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The Uninvited: CrossFit Games Athletes React

Morning Chalk Up

May 12

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The team division was canceled, but less than 24 hours later, Rich Froning announced Mayhem Madness, an alternate team competition. And, CrossFit Games National Champs are out for 2020, how are they taking the news? Today:

  • Mayhem Madness offers elite teams a possible venue for competition.
  • National champs react to the CrossFit HQ announcement.
  • The TrueCoach app has seen a 300% increase over the past few weeks; Emily Beers has more.

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“When the fire’s there, you just go for it. When the fire is not there, it gives you space for other things in your life.” – Kevin Jorgeson


Mayhem Madness: What We Know So Far

  Mayhem Madness: What We Know So Far  

Athletes that earned an invite to the 2020 Games in the team competition did not get much time to grieve the cancelation of their division before a suitable replacement option quickly rose to the occasion.

Less than 24 hours after CrossFit HQ announced that a restructuring of spots at the Games meant dissolving the team competition for the year, Rich Froning announced via Instagram, a new team competition that will serve to showcase the hard work of the elite teams that no longer get to compete in Aromas.

Froning initially teased the idea during a livestream workout that the Mayhem crew hosted on YouTube this past Friday, May 8 — one day prior to the CrossFit Games announcement — revealing some ideas that his team had in the works if the team competition was canceled.

  • One of our favorite ideas in the brainstorming phase was to host the competition over the course of eight or nine days, and slowly trim the competition every couple days, which included some rest days throughout.

The official announcement from Froning a few days later cemented Mayhem Madness as a reality, giving the nine teams that qualified for the Games through Sanctionals something to look forward to this summer, travel permitting. Official dates haven’t been set but the announcement revealed that the month of August is the target.


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The Uninvited: Games Athletes, National Champions React to Losing Their Invites

  The Uninvited: Games Athletes, National Champions React to Losing Their Invites  

When CrossFit HQ made the announcement on Saturday afternoon that they were “resetting” the 2020 CrossFit Games individual competition and taking back the Games invitations of over 250 athletes, emotions washed over the community in the aftermath of these latest changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the group of athletes that had their Games invites rescinded were the 243 national champions crowned through the worldwide Open. Instead the only athletes who will receive the new invitations are those who finished inside the top-20 in the Open and athletes who qualified through one of the ten in-person Sanctional events prior to the pandemic.

Like the Games Age Group division athletes who had their season come to an end a week ago, the “uninvited” athletes took to social media to express their emotions which ranged from disappointment, understanding, and gratitude.

Here is what some of those athletes had to say:

Zack George (United Kingdom National Champion, 26th in the Open)

  • “People around the globe are being universally affected by the virus and the main thing I am concerned about is people staying healthy and safe.”
  • “Obviously, I am hugely disappointed to have worked as hard as I have to get to the Games and not be able to attend. I wanted to compete and thrive off the amazing support I have received from everyone who has been on this long journey with me.”

Willy Georges (Two-time France National Champion, two-time Games athlete)

  • “After a serious injury at the beginning of the year, a postponed wedding, now it’s the CrossFit Games that are escaping. I’m obviously sad and disappointed, because it represents a lot of sacrifices and hours of training, and also because I was eager to prove my fitness during the Games, because it’s the biggest test of fitness. I think I’m in the best shape of my life, and I wanted to show it…”

TrueCoach App Reports 300 Percent User Increase

  TrueCoach App Reports 300 Percent User Increase  

The popular coaching App TrueCoach saw an increase in new users by 300 percent from February to March 2020.

Why this might be significant: The app is predominantly used by coaches who offer individualized programming to their clients, explained Raechel Sinuk of TrueCoach.

  • “Several coaches (also) use the platform for nutrition coaching, habit tracking…(but) individual design is the most common,” she said.

The app allows coaches to share training programs, upload videos, track progress and communicate back and forth with clients. The app itself also contains 1,200 preloaded movement videos for coaches to use.

Sinuk’s prediction: A continued upsurge in individualized training programs, now and beyond COVID-19.

  • I think especially now there will be an increase in individual program design. But mostly an increase in online remote coaching in general…The TrueCoach platform has opened up a whole new avenue for coaches to train online and remotely that may have not previously been doing so,” she said.

From the gym owner’s side: While Zoom classes have been given all the pandemic training hype, many affiliate owners, as well as other independently-owned functional fitness gyms, say offering individualized training programs is responsible for their high client retention since closing their doors.




How to Best Disinfect Your Gym

As gym owners prepare to re-open following mandatory closures, gym cleaning protocols are a key topic of discussion. In this episode, Kristi Eramo O’Connell and Pat O’Connell talk about how they approach it at CrossFit Polaris and demonstrate a mister/fogger they use to disinfect everything.

  Morning Chalk Up  



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Dr. Sean Pastuch Discuss Post-Lockdown Programming


Dr. Sean Pastuch Discuss Post-Lockdown Programming

On this episode of the Open Gym podcast, host Patrick Cummings talks with Dr. Sean Pastuch, the founder of Active Life Professional and a former gym owner. As gyms begin to reopen, Dr. Pastuch wants you to be intentional about how you’re reintroducing members back to load and intensity.

Listen on Spotify    Listen on Apple Podcasts    More Listening Options...


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  Morning Chalk Up  


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Community Fundraiser Roundup

Here are a few of the cool fundraisers and some good work being done around the CrossFit community:

  • Go Primal Donates Vitamin D: The European supplement company, Go Primal, is not only donating the profits of online sales to local gyms of the customers choosing, but it has also donated hundreds of bottles of vitamin D3 to nurses, doctors and other essential workers, as D3 deficiency has shown to affect the severity of the COVID-19 symptoms.
  • CrossFit Merle Hay Donates Thousands: The Des Moines, IA affiliate, CrossFit Merle Hay, owned by Nate Yoho, has been donating money for the Food Bank of Iowa and ValorFit, and keeping their community motivated with a unique initiative, for every athlete who posts a score for their daily at-home WODs, CFMH donates $1. To date, they have donated over $2300 during the lockdown.   
  • CrossFit Wingman Does Burpees to Raise Cash: Aaron Zanchi, owner of CrossFit Wingman in Agawam, MA, along with community member Paul Taft (congratulations on your nurse pinning and graduation), did 5000 burpees on May 9 to raise money for Million Meal Movement. They raised close to $1000.
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