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The Veteran and the Rookie: Comparing Europe’s Bjorgvin Karl and Jelle Hoste at the CrossFit Games

Morning Chalk Up

August 18   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Liam Killeen took on a big challenge–drop in at CrossFit boxes in all 50 states before his 60th birthday
  • 2023 Games athlete comparison: Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson and Jelle Hoste
  • A look back at what we learned from the 2023 Women’s Division
  • And, Ella Wunder’s Workout of the Week

We want to feature your gym for affiliate of the month. Send us a note and be sure to include a note about why we should feature it.

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“What you do in the off season determines what you do in the regular season.” - George Allen

  50 Before 60: Avid CrossFitter Tries to Hit Affiliates in All 50 States by His 60th Birthday  

50 Before 60: Avid CrossFitter Tries to Hit Affiliates in All 50 States by His 60th Birthday

A milestone birthday doesn’t come often and when it does, many of us choose to celebrate with a big party or maybe a trip somewhere fun. But for Liam Killeen, who turned 60 this month, hitting a CrossFit gym in all 50 states was his big milestone wish.

Killeen turned to CrossFit roughly ten years ago after looking for an alternative to distance running. He found a love for the sport and while he started later in life, the commitment to getting better and making improvements on his skills doesn’t waiver.

  • “The thing that is endlessly fascinating for me with CrossFit is that aspect of it that you have a community of people, just the inherent competitiveness of it, and you just move at a different pace when you’re Crossfitting than you would in a self directed workout,” said Killeen.
  • “I’m turning 60 and there are still skills that I intend to develop that I don’t have. I do not have a muscle up and intend to have one. You know, things like that 10 years and I’m still focused.”
  • “I’m around people every day that I target and they target me and it’s just fun to have that camaraderie and common purpose for sure. And so that’s, as I say, endlessly fascinating.”

The idea to hit a gym in all 50 states started roughly eight years ago, according to Killeen. He had already dropped in at affiliates in a few states and thought to himself, why not keep going? Killeen adds, he attends CrossFit classes five times a week and it has become a daily part of his life.

This type of physical challenge isn’t new for Killeen, who said for his 50th birthday he wrangled a group of friends to mountain bike from Durango, Colorado to Moab, Utah single tracking through the Rockies “which wasn’t the smartest thing any of us had ever done, but just an incredible experience.”

Killeen also shares this experience actually dates back to his goal of visiting all the states since he arrived from Ireland in 1989. Obviously family and work and life got in the way and he put the goal on the back burner until now.

  • “I think I was a handful of states into this already when I just thought ‘oh, it would be cool’
  • “If you consider CrossFit to be about constant change and challenge then if you want to see that, do what I’m doing and start dropping into gyms around the country because every gym has a completely different culture and approach.”
  • “It’s just a lot of fun to drop into a place. I mean, everything can be different. What stays the same, of course, is that the community is universally welcoming.”

Killeen said he started 2023 with about 15 states to complete and just ended in Anchorage, Alaska. Luckily, his work requires travel, so with some extra coordination he’s been able to work in different affiliates throughout his travels.

Killeen was able to bring along his son Nick on the quest for the final affiliate. Nick says his dad is the reason he started CrossFit in the first place and is a constant inspiration to him and to those around him.

“When he sets a goal, I never doubt that my dad is going to see it through. It’s been so inspiring to see his relentless pursuit of this one, which seemed so crazy at first and now is nearly complete,” said Nick, who’s been doing CrossFit himself for 8 years.

Upon completion of this challenge, Killeen is already onto his next adventure, which is a bike ride across America. Even so, he says it won’t replace CrossFit.

“I’m sure there’s a shelf life on CrossFit, but I don’t think it’s 60,” he said.

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Outlet Sale: Up to 70% Off

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📰🗞️📰 Good Read: You may have seen this article shared across your social platforms–it’s a New York Times profile on the popularity of the CrossFit Games documentaries, featuring interviews with Tyson Oldroyd, a coordinating producer and member of the CrossFit Media team, Mariah Moore, filmmaker and director of the most recent CrossFit docs, and the Buttery Bros, Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers who, in many ways crafted the genre.

  • From the article: “It’s proven catnip for CrossFitters. The company’s annual Games documentaries are consistent streaming hits, with no sign that demand is slowing down. “Resurgence,” from 2021, sat at the top of the iTunes charts worldwide for three days in a row. The latest, “Fittest on Earth: Retro/Active,” about the 2022 CrossFit Games season, came out on June 30, and remains one of the top documentaries on iTunes two months later.”

Roman Khrennikiv at LVLUP CrossFit: Fresh off of his podium performance, the Third Fittest Man on Earth, Roman Khrennikov, took off for Dubai to host a seminar at LVLUP CrossFit. Check out some highlights.

🥇🏆 The Asbury Park Summer Games, the long-running New Jersey fitness event, community festival and one-time CrossFit Sanctional kicks off this weekend with events on both Saturday and Sunday.

ICYMI: Emma Cary went from 40th to eighth place in 12 tests at the Games; what did that reveal about the talented youngster?

  Bjorgvin Gudmundsson and Jelle Hoste: 2023 CrossFit Games Athlete Studies  


Bjorgvin Gudmundsson and Jelle Hoste: 2023 CrossFit Games Athlete Studies

The battle for men’s tenth place at this year’s CrossFit Games went through Europe between Bjorgvin Gudmundsson of Iceland and Jelle Hoste of Belgium, both of whom finished with exactly 710 points. Ultimately Hoste won the tie break with his test win in the Cross-Country 5K.

Because there are so many interesting points we would like to discuss about these two athletes, we are going to slightly mix up the format of this athlete study and talk about things that can’t necessarily be seen on the leaderboard.

Continue Reading...
  A Look Back: What Did We Learn from the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Women’s Division  

A Look Back: What Did We Learn from the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Women’s Division

Time has passed and the dust has settled since the 2023 CrossFit Games have taken place and for the very last time in Madison, Wisconsin. Major storylines have already been dissected and digested.

Hungary’s Laura Horvath took home the title of Fittest on Earth, and racked up five test wins, earning 285 points on Sunday alone. This was Horvath’s fourth time on the podium, her first as a champion. Another memorable outcome was first time podium finisher Arielle Loewen taking home third place.

But so much more happened throughout those four days in August. Here are some additional storylines and takeaways from the women’s division.

Slow Starts, Strong Finishes

Ultimately finishing in fourth place, Gabi Migala had an average of 16th place on her first six tests, her lowest finish being Helena, with a 27th. But on her last six tests, she finished with an average of 6th. She saved her best performance for last, taking third place on the Echo Thruster Final.

Brute Strength’s Danielle Brandon averaged a 15th place finish on her first six tests, even though she nabbed a first place finish on Test 3: Inverted Medley. Her last six tests gave her a 10th place average, and three of her four top ten finishes were the last three tests. She finished in 9th place.

The greatest comeback over the four days belonged to Emma Cary, as she came in 40th on “Ride” and 39th on “Alpaca Redux.” These finishes along with the other four on the first two days gave her an average finish of 19th place even though she took second place on “Helena” on Friday. On her last six tests, however, she averaged a seventh place finish, taking eighth overall.

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  Ella Wunger’s Workout of the Week  

Ella Wunger’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by Ella Wunger, the Fittest Woman in Sweden and 2023 CrossFit Games qualifier. Wunger took eighth place in the Europe Semifinal this spring and 34th in her rookie campaign at the Games in Madison. Her highest finish was fourth place in Test 5: Ski Bag.

Ella Wunger

9-Minute AMRAP:

Legless rope climbs 15-feet
20 Alternating Pistols

Scaling Options: Athletes can adjust the legless rope climbs to regular rope climbs, or substitute 2 “zombie climbs” per rope climb. If athletes struggle with pistols, substitute goblet squats or alternating box steps ups holding a single dumbbell at 50/35 pounds.

Advice from Ella: “Make sure to warm-up your pistols properly to be ready to attack this one. Make sure to hold yourself to a high standard as it comes to depth and hip extension at the top.”

To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.

  Review of the Week: NOBULL Rec Trainer  

Review of the Week: NOBULL Rec Trainer

I’m a big fan of Vans, Converse and sneakers that can be “dressed up” so that I never have to wear uncomfortable shoes again. So when I saw the Rec Trainer launch from NOBULL, I said wow I feel like I’m being targeted. Naturally I had to try them.

Seeing Justin Medeiros and Katrin posting with them and highlighting that they are a versatile, all-day training shoe I was surprised to know I could wear them for workouts as well. So I did just that and tested them for a workout and wore them around for a week. Here are my key takeaways.

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Volunteer for Wodapalooza

Want to spend a weekend in Miami soaking up the sun and watching some fitness? Be a part of the biggest party in Miami and volunteer at WZA.




The Anti-Anxiety Gym Bag

Tired of feeling rushed and distracted before your workout? Streamline your routine with Haven Organized Backpacks & Duffels. Structured compartments keep your gear in place and make it easy to grab what you need, even in a time crunch.



Three Reasons Why Your Bar Muscle-Up Sucks

Oof. The brutal truth coming straight from a gymnastics guru. Acceptance is the first step of healing.



Reebok is Keeping the Games Alive With This Sale

The Games might be over but the fun isn’t over at Reebok. Take 50% off site-wide on apparel items like the Strength 3.0 shorts, Lux Booty Shorts, Lux Leggings and more! Use code “GAMES50” to save all the $$$.



The Stimulus is More Important Than RX

If you disregard time caps and refuse to scale workouts, then this one goes out to you!


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

For the month of August, FITAID is donating $5 for every case of FITAID Hawaiian Nectar to the Maui Strong Fund – a foundation committed to supporting communities affected by wildfires in Maui.

  • Free shipping on every order containing FITAID Hawaiian Nectar.
  • People are encouraged to visit Hawaii Community Foundation for more information and ways to help.
9/29 - 10/1: MACC FEST (Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival) (West Friendship, MD)
9/29 - 9/30: Iron Anchor Throwdown (Batavia, OH)
9/29 - 10/1: 2023 Masters Fitness Championship (Fort Wayne, IN)
9/30 - 10/1: Sango Games 2023 (Clarksville, TN)
9/30: 15th Anniversary and Birthday Brawl (York, PA)
9/30: Barbell Brawl VIII (Kennett Square, PA)
9/30: No Weak Links: Cuff Links (Marcy, NY)
9/30 - 10/1: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Babes with Barbells (Huntington, WV)
10/7: KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: Pitness At The Mill (Canton, GA)
10/7: 2023 KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: FitoberFest (Prairie Village, KS)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Crash Crucible (Spartanburg, SC)
10/14: T-Town Throwdown (Toledo, OH)
10/14: Triple Threat Terror 2023 (Forney, TX)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: Babes and Barbells (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/14: Scream & Clean III (Danbury, CT)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Belleville (Bellevile, Canada)
10/14: Best Babes West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
10/14: Best Babes Columbus GA (Columbus, GA)
10/14: Best Babes Illinois (Byron, IL)
10/14: 8th Annual Kilo CrushFest Competition (Hampton, VA)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Sedalia (Sedalia, MO)
10/14: Best Babes Massachusetts (Beverly, MA)
10/15: Kares CrossFit October Showdown (Georgetown, Guyana)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/21: Barbells For Bullies: Portland (Hillsboro, OR)
10/21: 401 Fall Throwdown (Smithfield, RI)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/27 - 10/28: Star City Fittest (Roanoke, VA)
10/28 - 10/29: The Ghostly Games (Fayetteville, GA)
10/28: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/3 - 11/4: Florida Grid League Championship (Orlando, FL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/4: Sunshine SmackDown (Bedford Hills, NY)
11/4: Witch City Throwdown (Salem, MA)
11/4: Barbell Babes Lorton (Lorton, VA)
11/11: Freakin’ Gauntlet (Pembroke Pines, FL)
11/11: The Meadowlands Classic (Carlstadt, NJ)
11/11: Barbell Massacre 8 (Dahlonega, GA)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/18: Best Babes Dallas (Dallas, TX)
11/18: Best Babes Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
11/18: Best Babes Iowa (Mason City, IA)
11/18: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Haven, UT)
11/18: Teams Of The Midway: 2 Person Teams (Cary, IL)
11/18: Friendsgiving (Ambler, PA)
11/18: Turkey Bash (Chatham, IL)

See all upcoming events

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