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Morning Chalk Up

February 17   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

  • The CrossFit Open Announcements are returning, today we start counting down our top-five moments.
  • The Progrm squad prepares for the 2021 season in Mallorca, Spain.
  • New science confirms that, as far as heart health is concerned, you can’t outwork a bad diet.
  • Our limited release “More Chalk Less Talk” t-shirt is now available for pre-order. Shop now.

The Morning Chalk Up is hiring a full-time, remote Ad Copywriter. Apply now.

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

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“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” - Nelson Mandela

  CrossFit Open Announcement Top Five Moments -- Brenda Castro Battles Brooke Wells 

CrossFit Open Announcement Top Five Moments -- Brenda Castro Battles Brooke Wells

The CrossFit Open is approaching, creating excitement among community members about potential workouts. Dave Castro announced on Feb. 9 that the fan-favorite Open announcements will return, along with his signature style of delivery.

Remind me: Starting in 2011, the CrossFit Open provided community members with a multi-week test of fitness where they could put their results on a worldwide leaderboard. Along with the new set of workouts came Castro’s announcements, the majority of which featured top athletes going head-to-head moments after learning the details of the workout.

  • That was, until 2019, when CrossFit shifted its focus, under the direction of Greg Glassman, from the Games to the CrossFit Health and the Open announcements were licensed out to affiliates and others with varying levels of quality and technical savvy.
  • But now they are back under the purview of CrossFit LLC and there is a palpable buzz around the community.

For the next two weeks, we will be highlighting the best moments from past Open announcements, looking back at some incredible races on the competition floor, standout performances from top athletes, and unforgettable Castro quotes.

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Katrin Davidsdottir and Brent Fikowski Prepare for the CrossFit Open with Ascent

Katrin Davidsdottir and Brent Fikowski Prepare for the CrossFit Open with Ascent

Athletes Katrin Davidsdottir & Brent Fikowski aren’t slowing down – they are training hard and getting ready for the CrossFit Open with the help of Ascent Recovery Water.

“A workout means nothing without a strong recovery,” Fikowsi said. “I choose Ascent Recovery Water to help improve my muscle health as I prepare for my 9th CrossFit Open.”

Packed with 20g of clean protein, Recovery Water is the perfect way to improve muscle health while boosting your body with electrolytes post-workout.

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  • Leaked: On a Zoom call with about 30 masters athletes, Games leaders released the 2021 AGOQ equipment list and some additional details. They plan to release this information and a recording of the Zoom call at a later date.
  • GOOD READ: Yesterday’s South China Morning Post profiled CrossFit’s unofficial king of double-unders, Dave Newman, who first got the jump rope programmed in the CrossFit Games as well as using the Rx Smart Gear drag rope for the first time during stage 1 of the 2020 Games:
    • “Newman said he sent a number of Drag ropes to Castro a few months before the Games, and Castro ended up doing a workout with the rope alongside new CEO Eric Roza, which sealed the deal.”
  • In an Axios Sports review of sports-related subreddits, CrossFit ranks in the top 30 with 218,000 subscribers.
  • CrossFit Sanzaru burned down on Sunday, then looters stole what was left from the Crosne, France based gym. The gym had been closed since September 25 due to COVID-19, and the community is helping to support the owners rebuild.
  • O2 Supports Project Onyx: On February 4, O2 donated 100% of its profits to Elijah “EZ” Muhammad’s Project Onyx, an organization that promotes equal access to health and fitness for underrepresented and underserved youth.
    • Dave Colina, O2 CEO: “We’re proud to have [EZ Muhammad] as an O2 Athlete, partner, and friend. When he told me about Project Onyx and the work with underprivileged youth, it was an easy decision to extend our support.”
    • Muhammad: “[A] special thank you goes to O2 for partnering with us to help raise the necessary funds to help us create, build, and grow! They have done so much for the community of fitness and are continuing to do so. I’m glad to be a part of this team.”
  • NCFIT + Brand X Method Teens Program: The NCFIT Collective and Brand X Method have partnered to release the Teen Excel Group eight-week training cycle. The cycle includes three workouts per week as well as “Daily Intent Videos” for coaches. The teens program complements NCFIT’s other programs NCMETCON (general physical preparedness), NCX (strength) and NCCOMPETE (competition track).
  The Progrm Squad Prepares for 2021 Season, Weathers Pandemic in Spain 

The Progrm Squad Prepares for 2021 Season, Weathers Pandemic in Spain

As the 2021 season approaches, the Morning Chalk Up has been keeping an eye on the development of athlete camps around the United States. However, across the pond, The Progrm has been using Mallorca, Spain as a base for exactly this kind of thing since 2015.

  • “One thing that has become very clear over the years,” shares Progrm Head Coach, Jon Singleton, “is that this type of focused environment leads to greater development of the athletes and therefore improved performance on the competition floor.”

Remind me: The Progrm is a well established training methodology in Europe whose coaches have a combined 50+ years of experience and have helped over 30 athletes reach the CrossFit Games.

The big three: Currently there are three prominent athletes in Mallorca who have been training with little distraction throughout the pandemic.

  • Jacqueline Dahlstrom has been the mainstay of the group for several years. She trained in Mallorca throughout the 2018 Open and leading up to Regionals that same year. Ultimately she did not qualify for the Games (she finished sixth in the Meridian Regional), and decided that if she wanted to qualify she’d need more consistency in her life.
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  New Science Offers More Evidence that You Can’t Outwork a Bad Diet 


New Science Offers More Evidence that You Can’t Outwork a Bad Diet

Since its inception, the CrossFit community has preached that, when it comes to health, nutrition is the foundation of the pyramid.

Continue Reading...
  New Science Offers More Evidence that You Can’t Outwork a Bad Diet 

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How to Get Tighter in Your Deadlift Set-Up

One of the nine foundational movements in CrossFit is the deadlift and to optimize your deadlift requires a strong set-up. This video from Squat University lays out the basics of the "lifter's wedge," basically a shorthand way of describing how to develop incredible tension throughout your entire body as you prepare to deadlift.




The Kore Shorts from Vuori

One short for every sport, the Kore Shorts have a classic athletic fit, falling just above the knee with an anywhere and everywhere versatility. Go commando in confidence with the breathable, boxer-brief liner. Great for training, running and chilling. Get your first purchase for 20% off at



What It Might Take to Make the CrossFit Quarterfinals

The 2021 season features a new stage in the qualifying process for the CrossFit Games: Quarterfinals. The top 10% in the Open will make it through. Think you have what it takes? This post on the Brute Strength blog lays out some benchmarks to consider.



The Double-Under

The 2021 CrossFit Open is around the corner and we all know double-unders will show up. Don't let them trip you up this year and master them with this short and simple program from Brent Fikowski.



Jalapeño Popper Potato Soup

Two things that are objectively amazing: potato soup on a cold day and jalapeño poppers pretty much any time. This recipe brings them together and the results are face-meltingly delicious. This soup is paleo, rich in veggies, and will warm you to your core.


Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

12/9 - 12/11: Fall Series Throwdown (Desio, Italy)
12/17: The Midwest Championship (Warrensburg, MO)
1/15 - 1/31: Athens Throwdown Qualifiers (Athens, Greece)
1/21 - 1/22: Modena Challenge: Beginner and Master (Modena, Italy)

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