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Mat Fraser’s Journey from Athlete to Coach and Teacher 

Morning Chalk Up

November 2   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Who missed the 2022 Rogue Invitational and why?
  • Mat Fraser’s journey from legendary athlete to coach and teacher
  • CanFit Productions addresses “outstanding payments” in public letter
  • Snorri Baron talks how managers can make their CrossFit athletes better: “It’s not that long ago that the sport just didn’t recognize agents.”
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  Who Was Missing From the 2022 Rogue Invitational?  

Who Was Missing From the 2022 Rogue Invitational?

The 2022 Rogue Invitational featured 24 of the top 30 fittest men and women on earth. These 24 athletes competed in a brutal, ten event competition just a couple of months after finishing their CrossFit Games season.

Today we’ll dive into which of these top athletes were missing, and speculate as to why they may have decided to pass on this year’s Rogue Invitational, or why it was a good, in retrospect.

Who was missing? Of the top 15 finishers at the 2022 CrossFit Games, 5 women and 1 man were missing from the 2022 Rogue Invitational athlete roster.

  • Tia-Clair Toomey: 1st place in women’s division
  • Mallory O’Brien: 2nd place in women’s division
  • Brooke Wells: 5th place in women’s division
  • Haley Adams: 9th place in women’s division
  • Kristi Eramo O’Connell: 13th place in women’s division
  • Guilherme Malheiros: 10th place in men’s division

The competition is over and there’s no reason to play the “what-if” game, as it would take away from the athletes who did show up and compete in the ten greuling events. The real question is, why did some of these athletes opt out?

All we can do is speculate based on the information we have, but looking at the big picture it’s important to build context in the scope of a competitive season that now only features two and half months off between major events.

Why’d they pass? Here’s our best guess as to why some of these elite athletes opted out and whether or not it was a smart choice for their 2023 success.

  • Tia-Clair Toomey: Coming off a back injury and looking to return for her seventh consecutive title, it looks like Tia and her team made the wise decision in opting out.   With forty percent of the programming featuring “heavy” loading, and nine of the ten events including an external load, the risk may not have been worth the reward if Tia’s main goal for 2023 is another CrossFit crown.
  • Mallory O’Brien: The young phenom was 113 points back from the top spot this year, showing incredible consistency with such a deep field and diversity of programming at the 2022 CrossFit Games. Three of O’Briens worst finishes were heavier events, with another one of her worst finishes being a strict deficit wall facing handstand push-up workout. Since there were only 81 days between the conclusion of the CrossFit Games and this year’s Rogue Invitational, there has not been enough time for O’Brien to recover and improve these weaknesses. It would have been counterproductive for her 2023 campaign to take time away from her offseason training to compete in an event that featured events she already knows she has to improve.
  • Brooke Wells: It’s been just over a year since Wells suffered a major elbow injury at the 2021 CrossFit Games. It’s easy to forget, being that she was able to rehab and make her way back the following season, finishing in 5th place for the second time in her career. Looking at the programming, the wooden bar muscle ups, legless rope climbs, ring muscle ups, and high volume of shoulder-to-overhead would have been a lot for that elbow.
  • Haley Adams: Strength has always been the fitness skill holding Adams back from taking the next step at the CrossFit Games. The events at Rogue tested and showcased the strength of the athletes, but did not develop it. For Adams, allowing herself extra time this offseason to skip Rogue and focus on training was a good move if her ultimate goal is to showcase her progress in August.
  • Kristi Eramo O’Connell: Following the 2022 CrossFit Games and just 6 weeks of training, Kristi Eramo O’Connell ran a marathon in 3 hours and 4 minutes. There’s no doubt that she would have crushed the trail run event, but in a recent YouTube video, O’Connell explained that she originally agreed to compete at Rogue, but backed out after realizing she wasn’t ready. After six weeks of focused endurance training, it sounds like she made the smart decision as Rogue was a strength biased event, featuring high volume, and very heavy implements.
  • Guilherme Malheiros: Known for his freakish strength and power, it would have been fun for the fans to watch Gui attack some of these heavy and fast workouts. Most of these events favored his strengths, so it may not have been productive towards his development if his ultimate goal is to contend for the top spot at the 2023 CrossFit Games.

The bottom line: Most of these athletes take two to four weeks off after the CrossFit Games, to allow their body to recover after an insane few months of training and competing. This gives them 6-8 weeks to get back into training and start ramping up for a big competition like the Rogue Invitational.

Athletes have to do what’s best for their career in the sport of fitness, which sometimes means taking a step back to take two steps forward. With some of the biggest names in the sport being absent, it will be very exciting to see what sort of progress they’ve made when we do have a chance to see them back on the competition floor.

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Rogue reactions: What did the athletes who competed at the 2022 Rogue Invitational think of their performances? We’re glad you asked as Morning Chalk Up has complied a list of the top names and their ruminations on what was a crazy weekend of competition. 🤩

Tune in Friday: This week on Coffee Break Conversations, a weekly live YouTube interview with an industry expert hosted by Morning Chalk Up’s Preslie Hirsch, we’ll be joined by Aimee Anaya Everett. As the coach of HWPO’s newest program addition, HWPO LIFT, we’ll be chatting about helping athletes with the right cues to improve, working weightlifting-specific work into CrossFit, and more.

Retirement announcement: Tim Paulson has announced that 2023 will be his last year competing as an individual athlete.

Podium signing: Jeffrey Adler, who came third at Rogue, has partnered with training app btwb.

Fran everyday?: A new study has found that even two minutes of exercise a day can decrease a person’s risk for heart disease and cancer.

Teaming up with the boys: Yesterday TYR Wodapalooza confirmed that Noah Olsen, Travis Mayer and Chandler Smith will run it back in January 2023 as an elite team, and Olsen, Smith and Saxon Panchik will compete together at the Down Under Championship later this month.

  Mat Fraser: Legendary Athlete to CrossFit Coach and Teacher Extraordinaire  


Mat Fraser: Legendary Athlete to CrossFit Coach and Teacher Extraordinaire

Every sport has its champions, its legends, whose presence or nod, cue, eye contact, et cetera can completely change the way you move.

Mat Fraser is a CrossFit legend, and nowhere is it more obvious than during the HWPO Training workshops he’s hosting at competitions around the world.

As a young athlete in any sport, one of the first lessons you learn is if you want to get better, spend time with better athletes. You’ll learn something.

At the HWPO Training workshop at the Filthy 150 in Dundalk, Ireland, just 45-minutes north of Dublin, local athletes were led in a workout by the five-time Fittest Man on Earth. It was an AMRAP of jumping squats, shuttle runs and burpees. Simple enough, but not without lessons to learn.

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  CanWest Games Athletes No Closer to Getting Paid as CanFit Productions Releases Public Letter  

CanWest Games Athletes No Closer to Getting Paid as CanFit Productions Releases Public Letter

On October 28, CanFit Productions, the company that hosts the CanWest Games in Vancouver, British Columbia sent out a public letter to the community announcing a new competition they’re going to be hosting: The YVR Winter Classic, slated for February 2023.

They also went on to address “the issue of outstanding payments” to CanWest Games 2022 elite athletes, suggesting in the letter that the TVR Winter Classic is hoping to raise revenue to pay the CanWest athletes, who have still not been awarded their prize purse winnings for the event that took place in July.

“Our plan to honor the prize purse commitments we made to athletes is to continue to operate events, improve the financial performance so that we generate proceeds from these events, and allocate these proceeds towards our obligations,” the letter stated.

Remind me: The CanWest Games, which was won by CrossFit Games athlete Chandler Smith and up-and-coming star Anikha Greer, promised a CA$15,000 cash prize to the winners, and a total prize purse of $105,500.

  • Athletes were originally told they would receive their prize winnings four to six weeks after the event, but when the event failed to raise enough revenue, and according to organizer Mike McClean “lost money,” the payout timeline was bumped.
  • On August 29, he told athletes they would be paid “as a percentage of your total amount” over the course of three payments slated to be paid on September 30, October 31 and November 30.
  • In late September, CanFit Productions hosted the CanEast Games in Ontario, the assumption being they would use the revenue generated from that event to honor the CanWest prize purse.
  • No dice. On October 1, athletes received an email from McClean saying his team was unable to “fulfill the CanWest Games prize payout schedule I had communicated on August 30.”
  • In that same email, McClean promised athletes an update by October 31, which came in the form of the public letter on October 28, a letter that told athletes nothing in terms of when they can expect payment.

The big picture: CanWest athletes don’t seem to be any closer to receiving their prize purse, as CanFit Productions pushes on hosting the YVR Winter Classic in hopes of becoming profitable enough to honor their commitments.

  • “We have already identified many areas of improvement, both operationally and financially, that we will be implementing so that our 2023 events are successful and profitable,” the letter stated.
  • It ended by saying: “If you’re one of the many who we have had a positive impact on over the past year, we appreciate your support…If you’ve had a less than positive experience, thank you for your patience and support. Please understand that we’re continuing to get better, and we hope that you do come back to improve on that experience.”
  What Role Can Agents Play in an Athlete’s Success?  

What Role Can Agents Play in an Athlete’s Success?

As the sport of CrossFit continues to evolve and professionalize, the offers, opportunities and earning potential for competitors rises with it. If your bread and butter is fast exercise, how are you supposed to know how to navigate contracts and deliverables with major brand partners? That’s where an agent comes in — a role that many are just becoming familiar with lately.

“It’s not that long ago that the sport just didn’t recognize agents. We just had to work on the outside and work in the dark,” said Snorri Baron, founder of Bakland Management. “But CrossFit really paid us a lot of respect at the last Games.”

With an extensive background in advertising, Baron began working in the functional fitness industry when he was seeking a career change that leveraged his knowledge of business and people.

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These Scaling Options for Common Ab Exercises

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

  • 🎂 Happy belated birthday to Georgana Novinger from CrossFit Pistol Creek in Maryville, TN.
  • 🎉 Happy 1-year affiliate anniversary to The Shed (CrossFit Selwyn) in Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Congratulations to Semifinal athlete Jessi Smith on the snatch PR.
  • Not CrossFit, Still Cool: USA swimmer Katie Ledecky set a new short course meter world record in the 1500M freestyle this past weekend with her time of 15:08.24.
  • 🎃 Here are some of the best Halloween costumes we saw from Monday:
12/9 - 12/10: Space Coast Classic (West Melbourne, FL)
12/9: Wodamania (Singer Island Riviera Beach, FL)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)

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