Katrin Davidsdottir, Amanda Barnhart and Sam Kwant Join HWPO
In a major off-season move, two-time CrossFit Games champ Katrin Davidsdottir, 2020 podium finisher Sam Kwant and five-time Games qualifier Amanda Barnhart will all train with Mat Fraser’s HWPO camp for the 2023 season.
One big thing: In adding these athletes to their roster, HWPO is solidifying its position as a premier training camp in the sport. Davidsdottir, Kwant and Barnhart will join the 2022 second Fittest Woman on Earth (and 2021 Rookie of the Year), Mal O’Brien, Jayson Hopper, who took seventh place on the men’s side this year and seven-time Games veteran Thuri Helgadottir.
The details: All three athletes previously trained with Ben Bergeron at Comptrain in Natick, MA, just outside of Boston.
Davidsdottir left to move home to Iceland and train with Annie Thorisdottir and Jami Tikkanen in November of 2021. She failed to make the CrossFit Games this year, although almost was added as a CrossFit Reykjavik team substitute for Lauren Fisher just before the Games started.
Palley announced in July that he was joining the HWPO team as a coach. Palley coached Kwant during this past season and at the Games where Kwant placed fourth.
Worth noting: None of these athletes are relocating. From HWPO President, Matt O’Keefe: “All of these athletes will spend significant time together throughout the season, but none are relocating to Vermont full-time. Mal O’Brien, of course, already lives there.”
What they’re saying: O’Keefe said, in regards to the new athletes joining the team: “It’s an honor. When we thought about taking on more athletes, it was really about who would fit our culture. We’ve been friends with these people for years and our values line up and they are a perfect fit. We are all ready to get to work together.”
“It’s a new journey for us but it’s also a very familiar one – not only for Mat & I, but a big part of the HWPO team. I am extremely excited for the opportunity to be coached by the HWPO training team and Mat! Mat and I always worked very well together as training partners & this progression to a coach/athlete relationship feels natural to me. I have a lot of fire left in me & I can’t wait to begin this new chapter of HARD WORK!!” — Katrin Davidsdottir, two-time Fittest Woman on Earth
“Having Mat as my coach is a gift and I’ve enjoyed sharing that with the world. With the HWPO Team growing, we as a group now get to be an example of hard work for others out there.” — Mal O’Brien, 2nd Fittest on Earth
“I’m beyond excited and proud to be joining HWPO Training. Harry Palley has been my coach for many years and I’m grateful to continue to have him in my corner. Not to mention having Mat Fraser and the rest of the HWPO Training team helping me become my fittest. Ready to get the season going and put in the work!” —Amanda Barnhart, five-time Games Athlete
“Hard work is something I have been raised to do my whole life. When I was 16 years old I told myself I was going to be a CrossFit games athlete. All the work I have put into this sport and all that I have been through is what has brought me here and that’s what hard work pays off means for me.” — Sam Kwant, five-time Games Athlete and 2020 second Fittest on Earth
“Working with the HWPO crew has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. I’ve never been around such an incredible group of people that know how to work hard and have fun at the same time. Mat, Jake, Sammy, O’Keefe, Eric and the rest of the crew have made me feel like family from day one and I can’t see myself working with anyone else.” —Jayson Hopper, seventh Fittest on Earth
The bottom line: Athletes change coaches. That’s the nature of sports, especially individual sports. But for an up-and-coming camp like HWPO, this is a huge move and will likely pay dividends in the 2023 season.
The Mobility Tools Elite Competitors are Using at The Madrid Championships
Want to compete like a pro? Well, then make mobility a priority.
Emma Tall, Aimee Cringle and Emma McQuaid have a secret up their sleeves for The Madrid Championships that sets them apart… and it’s their mobility training.
If you want to maximize your mobility, it starts from the ground up. Yep, you read that right- it starts with the feet.
On the ground: Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil and Preslie Hirsch are in Madrid right now and we’ve got your covered for the entire event. Check our site and our YouTube for updates throughout the weekend’s competition. 🇪🇸
Coffee break?: Preslie Hirsch’s Coffee Break Conversations is back with Jim Hensel — author, speaker, athlete and the founder of Mayhem Mindset. Tune in today at noon PT (for Rx subscribers only).
Who’s going?: Check out our rolling list of who will be attending the 2022 Rogue Invitational this November in Austin, TX.
Comp update: Payouts for the Zelos Games Invitational have been announced. The live, in-person Invitational will happen Nov. 12-13 in Las Vegas, NV. The virtual competition, which will be part of the Invitational, will take place Nov. 11-21. First is $1,000, second is $750 and third is $500 for the in-person competition.
Local love: Great story, Burpees for Bullies as CrossFit Crescent Coast in Myrtle Beach, SC will host a fundraiser for the Grand Strand Humane Society.
Food for thought: Really interesting piece on how our gut-brain connection could be making us want to consume fatty foods.
Mat Fraser Discusses Programming for Madrid Championship
HWPO is back at it; programming another off-season competition, with a few under their belt and many more to come that have already been announced. The Madrid Championship kicks off in Spain today and with three action packed days of workouts across several divisions, we sat down with 5x Fittest Man on Earth and lead of HWPO, Mat Fraser. The hype is real as we await performances from a handful of major athletes in a way that also continues to expand the global presence of CrossFit.
Remind me: For a full list of athletes competing this weekend and the workouts that have been announced,, check out our preview article here.
“I’m excited, now that I’ve seen the venue, for just the excitement. The three stages that I’ve seen so far — I think they’re going to be electric. The seating is so steep, it’s going to feel like the crowd is on top of the athletes and I think that makes for an incredible competition,” Fraser said.
Having the ground close and engaged to the fans elevates the energy in the venue, and makes fans feel closer to the experience.
Former CompTrain Athletes Move to HWPO. Smart Switch?
With the close of the season, athletes are reevaluating not only their training but where they’re training. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Brian Friend to discuss the recent news of three notable athletes changing camps, if these moves were the right ones and what we can expect to see with other athletes making their own moves.
Dubai CrossFit Championship Going Big for 10th Anniversary
For the last nine years the Dubai CrossFit Championship has been a staple of the competitive crossfit season. Whether as an exhibition of fitness in its early years, to a CrossFit Games qualifier during the Sanctional era to it becoming one of the premiere offseason competitions that it is today. So for their landmark 10th anniversary, the organizers are pulling out all the stops to make this year’s iteration set for December 2-4 in the United Arab Emirates their best one yet.
The online qualifiers:
The online qualifiers start today with the release of the first of three workouts. A workout will be released each week of the three-week long qualifying process. Registration will remain open on Competition Corner till September 27th when all scores are due by 5pm Gulf Standard Time on the 27th,
What makes the qualifiers unique is that “rolling qualifier” format which allows registrants up until the registration deadline to do the three qualifier workouts, instead of submitting a workout weekly. This is to accommodate athletes who are competing at competitions as well as other online qualifiers that have stricter deadlines.
Mat Fraser, the Djukic Brothers and Other Athletes Catch up at Madrid Championship Check-In
The first major event of the CrossFit Games off-season, the Madrid Championship, takes place September 9-11 at the Caja Magica, in Madrid Spain. The competition will feature a deep roster of elite men, women, and teams, as well as age group, scaled, and intermediate divisions. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil is boots on the group and gives us a preview of the athlete check-in catching up with folks like Mat Fraser, the Djukic brothers and more… Make sure to check back at the end of competition each day for our daily recaps of the most important moments.
Wodapalooza Makes Splash With Format Change: “We did some soul searching”
The 2023 Wodapalooza Fitness Festival made a big announcement this week about a format change. Elite athletes will compete for two days, Thursday, January 12, and Friday, January 13, then Elite Teams will compete on Saturday, January 14, and Sunday, January 15.
The details: This is the first format change for WZA in several years (the last being a shift from teams of four back to teams of three).
While the Elite divisions will be split into two-day competitions, all other divisions will still compete across the weekend, starting Friday and concluding on Sunday.
Why this matters: This new format will allow Elite individuals to compete in the individual division first and then in the Team division at the same event.
On one hand, limiting the individual competition to two days can make competing at WZA more enticing for athletes who want the opportunity to test themselves against a stellar field and potentially earn prize money, without beating themselves into oblivion over the course of a four-day event.
On the other hand, for athletes who want the opportunity to earn more money in the off-season, this format gives them a chance to double-dip and earn money as both an individual and a team athlete in the same week.
Tia-Clair Toomey Reveals She Almost Pulled out of CrossFit Games Due to Back Injury
Though it might have seemed to the greater CrossFit community that Tia-Clair Toomey just had a slow start at the recent 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games, finding herself without the leader’s jersey after Day 1, what we didn’t know was that Toomey was lucky just to be there at all.
The details: Two weeks prior to the Games, she and her husband and coach Shane Orr, weren’t sure whether Toomey would compete in Madison, WI due to a back injury, Toomey revealed on YouTube on Wednesday.
“Leading into the Games I actually had a really bad back injury, and so it has really been just about about managing that, and not to go into too much depth about it, but it was giving me quite a lot of feedback and it was affecting my training in the lead up to the Games,” Toomey said.
“It was a huge relief to be able to actually compete and get through the Games,” she added.
Since winning her sixth Games last month, Toomey said she took an entire month off training and is only now getting back into the gym, albeit slowly. She won’t be picking up a barbell for a while still, she explained, and will ensure her back is “in full form” before she does. Instead, right now Toomey said she is focusing on low impact movements and just “getting the body moving” again.
Worth Noting: To our knowledge, this is the first injury the six-time Fittest Woman on Earth has ever revealed publicly since the start of her Games career in 2015.
The Big Picture: While it still isn’t clear whether or not Toomey will compete again as an individual this year, or whether she’ll retire, Toomey is hoping to rehabilitate her back in time to compete at the Down Under Championship this November in Wollongong, Australia in the team division with Brooke Wells and fellow Australian Ellie Turner, which she said will be a “great competition to get the body back on the competition floor.”
So, at least for now, Toomey will continue to keep the world guessing as to whether she will return next season to defend her title for the seventh time, although she did say on Wednesday that she’s looking forward to getting her body ready for “possibly next season.”
Matilde Garnes’ Workout of the Week
Today’s workout is programmed by 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games rookie Matilde Garnes. The 26-year old Norwegian placed 19th in her Games debut with five top-10 finishes. It was a banner year for the former team athlete who saw her individual competition aspirations pay-off after coming close in 2021. She placed 11th in the Open, 7th in the Europe Quarterfinals and finally fourth at the Lowlands Throwdown Semifinal to punch her ticket to Madison, WI.
For time: 30 Cal BikeErg 15 Ring Muscle-ups Handstand Walk up Ramp 24 Cal BikeErg 12 Ring Muscle-ups Handstand Walk up Ramp 18 Cal BikeErg 9 Ring Muscle-ups Handstand Walk up Ramp 12 Cal BikeErg 6 Ring Muscle-ups Handstand Walk up Ramp 6 Cal BikeErg 3 Ring Muscle-ups Handstand Walk up Ramp
Time Cap: 20 minutes
Ring muscle-ups – chest-to-bars or jumping pull-ups
Handstand walk ramp – 15 meter handstand walk or 5 wall walks
Some advice from Matilde: “Big sets on the ring muscle-ups, but never to failure. Recover the upper body on the BikeErg. Fast transitions.”
To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.
Warm Up for Your One Rep Max Clean
When it’s 1RM day, you can see a lot of different approaches to getting that heavy lift. Some go heavy out the gates while some hit a bunch of lighter reps to surprise the barbell. Now a study has been conducted to determine the best way to get warm for a 1RM clean.
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The Glute Medius is an important part of the hip joint. Strengthening them helps reduce pain in the IT band and lower back, which are common trouble spots among athletes. Here are five exercises to strengthen and rehab your glutes so they are firing on all cylinders.
A Free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and Extra Month's Membership
WHOOP measures your body's data over 100 times a second to provide personalized feedback on your recovery, strain, and sleep. Morning Chalk Up readers can get a free strap and an extra month's membership when you sign up at the link below.
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