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Teams to watch at the 2023 CrossFit Games

Morning Chalk Up

June 22   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Training camps ready to dominate the 2023 CrossFit Games
  • Part three of hosting the perfect summer throwdown
  • Adversity and setbacks do not stop Team Rotherham from accomplishing their goal

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“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Pack Mentality: Training Camps to be Represented at the 2023 CrossFit Games  

Pack Mentality: Training Camps to be Represented at the 2023 CrossFit Games

Over the last several years, the emergence and growth of training camps has increased in the CrossFit space as more athletes are seeking to train together, share common goals and coaches, compete side by side, and learn from one another.  The rosters of the camps shift from year to year as athletes change geographical locations, realign their focus and as new camps arise and gain greater following.

The big picture: During this year’s Semifinals, there were five training camps that held a very strong presence, and in turn are sending a significant number of individual athletes and teams to Madison this August.

1. Underdogs Athletics

The Las Vegas based training camp led by Head Coach Justin Cotler was represented on multiple continents, with four individual athletes punching their tickets to the Games. Notable Underdogs athletes that competed at Semifinals, but failed to qualify for the Games were Sara Sigmundsdottir, Katelin Van Zyl, and Alison Scudds.

Before Semifinals, Cotler posted words of praise and encouragement for his team.

  • “Effort doesn’t go unnoticed and words cannot describe how proud we are of all of you and the ones that are just getting started,” he said on Instagram.

The following Underdog athletes are slated to compete in Madison as individuals:

  • Alex Gazan
  • Shahed Budebs
  • Bronislaw Olenkowicz
  • Bayley Martin


The HWPO crew, led by none other than five-time Fittest Man on Earth, Mat Fraser, saw a number of their athletes qualify for Madison, many of whom are seasoned Games veterans. While Mal O’Brien is a name synonymous with HWPO, and one many had thought would be a podium contender this year, she withdrew from competition mid-May.

Amanda Barnhart, a new addition to the training camp this season, shared her gratitude for her HWPO community.

  • “…It’s really important to make sure the people you surround yourself with fill you up. With that being said, I’m so incredibly thankful for the group that supports me every single day. I truly could not do it without them,” said Barnhart on social media.

The following athletes will be representing HWPO at the Games in August:

  • Katrin Davidsdottir
  • Christine Kolenbrander
  • Amanda Barnhart
  • Jayson Hopper
  • Cole Greashaber
  • Samuel Kwant
  • Jake Douglas


Coached by Shane Orr, the PRVN training camp is sending five athletes to the Games, including a few individual rookies. Notably missing from the list is six-time fittest woman on earth, Tia-Clair Toomey, as she just gave birth to her and Orr’s daughter in May.

Orr, with years of coaching wisdom and experience, shared his perspective on the strength of a team and the never-ending journey of an athlete.

  • “The challenges we face are not roadblocks, but opportunities to rise higher. I own my journey and am determined to reach new heights with my uplifting team by my side.”
  • “When we encounter challenges or obstacles on our journey towards our goals, it can be easy to get discouraged and feel like giving up. But if we shift our perspective and see these challenges as opportunities to learn and improve, we can actually use them to our advantage and become stronger, more resilient, and more capable,” said Orr via social media, earlier this spring.

The PRVN roster for the 2023 Games will be made up of the following individuals:

  • Sydney Wells
  • Olivia Kerstetter
  • Will Moorad
  • Nick Mathew
  • Kalyan Souza
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🏆 Introducing The LatAm Cup: TYR Wodapalooza is inviting 20 champions from competitions across Latin America to throw down in Bayfront Park Miami on Thursday and Friday of WZA 2024.

Drug Test Update: After providing a sample positive for metabolites of GW1516 at the 2023 REBEL Renegade Games, Angelique Connoway of FBDV Mayhem Africa has decided to withdraw her appeal.

  • Connoway: “For me to fight this result I’d have to hire a lawyer and test all my supplements […] Unfortunately I am not in a financial position to do this, and I honestly don’t know if I have the emotional capacity.”
  • In an official statement shared with the Morning Chalk Up, CrossFit confirmed second-place finishing team Cape CrossFit Wolfpack has accepted the invitation to compete in Madison this August.

🏋🏽‍♂️ HWPO has released MEET PREP, a five-week programming addition designed to prepare subscribers of their LIFT track for a weightlifting meet.

🇫🇷 The French Throwdown kicks off this Friday with some of Europe’s best scheduled to compete. Keep track of the weekend schedule and leaderboard here.

  • Notable names on the roster include Enrico Zenoni, Giorgio Karavis, Luka Djukic, Victor Hoffer, Elena Carratala, Elisa Fuliano, Karin Frey, and Solveig Sigurdardottir.
  How To Host The Perfect Summer Throwdown: Programming the Test  


How To Host The Perfect Summer Throwdown: Programming the Test

In the first two parts of this series, we discussed how to plan out the financial and logistical elements of hosting a summer throwdown at your gym. Now we get to the fun part. One of the key elements of what makes a competition fun and exciting, programming marries the goal of testing athletes with the art of creating a fun and exciting experience for both the athletes and the spectators.

One big thing: Because programming incorporates nearly every element of the competition from logistics, to finances, and press/communications, programming falls into its own category.

When crafting the competition test as a whole, you’ll want to take into account several factors. The workouts should be manageable for all athletes competing while being entertaining for spectators and simple enough that they don’t cause unnecessary judging issues.

The ideal combination of workouts will perfectly marry a test of fitness with an exciting athlete and spectator experience. Here are several questions to ask yourself as you begin to craft your workouts.

What level of competition do you want to host?

  • Choosing Your Divisions:
    • In building your competition, your goal should be to open the doors for as many athletes to compete as possible.
    • While the ideal competition would have an infinite number of divisions, logistical constraints will allow most competitions to offer two divisions: Rx and Scaled. If hosting individuals only, you may get away with an Intermediate division, as well.
  • Defining Your Standards: Once you’ve decided on your divisions, you’ll need to think through what level of competition you want as your “base level”.
    • Your base level is the level you utilize to define your Rx division. You’ll want to think of what level of Rx athletes you want to attract.
    • Many competition hosts make the mistake of creating standards around what they believe a Quarterfinals or Semifinals athlete should look like and not what the athletes in their affiliate and surrounding area are capable of.
    • The reality is that a large chunk of the athletes will come from inside your own four walls. If 30-40% of athletes are able to attain the Rx standard each day, that can serve as an excellent base for how you’re creating your Rx division.
    • You want to challenge athletes with the competition, not make it so they can barely scrape the bottom of the standards.
    • Once you’ve crafted your Rx division, you can then craft your scaled division standards based on how you typically scale your workouts in your programming.
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  CrossFit Rotherham: Bouncing Right Back, All The Way To The Games  

CrossFit Rotherham: Bouncing Right Back, All The Way To The Games

Teams of four qualify to go to the CrossFit Games, but at the Europe Semifinal, five members of CrossFit Rotherham stood together and embraced when their names were called. Rotherham took the tenth spot in Europe with 396 points and punched their first ticket to the CrossFit Games. But the journey was not easy.

Team Rotherham first began to take form with anchor members Daniel Tai and Sapphire Goddard during the 2022 season. The two had moved to Denmark to train with two other Danish athletes and form a team with the goal of qualifying for the Games.

  • The day before the Open started, one of their Danish teammates snapped their ACL. Unfortunately, their team’s season was over as the alternate that had been chosen wasn’t fully brought into being an alternate and passed on stepping in.
  • 2022 became a lost season for Tai and Goddard.

Frustrated, the two returned to the UK to tackle the 2023 season. Dan and Sapphire still wanted to make a team happen, and they decided to build one closer to home. They recruited Georgia Davenport, a former professional diver, and Moritz Neumann, an ex-bodybuilding triathlete, and focused on qualifying for the next stage. Because of their experience the previous year with an alternate who couldn’t commit, Tai and Goddard knew it was vital to have an alternate that was all in, and Davenport and Neumann agreed. Alexandra (Alex) Demetriou fit the bill perfectly.

Alex, a former soccer player, had known Dan for a few years, and even though they were following different programming, they had been training at the same gym for a while. Alex also knew Sapphire and Georgia and was a full-time personal trainer and coach, so her availability was there.

  • Demetriou: “I knew that Dan had a team in Denmark ready to go the previous year. And personally, I didn’t think they would do team again due to how it ended. Then they asked me, if we get a team together, would you be a sub? I didn’t think much of it, I told them to put my name down, and I never thought it would actually happen!”
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  Genetics-Based Care: I’m Trying Wild Health, Here are my Thoughts 30 Days In  

Genetics-Based Care: I’m Trying Wild Health, Here are my Thoughts 30 Days In

Personalized health care, driven by your genetics. That’s the tagline of Wild Health, a Precision Medicine service that helps achieve optimal health by providing personalized, genetics-based care.

It’s no surprise if the name Wild Health or the term Precision Medicine sounds familiar — in 2021, CrossFit Health launched CrossFit Precision Care, a service that, in partnership with Wild Health, worked to provide an individualized and proactive data-driven approach to lifelong health. This year, CrossFit transitioned all of its members to Wild Health.

Wild Health, started in 2019 and run by a bunch of “CrossFitting doctors,” works with everyone from professional athletes to everyday people — not limited to CrossFit — to provide holistic, personalized health care. Genetics is the center of Wild Health’s work; they use the unique blueprint of your body to create this customized care.

I was given the chance to experience Wild Health’s health optimization protocol firsthand, going through the entire process from start to finish. 30 days in, I’m here to give an update.

Continue Reading...


Compete in the Summer Smash Online Weightlifting Contest

Calling all strong ladies: want to raise money for breast cancer survivors AND lift all the weight? Meet Barbell Babes Summer Smash, an entirely online weightlifting competition that lasts three weeks.




What Makes for a Good Supplement?

The FDA estimates that there are 85,000 supplements on the market and each one claims to do something better than competing products. It’s hard to go beyond advertising hype to separate which supplements can actually benefit you. Educate yourself on supplements here!



Five Simple Breathing Exercises for Relaxation

Ready to relax and unwind but can’t get your mind to slow down? Use these five simple breathing exercises to get your body and mind into relax mode.



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Fitness is For Everyone: An Adaptive Story

Fitness Marketing Agency sponsored their first Athlete at Wodcelona; the most adaptive-focused Crossfit competition in the world, producing a short documentary on the journey, competition, and overcoming adversity.


Share Your CrossFit Story


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9/29 - 10/1: MACC FEST (Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival) (West Friendship, MD)
9/29 - 9/30: Iron Anchor Throwdown (Batavia, OH)
9/29 - 10/1: 2023 Masters Fitness Championship (Fort Wayne, IN)
9/30 - 10/1: Sango Games 2023 (Clarksville, TN)
9/30: 15th Anniversary and Birthday Brawl (York, PA)
9/30: Barbell Brawl VIII (Kennett Square, PA)
9/30: No Weak Links: Cuff Links (Marcy, NY)
9/30 - 10/1: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Babes with Barbells (Huntington, WV)
10/7: KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: Pitness At The Mill (Canton, GA)
10/7: 2023 KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: FitoberFest (Prairie Village, KS)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Crash Crucible (Spartanburg, SC)
10/14: T-Town Throwdown (Toledo, OH)
10/14: Triple Threat Terror 2023 (Forney, TX)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: Babes and Barbells (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/14: Scream & Clean III (Danbury, CT)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Belleville (Bellevile, Canada)
10/14: Best Babes West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
10/14: Best Babes Columbus GA (Columbus, GA)
10/14: Best Babes Illinois (Byron, IL)
10/14: 8th Annual Kilo CrushFest Competition (Hampton, VA)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Sedalia (Sedalia, MO)
10/14: Best Babes Massachusetts (Beverly, MA)
10/15: Kares CrossFit October Showdown (Georgetown, Guyana)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/21: Barbells For Bullies: Portland (Hillsboro, OR)
10/21: 401 Fall Throwdown (Smithfield, RI)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/27 - 10/28: Star City Fittest (Roanoke, VA)
10/28 - 10/29: The Ghostly Games (Fayetteville, GA)
10/28: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/3 - 11/4: Florida Grid League Championship (Orlando, FL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/4: Sunshine SmackDown (Bedford Hills, NY)
11/4: Witch City Throwdown (Salem, MA)
11/4: Barbell Babes Lorton (Lorton, VA)
11/11: Freakin’ Gauntlet (Pembroke Pines, FL)
11/11: The Meadowlands Classic (Carlstadt, NJ)
11/11: Barbell Massacre 8 (Dahlonega, GA)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/18: Best Babes Dallas (Dallas, TX)
11/18: Best Babes Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
11/18: Best Babes Iowa (Mason City, IA)
11/18: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Haven, UT)
11/18: Teams Of The Midway: 2 Person Teams (Cary, IL)
11/18: Friendsgiving (Ambler, PA)
11/18: Turkey Bash (Chatham, IL)

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