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Team Brandon Earns Bragging Rights at FitFest UK

Morning Chalk Up

December 13   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Team Brandon came out on top at FitFest UK
  • Comparing the strength of field at the Dubai Fitness Championship and Rogue Invitational
  • CrossFit gym owners give back to their communities at the holidays with a special focus on providing gifts for children

Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Check out our Holiday Gift Guide.

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“Greg Glassman always said, ‘The greatest change in CrossFit is between the ears.’ At CF Launchpad it’s also between the lungs.” - Ronda Rockett, owner of CrossFit Launchpad

  FitFest UK Team Recap: Team Brandon Wins Slugfest in Birmingham  

FitFest UK Team Recap: Team Brandon Wins Slugfest in Birmingham

At this past weekend’s FitFest in Birmingham, UK, three stacked teams of the world’s most elite athletes competed in a slugfest of events, forcing everything to come down to a tiebreaker, with nothing being decided until the very last event.

Ultimately, Team Brandon and Team Lawson both finished with 17 total points, with the tiebreaker for the championship going to Team Brandon, thanks to their win in Event 1.

Here’s a rundown of the athletes on these three teams:

Team Brandon

  • Danielle Brandon
  • Arielle Loewen
  • Dallin Pepper
  • Thuri Helgadottir
  • Jayson Hopper
  • Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson

Team Lawson

  • Emma Lawson
  • Brent Fikowski
  • Nick Mathew
  • Jennifer Muir
  • Lucy McGonigle
  • Enrico Zenoni

Team Wunger

  • Ella Wunger
  • Patrick Vellner
  • Jelle Hoste
  • Alex Gazan
  • Jack Farlow
  • Kels Kiel

Every Event Mattered

Although the community predicted that Team Brandon would win the competition, it was still expected to be close. But no one could have predicted exactly how close.

All the teams traded wins through the nine events, with no one pulling away from the rest:

  • Team Brandon: 4 event wins (1 tie)
  • Team Lawson: 4 event wins (1 tie)
  • Team Wunger: 3 event wins
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New Trainer Alert 🚨 🚨: TYR Sport and Squat University have dropped their collaboration shoe, the DropZero Barefoot Trainer, featuring an innovative powerstrap design.

Association of Fitness Judges Update: The Professional Fitness Athletes’ Association announced that it welcomed the creation of the AFJ and “appreciate[s] the opportunity to collaborate with judges to advance the sport.”

ICYMI: How do CrossFit media creators manage their nutrition and fitness on long competition days?

  Strength of Field Comparison: Rogue Invitational vs Dubai Fitness Championship  


Strength of Field Comparison: Rogue Invitational vs Dubai Fitness Championship

The Rogue Invitational and the Dubai Fitness Championship are two of the world’s most significant off-season CrossFit competitions. Both were invitationals in 2023, so we decided to analyze each and determine which had a higher level of talent.

Below, we compare the two competitions by looking at the experience of the field and the best performances of all athletes present.

Let’s begin with the Rogue Invitational.

Continue Reading...
  Gym Owners Committed to Providing for Children in Need This Holiday Season  

Gym Owners Committed to Providing for Children in Need This Holiday Season

Fundraising for a greater cause has become part and parcel of owning a CrossFit gym.

At no point is this more evident than during the holiday season, where, year after year, CrossFit gyms use their fitness outside the box to give back to their greater community, especially to children in need.

Here’s what four CrossFit gyms are doing this year to help children in need:

In Pennsylvania: At CrossFit Lumber Capital in Williamsport, PA, gym members connect with a local foster care facility and are given tags for their Angel Tree. Each tag has a child’s name on it with their gift wish list. Members of the gym then select a tag and buy gifts for that child.

  • “It’s really special to be able to give to our community with our community,” said owner Stacey Hertwig, adding that it goes a long way in building a good vibe at her gym.
  • “Children, especially [those] who have no control over their current environment, should feel loved and get to open a pretty package as well. We’re fortunate enough that we can make that happen. Our members looked forward to the tree going up, and like that, we give them the opportunity to do something just by walking through our doors.”

In Illinois: Kelly McGriff-Culver’s gym—Iron Flag Fitness in Westmont, IL—is again teaming up with the nonprofit Toys for Tots this holiday season. Their gym has become the home for 10,000-plus toys for the last eight years, and Iron Flag members pack and distribute the toys to 300-plus families in the Chicago area.

  • “We spend hours sorting the toys based on gender and age. Once the toys are sorted, the fun begins. Our members and local community volunteers come together and start shopping from our families’ wish lists. It’s such an amazing experience,” McGriff-Culver said.
  • “It is something that our members look forward to every year and truly helps us to live out our mission of giving back to those that have less and being inclusive not just in fitness but in all areas of life,” she added.
  • In light of this mission to be inclusive and help underserved youth, Iron Flag Fitness will run group classes for juveniles on probation along with their probation offers this January.

In Northern Ireland: CrossFit TLR in Armagh, Northern Ireland, raised £1345 (USD$1,700), surpassing their goal of £500 last month through a 24-hour WOD-a-thon. They donated the money to Cash for Kids, a charity that provides funds to kids affected by poverty, and Christmas presents to children who might otherwise not receive any.

  • We feel the reason it’s so important as an affiliate owner to give back to charity as none of us know what is around the corner. It could be us looking for that little glimmer of hope next year, and we strongly believe we are only as strong as our community and the people in it,” owner Narelle Purdy said.
  • She added: “Our TLR family brought the energy like they do to every single event we run. They are the heart and soul of everything we do, and they definitely didn’t disappoint. We all dug deep, just like any normal day at TLR, lifting each other up when needed.”

In Massachusetts: At CrossFit Launchpad in Wellesley, MA, their members shop for and deliver gifts to 100 children in need provided to them by the Family Nurturing Center (FNC) of MA.

  • “It is an incredible day when we deliver the gifts, including bicycles, desks, and more, to these deserving children,” gym owner Ronda Rockett said.

Her gym also raises thousands of dollars each year for the FNC through their gym’s holiday party, which includes a silent auction and Acapella performers from the local high school. Finally, they host a yearly throwdown, which includes a CrossFit-style competition, to fundraise for the FNC.

  • Every athlete in her community knows CrossFit is about “more than burpees and barbells, but at CrossFit Launchpad, our community extends way beyond our own neighborhoods,” Rockett said.

“Greg Glassman always said, ‘The greatest change in CrossFit is between the ears.’ At CF Launchpad, it’s also between the lungs,” she added.

  Gym Owners Committed to Providing for Children in Need This Holiday Season  

Morning Chalk Up's Holiday Gift Guide

Stuck on what to gift the CrossFit lover in your life this holiday season? Look no further! Surprise them with gear that elevates every workout. And guess what? You deserve the gift of peak performance too! Treat them (or yourself) to the latest in fitness essentials – from performance-enhancing gear to recovery essentials, we’ve curated the ultimate gift guide to make every workout merry and bright.

What are you waiting for? Start gifting!


Rotator Cuff Prehab

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Mobility Routine for Chronic Sitters

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3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)

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