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Meet CrossFit Preacher Oskar Arngarden

Morning Chalk Up

January 18   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Our favorite photos from the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza
  • CrossFit preacher talks spreading the gospel of faith and fitness
  • Mat Fraser and Sammy Moniz give life updates in new interview
  • 2023 TYR Wodapalooza injuries and withdrawals list
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“The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

  Our Favorite Photos from the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza  

Our Favorite Photos from the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza

Miami’s showpiece event has kicked off the new year, and TYR Wodapalooza is in the books for another season. The competition was intense from individual to the teams, and we were right in the mix of it all.

Morning Chalk Up writer and photographer Ava Kitzi snapped some absolute gems over the weekend and we wanted to share our favorites with you, in no particular order, and as always, these photos tend to speak for themselves:

Roman Khrennikov (above) competed all four days in Miami and never showed a sign of exhaustion, even after double the volume and workload. He is constantly smiling, hugging his competitors, and celebrating, and this picture with the crowd in the back exemplifies that, we think. After so many years of being barred from the big competitions and the support of a live audience, watching Khrennikov take it in is an amazing sight.

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Why Challenge Coins?

Why Challenge Coins?

“Coin check!” Challenge coins are a centuries-old tradition still practiced today by military units and organizations around the world. Coins are awarded for exceptional performance- like, feats of ass-kickery in a test of strength.

A “coin check” is a challenge for someone to show their coin, and serves as a proof of a shared experience. Proof that you showed up and fought the fight.

For the gym owners out there: these coins are for you to reward your most dedicated members. Perhaps not the strongest or the fastest- but those who inspire us with a no-quit attitude no matter the odds.

And if you lose a coin check? Time for a round of O2! Good luck from Team O2!


In case you missed it: Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil had an absolutely legendary interview with Canadian PB&J’s Brent Fikowski, Jeffrey Adler and Patrick Vellner that is a must watch. 🇨🇦

They’re hiring: Mayhem Athlete is looking for a full-time Social Media Video Editor to assist in the production of short form video content across all social channels.

New coach: Roman Khrennikov is now being coached by Facundo Etchecolatz of Mayhem Athlete, as first reported by Brian Friend at BarBend.

Local love: Great story in The Dominion Post about CrossFit Morgantown launching a nonprofit as part of its third annual Giosi WOD.

  In WOD We Trust: Orthodox Priest Oskar Arngarden’s CrossFit Journey of Letting Go of Comparisons  


In WOD We Trust: Orthodox Priest Oskar Arngarden’s CrossFit Journey of Letting Go of Comparisons

Oskar Arngarden is not your typical orthodox priest and he’s attracting attention. The devout CrossFitter is using Instagram to spread a message of health and spirituality.

“In some countries, perhaps they are not used to seeing a priest working out or having tattoos. But I also hope people are interested in me because of my message about health, fitness and more spiritual messages too,” Arngarden, 39, said.

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  In WOD We Trust: Orthodox Priest Oskar Arngarden’s CrossFit Journey of Letting Go of Comparisons  

Mat Fraser and Sammy Moniz Discuss Life, Training and Big Plans for Growing HWPO

Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sat down with Mat Fraser and Sammy Moniz to catch up at TYR Wodapalooza. With recently bringing on new athletes this season, the three discussed the dynamic of the group, what it’s like to have a house full of people, and how their upcoming romantic getaway turned into a “family vacation.”

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  2023 TYR Wodapalooza Injuries and Withdrawals List  

2023 TYR Wodapalooza Injuries and Withdrawals List

The 2023 TYR Wodapalooza is over and the event was a huge success. However, we are only one month out from the 2023 Games season and athletes are playing it conservative (as they should). The Morning Chalk Up has compiled a list of withdrawals and reported injuries given we are less than a month away from the new season.

Remind me: TYR Wodapalooza was just a month out from the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open, so this may impede a few athletes’ ability to kick off the season on a good note.

The list:

  • Alec Smith and The Smith Bros team withdrew from the competition after three events citing a hip issue with Alec. They did start the weekend looking strong with a second place finish in Event 1.
  • Sam Cournoyer, a member of Team CrossFit Mayhem injured his bicep in the first event of the weekend. He shared an update on his Instagram that he has a grade 1 brachialis tear and is beginning rehab exercises. The team pulled out altogether and didn’t compete over the weekend.
  • Emily Rolfe had to withdraw from the team portion of the competition after a calf tear during the individual swim event. She finished out the individual events and ended up in ninth place overall. Rolfe was replaced by Victoria Campos on Team Spacers Angels, with Sara Sigmundsdottir and Katelin Van Zyl.
  • Danielle Brandon and Taylor Williamson both withdrew from Team P10 Performance before the event started, leaving the remaining teammate, Andrew Nisler, with replacements Sydney Michalyshen and Tori Dyson.
  • Chiara Silva, a teen athlete hurt her hip while warming up, but finished the competition in seventh place.
  • Scott Panchik and Saxon Panchik both withdrew before the competition started, which meant that “Team Panchik” consisted of Spencer Panchik, Jacob Heppner and Tudor Magda.
  • Lukas Grouleff did not finish the second event and then withdrew from the men’s division.
  • Hanna Karlsson, Nicole Burke and Gracie Strachan all withdrew mid-competition from the women’s division.
  • Team Nocco Finland withdrew from the women’s team competition after the fifth event. (the team included Laura Isopoussu, Mirka Henriksson and Stefanie Hagelstam)
  • Colten Mertens, Cole Sager, Enrico Zenoni and Giorgios Karavis, who are all individual male athletes, withdrew prior to the start of competition. Mertens has reportedly been dealing with an autoimmune disease and has been receiving treatment, Karavis has been struggling with a back injury and an ankle sprain, while Sager was slated for double duty in individual and team, but was replaced by Dallin Pepper on Team Good Dudes, with Jayson Hopper and James Sprague. Zenoni is recovering from a pec injury.

The bottom line: This list is as comprehensive as possible, however this is by no means a complete list. The athletes that we have included will be on our radar to watch as the new season approaches and we hope to see speedy recoveries and a strong start to the season.



Three Key Practices to Crush the 2023 Open

Ready to crush the Open? Using these three key practices, every athlete should make the Open this year something to be proud of.




Your Gym’s Open Experience

The Open is <30 days out. If you haven’t ordered apparel yet, you’re behind. Fortunately, FlipSwitch Apparel is back, offering FREE Open pop-up stores for Affiliates. They build your store, make your designs and ship on-demand to your members. They get the gear they want, you look like a hero while earning profits for your gym.



A Simple Guide to Machine Conversion

If you are dealing with an injury, modifications can be necessary to make sure workouts are challenging but reduce the risk of further injury. Use these easy conversions when you need them!



A Pair of Grips That Don’t Require Chalk

What if we told you that you never had to chalk your hands again on pull ups? Element 26’s IsoComp Gymnastic Hand Grips are made to stick to any surface (whether it’s a speal bar, powder coated, plain steel, or if someone’s blisters are still on there) and help you save precious time in workouts without taking a break at the chalk bucket. Use code “MCU” for 10% off!



Your Rowing Technique

Being efficient on the rower can make or break a workout. Take a look at this comparison of a good vs. bad rowing technique. If you can relate to the bad one… then it’s time to practice!


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

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Sara Avren.
  • Congratulations Austin Tylor O’Neal from Hammer CrossFit Central in Phoenix, AZ on the lifetime PR front squat double of 386 pounds/175kg.
  • Congratulations to Seul-ki from CrossFit G-Zone in Seo-Gu, South Korea on the CrossFit Total PR of 585 pounds/265.4kg.
  • Congratulations Manuel Ortiz from CrossFit Santiago in Santiago, Chile on the 10RM bench with 70 pound dumbbells (2 x 31.8kg).
  • Congratulations to Trish Evangelista, owner of Babylon CrossFit in Babylon, NY, on competing in her first ever weightlifting meet.
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
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)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)

See all upcoming events

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