“I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him.”- Galileo Galilei
Olympic Downhill Skier Bryce Bennett on Finding CrossFit: ‘I just got throttled by soccer moms, like destroyed’
Bryce Bennett is not your normal CrossFit affiliate member. He is six-feet-seven-inches tall, he grew up on the ski slopes while his mother worked at Alpine Meadows Resort, and he ultimately went pro. He has since competed in three World Championships and the 2018 and 2022 Olympic Games while focusing on downhill and Super-G (super giant slalom). Bennett also won the FIS Ski World Cup Downhill event in the Italian Alps.
Some details: Bennett, who has been a member of US Ski and Snowboard since 2011, had his first CrossFit experience 10 years ago. He took his first class at CrossFit Park City – now Park City Fit – and he discovered that the classes tested him in an entirely different manner than his normal training.
“I did a whole summer training with the ski team at the time, and my buddy was like, ‘Hey, we should go to this Park City CrossFit,” Bennett said. “And Chris Spealler owned that. I was like, ‘All right. Sounds good. I mean, like, I’ve been training all summer, it’s no problem.’”
“And I just got throttled by soccer moms, like, destroyed. And I was like, ‘Wait a minute. I don’t think I’m that fit.’ So that kind of kickstarted my CrossFit addiction. And it was pretty… I mean, I think most people that get into CrossFit in the beginning, it’s really bad,” Bennett added.
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Saxon Panchik about the mindset elites need to have in the sport now:
“Anyone who’s making this a full-time career is going there to win.”
He’s in: Jayson Hopper, who came seventh at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games, is in for the 2022 Rogue Invitational Oct. 28-30.
Leadership insight: New CrossFit CEO Don Faul spoke to Talking Elite Fitness about how he is going to lead the pack forward. 🪖
New Rankings: Morning Chalk Up analyst Brian Friend breaks down his 2023 Power Rankings for the men, because it’s never too early to start.
Rest up bro: Sam Dancer is out of bicep surgery and we are wishing him a speedy recovery. 💪
Jonathan Varela Overcomes Childhood Challenges to Represent Costa Rica at CrossFit Games
“It feels amazing to be carrying the flag of my two countries, Costa Rica and the USA. Even when I would be the only one on the field representing my country, I (don’t) feel alone, I know there are a lot of people truly happy for me and giving me real genuine support,” 2022 Games Athlete Jonathan Valera said.
The details: Valera, who finished eighth in the Men’s 40-44 division, represented Costa Rica as the country’s sole athlete in Madison after a long journey to get there.
He started CrossFit nearly nine years ago, decided he wanted to compete on the big stage after spectating at the 2016 CrossFit Games, and started following Mayhem Athlete programming two years ago to pursue it. Though Valera recognizes his progress over the last nine years, he attributes much of his success to the challenging upbringing and lessons learned throughout his childhood.
“I had a lot of obstacles growing up,” Valera said. From severe asthma to financial issues, which pushed him to work as a child and decide whether he should take the bus or eat some days, Valera experienced a wide range of uphill climbs in his childhood. Now on the other side of it, though, Valera is stronger. “I am not afraid of change and never liked to be in my comfort zone all the time. That is why I have made changes in my life to chase dreams and goals. Even when it seemed like it was impossible.”
Noah Ohlsen: “I plan on competing after next year, whether it’s in the individual division or not.”
Completing his 9th CrossFit Games, Noah Ohlsen is a veteran that fans expect to see among the fittest. From his best ever finish in 2019, placing second on the podium, to his 12th place finish this year — defining success has shifted for him over the years. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Ohlsen to discuss how the Games experience has changed for him each year, what it was like winning Spirit of the Games and he even teased ahead to his team for Wodapalooza 2023.
A Look Back: What Did We Learn from the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Men’s Division
Earlier this week we discussed some of the key things we learned from the women’s division at the 2022 NOBULL Games and now we take on the men. We were witness to an exciting race on the men’s side and the podium wasn’t finalized until the final event with Justin Medeiros repeating as the “Fittest Man on Earth” but not before Ricky Garard and Roman Khrennikov made runs for the top spot.
But that’s not all that happened during those five days. Here are some storylines and takeaways:
Jayson Hopper’s Sophomore Season
Last year Jayson Hopper entered the Games with much promise and expectations, both from himself and the community. How could he not? The then 23-year old burst onto the scene with a dominating performance at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge against a stacked field which included Medeiros, who would go on to win his first Games title.
He was an early favorite to break out as a rookie at the Games but instead showed signs of struggle adjusting to the programming and the long week of fitness. Despite those factors his talents and fitness helped him survive the cut and he ended up placing a respectable 19th.
This season Hopper took the lessons he learned last year and continued to build on his performance using preseason competitions to gauge his improvement and gain additional high-end competition experience. He also switched over to HWPO to train and receive guidance from five-time “Fittest Man on Earth” Mathew Fraser and his team of coaches including Jake Marconi.
He placed seventh at the Rogue Invitational back in October, showing improvement after just a month of working with HWPO. In January he competed at Wodapalooza, placing 11th, but was not discouraged, showing maturity and continued growth from the experiences.
The progress continued throughout every stage of the Games season leading him to this year’s Games where the expectations this season were more tempered. But not for him, instead he recorded seven top-10 finishes including a runner-up finish in the “Echo Press” setting a new career-high in event placement at the Games.
The most impressive part of Hopper’s performance is how he ended his Games. He averaged a 8th place finish during the final five workouts, a far cry from his average placing of 14.6 during the final five events at last year’s Games.
What stood out besides his performance was how he was visibly relaxed and “in the moment”. Reminiscent of his demeanor at the MACC in 2021, he was having fun and looked like he knew he belonged.
Where does Hopper go from here? At just 24-years old, an improving and relaxed Hopper is a dangerous athlete on the leaderboard. A full-year of training with HWPO could mean another big jump for the former collegiate football player.
Sometimes it all comes crashing down…on your chest when you are doing a clean. Dropping under the bar and catching it with your chest high can be a challenge, especially with a heavy weight. Watch Catalyst Athletics demonstrate how to make sure you're strong in the receiving position of a clean.
Lifters are great...until you need to run and jump. That's where the VersaLifts Heel Inserts come in! Just pop them in your shoes and go. Don't take our word for it, customers say: "These little gems allow me the benefits of an Oly shoe when getting into a squat, and the flexibility of my Nobulls when I need to crack out DUBs."
The 2022 Open winner and Games competitor sat down with Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil to discuss his season, what is next for him going into the 2023 season, and his thoughts on some of the events (single under anyone?).
Biosyn's Sanctuary may be safe haven for dinosaurs, but danger still abounds. These men's Reebok training shoes were built as a survival kit to help you co-exist with dinosaurs, so they will probably stand up to your WOD as well. Get ready to run, jump, lift, and survive.
How Retail Can Drive Significant Sales at Your Facility
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Mitch McClune of Underdogs Athletics and Rhino CrossFit in Las Vegas invites you to the Deficit HSPU Challenge. How high can you get?
Pamela Gagnon is a coach at CrossFit Weddington and Masters Athlete who took some quiet time in her schedule to work on handstands and core control drills. #healthisalifestyle
Dr. Felipe Milach from Porto Alegre, Brazil is an Orthopedic Surgeon that has been doing CrossFit for 4 years now. We think his white coat bar muscle-ups are pretty cool.
Ahmed El Kai of Silver Giant Fitness in New Cairo, Egypt takes somersaults aerial with these ring flips— please, nobody show Adrian Bozman.
Cole Diamond and his team, Muscle and Hustle, from CrossFit Poipu on Kauai, HI are fundraising to compete in the Great Aloha Games on Maui in a few short weeks.
The group of teenagers are part of the Keala Foundation, a non-profit that (among other initiatives) provides CrossFit classes four times a week for local youth in an effort to provide healthy alternatives to substance use.
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