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Nike Launches New Strength Equipment Line

Morning Chalk Up

October 17   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Nike Strength now live
  • The Rogue Invitational is coming. Check out our men’s podium picks and dark horses
  • New series: 23 Questions to End the 2023 Season–next up, CJ Martin
  • Kari Pearce partners with Kane Footwear on new recovery shoe “Kane Revive”
  • Meet the man behind Gainz Box

Don’t forget to hit us up with story tips, highlights, quotes of the day and more.

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“It's not the number of hours you practice. It's about the number of hours your mind is present during the practice.” - Kobe Bryant

  Nike Launches New Strength Equipment Line  

Nike Launches New Strength Equipment Line

Nike, one of the most iconic sports and fitness brands in the world, has launched its own version of strength equipment, ranging from dumbbells to barbells to even a squat rack.

One big thing:  Despite the success of the Nike Metcon training shoe and a long association with CrossFit, this is the first time Nike has launched its own strength equipment.

  • The list of current and former Nike-sponsored athletes is long and includes five-time Games champ Mat Fraser, Sara Sigmundsdottir, Noah Ohlsen, current Fittest Woman Laura Horvath, Gabi Migala, and many more.

The details: Last week a new Instagram account appeared under the handle “Nike Strength” with the description, “Premium equipment to support athletes. Launching October 17th.” There was only one post, an artsy, angled shot of a backlight dumbbell emblazoned with the Nike Swoosh.

Now live, the Nike Strength website features pro athletes from a variety of sports training with the equipment, including LeBron James, Derrick Henry, Nelly Korda, Saquon Barkley and more.

  • The “Nike Strength” branded products recently launched include: dumbbells, barbells, bumper plates, kettlebells, benches, and a squat rack.
  • Dumbbells come in 24 different weight options ranging from 5 pounds to 100 pounds; kettlebells come in 11 sizes starting at 9 pounds all the way up to 88 pounds.
  • Nike barbells come in 15kg and 20kg. The 15kg bars have coated color options such as orange and red with ‘Just Do It.’ in the center of the bar, while the 20kg bars come in chrome or black. The barbells start at $250. (For comparison, the Rogue Fitness Bella Bar 2.0 starts at $235)
  • There are also bumper plates for sale, including change plates ranging from 1.25 pounds to 10 pounds. Bumper plates start at $35 and go up to $110 for a single 45 pound plate. They come in two colors; one is speckled and the others are black.

Other equipment being sold includes a bench, squat rack, dip station, spotter arms, and a dumbbell storage rack.

The bottom line: While the list of equipment is nowhere near what Rogue Fitness offers it’s clear Nike is trying to break into the CrossFit scene. Other fitness equipment brands have attempted this, but none have had quite the success of Rogue Fitness.

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 🎙️ 🎙️ The Weekly Buzz: Check out the new collab between the Morning Chalk Up and Kettlebells and Cocktails and get caught up on some of the top community, affiliate, and sport stories of the week.

  • On this episode: Joe and Niki discuss a BIG CrossFit rumor about the 2024 season, competition updates from TYR WZA, Down Under Championship and Dubai, WHOOP announces AI Coach, Kansas State University study shows the effectiveness of CrossFit vs regular PE in high school setting and more.

Congratulations to Adam Klink on his new position as Director of Community and Partnerships at R.A.D.

💪 🔥 The TYR Wodapalooza Team Online Challenge and Qualifier began last week with the first workouts being announced. Registration closes and scores are due on October 23 and video submissions are due on October 26. Learn more now and get registered!

Team 247 from Represent Clothing welcomed its newest brand ambassador, Joshua Al-chamaa.

ICYMI: Coaches and Games podium vets chime in on the 2024 CrossFit Games season changes.

Have a Speed Read you think we might like? Hit us up.

  2023 Rogue Invitational Podium Picks and Dark Horses: Men’s Division  


2023 Rogue Invitational Podium Picks and Dark Horses: Men’s Division

The 2023 Rogue Invitational is just under weeks away, meaning the slow period after the conclusion of this year’s Games is about to come to an end.

With the coming of the Rogue Invitational we finally get a chance to see many of the sport’s top athletes once again go head-to-head, and on the men’s side, things are bound to get very interesting.

Below we have included our choices for the most likely athletes to finish on the podium as well as a few ‘dark horse’ athletes who can possibly surprise us.

Let’s dive in.

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  23 Questions with CJ Martin, CrossFit Invictus Founder and Elite Coach  

23 Questions with CJ Martin, CrossFit Invictus Founder and Elite Coach

As we head into the end of 2023, it’s a good time to reflect on the season behind us as well as look to what’s coming ahead. But amidst the heavy pondering that comes with the close of the year, it’s also time to approach some more light hearted subjects.

This week, we sat down with long-time CrossFit coach CJ Martin, the founder of CrossFit Invictus. Martin just coached his second team to victory at the Affiliate Cup this past summer, but we wanted to go beyond just the sport of fitness and find out what’s going on in his personal life and beyond.

In the spirit of the Vogue 73 question interview made popular by journalist Joe Sabia, we asked him 23 questions to close out the 2023 season.

  1. What’s your favorite time of day?

CJ Martin: Depends on my location – early mornings in the mountains, dusk near beaches.

  1. What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

CJM: I was voted “Best Hair” in the 8th Grade – fully documented in my school yearbook.

  1. AMRAP or For Time?

CJM: For time…strong preference.

  1. What’s one gym accessory everyone should own?

CJM: So many to choose from, but I would say a Garmin GPS watch…which is also a nice reminder to get outside the gym for some of your training.

  1. What do you usually eat for breakfast?

CJM: Three eggs and some sort of complimentary meat with avocado.

  1. What’s one thing you had to learn the hard way?

CJM: Genetics matter…all the hard work in the world won’t make you elite at a sport you weren’t built to excel at.

  1. Mountain, lake, or beach?

CJM: Mountains with lots of green foliage and trees.

  1. What’s the most exciting thing in your life right now?

CJM: Coaching my kids’ sports!

  1. What are you completely bored of right now?

CJM: Social media…I have rarely engaged in any social media for several years now and find it to be destructive for most people, but especially young people.

  1. Favorite place to be?

CJM: Eastern Sierras – tons of amazing hiking, camping and views at 10,000 feet and higher.

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  Kari Pearce Partners with Kane Footwear on Recovery Shoe ‘Kane Revive,’ Highlights Message of Self Love  

Kari Pearce Partners with Kane Footwear on Recovery Shoe ‘Kane Revive,’ Highlights Message of Self Love

Seven-time CrossFit Games athlete Kari Pearce launched a new limited edition version of recovery shoe, Kane Revive. Kane Footwear and the Kane Revive has gained popularity in the CrossFit community as elite athletes like Pearce have started to wear them.

Remind me: Pearce is a CrossFit Games veteran and the four-time fittest American woman. In 2020 she took third place at the COVID-affected Games at the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas, CA. She’s been a force in the sport for a long time now and announced her retirement from the sport following the 2021 season.

  • “My theme is ‘Love Yourself, Love Your Body’,” said Pearce. Her limited edition shoe has black on top and the sole is white with colorful specks and bright pink ties in the back.
  • The background of Pearce’s shoe design stems from when Pearce was 15 years old and doing gymnastics, “ I remember my coach asking if I had cake for my birthday and I said I had ice cream and he said ‘I could tell.’ My mom noticed I was losing weight quickly and it’s just something I’ll never forget.”
  • “At that age you’re so worried about what people say and that isn’t healthy. So after dealing with coaches saying, ‘I want you to look a certain way’ that’s what I wanted the premise of the shoe to be.”

Kane Footwear is a brand started by John Gagliardi, whose mission was to create a shoe that was environmentally friendly and specifically made for athletic recovery.

Gagliardi shares in his biography on his website that he was just 11 years old when he began working at his Dad’s shoe store in Queens, New York. That experience and his time as a professional athlete helped him to “understand that footwear can have a profound influence on recovery.”

Kane offers roughly 20 different color options for their Revive shoes and also has a whole line of college affiliated shoes. The shoes are made of Brazilian sugarcane, which is a renewable resource.  The company has also partnered with other athletes such as endurance athlete, five-time Ironman Eric Hinman.

The details: Kane Revive shoes provide a ton of support with a 10mm heel raise and arch support that ensures “an easy transfer from heel to toe, allowing foot and leg muscles to recover,” according to the brand’s website.

  • “Everything stems from your feet whether you realize it or not. Even with rope climbs your feet take such a beating. I feel like it’s just very important to take care of your feet for that reason.”
  • “The shoes are super comfortable and good to just throw on when you’re getting groceries or going for a walk.”
  • Pearce adds, “One thing I did throughout my career was I loved going on walks. It was such an easy way to get a little recovery in and I made it a habit.”

Every person who gets a pair of Pearce’s shoes will see ‘Love Yourself’ in the left shoe, and ‘Love Your Body’ in the right in neon green.

The bottom line: Pearce shares she’s had to adapt as her body has changed since retiring from competitive CrossFit: “The body you’ve had for 34 years is not attainable and anybody training, even the way I did, or an elite level athlete, you may not look like it. There is only one you.”

  Meet the Man Behind the Gainz Box: Helping CrossFit Entrepreneurs since 2015  

Meet the Man Behind the Gainz Box: Helping CrossFit Entrepreneurs since 2015

In 2014, as he frequented the local CrossFit competition scene in the Orange County area, Brian Ellis noticed a trend: There were tons of small entrepreneurs in the CrossFit space, and CrossFit athletes were eager to try whatever they had to offer.

Ellis remembers people going from tent-to-tent in vendor villages buying wrist wraps, supplements, protein bars, whatever they thought might help their performance. That’s when he had the idea for Gainz Box.

  • “At that time I was subscribed to a men’s clothing subscription box…and I thought, ‘Why isn’t there a fitness subscription box out there?’” he remembers asking himself.

So Ellis took it upon himself to create a fitness subscription box for the functional fitness athlete—Gainz Box—a company that quickly gained 2,000 subscribers in 2015, and by 2018 they had 8,000 subscribers.

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