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Mat Fraser Talks Programming the CanWest Games

Morning Chalk Up

July 21   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games are now 13 days away, and we will have you covered for everything and anything you need to know.

In today’s edition:

  • Mat Fraser discusses programming the CanWest Games
  • Diving into the backfill issues for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games
  • Kara Saunders will donate sales from her jersey to her fellow Australians
  • The Bottom Line breaks down the women’s division for the Games
  • NOBULL drops six more athlete jerseys
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“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.” - Confucius

  Mat Fraser Talks Programming First Full Competition: “Everything came out perfectly, it was so much fun”  

Mat Fraser Talks Programming First Full Competition: “Everything came out perfectly, it was so much fun”

CanWest Games organizer Mike McLean thought he might be throwing a Hail Mary when he reached out to five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser last fall to see if Fraser and his company HWPO would program the CanWest Games.

To McLean’s surprise, HWPO’s CEO Matt O’Keefe responded to the email almost immediately—at 11 PM no less—and before McLean knew it, the five-time champ had agreed to program all 35 divisions at the 725-athlete competition that was held last weekend just outside of Vancouver in British Columbia.

Fraser’s reason for taking on a relatively small, yet re-emerging event in British Columbia was simple: “It was such a great opportunity to program a full three day competition,” Fraser told the Morning Chalk Up in an exclusive interview at the CanWest Games on Sunday.

A great opportunity and a learning experience for Fraser, as it was his first time programming a full competition that included various divisions.

  • “It’s such a process. It’s a lot more involved than I expected, because it’s not just, ‘Alright, here are the tests that we want.’ It’s what equipment is available? What stages are available? How many competitors? How is it scalable?”

When asked if the experience gave him more of an appreciation for what programming the CrossFit Games must he like, Fraser said that he has “always had an appreciation for people that program competitions, because, and I have always said this, there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes. There are so many moving parts. There are so many different things, the different divisions, the stages, the timing,” he said.

  • “When you see a competition and something doesn’t go on schedule, I have always looked at it like, “Oh, I wonder what’s going on that we don’t know about?’…I want to know what chaos is going on behind the scenes,” Fraser added.

While the logistics of programming a three-day competition might cause some to shy away from the task, it’s a challenge Fraser wants more of.

In fact, programming more competitions in the CrossFit space is one of his companies’ goals, Fraser explained, and ultimately they used CanWest Games as “the test run” for the future—a test run Fraser couldn’t have been happier with.

  • “Everything came out perfectly (at the CanWest Games),” Fraser said. “It was so much fun. The amount of positive feedback we have been getting from the athletes has been very encouraging.”

Next up for Fraser is the Madrid Championship in Spain in September, a competition with 2,400 athletes and a €170,000 prize purse—including €30,000 for the individual winners—where Fraser and his HWPO team will be taking on all of the programming.

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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Brian Friend and Patrick Clark about the power rankings for the men for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

And another: PODIUM nutrition has signed another big name athlete, this time its Ellie Turner.

Unboxing: Nike’s Metcon 8 is here and this reaction is priceless. 🤫

More protein!: Everyone’s favorite Canadian male CrossFit competitor Brent Fikowski (along with Patrick Vellner, of course) just did a day in the life, and man does this guy drink a lot of protein shakes. Is Jeffrey Adler next?

Just watch: Denis Samsonov has signed with LSKD, and this video speaks for itself.

  Backfill Issues Undercut CrossFit’s Attempts at Consistency  


Backfill Issues Undercut CrossFit’s Attempts at Consistency

On a recent episode of the CrossFit Games podcast Justin Bergh explained how important it was for the Games team to provide as even a playing field as possible for backfill opportunities in the case of failed drug tests regardless of which week an individual or team competed. We covered a few of the highlights from that podcast.

  • His explanation concluded with the proclamation that “we have to at least make an effort to let those teams go to the CrossFit Games.”
  • As of this writing, there are three bizarre cases on the team side of things, and two outstanding strange circumstances for an individual male athlete.

The Case of CrossFit Nordic Original (Europe–6th place Strength in Depth)

If you are unfamiliar with the saga surrounding this team from earlier in the season, catch up now. Despite those complications to their season, they did show up and compete at Strength in Depth where they finished sixth, missing the Games by one spot.

  • On July 7, Mike Catris, member of CrossFit Aylesbury Team Tap, posted on his instagram account that he had failed a drug test and was going through with the appeals process.

  • It is unusual for the appeals process to alter the result of the original test (this is explained by Kurtis Bowler and Justin Bergh on the aforementioned CrossFit Games podcast). Being somewhat aware of this, CrossFit Nordic Original reached out to CrossFit at least twice before receiving a response.

Continue Reading...
  Kara Saunders to Split NOBULL Jersey Revenue with Aussie Athletes  

Kara Saunders to Split NOBULL Jersey Revenue with Aussie Athletes

Ten-time CrossFit Games athlete Kara Saunders announced today on Instagram her intention to split any revenue from the sale of her NOBULL CrossFit Games jersey with Aussie individual athletes who do not have a replica jersey.

One big thing: Only athletes with jerseys get a part of the payout, meaning that just 21 out of 80 are eligible.

  • NOBULL originally launched replica jerseys for 14 individual Games athletes, one masters athlete and two teams.
  • Nearly all jerseys sold out within 24 hours with only a handful of sizes and colors still available.
  • Twenty dollars from each sale both online and at their pop-up store in Madison will go toward that athlete or team.
  • NOBULL added six more athlete replica jerseys after the results of a public survey allowing fans to vote for their favorite athletes, bringing the total to 21 athletes out of 80 total.
  • In the second wave were Kara Saunders, Dani Speegle, Amanda Barnhart, BK Gudmundsson, Travis Mayer and Willy Georges.

What Kara’s saying: “I’m really excited that I’ve been chosen to have a replica Games jersey for my friends, family and fans to rep me at the tenth Games. I felt worth all along even if some didn’t.”

  • “In saying that, it wouldn’t feel right for me to accept that money knowing others have missed out. I will be splitting the money between all of my Aussie individual athletes who didn’t get a jersey too.”
  • “I know this is about so much more than money but the Aussies pay a small fortune to be at the CrossFit Games and they’re worthy of some kind of support.”
  • “If you have the means and choose to purchase one of these, please know I’ll be sharing it with them (even if I only sell one jersey.”

The big picture: Athletes have few earning opportunities outside of the CrossFit Games prize purse but several brands are working to find new ways to expand earnings.

  • Reebok brought back their bonus program for the second year, awarding $12,000 to any individual athlete or team who wins an event wearing select Reebok footwear. The bonus program paid out more than $400,000 to athletes last year.
  • NOBULL’s replica jersey program, launched this season, has the potential to pay out significant sums if sales remain hot. An individual athlete would make $20,000 if 1,000 copies of their replica jersey were sold.

Go deeper:NOBULL’s CMO Todd Meleney discusses the new program on The Bottom Line.

  Kara Saunders to Split NOBULL Jersey Revenue with Aussie Athletes  

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  NOBULL Announces Six Additional Athlete Jerseys  

NOBULL Announces Six Additional Athlete Jerseys

NOBULL has announced the six additional athletes that they will produce replica 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games replica jerseys for: Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson, Travis Mayer, Willy Georges, Kara Saunders, Dani Speegle and Amanda Barnhart will all have their jerseys available to purchase based on the community response to NOBULL’s online jersey request form.

Remind me: Last week NOBULL made the news when they announced that they would compensate athletes who they produced replica jerseys of at the tune of $20 per jersey sold. The initial batch of Games athletes they made jerseys available for purchase on their online store were seven NOBULL athletes and eight non-NOBULL athletes. The goal of the program was to provide athletes additional revenue sources with this potentially becoming very lucrative for athletes.

Continue Reading...


The Best Air Bikes, From Someone Who’s Suffered On Them All

Okay, so choosing the best air bike is like picking the best country music workout playlist—there simply isn’t one. However, despite its unseemly reputation, there is no denying that air bikes provide an awesome full-body cardio workout. Find out which one is the best from a Air Bike guru.




The AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece

Have you tried the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece yet? While we cannot guarantee it'll take you to the Games, if it's good enough for athletes like Rich Froning, Danielle Brandon, Dallin Pepper, and's good enough for us. Try it in your next WOD to breathe like a champ.



Are Macro Splits Important?

What is a macro split? It's simply a way of describing the relative amounts of the macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fats in your diet. Learn what macro splits are, why they’re so common, and if they’re of any use for helping you with your physique goals in this video.



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.



Five Top Mobility Exercises for CrossFitters

What do overhead squats, muscle-ups, toes to bar, and getting up from a chair have in common? A lack of mobility means CrossFitters struggle with them. Here are five of the top mobility drills to increase your range of motion and have fewer groans.⁠


Share Your CrossFit Story


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

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Rich Froning.
  • 💍 Congratulations to Alec Smith and Riley Hedstrom on their engagement.
  • Taylor Williamson from CrossFit Mayhem Freedom reps out four reps of heavy back squats at 305 pounds/138kg.
  • Orlan Estorach from CrossFit Hyeres in Hyeres, France left us speechless with this body control.
  • 🤯 Meanwhile, at CrossFit Torian in Queensland, Royce Dunne stands up a back squat at 474 pounds/215kg.
  • Underdogs Athletics’ Alex Gazan carries three wheels on her back with this 320 pound/145kg back squat PR.
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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)
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3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
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