Read the latest Morning Chalk Up articles on BarBend
Your Coffee is ready.

Mat Fraser Talks Programming Madrid Championship

Morning Chalk Up

September 9   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • HWPO lands Katrin Davidsdottir, Amanda Barnhart and Sam Kwant
  • Mat Fraser on programming Madrid Championship: “I think several of them have the potential to be nail biters.”
  • Breaking down the CompTrain athletes moving to HWPO
  • Dubai set to go big for its 10th edition as part of the offseason triple crown
  • The Madrid athletes check in for this weekend’s competition in Spain
  • Wodapalooza makes some big changes
  • Did a back injury almost keep Tia-Clair Toomey out of the CrossFit Games?
QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Beware the fury of a patient man.” - John Dryden

  Katrin Davidsdottir, Amanda Barnhart and Sam Kwant Join HWPO  

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.
  • Kwant left Boston in March of 2022 after a flare-up of a chronic illness kept him from qualifying for the Games in 2021.
  • Barnhart was the most recent athlete to move, citing a desire to return to her home state of Ohio with her husband and be closer to family.
  • Lost in the departure announcements was longtime CompTrain coach Harry Palley who stepped away from coaching athletes for CompTrain last October. Among the athletes Palley coached were Kwant and Barnhart.
  • 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.

SPONSORED spacerLogo
The Mobility Tools Elite Competitors are Using at The Madrid Championships

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.

Train like the best and use code “MCU15” for 15% off your purchase of all our tools.


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  


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.

Continue Reading...
  Mat Fraser Discusses Programming for Madrid Championship  

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.

Watch Now...
  Dubai CrossFit Championship Going Big for 10th Anniversary  

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.

Continue Reading...
  Dubai CrossFit Championship Going Big for 10th Anniversary  

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.

Watch Now...
  Wodapalooza Makes Splash With Format Change: “We did some soul searching”  

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  

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  

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.

  • Matilde Garnes

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

Scaling Options:

  • 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.




Get Back in the Game with 20% Off FITAID Energy

To celebrate the start of football season, FITAID is bringing you game-changing savings. If you have trouble staying awake for the game after a tough WOD like we do, you'll want to stock your fridge with FITAID Energy. With 200mg of clean caffeine, you can energize just like the pros. Save 20% off FITAID Energy today.



Five Exercises to Rehab Your Gluteus Medius

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.



What is Macro Tracking and Is It Right For You?

If you’re entering the fitness world, you’ve probably heard of macros. But, have you wondered- what exactly are they? And why should I be using them? We can help with that.

JOB BOARD Jobs from Gym Jobs

Kenesis Fitness & Performance | Personal Trainer - Array

CrossFit West Boca | Head Coach - Array

CrossFit Pine Creek | CrossFit Coach - Mid Day Classes - Array

Hill Country MVMT | Part-Time Coach - Array

CrossFit 781 | Evening CrossFit Coach - Array

Blue River CrossFit | CrossFit Coach - Array

Trident Athletics | CrossFit Coach Wanted for Expanding Team! - Array

Crossfit South Surrey | Crossfit level 1 - Array

Arrival Fitness | General Manager - Array

3Q Fitness | CrossFit Coach - Array

Southern Fitness and Martial Arts Centre | Fitness Centre Manager - Array

Evansville CrossFit | CrossFit Coach - Array

District H Strength & Fitness | Full-Time Coach - Array

Quantum Fitness | Group Fitness Coach/Nutritionist - Array

Move. Lift. Live. | Personal and Group Fitness Mentor - Array

OP CrossFit | CrossFit Coach and Personal Trainer - Array

Power Plant CrossFit | Group Fitness Coach - Array

Find A Job   |  Post Your Resume


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

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Heber CannonGuido Trinidad, and Jared Enderton.
  • 💕 Happy anniversary to Morning Chalk Up’s own Eric Sherred and his wife Erica.
  • 🇿🇦 Happy affiliate anniversary to CrossFit Redshack, Pack Life CrossFitCrossFit Alberton 2.0, and CrossFit Commit Okavango— all in South Africa.
  • Congratulations Tanner Pinnell from CrossFit On Track in Olathe, KS on the 275 pound/125kg snatch.
  • Cassandra Moorad (wife of Games athlete Will Moorad) has officially completed her final cancer treatment.
    • From Cass’ post: “Just over a year ago I heard the words ‘You have cancer.’ It feels pretty surreal to have actually completed my treatment plan.”
  • Mayhem Freedom’s Andrea Nisler deadlifts 390 pounds/177kg for two reps.
  • Christine Middleton of CrossFit Milford in Milford, CT overhead squats 200 pounds/91kg for three reps.
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)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Masiphumelele (Kommetjie, Cape Town, South Africa)
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)
4/20: Embrace the Challenge (Mentor, Ohio)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)

See all upcoming events

Your Coffee is ready.