“The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.”- William Blake
To Exit the Dark: An Ode to Life, CrossFit and Second Chances
Anyone who’s done CrossFit knows that feeling.
The one you get in the pit of your stomach, right before you know you’re about to go to a dark place. CrossFit has that unique ability to make you feel like all is lost, and in that very moment, nothing else matters. No workout characterizes this better than Fran: one of, if not the most well known workout, and it is the one we all dread to do.
A 21-15-9 rep scheme of thrusters and pull-ups. Simple enough, maybe, but if you’ve been doing CrossFit long enough, you know it’s the simple ones that hurt the most. I remember my first Fran, at my very first gym–Canandaigua CrossFit in Upstate New York. I distinctly recall being nervous, anxious and a little bit unsure about what all the hype was around this one workout.
Until I did it.
The burning in the chest started on the second set of thrusters, lingering the entire rest of the workout. It hits you little by little, making you want to break and make the pain go away. But you’re in it, you’ve committed, and now you have to finish it.
I know for certain I was doing kipping pull ups, the method where you use a kip swing on the rig to propel your chin over the bar, and needed to break them up–a lot. On that final pull-up I collapsed into a puddle on the ground, simply trying to catch my breath and regain consciousness.
There is a place you go when you’re in a CrossFit workout that is almost indescribable yet addictive. Once you’ve met the dark side and gone to the pain cave there’s something there that makes you want to go back for more.
Writing gives me a similar feeling and a sense of freedom that I had never felt. I hail from a small town in upstate New York called Geneva and got into the craft when I was in undergraduate school at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
I started out thinking I wanted to pursue medicine, but something about writing always pulled me back. I loved the idea of telling a story and putting together something I could share with others. I slowly became acclimated with the journalism world and found reporting to be rewarding and it felt natural to me. I was a waitress in high school, and in college, and talking to all sorts of people was just something I became accustomed to and enjoyed.
Shoe drop: Reebok has revealed its latest collaboration with Warner Bros. – a full-family footwear and apparel collection inspired by iconic DC characters – including the Nano X2 inspired by Wonder Woman. 🏋🏼♀️
More pizza: A study has found that eating tomatoes is linked to improved gut health and we are all for this one.
A Young Sport Growing Up: Implications of CrossFit's Worldwide Ranking System
CrossFit HQ has introduced a basic structure for the new worldwide athlete ranking system, which will ultimately determine where 43% of the individual CrossFit Games field comes from in the 2023 season.
Last week, we gave an overview of the new ranking system as it currently stands, and what we know so far. Now, we will take a look at what it means, and why it matters.
Remind me: The 2018 CrossFit Games season set a pace for the sport of CrossFit that, unbeknownst to the community at the time, would be chased for years after. After a complete format overhaul in 2019, a global pandemic in 2020, a reset in 2021, and staff changes in 2022, CrossFit HQ is setting the foundation for what they are calling a cornerstone seasonal format in 2023.
It’s important to remember that there have only been 15 CrossFit Games seasons and, to use a football analogy, we’re still in the leather helmet phase of our young sport. The establishment of a consistent framework could be an important step for the longevity and continued growth of the Sport of Fitness.
Dubai Fitness Championship Kicks Off the Holiday Season
On December 2-4, dozens of athletes will test their skills at the Coca-Cola Arena in the United Arab Emirates. They will compete in the Dubai Fitness Championship, which kicks off the month of December with three days of action at the 17,000-capacity facility.
Remind me: One of the largest competitions of the CrossFit offseason, the Dubai Fitness Championship has consistently brought in some of the biggest names in the male and female divisions. The 2022 iteration – the first since DFC and CrossFit parted ways – will be no different.
The rosters will feature some standout Games athletes. The men’s division includes such names as Jonne Koski, Lazar Djukic, Brent Fikowski, Khan Porter, and Giorgos Karavis. Ricky Garard was on the original roster, but he withdrew after the Rogue Invitational.
The women’s division will be equally stacked with talent. Jamie Simmonds, Emily Rolfe, Karin Freyova, Matilde Garnes, Freya Moosbrugger, and Seher Kaya are only some of the examples of the standout athletes that will battle throughout the three-day competition.
These athletes will go toe-to-toe on the competition floor while celebrating the 10th season of the event. The competition will be streamed on the Dubai Fitness Championship YouTube channel.
Building the lineup: There were dozens of standout athletes that received invitations to the Dubai Fitness Championship, but how did the competition’s organizers build this list? The process was fairly straightforward.
On September 8, the Dubai Fitness Championship released the first of three workouts that made up the Online Qualifier.
Interested athletes had until September 27 to register for the online portion of the competition and complete all three workouts. Dubai Fitness Championship would then invite the top 20 athletes in each division while awarding them prize money ranging from $5,000 down to $500.
With the Online Qualifier complete, the invites went out to the top athletes. They accepted and chose to make the trip to Dubai so that they could take on an event programmed by five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser and HWPO.
The prize purse: Continuing a trend from past seasons, the Dubai Fitness Championship will have a sizable prize purse for those that make the journey and hit the competition floor.
$500 (7th-20th place)
Take part: The Coca-Cola Arena has a capacity of 17,000, so there is plenty of room for the fans to get involved and cheer for their favorite athletes on December 2-4.
Boots on the ground: Dubai Fitness Championship has not released the workouts or the schedule for the competition. The focus has been on the roster of athletes that will head to the Coca-Cola Arena.
Morning Chalk Up will provide updates as they happen at the Dubai Fitness Championship hub. There will also be reporters on the ground at the competition, who will deliver interviews, daily recaps, and videos.
Alex Gazan's Workout of the Week
Today’s workout is programmed by Underdogs Athletics athlete, Alex Gazan. She had her rookie debut at the NOBULL CrossFit Games in 2022 where she finished 24th. At just 21-years-old with two Semifinal seasons under her belt, she’s on an upward trajectory in her competitive CrossFit career. Gazan most recently threw down at the Zelos Games invitational in Las Vegas, finishing on the podium on her home turf.
100/80 Cal row
80 Wall balls (30/20lb to 10ft target)
60 GHD sit-ups
40 Bar muscle-ups
20 Power cleans (155/225lbs / 70/102kg)
Time cap: 18 minutes
Scaling options: Modify the barbell and/or wall ball weight as needed. Burpee pull-ups can replace bar muscle-ups.
Some advice from Alex: “There’s a lot of work in this chipper and a lot of places to gain or lose time. Play to your strengths, don’t be afraid to break the wall balls, and make sure you save some juice for the power cleans at the end.”
To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.
Add This One Accessory to Your Training for Improved Back Endurance
Are you mid way through a workout and all of a sudden your lower back starts to flare up? Use this exercise to help you strengthen your lower back so it doesn’t blow up on you mid workout!
Now used by CrossFitters, originally scientists looked to solve nutritional problems faced in space. They saw salmon as a superfood and created a unique formula to accelerate digestion. The result: Unbroken has 25 free-form aminos with fast absorption which help increase your endurance and reduce soreness post exercise.
The Down Under Championship is upon us and some big names are going to be in attendance. If you are wondering how you can watch the action, check out this article with instructions for how to watch and the full schedule of events!
One of the (many) complaints about snatches are the effects they can have on the shoulders. That’s why warming up your shoulders is imperative for a strong lift. Use this primer to get you ready to crush some heavy snatches!
Congratulations to Saud Saif AlShamsi on his 2:04 Fran PR at the Grove Games in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. Saud is also one of the event organizers behind the Dubai Fitness Championship coming up this December 2-4.
Congratulations to Matt Ratay from Rancho Cordova, CA on the 370 pound/168kg clean and jerk “comeback” PR.
Congratulations to Chaney Wagner from Koda CrossFit in Oklahoma City, OK on the 5RM 300 pound/136kg deadlift.
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