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Mat Fraser to Headline CanWest Games

Morning Chalk Up

July 15   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Mat Fraser and Chandler Smith to headline CanWest Games which starts today
  • How did Italy’s CrossFit scene make it through Covid?
  • RP becomes nutrition coaching platform for 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games
  • CrossFit athletes will get a cut of their NOBULL jersey sales
  • The Bottom Line talks to NOBULL about jersey move, and Brian Friend breaks down the implications
  • Paige Semenza’s Workout of the Week
  • Reebok’s bonus program is back
QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Happiness grows at our own firesides, and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens.” - Douglas William Jerrold

  Mat Fraser, CrossFit Games Stars on Hand at the CanWest Games this Weekend  

Mat Fraser, CrossFit Games Stars on Hand at the CanWest Games this Weekend

After a two-year hiatus due to the global pandemic, the CanWest Games just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia are back this weekend with new owners and five-time Fittest Man on Earth Mat Fraser, who programmed the event that features a roster of big name athletes.

Remind me: The CanWest Games were slated to be a Sanctional in the lead up to the 2020 CrossFit Games, but were canceled due to the pandemic both in 2020, and then again 2021.

  • Things were looking bleak that the event would ever return, but CrossFit enthusiast Mike McLean was determined to keep it going, so he, along with EJ Dockery and Ben Siepermann acquired the rights from the former owners to use the name for their event.
  • What happened next, however, was an unfortunate series of events for McLean, as disgruntled athletes who had paid their registration fee in 2020 but never got to compete, took to social media demanding refunds that McLean wasn’t able to give, as he simply took over the name, but wasn’t given access to any past registration details, financial records or cash.
  • McLean could have thrown in the towel because of the misguided heat that was slung at him, but he did just the opposite. He committed himself to making the new CanWest Games bigger and better than ever.

The CanWest Games 2022 Details: This year’s CanWest Games, which runs this Friday to Sunday, at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam, British Columbia features 32 divisions—including 24 elite men and women, as well as Rx, scaled, male-female pairs and various masters divisions—with a total of 725 competitors slated to compete.

  • The big names on the men’s elite side include Games athletes Chandler Smith, Alec Smith and Elijah Muhammad, as well as up-and-comers Jack Farlow and James Sprague, while the women’s side features Semifinals athletes Alison Scudds, Jessi Smith and Karisa Strapp, and up-and-coming fan favorite Anikha Greer.

Worth noting: Spectators will have the chance to sign up for various movement seminars throughout the weekend, including Olympic lifting seminars, where HWPO coaches, and Mat Fraser himself, will be on hand to offer tips.

  • Other educational seminars open to the public include rowing clinics with Olympic gold medal rower Lisa Roman, gymnastics clinics with highly touted coach Louise Eberts, nutrition seminars with Tactic Nutrition owner and Games athlete Meredith Root, as well as nervous system and mobility clinics.

Hard Work Pays Off, Indeed: McLean explained that landing Fraser and his company HWPO at his event came down to believing in the event even when others didn’t, and being willing to work his ass off every step of the way.

  • Part of it is me being a dreamer. I was watching a Morning Chalk Up show and it was breaking down the Rogue Invitational and I turned to my wife and said, ‘I wonder if we could get Mat to program our event…So I contacted Matt O’Keefe at 8 p.m. pacific time, and he got back to me right away saying, ‘That sounds like a great idea,’” McLean said, adding, “they have been amazing to deal with.”
  • The same was true of bringing on elite athletes who just missed qualifying to the Games this season. “I started reaching out to athletes in April, but I knew (a lot of them) wouldn’t be able to commit until after Semifinals, and it’s a delicate process, but I did a lot of legwork building relationships with managers and agents and it paid off,” McLean said.

The big picture: Considering where McLean was just eight months ago—dealing with an angry sea of CrossFit athletes as he tried to resurrect a dead event—he couldn’t be more excited with what he has lined up in British Columbia this weekend.

  • When we first sat down, we carved this vision for this to be a world class event in Vancouver, and I don’t think sponsors I approached or people in the industry necessarily believed me. So it was a huge challenge getting support, and the early controversy made it even harder, but we have slowly been gaining interest and support from the community again, and that has been one of the more rewarding aspects,” he said.
  • He continued: “We have heard from so many gyms lately who say the energy in their gym is so palpable right now. They have all this excitement about our event, which has been great.”

“Our goal is to make the CanWest Games like the Wodapalooza of the pacific northwest.”

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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to James Townsend and Greg Lanctot about what they think it will take to dethrone Tia-Clair Toomey at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

PED update: Another round of athletes have been to be confirmed to have positive tests for banned substances by CrossFit, this time at Copa Sur in Brazil.

Hot doc drop: Chandler Smith, profiled by The Buttery Bros, what more do you need to know?

Multiple questions: We think HWPO may have stolen our 22 questions thing, but hey, we’re totally cool with it, and watching Mat Fraser and Rob Kearney bro it out is pretty awesome. 🔥

  How Italy’s CrossFit Scene Survived the Pandemic And is Now Bouncing Back Stronger  


How Italy’s CrossFit Scene Survived the Pandemic And is Now Bouncing Back Stronger

CrossFit affiliates in Italy had to weather the Covid-19 storm for longer and with more severe restrictions than most other countries, with no support from their government. But the community has bounced back and is now seeing a growth rate of five to 10 CrossFit affiliates per month, which is expected to continue.

“During Covid, it was not perceived in the US as it was here. Here it was a freaking disaster, we were not supported by the government, people were scared,” said Matteo Pozzati, CrossFit Country Manager for Italy since 2017.

Italy was one of the first countries to experience a Covid-19 “lockdown”. As early as March 2020, the country went into a national lockdown until May. Following a second wave in September and October, some “red zones” were placed back under restrictions for November to January 2021.

“We struggled to keep affiliates open,” Pozzati said.

To make matters worse, gyms were “scapegoated”, said Pozzati. They were blamed for the spread of the virus. Pozzati tried to fight the PR fire by pointing out that CrossFit already had group size restrictions as it was all done in classes and that equipment was not shared.

Continue Reading...
  Elite CrossFit Athletes to Get Cut of NOBULL Jersey Sales  

Elite CrossFit Athletes to Get Cut of NOBULL Jersey Sales

In a move that has been widely applauded by the CrossFit Games community, title sponsor NOBULL announced on their Instagram account that they would be compensating athletes for their replica jersey sales. Athlete’s who have replica jerseys available for purchase on NOBULL’s website and at their onsite Retail Experience store at the Games will get compensated $20 for every jersey sale.

In an exclusive interview with on the Morning Chalk Up’s Bottom Line, NOBULL’s Chief Marketing Officer Todd Meleney stated “A key reason we partnered with the CrossFit Games is that we believe that the athletes are world class and supporting the athletes helps to professionalize the sport. Based on feedback from the PFAA, we worked with CrossFit to find additional avenues to compensate athletes. We were all excited about the unique opportunity to invest directly in athletes by connecting the sale of jerseys with compensation to the athletes themselves.”

Continue Reading...
  RP Strength Takes Over as Official Nutrition Coaching Platform of CrossFit Games  

RP Strength Takes Over as Official Nutrition Coaching Platform of CrossFit Games

CrossFit HQ and RP Strength have announced a significant change for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games. RP Strength will serve as the official nutrition coaching platform while helping athletes focus on eating, training, and recovering better.

One big thing: RP Strength (Renaissance Periodization) announced the news with a press release on July 15. This deal will cover multiple seasons, starting with 2022 as the company celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

  • RP Strength will have a physical presence at the CrossFit Games, and it should be one of the biggest due to its role as a partner-level sponsor.
  • The company will present its macronutrient-based approach to fitness and nutrition to the thousands of fans in attendance at Madison, as well as the hundreds of athletes preparing to compete.

What they’re saying: “This is a huge moment for RP and the CrossFit community. It has been a great transformation to see the CrossFit community not only focus on the quality of the foods that they are consuming over the years, but we can now be a focal point in how much of it they are consuming to better reach their health and fitness goals. We can’t wait to celebrate this exciting milestone at this year’s NOBULL CrossFit Games,” said Nick Shaw, co-founder and CEO of RP Strength.

  • Justin Bergh, GM of Sport at CrossFit: “All of the health and fitness benefits of CrossFit are built on the foundation of nutrition, so we are pleased to partner with RP Strength who shares our commitment to helping members improve their performance by dialing in their nutrition. RP is proven in the nutrition coaching space, and we look forward to our work together to highlight the importance of nutrition across our community.”

Why this matters: RP Strength already boasts a stacked list of partners, which includes top-tier CrossFit athletes. Rich Froning Jr., Annie Thorisdottir, Colleen Fotsch, Melody Schofeld, and Tim Paulson are the prominent names. The company has a presence in the CrossFit space, but this partnership opens up more opportunities to reach those with a desire to improve their overall health.

  • RP Strength also has partnerships with powerlifting World Champion Marisa Inda, world record-holding powerlifter John Haack, American Ninja Warrior Athlete Najee Richardson, and San Diego Padres player Brent Rooker among others.

Big moves: The addition of RP Strength is only the latest move ahead of the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games. HQ also previously revealed that O2 would become the “official recovery drink and hydration mix” for the CrossFit Games for at least the next two years.

  • Like RP Strength, O2 has a history of supporting the top CrossFit athletes and the community in general. Now this will continue in supersized form during the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games as the recovery drink company takes on a more prominent role during a packed weekend celebrating fitness.
  RP Strength Takes Over as Official Nutrition Coaching Platform of CrossFit Games  

Watch Now...
  RP Strength Takes Over as Official Nutrition Coaching Platform of CrossFit Games  

Watch Now...
  Paige Semenza’s Workout of the Week  

Paige Semenza’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by Games veteran Paige Semenza. The 30-year old former Ohio State University ice hockey player qualified for her fourth Games after finishing third at the Syndicate Crown Semifinal. Her semifinal performance was just a continuation of an impressive season for the Misfit athlete starting with her 58th finish in the Open and 9th place in the North American Quarterfinals (20th worldwide).

  • Paige Semenza
    For Time
    40-35-30-25-20-15 Cal Ski Erg
    20-20-20-20-20-20 Thrusters (95/65 LBs – 42.5/30 KGs)
    Time Cap: 25 minutes

Scaling Options:

  • Cal Ski Erg – Lower Cals to 30-25-20-15-10-5
  • Thrusters – Lower weight, use empty barbell or dumbbells (50/35 LBs or lower). Also lower reps to 15.

Some advice from Paige: “You can thank Misfit Athletics for this doozy. We did this during our Mock Games week and it did not disappoint! This workout is on the longer side, so your goal should be to find a sustainable pace on the ski and managing your thrusters and transitions accordingly. We talk a lot about Athlete IQ and learning something about ourselves through our training. So my advice, try something that puts you out of your comfort zone here. Write it down before the workout – maybe unbroken thrusters or thrusters or holding a 1000 cal/hr pace on the ski. Whatever it is, write it down, stick to it throughout the workout. Then afterwards, during your cool down, go back and reflect on it. Did I stick to my plan? What went well? What could’ve gone better? Then stick that information in your pocket for future use next time a similar workout pops up. Oh, and FYI, I could barely walk the stairs the next 2 days. Have fun!!”

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

  Paige Semenza’s Workout of the Week  

Watch Now...


Morning Chalk Up Guessing Games

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Kipping Pull Ups

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A Day of Games Prep for Noah Ohlsen

Want to know how CrossFit athletes prepare for the biggest day of their calendar? Well, there's no one better to learn from than soon-to-be nine-time Games competitor Noah Ohlsen. Check out his "deload" day as he caught up with the Buttery Bros.

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

  • 🎂 Happy birthday to ALL of this weekend’s birthdays—
  • Congratulations to Charlotte Sparacino from Babylon CrossFit in Babylon, NY on the 200 pound/91kg front squat PR.
  • Congratulations to Aron Parker from CrossFit Boynton Beach in Boynton Beach, FL on the 215 pound/98kg snatch PR.
  • Congratulations to Team Tria Paidon from Paidon CrossFit in Leon, Mexico on their first place finish in the Bajio Challenge competition.
  • Congratulations to Jacob Mason from Adapt and Conquer CrossFit in Grafton, WI on his ring muscle-up progress over the last year.
  • Congratulations Christelle Fox from Ocean State CrossFit in Cranston, RI on the 180 pound/82kg snatch PR.
9/29 - 10/1: MACC FEST (Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival) (West Friendship, MD)
9/29 - 9/30: Iron Anchor Throwdown (Batavia, OH)
9/29 - 10/1: 2023 Masters Fitness Championship (Fort Wayne, IN)
9/30 - 10/1: Sango Games 2023 (Clarksville, TN)
9/30: 15th Anniversary and Birthday Brawl (York, PA)
9/30: Barbell Brawl VIII (Kennett Square, PA)
9/30: No Weak Links: Cuff Links (Marcy, NY)
9/30 - 10/1: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Babes with Barbells (Huntington, WV)
10/7: KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
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10/7: 2023 KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
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10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Crash Crucible (Spartanburg, SC)
10/14: T-Town Throwdown (Toledo, OH)
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10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: Babes and Barbells (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/14: Scream & Clean III (Danbury, CT)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Belleville (Bellevile, Canada)
10/14: Best Babes West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
10/14: Best Babes Columbus GA (Columbus, GA)
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10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
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10/14: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
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10/14: Best Babes Massachusetts (Beverly, MA)
10/15: Kares CrossFit October Showdown (Georgetown, Guyana)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/21: Barbells For Bullies: Portland (Hillsboro, OR)
10/21: 401 Fall Throwdown (Smithfield, RI)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/27 - 10/28: Star City Fittest (Roanoke, VA)
10/28 - 10/29: The Ghostly Games (Fayetteville, GA)
10/28: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/3 - 11/4: Florida Grid League Championship (Orlando, FL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/4: Sunshine SmackDown (Bedford Hills, NY)
11/4: Witch City Throwdown (Salem, MA)
11/4: Barbell Babes Lorton (Lorton, VA)
11/11: Freakin’ Gauntlet (Pembroke Pines, FL)
11/11: The Meadowlands Classic (Carlstadt, NJ)
11/11: Barbell Massacre 8 (Dahlonega, GA)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/18: Best Babes Dallas (Dallas, TX)
11/18: Best Babes Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
11/18: Best Babes Iowa (Mason City, IA)
11/18: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Haven, UT)
11/18: Teams Of The Midway: 2 Person Teams (Cary, IL)
11/18: Friendsgiving (Ambler, PA)
11/18: Turkey Bash (Chatham, IL)

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