Your Coffee is ready.

Our 2023 CrossFit Games Women’s Podium and Dark Horse Picks

Morning Chalk Up

July 31   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Austin Heaton lays out our women’s podium picks and dark horses
  • How can you optimize your rest days and recovery?
  • Who is missing from the Games field this year?
  • CrossFit announced that Jason Smith, first-place finisher in the Africa Semifinal, tested positive for PEDs
  • Mayhem Nation is showing up big time for spectators in Madison
  • The final installment of our series of onsite guides for spectators at the CrossFit Games is below; where to workout in Madison
  • Everything you need to know about deals and drops in Madison

The countdown is on: The 2023 CrossFit Games begin tomorrow in Madison, WI!

QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Champions don’t become champions when they win an event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it.” - Michael Jordan

  2023 CrossFit Games Women’s Podium and Dark Horse Picks  

2023 CrossFit Games Women’s Podium and Dark Horse Picks

The women’s side of competition this year is probably the most exciting and unpredictable that it has been in many years, if not ever.

With an absolutely wild series of events for the top women so far this season, the 2023 CrossFit Games podium positions are completely up for grabs. A few things that happened so far this year on the women’s side:

  • Six time champ Tia-Clair Toomey withdraws due to pregnancy
  • 2022 7th place finisher Kara Saunders withdraws due to pregnancy
  • 2022 9th place finisher Haley Adams withdraws due to mental health
  • 2022 13th place finisher Kristi Eramo O’Connell retires from competition
  • 2022 2nd place finisher Mal O’Brien withdraws due to mental health
  • 2022 5th place finisher Brooke Wells fails to qualify for the 2023 Games

This has left the door wide open for many athletes to get their best placing ever at the CrossFit Games as well as for a new female champion to be crowned for the first time in 7 years.

Who is most likely to take advantage?

2023 Podium Picks

1st Place: Laura Horvath

The 2023 CrossFit Games are Laura Horvath’s to lose. No athlete is in a better position to win this year’s Games than her and after 3 years on the podium without a championship, now is her time to take over.

With her biggest competition (Toomey & O’Brien) out of the way it would be a rather big surprise if Horvath didn’t win this year. Technically all she has to do is repeat what she did last year and she would automatically become champion.

At the recent European Semifinal Horvath put on a show on the final day, winning back to back events, missing the world record for both events by less than 5 seconds. Although she finished 3rd overall I don’t think anyone doubts her abilities to win the Games this year.

Horvath has 6 total event wins at the CrossFit Games and now that Toomey is out of the way, she will likely add a handful more event wins this year alone.

Laura Horvath also happens to be the #1 strongest overall woman in the field based on max strength events tested this year (23.2B Thruster, Semifinals Max Snatch).

Barring any serious mistakes at the Games, Horvath should be our 2023 champion.

Continue Reading...
SPONSORED Reebok_1627232945
The Nano X3 Bold: Launching Tomorrow

The Nano X3 Bold: Launching Tomorrow

Bring out your bold side with the new Reebok Bold Collection.

Everything you love about the Nano X3, but with all the irreverent energy in the new colorway pack designed for the Games.

The new colorways launch tomorrow, August 1st.

Get your hands on a pair!


🏋️‍♀️ 🏋️‍♀️ Games athletes are taking on the Olympic Total this week. Learn how to attack these lifts yourself with advice from Jared Enderton and CrossFit Invictus.

☕️ Need a pick-me-up in Madison this week? Check out the best places to get coffee at the Games.

Games qualifier Elisa Fuliano is the newest Reebok athlete.

ICYMI: Check out our men’s podium picks and dark horses.

  How to Optimize Your Recovery and Rest Days  


How to Optimize Your Recovery and Rest Days

With the 2023 CrossFit Games being the most competitive event of the season, we can’t help but reiterate the importance of recovery.

First, let’s start with the basics from Training Think Tank Coach, Kyle Ruth.

List of recommendations in order of priority:

  1. Prioritize sleep: This is where the real recovery happens. Have a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, and hold yourself accountable to that.
  2. Prioritize rest: Rest can take different forms for everyone, but simply, do things that allow you to recharge to be able to go again.
  3. Stay hydrated: Even though we talk a lot about nutrition and fueling, water is much more of an essential “nutrient” than carbohydrates and hydration is so much more than replacing water.
  4. Have a nutrition plan: Create nutrition habits that ensure you are refueling consistently after training. Unsure where to start? Hire a coach.
  5. Experiment with recovery modalities: Take time to explore your options and choose 1-2 that make the biggest difference for you that you can do on a consistent basis.
Continue Reading...
  Who’s Missing from the 2023 CrossFit Games Roster  

Who’s Missing from the 2023 CrossFit Games Roster

The 2023 Individual Games roster is comprised of a mix of veterans and rookies, with multiple athletes returning for their 10th time.

There are some headed to Madison for a comeback season after not qualifying last year. And others who have already stated that this will be their final year, their swan song. However, there is quite a large number of individuals not returning from the 2022 Games, and will instead be watching it all play out from the sidelines.

One big thing: Of the 40 men that competed at last year’s Games, 24 will be returning this year. And on the women’s side, only 20.

Women’s Field 

The women’s field will be missing half of its competitors from last year, and that includes five of the top ten finishers, which is remarkable. Those not returning are as follows:

  • Tia-Clair Toomey – The six-time Games champion will not be competing this year, as she gave birth to her and Shane Orr’s daughter, Willow, earlier this spring.
  • Mallory O’Brien – Due to personal reasons, O’Brien is sitting this season out, having made the decision in the lead-up to Semifinals.
  • Brooke Wells – Finishing 14th at the North America East Semifinal and thus not qualifying for the Games, Wells posted on Instagram that she tore her plantar fascia during Test 1, and was subsequently battling the injury throughout the entire weekend.
  • Kara Saunders – The fan favorite is sitting this year out, as she is expecting her second child.
  • Haley Adams – The young veteran announced in February of this year that she’d be taking the 2023 season off, choosing to focus on her mental health.
  • Kristi Eramo O’Connell – After competing at the Games for seven consecutive years, beginning in 2016, Eramo retired after the 2022 season.
  • Jacqueline Dahlstrom – She placed 12th in the European Semifinal and missed qualifying this year.
  • Lucy Campbell – This winter, Campbell announced that she would be sitting out the 2023 season due to a wrist injury and is anxious to return in 2024.
  • Dani Speegle – Another fan favorite, she missed the qualifying cutoff by one spot. Speegle placed 11th at the North America West Semifinal.
  • Seungyeon Choi – Due to a shoulder injury, Choi is sitting out for the 2023 season.
  • Additionally, Thuri Helgadottir, Carolyne Prevost, Rebecca Fuselier, Sydney Michalyshen, Freya Moosbrugger, Solveig Sigurdardottir, Julia Kato and Elena Caratala Sanahuja will all be missing from the Games roster this year, as they failed to qualify at their respective Semifinals.
  • Caroline Spencer – While not competing as an individual, Spencer is still heading to Madison, this year as a member of the CrossFit Krypton team.
  • Michelle Merand – As a member of CrossFit FBDV Mayhem Africa, Merand qualified at the Africa Semifinal and was set to try her hand in the team competition this year. However, in an update released by CrossFit HQ, her teammate Angi Connoway tested positive for PEDs, and thus the team was disqualified from competition. Connoway denies any wrongdoing, and filed an appeal, but has since withdrawn it. Cape CrossFit Wolfpack will be taking their place in Madison.
Continue Reading...
  BREAKING: Jason Smith Tests Positive for PEDs; Overall Positive Drug Tests Down Dramatically for 2023 Season Thus Far  

BREAKING: Jason Smith Tests Positive for PEDs; Overall Positive Drug Tests Down Dramatically for 2023 Season Thus Far

Early Friday morning, CrossFit announced via email that Jason Smith, the first-place finisher at the Africa Semifinal “provided a sample at the competition that contained exogenous 5a-androstane-3a,17b-diol (5aAdiol) and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol (5bAdiol).”

Smith is appealing this result, but is provisionally suspended pending the result of the appeal. The second-place finisher. Conrad Winnertz was offered, but decline an invitation to the Games due to an injury.

One big thing: Jason Smith is the first individual Games qualifier to be announced as having provided a positive drug test this Games season. This is a dramatic reduction from the 2022 season.

  • This would’ve been Smith’s fourth appearance at the CrossFit Games and would’ve been the oldest individual competitor in the field.

The big picture: As athletes arrive in Madison ready to take the big stage at the CrossFit Games, CrossFit has continued to work behind the scenes to ensure that the athletes competing are clean.

In the past several months, we have seen multiple press announcements from CrossFit regarding both positive and negative drug tests. However, with the Games kicking off in just a few days, it seems as though the number of positive test results is nowhere near where it was in 2022.

Continue Reading...
  Mayhem Nation Goes All Out for Fans in Madison  

Mayhem Nation Goes All Out for Fans in Madison

With 74 athletes competing, the Mayhem family is representing in a huge way this year in Madison. In support of those athletes, $30,000 was raised by selling Mayhem 23 Jerseys, that could be customized with athletes’ names. But Mayhem isn’t built solely around elite competitors. It’s built around the everyday athlete. The athlete that supports the CrossFit community, their local affiliate and everywhere in between.

One opportunity to give back to that community and unite in one common location, is via the Mayhem Campground. Jake Lockert, director for online programming for CrossFit Mayhem shares his enthusiasm about the week ahead in Madison.

  • “We are pumped to be able to do something that aligns so well with our mission: Community-Driven Fitness for ALL. Come see us all week at the Games to see what Mayhem is all about,” said Lockert.

Some background: Owned and run by Champion athlete and CrossFit icon Rich Froning, CrossFit Mayhem has been changing lives through CrossFit for over 13 years. They have done this through community focused fitness for all levels. This includes their CrossFit Kids program, Life Class, which focuses on “maintaining strength and independence through functional movements at relative intensity,” shared Froning.

  • “Our goal at the 2023 CrossFit Games is to do the exact same thing for the community beyond Cookeville. Our team has put a ton of thought and hard work into creating a unique experience that transforms the campgrounds into the full Mayhem Experience. We’re really excited to share,” said Froning.
Continue Reading...
  The Best Places to Work Out in Madison During the CrossFit Games  

The Best Places to Work Out in Madison During the CrossFit Games

For the seventh year in a row, the fittest crowd in the world will come together to cheer on the Fittest on Earth as they battle for the title at the CrossFit Games.

Nothing motivates people to do fitness more than watching other people do fitness, so while in Madison, it is the ideal chance to meet like-minded people from all over the world, meet your favorite athletes, stay on top of your training routine, try a new training camp’s programming, and often even get some free swag or photos.

No need to schedule your rest days while in Madison–here is your guide to working out at the Games!

  • Time stamps are local time. (CDT)

CrossFit Big Dane (813 Post Rd, Madison, WI 53713)

  • GOWOD is taking over CrossFit Big Dane again during Games week from Monday, July 31 toMonday, August 7.
  • Who will be dropping by to coach and host? Mat Fraser, Chris Hinshaw, John Singleton, Justin Cotler, Max El-Hag, Matt Torres, and more.
  • The Buttery Bros will be hosting a special workout on Wednesday afternoon
  • GOWOD will cover every visitor’s drop-in fee at Big Dane during Games week; make sure to follow CrossFit Big Dane’s social media to stay apprised on how to register.
  • To register, simply book a time for a free drop-in.
  • Want to read more about HWPO leading wods at Big Dane? Check this out! 
Continue Reading...
  The Best Places to Work Out in Madison During the CrossFit Games  

Morning Chalk Up is doing it big this year for the 2023 CrossFit Games by partnering with amazing brands like Reebok, Momentous, goodr, Thirdzy and Kineon Labs to give away amazing prizes each day of the CrossFit Games. Entry is FREE and you can start building up chances to win NOW through the final day of the CrossFit Games.

  CrossFit Games Week: Deals and Drops Guide  

CrossFit Games Week: Deals and Drops Guide

Witnessing the athletes battle to be the Fittest on Earth in Madison is an amazing experience, but make sure you leave time to check out all of the amazing vendors present at the Games. From Ascent to Yerbae, brands will be out in force all over the Alliant Energy Center, slinging deals left and right. Not able to be there in person? No worries! Tons of brands are doing deals online too!

Here are some Deals and Drops to look out for:

Continue Reading...
  CrossFit Games Week: Deals and Drops Guide  

The MOVE+ Pro: The Team at Kineon Labs are here in Madison giving spectators the chance to finally try out the MOVE+ Pro in person! Stop by their booth, and keep your eyes peeled for the Kineon Ambassadors. If you aren’t in Madison, don’t worry, you can still partake in the fun.

Get 15% off the MOVE+ Pro online using code "GAMES15".
9/29 - 10/1: MACC FEST (Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival) (West Friendship, MD)
9/29 - 9/30: Iron Anchor Throwdown (Batavia, OH)
9/29 - 10/1: 2023 Masters Fitness Championship (Fort Wayne, IN)
9/30 - 10/1: Sango Games 2023 (Clarksville, TN)
9/30: 15th Anniversary and Birthday Brawl (York, PA)
9/30: Barbell Brawl VIII (Kennett Square, PA)
9/30: No Weak Links: Cuff Links (Marcy, NY)
9/30 - 10/1: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Babes with Barbells (Huntington, WV)
10/7: KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: Pitness At The Mill (Canton, GA)
10/7: 2023 KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: FitoberFest (Prairie Village, KS)
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)
10/13 - 10/15: Crash Crucible (Spartanburg, SC)
10/14: T-Town Throwdown (Toledo, OH)
10/14: Triple Threat Terror 2023 (Forney, TX)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: Babes and Barbells (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/14: Scream & Clean III (Danbury, CT)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Belleville (Bellevile, Canada)
10/14: Best Babes West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
10/14: Best Babes Columbus GA (Columbus, GA)
10/14: Best Babes Illinois (Byron, IL)
10/14: 8th Annual Kilo CrushFest Competition (Hampton, VA)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Sedalia (Sedalia, MO)
10/14: Best Babes Massachusetts (Beverly, MA)
10/15: Kares CrossFit October Showdown (Georgetown, Guyana)
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)
10/21: Barbells For Bullies: Portland (Hillsboro, OR)
10/21: 401 Fall Throwdown (Smithfield, RI)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/27 - 10/28: Star City Fittest (Roanoke, VA)
10/28 - 10/29: The Ghostly Games (Fayetteville, GA)
10/28: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/3 - 11/4: Florida Grid League Championship (Orlando, FL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/4: Sunshine SmackDown (Bedford Hills, NY)
11/4: Witch City Throwdown (Salem, MA)
11/4: Barbell Babes Lorton (Lorton, VA)
11/11: Freakin’ Gauntlet (Pembroke Pines, FL)
11/11: The Meadowlands Classic (Carlstadt, NJ)
11/11: Barbell Massacre 8 (Dahlonega, GA)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/18: Best Babes Dallas (Dallas, TX)
11/18: Best Babes Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
11/18: Best Babes Iowa (Mason City, IA)
11/18: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Haven, UT)
11/18: Teams Of The Midway: 2 Person Teams (Cary, IL)
11/18: Friendsgiving (Ambler, PA)
11/18: Turkey Bash (Chatham, IL)

See all upcoming events

Your Coffee is ready.