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Purchase An Affiliate During A Pandemic?

Morning Chalk Up

May 8

Red H Nutrition

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Over the past several weeks we’ve covered many stories about gyms closing and trying to adapt to virtual classes and lockdown orders,but now Emily Beers spotlights a brand new affiliate and some new gym owners. And, a handful of athletes turned down individual Games invitations to compete in the team division, what happens if it gets canceled? Today:

  • Welcoming a new affiliate owner and new gym owners in a pandemic.
  • Several Games athletes made a choice to go team, what happens if the team division is canceled?
  • The Adaptive Training Academy has moved its certification course online, learn more below.

Is your affiliate closing permanently? Please let us know.

Do you have story tips, PRs, out-of-the-box workouts? Hit us up at [email protected].



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“Go plunge into the health-giving, joy-inspiring waves of yonder ocean while summer lasts; take a cold shower in winter; walk long distances if you have time, swing dumbbells if you have not. Cold water, vigorous exercise, hard study…are the conditions of moral, mental and bodily health.” – Walt Whitman


Surprising Pandemic Purchase of the Day: A CrossFit Affiliate

  Surprising Pandemic Purchase of the Day: A CrossFit Affiliate  

In a time when some affiliates are closing their doors for good — 47 as of Monday — other CrossFit enthusiasts are choosing to take on the financial risk of getting into the gym business.

Sharon Palermo and Lawrence Miller have both purchased existing affiliates, and Catherine Scherer just affiliated her garage gym in Hockessin, DE. offciialy opening CrossFit Clarity.

Palermo, along with three other business partners, signed the papers last week and is now the owner of True Peak CrossFit in Manchester, NH, while Miller just took over ownership of Amnesty CrossFit in Oswego, NY.

  • “Why did we buy a gym in a pandemic? The best answer is we know the worth of keeping this place going for the people who go to this gym, and to satisfy a dream all of us shared,” said Palermo, who has dreamed of owning a CrossFit gym for five years.
  • “Yeah there’s a risk, but we also know there is a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. We have members who are sticking with us. And we were lucky to have a landlord who was willing to compromise and work with us due to the current situation. That helped our decision for sure as it would have been a rougher start to get this going,” she added.

Miller said his decision to buy Amnesty CrossFit, where he has been a member since 2017, was largely about saving the community he loves.

  • “I was honestly worried that myself and the other members wouldn’t have a place to train,” Miller said.

He, too, understands the financial risk, but as the owner of a successful pizzeria, he has entrepreneurial experience and thinks the decision will pay off in the long-term.

  • “Obviously now is not the ideal time to buy an affiliate…but I feel that the industry is going to be primed for success as we come out of this. While I understand people have found a happy place in home gyms, many of the people I’ve spoken with have expressed that the group setting of CrossFit helps to keep them accountable and motivated. I think there will also be a New Year’s style approach to fitness once bans are lifted and people will be looking to be healthier and more active,” he said.

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Next Up on the Chopping Block? The Team Division

  Next Up on the Chopping Block? The Team Division  

It’s been a week since the CrossFit Games announced the end of the age group season, and recent mentions by Director of the Games Dave Castro that more announcements were in the pipeline have left the community speculating on the fate of the team competition.

The common sentiment amongst athletes and community leaders is that it is only a matter of time before the team competition gets the flaming arrow and follows the age group divisions into Valhalla for 2020.

  • The potential saving grace would be that only 9 teams have earned an invite so far and that the total number of athletes (36) competing would be reasonable, and present less of an issue than the age groups.

If teams do get the ax, it leaves a select group of individuals in an interesting predicament. These athletes qualified for the Games as individuals through the Open and earned invitations on teams through Sanctionals. They declined their individual invites under the assumption that there would actually be a team competition to participate in.

  • Andrea Nisler, Brooke Haas, Taylor Williamson, Brandon Luckett, Rich Froning, and Roy Gamboa, could all make the case that they should be re-offered their individual invites from the Open again.
  • 153 Men and 143 Women are currently on tap for the Games as individuals, so adding three more athletes to each division for whatever filtering process HQ has in store before Aromas shouldn’t be a heavy lift.

Spoiler alert: We reached out to each athlete, and as expected Rich Froning would still decline his invitation, but the remaining athletes seemed interested to varying degrees in competing as individuals if given the opportunity.


New Adaptive Training Online Course Available

  New Adaptive Training Online Course Available  

As affiliate owners and trainers navigate the challenges faced by the coronavirus pandemic, there are educational organizations working hard to provide advanced certificates that can set your gym apart. Following the trend of converting education to online formats, like CrossFit HQ’s CF-L1 and Kids courses,  the Adaptive Training Academy (ATA) has converted their live seminar into an interactive online course.

  • If your gym is looking for a way to attract new members, this certificate course will help your coaches and facilities to become truly accessible to anyone.

It seems fitting that ATA is capable of adapting its education to become more accessible. Since 2016, the ATA staff have been providing adaptive fitness education via live seminars around the world, graduating more than 1,000 trainers from 800+ affiliates.  Now without the ability to hold in-person education, ATA has gone digital.

The Adaptive and Inclusive Training online certificate course is essentially the “CF-L1” for how to train people with disabilities: It provides an introductory, yet comprehensive, education in the specialty of adaptive fitness methodology, concepts, and adaptations. Graduates of the certificate course will learn and practice principles that will enable them to conduct fitness training for people with disabilities while maintaining an inclusive setting, whether online or in-person.

Photo Courtesy: Adaptive Training Academy

  • Kevin Ogar, ATA Seminar Staff: “This education should be required for all affiliate owners and trainers so that you can be prepared to train anyone who walks or rolls into your gym. The worst thing that could happen would be for an affiliate to turn someone away. People with disabilities already tend to feel like outcasts and the one place they should feel welcome is a CrossFit box.”



Your Whole Body with One Dumbbell

In this episode, Kristi Eramo O’Connell and Pat O’Connell demonstrate ten exercises you can do at home with just one dumbbell. Even with minimal equipment, you can still get a total body pump and elevate that heart rate by following along.

  Morning Chalk Up  



America’s Coffee

Black Rifle Coffee Company is a Veteran-owned coffee company delivering premium coffee right to the doors of people who love America. Try Fit Fuel a high-caffeine blend fresh-roasted to fuel your inner athlete.

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Sean and Tommy Discuss the Cancelation of the Age Group Competition

In this episode of Talking Elite Fitness, Sean Woodland and Tommy Marquez talk about the announcement canceling the age groups at the CrossFit Games this year, as well as the response from athletes. And, they preview the upcoming Titan Games season.

  Morning Chalk Up  


NIKE Metcons for $65

NIKE gear is up to 50% off, including the Metcon 5, through May 10. No code required just shop now and score 50% off and get the Metcon 5 for just $65.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Healthy Soft Banana Bread Cookies

Quarantine baking continues and these soft, healthy banana cookies made with a mix of almond and coconut flour are gluten and grain-free and delicious! They taste like a slice of your favorite banana bread and are topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting for a delicious treat everyone loves. Paleo-friendly and easily vegan & dairy-free!



Congratulations to James R., who was the first to correctly name one of the top-two athletes (female or male) who won the most Teenager Age Group Online Qualifier Events in their careers. The correct answers were Emma Cary and Tudor Magda. Emma has seven career AGOQ Event wins and Tudor has six. Note, James R. is first person who first correctly answered a trivia question twice.

  • Today’s question: Which Master (female or male) has won the most Opens in their Age Division?

Submit your answer.





New Digital Resources and Apps to Check Out

Here’s a quick roundup of some new digital resources and apps that have come across our desks recently:

  • Toolkit for CrossFitters: Lamorna and Tamara Short have founded the company Blue Elvin and will launch later this year with products aimed at helping athletes protect their collarbones and shins from impact with a barbell. In the meantime, though, they have created a digital toolkit for CrossFitters in COVID-19 lockdown on the topics of “Relationships, Training and Fuel” that includes an interview with Gretchen Kittleberger, four-time CrossFit Games athlete.
  • Engine at Home: Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3), Todd Nief has created a guide to help athletes improve their CrossFit training while at-home. The guide includes a five-step progression to to build your proficiency in a given movement and your ability to perform it at a higher capacity when tired.
  • LOVEMYBOX App: Ian Macdonald, owner of CrossFit Langebaan in Langebaan, South Africa, has created a new app to boost athlete engagement during the COVID-19 lockdown. LOVEMYBOX allows members to earn points based on their activities such as logging WODs, meals, booking zoom classes or getting PRs.These points feed through to a leaderboard where teams compete and so the box can see how the teams are doing and who is contributing points. Sign up for free!
  • Owner of Park Meadows CrossFit, in Lone Tree, CO Shean Kirin and three-time Games athlete Kevin Montoya have created, a system to help gym owners manage virtual training classes better, more simply and more efficiently. This system is especially helpful for affiliate owners and coaches with limited technical knowledge.
  • Just Doing This Now!: UK-based CrossFit athlete, Sophie Grogan, has created a YouTube vlog called “Just Doing This Now!” and is putting out great content showcasing everyday masters athletes as well as up-and-coming female athletes. Sanctionals/regionals athlete Will Kane features heavily in the episodes as well.
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