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The Story Behind WIT, The Global Training Retailer

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Today’s edition is fueled by GOWOD.


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Will you be able to beat Mathew FRASER: 89%?


“Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.” — William James 

The Story Behind WIT, The Global Training Retailer


Located in the heart of London’s financial district, WIT’s 18-month-old gym and retail space is Mecca for the burgeoning training category. 

Built just steps from the London Stock Exchange, the vision was “to give the training consumer a curated multi-brand product selection that we think they deserve,” said CEO and Co-Founder Dan Williams.

Below WIT’s store is a full CrossFit affiliate, running classes from 5:30 AM to 7:00 PM at night for 200 members and more than 100 drop-ins a week. 

“We are for the serious trainer,” Williams said in an exclusive sit down with Morning Chalk Up. 


Back in 2015, Williams, who was inov-8’s UK account manager at the time, approached Sam Kitching, WIT’s other co-founder with an idea. 

Continue reading…

Soledad O’Brien: “I was wrong” about CrossFit


On Tuesday, CrossFit received a ringing endorsement from Soledad O’Brien, media personality and host of Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien. Her two tweets to more than a million followers prompted dozens of positive replies from fans sharing their own successful health stories with CrossFit. 

  • O’Brien tweeted, “I was not initially big fan of @CrossFit when I started. Basically I was getting help for my knee from @mobilitywod. Seemed like a bunch of very strong and fit dudes killing themselves lifting weights. But I’ve been at it for a year (with knee surgery in between!)”
  • “And I was wrong: lots of women, lots of moms, lots of squats! (Argh). Lots of flexibility work. I’ve really grown to love it. But most of all what you realize is: you’re stronger than you think you are. So, in case you’re not sure: you are stronger than you think you are.”

One big thing: Even though CrossFit is fairly mainstream at this point, there still aren’t a lot of famous personalities talking about it and defending the methodology in the press. Greg Glassman has made it no secret that CrossFit is working hard to change the perception of CrossFit and dispel the myth that it’s only for fit people.

O’Brien’s ringing endorsement is exactly the kind of story Glassman wants shared with the general public. The 53-year-old admits she originally thought CrossFit was “a bunch of very strong and fit dudes killing themselves lifting weights” but in reality includes “lots of women, lots of moms.” 

  • O’Brien is also an award-winning journalist who’s spent her life in the news. She co-anchored CNN’s American Morning, anchored CNN’s Starting Point, and was a correspondent on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. 
  • Having an adherent in the mainstream media isn’t a bad thing as CrossFit’s public policy battles aren’t going away anytime soon. 

Things To…


WATCH: Keeping Up With Bethany Shadburne Episode 1
In her inaugural Vlog episode, Bethany Shadburne shares her life in a nutshell. See all the funny moments in the gym, her education  and workout tips for all athletes, and of course beautiful Bella, the star of the show.


KNOW: The Difference Between Fat Loss and Weight Loss
You may have attempted to lose weight by cutting calories, which makes sense. Most people understand that if you consume fewer calories than you burn each day, you’ll lose weight. But what a lot of people don’t ask is, what kind of weight am I losing?


ENJOY: The Entire School Year Without Worrying 
Enjoy the kids being back in school with a little less worry by getting your hands on a SteadyMD Family Plan first. No need for trips to urgent care for every skinned knee, runny nose, or pesky cough. SteadyMD gives you peace of mind and also the convenience of personalized healthcare from your home.


DO: Answer Your Biggest Mobility Questions Live with Dr. Kelly Starrett
Don’t miss next week’s live video chat with Dr. Kelly Starrett! This exclusive online event is only for members of his Virtual Mobility Coach program. And it’s a rare chance to get help from the mobility coach behind Olympic Gold medalists, NFL players, and UFC champions. So sign up for a free 14-day trial now to access this members-only event on October 2nd.


EAT: Tuna and Avocado Poke at Home 
Stay at home and relax while enjoying a healthy, Whole30-friendly no-cook meal at home in your pajamas, with this simple tuna poke with avocado.


Today’s edition of the Morning Chalk Up is fueled by


Are You As Mobile As Fraser?


Test your MOBILITY for free with GOWOD!

Discover your general mobility score, as well as a detail by body area!

Available on the AppStore and PlayStore, for FREE.

Will you be able to beat Mathew FRASER: 89%?

Chalk Up Community

  • PRO-TIP: COACHING THE GHD SIT-UP — In this training guide, CrossFit shares how to safely train athletes through the full range of motion of the GHD.
  • PUSH PULL FOR CANCER — On October 12, CrossFit Intima in Elgin, IL will be hosting their first annual Push Pull for Pancreatic Cancer workout. Your $25 registration gives one person battling pancreatic cancer a care package and gets you an event shirt, and discounts to Victory Grips, Black Rifle Coffee, and Goat Tape.
  • FIRST RP SUMMIT — The first-ever RP Summit is coming to Philadelphia, PA  November 9. This full-day seminar will include five presenters covering all sorts of topics ranging from training, nutrition, recovery, psychology, gut health, and meal prep.

CHALK UP IN 2 MINUTES (a highlight reel around social media of CrossFit pros and average joes)

Willy Georges cleans 375 pounds • Bronisław Olenkowicz does Isabel at 185 pounds in 2:20 • Manon Angonese gets a front squat PR of 265 pounds • Pat Cavan reaches her goal of back squatting 85 pounds for three • Kels Kiel cleans 250 poundsRoyce Dunne does 5 X 3 power snatches at 205 pounds every 90 seconds • Happy Birthday Jessica Griffith.

Rogue and French Throwdown to Host 20.1 Live Announcements — The Open kicks off in exactly two weeks and 20.1 kicks off with a powerhouse line-up: Rich Froning v. Scott Panchik in English and Carole Castellani v. Sabrina Caron in French. 

— Register for the Open.

Joe Scali Announces His Retirement — Games athlete Joe Scali, who dropped out of the 2019 CrossFit Open as the number one ranked man in Italy, announced his retirement yesterday.

— “Competing has been the center of my life for so long, but I’m proud of the achievements that I’ve made and now I get more fulfillment from coaching others to get their first ring muscle up or push-up and assisting my athletes secure division one scholarships and helping clients overcome disease and build healthier lifestyles. These are the drivers that ignite my fire now, not making it back to the Crossfit Games. 

— “It’s been a great 30 years of competition and I’m proud of the accomplishments, especially through the toughest years of my life in opening Semiahmoo Athletic Club with my wife. Now it’s time to press pause on focusing on my athletic career and give back to my clients, and spend more time creating memories with family and friends.

— “Not saying I won’t compete again in the future, but for now I’m retired.”

Sara Sigmundsdottir Takes 8th Competing as a Male — Over the weekend, Sara Sigmundsdottir competed with her friend, Andi Orri, in an Icelandic competition. They competed as a male team of two and took 8th out of 21. 

— “Had a great time in Akureyri last weekend, competing in the male division of Hleðslumótið with my trusty Simmagym buddy Andri Orri. We finished in 8th place (of 21). Very proud of that.”


“2020 CrossFit Open Prep: By The Numbers,” by Tommy Marquez and Chad Schroeder, Morning Chalk Up 

The 2020 CrossFit Games Open is less than three weeks away. Before feelings of panic and dread set in from the impending fitness gauntlet thrown by Dave Castro, it’s important to remember that this is a landmark year, and it marks a full decade of the Open. For 10 seasons now affiliates around the world have gathered for weekly workout announcements, “Friday Night Lights,” and countless hours of leaderboarding.

This year marks a significant change for the Open, a move to October and the shortest “off season,” in our sports history with 67 days separating the closing ceremonies of the 2019 CrossFit Games and the announcement of 20.1. With a shortened transition window, and five weeks of testing on the horizon, here’s some numbers for athletes of all levels to help set your sights on the Open once again.

For the elites hoping to make the trip to Madison once again next summer, the Open all comes down to snagging a coveted qualifying spot before the holidays hit full swing.

38 and 31 were the magic numbers for women and men in the Open last year as 38th place Cheryl Nasso and 31st place Tim Paulson were the final top 20 invites after the backfilling process had finally settled.

501 and 733 total points accrued during the Open by Paulson and Nasso, the point totals the effective cut line for a Games qualifying spot. It equates to an average finish worldwide in each workout of 100.2 for Paulson, and 146.6 for Nasso. Both reasonable targets for perennial Game athletes.

2 and 1: The total number of reps separating Saxon Panchik and Jessica Griffith – who were the first athletes below the cut line – from receiving an individual invite through the Open. Saxon needed just two more wall balls, and Griffith only one more in 19.1 to move up above the cut line. Every rep counts in the Open!

70 and 72: These were the worldwide rankings of Jason Smith of South Africa, and Sara Alicia Fernandez Costas of Spain. Both were national champions and both were the final athletes allowed in based on seeding to the final heat to start the Games. Cuts will be happening after day 1 this year, but seeding is still determined by the Open, and with a field still in excess of 140 athletes, it still helps to be in the top heat with the big dawgs.


9/26 – 9/28: Heart of America (Springfield, MO)
9/27 – 9/28: Autumn Games 4 (Albuquerque, NM) 
9/27 – 9/28: Battle at the Banks (Cincinnati, OH)
9/27 – 9/28: The Greenville Games (Greenville, SC)
a 9/28: 2019 Pound-4-Pound Competition (Denver, CO)
9/28: Masters of the Midway: Individual (Lake in the Hills, IL)
9/28: The Shipwreck 4 at Harbor Park CrossFit (Racine, WI)
9/28: Firewall Frenzy 2019 Partner Comp (Holliston, MA)
9/28: No Mans Land 5 (Painesville, OH)
9/28: Country Tuff Competition (Richfield, UT)
9/28: Can You Dig It Delaware (Delaware, OH)
9/28: Bloodline Barbell Brawl (Lehigh Acres, FL)
9/28: Bring The Heat X (Katy, TX)
9/28: Rookie Rollout 4 (San Diego, CA)
9/28: The Fat Man Little Boy Showdown (Oak Ridge, TN)
9/28: Battle Cancer Competition (Madrid, Spain)
9/28: Fight of the Elements (Gland, Switzerland)
9/28: 4th Annual Kilo CrushFest (Hampton, VA)
9/28 -9/29: Beer City Beatdown (Asheville, NC)
9/28: Masters of the DMV3 (Alexandria, VA)
9/28: OUTWOD Chicago (Chicago, IL)
9/28: OUTWOD Richmond (Richmond, VA)
9/28: OUTWOD Suffolk (Suffolk, NY)
9/28 – 9/30: Duality 2019 (San Antonio, TX)
9/29: Labor Of Love (Newington, CT)
9/28 – 9/29: CrossFit Krypton Training Camp (Chesapeake, VA)
10/3 – 10/21: Dubai CrossFit Challenge Online Qualifier (Online)
10/5: The Grit Games (Jacksonville Beach, FL)
10/5: Second Annual Sona Slam (Johnson City, NY)
10/5: Nashoba Learning Group FUNdraiser (Woburn, MA)
10/6: Barbells and Babes Liftoff (Middletown, NY)
10/6: My Mommy is Stronger Than Your Mommy (Houston, TX)
10/12: Push Pull For Pancreatic Cancer (Elgin, IL)
10/16: 2019 Graveyard Games (Kenosha, WI)
10/19: Battle for the Bell VIII: End Bell (Southbury, CT)
10/19: HYROX Miami (Miami, FL)
10/26: CrossFit Turbine’s 2019 Strongman Classic (Carol Stream, IL)

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