“I've never scored a goal in my life without getting a pass from someone else.”- Abby Wambach
Ukrainian Affiliates Closed Indefinitely After Russian Invasion
Overnight, Russian forces attacked Ukraine by land, air and sea from Belarus, Crimea and Russia, launching a full-scale ground offensive in the eastern part of Ukraine. CrossFit’s seven affiliates located in Ukraine have now shut their doors indefinitely, according to translated social media posts.
What they’re saying: “Due to the recent events in Ukraine, the gyms will temporarily be closed. We believe in our army and hope that we will see you again soon!” wrote CrossFit Banda on Instagram, the largest chain in Ukraine with at least four locations.
Voin CrossFit in Kyiv: “The gym will be closed until the situation is stabilized.”
Arsen Galeev, co-owner of My F Gym in Kyiv, Ukraine: “We are temporarily closed until we know how to take further action. In the meantime, I ask that everyone remain calm only believe trusted sources of information.”
Amateur Competition 2022 in Kyiv: “Due to the Russian aggression, we will not be able to hold the tournament this weekend. We will inform you about the new competition date as soon as the situation in the country stabilizes! Peace be upon you all! We believe in Ukraine!”
The state of play: “Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine, including the CrossFit affiliates, coaches, and members there whose lives and safety are at risk,” CrossFit’s GM of Affiliates and International Gary Gaines told the Morning Chalk Up. “We have reached out to all of our affiliates in Ukraine to see if there is anything we can do to help, and we stand ready to support our Ukrainian CrossFit community.”
CrossFit’s European country managers also reached out to Ukrainian affiliates today asking how they can help support their affiliates.
What happens with the Open? Frankly, there are much bigger concerns, but due to the ongoing violence in Kyiv, the approximately 200 athletes currently signed up for the 2022 CrossFit Open will not likely be able to log scores for the foreseeable future.
Danielle Brandon's R.A.D Open Performance
The Queen of the Handstand Walk is now Queen of the Wall Walk after a dominant performance in the 22.1 announcement.
Danielle Brandon is the first athlete on the R.A.D roster after making the decision to compete in the R.A.D ONE this season.
Why R.A.D? Choosing a shoe is a make or break decision for elite athletes but for Brandon, there was no contest. After hearing what the R.A.D team stood for, and relentlessly testing the shoe in training she had only message for them…“I am R.A.D.”
Who is actually going to win the Open? Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to our analysts Patrick Clark and Brian Friend about who they have their money on.
Brandon Swan, three-time CrossFit Games athlete and founder of Dad Hours, will be calling it a career, however he will do a “swan song” and compete in the Open before he focuses on becoming a firefighter. 👨🏻🚒
Michael Jordan's Space Jam 'Secret Stuff' and the Power of the Placebo Effect
When I think about the placebo effect, I think about Space Jam. Not the Lebron James sequel that came out last year, the original version with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird from the mid 90’s.
You might recall during the game against the Monstars, the Tune Squad got dominated in the first half. In the locker room, Bugs and Jordan give a rousing half time speech that includes the “discovery” of Michael’s “Secret Stuff.” Which is a not-so-discreetly labeled bottle presumed to be some sort of a performance enhancing beverage. In the second half, the Looney Tunes make a comeback following the shared consumption of said bottle. In the third half (actually) the Monstars strike back at which point Michael Jordan tells the team that his “Secret Stuff ” was actually just water, and they didn’t need it.
Patrick Vellner Leaves Reebok, Starts New Chapter with TYR
After five years as a Reebok athlete, four-time CrossFit Games podium finisher Patrick Vellner said it was “the right time for a change” and has signed a multi-year deal with TYR, the world-renowned swim brand who has moved aggressively into the CrossFit space in the last year.
“I’m super grateful for my time with Reebok. I prefer not to think of it as leaving Reebok, but joining TYR. I’m excited about their vision and commitment to athletes. They have a proven track record in other spaces and are all in on CrossFit,” Vellner said.
One big thing: Unlike Reebok, who had long been an apparel and footwear company prior to getting involved with CrossFit in 2011, TYR, known for their swimwear and sunglasses, is completely new to the apparel and footwear space. In fact, their CossFit training apparel and footwear hasn’t hit the market yet.
For Vellner, this hasn’t been a deterrent. Instead, it has provided him an opportunity to provide feedback and “be a major part of the development of their training line, which is exciting,” Vellner said.
Corey Berger, TYR’s director of CrossFit and Fitness, said TYR is “on track with the timelines” for the release of both their apparel and footwear, and are “really excited to be working with some of the best athletes in the sport to bring it to the community.”
Joining Vellner: Other Games athletes who have signed multi-year head-to-toe deals—meaning apparel, footwear, swimwear, sunglasses and other accessories—include 2021 Games rookies Emma Cary and Lazar Dukic, as well as Gui Malheiros and Travis Mayer.
Meanwhile, TYR swim equipment and sunglass athletes is a long list of Games athletes: Will Moorad, Noah Ohlsen, Amanda Barnhart, Bethany Shadburne, Annie Thorisdottir, Josh Bridges, Saxon Panchik and Meg Reardon.
The big picture: After being the most prolific apparel company in the CrossFit space for a decade which included being the title sponsor of the Games from 2011 until 2020, Vellner leaving Reebok for a brand that has yet to prove themselves in the apparel and footwear space is further evidence that Reebok’s influence in the community continues to decline.
Open Registration Continues to Climb, Needs Final Push To Surpass 2021
As the collective CrossFit world braced themselves for the live 22.1 Open announcement Wednesday, total registration had eclipsed the 200,000 mark. By the time the dust had settled on the announcement, the number had grown to over 219,500, marking a 38,000 plus improvement in 24 hours.
While still a far cry from the stated registration goals of Eric Roza when he took over the company, the timing of the benchmark gives hope 2022 can at least surpass the final numbers from a year ago.
Remind me: During one of his initial townhall meetings back in 2020, Roza wasn’t shy about putting a lofty goal out into the universe in hopes of reinstilling momentum in the sport.
“On the participatory side, the CrossFit Open is already the biggest sporting event in the world. We’ve already hit that. With everyone’s help here, we’re going to get that to half a million in 2021, and then a million in a few years. So if we’re the most participatory sport in the world and we keep pushing that forward, and we can get to a billion viewers around the world because we’re leaning in more and more, that starts to get pretty exciting.”
In 2021 registration closed at 263,529, reversing a two-year participation skid by beating 2020 thanks to a late surge in the final week. That change of direction marked the eighth time in Open history that registration improved from the year prior, which presents us two ways to look at these numbers:
This week’s workout of the week comes from the CrossFit Games and it’s Open workout 22.1. While we normally feature a workout programmed by a CrossFit Games athlete, many of you are already doing the Open on Friday nights. We will resume our regularly programmed workouts after the Open.
Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
3 wall walks
12 dumbbell snatches
15 box jump-overs
M: 50-lb dumbbell, 24-in box
W: 35-lb dumbbell, 20-in box
For tips and strategies for tackling this workout, we’ve assembled a list of strategy guides from around the CrossFit industry.
To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.
The Ultimate Open Schedule
Should you redo it? When should I rest? What about my regular classes? The Open brings a lot of disruption to your everyday gym life. Check out this schedule backed by science that will help you program in workouts, rest, and yes...a redo.
KILL CLIFF is giving away free PR Packs and two cases of your choice to affiliates who buy any 10+ cases. PR Packs include backpack, flag, tumbler, and patch ($167 value). Reward your Open champ, raffle it off to a member, or recognize a VIP - but hurry, quantities are limited. Just want drinks? Grab five cases and get one free.
PSA: Lunges and split squats are actually different exercises. Make sure you know the difference between them so when you see them on your program, you can do more than put one foot in front of the other and hope.
A Free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and First Month's Membership
Gain unparalleled insight into your body and training with a free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and first month's membership. WHOOP measures your body's data over 100 times a second to provide personalized feedback on your recovery, strain, and sleep.
No bake monster cookie energy bites filled with creamy peanut butter and your favorite mix-ins like raisins, chocolate chips and M&M’s. These easy-to-make bites are the perfect post Open snack to kickstart your recovery.
Games Masters Athlete and member of US Army Warrior Fitness Team, COL Tony Kurz hit a 525 pound/238kg deadlift PR.
Congratulations Austin Nelson from CrossFit Lubbock in Lubbock, TX on the PR 365 pound/165.5kg jerk.
Congratulations Nick Gifford from Gifford Fitness in New Brighton, MN on the 260 pound/118kg snatch PR.
🤯 Casey Acree, 2021 Upper Extremity Division Fittest Man on Earth hit a 335 pound/152kg clean PR.
Ramona Pascual makes her UFC debut tomorrow (Saturday) on ESPN+, and will be the first female fighter from Hong Kong in the history of the UFC. In her corner will be none other than Managing Editor of the Morning Chalk Up, Patrick Blennerhassett. Send Ramona your best wishes and tag @morningchalkup if you’re watching along with us!
This email may contain affiliate links. We make a small commision off of purchases made via our affiliate links to help support this newsletter. If you no longer wish to receive the Morning Chalk Up newsletter, unsubscribe here.