Payouts to All 40 Individual Games Athletes, Reveals Full Details  

Breaking: CrossFit Expands Payouts to All 40 Individual Games Athletes, Reveals Full Details

CrossFit revealed the complete 2022 CrossFit Games prize purse details today, announcing the largest prize purse in CrossFit Games history, including expanding payouts further down the leaderboard for several divisions. The total purse will be a minimum of $2,689,000, not including prizes for placing first, second or third in individual workouts at the Games, representing an increase of at least $189,000 over 2021.

  • CrossFit Home Office estimates that the prize purse will top $2.845 million once prizes for placing first, second and third in individual Games events are factored in, which would equate to more than $300,000 over 2021.“

CrossFit is committed to the continued growth and professionalization of the sport at all levels, and we are delighted to offer not only the largest prize purse in history but also the broadest, as it covers the highest number of competing athletes,” said Justin Bergh, CrossFit’s general manager of Sport. “With the support of NOBULL, we have expanded the prize purse to include more than 75 additional athletes across the individual, team, and adaptive divisions, so they can be recognized for their accomplishments and continue investing in their competitive journeys.”

Continue Reading...
  How to be a Plant-Based Powerhouse  

How to be a Plant-Based Powerhouse

Not all CrossFit enthusiasts spend their days gorging on meat products, in fact a growing number have moved towards a plant-based or even Vegan diet including multi-time Games athletes James Newbury and Sara Sigmundsdóttir.

A plant-based diet is a loose term that describes any eating pattern which places a particular emphasis on foods derived from plants. It encompasses dietary patterns that still include small amounts of animal products all the way to the vegan diet which includes no animal products at all. For our purposes today, we will focus on the vegan diet.

Continue Reading...
  Men’s Division Recap: The Five Biggest Takeaways From The 2022 Open  

Men’s Division Recap: The Five Biggest Takeaways From The 2022 Open

As quickly as it got here, the 2022 CrossFit Games Open has come to a close. For twelve seasons now the Open has stood tall as the official starting line in the race to find the fittest on earth each year, but as the newest season structure begins to lay roots, additional competition stages have shifted the structure of the Open as well.

In 2022 three scored tests across three weeks are what was ultimately chosen to set the stage for Quarterfinals, and even though the current iteration of the Open has slimmed down significantly from its earlier years, there is still plenty to be gleaned from the performances seen across the men’s division as things gear up for the next stage of competition.

Continue Reading...
  Men’s Division Recap: The Five Biggest Takeaways From The 2022 Open  

VIDEO: Sean Woodland and Patrick Clark Discuss Impact of CrossFit Programming Two Semifinal Workouts

Watch Now...
  CrossFit Held a Post-Open Press Conference, Here's What You Need to Know  

CrossFit Held a Post-Open Press Conference, Here's What You Need to Know

On the eve of the finalization of the 2022 CrossFit Open Leaderboard, Home Office hosted a press conference for select media.

The details: On the panel were Justin Bergh, GM of Sport; Adrian Bozman, Director of Competition; and Mal O’Brien and Saxon Panchik, who were announced as the winner’s of the 2022 CrossFit Open.

Bergh tackled a question focused on the fact that the Open grew 11.5% from 2021 to 2022, however is still 122,000 registrants down from its high water mark of 416,000 in 2018. Bergh said they are moving away from specific numbers, when asked about how they plan on getting back to Eric Roza’s declarative statement that he wants half a million people competing in the Open. He said:

  • “Our goals for the Open are kind of steady growth and sustainable growth. I think that what’s important for us, we grow the sport at all levels and continue to grow at all levels and professional opportunities for the athletes and also do this in the future in a way that really supports the affiliates and the training methodology broadly.”
  • “In my mind I don’t have a certain number set where I would say, ‘If I made it back to 417 thousand, then you’ve made it. Our goal is to continuously progress over the next decade so there is steady, continuous growth around the world. And while we had some terrific years that lead to that number (416 thousand) we’re actually really pleased that we added 30,000 (this year).”

What else we learned: While the 2022 Open Leaderboard is not yet official, we were able to gather a lot of information as we head into the next stage of the Games season.

  • The 2022 CrossFit Games Open
    • The 2022 Open Leaderboard will become official at 5 PM PT on March 18, 2022
    • There may still be penalties assessed
  • The 2022 CrossFit Games Quarterfinals
    • Similar to last year’s cadence, Quarterfinal information, including workout details, floor plans, and score sheets will be released on Thursday leading into the competition on March 24
  • Future Press Conferences
    • Bergh said that the Games team plan is to hold more press conferences going forward.
    • He confirmed that there would be a press conference for the media after the last Semifinal and at least one at the Games.

The bottom line: The press conference today revealed some useful information related to the season and in addition, athletes Saxon Panchik and Mallory O’Brien were able to answer some questions about their experience the past three weeks.

  Anikha Greer's Workout of the Week  

Anikha Greer'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 is programmed by 18-year old phenom Anikha Greer. The teenager won over the Wodapalooza crowd with her performance and infectious smile as she placed 12th in her first live competition against elite athletes. A person we have kept an eye out on since last season when she just missed out on qualifying for her first Games invitation, finishing sixth at the Atlas Games Semifinal.

This year the native of the smallest province of Canada, Prince Edward Island, is making big moves as she placed 16th in the worldwide Open, highlighted by her 10th place finish in 22.3.

  • RX:

4 Rounds

10 Wall walks

100 Double unders

10 Alternating Single DB Devils Press (70/50 LBs)

20 Single DB OHS (10 each arm at 70/50 LBs)


DB weight 50/35 LBs

200 Single Unders

Time Cap: 20 Minutes

Some advice from Anikha: “​​Try to push the wall walk pace and use the double unders to recover, then stay controlled on the devils press so you can try to go straight into the overhead squats!”

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



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