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Paper St Coffee Keeps CrossFitters Energized, Learn Its Origin Story

Morning Chalk Up

September 11   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • The Madrid Championship wrapped up over the weekend, get a full recap below
  • EC Synkowski offers three tips on getting more protein in your diet
  • Paper St Coffee’s Gabe Maldonado shifts from CrossFit gym owner to CrossFit coffee powerhouse

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

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“Workout for better performance, and watch your body composition shift. Workout for a number of calories burned, and be frustrated with the lack of progress.” - EC Synkowski

  <i>El Fin</i>: A 2023 Madrid Championship Recap  

El Fin: A 2023 Madrid Championship Recap

The Madrid Championship has wrapped up for another year, and as is the case annually, there were some big names competing on the men’s side, women’s side and amongst the teams.

Programmed by Elliot Simmonds, the seven tests included new implements, strict gymnastics and heavy barbells. After three days of competition, the fittest in Madrid was crowned and went home with medals and paychecks in tow.

The highlights: Although there was quite a bit of jostling on both the elite men’s and women’s side throughout the competition, the top five competitors of both divisions remained relatively similar, save for a small bit of leapfrogging here and there.

Men’s Division

  • After the first four tests, Travis Mayer jumped up the leaderboard into third place, behind Lazar Djukic, who was in first, and brother Luka Djukic, who was in second. This was thanks to Mayer’s second place finish on Test 4, the 5K run. After a win on Test 5, Mayer continued his climb up the leaderboard into second place, entering the final day.
  • After a 1st and 3rd place finish on Tests 1 and 2, Jonne Koski was sitting high on the leaderboard but after his 17th and 13th place finishes on Tests 3 and 4, he dropped to 6th. His 2nd place finish on Test 5 bumped him back up to 4th place, to finish out day two of competition.
  • The Djukic brothers battled it out on Test 5, with Luka edging out Lazar by five seconds, giving Luka 3rd place and Lazar 4th in the test.
  • After Test 6, the men’s leaderboard continued to shuffle, thanks to a win by Koski on Test 6, after which he jumped up to second, and bumped down Mayer and Luka Djukic. Lazar held strong at first place overall by 30 points as he entered the final test.

Women’s Division

  • Karin Frey had an incredible showing over the past few days, with multiple test wins, including Test 5, where Jacqueline Dahlstrom took second place and Anikha Greer took third.
  • Like Travis Mayer, Anikha Greer jumped around a bit on the leaderboard this weekend, with two second place finishes in the midst of a 29th place finish on Test 4, the 5K run. She hung on tightly, and entered the final day of competition in second place.
  • Due to her test win on Test 6, Greer tightened her lead over third place holder Silvia Garcia, and sat safely in second place. In the same test, Thuri Helgadottir took second, which moved her up to sixth overall.

Team Division

  • The elite team, Los Niños, (Noah Ohlsen, Chandler Smith, Lena Richter and Sydney Michalyshen), consistently remained at the top of the leaderboard throughout the weekend, entering the final day with a giant lead, a handful of test wins and no finishes below fifth.

The podium: Racking up four test wins, including on the final test, “Iberius,” Karin Frey took home first place for the women, and after a very dramatic weekend, Lazar Djukic ended as the men’s champion, who finished with no placings outside the top 10. Los Niños took home the win for the elite teams division after remaining at the top throughout the entire weekend.


  1. Lazar Djukic | Karin Frey | Los Niños
  2. Jonne Koski | Anikha Greer | Training Culture
  3. Travis Mayer | Emelie Lundberg | Training Culture Bananas

The bottom line: Numerous individuals and teams took home paychecks, as the 170,000 Euro prize purse was widely distributed amongst divisions and age groups. Once again, fans were met with celebration and festivities, attending the Madrid Championship. Many spectators were able to participate in the MAD Challenge, the MAD KIDS program, and the after party, open to all, held once the competition concluded on Sunday night. See the full leaderboard, including all team and age group divisions now.

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Tenth Annual Coaches Congress: The largest, independent, educational event for gym owners and coaches in Europe, the Coaches Congress, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and is marking it by announcing a new partnership with PRVN Fitness.

  • Henrik Almers, Coaches Congress CEO: “I am thrilled to have PRVN as a partner of our upcoming events. It is a great pleasure to welcome such highly talented and knowledgeable people from within the CrossFit space.”
  • During the events, January 27-28, 2024, the PRVN team will deliver inspirational keynotes to gym owners, as well as activations like workshops for coaches.

Good Rep is a free CrossFit program for at-risk and vulnerable young people living in South East Melbourne, Australia. Based out of CrossFit Innovation in Pakenham, the program is open to youths aged 15-21 who are at risk of involvement with police or in early contact with the justice system to take part in a weekly fun fitness program. If you know a good candidate for the program, refer them now.

🚨🚨 TYR Wodapalooza Online Challenge and Qualifier (WZAOC): The WZAOC is the first step in earning a spot to compete in Miami at the TYR WZA fitness festival in January, but it’s also a great opportunity to throw down with your gym family, Friday Night Lights-style. Athletes have two options for the TYR WZAOC, individual or team of three. Check it out and register now!

  • The first two weeks are focused on our individual athletes and kick off on Thursday, September 14th, with scores due and registration closing on Monday, September 18th at 8:00 PM ET.
  • The second week starts on Thursday, September 21st, with scores due on Monday, September 25th at 8:00 PM ET.

ICYMI: CrossFit saved John Lambright’s life and now he’s paying it forward.

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

  Three Tips for Getting More Protein in Your Diet  


Three Tips for Getting More Protein in Your Diet

Every month on the Consistency Project podcast, I take some of the questions people have sent me about nutrition or fitness and do my best to give helpful guidance.

Recently, I answered five questions about protein, including one from a listener named Karak about tips for getting enough without relying so much on powders.

I’ve found two often overlooked strategies effective, plus one important thing to get right before you try anything new.

Continue Reading...
  Paper St Coffee Owner Gabe Maldonado Talks About His Journey from Gym Owner to Creating a CrossFit Coffee Powerhouse  

Paper St Coffee Owner Gabe Maldonado Talks About His Journey from Gym Owner to Creating a CrossFit Coffee Powerhouse

You don’t have to be a coffee lover to understand or appreciate the aroma of a roastery. There is a warm, slightly burnt smell in the air, machines are buzzing, and the room is full of potato sacks of beans from all over the globe. It’s inviting and warm and it’s where Gabe Maldonado has made it his homebase for Paper St Coffee—a coffee brand taking the CrossFit world by storm.

The Morning Chalk Up visited the roastery where the coffee is prepared in Brooklyn, New York and spoke to Maldonado about how his company has become such a fixture in the CrossFit space.

Remind me: Paper St Coffee ambassadors include elite athletes, such as Arielle Loewen, Colten Mertens, and Christine Kolenbrander, just to name a few. Elite CrossFitters alike have been flaunting the small batch coffee brand all over social media, either holding a bag, a mug, or sleek cold brew cans. These athletes can’t get enough of what Paper St Coffee has to offer.

Maldonado started CrossFit in 2013 after some coercing from a friend. He was fascinated by the sport, reading CrossFit’s publication “The Journal” from start to finish, and even went on to get his Level One certification in 2015. He proceeded to own two gyms; one that didn’t go well and the other that he decided to sell in 2019, located in Bergenfield, New Jersey.

  • “In 2015 to 2019 I just was giving, giving, giving to my athletes. And I said ‘hey, you know, I’m gonna take a step back and focus on me.’ November 2019 I did that and got rid of the gym. I kept all my equipment. I leased my equipment out in January 2020,” said Maldonado, who works full-time at a distribution company.
  • When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the distribution company Maldonado worked for was still operating, but there was no one to drive the trucks. Maldonado volunteered to drive trucks from Chicago to New Jersey and during that time on the road he stops for coffee, “and it’s just regular crappy coffee.”
  • Then a spark went off. Maldonado’s wife Michelle had an uncle who would send them “awesome coffee” from Colombia and then the idea hit.
  • “Let’s just take this amazing coffee. Let’s take this vacuum because people are now stuck at home because of the pandemic. So how can I bridge that gap, like these people were all used to just going to Dunkin and Starbucks because it was so quick. How can I bridge the gap of people who are now home and they’re able to spend more time making better coffee at home.”
Continue Reading...


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HSPU Progression Tip: Your Forearm Angle Matters

When you are figuring out how to do handstand push-ups, you don’t often think about your forearm angle. Learn why it matters!



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4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
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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)
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4/13: Queens of Oly East Tennessee (Bulls Gap, TN)
4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
4/13: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
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)
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4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
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4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
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4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/25 - 5/12: Raised by Grace (Virtual, )
4/26 - 4/28: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/27: Cap Crown Throwdown (Gladstone, Australia)
4/28: 249 Spring Throwdown (Sittingbourne, Kent, England)
5/4: Masters Equalizer Co-Ed Team of 4 Comp (Oceanport, United States)
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5/4: CHLKDUP Classic (Nashville, TN)
5/4 - 5/5: Pavia Spring Challenge ’24 (Pavia, Italy)
5/4 - 5/5: Italian Bulls Games (Lido di Ostia, Italy)
5/4: Team Challenge Texas (San Antonio, Texas)
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5/11 - 5/12: Finest City Weightlifting Open – Presented by The Strength Tank (San Diego, CA)
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5/11: Queens of Oly Hudson (Hudson, NY)
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5/18: Girls Gone RX Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)
5/18: Thrive Throwdown (Lynchburg, VA)
5/18: Imperial CrossFit’s Spring Fit Fest (Kent, WA)
5/18 - 5/19: The Rainhill Spring Trials (Manchester, UK)
5/18: Luminate the Day (Nonprofit comp for Windy Willow Foundation) (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/18: Girls Gone Rx Chicago (Alsip, Illinois)
5/18: Girls Gone Rx Wilmington (Wilmington, North Carolina)
5/18: Girls Gone Rx San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas)
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5/27 - 6/9: Turun Tuomiopäivä 2024 Qualifiers (Turku, Finland)
5/31 - 6/2: The Atlantic Coast Classic (Daytona Beach, Florida)
6/1: NOVA Throwdown 2024 (Sterling, VA)

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