“Every story I create, creates me. I write to create myself.”- Octavia E. Butler
OPINION: Could CrossFit Go Mainstream?
CrossFit athlete Steph Chung shooting a commercial spot with LeBron James for his supplement company – LADDER – probably elicited a passing glance for most. “Cool”, or, “oh wow, that’s kind of neat.”
But it’s impossible to ignore the underlying gravity of what happened: a CrossFit athlete shot a commercial with arguably the biggest sports star on the planet.
James, now a billionaire, is his own solar system and is known globally across countries like China, India, Africa, all across Europe and South America, and of course, here in North America. You would be hard pressed to head to any country in the world wearing his iconic Los Angeles Lakers jersey and not elicit a response on the street after a few blocks or hours wandering around.
This is part of a small, but growing trend of mainstream acceptance for CrossFit as a sport, a methodology, and for its elite athletes. Another article in our newsletter details a cover story on Tia-Clair Toomey in Women’s Health, one of the largest publications in the world within its realm. Mat Fraser got interviewed recently by USA Today, and Sports Illustrated has a paid piece on how to deck out your home CrossFit gym.
We also published a story last week on the multiple instances of million dollar funding campaigns being undertaken within the CrossFit space which include some big name players such as Yerbae and O2. Oh, and in case you missed it, Hollywood mega star Chris Pratt did CrossFit to train for The Terminal List.
So, what does this all mean? Are we going to see Justin Medeiros on a Wheaties box and will Ricky Garard be gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated if he happens to win the CrossFit Games next year? Most likely, no, but these small steps speak of a new narrative for CrossFit moving forward, the general public, and your average sporting fan, most definitely hasn’t warmed up to the sport of CrossFit, however an icy cold reaction is much less common these days.
How CrossFit finds mainstream acceptance could happen in a number of different ways. First and foremost, a bankable, revenue generating star would most definitely help, or even a larger than life anti-hero figure like Conor McGregor would be great. We could see CrossFit events being broadcast on ESPN + in a few years, and regular mainstream media outlets profiling the best of the best on a regular basis.
However, as Robert DeNiro’s character in the legendary crime thriller Heat said to Al Pacino’s character in a pivotal scene of the movie: “there’s a flip side to this coin.”
What if going mainstream isn’t what most, or a considerable majority of CrossFit practitioners want? There is something alternative and devoutly non-mainstream about CrossFit right now: people think it’s a cult or akin to organized religion, that it’s dangerous, and therefore, some people love doing it even more. No one wants to be boring and predictable, and right now, if you do CrossFit, you are most likely not a regular cookie cutter type of person.
You like working out, but you also like working out way too hard sometimes, to the point of blacking out or vomiting. You like getting scuffs on your body from barbells, and ripping your hands open doing kipping push-ups. You like the fact that most people don’t like doing the type of workout you like doing, and you’re fine if things stay that way. You like to talk about massive cheat meals, injuries, and how incredibly sore you are from a workout the day before as you foam roll out some kinks before another challenging class.
Maybe the question should be, should CrossFit go mainstream, or does CrossFit even want to be mainstream? This is a question we are most likely going to get an answer to sometime soon, as Chung working out with LeBron, high-fiving and slamming protein shakes together is most definitely a bellwether of things to come, or to the purists out there, a serious canary in the coal mine.
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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to colleagues Justin LoFranco and Emily Beers about the issues some competitions are having paying out their winners.
Tune in today at 12pm CT: Morning Chalk Up’s Preslie Hirsch will be chatting with Kirsten Ahrendt, Director of Coach Development and Education at Invictus, on how to build community in a gym of 400+ members. Coffee Break Conversations, weekly live deep-dives with an industry expert, are exclusive to RX members (join for $1 here).
Interesting read: The Washington Post (paywall) has a great piece on the simple power of walking:
“For every 2,000 steps you take each day, your risk for premature death may fall by 8 to 11 percent, according to research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.”
Who would make it?: Talking Elite Fitness has a cool podcast about who would be in the CrossFit Hall of Fame.
Make a run for it: The New York Times (paywall) has a good piece about why long runs make you want to run for the bathroom. 🚽
Three-Time Masters CrossFit Games Champion Jason Grubb Lives in an RV and Uses Ironman Races to “Recover”
In a lot of ways, three-time CrossFit Games champion Jason Grubb’s life sounds just like you’d imagine it would: He eats and breathes CrossFit, often training out of his fully equipped home gym, he has a coaching business, and his entire family is into CrossFit.
But a deeper drive reveals that Grubb’s life is anything but predictable.
Grubb’s home gym is actually located in an RV, a 43-foot long RV the length of a semi truck, that has become his full-time home in the last year-and-a-half.
Grubb, his wife, two dogs and two homeschooled children live in the RV together, traveling around the United States, from Wisconsin to Colorado to Ohio, Georgia and North Carolina.
CanWest Event Organizer Discusses Payout Delays and How to Move Forward
After learning that the off-season competition of the CanWest Games was unable to pay athletes their winnings, Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Mike McLean, the event organizer. The two discussed how the event ultimately ended up not being able to pay athletes, some avenues they’re looking at to make sure the payouts happen, and even ways forward that athletes can gain trust from the event in the future.
New CrossFit CEO Don Faul Tours Brazilian Boxes With Leadership
Key CrossFit senior staff members – led by new CEO Don Faul – have been touring Brazilian CrossFit boxes, dropping into affiliates, hosting workouts and meeting with coaches and the community.
Daniel Chaffey, International Director of CrossFit, described it as a listening tour, “seeing the realities of being a box owner in a country in the midst of an election, with a slumping exchange rate and crazy inflation.” Leadership met with box owners, community leaders and seminar staff across the country in Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, Pedro Leopoldo, Sete Lagoas and Aldeota, according to Chaffey and tags on several Instagram posts.
Who’s on the trip:
Don Faul, CEO
Gary Gaines, general manager of International and Affiliates
Daniel Chaffey, International Director of CrossFit
Ricardo Prudente, CrossFit’s Country Manager for Brazil
Dave Castro, advisor to the CEO
One big thing: Affiliate tours are not a new concept for CrossFit’s top brass. Then CEO Eric Roza led a multi-country European tour last summer to meet with affiliate owners and the community to present his vision for CrossFit moving forward and hear from owners specifically on the unique challenges facing the community in each country.
The big picture: Brazil has the single largest number of affiliates in South America, and Latin America remains an important market for CrossFit’s plans to expand further globally.
At one point, Brazil also had the second largest concentration of affiliates globally after the United States at around 1,000 locations.
Those numbers have since dropped during the COVID pandemic.
CrossFit staff will now be heading to the LATAM Affiliate Summit today, a gathering of Latin American Affiliates in Guayaquil, Ecuador Saturday and Sunday.
Streat Hoerner’s Workout of the Week
Today’s workout is programmed by two-time Games athlete Streat Hoerner. The Iowan made his Games debut in 2017 at 22 years old, placing an impressive 14th. The highlight of his rookie appearance was placing second in the “Sprint O-Course”. Hoerner also competed at the 2019 Games thanks to his 14th place finish in the Open.
He was recently was a member of the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games demo team and now lives in Nashville, TN where he trains with the PRVN Fitness training camp.
For Time: 8 Rounds 15/10 Calorie Echo bike 5 Man-makers (50/35 LBs – 22/16 KGs)
Time Cap: 24 minutes
Man-makers – lower weight
Some advice from Streat: “Try not to rest during the man-makers! Get through the 5 reps each round and then use the bike as recovery and try holding a steady pace!” To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.
Fix This Ring Dip Fault
If you aren’t feeling efficient in your ring dips, it might be because of this common fault. Recognizing it is the first step to fixing it and becoming a dip master!
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Check out this podcast for women over 50 who are interested in staying active in this sport through menopause and beyond. The show offers tips, encouragement and interviews with some menopausal experts. If you are a lady in her 50’s looking for your next listen, we just found it.
Ready to workout without leaving the comfort of your home? Get RX’d is here to help you build the home gym of your dreams- and you’ll get 10% off your order when you pick your rack, barbell, bench and plates.
Congratulations to Christine Middleton from Ocean State CrossFit on the 230 pound/104kg push press double.
Not CrossFit, still cool: Babette Roy posted this impressive clip of her Psicobloc Open Series 2022 performance in Montreal, Canada (rock climbing above water… for time).
Congratulations to one of the Traffie boys from CrossFit Greer in South Carolina on getting his first bar muscle-up. #raisingelitehumans
Nashville Fit Lab in Nashville, TN is hosting a Ruck Cancer workout fundraiser on Sunday, October 16th to benefit the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. Registration is now open for two-person teams— bring the whole family to enjoy a day at the corresponding fall festival fundraiser. 🍂
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