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What’s new for the 2021 CrossFit Open?

Morning Chalk Up

January 8   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • The 2021 CrossFit Games rule book has been released.
  • The Affiliate Cup is back.
  • Meredith Root’s weekly column takes on post-workout nutrition.
  • Dameka Quimby fights to keep her gym.

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“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” - John F. Kennedy

  BREAKING: The 2021 CrossFit Games Rulebook Has Arrived, Here's What You Need To Know 

BREAKING: The 2021 CrossFit Games Rulebook Has Arrived, Here's What You Need To Know

One week into 2021 and the CrossFit Games rulebook is officially here along with the drug testing program, and the newly adopted adaptive athlete policy. Contrary to years past, some details have already been revealed including elements of the season structure and important dates, but today’s announcement is chock-full of new additions and we’ve poured through the fine print for what you need to know moving forward.

Worth noting: General Manager of Sport for CrossFit, Dave Castro, hinted at the release of more information on Monday evening, and despite the official arrival of the rulebook, there were some notable omissions that will likely be amended later on once the global pandemic landscape becomes clearer.

  • No further details on the Semifinals: Arguably the biggest question left unanswered is the “who,” and “where,” regarding the 10 event partners that will host the Semifinals for CrossFIt during the four week period spanning from the end of May into June.
  • The number of qualifying athletes for both the Semifinals and the Games is unknown and those numbers will likely accompany the announcement of the event partners and their locations.
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  • After six years, four-time CrossFit Games athlete, 2019 third fittest woman Jamie Simmonds is leaving Abu Dhabi, UAE and moving to Cardiff, Wales. 
  • There are 63 days until the 2021 CrossFit Open begins and registration is now live, so is the 2021Judges Course.
  • MUST READ: Should CrossFit be an Olympic sport? The delayed 2020 Olympics will introduce surfing, skateboarding and rock climbing, and 2024 will add break dancing. Patrick Blennerhassett makes the argument for why the IOC should consider CrossFit next.
  • Fresh off the HYROX World Championships, Hunter McIntyre and Lauren Weeks have issued a challenge to elite CrossFitters to compete at HYROX Dallas in February. With $10,000 going to the winners of each division, CrossFit Games athletes Elijah Muhammad, Kristi O’Connell and Ehea Scheurch have already confirmed.
  • CrossFit Blockhouse owners stopped an attempted burglary and held the burglar until police arrived on the scene on December 30. In Andover, UK, box owners and former military Spencer and Toni Whiteley, kept two men from breaking into a neighboring business. “They picked the wrong people to burgle,” Whiteley said.
  • A Fitbit for your face? Instead of measuring your steps, the AirPop Active+ Smart Mask measures your breathing rate and other statistics about your respiration and provides data via a bluetooth-connected app.
  • Coach Justin Cotler explains why virtual fitness instruction cannot replace in-person coaching for strength and technique training. “But while I’m a fan of anything that gets people moving, and I’m sure that dude cheering you on in your ‘Virtual Fitness Device XYZ’ is motivating, nothing can replace the value and relevance of in-person coaching and instruction,” he wrote.
  The Affiliate Cup Returns, 2021 Rule Book Provides Insights 

The Affiliate Cup Returns, 2021 Rule Book Provides Insights

The 2021 CrossFit Games Rulebook brings us many things; one of which is the return of the Affiliate Cup, an announcement that is very largely well received.

Remind me:

  • The Affiliate Cup dates back all the way to the beginning when CrossFit Santa Cruz won the inaugural competition in 2007.
  • From 2007 until 2017 the Affiliate Cup saw small changes: but at the most basic level, athletes who trained at the same affiliate could represent their community at the highest level of competition together.
  • The creation of superteams began to take shape as early as 2015 when Rich Froning switched to the team division and high profile athletes began descending on Cookeville, TN. Over the next couple years other “super teams” were created, but all within the confines of the rulebooks for each given season.
  • Finally, the 2018 rule book introduced two major changes to the team competition. Specifically the reduction of teams from six to four competitors, and the clause allowing team members to train separately anywhere around the world, but compete collectively in any competition.
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  The Protein Round-Up and How to Nail Your Post Workout Routine 


The Protein Round-Up and How to Nail Your Post Workout Routine

If you have spent any amount of time in the fitness world, whether that is in the CrossFit, bodybuilding, or sports specific avenue, you probably have experience with protein powders of some sort. They are so well marketed that even the casual exerciser will be reaching for their blender bottle post workout in order to tap into that “anabolic window.”

Protein is absolutely vital for muscle growth and retention. Think of it as the lumber that builds the house. If you don’t supply the raw material, there will be no construction! Unfortunately, we do not make protein (although our tissues are occasionally harvested for protein) so we have to get it from our diets. People who are less active do not need to eat as much, only enough to prevent muscle wasting. Those of us who strength train however will need to consume more, around 0.7-1.2 grams per pound of body weight. When we are eating that much protein, we are not only providing the raw materials needed to build muscle, but we are providing a strong signal to build muscle in the form of leucine. Leucine is one of the most limited amino acids but is found in higher concentrations in animal and (some) plant proteins. Think of leucine as the boss man for that house we were building earlier. Sure, the house will get built eventually, but when the boss shows up, it gets built faster.

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  Pandemic Loss, Divorce and Depression: Why Dameka Quimby is Fighting to Keep her Gym 

Pandemic Loss, Divorce and Depression: Why Dameka Quimby is Fighting to Keep her Gym

When Dameka Quimby opened CrossFit Pine Creek in Pittsburgh, PA in November 2018, she wasn’t expecting the quick growth she saw. Within a year, her membership jumped from 37 to 170 members and she was in the process of looking for a larger space. “Things were going extraordinarily well,” she said. Then 2020 hit, and Quimby was hit with nightmare after nightmare after nightmare.

  • Early in the year, one of her morning members unexpectedly and tragically committed suicide. “I coached him three days a week. I knew him well. He had five kids. It was just so sad,” she said.
  • A week later came the first COVID-19 shutdown, and like many small gym owners, her business started wilting away. In a matter of weeks, she had lost half of her members and half her coaches. “I was so sad and so scared. We did have a good chunk of loyal members, but we had a lot of new members too, who we didn’t have strong relationships with yet,” she said.
  • At the same time, Quimby’s marriage was rapidly unraveling, and eventually she and her husband opted for divorce.
  • Quimby fell into a deep depression. “By May, I was totally broken,” she said.
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Efficiency in the Snatch and Clean and Jerk

Whether you are preparing for a weightlifting meet or trying to learn how to cycle light barbells for time, you are going to need to nail all three phases of your pull in order to use less energy and generate more force. In this video, Matt Bruce, the head Oly coach at Brute Strength walks you through the techniques and offers some drills for improvement.




The Art of Nutrition Coaching

Make 2021 the year that you become your own boss with Working Against Gravity’s Nutrition Coach Certification. Join the Presale List now to get first access to join the cohort, along with bonus advanced education modules and $200 off your certification.



Hip Mobility for a Perfect Squat

In order to squat with solid technique, you need an equal amount of internal hip rotation. Side-to-side differences can cause problems like twisting and shifting during the squat. This Squat University post provides some assessments and stretches that can make a huge difference.



The Best Minestrone Soup

This vegetarian minestrone soup is packed with veggies like celery, carrots, green beans and spinach and simmered in a flavorful, Italian seasoned tomato broth. Use your favorite noodles and pack in the protein with kidney beans! Here's a tip: sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top and serve with a side of garlic bread.


Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

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1/21 - 1/22: Modena Challenge: Beginner and Master (Modena, Italy)

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