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The Secret Behind Mat Fraser’s Aerobic Development

Morning Chalk Up

December 31   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • The iF3 crowned champs before Christmas.
  • Gym owners describe mask dilemmas.
  • Chris Hinshaw on Mat Fraser’s aerobic development.

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

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“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” - Søren Kierkegaard


  • Chris Cuomo, CNN news anchor and brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, does CrossFit: “I believe in functional strength. I am fascinated with middle age and performance…I only care about what my body can do. How it looks is of little value.”
  • A 10-year-old girl from Telford, UK spent COVID quarantine forming a business plan to open her own gym when she gets older. She has a goal of competing at the CrossFit Games and Olympics.
    • Her dad: “She rarely asks for toys anymore, its workout equipment and clothes she wants for Christmas.” 👏👏👏
  • Kicking off this Monday: The RPM 10K Challenge, where you grab a few buddies and do 10,000 double-unders in a month. The annual competition raises money for Steve’s Club.
  • All CrossFit Mayhem athlete programs are free for the month of January for new subscribers. Deadline to sign-up is January 8.
  • Two affiliate owners on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning sounding the alarm that more relief is needed: “Every gym that closes is a small hub in its local community that will no longer exist for the people who rely on it…if Congress doesn’t provide support for an industry that has been so dramatically impacted by this pandemic then more and more of those micro communities across the country will be shut down.”
    • FLASHBACK to April: 96% of U.S. CrossFit affiliates were closed.
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  World Champions Crowned At iF3 Continental Cup  

World Champions Crowned At iF3 Continental Cup

The International Functional Fitness Federation closed their 2020 season with the finals of the Continental Cup which were held online from December 19-21. Twenty three individual athletes and ten teams competed for automatic spots for next year’s iF3 World Championships held in Australia on November 12-14. The athlete line-up for the competition featured some of the top international names in CrossFit as they faced six tests across 70 minutes to earn the coveted invitation “Down Under”.

Women: In typical Kristin Holte fashion, she was solid across all six tests as she easily won the women’s division by eight points over runner-up and fellow Games veteran Melina Rodriguez.

  • Holte won two events, tied for the most by any athlete in the women’s field, and never placed worse than fifth in any of the six events.
  • Representing her native Norway, Holte won test three, accumulating 103 burpee box jumps across two four minute AMRAPS.
  • Holte would tie Japan’s Yuko Sakuyama for the victory in test five with 22 ground-to-overhead lifts in one minute.
  • Rodriguez, representing Argentina, and Norwegian Jacqueline Dahlstrøm as expected, were the athletes pushing Holte for the title.
Continue Reading...
  Owners Divided on Requiring Masks, Decision a Dilemma  


Owners Divided on Requiring Masks, Decision a Dilemma

The ever increasing mask mandates instituted in various counties, cities, states and provinces around the world in recent weeks are causing a new problem for already struggling affiliates: Clients who don’t want to workout in a mask are jumping ship and leaving the gym.

  • Eric Freedom, the owner of CrossFit Reason in Arcadia, CA has lost a handful of clients due to the mask rule, while John McMullen, the owner of CrossFit Beverly in Chicago, IL. has had three people “jump ship because of the mask requirement,” he said.
  • Also in Illinois, Greg Skelly, the owner of CrossFit Edwardsville in Glen Carbon has had two members leave because of the mask mandate, while Forrest Jung, the owner of CrossFit South Bay in Hermosa Beach, CA is down eight members because of the mask.
Continue Reading...
  Exclusive: Chris Hinshaw Pulls Back the Curtain on Fraser’s Aerobic Development  

Exclusive: Chris Hinshaw Pulls Back the Curtain on Fraser’s Aerobic Development

“Look at old videos of him (from 2014 and 2015) and you’ll see him breathing heavily, regularly. This is because he had not yet learned (trained) his breathing muscles.”

Chris Hinshaw is well known in the CrossFit world for his specialized knowledge in aerobic capacity; and perhaps equally so for the work he’s done in that realm with some of the best athletes in the world. The list of Games athletes he’s worked with is exhaustive, and the results speak for themselves: Khalipa, Davidsdottir, Froning, Leblanc-Bazinet, Foucher, Toomey, and Mat Fraser to name a few.

Fraser, in particular, has evolved as an aerobic athlete over the course of his career and can provide an interesting case study. From a statistical perspective, the pattern is fairly obvious. Regionals typically featured one “long” event each year. Fraser’s performance on that event alone is as good an indicator as any for his progress.

Continue Reading...
  Exclusive: Chris Hinshaw Pulls Back the Curtain on Fraser’s Aerobic Development  

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Glute Activation for Heavy Back Squats

Whether you are training first thing in the morning or after work, you likely come into the gym after being pretty sedentary. These glute activation drills from Misfit Athletics will prime your entire posterior chain and prepare your body to stand up some heavy squats.




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A Free Lift Analysis from Coach Greg Everett

This is a two-fer -- learn how to correct overhead instability in the snatch and take a shot at winning a free lift analysis from Coach Greg Everett at Catalyst Athletics. As always, the quick fix for the snatch begins with the leg drive.



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Rowing Mistakes Short People Make

So maybe you're vertically-challenged, that doesn't mean that you're doomed on the rower. Shane Farmer from Dark Horse offers some great tips for the best ways to maximize your time on the machine. The best rowers aren't the tallest, they're the best technicians.


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.

  • New Affiliate CrossFit FFH Raises Money for Crisis: In East Sussex, UK, CrossFit FFH recently opened and began accepting new members. On Christmas Eve, the gym held a charity row and raised £845 for Crisis, a homelessness charity in the UK. On that day, the members rowed 200k meters in total.
  • Eighth Annual CrossFit Fort Vancouver Championship: The 2021 CrossFit Fort Vancouver Championship is a one-week, online partner competition. The workouts will be announced on January 8 and score submissions are due on January 15. The event is also a fundraiser for the Northwest Youth Fitness Foundation; 50% of the registration fees will benefit the organization directly. Register now.
  • New Zealand Gyms Feel the Loss Tourist Drop-ins: Expiring holiday work visas and a dearth of international tourists is having an effect on gyms in Queenstown, NZ. CrossFit Queenstown, despite having the local community back the gym full-time, has experienced a 20 percent loss of weekly participants in classes.
5/20 - 5/21: Tough As Nails (Lubbock, TX)
5/21: Luminate The Day (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21: Hollister Showdown (Hollister, CA)
5/21: Barbells & Beers (Berkeley Heights, NJ)
5/21 - 5/22: The Halo Games (Seattle, WA)
5/21: North East Hungergames (East Windsor, CT)
5/21: Mayhem in the Mountains (Colorado Springs, CO)
5/21: SlaughterFest 2022 (Salem, OR)
5/21: Masters Of The Midway: Individual (Cary, IL)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Delaware (Middletown, Delaware)
5/21: Code 3 Clash (Eagle, ID)
5/21: Spring Splash 2022 (Fuquay Varina, NC)
5/21: Luminate the Day (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21: Big Impact Games – CrossFit Fox Valley – Regional Qualifier (Kaukauna, WI)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx South Dakota (Rapid City, SD)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Arkansas (Little Rock, AR)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Eau Claire (Eau Clare, WI)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx SoCal (Van Nuys, CA)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Louisiana (West Elmwood, LA)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Atlanta (Roswell, GA)
5/21: PAINKLLR Venice Beach (Venice Beach, CA)
5/21: Reload Athletics Spring Throwdown (Watertown, CT)
5/26 - 5/27: Gold Star Murph 2022 (Southern Pines, NC)
6/3 - 6/5: Northern California Classic (Sacramento, CA)
6/3 - 6/5: Atlantic Coast Classic (Daytona Beach, FL)
6/4 - 6/5: Whiplash: The Welsh Open 2022 (Same Sex Pairs) (Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom)
6/4: Love’Em or Leave’Em 10 (Saugus, MA)
6/4 - 6/5: Tandemonium (Palmer, AK)
6/4: Goose Games (Chicago, IL)
6/4: Average Joe’s Competition (Sheridan, WY)
6/11: Costa Rica Riptide Rowathon (Mokena, IL)
6/11: Hi Temp Games (Albany, GA)
6/11: Kanna Fest (Ambler, PA)
6/11: Battle on Bridge Street III (Phoenixville, PA)
6/11: Mind Games (Okemos, MI)
6/18: Back Lot Bout – RX, Intermediate, Scaled (Saint Charles, MI)
6/18: Oz Fest 2022 (Junction City, KS)
6/18: Beat The Heat 2022 (Hays, KS)
6/18: Atlanta Masters Classic (Snellville, GA)
6/18: Wodmania (Urbana, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: Best of the West (Rock Springs, WY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, CA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: The Heat 5.0- Co-ed Partner Competition (Marysville, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: The Garrison City Gauntlet (Dover, NH)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/18 - 6/19: The CS&F Summer Classic (Cumming, GA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, NC)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Tennessee (Mc Minnville, TN)
6/18 - 6/19: Emerald Coast Throwdown (Pensacola, FL)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/24 - 6/27: I Got Your Six (Charleston, SC)
6/25 - 6/26: BILT Summer Classic (Welland, CA)
6/25: Independence Games VIII at The Pit Fitness Ranch (Three Rivers, MI)
6/25: Northwest Arkansas Basement Brawl (Fayetteville, AR)
6/25: Summer Bash 2022 (Zanesville, OH)
6/25: Ocean State Summer Threesome (Smithfield, RI)
6/25: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Muster Station (Sanford, FL)
7/9: Rex Rumble at CrossFit zoo (Ocala, FL)
7/9 - 7/10: Rex Rumble 11 Double Down (Ocala, FL)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Fayetteville (Spring Lake, NC)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx West Texas (Snyder, YX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx South Sound (Puyallup, WA)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)

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