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Remembering “Moments from Madison” as 2023 Winds Down

Morning Chalk Up

November 6   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • We are remembering some of our favorite “Moments from Madison” before the Games move in 2024
  • Learn how to adapt all nine events from the Rogue Invitational for your affiliate
  • “Fight for Freedom” competition and fundraiser completes its fourth year
  • James Newbury credits Frog Grips with helping him set an unofficial pull-up world record

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

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“Fortune befriends the bold.” - Emily Dickinson

  ‘Moments from Madison’ as the Games Heads to Texas: Going Heavy  

‘Moments from Madison’ as the Games Heads to Texas: Going Heavy

Madison, Wisconsin has been home to the CrossFit Games six times since 2017 and became an iconic location for the sport. As we inch closer to the end of 2023 and before the competition makes the move to Fort Worth, Texas in 2024, we want to look back on some of the most memorable moments from Games past.

Remind me: CrossFit HQ announced last month that the 2024 CrossFit Games would be relocating, following months of speculation. The CrossFit Games will be held at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth from August 8-11, 2024.

First on our list: Going heavy in the coliseum.

Saturday nights have always been reserved for the premiere events CrossFit wants to showcase, and in Madison, they decided to go heavy often, which produced some memorable moments. The barbell came out, as expected, but the sandbag also made an unexpected, chalky, yet triumphant addition to the ladder events at the Games as well.

In 2019, it was cleans. The women started at 215, ending at 260, and the men at 315, going all the way up to 385, to determine the winners of this event.

  • Just 2 men, Scott Panchik and Mat Fraser, who had been going lift for lift all night, made it past the 370-pound barbell, and then the 375-pound barbell. At 380, however, the second to last barbell was too much for Panchik and Fraser, ever the clutch performer, bounced in the hole a couple times, then confidently stood it up, lingering momentarily to soak in the crowd’s feverish support.
  • The women, however, broke the event, as Amanda Barnhardt and Tia-Clair Toomey both cruised through the 260-pound barbell, the last scheduled. CrossFit made the decision to keep adding weight and, at 265, Barnhardt could not successfully complete the lift, leaving Toomey alone on the floor.  Like her fellow champion Fraser, she harnessed the energy of the crowd and, with a bounce or two, stood up 265, electrifying the coliseum.

In 2021, the snatch took center stage.

  • At the 190 barbell, Brooke Wells injured her right elbow, requiring her to withdraw from the rest of the Games. After attending to her, the competition resumed and, at the 200 pound barbell, it was just Toomey, and Annie Thorisdottir. With :40 seconds to complete the lift, unlike the :20 seconds of years past, there was a realistic opportunity for the athlete to redeem a failed opening lift.
  • In this case, it was Thorisdottir who, after missing her first lift forward, regrouped and, with :02 seconds remaining on the clock, landed in the hole cleanly.  After a momentary pause of recognition and disbelief, obvious from her facial expression, Annie slowly stood up the barbell, holding it overhead for an additional second as the crowd erupted.
  • Among the men, things got interesting at 300 pounds. Royce Dunne and Gui Malheiros were the only ones left on the ladder. Without lifters, these two cleared 300 easily, bumping up the barbell by five pounds. The sense of inevitability surrounding Malheiros’ eventual win filled the stadium and Dunne could not land the 305 barbell, which left Malheiros, in no rush, who coolly approached the barbell while pumping up his crowd.
  • With lightning speed, he dropped under the heaviest snatch barbell in Games history and stood it up without perceived effort.
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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 week’s episode: Joe and Niki highlight stories from the affiliate community this week, including Kym Dekeyrel’s efforts to educate athletes during Blind Awareness Month, 26.2 CrossFit and training marathon runners, avoiding burnout in training and more.

Fight for the Fittest: Registration is now open for The MFLH “Fight for the Fittest” Partner Series. Sign up now and compete for a spot at the in-person finals in January 2024.

🚣‍♀️ 🚣‍♀️ Rowvember 2023 Alert: For the fifth year in a row, Dark Horse Rowing is running “Rowvember,” a month-long, pre-holiday challenge. Dark Horse will provide a rowing workout every day for those who sign up and the goal is to complete as many as possible during the month. Last year, 8,000 people signed up. The goal this year is 10,000.

ICYMI: Mat Fraser pulls back the curtain on the secrets to his success on the Black Rifle Coffee Podcast.

  Adapting the Rogue Invitational Programming for your Affiliate  


Adapting the Rogue Invitational Programming for your Affiliate

The 2023 Rogue Invitational has wrapped up and 40 of the world’s fittest athletes put on a clinic for nine events over the course of four days. Despite some inclement weather, Rogue managed to put on a larger-than-life event, featuring Elite Individuals, Strongman competitors and the beloved Legends division.

Today we’re modifying the individual’s programming so your members can try these events at your affiliate. Keep in mind that some of the implements, equipment and spacing are beyond the capabilities of most affiliates, so this interpretation is meant to be for the average affiliate that is equipped with standard CrossFit equipment.

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  Fight for Freedom Competition Returns for Year Four, Supports The Weekly Fight’s Mission to Turn Post-Traumatic Stress into Post-Traumatic Growth  

Fight for Freedom Competition Returns for Year Four, Supports The Weekly Fight’s Mission to Turn Post-Traumatic Stress into Post-Traumatic Growth

On November 4, CrossFitters from the Tri-state area and beyond gathered at RIV Athletics in Wilmington, DE for the fourth annual Fight for Freedom, a functional fitness competition supporting The Weekly Fight, an organization dedicated to turning post-traumatic stress into post-traumatic growth.

The big picture: Fight for Freedom was started in 2019 by Chris Townsend, owner of CrossFit Petram in Middletown, DE. CrossFit Petram is one of the many gyms affiliated with The Weekly Fight, a nonprofit started by former Marine Marty Kenny after he lost a fellow Marine in 2015.

  • CrossFit gyms affiliated with The Weekly Fight host free workouts on Saturday mornings for veterans, first responders, and their family members in hopes of reducing veteran suicide rates and supporting healthy lifestyles.
  • The nonprofit is built on three pillars: a crisis management fund, which helps with anything a first responder or veteran may need (from utility bills to funeral expenses), a scholarship fund that benefits the higher education for children who grew up around PTSD, and education around shared experiences and trauma.
  • “The main essence of The Weekly Fight is to have a space for people to go if they need. It’s not always about the workout. When folks are going through things, they need to know there’s a place they can go to and talk to someone,” Townsend said.
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  James Newbury Sets Unofficial World Record of 120 Consecutive Kipping Pull-Ups, Credits Frog Grips for Helping him Hang on  

James Newbury Sets Unofficial World Record of 120 Consecutive Kipping Pull-Ups, Credits Frog Grips for Helping him Hang on

A couple months ago, four-time CrossFit Games athlete James Newbury unintentionally did 100 pull-ups in a row during a group class workout.

  • “I just got to 50 and felt great. Then 60, then 70, and it just kept going. The workout was 100 reps to start and so when I got there, I just stopped, unsure of how many more I could do,” Newbury explained.

Needless to say, Newbury’s curiosity was peaked to discover what his true max was.

So earlier this month, Newbury put himself to the test, and logged 120 consecutive kipping pull-ups in two minutes and two seconds, setting, to the best of our knowledge, an unofficial world record in the process.

Newbury, who managed to hang on to the faster butterfly kip for the first 113 reps before switching to the more traditional, slower kip for the final seven reps before coming off the bar, was pleasantly surprised by the result.

  • “The goal going in was just to get to 100 and prove I didn’t dream the last one. I was expecting around 100 to 110. The thing is you just never know how you’ll feel on the day,” he said.

Worth noting: It is believed CrossFit pioneer, seven-time Games athlete Chris Spealler had the previous unofficial world record with 106 consecutive kipping pull-ups, a feat he performed a week before the 2009 CrossFit Games, Spealler remembered.

  • His reaction to Newbury’s result: “Great work James, It’s great to see people pushing the boundaries of things beyond just the barbell. Now buckle up for all the comments on social media,” he said.

One big thing: Newbury, whose old pull-up PR of 71 reps dates back to 2012, said he never would have been able to compete 120 unbroken kipping pull-ups without wearing Frog Grips, the popular grips designed for CrossFit athletes.

  • “I think the froggies contributed a solid 30 percent of this total. The way they are constructed allow for ultimate grip, comfort and control on the bar,” said Newbury, who wore the fingerless Frog Elite HD grips.
  • “If you have to grip the bar 25 percent more on every rep, you’re diminishing your grip reserves rapidly. It’s all about how relaxed you can be,” added Newbury, who started wearing Frog Grips at Wodapalooza in 2022 and “noticed a big difference in terms of comfort, protection and grip.”
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