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Sara Sigmundsdottir Has Some News

Morning Chalk Up

January 14


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Coming off another first place finish in the CrossFit Open and her third career Sanctionals win at the Dubai Crossfit Championship, Sara Sigmundsdottir has a big announcement, and we’ve got the exclusive. And, Games athletes have been taking to YouTube to earn extra cash and entertain their fans, learn more about it below. Today:

  • Sara in Spain.
  • Smash that “Like” button for your favorite athletes.
  • FDA issues statement on CBD-infused food and drink.

Keep those PRs, big lifts and story tips rolling in. Hit us up at [email protected]  



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“The universe is not short on wake up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”

— Brene Brown


Exclusive: Sara Sigmundsdottir First Revealed Athlete Mentor for Freakest Challenge

  Exclusive: Sara Sigmundsdottir First Revealed Athlete Mentor for Freakest Challenge  

Sara Sigmundsdottir shared the news in an exclusive sit down interview that she’s going to be heading to Barcelona, Spain at the end of the month as one of eight Nike athletes who each mentor and coach a different team in the annual Freakest Challenge competition. The format of this year’s competition has changed to include teams from across Europe, each with one Nike athlete as coach and mentor during the tournament-style event.

Sara Sigmundsdottir: “The community in CrossFit is why we do CrossFit. We just connect on a different level. In Iceland it’s like being in a tribe almost. That atmosphere and that spirit in [the Freakest Challenge] is just something else.”

The Teams: Six are from across Europe and two are from Spain.

  • CrossFit 77Feet
  • Area CrossFit
  • CrossFit 4 Friends
  • CrossFit Minus
  • Milanimal
  • Again CrossFit
  • CrossFit La Nau
  • CrossFit Torredembarra

More details: With a little less than three weeks before the competition kicks off, (February 1), we’ll start finding out the names of the other seven athlete coaches. The event will be live streamed and the Morning Chalk Up crew will be on the ground giving you exclusive insights from the competition floor.


Like and Subscribe: Athletes Earn Cash on YouTube

  Like and Subscribe: Athletes Earn Cash on YouTube  

Gone are the days of CrossFit athletes waiting around for elusive sponsorship deals to fund their careers.

It’s 2020 baby! And social media has given the Fittest on Earth a platform to share their training, nutrition and lifestyle tips, and to get paid in the process.

YouTube is proving a decent cash cow for athletes willing to put in the time to film and edit content.

The catch: The site requires 4,000 hours of video view time and 1,000 subscribers to be eligible to earn money from advertisements. For most athletes those numbers could barely be classified as a day at the office

  • Jacob Heppner quit his day job and started sharing his adventures with Winston now 51,000 subscribers follow along.  
  • Cole Sager boasts slightly fewer subscribers (35k) but his most popular video–Tips on Double Unders–has attracted a mammoth 167,000 views.
  • Kara Saunders started documenting her postpartum comeback just two months ago. Already her following has grown to 12,700 subscribers.
  • Kristi Eramo has been churning out content since taking a break from individual competition. Like Saunders she’s fairly new to the game but has produced 77 videos–on average–one every two days!
  • Annie Thorrisdottir’s not vlogging per se but certainly increased her content distribution during the Open. We love watching this woman workout–clearly so do her 26,000 subscribers!
  • Tia Clair Toomey also posts sporadically, but more than 40,000 subscribers still follow along.
  • Willie Georges has racked up more than 2,000 subscribers less than a week since joining the Tube.
  • Honorable mention also goes to Noah Olsen & Dan Bailey for keeping the content churning on their channels.
  • Team CrossFit Mayhem boasts a hefty 210k subscribers too.

How much cash are we talking? We spoke to a number of athletes turned vloggers who didn’t wish to disclose the exact figure, but all say their YouTubing earns them a cool couple of thousand dollars each month.

Jacob Heppner told the Morning Chalk Up that payment from videos varies a lot. “There are a lot of things that play a part,” he said.

How it works? Most of the cash comes from Google Adsense, but many have also told the Morning Chalk Up the amount varies depending on the type of video, who is watching, where and when.

Time of year plays a big part and around the Open and the Games there’s a lot more natural interest in the sport. Heppner said: “Any content creator in the YouTube space has the potential to make more” during this time.

It’s also important to consider videographers like the Buttery Bros have led the way in seeking out brand partnerships. Now athletes alike are increasingly partnering with various companies to produce content. They’re getting paid to produce the videos and showcase products. That’s in addition to the money generated from advertisements. Win, win.


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Chandler Smith on Winning His First Sanctional

Ever since Chandler Smtih exploded onto the CrossFit stage going toe-to-toe with Ben Smith at the Atlantic Regional, he’s been a fan favorite. Now the captain of the Army Warrior Fitness Team has notched his first Sanctional victory after qualifying for his second CrossFit Games.


Have You Set the Right Rules to Avoid Burnout?

CrossFit Level 4 coach Jason Ackerman has started and sold three affiliates. His new book, “Best Hour of Their Day” chronicles that journey. One important lesson: Put rules in place to maximize your own sustainability. He joins Patrick Cummings on the Open Gym Podcast powered by O2 Natural Recovery.

Listen on Spotify    Listen on Apple Podcasts    More Listening Options...


Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

This Whole30-approved and low carb Vietnamese lemongrass chicken is packed with umami and citrus-scented deliciousness and pretty easy to prep as a make-ahead dish.





FDA Chimes in on CBD-Infused Food and Drink, Some Companies See an Opening

The Wall Street Journal last week (paywall), published an article on the CBD trend, noting that the Food and Drug Administration recently warned consumers that there “isn’t enough research to ensure that cannabidiol, or CBD, is safe to consume.”  Although the article did not address CrossFit specifically, CBD-infused supplements have been taking the industry by storm. Here are some key takeaways from the story:

  • More study is needed: “It isn’t clear the cannabis-derived compound helps cure anxiety, facilitates sleep or conveys other benefits some producers and consumers ascribe to it, the agency [FDA] said in an online post.
  • CBD and THC are different: “Unlike THC, the compound in marijuana that imparts a ‘high,’ CBD isn’t psychoactive. Still, the FDA said people should consider risks associated with it, such as liver damage.” 
  • Mainstream companies like PepsiCo Inc. and Starbucks Corp.: According to the WSJ story, these companies, along with Kellogg Co, Monster Beverage Corp. and Red Bull have all looked into bringing CBD-infused products to market, but all have sidelined those projects in the wake of the FDA statement.
  • Consumers are driving demand: “Sales of food and drinks containing CBD are rising even without FDA approval. Hemp Industry Daily, a trade publication, estimates that the revenue from hemp-derived CBD products exceeded $1 billion in 2019 and will climb to $10 billion by 2024.”
  • LIFEAID: “Beverage company LIFEAID recently began selling a CBD drink online and sold out of 200,000 units in the first 36 hours, co-founder Aaron Hinde said.”

It could take months or years before CBD receives FDA certification for consumption. Currently, the agency is considering whether it should follow a shorter review process for approving food additives or a longer one for reviewing new drugs. Many CrossFit athletes have turned to CBD to help with recovery, sleep and focus, including the four-time Fittest Man on Earth, Mat Fraser, who was recently interviewed about the CBD-infused supplements he has partnered with Beam to create.



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