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Old Guard Not Moving Over Yet

Morning Chalk Up

August 3   |   POWERED BY


Happy Tuesday Morning Chalk Up readers! The CrossFit Games may be over, but there is still a lot to digest. Now that most of us have had a good night’s sleep back at home, the next week will be heavily focused on unraveling the not-so-obvious storylines from the CrossFit Games.

In today’s edition:

  • Games athletes who gained the most Instagram followers.
  • CrossFit Veterans who held their ground against young bucks.
  • Nuno Costa finds a place of belonging in the CrossFit community.
QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“It’s not what you do once in a while, it’s what you do day in and day out that makes the difference.” - Jenny Craig

  The CrossFit Games Athlete Who Picked up the Most Instagram Followers is…  

The CrossFit Games Athlete Who Picked up the Most Instagram Followers is…

With hundreds of thousands of CrossFit enthusiasts tuning in around the world to watch the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games last week, it’s no surprise the athletes competing gained thousands of new fan followers on social media.

The details: We tracked the individual athletes’ Instagram followers prior to the start of the competition on July 27. One week later, eight of the top ten athletes who picked up the most followers were women.

  1. Danielle Brandon: 77,702 new followers
  2. Mallory O’Brien: 70,566
  3. Guilherme Malheiros: 68, 086
  4. Justin Medeiros: 47,336
  5. Tia-Clair Toomey: 41,449
  6. Brooke Wells: 38,590
  7. Annie Thorisdottir: 31, 863
  8. Haley Adams: 20,400
  9. Katrin Davidsdottir: 11,986
  10. Dani Speegle: 9,748

Worth noting: While seven of the top ten athletes on our list were also top ten finishers in the actual competition, two—Speegle and Wells—both withdrew from the competition part way through due to injuries. And Brandon, who won the Instagram contest, was 11th overall.

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How Rich Froning Optimizes Breathing for Peak Performance

How Rich Froning Optimizes Breathing for Peak Performance

Optimizing breathing was a major focus of Froning’s going into The Games. Froning’s choice to improve his breathing? The AIRWAAV™ Performance Mouthpiece.

“I’ve felt the most benefit in breathing during heart-rate-focused workouts like metabolic conditioning.”

The AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece is clinically proven to help you:

  • Increase Endurance: Reduces respiratory rate by 20%.
  • Increase Strength: Improves muscular endurance.
  • Recover Faster: Reduces cortisol by up to 50%.

Try the AIRWAAV Performance Mouthpiece in your next WOD to breathe like a champ.


2021 CrossFit Games

  • Mat Fraser slipped Jayson Hopper a note inside his NIKE shoe box welcoming him to the team.
    • Fraser: “You have all the tools to have a very bright future in CrossFit, it’s up to you to make something of it. The people in your life are there regardless of [the] result, so make sure to go out there and make yourself proud.”
  • Victory drink: Justin Medeiros, Pat Vellner and Brent Fikowski sip on champagne after standing on top of the podium at the CrossFit Games.
  • Toomey’s well-wishes to Brookie: After Brooke Wells dislocated her shoulder in the snatch event at the CrossFit Games, training partner Tia-Clair Toomey wrote some words of encouragement.
    • Toomey: “There are no words that will make the heartbreak you’re feeling right now go away. But I promise you this, you will come back stronger than ever and I will be there every step of the way.”
  • Josh Bridges and Jacob Heppner teased their upcoming fight in a new street fight promo. The two Games athletes will square off on September 18, live on Core Sports.
  • First Pitch: Tia-Claire Toomey threw out the first pitch at the Milwaukee Brewers game last night.


  • Annie Thorisdottir teams up with Yerbae, a caffeinated sparkling water beverage.
  • Buttery Bros Limited edition Jorts: The Buttery Bros teamed up with Born Primitive and are showing off their quad gainz with a limited edition of jorts. What’s on them? You guessed it — pancakes, butter and some fun phrases. They don’t drop until mid-September but expect these to be a hot commodity once they hit the market.
  • Jayson Hopper is repping the iconic swoosh across his sneakers after announcing his partnership with Nike.
  • Dani Speegle partnered with supplement company Momentous. Lauren Fisher also recently joined the brand.
  The CrossFit Old Guard Stands Tall Against Wave of Talented Young Athletes  


The CrossFit Old Guard Stands Tall Against Wave of Talented Young Athletes

The 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games came to an end with Justin Medeiros, Tia-Clair Toomey, and CrossFit Mayhem Freedom taking the top spots on their respective podiums. The award ceremony capped off a week of competition where grizzled veterans of the sport faced off with rising young stars such as Mallory O’Brien, Guilherme Malheiros, and Haley Adams. Instead of giving up spots on the leaderboard, they simply said, “not so fast, junior.”

One big thing: Medeiros may have made history as the youngest man to win the CrossFit Games, but the other individual athletes on the podium are no strangers to success. Toomey, in particular, won her fifth consecutive title, only adding to a legacy that started with two silver medals.

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  Nuno Costa Finds Place of Belonging in the CrossFit Community  

Nuno Costa Finds Place of Belonging in the CrossFit Community

It was a successful CrossFit Games for six time Games athlete Nuno Costa, finishing the week taking home a first place event finish and becoming the 6th fittest man in the 40-44 division. Like other Games athletes, achieving that success comes with immense hard work, dedication and at times, adversity. But Costa’s adversity had less to do with his fitness and more to do with finding a sense of belonging.

Costa found a home with CrossFit after struggling with addiction and going through recovery. Much of his addiction stemmed from when he decided to come out as gay.

  • “It was one of the most challenging things when I came out, not knowing when, how, or if I was going to become a parent, and that hit home being uncertain if that was ever going to be a possibility,” Costa admitted. “There were times I struggled mentally and turned to drugs and alcohol in my younger years, not knowing how to deal with challenges.
  • He started CrossFit nine months sober, and even refers to CrossFit as his “sober baby.”
  • “It was similar to CrossFit where there’s a community, support, and that kind of paved the way for a new way of life and to develop a support network.

When Costa walked into the 2008 CrossFit Games, he wasn’t expecting to find the place of belonging that he did. Within a month, Costa had taken his L-1 Certification and has stuck with it ever since. Costa says through CrossFit, he has found his place in the world and with that, he wants to give back through mentoring and supporting young LGBTQ people, single parents, and people recovering from addiction.

That acceptance that CrossFit seems to breed, can be strongly felt by Costa especially with the renewed focus on inclusivity under CEO Eric Rosa. As a gay man, Costa says that effort is extremely important. “Being gay never seemed like a big deal, especially in the CrossFit community. It’s very welcoming, and now it opens itself up to more people that are struggling, feel like they don’t belong, that they need a place of belonging…I want to make sure everyone has someone to look up to… If I can be that help or resource for anyone, I would love to,” said Costa.

Continue Reading...


Your Front Rack

The front rack gives lots of CrossFitters trouble. For a great position, you need solid wrist extension, elbow flexion, shoulder rotation, and upper back mobility. That's a lot of moving pieces. Start improving your position with these targeted mobility exercises you can do as part of your warm-up (or while watching TV or cooking dinner).




Jeans for Athletes Made by Ex-Under Armour Execs

How are they made? By using a proprietary fabric consisting of Italian milled denim infused with the same stuff used in football uniforms and yoga pants. The kicker? By dealing directly with the customer you can get your hands on these jeans for a killer price. Now available in two lightweight fits perfect for spring and summer.



How to Build a Buttery Relationship

The Buttery Bros travel worldwide and build an instant connection with everyone they meet. Listen to them on the Counseling and Functional Fitness podcast explain how they use fitness to build fast relationships, their favorite part of meeting new people inside and outside of CrossFit, and the connection between fitness and mental health.



Brent Fikowski's Aerobic Engine Masterclass

The 2021 Third Fittest Man on Earth is pretty knowledgeable when it comes to building an aerobic engine. His new course will help you improve your endurance in just three easy-to-follow workouts a week for eight weeks.



Your C2 From Your Ski-Erg

Want to jump into some of the 2021 Games workouts but don't have all the equipment available? Check out this machine conversion guide, so you can maintain the same stimulus without needing five different machines.


  • Happy belated birthday to Preslie Hirsch, host of the Hey Preslie Podcast.
  • Eric Zucaro from CrossFit Dark Athletics in Township, NJ snatches 202 pounds/92kgs and clean and jerks 291 pounds/132kgs.
  • Oscar Gillstrom from CrossFit Walleye in Sweden snatches 286 pounds/130kgs for two.
  • Jordan Walker from Muskegon CrossFit in Muskegon Heights, MI power cleans 300 pounds/136kg for a PR.
  • Yasu Uchibori from CrossFit Black Ships Yoyogi in Tokyo cleans 396 pounds/180kg for a PR.


  • 🔥🔥🔥This still gives us goosebumps. Annie Thorisdottir snatches 200 pounds/90kgs.
  • 15-year-old CrossFit Games rookie Olivia Kerstetter snatches 202 pounds/91kgs.
3/1 - 3/31: Sit Ups For Pups (Everywhere, Anywhere Online)
3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (oceanside, ca)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
4/13: Queens of Oly East Tennessee (Bulls Gap, TN)
4/13: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20: Barbells For Bullies: Community Workout Savannah (Savnnah, Georgia, US)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Masiphumelele (Kommetjie, Cape Town, South Africa)
4/20: Festivus Games (Goderich, Canada)
4/20: Festivus Games (Clermont, FL)
4/20: Festivus Games @ The Gym – CrossFit Kilo (Cedar Falls, IA)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CBM Sirens (Caledonia, MS)
4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
4/20: Embrace the Challenge (Mentor, Ohio)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)
4/26 - 4/28: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/27: Cap Crown Throwdown (Gladstone, Australia)

See all upcoming events

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